The entirety of the Dogma role-playing game (RPG) and website has been conceived, authored and developed by Scott M. Huelsman (Waunakee, Wisconsin). The story behind Dogma is perhaps as intriguing as the game itself.
While Scott served in the Air Force as a flight simulator technician in the mid 1980s, holds a bachelor's degree in environmental science (UW-Milwaukee) and currently is a webmaster with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Scott also has a strong creative streak and in the mid-1990s produced his own "MediaNovel" that combined his own 100,000-word fantasy adventure novel with custom music, graphics, audio and even video. Originally entitled "Convictions" (and then "Wizard Reborn"), Scott spent years on the project, growing first a CD-ROM and then web development company in order to learn the craft and support the vision.
Around 2008, Scott tackled the Microsoft .NET learning curve and began working on an online game based on the novel, one in which the player became the protagonist within an interactive novel. Ten original episodes were developed for the game, but eventually Scott was pulled away to other more mundane client-based projects and his "role-playing novel" fell into disrepair.
A strong proponent of the DNN content management system, in mid-2013 Scott began a revisioning of the game and rewrote both the administrative component as well as game engine directly within DNN. A year later, an initial episode was completed and Scott released a beta version of the game.
This time around, instead of making the game an interactive novel (told in first person), Scott rewrote the game engine to utilize a fictional "dungeon master" (or "DM") to act as the storyteller, referee the game and provide an old-school, "paper-and-pencil" experience. Players create their own persistent "player character" (or "PC") and interact with the DM, progressing through a series of encounters; the DM provides a brief synopsis of the encounter, the player chooses a response (typically from three specific options) and the encounter is resolved, usually resulting in a permanent change to the PC (or one of several non-playing characters or "NPCs" that the player may recruit). Collections of encounters are combined into individual episodes that tell a grander story.
Future of Dogma
The Dogma RPG is a labor of love for Scott, the creative outlet he enjoys to accompany his full-time job, part-time web development business ("The Huelsman Way") and weekly support of his wife Susie's DJ, wedding and karaoke business "The Susie Show." Hence, new episodes will take some time to develop (typically one to two months) but Scott plans to continue the Dogma storyline well into the foreseeable future!