Friday, August 19, 2011

Video killed the face to face gaming group / Remote gaming problems

Ok, gamerati, if you were playing a game over the internet, using headphones and web cams, what medium / system would you use?

I've tested last night, and it crashed on me.
I tried Hanging Out on G+, but the plug in wouldn't install on my laptop (window 7, mid range specs, running Chrome browser).

I'd like a medium that includes text chat and easy picture upload.

What should I be using?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Creativity / Productivity

I've been working on a system and setting of my own for too long now. Actual years. Six?
Too long.
I like to think of myself as a good ideas guy, and I'm definitely good at starting things. I just rarely deliver.
I have a qualification in Creative Writing, not a degree, because I didn't complete my dissertation, so it's a Diploma instead.
I start a lot more games than I finish. Never intentionally, its just that as soon as I've started one thing, I want to move onto the next.
It effects every level of my life. I seem to lack organization, focus and confidence in my work.
This post is not an exercise in self pity though, or it's not intended to be, rather it is supposed to be a statement of intent.
Since I started paying attention to the various RPG blogs that are out there, I have become aware of the many indie, DIY game publishers, and seen some of their work.
Publications range from short supportive supplements for existing games, to new, original systems and settings.
I have seen, from the periphery, some of these games move from concept, through design and to realisation and delivery.
An example would be Greg Christopher and his Dark Horse Game Design blog.
I am kind of in awe of his productivity. He has a helluva lot of home commitments (as far as I can tell), holds down a day job and still blogs constantly as well as designing his own games.
His production values are very high, and churns out maps, content and layout for his games in short order.
How does he do it?
Does he sleep?
I've focussed on Greg somewhat here (and sound like a gushing fandom whilst doing so) because from what I know of his personal life, it's similar to mine.
I have two young children, I work full time, I have responsibilities, and don't get to put the time I'd like to into my hobbies.
Then I see people like Greg living the dream.
I clearly need to buck my ideas up. Get a bit of direction. Organise myself.
I would like to produce a playable draft of my system & setting, Modern Mythic, and get it out there, get some feedback. Playtest it. Redraft etc.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Forbidden Corner / Changeling: the Lost LARP waiting to happen

It was my little boy's 4th birthday this weekend gone, so we took him to The Forbidden Corner in North Yorkshire (UK). I'd been there before, whilst he was still gestating in my wife's womb (4.5 years ago, date fans), and loved it then. I still love it now.

The place is a four acre folly in the Yorkshire Dales. It's am eccentric maze that doubles as a treasure hunt. It is brimming with character.

The entrance to
the maze
When I visited four years ago, I had not read Changeling: the Lost. This is an important point.
Whilst walking through the hedge mazes, wooded paths, tunnels and corridors, my overriding thought was:
This would be a fantastic location for Changeling: the Lost LARP

Now, I'm not into LARP anymore, but I would play a C:tL live game if it were run here. I just need somebody within the UK to organise it. 

The game would be very Hedge-centric, with occasional forays into the edges of Arcadia and Dream spaces. There is a great potential for Hollows, Freeholds, Gateways, Goblin Markets and fucking scary encounters with the True Fae and Hobgoblins.
Part I of a water
tunnel that leads to
the Greek Underworld

Logistically, the site would need booking for an entire weekend, with each attendee paying for at least a full day, maybe two. 
There are cottages on site, which is good, and a possibility for camping for everybody else. 
There's also a cafe on site. 

These steps ultimately lead to the Greek Underworld

The Gates to Hell
or something

A submerged dragon mural

Gates leading to an offshoot of the grounds - a long path of trees and wild boars

A representative wooded path

The view from the edge of the grounds

A gateway to the Hedge
or something worse

There are a fair few gateways and arches

The entrance to another off shoot from the main grounds
This one leads to a graveyard and a herb garden

Another wooded path

A warning to anybody who would meddle in the affairs of the Fey

This, and many of the following photos, reminded me of the insignia from Changeling: the Dreaming

An exit
Also a point of No Return
(in real life, it leads to the toilets)