Archive for the ‘Conventions’ Category

Registered for Camp Nerdly 1

February 15, 2007

If the people who read this aren’t aware of Camp Nerdly, then I’m surprised. Well with the recent announcement of the belly dancing class, I’ve convinced Kylene to attend with me. I’m very excited that this will be my second convention like event. I think this will be really great and personal. I look forward to meeting and talking with people that I’ve only known online. The only problem is containing my excitement until May.


Dreamation 2007 – Shock:

February 2, 2007

My final official game of the convention was run by Joshua A.C. Newman. I was signed up as an alternate for this game, but I got lucky and they needed me. In addition to Joshua and I, at the table we had Ben Lehman, and Daniel Ravipinto.

Every game of Shock: begins with the creation of the Shock/Issue grid. We chose planetary colonization as our Shock and we had second-class citizens, xenophobia, and immigration as our Issues. We then set about creating our world. We decided that the story would be based on Europa and we developed Cannies, Domies, and LCLs. The Cannies were the original settlers of Europa and had lived their for generations forming their own traditions. Cannies live in small cylindrical houses that are launched at the planet, and when they land they burrow into the ice. In our story new Cannies had started to come to Europa and they were fiercely ignorant of the old Cannie traditions. In addition to the Cannies we had rich Earth settlers living in Domes with their Long-term Contract Laborers or LCLs.

At this point we created our Protagonists. I was playing a new Cannie missionary that had come to Europa to spread the word of God. His story goal was to form a congregation. Ben played an old Cannie and member of the Europa Defense league. Joshua played a former Domie that had moved into an orbital space station complete with mass driver, and wanted to be accepted by the Cannies. Finally Daniel played an LCL gardener/biologist who wanted to find a place for her son in the Dome. For our Praxis we chose compromise over spite and tradition over rebellion.

My character achieved his story goal post-humously after becoming a martyr protecting the converted younger sister of Ben’s character. Ben’s character attempted to crash the space station into the dome but failed, crashing it into the ice next to the dome instead. Luckily the computer system could still fire the mass driver, so Joshua’s character shot down the incoming colonization fleet that had Daniel’s character’s son on board. The fleet comes crashing into the dome, destroying it, but Daniel’s character manages to get into an emergency space suit and her son survives. She hooks up with my character’s wife and the sister of Ben’s character and together they develop a new and better life for the Cannies.

That was the short and sweet version of the story. Apparently that was one of the only Shock: games to end on a happy note and it left us all feeling very jazzed afterwards.

Dreamation 2007 – Shooting The Moon

February 1, 2007

I played in this game on Saturday afternoon. The game was run by Emily Care Boss the designer. We were joined by Matthew Gandy, Michelle, Kat and Michael Miller. The game is designed for 2-3 players, but since Michelle, Kat, and Michael were going to have to step out a lot to set up the Indie Games Explosion Party, we decided to split into 3 teams.

We decided on playing a Shakespearian Comedy as our setting. Matthew and Michael played the Beloved, Duke Silvio, who’s wife had died bearing him a a daughter (Immanuella) and he wanted a son to be his heir. Emily and Kat played Dorina, Immanuella’s large, childlike nursemaid. Dorina was hiding from the Duke that Immanuella was her child switched with the Duke’s stillborn child at birth. Michelle and I played Lara, a former bandit posing as a high-born governess. She also had a twin sister Ilara to add to the confusion.

The story had a lot of great twists, with the Duke mistaking Ilara for Lara’s reflection several times. Dorina took advantage of a mirror as well to introduce her own “daughter” to the Duke. Poor Silvio was just too easily fooled. The whole story ended with the manor house being set on fire, and all of the participants running into and out of the burning building. The story was really great and helped demonstrate to Emily that the system could be used for comedy.

Dreamation 2007 – carry. a game about war.

January 31, 2007

My first game of the con. Adam and I signed up for this game, because it wasn’t getting love on the signup sheet. This is a game that I only had passing knowledge of and it wasn’t really on my radar primarily because of the subject matter. carry is a game in which you play U.S. Marines fighting in the Vietnam War and dealing with their various burdens.

The game was run by the designer Nathan Paoletta and we played with Joshua A.C. Newman. My character went from being a snotty little shit to being a proud warrior that goes on to become a U.S. Congressman. This was all crossed into Adam’s story about his black soldier confronting racism, and Joshua’s about love and loyalty. It was a terrific session, and carry is a game that I want to play again.

Dreamation 2007

January 31, 2007

So I went to Dreamation 2007 this past weekend. It was my first trip to a convention, and it rocked. I didn’t have a single bad game, and I met a ton of people, some I knew from online chat and tons that I had only known them through their forum presences and/or games.

I traveled up with Adam Dray on Friday night, so he was able to introduce me to some people. The first thing we did after registration, was head to the big board to sign up for games. A lot of the games that I had originally wanted were all full, which is cool for Indie Games Explosion, but a little dissappointing. I got over it.

So the first game I got to play in was carry. a game about war. The game was run by the designer Nathan Paoletta. This was my first session of the con and it kicked it off with a bang. More about this game here, but the session definitely sold the game to me. Unfortunately I put off purchasing it and it sold out, so I’ll have to wait until it comes back into stock.

After carry, Adam, his friend Jon, and I spent some time talking about Adam’s game Verge. I love shop talk and Adam wasn’t completely happy with Verge, so we hashed out a new approach to his conflict resolution in a few hours. It wouldn’t last long. This took until about 3AM, so we went to sleep because I had a 9AM game the next day.

My 9AM game was Capes with Andrew Morris GMing. This was a “Mean Streets” game of Capes, that basicly involved a Sin City-esque setting and characters that just couldn’t do good. I played Jack the Blade and ended up taking over all crime in the city, only to lose the respect of my men and fail to impress my ex-lover.

My next game was Shooting the Moon with the designer Emily Care Boss. I’m writing more about this game here. We played the game with twice as many players as normal, but we simply split into teams to play the Suitors and the Beloved. The game was a comedic romp that didn’t descend into slapstick.

My final official game was Shock: run by the designer Joshua A.C. Newman. We titled the game Shock: Canny Row. More here. We had 2 out of the 4 protagonists die and yet the game had a happy ending (apparently this is rare). We all left the game deeply satisfied with how things turned out.

After that game I participated in a playtest of Verge that involved it getting refined into a very interesting game, in which you play a board game to generate story with a board that is created on the fly at the beginning of the game. This went till about 4 in the morning, when I went upstairs to crash.

The next morning my game was canceled, so I just hung out with folks and talked design and life. It was a ton of fun. I met lots of people, I don’t even want to list people, because I’m afraid I would forget someone. It was a joy to meet all of them, and I had a great time hanging out.

I returned home tired, but brimming with excitement. I’m going to start by revitalizing my blog and then move on to actually writing the game ideas that I have.