jducoeur: (Default)
Okay -- I've sent the email to all of the players, so it's official. The game wiki for Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne and the Perfect Construct is open for people to look at. Please note that it is, by definition, rife with spoilers, so if you haven't played and think you might want to, stay away from it. But some non-gamers had expressed an interest in looking at it, so this is mainly for them...
jducoeur: (Default)
Okay -- I've sent the email to all of the players, so it's official. The game wiki for Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne and the Perfect Construct is open for people to look at. Please note that it is, by definition, rife with spoilers, so if you haven't played and think you might want to, stay away from it. But some non-gamers had expressed an interest in looking at it, so this is mainly for them...
jducoeur: (Default)
As one would expect for such a costume-heavy game, people took lots of pictures. Some galleries:

My pictures are okay -- I got most of the people who really costumed (with a few annoying omissions), but the morning set were shot without flash because I was still set to my SCA settings.

Eva Schiffer got a bunch of good pictures, including a number of people that I didn't.

[livejournal.com profile] anu3bis has posted two albums to Picasa, one for the morning run and one for the evening.

Lots of good stuff there. I commend a look through if you're a GG fan -- many of the costumes were really great, in both runs...
jducoeur: (Default)
As one would expect for such a costume-heavy game, people took lots of pictures. Some galleries:

My pictures are okay -- I got most of the people who really costumed (with a few annoying omissions), but the morning set were shot without flash because I was still set to my SCA settings.

Eva Schiffer got a bunch of good pictures, including a number of people that I didn't.

[livejournal.com profile] anu3bis has posted two albums to Picasa, one for the morning run and one for the evening.

Lots of good stuff there. I commend a look through if you're a GG fan -- many of the costumes were really great, in both runs...
jducoeur: (Default)
Sometimes, the programming background comes in handy in surprising ways. For instance, today I am finding that the engineering discipline of "Get your damned ego out of the code" is proving very useful. One of the hardest engineering practices to learn, and one of the most important, is the ability to step back from your code and look at it as if someone completely unrelated to you had written it, so you can objectively examine its flaws without feeling crushed by them.

The game being over, it's time for a really critical re-examination of it. It was good enough that I think I will eventually want to re-run it, but not so good as to let me re-run it in its current state. I'd personally give the game a solid B overall -- good, but could use work. My take on it (having really a very limited view as a GM -- the players probably have a much clearer idea of what happened than I do) is that about half the characters and plots are pretty solid, a quarter or so are good but need refinement, and maybe a fifth should be scrapped/rewritten. Which isn't bad, but can't be brushed off, and if I don't write it all down now, we'll simply forget.

So as part of wrapping things up, I'm taking extensive notes on what to change for next time. I encourage all players to send me commentary of what you liked and didn't like in the game, and (more importantly) what did and did not work. Please do that privately, so as not to spoil things for people who haven't played yet. If you'd like to respond to this posting, I've turned on screening so that you can do so here; I'll unscreen any comments that seem to be relatively spoiler-free...
jducoeur: (Default)
Sometimes, the programming background comes in handy in surprising ways. For instance, today I am finding that the engineering discipline of "Get your damned ego out of the code" is proving very useful. One of the hardest engineering practices to learn, and one of the most important, is the ability to step back from your code and look at it as if someone completely unrelated to you had written it, so you can objectively examine its flaws without feeling crushed by them.

The game being over, it's time for a really critical re-examination of it. It was good enough that I think I will eventually want to re-run it, but not so good as to let me re-run it in its current state. I'd personally give the game a solid B overall -- good, but could use work. My take on it (having really a very limited view as a GM -- the players probably have a much clearer idea of what happened than I do) is that about half the characters and plots are pretty solid, a quarter or so are good but need refinement, and maybe a fifth should be scrapped/rewritten. Which isn't bad, but can't be brushed off, and if I don't write it all down now, we'll simply forget.

So as part of wrapping things up, I'm taking extensive notes on what to change for next time. I encourage all players to send me commentary of what you liked and didn't like in the game, and (more importantly) what did and did not work. Please do that privately, so as not to spoil things for people who haven't played yet. If you'd like to respond to this posting, I've turned on screening so that you can do so here; I'll unscreen any comments that seem to be relatively spoiler-free...
jducoeur: (Default)
Every LARP-running experience features some lessons to learn. This one was no exception. The lessons included:
  • If someone says they really, really, really want to play a Jaegermonster, let them. The Jaegers in both runs were *extraordinary*, a major highlight of the game. (The trio in the second run were reportedly novice LARPers, and were better than most veterans I know.)

  • Do not try to move eight-foot-long tables of uncertain stability by yourself. Especially, do not do so by shoving them. Dropping the end of a table on the arch of your foot is not an ideal way to start a day of GM'ing. (Ow, ow, ow...)

  • Dumb casting luck can strike twice. I never thought I'd have a re-run of the Ozma case, but it did almost repeat. The player who was going to play my favorite character of the game (a high-angst, high-romance character with a 15 page character sheet) had to drop on the evening before game run. I almost just ran without the character, but [livejournal.com profile] dervishspin stepped up to the challenge. From getting that 15-page sheet 11 hours before the game and knowing nothing about the comic, she came in the next morning, costumed just right, and *nailed* the role. It was a delight to watch.

  • Rocket-powered golf clubs do *not* make a wise demonstration example for Spark mechanics. The universe is listening, and has a wicked sense of humor.

  • Mostly, I determined that not only are adaptation games a bit harder than normal ones, adapting an ongoing, non-episodic story is quite a bit harder still. Oz might have been using other peoples' characters, but at least we had the entire L. Frank Baum corpus in front of us, and knew exactly how much freedom we had to embroider. (Quite a bit, given how internally inconsistent Oz is to start with.)

    But you have to fit a Girl Genius game inside an ongoing story, one where only the Foglios really understand the details. Worse, all evidence is that they *do* know many of those details, and just haven't told us yet. So I had to start with three months of simply evaluating everything that we knew, to figure out where my opportunities to invent were. And it's still likely that at least 80% of the guesswork in the story is just plain dead-wrong. (Although I still hold out hope that my Skifander backstory is at least partly correct -- that was pulling together lots of hints, so I think it's plausible.)
Overall, a good experience, and the game will probably get cleaned up and re-run at some point down the road. But it's good to get to the end of the process, and let out all the steam that's been building up and driving me forward for the past couple of months...
jducoeur: (Default)
Every LARP-running experience features some lessons to learn. This one was no exception. The lessons included:
  • If someone says they really, really, really want to play a Jaegermonster, let them. The Jaegers in both runs were *extraordinary*, a major highlight of the game. (The trio in the second run were reportedly novice LARPers, and were better than most veterans I know.)

  • Do not try to move eight-foot-long tables of uncertain stability by yourself. Especially, do not do so by shoving them. Dropping the end of a table on the arch of your foot is not an ideal way to start a day of GM'ing. (Ow, ow, ow...)

  • Dumb casting luck can strike twice. I never thought I'd have a re-run of the Ozma case, but it did almost repeat. The player who was going to play my favorite character of the game (a high-angst, high-romance character with a 15 page character sheet) had to drop on the evening before game run. I almost just ran without the character, but [livejournal.com profile] dervishspin stepped up to the challenge. From getting that 15-page sheet 11 hours before the game and knowing nothing about the comic, she came in the next morning, costumed just right, and *nailed* the role. It was a delight to watch.

  • Rocket-powered golf clubs do *not* make a wise demonstration example for Spark mechanics. The universe is listening, and has a wicked sense of humor.

  • Mostly, I determined that not only are adaptation games a bit harder than normal ones, adapting an ongoing, non-episodic story is quite a bit harder still. Oz might have been using other peoples' characters, but at least we had the entire L. Frank Baum corpus in front of us, and knew exactly how much freedom we had to embroider. (Quite a bit, given how internally inconsistent Oz is to start with.)

    But you have to fit a Girl Genius game inside an ongoing story, one where only the Foglios really understand the details. Worse, all evidence is that they *do* know many of those details, and just haven't told us yet. So I had to start with three months of simply evaluating everything that we knew, to figure out where my opportunities to invent were. And it's still likely that at least 80% of the guesswork in the story is just plain dead-wrong. (Although I still hold out hope that my Skifander backstory is at least partly correct -- that was pulling together lots of hints, so I think it's plausible.)
Overall, a good experience, and the game will probably get cleaned up and re-run at some point down the road. But it's good to get to the end of the process, and let out all the steam that's been building up and driving me forward for the past couple of months...
jducoeur: (Default)
So the game ran reasonably well. Of course, I mainly see the flaws, and there were many of them -- there are a lot of things that need to be fixed before this gets re-run. But the players seemed to mostly have a good time, and the majority of the plots worked out reasonably well, so I'm decently content: it wasn't a masterpiece, but it was a pretty good game.

My thanks to the other GMs for making this all possible: [livejournal.com profile] umbran for providing the calm and good sense that was much needed throughout the chaos, as well as doing his usual fine job of codifying all of our random discussions into a well-written rulebook; [livejournal.com profile] anu3bis for providing the needed sense of creative whimsy at runtime; [livejournal.com profile] laurion for coming in and GM'ing the second run despite only finding out the plot web as he played the first one; and treble thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jikharra, who provided lots of ideas and sanity-checking throughout the writing process. He also gets the Steve Tihor Memorial Speed-Cathedral-Building Award for coming up with both the mechanics and details of the entire Castle in one week flat at the end there.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be putting together a cleaned-up version of the wiki that makes sense, removes all the confusing distractions and discussions, and includes all the last-minute materials that didn't get into the original version of the wiki. At that point, I'll post a link so that past players, and those who don't mind being spoiled, can see what all I've been doing for the past six months...

[ETA: Dan's LJ handle.]
jducoeur: (Default)
So the game ran reasonably well. Of course, I mainly see the flaws, and there were many of them -- there are a lot of things that need to be fixed before this gets re-run. But the players seemed to mostly have a good time, and the majority of the plots worked out reasonably well, so I'm decently content: it wasn't a masterpiece, but it was a pretty good game.

My thanks to the other GMs for making this all possible: [livejournal.com profile] umbran for providing the calm and good sense that was much needed throughout the chaos, as well as doing his usual fine job of codifying all of our random discussions into a well-written rulebook; [livejournal.com profile] anu3bis for providing the needed sense of creative whimsy at runtime; [livejournal.com profile] laurion for coming in and GM'ing the second run despite only finding out the plot web as he played the first one; and treble thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jikharra, who provided lots of ideas and sanity-checking throughout the writing process. He also gets the Steve Tihor Memorial Speed-Cathedral-Building Award for coming up with both the mechanics and details of the entire Castle in one week flat at the end there.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be putting together a cleaned-up version of the wiki that makes sense, removes all the confusing distractions and discussions, and includes all the last-minute materials that didn't get into the original version of the wiki. At that point, I'll post a link so that past players, and those who don't mind being spoiled, can see what all I've been doing for the past six months...

[ETA: Dan's LJ handle.]
jducoeur: (Default)
Here I've been getting annoyed all day at the fact that, after six months of designing this game, and several months of full-speed writing, I'm still having to pull more or less an all-nighter to finish everything up.

And now I start looking at how much text there is, now that I put it all together to print. 138 + 75 + 25 + 12 -- something like 250 pages of text. And that's just the stuff the players see, not counting all the notes, thoughts, discussion and GM-only stuff. Which does kind of explain why it took so long.

This isn't a game, it's a novel. I really need to learn to be more concise. Oy...
jducoeur: (Default)
Here I've been getting annoyed all day at the fact that, after six months of designing this game, and several months of full-speed writing, I'm still having to pull more or less an all-nighter to finish everything up.

And now I start looking at how much text there is, now that I put it all together to print. 138 + 75 + 25 + 12 -- something like 250 pages of text. And that's just the stuff the players see, not counting all the notes, thoughts, discussion and GM-only stuff. Which does kind of explain why it took so long.

This isn't a game, it's a novel. I really need to learn to be more concise. Oy...

Fanfic

Feb. 24th, 2007 11:17 am
jducoeur: (Default)
Y'know, I think that part of the appeal of Mary-Sue characters in fanfic isn't just the self-projection of putting oneself into the story. The freedom of adding a new character and viewpoint to established continuity, in and of itself, is really a delight.

I'm most of the way done with writing the characters for Girl Genius, and today's project is one of the two characters that is really invented -- closely related to the GG universe, but *wildly* out of continuity. And I have to say, it's my favorite character of the whole game. Getting to really cut loose and write someone the way that *I* want, without having to work within the constraints of a well-established character, is wonderfully freeing. It has its own challenges (in particular, making sure the character is constructed to play well despite not being tied into the relationship web as well as the rest), but it's a lot of fun...

Fanfic

Feb. 24th, 2007 11:17 am
jducoeur: (Default)
Y'know, I think that part of the appeal of Mary-Sue characters in fanfic isn't just the self-projection of putting oneself into the story. The freedom of adding a new character and viewpoint to established continuity, in and of itself, is really a delight.

I'm most of the way done with writing the characters for Girl Genius, and today's project is one of the two characters that is really invented -- closely related to the GG universe, but *wildly* out of continuity. And I have to say, it's my favorite character of the whole game. Getting to really cut loose and write someone the way that *I* want, without having to work within the constraints of a well-established character, is wonderfully freeing. It has its own challenges (in particular, making sure the character is constructed to play well despite not being tied into the relationship web as well as the rest), but it's a lot of fun...
jducoeur: (Default)
[Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] mermaidlady!]

24 written, 3 to go. Still behind, but not quite as much so as I feared. Some of the characters are shorter than others, but that's probably okay. I have to keep telling myself that a character sheet that's only two pages long, with ten contacts and connections to four plots, is not usually considered a weak character...
jducoeur: (Default)
[Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] mermaidlady!]

24 written, 3 to go. Still behind, but not quite as much so as I feared. Some of the characters are shorter than others, but that's probably okay. I have to keep telling myself that a character sheet that's only two pages long, with ten contacts and connections to four plots, is not usually considered a weak character...
jducoeur: (Default)
Or, more precisely, the danger of trying to write the character sheets at least loosely in each character's voice. After spending all of last weekend writing the Jaegermonsters, I now keep having to stop myself from writing "Vulfenbach" every time I come to the Baron's name...
jducoeur: (Default)
Or, more precisely, the danger of trying to write the character sheets at least loosely in each character's voice. After spending all of last weekend writing the Jaegermonsters, I now keep having to stop myself from writing "Vulfenbach" every time I come to the Baron's name...
jducoeur: (Default)
Haven't done any diary entries recently. This is because diary entries are mainly about one's life, and I haven't really *had* one of those for the past month.

Suffice it to say, anyone who tells you that adaptation games are easy, because the creative stuff is already done, are totally full of it. Writing this game has really given me a new appreciation for how much is *not* in a typical story. For most of the characters in Girl Genius, interesting though they are, we really know remarkably little about their backgrounds. So I'm winding up writing quite a bit of biography -- typically 1-2 pages of largely invented background per character.

Anyway, the state of my life can be summed up as "13 characters written, 14 to go". Progress, but definitely not as fast as I'd like. So I'm going to be mainly cocooned with a keyboard for the remainder of February, trying not to give myself permanent RSI as I go. Someday, I really must learn to write shorter character sheets.

BTW, may I just say how pleased I am that this particular experiment seems to be succeeding? The dark secret of Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne and the Perfect Construct is that it was written backwards. That is, I first agreed to run the game; then I came up with the title; then I wrote the game blurb; then I wrote the shameless plug for Intercon F. Note that nowhere in this chain of events had I even remotely figured out what the game was about -- I was simply making stuff up off the top of my head. I didn't figure out what the title of the game *meant* until a good four months later. So I am quite pleased that I seem to have taken at least most of those random statements I had been making, and pulled them together into what's looking to be a pretty good game. Nice to know that I can do that, although it's probably not an experiment to be repeated...
jducoeur: (Default)
Haven't done any diary entries recently. This is because diary entries are mainly about one's life, and I haven't really *had* one of those for the past month.

Suffice it to say, anyone who tells you that adaptation games are easy, because the creative stuff is already done, are totally full of it. Writing this game has really given me a new appreciation for how much is *not* in a typical story. For most of the characters in Girl Genius, interesting though they are, we really know remarkably little about their backgrounds. So I'm winding up writing quite a bit of biography -- typically 1-2 pages of largely invented background per character.

Anyway, the state of my life can be summed up as "13 characters written, 14 to go". Progress, but definitely not as fast as I'd like. So I'm going to be mainly cocooned with a keyboard for the remainder of February, trying not to give myself permanent RSI as I go. Someday, I really must learn to write shorter character sheets.

BTW, may I just say how pleased I am that this particular experiment seems to be succeeding? The dark secret of Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne and the Perfect Construct is that it was written backwards. That is, I first agreed to run the game; then I came up with the title; then I wrote the game blurb; then I wrote the shameless plug for Intercon F. Note that nowhere in this chain of events had I even remotely figured out what the game was about -- I was simply making stuff up off the top of my head. I didn't figure out what the title of the game *meant* until a good four months later. So I am quite pleased that I seem to have taken at least most of those random statements I had been making, and pulled them together into what's looking to be a pretty good game. Nice to know that I can do that, although it's probably not an experiment to be repeated...

Profile

jducoeur: (Default)
jducoeur

October 2017

S M T W T F S
123 4567
8910 1112 1314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags