Wee tiny octopus!

In the past week or so, I made a couple of little amigurumi octopus because I had thread, a small crochet hook, and some stuffing lying around.

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Over the weekend, I went to Strategicon, where there was a vendor selling octopus similar to these, but larger, and attached to barrettes as hair adornments.

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Thinking about it, I have thread and some barrettes. I might need to do this and see if they work, or if they’re too top-heavy to really "sit" nicely on my head.

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Gumshoe Demo Videos

I ran three GUMSHOE demos this morning at the ConTessa Spring Break weekend!  Each video is 50-60 minutes long. We played over Google Hangouts, with Roll20 for the tabletop. I screwed up in the Ashen Stars game and didn’t have the Roll20 screensharing (dangit!), so you don’t get those pretty pictures. Alas.

First, we went to Krakow, Poland, for an exciting car chase to stop terrorists in Nights Black Agents:

Next, we flew into space to stop a saboteur on our space ship in Ashen Stars!

Finally, we tracked down mysterious and eldritch rituals in an Indiana farmhouse, on the Trail of Cthulhu:

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I’m Running Gumshoe this weekend

Do you wanna game with me?

I’m running three Gumshoe demos this weekend at the awesome and amazing Contessa Game Weekend.

Note: If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I’m running the same demos the following weekend at Strategicon, on May 23rd, starting at 4 PM. I’m participating in Games on Demand, so you don’t even have to pre-register for the events– just show up at the GoD area on Saturday and we’ll have some fun!

All three events are Saturday, May 16 and are in Pacific time. All demos are scheduled for an hour, but actual play-time is about 30 minutes. We have plenty of time for getting set up, learning the system, and getting the pre-generated character sheets together.

To sign up, click the link and post a comment saying you want to join in. If you just click the RSVP "yes" button, you won’t get into the game (but you will get reminded to watch the livestream).

9-10 AM: Night’s Black Agents demo.

10-11 AM: Ashen Stars demo.

11 AM-12 PM: Trail of Cthulhu demo.

You will need: Internet access and a computer with Flash. A Google+ account, so you can RSVP and so you can be part of the Hangouts when it starts. A working microphone connected to your computer (you’d be surprised how often players forget the "working" part of this). We will be playing over Google hangouts, with audio, using the in-hangouts Roll20 app for our dice rolling.

Please feel free to reshare this post! Note that all RSVPs and questions need to be posted as comments on the linked events above.

If you can’t make it but want to watch later, head over to my YouTube channel, where I post full-length play videos of all my public livestream events (usually from ConTessa, but not always).

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Kickstarter Round-Up

Over on the G+, some folks have been posting about their late-delivering Kickstarters, whether they’re still excited about the rewards, etc. It’s tough when you back a project and, a year later, you realize that you just aren’t that into that style of game anymore. I backed Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, but I’ll probably never play it– the past 2 years have shown me that I’m just not a dungeon crawl player (GM, yes– player, no).

Anyway, I have backed 185 projects, most of which successfully funded. Here’s a current roundup "state of the KS" post. For reference, I don’t do much with IndieGoGo or GoFundMe.

I’m not going to link to all of these projects, but you can see them all in my Kickstarter profile. I will admit to having backed a project primarily to fill out the categories pie chart… but I love the project I backed (an apron inspired by Snow White).

Continue reading

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Another Game

Another kinda-stealth-release game, I wrote a 200-word game, Escape Pod One Launching, last week. I woke up with the idea on Wednesday morning, jotted down some words, and threw them around. On Wednesday afternoon, instead of my quasi-weekly game, I got together with a friend and playtested it at a local game store. After a few iterations of playing and tweaking the concepts, I made a dozen notes and went home.

In the morning, I revised it and submitted it to Paul Beakley’s 200 Word Challenge, almost exactly 24 hours after I woke up with the concept.

This leads me to an inescapable thought, something I’ve long believed, and which I wish I could implement more regularly. There’s a huge need to playtest new games, both my own and others. My current weekly game is faltering due to lack of player commitment and disinterest (on the part of one player) in playing games that aren’t an ongoing campaign.

I’d love to get a weekly playtest group together– a group specifically for playing a different game every week, with no expectation of a campaign or an ongoing thing. I think that’s hard, though– from the player’s point of view, there’s little to engage with the character, and lack of system familiarity means they’re unsure about what they can or cannot do. From the GM’s point of view, it’s a constantly changing format and form.

I know of a tech company that has a weekly document/product testing phase, using test participants from outside the company, every week. Is there any reason this couldn’t be done in a smaller scale product development cycle?

We have a biweekly meetup group here in Vegas that does playtesting, but it’s only for board and card games. When I’ve asked if anyone is interested in playtesting an RPG, the consensus has been a total lack of interest in a longer-format game like that.

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