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General Forge Forums => Endeavor => Topic started by: Sebastian K. Hickey on March 08, 2010, 07:27:18 AM



Title: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on March 08, 2010, 07:27:18 AM
I'm looking for help, so I'm holding a contest. This has been posted over on Story Games too.

I'm looking for sample scenarios (called Frames—read this? (http://cobwebgames.com/downloads/PDFs/HfL_1.04_Chapter_3.pdf)) for game called Hell for Leather. They're 7 lines long (see below).

Best entry goes into the book and wins a PDF.

HfL: Standard Frame

Setting: Near future, hyperviolent media, vast public screenings, global slums, sex, drugs and bruises
Adversary: The Network
Gore Threshold: 5
Connection: Class of ‘99
Drop-Off: London Bridge
Objective: Insein Prison, Burma
Checkpoints: Travel to India, Destroy Kalaymyo Barons, Parachute into the Insein Prison

Submissions by the 18th of March.

[The purpose of this contest is to provide me with a new perspective on my own design, to push me out of my own restrictions and to expose the game to the community]


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Ar Kayon on March 10, 2010, 12:54:57 PM
Alright, I'll take a stab at it:

Setting: The Apocalypse, 2099
Adversary: Michael the Archangel
Gore Threshold: 4
Connection: The Gates of Heaven
Drop-Off: The Battle of Manhattan
Objective: The Ninth Layer of Hell
Checkpoints: Track down Michael‘s whereabouts, Enter the ninth layer via betrayal…or the long way, Convince Michael to return to Earth or do battle with him

((Idea: play as Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael))


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Excalibur on March 11, 2010, 10:32:33 AM
Here's a shot, off the cuff...

Setting: Near Past, Lovcraftian, Remote Boston Suburb
Adversary: The dark entity under the Suburb
Gore Threshold: 4
Connection: High School Field Trip Attendees Incl 2 Teachers
Drop-Off: Town Square, dropped off by school bus
Objective: Stay Alive, stay sane, and escape
Checkpoints: Take bus to the Town Square, Tour Historic Houses, Tour Revolutionary War Tunnels, Explore Unmapped Cave System, Witness Unspeakable Evil, Attempt Escape through Controlled Suburbanites, Survive Cannibalistic Teachers, Escape to next Town


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 11, 2010, 02:12:43 PM
Setting: 19th century, colonial, China
Adversary: the british
Connection: secret society
Drop-off: rural hunan
Objective: destroy the british empire
Checkpoints: Shanghai Foreign Concession, Governor's office in Hong Kong, Buckingham Palace


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Ron Edwards on March 17, 2010, 08:51:15 AM
Setting: northern California coast, 1980s, sleepy little town, fishing, some pot growing, handicrafts
Adversary: police, Chamber of Commerce
Gore Threshold: 7
Connection: motorcycle gang
Drop-Off: bar fight gone very wrong
Objective: the coastal highway
Checkpoints: Get buddy out of jail cell, Make scheduled connection for re-upping pot supply, Get revenge on authority figure of choice

You'll notice I've gone a bit off-genre here, on purpose.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: David Berg on March 17, 2010, 09:47:24 PM
Setting: 1917 Baltimore, experimental insane asylums, war fervor, Frankenstein-style fusion technology (clockwork, tesla coils, alchemy)
Adversary: Research & Development branch of the United States military
Gore Threshold: 3
Connection: foreign spies
Drop-Off: Cheltham Prison
Objective: secret military R&D "asylum" full of convicts
Checkpoints: track Prisoner 187 through Cheltham, the criminal review system, insane asylum operations, secret transports, to the top military R&D spot


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on March 19, 2010, 03:03:32 AM
The competition is now closed. Thanks for your genius.

I'll be back soon with the results.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on March 19, 2010, 06:06:11 AM
Cross posted on Story Games (http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=11770&page).

I was enormously impressed with the quality of submissions. In this post I outline what I've learned, point you to the runners up and finally close with the winner.

If you write a contest, make it easy to enter. That's what I learned from this project. By that, not only do I mean make it simple and clean, but also make it attractive. I'd originally titled the contest "Build me a Frame." As soon as I called it "Write 7 Lines in 10 Days" people took interest. It seems obvious in hindsight.

If you want to break English, make sure you tell people that's what you're doing. In Hell for Leather Checkpoints don't mean locations, they mean tasks. This was completely miscommunicated. Unless you play specific kinds of shooty video games, the word "Checkpoint" means a point at which a check is made. Did I highlight the difference in the contest? Did I go out of my way to translate my intention? Check the submissions. They shout my mistake.

Runners Up
Which leads me on to the runners up. My god, your brains are big and generous. There were some beauties in there that I'd love to use in the book—but the checkpoints didn't fit the template. Check out Group Therapy (http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=11690&page=1#Item_12), Virus (http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=11690&page=1#Item_10), Frankenstein Prison (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=29463.msg274643#msg274643) (Forge), 19th Century China (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=29463.msg274382#msg274382) (Forge), Eyes in the Skies (http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=11690&page=1#Item_29), Fragile Future (http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=11690&page=1#Item_7), Zombie Football Team (http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=11690&page=1#Item_28) or the Lovecraftian School Trip (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=29463.msg274381#msg274381) (Forge). Amazing artistry.

That made it a little easier to choose the runners up (which feature on the Hell for Leather wiki (http://cobwebgames.com/wiki/index.php?title=Frame)). All of these are awesome and unexpected. Well done guys. Here they are:

The French Wars of Religion (http://cobwebgames.com/index.php/grind-competition/) by Eoin Corrigan (Cobweb)
Aztec (http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=11690&page=1#Item_34) by Jason Hickey
Rome (http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=11690&page=1#Item_35) by Daniel Z. Klein
Terran Resistance (http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=11690&page=1#Item_38) by Hudson
Inside the Code (http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=11690&page=1#Item_5) by Ben Wright
Angel Apocalypse (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=29463.msg274341#msg274341) by Christopher Heath (Forge)
Rumble Fruit (http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=11690&page=1#Item_36) by Joe McDonald

Winner
Before I announce the winner, a special nod to Ron Edwards, Joe Murphy, Joe McDonald and Pete for trying to bend the game. You are rebellious and inspiring.

Now, on to the potatoes of the contest. Baruuummmm Baruuuuump! Congratulations to Sam Zeitlin for his winning entry, The Most Dangerous Game (http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=11690&page=1#Item_6). It's off kilter, colourful and open to massive interpretation, yet it's clean, simple and direct. Maximum points for elegance.

Well done everyone and thanks for helping out!

Sebastian.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Excalibur on March 19, 2010, 11:57:44 AM
Oh, well, too bad I didn't make it in :) Those others were pretty darned nifty and got my thought juices flowing...

Good luck with the rest of this project!


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Excalibur on March 19, 2010, 12:03:38 PM
If you want to break English, make sure you tell people that's what you're doing. In Hell for Leather Checkpoints don't mean locations, they mean tasks. This was completely miscommunicated. Unless you play specific kinds of shooty video games, the word "Checkpoint" means a point at which a check is made. Did I highlight the difference in the contest? Did I go out of my way to translate my intention? Check the submissions. They shout my mistake.

Hmm, I understood the checkpoints to be tasks which is why I worded them the way I did. They involve places but not specific enough and include some sort of action in them.

May I ask how I was supposed to have worded the frame? out of curiosity's sake. (Luckily I am not a cat).

-Curt


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on March 20, 2010, 04:30:01 PM
Hi Curt,

In your case the wording was fine. But there was a bit of a miscommunication of template. In Hell for Leather, there are only 3 Checkpoints and each is themed (Covert, Overt & Access). In your entry there were many Checkpoints and lots of them were passive.

If you could refine your Checkpoints, I'd love to post your Frame on the Cobweb Games wiki. Have a look through this PDF (http://cobwebgames.com/downloads/PDFs/HfL_1.04_Chapter_3.pdf) if you're looking for guidelines.

Sebastian.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Excalibur on March 20, 2010, 08:36:15 PM
OK, here's the revised frame for you.


Setting: Near Past, Lovcraftian, Remote Boston Suburb
Adversary: The dark entity under the Suburb
Gore Threshold: 4
Connection: High School Field Trip Attendees Incl 2 Teachers
Drop-Off: Town Square, dropped off by school bus
Objective: Stay Alive, stay sane, and escape
Checkpoints: Find the Teachers who are the guides for a tour of tunnels dug during the Revolutionary War, Witness the Dark Entity in the tunnels corrupt the Teachers into cannibalistic monsters, Escape to the next town through unmapped tunnels and their population of twisted creatures.


In Lovecraftian stories, it is really difficult for people to destroy the evil menace. What usually happens is that their sanity is chipped away because they were shown a part of the universe that is usually veiled to the human race. This is why the second checkpoint is a witness event instead of a combat one.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on March 21, 2010, 12:25:17 AM
Hi Curt,

I guess that Lovecraft cannot be plugged into the Hell for Leather engine so easily. Hell for Leather is very much a game of grand objectives. If you run a game where the Checkpoint is to witness something, there will be a point in the session where everyone gets stumped. When you set a Challenge or describe a Backdrop, you are trying to bring your team toward your next Checkpoint. If that Checkpoint is passive, things get clumpy very quickly.

A better solution would be:

Checkpoints: Sneak through the underground tunnels of the Dark Things, Defeat the Teachers (who have become cannibalistic from cosmic Terror), Climb the back of the Spiny Beast to escape the tunnels into the next town.

The first Checkpoint might be a too vague to function, but essentially these are the types of tasks that need to be set in the Frame. Hell for Leather works best when you can accomplish tasks through murder. If there isn't anything to murder, the game won't work so well. I think Lovecraftian horror breaks the warranty.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Excalibur on March 21, 2010, 09:02:25 AM
The solution you present would be pretty fun, I think.

This game is a bit different from ones I've played before and I would naturally think of many different checkpoints or turns in the scenario. I guess I think that way due to how novels are laid out in different chapters where you build up to the climax which might be a couple of chapters and then transition to the conclusion.

So, keeping that in mind, I might come to this version of the frame:


Setting: Near Past, Lovcraftian, Remote Boston Suburb
Adversary: The dark entity under the Suburb
Gore Threshold: 4
Connection: High School Field Trip Attendees Incl 2 Teachers
Drop-Off: Town Square, Office of Tourism
Objective: Escape from the town
Checkpoints: Explore dark Revolutionary War tunnels for an exit while avoiding twisted creatures; Destroy twisted, cannibalistic teacher sent by the entity; Escape through the only exit which is located in dark entity's cavern



Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on March 21, 2010, 04:11:29 PM
Looks like fun. I've put it in the wiki. Good job!

Sebastian.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Excalibur on March 21, 2010, 04:58:55 PM
Cool! If I happen to come up with any more, would you be interested in seeing them for possible future use or even for fun?


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on March 22, 2010, 03:27:24 AM
Yes, absolutely! I can always use a good imagination. Thanks very much for your support Curt.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Luminous on March 29, 2010, 02:30:46 AM
Setting        : Distant Future, Remote Planet
Adversary      : Computer AI, Robotic Minions, Bestial Alien Stowaway
Gore Threshold : 3
Connection     : Robots that gained sentience/free will
Drop-Off       : Mining Outpost in an uninhabited star system
Objective      : Evade and Escape
Checkpoints    : Defeat or disable the Outpost AI, escape on board the processed ore shuttle after hacking into
                 the station/ship computer, and finally defeat the bestial alien stowaway.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Luminous on March 29, 2010, 02:31:54 AM
Hrm, that didn't work out like I hoped.  It should be "[...] shuttle after hacking into the station/ship computer [...]


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on March 31, 2010, 05:56:20 AM
Hi Luminous,

Thanks for your input on this. There are two issues I'd need to fix before I could take this Frame into the wiki. First of all, the Objective needs to be a place, not a task. Secondly, the Checkpoints don't fit the prescribed themes. While your Frame would make for a fun game, it's not a good idea for me to endorse Checkpoints that deviate from the prescribed themes yet. Could you tweak those issues?


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Excalibur on April 01, 2010, 06:45:06 PM
Setting: Tomorrow, Chicago
Adversary: Major Thomas Browning
Gore Threshold : 3
Connection: Attendees at a Medical Conference
Drop-Off: Belden Stratford Hotel
Objective: Destroy and Escape the Zombie Threat
Checkpoints: Get to Waukegan Naval Base while avoiding/killing Zombies, fight Zombified Major Tom and his zombie soldiers, steal coast guard boats to escape zombie-infected Chicago.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Excalibur on April 08, 2010, 05:41:36 AM
This crawled into my head the other day.

Setting        : Near Future
Adversary      : Anaheim Parietal Prison Staff
Gore Threshold : 5
Connection     : Framed anti-terrorist cell
Drop-Off       : John Smith, Right Parietal Lobe
Objective      : Uncover terrorist plot and escape to stop it.
Checkpoints    : Find the phrase to return to physical form, defeat the guards protecting the actual terrorists, save the president of the U.S. from terrorist assassination attempt.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on April 08, 2010, 01:37:43 PM
Hey Excalibur,

Can you change those Objectives into locations (not tasks) for me so I can put them into the wiki?

Thanks again,

Sebastian.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Excalibur on April 09, 2010, 07:46:02 PM
Hey Excalibur,

Can you change those Objectives into locations (not tasks) for me so I can put them into the wiki?

Thanks again,

Sebastian.

Not a problem, and you can call me Curt ;) I assume you're talking about both frames? So I'll re-present them below. It's not easy coming up with the checkpoints; I keep wanting to make them semi-vague so that people can put in their own locations ;)

Setting: Near Future
Adversary: Anaheim Parietal Prison Staff
Gore Threshold: 5
Connection: Framed anti-terrorist cell
Drop-Off: John Smith, Right Parietal Lobe
Objective: Uncover terrorist plot and escape to stop it.
Checkpoints:
  • Travel to the Medula Oblongata to find the release word to return to physical form,
  • Fight corrupt guards to gain access to the parking deck and its vehicles,
  • Drive to Cincinnati in order to save the president of the U.S. from a terrorist assassination attempt.


Setting: Tomorrow, Chicago
Adversary: Major Thomas Browning
Gore Threshold: 3
Connection: Attendees at a Medical Conference
Drop-Off: Belden Stratford Hotel
Objective: Destroy and Escape the Zombie Threat
Checkpoints:
  • Get to Waukegan Naval Base while avoiding/killing Zombies,
  • Fight Zombified Major Tom and his zombie soldiers in order to get to the Docks,
  • Steal coast guard boats and flee to Canada in order to escape zombie-infected Chicago.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on April 10, 2010, 02:26:32 AM
Hi Curt!

Oops. We're talking at cross purposes. Your Checkpoints were fine the first time!

I was concerned about the "Objective" part of each of your Frames. That is "Objective: Uncover terrorist plot and escape to stop it" and "Destroy and Escape the Zombie Threat." Tha Objective has to be a location, not a task. For example, "Cincinnati" or "Chicago Port."


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Excalibur on April 11, 2010, 08:30:52 PM
Those objectives are fine if you want to go ahead and use them. ;) Do I need to redo all the text in the frame? If so, just let me know and I'll spam it up with the first ones and the changes you suggested.


Title: Re: [Contest] Write 7 lines in 10 days
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on April 12, 2010, 12:53:08 AM
Here are the edited Frames. Thanks Curt.

Zombie Attack
Setting: Tomorrow, Chicago
Adversary: Major Thomas Browning
Gore Threshold: 3
Connection: Attendees at a Medical Conference
Drop-Off: Belden Stratford Hotel
Objective: Chicago Port
Checkpoints: Get to Waukegan Naval Base while avoiding/killing Zombies, fight Zombified Major Tom and his zombie soldiers, steal coast guard boats to escape zombie-infected Chicago.

Sleeper Agent
Setting: Near Future
Adversary: Anaheim Parietal Prison Staff
Gore Threshold: 5
Connection: Framed anti-terrorist cell
Drop-Off: John Smith, Right Parietal Lobe
Objective: Presidential Suite, Hilton, Cincinnati
Checkpoints: Find the phrase to return to physical form, defeat the guards protecting the actual terrorists, save the president of the U.S. from terrorist assassination attempt.