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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 88 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [BtI online] Uptight English and American pirates  (Read 6259 times)
Graham W
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Posts: 437


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« on: September 14, 2006, 09:51:58 AM »

Jason and I played BtI last night, using a web application I've been working on. So, basically, Jason's sitting in North Carolina and I'm sitting in London. We're talking using Google Talk and we're using the web app to make up the characters, to do the Word Web and to give and roll dice.

It went really well. The nice thing is that the technology wasn't noticeable, really, apart from some usability kinks: it was just a game of Breaking the Ice.

I ask about genre and Jason says "Pirates!". This is great, but I suggest we don't do a gay thing (Brokeback Mountain on the sea). So I play a dashing American female pirate and Jason's an uptight British naval officer.

Predictably, our switch is "Jason's American and Graham's English".

My favourite colour's blue, so we get Sapphire, Sea, Treasure, Map and so on. Jason's is red,  so it's Fire, Cannon, Guy Fawkes, Fireworks. (In retrospect, I think we both steered the word webs in a piratical direction, and I regret that: it didn't give us anything to work with apart from pirates).

My conflict is "Hates the English" (understandable) and Jason's is "Duty and honour" which, by the way, he abandoned within about five minutes of the game starting and became a lawless rebel.

So the first date's in a pub somewhere. He's playing whist and I sit down beside him and play. He asks for a kiss from me if he wins; I say OK, but if I win, I want your silver belt buckle. We play, I win, he refuses to hand over the buckle. There's a bit of throwing the table out the way and sword brandishing, then I take the buckle by force and leap out the window.

On "leaping out the window", I make an Attraction Roll, which I fail badly. So I'm left with rerolls: and I narrate my character falling on rocks instead of the sea (first reroll) and breaking her ankle (second reroll). Jason comes down and patronises me for a while (he's trying to earn bonus dice, so anything that puts his character at an advantage gets him dice). Then he plays the gentleman and offers to take me to his ship for medical care. I explain the whole "I'm a pirate" thing.

Anyway, I forget exactly what happens, but Jason also makes a bad attraction roll. While narrating rerolls, he narrates being thrown out of the Navy and being thrown in jail.

So, for the second date, we decide we meet in jail. There's a jailbreak: and here the reroll mechanic works really well, because we're forced to narrate the guards finding us, raising the alarm, having to swim away, etc, etc.

I'm dying for a fight now, so I narrate arriving at a spit of land, with the British pursuing. I grab an iron bar and start defending. Jason and I are doing interesting things with the scene-framing here: for example, halfway through the fight, Jason decides that it's not a spit of land at all, it's a wrecked ship. And that works much better.

And I think we got captured again, escaped again but got separated. I throw in a time skip here: "...and that's the last we see of each other for five years".

For the third date, we have a chance meeting years later. I'm still a pirate, he's also a pirate (or was he a merchant sailor?), and I'm trying to plunder his ship. Jason, in real life, has to finish the game soon, so we're rushing this last date. We decide to get back together and the whole crew turns on us. There's a bit of a fight, of course.

Right at the end, I'm left with lots of rerolls. Because I know it's the end, I'm saying things like "We get separated", "We don't see each other for years" and "We grow old regretting what might have been". I'm desperately trying for a final level of attraction, here, but the dice go against me, and we leave the game on that rather sad note.

It was a lot of fun. It reminded me of the opening section of the Breaking The Ice rulebook: where it seems the whole game is about getting to know people and understanding each others' perspectives. That's exactly what happened: Jason and I wouldn't have spoken if we hadn't been playing BtI.

Anyway, good stuff, and I'm looking forward to playing again.

Graham
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Emily Care
Moderator
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Posts: 1126


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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2006, 05:48:08 AM »

Awesome.  Graham's generator is in testing right now. You can see a demo version of it here:
http://www.catchyourhare.com/bti/sample.htm

I can't wait to try it out!

Quote
Jason and I are doing interesting things with the scene-framing here: for example, halfway through the fight, Jason decides that it's not a spit of land at all, it's a wrecked ship. And that works much better.

And I think we got captured again, escaped again but got separated. I throw in a time skip here: "...and that's the last we see of each other for five years".

Good  use of scene framing here. The concept of the "Dates" can make it seem like the events need to be in close time proximity, but they need not be.

Quote
It was a lot of fun. It reminded me of the opening section of the Breaking The Ice rulebook: where it seems the whole game is about getting to know people and understanding each others' perspectives. That's exactly what happened: Jason and I wouldn't have spoken if we hadn't been playing BtI.

Too cool.

best,
Emily




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Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
Jason Morningstar
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Posts: 1428


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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2006, 05:27:21 AM »

I just noticed this thread, and wanted to chime in - I had a great time, above and beyond the fiddly computer testing bits - it was a good game of BtI first and foremost.  If you've ever tested Web applications, you know that means a lot. 

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xenoss
Member

Posts: 8


« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2006, 07:06:14 PM »

That's cool.  I was thinking about making something for StM to facilitate online play, but you actually made something already for BtI.

I don't have BtI, so I dont know how it works or if it has the same challenges as StM.  But for StM, when I was thinking about how I would go about doing it, I was not entirely sure how hurdles would work on an online environment.  Hurdles are thrown into Free Play, so in a PbP environment it would be hard to simulate.  But if I use Flash or some other live environment, it lacks the time flexibility of the PbP method.

Does BtI have the same problem?  If so, any ideas on how you would solve it?
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Graham W
Member

Posts: 437


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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2006, 07:16:57 AM »

Hi Xenoss,

The online BtI engine works using Ajax. So, if we're playing a game, you see a web page, with dice and the character sheet on it, and I see a similar page. Then, to award or roll dice, we click on them. The dice rolls show up on both web pages.

Have a look at this demonstration version: and imagine that, when you click on the dice, I see the same rolls you do.

So, yeah, it's a live environment, which doesn't have the time flexibility you're talking about. Me and Jason were both online at the same time, talking on voicechat and using the web app to roll dice. There's no option for Jason to play when I'm not online.

But if you think of a way to do that, let me know, because it'd be cool. It'd be great if you did something with Shooting The Moon.

Graham
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