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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 62 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: this is some strange laboratory!?  (Read 7935 times)
Paul Czege
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« on: August 28, 2003, 10:25:29 AM »

Okay, I'm probably past due on explaining the whole "labworks" concept...

To be honest, it was never in my plans to ask Clinton and Ron for a Half Meme Press forum. I'd given it some thought, but beyond My Life with Master I actually didn't see much interest among folks in playing and discussing my other designs (Nicotine Girls and The Valedictorian's Death). And acknowledging that, I wasn't sure being the caretaker of a mostly moribund forum would suit me all that well. So I had determined instead to use my website for announcements. And Actual Play seemed eminently well suited for play discussions.

But then I had a thought. One of the things I'm personally most interested in is experimental actual play...things that push beyond the simulationist and tournament-derived traditions of the hobby...strong http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=5096">setting-premise Narrativism, directorial power driven prequel scenarios that cast light on the details of what was previosly played, all the stuff I think of as http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=4546">Type2 Narrativism (for lack of a better term), mainstream stuff...etc.

And so the "labworks" is actually an invitation. Appearances to the contrary, I have to believe that interest in experimental actual play hasn't actually declined...since I know that personally I'm starving for play reports that reveal insights from participants about game-delivered creation of narrative. So I'm just thinking the Forge population has grown, and that this particular interest is a bit lost somewhere between Indie Game Design and Actual Play.

And so there's the invitiation: if you're personally pursuing an agenda of experimental play, however you define that for yourself, consider yourself invited to take advantage of the Half Meme Press forum for posting about your play, your plans, your mechanics, and your objectives. Expect that threads will move slower in here, and hopefully, folks with similar interests will be here for the conversation.

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Tim Alexander
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Posts: 304


« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2003, 11:04:19 AM »

Hey Paul,

Related to this:

Quote
I'd given it some thought, but beyond My Life with Master I actually didn't see much interest among folks in playing and discussing my other designs (Nicotine Girls and The Valedictorian's Death). And acknowledging that, I wasn't sure being the caretaker of a mostly moribund forum would suit me all that well.


Admittedly, the recent news that you got some additional bound copies of MLwM made it an absolutely must purchase for me. Also admittedly, I was pretty interested in the concept since I ran across it. That said, the things that really hooked me, I mean droolingly hooked me, were The Valedictorian's Death and Nicotine Girls. I'm planning them to be my secret weapon, my inroad to the folks who can't remove themselves from the stereotyped view of roleplaying in their heads. Why? Because the content is so damn accessible. Not only that, but they're so... elegant.

Trust me, while I haven't had the oppourtunity to run one of these just yet, I've been laying the seeds. I've lined up a couple of potentially interested parties, I've got my search on ebay for the perfect yearbook. I've got a story or two that's finishing up before I spring these gems, but it's coming, and I'll take notes.

Just a perspective,

-Tim
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2003, 12:34:48 PM »

"Experimental" is pretty subjective, Paul. For some people agressive Scene Framing is experimental, and for others it's old hat.

Basically, what I'm asking is, do you want people to post their experiences with play that's experimental for them, or do you want them to post only if they're fairly sure it's something really radical?

Just looking for a few qualifiers. It sounds like a pretty neat idea.

Mike
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2003, 06:21:50 AM »

Tim...you can't imagine how thrilled I was by your post yesterday! Thanks so much. You totally totally made my day.

As far as yearbooks are concerned, I can definitely relate to your quest. I've bought four since I started work on the game. And hands down, my favorite is the 1932 Tabula of Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois. It has a few select poems and pieces of short fiction in back that were done by members of the senior class. It has awesome art-deco plates and advertisements. It lists the valedictorian! And it's in fantastic shape. There's no foxing or anything. It looks like it was printed five years ago. And every member of the senior class has a little third-person description next to their picture like this:
    Betty Olson
    A vivacious young lady with unusual musical talent and dangerous dark eyes.[/list:u]And I got it in your neck of the woods, at the Printer's Row Book Fair just this past summer...for eight dollars! Living where you do, I have to suggest that you look around at local used bookstores for a Tabula from the 30s. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

    My own quest continues for a comparable one from a boys military academy...

    Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Paul Czege
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Posts: 2341


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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2003, 06:51:15 AM »

Hey Mike,

"Experimental" is pretty subjective, Paul....Just looking for a few qualifiers.

Okay, let's see...how about these qualifiers:[list=1][*]You have "http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=4223">mainstream" goals, or...

[*]You have narrative goals that have not been designed for in other games, and a planned methodology for pursuing them. This pretty much eliminates scene framing, and FitM, anything else we teach folks about with regularity. It isn't experimental if someone else is showing you how to do it, except if...

[*]Your plans center around playing a published game you think will deliver on interesting story goals, and that game is pretty much unplayed or under-recognized in the context of The Forge. Examples here might include J. Scott Pittman's http://www.dragonslayergames.com/games/">EPICS, and Greg Porter's Epiphany.[/list:o]What do you think? Anything I missed?

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2003, 08:37:56 AM »

You're saying that Mainstream is experimental? The irony is palpable. :-)

Sounds good to me.

Also, I think that your other work just hasn't gotten out and about much yet. I think there'll be more commentary as it ages.

Mike
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jburneko
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Posts: 1351


« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2003, 09:44:25 AM »

Just to give my support I'd like to mention that Nicotine Girls and The Valedictorian's Death are both VERY VERY high on my WANT TO PLAY list.  Sadly, they are very very low on my LIKELY TO PLAY list.  The former is just really hard to get players excited about and the latter requires A LOT of work upfront on the players part.  But I think they are both brilliant.  I have both printed and stored in my indie folder.

Do not be disheartened.  I believe your work is recognized.  It's just that  the people who recognize it are very far apart from each other.

Jesse
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Tim Alexander
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2003, 10:05:31 AM »

Hey Paul,

Just wanted to say thanks for the hint about the Tabula, and I'll have to keep my eyes open for one. I may well check with the folks in Oak Park and see if a library up there has copies or some such. I'll also let you know if I come accross anything of the Military variety.

Thanks,

-Tim
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