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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [PTA] Eat at Joe's - Series Creation  (Read 4693 times)
Keith Sears
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Posts: 79


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« on: September 30, 2005, 11:43:06 PM »

Coming to the HGD Network! Its' the new Hit Comedy . . . EAT AT JOE'S!

We just finished the creation session for the series, and I thought I would get it down while the excitement was still high and the memory fresh. The JOE'S team consists of the following players:

Keith W. Sears (Producer)
Ralph Mazza (Deputy Harvy Piccolo)
Seth Ben-Ezra (Janitor Bob)
Seth's Wife, Crystal (Tracy the Waitress)
Seth's Sister, Gabrielle (Alexis, the Runaway Dishwasher)

The Series Creation began with coffee and peanut butter pie served by Crystal. (You can't create properly unless you're fueled by sugar and caffiene.) When the small talk died down and we got down to the actual creating part of the night, things began a bit slowly as we began to discuss various TV shows we all liked. Mostly, this seemed to be a way of feeling out the rest of the group to see what kind of shows would gain a favorable reaction. After I made it clear that we weren't going to be trying to duplicate any existing shows, we began throwing out some different genres, and just about all of them had a high geek factor to them. ..SF, Horror, Fantasy, etc.

I had a feeling before the session that the group might gravitate toward SF, since Ralph and Seth's family are great lovers of Babylon 5 and Firefly. However, I didnt' expect it to take a left turn into Situation Comedy. Ralph brought up the old sitcom "Alice", and Seth ran with it to create a "Truck Stop in Space." You could tell that we had our Series by how excited they were becoming. The ideas flowed easily after that.

The next step was to create the Protagonists. This was going to be sitcom-based, we started out by thinking of every stereotype we could think of that would show up in a run-down fueling station/cafe in desolate area of space. The players then picked out their Protagonists from that list and began developing them for play. By the time we were finished, we had a Series that borrows from just about every SF Geek reference we could think of and a flavor that reminds me a lot of Red Dwarf. The players had half-plotted out the episodes and shifted around their Screen Presences around in accordance with what they had planned.

Will our Series survive its Pilot Episode? Will our players well-laid plans fall apart in the rush of new ideas? Stay Tuned!
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Keith W. Sears
Heraldic Game Design
Publisher of "The Outsider Chronicles" and soon, "Silver Screen: The Story Game of Hollywood Cinema"
Proud Webmaster for the Game Publishers Association
http://www.heraldicgame.com
GreatWolf
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Posts: 1155

designer of Dirty Secrets


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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2005, 10:12:44 AM »

I can't believe that I overlooked this thread.  Bad Seth.  No doughnut.

Anyways, I was really surprised to find how much PtA prep is like Legends of Alyria prep.  In retrospect, I probably should have expected it.  The creative process is similar:

1)  Take a large morass of possible available material (in PtA, all of television; in Alyria, all the setting) and establish a mutually acceptable focus which eliminates most of the possible material.

2)  Work on assembling the Situation from the focused material, including an ensemble of possible characters.

3)  Assign the characters and finish working out the details.

Step 1 always takes the longest and seems the slowest.  The group tends to cast around, looking for a good place to start.  General preferences are discussed, random thoughts are aired, until someone says the one thing that makes everything click.  You can feel the click, too.  Before the "click", the group is moving in circles, wandering aimlessly.  After the "click", the group is spiraling in on the concept.  Ideas become more focused, and suddenly you find that you have arrived at Step 2.  Things tend to run fairly smoothly and quickly from that point.

I think that the "click" is a vitally important part of play, not merely for prepwork, but for the entire game.  As I'm thinking back on various RPGs that I've played, I think that the successful ones had that "click" moment during the prep session.  Those that didn't have failed.  I'm thinking about our recent run at Dogs in the Vineyard.  I don't recall there being that sense of the group having "clicked", which is probably why it didn't work out well.  I guess that we will find out if I'm correct, as our first play session is tonight.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Meguey
Member

Posts: 250

Meguey


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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2005, 12:11:22 PM »

Excellent job describing the 'click', Seth. Looking forward to reading more about this game.
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GreatWolf
Member

Posts: 1155

designer of Dirty Secrets


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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2005, 01:21:49 PM »

We had our first session on Friday.  I'm waiting for Keith to post details.  (It's the rule in our group; the GM posts to actual play.)

However, for your listening pleasure, I did work on discovering a musical piece to be our theme.  It can be found here.  Despite the URL, it is work-safe.  No, I don't know what else is there....
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 1121

student, second edition


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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2005, 06:21:21 PM »

Aww, I couldn't get that link to work.

Kickass show premise, too.
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GreatWolf
Member

Posts: 1155

designer of Dirty Secrets


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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2005, 07:50:51 PM »

Oops.  Typo in the URL.  Try http://oozak.caseyporn.com/high/oozak_oozara.mp3
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Judd
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Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2005, 09:03:47 PM »

Excellent job describing the 'click', Seth. Looking forward to reading more about this game.

That click really is a palpable moment.  I can still remember when it happened at the con PTA game I participated in.

Looking forward to hearing more.
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