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Author Topic: [A Flower for Mara] Actual Play videos  (Read 3869 times)
Posts: 1155

designer of Dirty Secrets

« on: February 18, 2008, 10:49:43 PM »

When we playtested A Flower for Mara last month, we videotaped the whole thing.  I'm still working on assembling footage, but these are approximately the first half of the game:

A Flower for Mara Opening

A Flower for Mara Funeral Dinner Part 1

A Flower for Mara Funeral Dinner Part 2

A Flower for Mara Spring Scenes part 1

A Flower for Mara Spring Scenes part 2:  this clip illustrates the use of "phone call" techniques to have two characters talking to each other on the phone.  In our game, we ended up turning this conversation into two spotlight scenes, one for each side of the conversation.

A Flower for Mara Spring Scenes part 3:  This clip illustrates the use of off-stage characters.  Also shows the general mood of the evening, which was happy and not at all bleak.  This is an important point, actually.  We enjoyed playing the game.  Sure, a lot of it was catharsis, but we enjoyed doing this thing together.  Finally, you can see the feedback from the "audience" to the developing storyline.  Cast members are perfectly free to make comments during the game, and there was a lot of talking in between scenes.  This is a Good Thing; it showed me that everyone was engaged in what was going on.

A Flower for Mara Spring Scenes part 4:  The exchange beginning around 2:10 shows an excellent example of Endowment in play by Whitney (portraying Ruth).  (Endowment is giving another character or object an attribute of some kind.)  It was fairly subtle, too.  It took me a little bit to realize that, according to Whitney's statement, Mara had stolen Ruth's boyfriend and then married him.  This wasn't part of anything preplanned, and it is an excellent example of what makes this game work.

A Flower for Mara Easter Dinner Part 1:  I was particularly pleased with a shocking explosion from Jana (starting around 8:00), set up by Jennifer as a result of the preceding soliloquy.  This is a good example of how one player can use soliloquy information to help set up another player's actions.  In addition, Jennifer's statement that that pizza was for dinner was another excellent use of Endowment.

A Flower for Mara Easter Dinner Part 2

Watching these has been pretty neat, since it reminds me of playing the game that night.  Ever have a game that was especially meaningful to you?  This was one of those games.  Thanks again to everyone who was a part of it.

Anyways!  Hopefully seeing this footage gives you an idea of how A Flower for Mara will play.  I need to playtest a couple more times (and some external playtesting would be great), but I think that I will soon be ready to write this sucker.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf

Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
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