Update + Possible Dream Series

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Hello,

I should be posting about the game I created over the course of three weeks in June, but that’s not what this is about. The game is working & complete-sh (to me its just a proof of concept demo, it doesn’t have everything I wanted to do), I just haven’t bothered to do anything with it since finishing last semester. Maybe I’ll post about this later.

Moon Child

Evidence of game.

I’ve just returned to polytechnic after a three week break of doing nothing… initially.

I can’t remember how this started but, over a week ago I emailed a dream to my flatmates. I kinda treated it as a creative writing exercise. They seemed to really like it so I sent them another one. Then another one. I think the first couple dreams I shared was added to a zine.

The same guy mentioned there might be an audience for this & I realized – I have about seven years worth of material, with more to come in the future. Maybe I could turn this into a series of some kind. Continue reading

The Ward Storyboard

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Hello,

One of my first assignments was to create a storyboard for a story that follows a typical story structure. Unsure of what to do, I ended up basing it on a psychological game idea I’ve been workshopping for the last few years.

The story is an allegorical take on Carl Jung’s Individuation process, & is based on my own experiences in dealing with negativity & “finding my true self”. It also includes some ideas by Foucault as the story is about imprisonment.

Storyboard

This is a story about a Ward, who awakes encased in heavy plate armour.

They don’t remember who they are, only that they are a prisoner of this vast desolate, yet eerily familiar, structure called the Panopticon. They know the Warden sentenced them here for a good reason, but they don’t remember why. Thus the Ward sets out to find the Warden at their central tower to learn about the nature of their sentence.

On the way to the tower, the Ward is hunted by a mass of shadows. They are too slow to escape & become engulfed by the shadows.

Screaming in darkness, the Ward begins to learn. They see visions of a world before the Panopticon. They see the Warden, & the tyranny they wrought. As they learn, pieces of the Ward’s armour begin to shatter. When the shadows dissipate, the Ward is left unharmed with only their mask remaining.

They continue their journey until they finally reach the tower.

Inside, the Ward stands before a lone mirror inscribed “The Warden”. They gaze upon their own reflection & realize who they were.

The Ward condemns them self, saying they deserve to be imprisoned; yet the Ward lifts their hands & removes their mask. The Mask further condemns the Ward as they are being discarded.

The story ends with the Ward walking away to heal the world.

Continue reading

November Life Update – Cutting Back

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Hello, I know it’s December now but this update is about things that happened last month. Besides, I might end up doing one more update before the end of the year.

It feels like I’ve delayed this update too much so there’s a fair amount of things I want to cover & try to recall.

Quick summary for those with little time:

  • Been thinking about my dreams & if I can ethically justify them in the context of the world at large (something I’ll delve into on a separate post).
  • I’ve had two sets of random guests stay over at my flat briefly. I’ll be talking about the first pair (the second largely kept to themselves).
  • Cancelled my D&D campaign.
  • I’ve taken a different approach to my game projects, & now I’ve found myself actually sticking to a project for once (yay!).
  • I also finally got around to getting most of these questions up in front of my house.

Continue reading

Window Questions

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Hello, this post stems from a random thought I had yesterday. I felt the need to put up a series of questions in front of my house. I haven’t put them up yet, but this is the list I have so far:

What is your story?

What does your life say about you & what you value?

What decides your life?

If you died now, how would you feel about your life?

Should shame, fear, hatred, & sadness be standards you live your life by?

What defines truth?

What is reality beyond your senses & the messages you have been told?

What meaning is there to find in a world where none is given?

What defines morality?

What insight can the worst of us offer that the best cannot?

What makes the outsider evil? Why must they be that way?

What perspectives have you not considered?

To what point & purpose do your thoughts & beliefs serve?

What are you ignorant of?

What purpose does ignorance serve?

Why obey rather than question?

What gives leaders their power?

What is worth destroying the world?

Why obey a system that brings more suffering then good?

When does profit become more important than anything else?

How many idiots here think?

Are these questions a bit much?

Submit your answers to our letterbox

The questions I came up with are meant to be thought provoking, with the intention of encouraging critical thinking. The last few lines are meant to be more tongue-in-cheek, though part of me would like to receive mail from random people giving their answers.

For that matter, I’d be curious to see how people reading this post would answer these questions as well. I’d also like to hear any other suggestions for thought provoking questions.

If you’re looking for some explanation, read on. Continue reading

September Life Update – Game Time

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Hello, I thought I’d end up writing about the uncertainty of my job as my contract ended yesterday, but now I have good news. For those who haven’t kept up with my work situation, or forgot, I’d advise reading July & August before reading the next part.

My boss has presented his case about the future & value of my team (& my own role) to his own boss &, from what I can tell, he has no problem with me going part-time. Now we’re just waiting for those above him to approve. This could take a while since apparently there’s a backlog of matters they must see to first.

In the meantime, he has given me a 3 month extension on a part-time basis. I haven’t received any actual paperwork for this yet, but it’s agreed between us that my standard days for the rest of this year starting next week are Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday; with days changing to suit the needs of the team as they arise.

So yep, it’s kinda official now – I’m no longer working full-time. Yeays!! Continue reading

August Life Update – Not Quite Yet?

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Hello, I actually wrote this out in a single afternoon.

This month I’ve become more weary of working full-time & was looking forward to a change in situation, but this last week has been kinda weird for me in an oddly ironic way.

My contract was set to end this coming week & it occurred to me that I hadn’t taken any leave since April. I’d asked about the leave I’d accumulated & was advised to simply sit on it for now. The policy is I’d be paid out for any annual leave I haven’t taken, but this wasn’t the case for sick leave. I’d been advised to simply use it since I hadn’t actually taken any sick days. My plan was to use it to make this current weekend extra long & go visit my parents + dogs in Te Anau again.

Well, this past week my body decided now was the time of the year to be sick. Continue reading

Late May Update – Searching for a Path

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Hello, feels like it’s been too long since I did a post, though I didn’t want to write one until I returned to a better head space. There were also err… “plumbing issues” this week but I don’t think anyone wants to hear about that :/.

I essentially spent the bulk of May having a bit of an existential crisis & I lost hope in my own future. I knew what I wanted, but also didn’t really know (does that makes sense?). I knew what I didn’t want in my life & the world around me, but I had no idea what to do about it. I was feeling confused, muddled, aggravated, trapped, lost, hopeless, & helpless. I doubted everything & got further aggravated as no good solution would come to mind.

The main reason for all of this is because I believed I only had two paths forward in life:

  • I do nothing, just let my temp job expire, go back to being on the benefit, &… nothing happens.
  • I get an IT job doing something I don’t like, become more ingrained in the machine, & become miserable in the business world; a world I loath. The “smart” path that secures me financially but also seemingly secures my despair.

I just needed an alternative path, & I think I needed someone to tell me I didn’t have to take either of these paths (thanks mum). Continue reading

Spawn Run

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Hello, I want to talk about a new way of playing (classic) Doom I recently discovered by playing co-op. I doubt this an original discovery but I’ve never heard anyone do this, even though all the ingredients are right there. It’s also interesting to see how it immediately changes how you play & it might make for an interesting sub-genre by itself.

Here’s what you do:

  • Play on Nightmare difficulty (hardest difficulty where monsters respawn about every 15 seconds & are faster then normal).
  • Play in co-op mode so you can also respawn (the level doesn’t reset when you die; you can do this singleplayer).

I would typically play Doom in a rather methodical way. As I play a level I would typically deal with situations one at a time, take note of what strategies I need to adopt, & methodically break them down.

With the above settings, the game turns into a mad race for the exit switch through a gauntlet in constant flux. There’s no point killing monsters since they’ll come back very soon (though it does help in clearing a path & getting further into a level) & there’s no fear of death because in a heartbeat you can spawn back at the beginning of the level. Continue reading

April Update – D&D World Building

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Hello, I’m still around.

I’ve taken this past week off from work so I’ve been able to just relax at home. It’s given me the chance to refresh things: change my bed, get new clothes, shave, etc. Though probably the main thing I’ve been doing over the past while is trying to create a D&D campaign setting.

I’ll just say right now that it’s a “homage” (er, blatant rip-off) of the fantasy I’ve grown up with & enjoyed. With standard D&D lore as the baseline, I’m taking elements primarily from Heroes of Might & Magic, Warhammer Fantasy, Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls, & more; with names, items, etc taken from Magic: The Gathering, Heretic & Hexen, Lords of Magic, Diablo, & other media. It’s essentially a kitchen sink full of high fantasy, which allows the players to be whatever they want to be (this is the one campaign where I’m taking this approach by the way, I plan on being more original/restrictive in future campaigns).

Is this copyright infringement? Probably, but I’m only doing this with my friends & it’s just for fun.

I am of course adding my own flavour to the setting, things like:

  • No explicit “good & evil”, only perspectives, beliefs, & cultural values. That means creatures like goblins & orcs aren’t just pillaging & destroying “cause they’re evil”, it’s part of how they survive in the world. It also makes entities like angels & demons more interesting since these are meant to be the living essence of such moral forces.
  • Deities are ambiguous & every faction has their own idea of what the gods are; no universal pantheon. Clerics & the like are functionally the same but their powers come more from faith in the domain & ideals themselves; they’re the ultimate examples of the “power of belief”.

I started this thinking that I’d create the world in a simplistic manner; I won’t worry about things makings sense or there being consistent logic, this is fantasy for fantasy sake. Though as I’ve dug into this & added more & more, I realize just how much work I need to do. Continue reading

Thoughts on a Combat System

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Hello, I have another in-progress system I want to share. This is for the combat aspect of the storytelling RPG idea I mentioned last time.

It is a turn-based system that takes place on a grid battlefield, separate from the world map. I wanted to come up with something where movement & positioning were highly important; something that played like Chess. I also wanted to avoid hit dice rolls but still allow the opportunity to avoid an attack, so I’ve included a reaction aspect to it. Continue reading