Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chalkboard Gaming Table

To facilitate gaming in my elaborate Erul-Iton D&D setting, Eric, Rob and I rocked a plain Ikea table into a gaming platform.

First, we sanded, primed, and sprayed it down with chalkboard paint.

Using 1 inch wide masking tape, we laid out half of the grid by leaving the tiniest space possible between the strips.

We left a few inches around the outside for note-taking, arrow-tallying, Munchkin level-marking, and the like, and sprayed it down with white paint.

After drying, we peeled off the first batch and started laying down more tape on the perpendicular.

Another spray and peel later, and the project was completed.

A re-usable gaming surface perfect for anything in the standard miniature sizes. Pictured above are some specimens from my old Chainmail squads.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ABGttEotU - Final Thoughts

It seems like it was a long time ago that I posted a farewell of sorts to this blog. It turns out it was a farewell to all kinds of things - reading books, playing video games, personal hygiene... Okay, not really that last one. The point is that the MS Paint Adventures Forum Adventure I just concluded was so fulfilling personally that I spent almost all of my free time on it, and much more thinking about it.

I'd say this merits some examination.

It isn't too hard to figure out why I enjoyed it so much - the system of gratification. I've known for a long time that I lack the discipline to, say, write a novel. I can barely draft a first chapter without endlessly scrutinizing it, endlessly judging myself and the whole idea so much that I quit the project in shame.

The exact opposite was true with the forum adventure. I'd post a panel or two before work or sleep, and the thought that my story was sort of writing itself while I was away left me elated - practically giddy. While I would maintain a sort of general theme and direction in my head, the day-to-day activity of the narrative was as fresh and surprising to me as it was to the readers.

It made me realize I want to write serials in the future, despite my occasional screeds against the format.

The issue I face now is deciding where to go next. I've started a minor project on the forum, but it's no full-fledged adventure. I spend only an hour or so a week on it, as opposed to the three hours a day I estimate I averaged on Guide. It's tempting to start another, but I'd rather take what I've learned to another arena. I want to use it as a platform to grow as a writer, and maybe even take this collective narrative business somewhere new as well.

There is something there. Some decidedly fresh storytelling format at the nexus of comics, the internet, role-playing games. The open-source narrative.

For now, though, I intend to focus on polishing these skills. Stay tuned for a webcomic collaboration that I hope will have some of that reader-influence magic in it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hello, Blog. Didn't See You There.

I wish I could find the enthusiasm for my other projects that I seem to have acquired for this new thing, but I suppose that's not something one can influence too much.

Anyway, I've been meaning to do this for some time now. I'm in the midst of a forum adventure on the MS Paint Adventures site.

I have long badgered my friends in an attempt to share this series and the forum community. Now that I've jumped into the fray, I thought I'd make it a little more official.

It's a little silly, but it's more or less entirely unscripted. I'm also really proud of the design for the menus and interface. Helvetica and minimal visual cues all over the damn place.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup Madness

The US vs. UK game hasn't even started yet.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

E, prologue

Greetings on behalf of the apes who once lived here. For your convenience, this record was painstakingly chiseled into stone in five fundamentally different languages I just invented. I trust you were able to find one similar enough to your own form of communication to decode it.

I'm doing this for myself as much as for you. I am finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate. As the field of possible outcomes for the futre narrows, the equations become so easy my idle mind runs through the likeliest scenario over and over and over. I'll finish writing this, then I will bury the tablets in a cave. Shortly after that, this entire continent will be under water and I will die gasping.

Fortunately for both of us, I can instead occupy my mind with the considerable tasks of creating a series of writing systems that could be translated by an unknown, presumably aquatic, future intelligent species and recalling important details from the entire history of life on Earth.

I'm not going to claim I was there when it started. I wasn't. I remember it as if I had been, though. I'll get to that later. This is probably confusing enough for you, having just deciphered scratchings on a mountain of rocks that predate all your known history. I'll try to keep things in order.

The story starts with a giant ball of goo in the sky.