17 February, 2010

Impending Gencon Oz 2010

I guess it's time to start thinking about the biggest con of the year in this part of the world.

What can I reasonably commit to? What have I already committed to? How does this compare to past years?

I'd love to get some more time playing this year, but I honestly can't see that happening.

I'd love to really get in contact with the other independent game designers from around the country, and that's definitely an aim I hope to achieve.

I'd love to get some better experience with other indie games from around the world beyond merely theory and discussion.

I'd love to bring some innovation to the convention, but last year's attempt at that was only moderately successful (so I might have to tone it down a bit).

Last year both Leah (my wife) and I offered some suggestions to see what ideas might be worth pursuing. I offered a live interpretation of Gregor Hutton's 3:16 (which met with some excited anticipation), and Leah offered a Serenity/Firefly freeform (which garnered some instant recruits there and then).

Both of these are certainly still feasible. I've been thinking about some more options, but depending on the events later this year there might be some new choices to make.

Leah will probably be changing her job at some time in the next month or so, and she probably won't have accumulated any annual leave. So instead of our traditional annual road trip up the eastern coast of Australia, we'll probably be flying up. Just spending a couple of days up there in addition to the core weekend of the convention. Flying reduces the ability to bring extensive props to a convention (which will mean dramatic changes to the Quincunx format, and will alter the way that "The Eighth Sea" has been played publicly.) It may also change some of the costume ideas I had.

I was going to run my live 3:16 game in a variant suit of the Iron Man armour I'm working on, and I was going to run something else in full costume...

...Arkham Asylum by Night.

A freeform for 30+ players, all with amnesia at the start of the game (perhaps a failed gas concoction from the Scarecrow), gradually regaining their memories. They start with a series of memory fragments (some kickers to get the drive happening), some props and some paperwork. None of the players know whether they are supervillains from the Batman mythos, wardens from the asylum, visitors from outside, or something else. As a critical mass of players start pushing in a certain direction, the game starts to reveal deeper truths. The memory clouding effect starts to dissipate and players start to realise the truth about the characters they are portraying.

I'm planning to do this by having the players literally vote for who they think different other players are. First round of voting; who is an "inmate", a "visitor" or a "warden"? Second round of voting; inmates vote among themselves "Who is the Joker/Riddler/Mr.Freeze/Poison Ivy/etc", visitors vote among themselves "Who is visiting the Joker/Riddler/Mr.Freeze/Poison Ivy/etc", wardens vote among themselves "Who is the pharmacist/security guard/psychiatrist/etc"???

Third round is the real twist, so I'm hardly going to reveal it in m blog. But it's a mindscrew.

I was planning to run the game wearing my Batman costume.

For the majority of the convention, I'll be running as a part of the iGod crowd. Definitely thinking of offering some Norwegian Style, maybe some Chronica Feudalis, and a couple of my own games (maybe even Brigaki Djili).

Anyway...that's my current plans. I'm sure they'll change over the next 7 months or so.
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