31 May, 2016

Getting LARP politics happening

I ran a reasonable successful LARP over the weekend, the biggest so far for the Southern Highlands LARP group (working under the campaign name of Nexus). We had a total of 9 players, which is enough to start seeing some factionalism develop. I tend to believe that factions start to appear in a game once it reaches about 7 players, you get three players on each side and a wandering free agent. With nine players you might get 3 factions of 3, or you might get smaller factions of a few twos, and a larger faction of three players. This is the point where things really start to fall into place for a small LARP...of course things get more interesting with more players, but everything needs to start somewhere.

The first game we had (with 6 players) was basically run as a loose exploration quest. Look for the item, try to retrieve the item, then decide what to do with the item when it is made available (by unlocking it). This game I wanted to push things a bit further and develop some politics between the characters. So I developed 4 mysterious benefactors who gave the characters a quest for the game... Two opposed pairs of two; military opposing criminals, and university opposing cultists. It worked reasonably well, but felt a bit static.

One of the complaints about the more popularly attended "boffer-style" LARP in Sydney, Scy-kadia, is the fact that the game is split along a single axis of light/law vs darkness/chaos. Te stories are very linear of one side against the other with some limited mercenaries tipping the balance one way or another. I don't particularly like this, and that's why I had four groups opposing one another, but I've since thought of a better option.

I'm going to assume that Magic: the Gathering has permeated gamer culture enough and that if you're reading this then you'll be familiar with the five colours of magic and their 5 affinities.



White = Holiness, Purity, Defence (enemies: Black and Red)
Green = Life, Growth, Healing (enemies: Black and Blue)
Red = Primal Urges, Offence, Destruction (enemies: White and Blue)
Black = Death, Unholiness, Shadows (enemies: White and Green)
Blue = Raw Magic, Mystery, Knowledge (enemies: Green and Red)

Since our last game we introduced 4 mysterious factions who will be giving quests to characters, each of these factions opposed by another. Most of the four factions defined in the last game tie neatly into one of the colours of magic, so I'm thinking there might be a fifth faction added to the mix. That way some more interesting stories can develop.

White = Military, Green = ?, Red = Criminals, Black = Cultists, Blue = University. 

Green could work as the Orc Horde, but the orcs are more chaotic than that (and for the purposes of Magic they're typically "red" affiliated). Instead I'm thinking of a nomadic group for Green. 

Basically, when characters earn a positive reputation with one coloured faction, they start to make a negative reputation with the opposing two factions. A positive reputation will offer you new quests in game that will earn you gold or experience. Enough of a negative reputation with certain groups and they'll put a bounty on your head. Characters may sit between two allied colours (eg... White and blue, red and black, etc.) to gain missions from both of those groups, but the group opposing both of these colours will really dislike the character. (Eg. A White/Blue character would be hated by the Green).

This gives us some interesting ideas when a specific storyline develops along enmity lines. White (Military) opposes Red (Criminals), Blue (University) are considered an ally of White and also oppose Red, so we can see that their allegiance would typically stand with the White in this story. Black (Cultists) are considered an ally of Red and they also oppose White, so we could see that they would stand with the Red. Green in this situation has been known to ally with both White and Red, so they become the wildcards.

In different games the story-line would pit two different opposing factions against one another, and this means that in each session a different group would have the chance to take on the role of wildcard mercenaries who tip the balance one way or the other, while the other factions/groups would have vested interests to ensure a certain outcome occurs.

Once more players become involved in the game we might begin to see two (or more) story-lines unfolding in a single session with cross purposes. One story might revolve around a conflict between Black and White, while a second conflict revolves around a conflict between Blue and Green. Conflict 1 sees White allying with Green against Black, and Black allying with Red agaist White...with Blue as a mercenary balancing force. Conflict 2 sees Blue allying with Black against Green, and Green allying with Red against Blue, with White as the neutral wildcards.

This brings all sorts of interesting politics into the story.

White is allying with Green in conflict 1 (due to the mutual Black enemy), and it might be expected that in exchange for the help given by Green in this conflict they'll maintain the alliance and repay the favour in conflict 2 even though White have allies on both sides.

Black is allying with Red in conflict 1 (due to the mutual White enemy), and just like the alliance between White and Green, you'd expect the alliance to hold over to the second conflict. But this might not be the case.
 
Red are naturally allied with Black against White in conflict 1, but they are allied with Green in conflict 2, while they seem to be a sure bet when viewed from the perspective of a single conflict, once the whole scenario is considered they might actually be bigger wildcards than any of the other factions.

Depending on how the story split occurs, any of the factions could end up as the "neutral" wildcards able to shift the balance one way or the other, rather than having that responsibility fall on the same players each and every session.

I could throw in more factions, but I think the five seems to work pretty well for the moment. Eventually, much like Magic: the Gathering, we may see certain factions split up against each other internally, only to see them unite against an outside threat, we may also see cross colour factions start to develop. Only time will tell.

Some Walkabout Inspiration

I've had a few people ask me when I'm going to get back into my work on Walkabout.

Soon.

For the moment, here's some inspiration...

Indigenous Australian Creation Stories



30 May, 2016

Magic and Familiars (Part 4)

Magic is rarely spoken about in plain terms, it always seems to be veiled in analogy, hidden behind layers of metaphor, and cloaked in riddles. Some claim that this is the case because true practitioners of magic don't want novices wielding power they don't truly understand, others claim that those who have power simply don't want to share that power, the. There are those who claim that lesser minds simply couldn't handle the true nature of magic, and it's only through understanding riddles like zen koans that the mind becomes disciplined enough to truly comprehend the complexities underlying reality.

One or more of these reasons may be true. Different reasons might be true for different people, perhaps it is simply a tradition that has built up over the centuries... a tradition that has become notoriously hard to break, like industries where "paying one's dues" are considered a part of the process of integrating into the culture. While mortal practitioners of magic debate the need for riddles and metaphor, and mundane citizens of the world don't understand them at all, for familiars, the reasons for analogy and metaphor are clear.

As conduits of the supernatural power, familiars understand the truth about magic. The problem here is that familiars don't understand the ways of the mundane world, they do not have the common point of reference to impart their mystic knowledge to those of the mundane world so they need to meet mortals half way. Familiars grasp fragments of the mundane world, looking through at it in a reverse manner to that of the practitioners of magic who look through the same holes to perceive the unbridled possibility of the supernatural. The fragments of mundane life that match concepts understood by familiars are used as examples for the mages they speak to. Different familiars will see different mortal concepts that ring true for them, and for this reason there may be a hundred different analogies for the same metaphysical concepts. Different practitioners of magic will then choose the analogies that make the most sense to them as a means to bridge the gap between the natural and the supernatural, often using two or more analogies to piece together a meaningful truth.

29 May, 2016

Magic and Familiars (Part 3)

Among the conglomerate of beliefs and rituals known in the west collectively as Hinduism, there is a notion that all of reality exists both simultaneously and constantly. Following this notion, science reveals the truth of reality, and anything accepted by the process of science is accepted as a fundamental reality in the universe. But an analogy for the act of perceiving reality through science is peering through a keyhole at a room on the other side... everything viewed is accepted as the truth, but there is so much that simply cannot be seen from such a limited point of view. Beyond the scope of science's keyhole beliefs may vary, but that which has been verified by science should not be doubted unless new verified information comes to light. In this view, religion is a systematised pattern of belief about what exists in the unknowable realms of reality unrevealed by the narrow perspective of the keyhole. Fundamentalist religion believes that only the original pinprick shows the true nature of reality and anything that science discovered by opening the hole further (contrary to what they originally believed) is false.

Certain grandiose claims misunderstand magic as simply opening the door to the whole of reality, but this much knowledge would shatter a lesser mind into fragments no larger than dust, then blow them away in a storm of oblivion. More low-key claims about magic suggest that it is more like piercing a new hole through the door to observe aspects of reality remaining obscured from the original keyhole's view. To push the analogy further, these lesser claims may indicate a stronger observation of reality but there is also the ability to magic practitioners to manipulate the reality they see. This might be akin to poking a wire through the keyhole, attempting to prod at the things seen on the other side of the door...and apt to this analogy, while something is poking through the hole, the view of reality becomes obscured in some ways. It takes a true master of metaphysical manipulation to see the world clearly while they manipulate it to their will.

Some magical paradigms believe that lesser magic works within the underlying loopholes of reality while greater magic induces new loopholes, but even this is a simplification of the nuanced nature of true magic which incorporates all these ideas and more.

(For some reason, I've also been thinking about how to turn the practitioners of Magic under this set-up, into super hero type characters... but that's another thing completely).

Game Chef International Time Zones

+Stentor Danielson has posted the time limt for this year's Game Chef contest, and curiously it has gone with a staggered effect lining up with different times in different parts of the world.

One week until Game Chef! I hope everyone is excited for this year's competition. Game Chef 2016 will run from June 4 to June 12. Like last year, we're starting it at midnight New Zealand time and ending at midnight Hawaii time to give everyone the maximum amount of time to work on their game. That means the dates are:

START:
New Zealand: June 4, midnight (start of day)
UK: June 3, 1 PM
USA (Eastern): June 3, 8 AM
USA (Pacific): June 3, 5 AM
Hawaii: June 3, 2 AM

END:
New Zealand: June 13, 10 PM
UK: June 13, 11 AM
USA (Eastern): June 13, 6 AM
USA (Pacific): June 13, 3 AM
Hawaii: June 12, midnight (end of day)

It doesn't really give more time to work on games. In fact, if my calculations are right, it gives designers 2 hours less than previous years to work on stuff compared to previous years. But that really doesn't make a whole lot of difference over a nine day contest. I just think it's an odd move.

No idea what I'm going to do for the contest, hopefully the ingredients will inspire me one way or another, and hopefully the theme while give some good direction.

27 May, 2016

Magic and Familiars (Part 2)

For a practitioner of magic to claim their power is purely the result of hard work and natural talent it isn't exactly a lie, but more of a convenient omission of certain facts (whether through deliberate obfuscation, or ignorance), this is somewhat like a rich entrepreneur claiming that their success was purely the result of perseverance and business acumen. Such tales inspire a myth of the practitioner, something that can be exploited in the naive. In truth, there are a number of factors known to contribute to a successful practitioner of magic, and far more suspected factors that seem have a propensity toward effective practice, but not always. The deep metaphysical yearning, sometimes called ennui, is the strongest known factor, but it's appearance seems erratic, almost random, across the population. A second known factor for a practitioner's potential is the acceptance of a specific mystic path, either through the tutelage of a mentor or the reading of a grimoire, though this requires a latent potential before the effects can apply. the secondary factors are an insatiable curiosity, a genetic heritage shared with other mystic practitioners, proximity to other mystic or unexplainable phenomena, or moments of intense trauma.

Perhaps the most consistent factor when it comes to a mystic practitioner is the presence of a familiar. Familiars acts as mystical catalysts, awakening those on the edge of metaphysical slumber, stirring a drive in those feeling dissatisfaction, manifesting phenomena unexplainable by mundane science, bringing change to an otherwise static world. Of course, the problem here is that many familiars go out of their way not to be seen, and in their hubris many practitioners of magic believe their own lies of bootstrapping their way to enlightenment through hard work and natural talent. Some occultists and mystics even go so far as to claim that familiars are awoken by them, but those investigating more than the superficial quickly see through such claims as they would see through the claims of an overly assertive politician.

26 May, 2016

Magic and Familiars (Part 1)

Magic has been a focal topic for scholars, mystics, occultists and theologians for centuries. The theories behind magic have evolved as they have responded to changes in the world, both social and environmental. Texts have been written, proven, gained favour, lost favour, been debunked, and been refound by new generations. Authors have been persecuted by the powers of the day, whether church, scientists, or military. The only commonality among those drawn to the mysteries of the arcane is the fact that they are outsiders. Those who feel their needs satisfied by the status quo do not yearn for deeper mysteries or hidden knowledge to fill a void in their lives, they live oblivious to the strangeness in their midst except for the occasional instinctive urge, flash of deja vu, or remarkable circumstances processed mentally as mere coincidence or happenstance.

If the middle classes are content with their lot in life, reined in by a herd mentality, kept in check by threats from invisible and unknowable gods, fear of demons in the shadows, or dazzled by superficial shows of sportsmanship or reality TV, then the outsiders are those on the fringe. A stereotypical fringe element might be the Wiccan or Freemason communities, but like Christians or other religious groups, there are far more Wiccans and Freemasons who will never touch the true mysteries of magic because they are simply too content with their lives, they don't have the yearning and simply consider their association to be a social dalliance. When it comes to true magic, there are far more practitioners among the homeless and the criminals, who desire far more than mainstream society has reliably offered them. There are probably at least as many practitioners of the mystic arts among the extreme upper classes of the world, consisting of those who yearn for things far beyond what society is capable of offering them. Historically, such outsiders might have been hermits, prophets, religious leaders, visionaries, patronned artists, explorers, anyone who lived apart from society... in modern times they might follow similar paths, or might be RV nomads, eco-warriors, or hackers. Being associated with outsiders, and those who desire something more than that offered by mainstream society, many practitioners of the magical arts would have traditionally been deemed by the authorities as the insane, now they might be deemed extremists or terrorists.

24 May, 2016

Pocketmod familiars

The last post I made gave a brief structure of an 80 page rulebook. That was basically the outline for the familiar game concept I've been toying with over the last couple of weeks (which is in turn an evolution of the quirky rentpunk based die mechanism that formed the basis of my "200 Word RPG Contest" entry). It's quite an expansion to go from 200 words to 80 pages.

I'm not changing the 80 page plan (possibly expanding to 96 pages with a 16 page introductory comic), what I am thinking about now is a stripped back introductory version of the game. A pocketmod version of the rules, with a series of pocketmod pre-generated characters, along with some half pocketmods written up with pre-generated supporting characters, and some locations and quest ideas. Enough to get a one shot happening, maybe a convention game...but basically a teaser and promo for the full 80 page game.

For the moment though, assignments on the issues entwined with Indigenous education need completion. Game design is the reward that comes at the end of the week.
 

23 May, 2016

Size of rulebook?

I'm thinking 80 pages.

About 4 pages for all that stuff at the front..titles, publishing details, contents

Followed by an 8-page Chapter 1, giving a rough overview of the world, who the characters are, what they're aiming towards, what they tend to do to get there, and what's stopping them.

A 16-page Chapter 2, describing the process of setting up play, defining the realm where the stories will unfold, the characters (main cast and supporting roles) who will be involved in those stories, and the specific places and items that will be important within the stories.

A 30-page Chapter 3, describing how mundane actions are perform (and separately how magical actions are performed), followed by how those actions build up into complete narratives. Since the actions are freeform, but players can define specific actions/spells that have been practiced to gain a more consistent outcome, the last half of this chapter will consist of sample actions and spells that might be picked up by the characters, or used as templates to develop new abilities/spells.

A 14-page Chapter 4, filled with sample supporting cast (NPCs), locations and items ready to slot into any realm where stories might unfold. This chapter is designed to help players and GM get into the action quicker by providing prompts and story fragments that might fill in some gaps or add flavour.

An 8-page Appendix, filled with character sheets (for main cast and supporting), relationship sheets, and other play aides. Finishing off with an index.

The whole thing hand written and illustrated.

I'll probably have to type it up first though, and get feedback from people before I get stuck into the full hand-rendered project.



22 May, 2016

Ornamentation

If this doesn't inspire you to make maps with elaborate little flourishes, or turn out maps that are nothing but flourishes, then nothing will.

One more 3000 word essay to write, then I can get back to some personal work like cartography and new game design.

20 May, 2016

Some animated inspiration


This came across my radar today, and I just had to share.

It comes from http://www.panimated.com/, which is the site of Sonja Langskjaer.

Between this animation, and some of the others on the site, there are some great ideas for spiritual/animalistic hi-jinx of the type I'm thinking for the familiar game.


Fantastic Four

+Stan Shinn just posted this great little set up system for integrating characters with the world they are in, and giving them some motivation for an upcoming story.

It really links in with a few of the ideas I've been working through lately, especially with regard to the game about rentpunk mystical familiars.

Continuing my series on low-prep RPG games, this morning I’ll talk about the Fantastic Four technique.

One great way to get player-generated ideas for adventures and campaigns is to ask the Fantastic Four questions.

Hand out four cards to each of your players. Each card should have one to three sentences describing a person or objective.

The first card is a Friend NPC who can be anything from a drinking buddy to a contact in the local royal court. These NPCs can be patrons, plot hooks, or just for fun roleplaying.

The second card is a Family member, an NPC related to the PC. The GM can imperil a family member to create tension and motivation for an adventure.

The third card is a Foe, an NPC that is directly opposing the PC either directly or indirectly. Foes are particularly useful for GMs. Need a quick adventure or sidequest? Have the Foe make an appearance and make the PCs’ lives miserable. The players will quickly seek to deal with the Foe. Make sure the Foe is not easily defeated — surround them with retainers or followers so Foes can live for multiple adventures.

The last card is for a Flame. The Flame is something the PC desires and can be an NPC they are in love with, a need to seek justice against an evil empire, or an object (perhaps a magic relic or powerful weapon) that the PC desires. 

Make the Fantastic Four questions a collaborative discussion where people muse out loud about what they are thinking of writing down. The group can build off each other’s ideas and help inspire you if you get stuck.

After the brainstorming session, have the players pass in their cards. Use a few cards to form the framework of the current adventure. Shuffle through the cards between games and make sure each players gets the spotlight from time to time by pulling a PC’s Friend, Family, Foe, or Flame into the next game!

In my next post we'll talk about the Triggered Heist technique.

Now I'm going to have to read through the other stuff he's written in this series.

14 May, 2016

The pointy end of the semester

Inundated with university assignments at the moment.

Not much time to write much, especially when I'm a bit jaded over the work I've put into Bug Hunt (only to have it appreciated neither by external groups, not by the University academics to whom it has been recently focused).

Once things slow down, I think I'm going to go back to my maps and landscapes... specifically focusing on redrawing a series of mapping tutorials, and finalising that series of landscape imagery.

We'll see how things go over the next week or two.

12 May, 2016

Time to pull things out?

Sorry...rant in progress.

I do things. I make those things public. Occasionally I hope to make a little bit of money from those things so I can focus more on those things rather than the day to day mundane tasks that earn me the necessary money to survive in the world.

I look at what other people are asking for things. I don't think my requests are extravagant...in most cases I actually think my requests are quite modest. But people ignore my things...or they loot the free things I offer, and ignore any requests for support so that I can continue making new things...then to have sand kicked in my face while I'm already pretty low, I see things that I presented to the world offered by other people a year or two later, in mounds of adoration and heaped praise. Or I see other people making things that vary the themes I offered, and they pull in money by the bucketload.

I can't pull the "I'm in a minority" card, I can't pull the "But I'm a female game designer/illustrator/creator" card, I'm male, I'm white, I speak English, I'm just in my 40s. These are all the things that should be giving me optimal privilege, but it just isn't happening.

Yes, I'm thankful that I'm lucky to occasionally get a cartography commission. These often go straight on bills. My RPGNow shopfront typically ticks over between $10-$30 a month, maybe enough to purchase a new game every couple of months. I've ranted previously about generally being someone who just makes up the numbers in design contests, often to see the same big names win the contests time and again with derivative offerings. Don't get me wrong, I see some brilliant artists and designers out there who are doing amazing things, most of them are getting credit and kudos, and others like me are also struggling... These aren't just the screams of a lone artist who is upset that after three days there ha barely been a nibble on his crowdfunded project (well, they are a little bit)... nothing on the POD shopfront either...

These are the comments of someone who has tried to do something creative for decades, continually honing his craft and learning different things to add to the creative process in different ways, these are the comments of someone who tried to get into the local Disney animation studio, only to see technically less proficient individuals get in because they knew someone, with the same story happening at the various visual effects houses in Sydney which has since become major players in sci-fi, super-hero, and 3D animated movies. These are the comments of someone who has sent numerous comic scripts off to publishing houses only to receive a distinct lack of response. These are the comments of someone who has seen his work used by other people without his permission, only to be told that they commissioned someone else to produce the artwork and they are sorry that the "artist" just stole my work and claimed it for their own.

I fully expect a slightly varied clone of Bug Hunt to magically appear at some stage in the next year or two by someone else who is a bit more of a gaming "micro-celebrity", they'll get heaps of praise and credit for their innovative idea... and I'll just be sitting here saying that I had tried to do exactly the same thing earlier while they bathe in adoration and money. That's just the pattern of life from my perspective.

Sometimes it makes me wonder why I bother at all.

10 May, 2016

Bug Hunt has been Live for a Day.

The project is live at the Bug Hunt Indiegogo Page, but I'm not sure for how much longer that will be the case. One of my fears about the existing cost structure of Bug Hunt is the high cost of postage around the world and the relatively high manufacturing cost of a POD game.


The $50 price point is a powerful psychological barrier, it's also basically the break even point for this project...until postage is added in and then conversion rates applied. The basic level I think I need to break even on an Australian sale ends up at almost $90 Australian, and that's way beyond the psychological $50 barrier. It basically ends up as the cost of a small group of friends going to the cinema (without setting up a mortgage to pay for popcorn and drinks)...but that cost is spread out among a number of people.

The fact that it can be played multiple times reduces the "cost per hour of entertainment" factor, but that initial outlay is the kicker. I wish there were a way I could drop it further, but I don't want to lose money on this project, just for "exposure".

We'll see how things go over the next couple of days.

07 May, 2016

The Familiar's Tale (state of play)

I've been tinkering with the new system that started as a "minimalist" system, it has followed the typical pattern of rule bloat, dramatic pruning, then more rule bloat in an ongoing cycle. 

Looking at its current form, the core mechanisms are working a bit like a reverse Apocalypse engine. 


  • Instead of waiting for a move to become appropriate (or angling the fiction to make a move appropriate), it is designed to generate moves on the fly. 
  • Instead of rolling dice with a fairly static difficulty then choosing which results apply based on the die roll, it rolls variable dice depending on what is being attempted. 
  • Instead of rolling 2d6 then adding a modifier after dice are rolled but before determining an outcome, it rolls different sized dice, integrating a variety of difficulties and skill levels into a single roll, also taking into account the potential outcomes before the dice are rolled.

All in all I'm trying to keep it minimalist, keep it operating in such a way that narrative informs mechanisms, and mechanisms inform narrative...giving enough grit for players to hook into and enough fluidity that they can take things wherever the community of players wants.

What I'm playing with at the moment are considered actions and spontaneous actions...where considered actions are things that have been practiced by the characters, and thus something that work in a more predictable fashion; and spontaneous actions are loose free-flowing effects that could go all sort of different directions. Such actions could easily link into magical practices in the game, but I'd like to see them flow into all areas. A disciplined warrior versus a wild and unpredictable fighter. A master of rhetoric and debate versus and impassioned firebrand. An educated scholar versus a lunatic conspiracy theorist.

This could be fun. It's just determining the right way to frame things.  





Bug Hunt Video

My first video project has been completed...


...not perfect, but not bad for a first effort.

03 May, 2016

Good Die and Bad Die

Years ago...actually decades ago, I had a friend who ran a very simple game system that he called "Good Die, Bad Die". It basically worked on the idea that you added your good die (a d6) to your ability score, and a bad die (also a d6) to the difficulty score. So you wanted your good die to roll high, and your bad die to roll low. If you rolled doubles you'd generally succeed (regardless of the other numbers involved), but there would be an unexpected story twist. Ability scores ranged from 1 to 5, difficulties ranged from 1 to 5 (but sometimes you'd need multiple successful attempts to complete complex tasks, and ashe refined the system sometimes if your total end result was more than 4 points above the total difficulty result you might have earnt multiple successes on a single action attempt).

Characters were defined by three or four things that they were really good at (ability scores of 4+), a few things they weren't bad at (ability scores of 2-3), and a scattering of things that they'd dabbled in (ability score of 1).

I don't remember much more about his system, except that it was fast to play, loose with narrative and  was one of the first "minimalist" games I ever played. That was all back in the 90s (my hey-day of gaming), and I've since seen similar systems designed, published, popularised, evolve in different directions, become over-complicated from that raw simple kernel, then appear again in a new form through the writings of someone else. If the new person has a high-enough profile in the game design community, they are lauded for their innovation, even though the system has basically been reincarnated many times over the decades since I first saw it.

The reason I write this is that I've just realised the new game system I'm working on could probably be considered a variation on that idea of "good die and bad die". But instead of adding d6 to a flat number on either side of the action attempt, I'm offering variant die sizes.

02 May, 2016

One Page Dungeon

The first time I participated in the "One Page Dungeon" contest, I was a finalist. I tried to do something innovative that would work with any system (as per the contest brief). That was two years ago.

The second time I participated in the contest, I was just one of the pack. Again, I tried to do something innovative, but it was basically ignored. It felt like the only dungeons doing well in the contest last year were written for OSR, or more specifically written only to be used with pseudo-D&D retroclones. I don't remember anything much generic doing well. That was last year.

So when the contest came around this year, I had a passing interest in it, but I didn't bother entering. I figured I might throw something together if I had the chance, or didn't have better things to do. But better things (or more pressing concerns) continually took priority. I don't feel bad about not entering, I probably would have tried to do something innovative and fairly generic again, because that's my design space. I probably would have been ignored again, even though these two design elements are the claimed intention of the contest.

I'll be interested to see the direction of the finalists, and winner, this year. Maybe I'll enter again next year.

01 May, 2016

Captain America - Civil War

Saw it last night.

Enjoyed it.

I don't know how well I would have enjoyed it as a stand-alone film. It really required a lot of the depth that has been built up in the previous movies produced by Marvel, but having seen each of the other films in the series (several of them many times over) it was great to see assorted pieces falling into place.

Great introduction of characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe without needing to go through the whole routine of origin stories. I'm hoping the follow up movies for the characters introduced don't go back and do retrospective origin stories.

I'll leave it at that for the moment, because I know there are parts of the world where it hasn't had it's opening weekend yet.