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March 07, 2006 10:32 AM
improv

We kicked ass.

Thanks to everyone who showed up, and for those of you who didn't, you'll have plenty of chances to see us again in the upcoming months. More details as time allows.

March 05, 2006 04:09 PM
xochi

I just ran my first RPG session in about ten years - Seven Leagues, by our very own Renegade, Francois. We played for about four hours, and threw together the beginning of a fairy tale on the fly that involved (as player characters) a traumatized giant that crushes deities under mountains and is afraid of the dark, a dragon that had been transformed into a hero with a mask because he fell in love with the princess he was guarding, the Queen of Cockroaches, who emerged into the world from the hero's dream, and, of course, the God of Sleep and Goddess of Despair, who are brother and sister, trying to prevent their little brother Nightmare from taking over Uncle Hate's station - since he's been trapped under a mountain for some time now...

So yeah, fun. Even better, I didn't have time beforehand to put together a scenario/story/whatever to run through, so I put some of that improv training to work, and tried to get everyone to put the story together on the fly. After everyone made up their characters, we decided on a Mesoamerican (Aztec/Mayan) theme for the region of Faerie that we were playing in, and went to it. I started them off by sending the hero (who had a taboo preventing him from initiating combat) off to slay the giant (skittish Thred, above) who had "kidnapped" the local high priest's youngest daughter. I'll spare y'all the details, but once we got going, it was a hoot. And the best part - over the course of four hours of storytelling, dice were only rolled once, and the results were discarded due to a little turn of narration by Mischa's goddess, anyway. I think I'm slowly infecting my RPG buddies with improv, as I'm trying to infect my improv buddies with roleplaying. Woo! Crossing the streams!

Speaking of improv, we caught the "season premiere" of The Great Mundane last night at the Hideout, and it was freakin' awesome. I was really looking forward to seeing how they'd pull it off, and they pulled it off better than anyone had expected, I think. They're doing what they're calling "serial long-form", which means that they go out and make stuff up out of nothing and generally kick ass for an hour, and then next show, they keep going with that world and those characters, for six "episodes". Making a written-and-rehearsed show interesting to watch for six episodes is hard enough, and this is all totally improvised, and it looks like it's working. I'm very eager to see how things progress.

I also got back on my bike again today, for the first time since winter kind of kicked in over here. Yeah. Time to get my fast ass back into that. But first, stuff to do. Today: some writing, and then the rollerderby. Tomorrow: work, and then our first improv show. Then back to the regular cycle of work, preparing for and teaching class, and rehearsal, until south by southwest, I guess. Oh! And our floor is back on! We can walk around in the office with only the normal level of peril now! Tomorrow, a real floor gets put back on top of the underlayment, and then the trim and whatnot goes on, and then a little more painting, and I think we're done! Wooo! And then we can move out of the front room, and start living like normal people again! As far as "normal" goes around here, anyway...

March 02, 2006 10:22 AM
hideout

Hey, yeah, like Nadine says. Graduation show on Monday at 8pm at the Hideout, five bucks, come on down and bring friends, and so on. And everything else she says there applies to me close to one hundred percent, too. Crazy crazy.

Last night, I made it out to see Rich Vogel talk about making MMO development more efficient and cost-effective. It's always good to see Rich speak, but at this point, for me at least, it was pretty much all going over stuff that everyone really should know already. Feature/cost/schedule balance, communication within and between teams and disciplines, building tools and getting pipelines set up, iterative development, and so on. I think my brain is full - I feel like I've got all this knowin' how to do stuff in my head, but I don't really get the chance to use it in a professional setting. I'm still basically stuck doing small chunks of things, or one-person projects, or dredging through other people's old code to unbreak things and bolt on new bits on the fly, and all for projects that I really don't care about at all, one way or the other. Gotta make some kind of change, soon.

So yeah, although I've been running around crazy for the last month or two, I've also been taking a look at what I've been doing, and what I'd like to be doing, and trying to push and pull my schedule and responsibilities to more accurately reflect doing stuff that I really want to do. I've been having a good time working with the AGD, and teaching the Intro to Game Programming class at ACC, but it looks like AGD stuff is going to be winding down for a bit, in a way, and I've told Bob that I won't be able to teach the summer semester due to other plans. (I'll be going to SF for a four day Keith Johnstone workshop, and heading up to Seattle for PAX, and so on.) I'm definitely spending more time these days on improv, but I really need to buckle down and grind out the other projects that I've got simmering on the sidelines, too. After this last bout of frantic has fully subsided, I think that's what's going to happen. Yep. This time, for sure.