Missed Part 1? Check it out HERE!
Friday evening continued with panels. We were lucky enough to get in to the Game Design Workshop and end up at a table full of friendly people. There was even a Canadian who apologized for being Canadian. He was a lot of fun.
The panel began with the speaker talking about the characteristics you must possess in order to design games. These were very much personality traits that everyone would do well to enhance, such as the ability to communicate. He then turned it over to the workshop portion and instructed us to each design a two player game that could be played in five minutes and contained a story of some sort. There were playing cards, index cards, dice, and paper on the tables and we were free to use any or all of the materials. We had ten minutes to design our game and then we were to partner up with someone and run playtests.
I had a great time with this and immediately put together a simple storytelling game using plot cards and a D4. It came as no surprise to me that Ben designed a space combat game utilizing dice as ships. It was cool to see what we could come up with in ten minutes and I believe both ideas to have potential. Plus, it was simply a fun workshop!
The panel we wanted to attend next was in that very room, so we got right back in line outside the door and waited. Our last panel for the night was Murderous Ghosts, an audience participation ghost story! We had met the authors of this two player storytelling game at Connecticon and Ben purchased the game, which we had played once with our spouses. As I run a monthly game night for my local writer's group, I was interested to see how it was adapted for a large group.
A friend of the author played the ghost and the audience was the player, with the author leading us through our choices. She was such an energetic person, she pulled us all into the story immediately and a good time was had by all. The game is played similarly to a Choose Your Own Adventure, with the twist being that you and the MC (who plays the ghost) are creating the adventure. We played through once and most of the audience stayed for a second round, until the room was needing to be emptied. I would call that a successful panel. If you happen to be at a con running Murderous Ghosts, give it a try. It was a lot of fun!
There was one more panel we both really wanted to attend before we turned our focus back to the game play; Science Fiction Worldbuilding Workshop. This was first thing Saturday morning and we were glad to see Jack Graham, one of the authors of Eclipse Phase, as one of the panel leaders. We had the opportunity to play an Eclipse Phase scenario that he ran at Temple Con and (despite our own exhaustion) really enjoyed his enthusiasm.
We once again found ourselves at tables for this panel, as each table was given a number and considered a team. Several choices were listed on a screen and the entire room voted for the specific type of sci fi world we wanted to build. Despite the number of Browncoats present, the winner was not sci-fi western but more of a cybertech world, which interestingly enough is the category Ecplise Phase would fall under.
The screen changed and it became clear why there were ten numbered tables (with an eleventh as a wild card). There were ten different sections of the world to build and each table was to design their section. We were table two and in charge of The Night Market. The six of us had quite a bit of fun coming up with the underbelly of society, throwing out ideas (an all male brothel just for the ladies was mentioned at one point) and discarding them until we hit on something we all liked. We ended up with a city unto itself in the engineering section, dubbed Wonderland. It was run by a powerful and mysterious woman named Alice and was a lot like Burger King, where you could have it your way. Whatever that may be...
The different groups connected with each other when needed and at the end each group shared what they had come up with, creating a pretty well fleshed out world for an hour's work. The best part of all of this is that the results will be available online under a Creative Commons license and we will be able to do what we like with the world we built. (Yes, we will share that link when we have it!) As a writer, this was definitely a fun experience and I can't wait to see the end product. Another highly recommended panel!
Although there were more panels that sounded interesting, we decided that we were ready to spend the rest of the weekend playing games. And that is exactly what we did. Tune in to Part 3 for games, games, and more games!