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Life Lessons From the Center Chair

December 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Captain's chair

This article is written by Marissa Jeffrey, an active member of the Starbase 118 Star Trek RPG, where she plays Captain Kalianna Nicholotti, commanding officer of the massive Trojan Class Starbase 118 Operations.

Marissa Jeffrey from Starbase 118

Marissa Jeffrey from Starbase 118

Whether you are a Starfleet Captain like I am, are a leader of a fighter squadron, a GM of a game you created yourself, or a member of a sim, there are life lessons we inherently learn as we play. Much like a time we may barely remember, as children, when our most important lessons were learned through the simple act of play, as adults, we can continue to learn and grow through our roleplaying games. Though our sims are ‘just games’, there are hidden nuggets of wisdom around every corner, and if you’re open enough to catch them, you can often find yourself applying them to the real world in much the same way you do in your game. As for myself, it took three years for me and my character to traverse the path to command in the game I play, but it was only when I looked back from the center chair of my starship, that I realized just all I had learned from the process. Read more…

Field of dreams got it wrong. If you build it they won’t come, unless you tell them to

December 19, 2012 1 comment

Baseball player in the film "field of dreams"

I haven’t seen the Kevin Costner film “Field of Dreams” because it sounds terrible. Fortunately I have seen Waynes World which spoofed the film’s main catchphrase “If you build it, they will come”, leading Wayne and Garth to create a rock concert, which goes surprisingly well despite barely any advertising.

The mentality of “If you build it, they will come” is a dangerous one in my opinion. Read more…

How Star Army uses custom imagery

December 14, 2012 3 comments

ketsurui_rikouOne of the most important and obvious aspects of a text-based roleplaying game is that it uses text. But we don’t just have to stick to the written form, many roleplaying games use imagery and cool graphics to convey ideas, places, characters and mood. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!

One of the most illustrative roleplaying games I’ve seen is Star Army, which uses brilliant custom artwork. I recently spoke with Wes Davis, creator of Star Army about the amazing artwork they use. Read more…

New “story summary” feature added

December 10, 2012 1 comment

Last week I added a new feature to OngoingWorlds which allows long-running games to show an summary of the recent story. This is to communicate recent events to a new member without amending your game description.

I explain it better in the video here:

1882 – WBWW runner-up

December 8, 2012 1 comment

Here’s the story that came third place in our WBWW competition. It’s the tale of a cowboy called Alex Solvay in the American old west, being told to his great grandson, also called Alex. Alex is a character in the game Blue Dwarf played on OngoingWorlds.

The story is written by Jack Tennant, who has even recorded this story to audio, which you can listen to through the YouTube video below, or read the story underneath.

Read more…

Empty Skies Over Tokyo – WBWW runner-up

December 7, 2012 1 comment

Here’s the story that came 2nd place in our WBWW competition. Empty Skies Over Tokyo written by Marissa Jeffrey from USS Victory, part of UFOP: Starbase 118.

This story got a lot of praise from one of our judges, Aimee the winner of this year’s First Person Fortnight competition.

aimee-mug-60x60The strengths of the story that spoke to me most, aside from the expected “good grammar/punctuation/understanding of storytelling”:

1) Great demonstration of “Show, don’t tell.” It’s probably the only story that didn’t do this to a fault. It was narrating but it was describing what the characters were doing and how they were interacting with their environment and thus communicating “this is good/exciting/something I’m proud of” to the reader.

2) A clear format made to show the intended style; well-chosen names of places and dates. Very striking in their military/future origin, but not over-explained.

3) It comes full circle and leaves this reader with a simple feeling of family identity and pride in one’s place in the world, but doesn’t get more complicated than that. Vocabulary is tight and story feels focused.

4) Mature and sophisticated world outlook and a writing style to match it.

I also liked the detail that the “ancestor” was from 2003. 🙂 That makes great sci-fi.

Here’s the story in full.

Read more…

Want to know who the WBWW winner is?

December 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Way Back When Week

The judges have spoken! You can see the results here!