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In December 2016 we met for a design and playtest session. There were 15 people in attendance, and after an initial pitch/brainstorm, we split into three groups.

 

Cyberpunk office

Michael raised the question: in a typical cyberpunk future, the world is run by huge corporations, but interest tends to focus on those outside the system – hackers, street people, etc. But what is life like for those who work in the corporations – who turn up to the office every day to do their jobs?

This turned out to be quite a large concept, suitable for 20–30 players and at least a full day. The team generated a load of ideas and structure, and will continue to work on the project. We’re looking forward to hearing more!

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The pitch/brainstorm sheet

Two timestreams

Based on a suggestion from Eunice. Two groups of players, each playing the same group of characters, in alternating scenes. Team A play them in a chronological succession of scenes covering a fixed period. Team B play scenes each of which is either a flashback or a flashforward in the characters’ lives before and after that period.

The idea is that Team B can use these scenes to reflect, suggest, provide material for, respond to, and otherwise enhance the straight narrative being pursued by Team A. (And vice versa.)

This structure could be applied to a wide range of scenarios: the one tested was a group of three women (grandmother, mother and daughter) on the morning of the wedding of one of them. Team A’s six scenes consisted of preparing for the wedding, going from the end of the hen night to the moment before the ceremony. Each scene had a theme (eg. the scene of putting on makeup was themed around self-image).

For each of the five scenes inbetween, Team B were given a choice of scene ideas that resonated in some way with the theme. The intention was to offer them a range of light to dark possibilities, plus as much freedom as was possible in flashing forward or back and in which of the characters was in focus.

This larp was playtested and it proved to be generally enjoyable, although with some flaws (some of the Team A scenes were too similar, and Team B needed considerable time to decide how and what scene to do). Generally a promising idea, which might or might not be pursued.

Larp by vlog

Joanna was keen to develop thoughts about larping by vlog – as a way of keeping in play with inernational larper friends, and as an interesting medium for larp.

A small but focused team produced a good deal of material relating to technologies and structures that might make such a thing work. The proposed setting was a basically real modern-day world, with faerie presence acknowledged but not admitted officially – with player characters working in the grey area of leakages and ‘incidents’.

This is clearly a complex project with a lot of potential, which might grow into something amazing!

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