Ok, so the photo gallery is back up and running - to an extent. I actually have plans to make the photo page a bit more robust, but I haven't felt "into" working on it that much lately and I'm tired of seeing the "returning soon..." on the page.
I've included a 2010 Portfolio on the new page, as much because the page looks much better with 3 entries than with only two than anything else. I think there are some good shots in there, but, sadly, I haven't had as many days of dedicated shooting this year. I'm hoping to take advantage of one of these nice fall days to do some before it gets cold... ...we'll see if I'm motivated to actually do that or not. It's not that I don't want to do it, it's more that I've just been...uninspired.
Speaking of being uninspired, the job search continues to be frustrating. There just aren't enough opportunities in the area. I've found multiple hits in various locations an average distance of 4 or 5 hours away that are pretty much exactly what I do (and I've even sent an inquiry email to a company in knoxville, about 2 hours away), but there's just not that much around here - at least, not at the moment. Also, the things that *are* around here that are "kind of" in my line don't seem to be panning out so much. Erg.
On more fun things - because that's what I like to talk about on this blog:
Well, I mentioned that I haven't done much photography lately and I haven't felt like working on the website, so...what does that leave? *looks at menu bar*
Robb & I have been jamming with Josh and Bill some more. This has been lots of fun. We've been working on the same 5 cover songs (Plea from a Cat Named Virtue by the Weakerthans, Creep by Radiohead, Jenny Says by Cowboy Mouth and Burn and Stupid Kid by the Alkaline Trio) - trying to get them nice and smooth before we branch out some more. Some of them are more solid than others, but we're having fun. Also, we did a rather spontenous arrangement of The Melting Point of Wax (by Thrice) during last session, and that ruled. I really want to play some version of that song, but Thrice's drummer is...insane...and Bill doesn't think he's up to it.
On some gaming:
My Sandstorm and London 1802 games have both been going really well. I think both have a great story unfolding and interesting characters. Also, both have an ending in mind. This is an oddity for me - I generally just let games go until whenever. I don't know exactly how it's going to go down or how the parties are going to get there, but I know where the story is heading, and I know where the climax is. I also know what will happen if the party goes completely into left field. I'm really enjoying these games, but oddly, I'm looking forward to the ending of the stories. It's kind of the same way you look forward to the end of a good book or movie - you want to see exactly how it ends. This time, I know it *has* an ending.
I'm also enjoying Rucht's Rogue Trader game, though I still feel a bit off-balance in the 40k universe. I'm a little torn this aspect - sometimes I think I really like it, sometimes I think it's not my thing. I think my big issue is simply the weight of too much canon - it feels restricting. I tend to like settings which the GM - and also the players - affect not only what's happeneing in the setting, but also what the setting is like. When I run games in a given setting (almost always one of my own creation), I tend to adjust the feel and flavor of the setting based on what I think the players are enjoying the most. This just isn't something you can easily do if you care about staying "faithful" to a published setting.
I'd like to give Patrick's Star Wars game a nod as well, though I haven't quite been "feeling" it of late. I think most of this is my fault. One of the cool things about this game from my perspective is that my character has actually changed considerably over the course of play. I'm not sure if it's obvious to the other players, but it's very apparent to me. Unfortunately, one of the effects of this change is that he has become much more introverted and reflective, which is making roleplaying with the other players less frequent than I'd like. I'm considering how I might nudge the character out of his shell so that he's more fun to play without breaking verisimilitude. Also, there are a couple of annoyances in this game, but again, it's my hangup.
As always, I have multiple games in the works, on a variety of levels. I have 3-ring binders for each of my games' notes, but I have one entire tabbed binder that is nothing but sideprojects.
I've mentioned my Savage 3025 idea before, and I've continued to refine parts of it. I was actually talking a bit about this game with Matt over the weekend, which was cool. I think he's the only other guy I know that has any knowledge or interest in the Battletech universe. He also seemed interested in playing in the game whenever I get around to running it, which I think would pretty awesome. As the date suggests to the initiated, this will be a Succession Wars era campaign, and is meant to follow a lance (a reason I want exactly 4 players) in the service of one of the Great Houses. Despite the fact that most of my "work" on this system has been on the 'mech combat rules, I expect characters to spend as much or more time out of their 'mechs. This is another reason why I wanted to use a mod of Savage Worlds: so that I could have a consistent system for roleplaying scenarios on both scales. This definitely won't be a strictly combat/tactical game - the politics and roleplaying interactions surrounding any actual conflicts will be more important than the battles themselves.
Another idea I've been working on lately - and this is something I've been kicking around for a few years - is a game based around the cosmology of Myst. This has probably resurged as a sideproject as I've just finished playing through Riven and have started Exile. Still, the rpg I have in mind really won't have much in common with the games, which are primarily puzzlers, neither will it pay any attention to canon. Rather, I simply wish to take the feel of the universe of Myst - microcosmic "Ages" created through and connected by Linking Books, which are crafted through a specific arcane art of Authoring - and plug in more traditional aspects of a tabletop rpg. One of the many things I think could be really cool about this sort of game is that I'd like for the players to, at some point, begin to actually write their own Ages to explore and play in - and I have many ideas on how this could be accomplished and manifest. I'm unfamiliar with any other game where the players can (literally) write their own settings into the universe, and this idea greatly intrigues me - enough that this is probably the project I'm most interested in at the moment.
I've also written a few pages of notes on a western game I'm calling "In the Cards". Basically, I decided that in order to properly capture the feel of a western themed game, the mechanics should be a bit more approrpriate. Basically, the game takes place around poker hands. Normal tasks would be resolved via a "high card" - the player plays a card from his/her hand against the GM's draw from the deck (results "modified" by options available to players skilled in the task in question, etc). More dramatic scenes, such as shoot-outs or heated arguments, would be played out as a slightly tweaked hand of poker - wherein each involved player invests him/herself in the scene, performing simple draw actions, and continually "upping the ante" until some dramatic moment "calls" the hand, and the final results of the conflict are evaluated based on the winner. I also have some additional ideas on how players can hedge their bets - such as the idea of having cards "up the sleeve", which they can pull out in appropriate circumstances.
Bot has been put on the back-burner for the time being. I will mention that it got positive reviews at Gamesplosion and I think it has a lot of potential, but I'm still thinking over some streamlining and I'm having some trouble coming up with stories to tell in such an eccentric world. I know they're there, I'd just need to get my brain into that mode.
|Thursday September 30, 2010 at 1:30pm||state of the penguin, work, family, bunguin, gencon, parties, jamming, website||Comments (5) »|
If you're the superstitious type, you might suggest that the title of my last blog entry was tempting the fates... ...but then, I'd probably have to pat you for it.
Much is different since my last blog entry, and some of it is responsible for the gap between posts. Most relevantly, I am no longer working for Legend Web Works. I have a wide array of thoughts on this particular matter, but I do not wish to belabor them here. Further, if you're reading this you probably already know about it - I simply wished to state it for posterity. This is generally the case for most things on my blog and this entry is no exception.
So now I'm looking for a new job. Unfortunately my particular area of expertise is rather narrow in scope and directly-related opportunities in this area are somewhat limited. I've found a few leads, but things seem to be slow in developing. I'm not entirely sure what to do and I'm a little stressed about it, but I haven't hit a brick wall yet, so I'm still trying to be optimistic.
Anyway, on to happier things:
First and foremost, Sheri is pregnant! We're going to have a Bunguin! We actually saw the first ultrasound yesterday, which admittedly doesn't look like much at this point - but still. The expected due date is May 14th 2011. We're really excited!
Secondly, as I mentioned previously, I finally got to go to Gencon back in August. It was pretty awesome. The Exhibitor's hall was an amazingly geeky mall full of cool stuff, but the most fun was hanging out and playing games with the Playgrounders and a bunch of guys from the Fear the Boot forum. I have a few souvenirs from the con including a new set of dice, the Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition, and a lanyard from the Fear The Boot guys. I really liked it, and I'd like to go back at some point, but my favorite parts were things that didn't have anything to do with the con itself - things like Chris's Battletech game. I think i prefer less commercial and more gaming - things like our local mini-cons. Also, I'd really like to go out to Fear The Con one of these days.
On that note, we had Gamesplosion back in late August - our third local mini-gaming-convention. This one, I believe, was the biggest one to-date. It was held at our place for logistical reasons, and took place from friday-sunday as usual. I ran a session of Mouse Guard and one of my own homebrews called Bot. I played in a Weird War II (Savage Worlds) game, and played Agricola during one of the other slots. It was definitely a great time.
And of course, I've been continuing my normal gaming. We started a D&D game using the Sandstorm rules/setting (along with some stuff from Unearthed Arcana), and that's been interesting. The WoD game has resumed and is starting to build in the "action" dept. I've also spent quite a bit of time reinterpreting the Battletech rules into Savage Worlds - this is intended to make 'mech combat a bit more fast-paced and also tie a roleplaying system directly into it. Sheri and I playtested it a bit, and I was quite happy with how it played.
We were finally present for Robb's "Talk Like A Pirate party" this year, which was lots of fun - and the location of perhaps the most epic nerf war we have witnessed to date. Another item of note related to this is the piratey shirts Sheri's mom made us for it - they're really cool and I think they'll be handy for a few different costumes should the need arise.
Robb and I have been jamming with Josh & Bill again, which has been cool. I think we're supposed to do that again soon. We've picked out about 5 cover songs and we're just going over them again and again as we try to gel as a group. It's been a lot of fun - I really missed getting to play with a band.
Finally, as I'm sure you've noticed, my site has been reincarnated yet again. This is partly due to my job situation - I really didn't want to keep it on any framework related to my former employers. It just felt...odd. This rebuild is being constructed purely according to my preferences. As of now, it's still under construction. The blog was the first piece - additional pages will come online in the coming weeks as I'm able to build them to my taste. Also, there is, as of now, a very modest mobile site (which looks awful on a pc), currently only capable of reading and commenting on the blog - but I'm sure I'll start working on it after the main site is completely set. Accessing www.penguinsushi.com on a mobile device should direct you there.