May was Not So Great

Lost my job, forgot to post a bunch, and fell super far behind on my work. Also didn’t get the opportunity to save up enough money to move somewhere that could be classified “new and exciting” at the close of July. Will try to be a little better about posting and blogging moving forward. I still have a couple of stubs and thoughts pertaining to various different concepts – one, namely, is my growing love of “deck-building” games, which don’t always take the shape of cards but generally have that structure.

Another is a continued meditation on an idea I have of examining superheroics in a philosophical light. That one sort of spins around in place and has for years – it’s based on my old Brimstone drafts. Brimstone, for those that don’t know, was a superhero outside of the classic continuum of superheroes whose extraordinary ability was to manifest radical and systemic change to his epidermis and near-dermic tissues as a kind of psychosomatic manifestation of his emotional states. Some things would make his skin cold and harden like concrete, to the point that many liquids and other objects would flash freeze on his skin. Other thoughts and emotions have a “hot” reaction, causing him to gain a molten-rock like quality that incinerated very nearly everything he touched, and if not incinerated, severely warmed. Basically, he allows himself to get arrested and then I do a four-part anthology/philosophic monologue on the nature of heroes, of hero worship, and of why those stories, characters, and archetypes are so valuable to us as human beings when they’re so far from the truth. I do that in the style of The Last Days of Socrates, with four sections – Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo but reflavored to be a fictional hero of our modern (or maybe near-futuristic) world instead of an ancient paragon of critical thinking and modern philosophy. It’s weighty stuff that’s probably super above me, but I’ve always really liked it.

Elsewise we have a few sort of thought-vomits on game design and my experiences trying to “play as a designer.” It’s particularly difficult to do when you’re trying to enjoy a game. I’m also wondering if it’s possible to do with a game you’ve already played. I’m beginning to believe that, no, it’s not, but attempting to do it can lead you to new assumptions or beliefs about the decisions the designers of the game in question made as they were going through their process. It’s a fascinating exercise, one way or the other.

So, schedule? Well, let’s see.

I’m starting Full Sail Online’s Creative Writing Master’s program on Tuesday, May 31st. So probably no post that day.

But we’ll say bi-weekly from now on, shall we? (He said to his imaginary audience)

Wednesdays and Fridays and more frequently as the mood strikes.

Wednesday, June 1st – On Deck-Building Games
Friday, June 3rd – On Euthyphro and why I’m mad I never took more philosophy courses

Wednesday, June 8th – Hopefully some Brimstome-related content to expound on that.
Friday, June 10th – a summary of experiences thus far from Full Sail Online, and some samples of that writing if it’s feasible by then. I have thoughts on this now which I’ve collected into stubs, but I want to actually, you know, do it before I issue judgment.

Wednesday ¬†June 15th – Building Characters for Narrative with D&D. I’ve had this idea that, take away the adventuring aspect of it, we can all sort of think of ourselves as D&D characters in some way or another. I also find that the characters I’m most connected to lately are coming from my own imagination into the D&D Character Builder. I’ve been able to write up their backgrounds, give them faults and frailties, even disorders, largely based off of how I look at them in terms of the race I chose, the stats I chose, and the powers I chose. I can paint a really vivid picture of a character based on this stuff and then I can dive into his background in fun ways to upend this sort of idealized moment, give him some real gravitas and weight to his backstory. See, I’m already yapping about it. But that post will contain some examples of characters I’ve never played as in the game, who I created to balance the twin ideas of mechanically and conceptually interesting in the game. It’s a fun task, particularly if your fictional tastes run more towards fantasy and sci-fi.
Friday June 17th – Second Full Sail Online discourse. Again, going to try to dump anything useful I’ve generated into this space for my own storage and to make it more public as a challenge to myself. It may even be rewrites from previous weeks.

Wednesday June 22nd – Playing like a Designer – A Month-long Challenge discussed. Having tried to “play like a designer” for a month and tackle as many games as possible with this mindset, I’ll try to go back over the notes of the past month’s experiences and discussions with friends also interested in it to see what we came to collectively about the process.
Friday June 24th – Hm. Really thought I could plan this far. Well, mostly ¬†hoped I could. Let’s see how we do and hope there’s something interesting to discuss come this day. Even if it’s new employment or the continued (lack of?) travails of unemployment.


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