This is an attempt at a new style of storytelling/gaming/roleplaying. This is, at its base, a Twine game-story but I want to build it based on user input. It starts with the first passage. I will add choices and passages based on user input. Please say so in the comments. Tell me which passage and what option would you like. Don’t feel bad but whenever the comments will get too numerous, they will be pruned.

Thank you for participating in my experiment. This is it. This is The End.

4 Comments, Written on March 4th, 2015 , Art, Gaming, Programming, Role-Playing, Stories

Yesterday was interesting. I was doing my thing, as usual. I knew there were problems with the latest store version we uploaded but I was practicing not shoving my nose in to things I probably shouldn’t. It happens to me quite a lot that I try to help but I really shouldn’t, for various reasons. So, this time, I did that.

I don’t know exactly how much time has passed but I noticed the rest of the team wasn’t getting any progress. So, I joined in, took a look at what they were doing, suggested some things that didn’t quite help, and then decide to investigate it on my own. I pushed some breakpoints in the flow and spent about 15 minutes looking at exactly what was happening. Then I said: “I can tell you exactly what is happening!”

Then everyone crowded around my station while I explained why it happens and what I think we should do to fix it. The response was stunned silence. So, I said “No objections or suggestions? Ok, I’ll do what I said.” Then some stayed to watch. :)

It doesn’t happen all the time. But it’s fun when it does.

Leave A Comment, Written on February 10th, 2016 , IT, Programming, Work

7:19 – Soon, we will start. Feeling: Excited.

11:14 – Got there. Heard the keynote. Got the theme (No, not telling). Now Brainstorming.

11:42 – Getting to work.

00:31 – Home now. Was a busy day. The venue itself isn’t that great; the air conditioning is brutal, the separate spaces are nice but it’s tough to even stay properly hydrated. Took out the pup. Going to go to sleep soon.

10:51 – Back in the saddle again. 7 Hours to demo.

12:43 – Finished the basic system. Now starting to write content. The peckishness has begun. They said pizzas are forthcoming.

13:37 – Refueled and ready to go again.

18:14 – Wrapping up. Getting ready for the presentation.

20:34 – Presentations completed. Some really nice games. Mine felt inadequate. Maayan’s looked very nice. They both, one Twine based, one completely console, definitely turned some heads in a room mostly composed of Unity developers.

00:57 – Concluded with a family dinner at Maayan’s parents and a viewing of Gav HaUma. Now, finally, going to sleep. Tomorrow, a full workday awaits.

Leave A Comment, Written on January 29th, 2016 , Gaming, Life, Programming

שלשום בערב הגענו למסקנה שיש משהו שצריך לעשות ושחייבים לדחות בגללו את הגרסה. התאפסנו על ההגדרות המדויקות, ידעתי מה צריך לעשות, אבל גם ידעתי שזה ייקח בערך יום אז אני לא אתחיל את זה ב-19:00. אז כן התחלתי את זה אתמול בבוקר.

ומה הייתי צריך לעשות? היה חלון במשחק, שבגלל המאפיין החדש שאנחנו רוצים להוסיף, דורש שכתוב כמעט מוחלט של הזרימה שלו. אז התיישבתי והתחלתי לכתוב. וזה היה הרבה שכתוב, הרבה עריכה, הרבה כתיבה של דברים חדשים ואני צריך לסיים את הכל לפני שאני יכול להריץ משהו או לבדוק משהו בגלל שזה שובר את ההידור. אז במשך שעות, אני יושב וכותב. רק אני וה-Visual Studio. לא היו הפרעות, לא הייתי צריך להתעסק עם דבר אחר.

היה כיף ממש.

Leave A Comment, Written on January 27th, 2016 , Life, Programming, Thinking Out Loud

מה קורה? מה שלומכם? אני סבבה. יופי. אז מה הולך עם החיים שלי…

מעין התחילה עבודה חדשה. חלק מהחבר’ה שהיא מכירה מהחברה הקודמת. חלק חדשים. משרדים יפים בבית רובינשטיין ובינתיים היא מאוד אוהבת את המקום. אני מקווה לטוב.

ב”7 יסודות” אנחנו ממש לפני גרסה חשובה ולכן עובדים קצת עד מאוחר. לפי מה שמוסרים לי מההנהלה, המספרים שלנו טובים. המשחק מתפקד סבבה ויש הרבה שחקנים. אנחנו כרגע מתפקדים קצת מעל מה שמצפים שזה נהדר. אבל זה קצת מפחיד אותי שהולכים לדרוש מאיתנו יותר, משהו אולי לא כל כך מציאותי שלא נוכל לספק. אבל לדאוג לזה לא יעזור לי. אז ממשיכים.

ה-Global Game Jam 2016 הוא עוד שבוע וחצי. התכנון שלי הוא לבנות סוג של סיפור אינטראקטיבי ב-Twine, מין 80 Days רק עם גודל שיותר מתאים ל-Game Jam. כי Twine מאפשר לכתוב סיפורים אינטראקטיביים אבל יש לנו גם הרבה טווח לעשות דברים מתוחכמים יותר. אפשר באמת לתכנת בו, הוא תומך ב-JavaScript ו-CSS ואני חושב בעיקר על פונקציות האקראיות שלו ואיך אני יכול להשתמש בהן כדי לזרוק על השחקן אירועים שונים בכל פעם. פירסמו כבר את ה-diversifiers ואני חושב כבר שאני יכול לקלוע לכמה מהם. את העיקר של המשחק אני אבנה סביב הנושא אבל זה אני כבר יודע שאני רוצה לעשות. אני מחליט את כל זה מראש כי אני רוצה הפעם לעשות משהו משלי, משהו שאני אעבוד עליו בלבד (אולי אם קצת עזרה חזותית או קולית אם אצטרך) כדי לראות מה אני מסוגל לעשות רק בעצמי וגם כמה אני מסוגל למתוח את השימושיות של Twine. נתראה ב-Wix, מי שמגיע.

Leave A Comment, Written on January 20th, 2016 , Gaming, Geekdom, IT, Life, Maayan, Practice, Thinking Out Loud, Work

In about the same way smiling is linked to happy feelings. That is, the connection is bi-directional. This is the results of a recent study.

They found out that there is also a connection between liking and enjoying the sound of your voice and being in tune with your emotions. Which might explain a thing or two as I really don’t like the sound of my own voice.

Leave A Comment, Written on January 13th, 2016 , Humanity, Less Interesting News, Me, Thinking Out Loud

Currently, I follow ‘Rollplay – Mirrorshades‘, ‘Rollplay – Swan Song‘ and ‘Critical Role‘, I watch the Acquisitions Inc. PAX games every year, I tried ‘Turn Order – Edge Runners‘ but didn’t quite like it, I, of course, watch the RPGs on TableTop when they happen and I just finished watching ‘Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana‘.

Why? Well, it’s fun. That’s the first thing. Secondly, I think there is a benefit to roleplayers from watching others play. Whether it is to get a different perspective, see what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong and probably change your style accordingly, especially if you enjoy what you see.

I started watching Mirrorshades because it’s Shadowrun and I love Shadowrun. Even if it’s first edition (which is weird) and I stayed because the players are very engaged, the GM is incredible, in preparation and performance, and it’s touching at times, has good action and mostly just funny and fun.

I stopped watching Edge Runners because that was almost the complete opposite. The GM was new and inexperienced. While I might fault the language use of the Mirrorshades crew, they know what they want and what they mean. They don’t fumble. That was not the case here. The players seem not that engaged and not that interesting and everyone seemed like they were trying too hard. And the story itself didn’t hook me.

Watching Critical Role is like watching the X-Games. The cast is all engaged with the story, they care about what happens. And even with eight players, everyone cares that everyone shines. And on top of that, being professional voice actors who love roleplaying games, they do special voices for their characters. And then, there’s the GM, also a voice actor, gives every NPC a style of their own and makes the story come alive, when doing routine investigation, dungeon crawling or clobbering monsters.

Acquisitions Inc. is composed of three web comics creators and usually one more writer. It’s managed by the current editor of the D&D line. And it’s a PAX show in and of itself. So, it’s high quality, high action and extremely funny. Truly, an experience not to miss.

Why should you watch Roleplaying Shows? You probably shouldn’t. Each episode, usually coming every week or two, is between three and five hours in length. And most of these shows, especially the good ones, already have a good track of episodes. So, catching up will take time. So, these are a serious drain on resources.

But if you’re interested in roleplaying, if you want to improve yourself or just enjoy watching the antics of good roleplayers have fun, then I consider it a good use of my time.

Leave A Comment, Written on January 6th, 2016 , Gaming, Life, Practice, Role-Playing, Thinking Out Loud

After some time taken to rest and resupply, Throutek crashes down on the bed in their new accommodations. The Deep Dark is a very nice ship but they really need to scrub out any markings if not completely repaint her or they’ll be on the Empire’s radar in no time flat. He still had his commpad and access to his holonet account and encrypted files so the log was still intact.

Jax went to get himself fixed and, apparently, ran an exclusive interview with the local technician. In the morning, the wake up call was the sound of drums. Went out to see the captain. Apparently, the Eyahr guys took down a sentry droid, took his weapon and escaped back to their ship. Harsol organized a party to go after them and requested we go back to our tent. Asked him about grandfather but he just got more upset. He went off. We went to the lab tent. Met a techie – Tekbah – that is responsible for all the Nexu teeth augmentations. He felt really proud until we told him the wild cats tried to eat us several times. We saw that he also monitored them and there are several of them roaming the jungle. Discussed whether we should just cut our losses and get out of here, tell Rohm what we found and that there are no valuables. Suddenly, everything went quiet and dark. We went to check it out and found two Rodians messing with the generator. Killed one and stunned the other. People started showing up. Jax explained what happened. Tekbah was there and agreed we should send the Rodian to Harsol. Also suggested we should go to Cratala to get checked up while they tried to reactivate the generator. Generator wasn’t that easy to fix but the medical droid patched me up well enough. Went to the main tent as we heard that the hunting party came back with a Trandoshan. Came there, hid behind Naritt, while Harsol beat up the Trandoshan and Naritt treated him like he was a wayward child. She managed to talk him down and so he gave us the captured Trandoshans and Rodians and told us to leave immediately.

Since talking to the captain is a bust, we decided to try our luck with the captured Eyahr representatives. He let on that they are here for the tech and the riches and an attack is coming from the escaped Eyahr. Trip wants to use them to escape but I decided to tell someone. Going outside, we noticed a ship fly by and it dropped Arak Probe Droids from the skies. As we scampered outside we saw everyone flaring up in a panic. Harsol stepped out of his tent brandishing a weapon at us, blaming us for what is happening. He was in the middle of a full mental breakdown. Some other soldiers seemed to be wielding more sense. We decided to split up to get things moving. I went to Feno to ask for some ride back to our ship. She couldn’t help and I couldn’t help fix the vehicle they were working on. Went with Feno and helped them fix one droid by using another one for parts. Got an old blaster rifle for my troubles. Went outside again and looked for the crew again. Found them at the eastern gate. Jax went to Cratla and got the research data in the form of two big servers and got shot by the captain for it. Decided to join the ambush set up on the river. We saw what they set up and changed our minds to go hunt the droids and be more active.

I ended up setting up on the perimeter wall while Trip and Jax went hunting for droids. They climbed a tree and noticed movement in the woods. Apparently, what ever was out there saw them as Jax was immediately hit by a blaster shot. The enemy droid closed the distance quickly but Jax and Trip managed to shut it down with out many shots. Then we heard Naritt over the comms. She mumbled some apology and then the Badger started ascending into the stratosphere. I stood agape for a little while. I still owed money on that ship. This made things quite a bit more complicated. Shortly there after, we heard hover bikes approaching. Four imps came out of the trees and split into two teams. One headed for us and the other headed for the Retreat. A short exchange disabled the imps but Trip was hit badly. Jax took one of the bikes and rode Trip back to the village. They managed to intercept several imp occupied bikes and one’s comm systems managed to be salvaged and they used it to determine the imp ship’s location. Getting back to Cratala, we got Trip some medical care and realised that the Eyahr were planning some orbital bombardment. So the only way out now is taking the imperial ship and getting off the rock. Trip and Jax got the job of hitting the imperial ship first and the rest will join. They ride to the ship and see the cargo ramp is open. So they decide to ride the bike all the way inside. A small firefight ensued with the last bike rider and an imperial agent. I finally joined with Cratala and 11 more refugees from the Retreat. 10 remained behind, waiting for the second round. As we escaped the gravity well, we saw the Eyahr ship and confronted it. We snuck up behind them and tried a warning shot. That didn’t go well as they just wired back. Jax took the dorsal turret while Trip took the ventral. Jax tried to disable their shields but only hit some orbital debris. Trip saw one of the debris was an bomber’s leftover fuel tank and shot it. After another exchange of fire, we managed to disable the Eyahr ship enough to force them to eject. Considering the place safe, we set course to Raxus Prime, where we were supposed to meet Reom. Later we found out that the jump was so masterful that we jumped over an imperial intercept. When we landed in the junk heap, we were greeted by an Isotech representative by the name of Norta. He covered the ship so it won’t stand out and told us that Reom would arrive in a few days. He didn’t like the fact we brought refugees but he did know of Cratala and welcomed her arrival, hoping she will like their cybernetic facilities. We used the next few days to rest and resupply.

Throutek tossed the commpad aside. It landed on the carpeted floor with a soft *thump*. He crossed his fingers behind his head and stared at the ceiling. They were very nice quarters. Too good. Obviously, they won’t be able to enjoy them for long. He closed his eyes and got some much needed rest.

Leave A Comment, Written on January 4th, 2016 , Gaming, Role-Playing

Shadwen (Which I will not attempt to pronounce) is the new IP from Frozenbyte, the guys behind the Trine trilogy. Now, I know Trine 3 was a bit of a flop but the ideas behind it were great and I really enjoyed the first two. This time, they seem to be focusing on pure stealth. I love stealth games. But stealth games are not easy to do. So, I really hope they get it right. Coming in 2016.

 

Leave A Comment, Written on December 26th, 2015 , Gaming, Less Interesting News

So… What’s up with me?

Well, obviously, I’ve been busy. So busy that I was working 10-12 hour days and was so tired coming home that I barely had the strength to do the things I wanted, let alone the things I needed to do.

But we’re officially world wide now. The game is open on all territories. Which means, sans marketing, our server load doubled and tripled. Which means, bugs came out that are only relevant under heavy load. Also, the stress is on, we are officially competing now. And we haven’t even rolled out our more competitive features. So, before any of the big ones notice us and pull out the big guns, we have to roll out our secret weapons.

This means, everyone onboard, working as hard as they can, to deliver those feature ASAP. And after those days, I’m tired. Even writing this, the weekend after an iteration is finished. I can barely muster enough brain power to write more than 200 words.

On top of this, the 2016 Global Game Jam is almost upon us and this time, I want to try to write something all on my own. So, I’ve been catching up on Twine knowledge as much as I can. And I’ve been roped into a Secret Santa game which I am so very bad it. I’m also still trying to work on my personal projects; I’m running two games in the Pundak forums, one of them is already using THF, and I’m trying to set up a small Roll20 session using THF. And I’m planning a little new year’s celebration of my own.

So, that’s it for now. Hopefully, The Less Interesting Times will return at least one more time before this year is out. Maybe I’ll have something to say after I watch The Force Awakens.

Leave A Comment, Written on December 19th, 2015 , Gaming, Geekdom, Life, Me, Role-Playing, Thinking Out Loud, Work

Here’s another interesting article I came upon called Progression is the New Victory. It talks about how games are not really completed anymore and about how a game could be never ending and boring or never ending and fun, mostly dependent on the progression system.

And it got me thinking: I played some mobile games that are supposed to be never ending, or at least very long, and they couldn’t hold my attention for very long and here comes Star Wars: Uprising and I’m hooked. And, apparently, it’s not just because it’s a Star Wars game. They do progression well. Especially since the latest patch.

First of all, the missions might be repetitive but they are not sufficiently difficult that I am currently stuck on two that are too difficult for me.

So what do I do in the meantime? My second point, you can always do something. Even if I run one of the standard missions, I get a sizable reward out of it whether it be money or upgrade materials or equipment I can trade for money or salvage for upgrade materials. And while progression might be a bit slow, it doesn’t feel like much of a grind because I’m getting something appropriate to my position in the game. It’s not skinning 10 wolves for 100 gold pieces.

Thirdly, the crew. You amass crew throughout the game which you can send on independent missions. They gather money, materials, gear, faction support or other crew members and, if you want, you can just check in every day or every few hours and make sure they are busy. Busy getting you stuff and improving your situation. So, if I’m stuck, like I am now, I just do this for a few days and I’ve got better stuff to work with so I can progress further.

Fourthly, the Sector Battles offer great rewards, even just for participating. They happen every few days and twist the regular gameplay mechanics. Missions and crew runs can now contribute to your side of the battle. The more you play, the more you contribute, the better your position in the battle is and the better the rebels do against the empire. The better the outcome, the more you contribute, the greater the reward. But even if you put in the minimum – send your crew on runs, do a couple of missions – you still get something significant.

And, with the latest patch, they added Tier II equipment and materials which are much better than Tier I and take the game to another level.

So, this game makes me think that a game can, basically, have very standard gameplay and even repetitive content and mechanics; but if the progression is fine tuned, it could be great.

Leave A Comment, Written on November 29th, 2015 , Gaming, Practice, Thinking Out Loud

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