Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pierre Speaks: Let there be DRAGONS

I have been many things in my lifetime... a hockey player... a soldier... heck even Superman. ;)

One of the coolest thing I have been though is.......

...a Dragon.

I can say that I have been a gamer most of my life. First with those fighting fantasy novels where you had various options at the end of each paragraph making YOU decide what would happen as you read the book. You also needed some dice (although some books had alternatives to dice) to decide on the outcome of certain encounters in the book.

Then I went to play D&D (Dungeon & Dragons). Although I tried many different RPG (Role-Playing Games) like Vampire; the Masquerade, Champions, Chtullu and various others that I fail to mention. D&D was always the one I prefered to play... that is... until I discovered LRPGs (Live Role-Playing Games).

Then my friend Bert and I spent 2 years putting together what we would need for our own LRPG which lasted about 5 years. Ahhhh..... the memories.

On top of putting together the various rules for such a game to work, we also had to make a truckload of foam weapons, and we had to make over 120 costumes for the players, and costumes for the various NPCs (Non Player Characters) and monsters needed for the game.

But in order to do that.... we had to learn to use a sewing machine.

That is the advantage of being "self-taught"... you can pretty much learn anything by yourself if you need to. ;)

In addition to making scores of costumes and weapons, we built various structures where the players would sleep, and other structures for the game itself like our tower of sorcery, our temple, our thieve's guild, our dragon cave.... and our HQ for our various NPCs and monsters.

Ahhhh the foolishness of youth.

If we can say one thing about us at the time.... it's that we were wayyyyy too ambitious for our own good. Doing all that work was.... well just that... a lot of work.

In our plans we also wanted to build a second tower of sorcery, another temple, and our most ambitious structure of all... a labirynth (that is what happens when you read the Death Gate cycle series and try to turn it into reality ;) ).

We pretty much learned how to organise such event as a LRPG through trial and errors. Although we made more then our share of errors, we also did some good stuff that, as far as I know, no one was able to match to this day.

So maybe we were too hard on ourselves. I guess at the time we were so focused on what we had not been able to do, that we lost sight of all that we had accomplished.

In retrospect... with what we have learned from our mistakes, and what we have learned since... we probably could make an even more awesome LRPG then ever before...

... but I much prefer to take that time and make some awesome Flashback Universe comics instead. ;)

Going back to playing D&D after our LRPG days was... not easy. It took some getting used to.

But then D&D was pretty much replaced by Magic; the Gathering. Way too much time was spent playing Magic and putting together various decks.

But then Magic was in turn replaced by CRPGs (Computer Role-Playing Games). Espescially Baldur's Gate (BG) 1 & 2, and Icewind Dale (IWD) 1 and 2. I spent more time then any sane man ever should playing and replaying those games over and over again. Although that is pretty much what made me learn how to use a computer.

Sadly, that pretty much was the end of my gaming days. Later games like Neverwinter Nights (NWN), Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO), and even Magic; the Gathering Online (MtGO) failed to keep me gaming. :(

Maybe I just did not try the right game to keep on gaming??

Maybe I should try City of Heroes?? ;)

- Pierre


Jovial1 said...

Actually, Pierre, I'd hang on for a bit. The studio that made City of Heroes is creating their next-generation superhero MMO based on the Champions license. (Google Champions Online to find their page.) It'll launch on the PC and Xbox 360.

I've also been a gamer for most of my life in various media. I had a five year stretch of Everquest, probably playing nearly 40 hours per week at times. (My girlfriend threatened on more than one occasion to change my password, and refuse to let me play.)

Retroactive Continuity blog said...

Wow... does that post ever bring back memories. I haven't thought of most of those games in years and years.

I too had aspirations of creating the greatest live role playing game ever. Certainly though, I never game close to what you put together. Plus, looking back, I was probably 5-10 years too young to really appreciate the concept.

But I was definitely the right age when Magic: The Gathering came along. We played that every day in calculus. Man, I'm going to have to dig up my rats and direct damage deck now...

Pierre Villeneuve said...

Jovial1; That Champion game looks kind of cool.


How will it be different from City of Heroes?? I guess the question really is.... why play Champions when there already is City of Heroes??

Cody; Plague Rats RULE!! ;)

Jovial1 said...

Regarding City of Heroes vs. Champions:

You've got the same developer on both games. The basic reason I expect Champions Online to be great, is that they see where they fell short with City of Heroes, and will design a game that should correct those issues from the get-go. (Of course, the game will doubtless have issues of it's own, that's the whole point of iteration, but it's still growth.)

Secondly, they've got the strength of the Champions pen & paper license... in which you really can build the character you want. City of Heroes limits things a bit to certain archetypes. A 'tank' character (big, buff character who absorbs damage) generally lacks ranged attacks, because those are the domain of another archetype. You can't mix and match powers across different archetypes in CoH.

It sounds like the gameplay in Champions is going to be a little more action-based.

I'm really psyched for it... but I don't want to be TOO down on City of Heroes. It was a bold move to produce a superhero-themed MMO. And while I haven't heard a peep on it in forever, there's supposedly still a DC Universe based MMO in the works over at Sony. I think.


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