Thursday, 19 November 2015

The Lost Childrens Place

It was a relief to get all the work done for our little group's final design project, the design for the Lost Children's Place - a park of healing and well-being for the adult survivors of child abuse. Here is the video that walks through the project from start to finish. This is our grad project which is part of the Masters of Design here at UNWS Art & Design, though I am taking the course to complete my Masters of Digital Media.

The project got such a good response from people who identified with or empathised with the scale and seriousness of the issue and the design we crafted as a response. Taking the notion of 'designing for change' with a suite of research and inspiration we have a scheme that would deliver an uplifting experiential park in Sydney's Domain.

You can see these images in the video as well, but I thought it would be nice to see a few of them again as they were quite fun to create. They were all done on the SurfacePro3 using Photoshop with just some quick sketching, simple inking and washy colouring.

More to come on the other components and the Exhibition as well.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

New 13th Age Game Character

Our group's next tabletop RPG foray will be into the default 13th Age setting including the perils of the living dungeon in The Eyes of the Stone Thief. The party is shaping up to include Justinian the righteous Paladin, Beast a 'failed' experiment between the Archmage and the High Druid (perma beast form druid), a monk and a dwarf-forged 'sorcerer'.

To this mix I am bringing: Impregnate Leaph, Petalate Seal Maiden for the Order of the Wild Rose. She is 6 months pregnant with the child of the High Druid (male in our world) and is off on a pilgrimage that will doubtless lead into the heart of the Stone Thief. Leaph is talented in the ways of healing magic, but her power is really escalating as her child grows. As a level 4 Cleric she is bringing a whole suite of healing and protection for herself and the group. Lots of hooks and unknowns in Leaph's past and future - should be fun. Never played or seen a pregnant character before, so should be entertaining as she has her cravings and endeavours to protect her tummy during the fight sequences.

Here is the current pic for Leaph, done as pencil on paper with a bit of quick photoshop colouring added underneath.

Monday, 16 November 2015

PAX AU x 2

Well, it is a truly sad state of affairs when it appears I am writing a single blog post to cover two years of PAX here in Australia. Setting that hopelessness to one side, lets lift the mood - because PAX is wondrous. While I wasnt at the first one here in Oz, the 2014 and recent 2015 shows were simply overflowing with gaming panels, culture, shopping, playing (tabletop and digital), showfloor exhibitions, cosplay, experiences and more.

Seeing the giant halls and theatres filled with people is pretty amazing and the atmosphere of so many fans of gaming in general is superb. There is just so much to see and do that I linked up and split up with friends throughout each day as our preferences tugged us into different events or panels or zones. Here are a few of the things/places that I got the most from:

RPG Panels

I think the very best panel thus far was the RPG+ panel where the dicestormer gang played a short game (Pathfinderish) with heavy audience involvement. The party each had clothes and traits from the crowd as well as facing trials and dangers spewed forth from the theatre. There was much merriment to be had and much learning of RPG goodness.
Related GMing panels were great as well, hearing stories and ideas from a variety of tabletop RPG styles and GMs.


Seeing so so many tables filled with people playing/trying tabletop and card games of all kinds is pretty amazing. I tried my hand at all manner of things from Dead of Winter to Roll for the Galaxy and many in between.
Penny Arcade's Gabe brought some early play of Thornwatch last year which was great to see at the panel and out in the playtest area. An interesting blend of RPG with a GM as well as deckbuilding.

LoL (champs plus art)

The League of Legends world championships coincided with PAX this year, but last year they were huge, loud and overflowing from their area the whole time. In 2014 it was the OCE Championships and Phreak and co were here to commentate and it was superb to see the atmosphere live and get loot.
They also had an artist there the whole time creating a pretty neat Aussie themed image:

RPG Play and Painting

I have tried out quick intro games for both D&D 5E and Pathfinder. The simplified format for both didnt show off any cool mechanics of the systems at all which was disappointing. In fact I am not sure anything mechanically cool happened in the games - though as players we embellished and I enjoyed both games. My little Kineticist in the Pathfinder game didnt do anything with her offensive spells in the whole game - spending turns moving, preparing or just missing. But I had great fun casting light on my toy Owlbear and using fire to help weld shut a floor grate.
Taking a break from all the action and games, I liked taking time to paint a free mini along with tables and tables of other people. Here is my 2014 magey character with the tables from this year:

All the other stuff

I have really enjoyed other panels on writing, design and getting behind the scenes of some of these amazing games. The Cosplay looks incredible and adds a real life to the event (I feel extra guilty for not trying). Getting to try out games, esp the indie ones is great fun as is just hanging, eating and chatting with fun folk for 3 days. Here are friends Evren and Segah doing their part!:


Since PAX is in Melbourne, that means I also got to see the city for the first time. I liked how easy it was to walk around to everything and even though I was working on my masters project this year in spare moments - both times I liked exploring the place and found some cool architecture along the way. Here are a few photos from my phone showing off the place (incl some Pyrite from the museum which looks insane):

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Tremulus Conclusion

Our epic conclusion session in our Tremulus (mod of Apocalypse World) game was last week and there was much drama and doom to be had by all. I wish I (or someone) had the energy to write up each session in some way as the stories that unfolded are quite amazing.

Short campaigns of Lovecraftian inspired investigation of doom are fraught with perils for the characters both physically, psychologically and emotionally in our case. We would often discuss the relative chances of the various characters surviving the ordeal as the risks slowly escalated. With the 'other world' getting closer, the vengeful living oil, and the war between the magical secret societies - there was no place to hide.
This story all went down in Grangemouth, Scotland in 1920 where William Withers (my character) came as an army veteran where he lost his arm in a mysterious incident in the jungles of Malaysia that wiped out his unit. The final session saw him 'riding' the hunter beast from the other world - well more half impaled as it raced back to its obelisk. This is where the titanic battle was raging all around the rest of the characters, Will was certainly showing up, using his battle prowess to ram the beast into the stone taking him out along with the main magical threat.
What followed was a rather gruesome ritual which ended with his name being written on the obelisk and him transforming into the new hunter before the two worlds parted. So he ended the game living out his new role as the other worlds hunter, leaving the other characters dead, traumatised or taking on a new life in the normal world.
I would have liked to have a few more conversations in-game with my character's brother, but he did have a pretty eventful time. Another super game that was chock full of dramatic, doomish, twisted, horrific and uplifting moments.

Here are some sketches I did (on paper) while playing mostly of William Withers himself. The main sketch was near the end as he carried the bloody and unconscious body of another PC to the hospital only to be attacked by the hunter drawn by the blood. Good thing he could fight it with the ancient arrow and his mystical arm.