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Bear redux, from a propmaster's point of view: I was afraid that the… - bearinwinter [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Feb. 2nd, 2004|12:31 pm]


Bear redux, from a propmaster's point of view:

I was afraid that the smaller rooms would be too dark, or that we didn't have enough things to make the right atmosphere (each room except the control room only had a very small box of stuff), but it came out much better than anticipated. It was a lot of work, and a lot of cash for the hundreds of yards of fabric involved, but at least now we have those things and don't have to buy them again.

Personally, I prefer games to be as immersive as possible. (Michael made some joke last night about me being Donitz: an Immersion Nazi.) This means that I tried to force Michael to have as little out-of-game paper as possible. Of course, it seems that this ended up meaning having as much in-game paper as possible, but that's another story. Also, almost every larp I've been in has had the big-ol-binder, which I always felt like I was hiding behind. This was the birth of the period leather wallets, which I've heard mixed reviews about. I thought that it would be nice to have a container for all the papers that was relatively inobtrusive when not being used. I'm open to other suggestions for the future, although probably the biggest fix is to not have so much paper.

On the paper front, I had a blast making all the documents, and although there were a lot of them, I hope people were entertained. The labbooks and blueprints especially, although it can be rather hard finding an appropriate image for "coelonaut equipage" on google image search. I particularly liked the Obregon Support Belt and the Dephlogistonation equipment. Michael brewed up the tech game and handed it over to me for implementation--at first I didn't understand what was going on, but as I started making the labbooks, I realized what a nifty system it was--many people had sequential projects, and were given surplusses and scarcities.

The financial system was also nifty--I like the fact that, like in real life, nothing had an absolute value in game. The values were fuzzy depending on how much you paid for something and how much someone else was willing to pay. The assessors all varied by a bit, so you could get a general idea of the worth of an object.

I wish that I had been at check-in to help distribute and explain the moveables and sparkly props--there was a lot of confusion about certain things, or information that didn't get conveyed. A thing to be remembered in the future.

Overall, I'd like to hear people's impressions of what they liked, or what they think could be improved for the hypothetical next time. I forgot to save some of the discarded paper to see how people managed their record-keeping. My goal is to provide things that facilitate roleplaying and don't require people to break character to deal with mechanics.

From: (Anonymous)
2004-02-02 10:19 pm (UTC)

Bulgaria's thoughts

I really loved the wallets. My paper-management problems came more from what was clipped to what and how many different-sized pieces of paper I had. Essentially blank, character-nonspecific paper (blank checks, maybe the talley sheet) could have been kept in the writing room to start with maybe. The little scraps of paper to insert into the hearts were a little difficult to manage, too. So my suggestions for next time would be: same sized paper, no blank paper to start, and 11x17 sheets folder as, well, folders to separate financial, political, game background, etc., packets within the wallet.

The technology papers (which I didn't get to examine until after the larp) were absolutely beautiful. The maps, deeds, and letters of credit were also wonderful.

I'd love it if you choose to put electronic versions of the various papers online so we can see the whole setup, but that may not be appropriate.

The rest of the props were deliciously over-the-top for a larp.

I'm surprised no one has singled out the "prototypes" for comments. *That* is what impressed me the second most (the set in general, combined with the NPC costumes, impressed me the most). I didn't get to see any in play (other than the personality-switching device, which *everyone* saw) and only on Sunday did I examine any in detail. Quite wonderful.

- Seth.
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[User Picture]From: jendaviswilson
2004-02-02 10:58 pm (UTC)

Re: Bulgaria's thoughts

Very good ideas! The packets were assembled pretty hastily, so in the future I'll remember to paperclip everything. Also, you are correct about the blank papers--there is no reason that those needed to be in the packets. I'll keep all that in mind for next time.

And thanks about the prototypes! They were fun to make. I was particularly proud that the three large ones all had functioning mechanisms of some kind: the brain-switcher had a turning valve handle (issues with the handles aside), the wireless transmitter had a crank and a wind-up wiggly thing, and the impulse translator was actually the guts of a working wind-up alarm clock.
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