Thursday, 11 February 2010

57 channels

The announcement of GoogleBuzz (and it's current privacy flaw) got me thinking about how many methods of connection to other people we have.  Facebook, Twitter, GoogleWave, blogs, forums, newsgroups, journals, instant messenger, chat, SMS, even e-mail.  Add geodata (Foursquare), video telephony (Skype, GoogleChat) and you get a bewildering array of toys.

From a gaming perspective, these can provide multiple platforms to deliver games or stories on.  We can tailor our games to physical and virtual locations, overlaying them onto either so that people may discover what we have wrought. The proliferation of rules and tools now means you now have to focus on telling the story you want to tell in the way you want to tell it.

Once you beat the initial learning curve, your life is made easier.  Setting up a 4E game with MasterPlan is simplicity.  If you prefer Pathfinder, use the d20PFSRD and have at it.  Obsidian Portal gives you campaign wiki support for this and a whole lot of other games.  Heck if you can't find a local gaming group, keep in touch with RPTools, a preferred instant messenger/internet telephony client and a decent Internet connection.

Here's a thought for game designers - does your game need tools to make it easier to play and generate content for?  Even if you don't fancy the idea of being bound to a base rules set, system agnostic services exist in profusion - all it takes is someone to aggregate them so that you get an experience that engages with your audience.  Finding the right combination may take some planning yet the benefits are worth it. Be it's a design methodology, template or actual program, creating a good toolset gives you the opportunity to promote your game and get people playing it.

(with thanks to Christy Dena and Jeff Watson for getting me thinking, Chaos Grenade for the MasterPlan upgrade tip and Allen Varney for the warning about GoogleBuzz),

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