Metatopia Recap

I wrote most of this while on the plane coming back from Metatopia while things were fresh.

The convention was amazing. I got to meet some great people in the industry, and I got to try some really cool upcoming games.

I played Will Hindmarch’s “Odyssey” which is really good, and available now on IndieGoGo. I’m backing it as soon as I get home. It’s a GM less story game about people on a journey. It plays in 3-4 hours and is a whole lot of fun. It’s my first experience with story games, and it sold me on the concept.

I played quite a bit of “Pairs” from Cheapass Games, which will be on Kickstarter in the coming months. I spent about 2 hours sitting in the bar playing this with a group of industry heavy weights. It was kind of the connective tissue of the bar socializing at several points. I’ll back this one as soon as they launch the project. It'll be a good one to play with my non-gamer friends.

I tried Storium by Protagonist Labs. It's an online platform for story games. It has things similar to play by post games, but there are significant differences. The games are more tied to the narrative, and characters don’t have stats, or any sort of randomization mechanic. Instead they have a Karma mechanic where if you let something bad happen to your character you can earn Karma Points that you can then later spend to have good things happen.  It’s in beta testing right now. If you’re interested in playing story games online, then I highly recommend it. 

I was able to test two of my own projects this weekend at Metatopia. The first was my SALT (Steve’s Awesome LARP Tool) project. I ended up changing all of those play test sessions into focus groups instead. I learned quite a bit about what is needed from a phone based LARP tool. I’m ready now to start putting some more time into coding something that can be used in a game along with traditional players. I’m going to be targeting the Mind’s Eye Theater system (assuming I’m able to with licensing) because it’s the biggest system on the block. I still need to go through the notes I wrote. Everyone involved was excited about what they saw in what I have done so far. The Avatar system that I’ll eventually be working with on this is in the midst of a re-write, so I need to wait until they finish before I work with that.

The other project I brought was my card game that I’m going to be turning into an app (currently unnamed). I was able to get it in front of some big names in the industry, and everyone seemed to think that it was really solid. It can of course use some more tweaking, but that can be done after it’s in app format. Everyone thought that the meta part of the game was really cool, and that I absolutely need to move forward with it. I was also given lots of great ideas for it. Because of this weekend, this project is going to be my primary focus for a while.

Everyone I met this weekend was really great, and I really have to give props to Vinny Salzillo and his crew. They put on a good convention. They really go out of their way to be as accommodating and inclusive as they can. If you find yourself with the opportunity to go to any of the Double Exposure events, do it! At the minimum, I’ll be going back for Metatopia next year.

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