Anatomy of Turing - someone else actually played it! Yay!

 So. I did this game called Anatomia Turinga (which translates to Anatomy of Turing). It's a story game, very Norwegian (I think), inspired greatly by two great (Norwegian) games - In a belly of the whale and Archipelago. It's a story game with some minimalistic mechanics. I've run it couple of times. And than this happened: 

Turing’s Anatomy: Et polsk friformish rollespill (GM-løst) som handlet om slektninger og venner av Alan Turing som er samlet etter hans død. Alle har en grunnleggende intensjon om å senke Turings status (han var gal, homofil, brukte tid på feil ting osv) for å … vise hvordan genier ikke blir anerkjent i sin samtid? Fungerte bra, med en svært enkel metode som blant annet gjorde bruk av tekopper.
Ole Peder on

Yay! And it all happened thanks to Karina 'Inka' Graj, who is in Oslo now, on some stupid scholarship. And she met all those Norwegian people playing all their Norwegian games on Norwegian convention organised by Matthijs Holter in his own home. And she ran them my game! Yay! 

Kudos and <3 <3 <3 to Ina :-*



So. I got an email from my Alma Mater (it's Latin). The very Dean (she's a fine lady, a great person and a splendid scholar) wants me to finish my Master's. And she grants me some sort of God Mode on the university - there is this silly thing called programme differences. And I've left my beloved faculty like three years ago. Meanwhile they've managed to get change the schedule from five year long MA studies to three two (BA MA), than change it to three year long BA with an option for MA.  

Given this, I would be pretty deep in fecal matter - I wouldn't like to test my powers against the literature of the Antique, diachronic grammar and all this pedagogical bullscheise. But no! The Lady herself makes me immune! Yay! It's a sign.

I am writing a thesis titled Aesthetics of Sublime in Moder Comics. It's structured like this: a chapter on comics and it's origin, brief history and so called "comicsology". Than, a chapter about philosophy of aesthetics, especially on sublime - why, where, who, when and what for (Pseudo-Longinos, Burke, Schiller, Kant, Lyotard, Adorno). Than, composition of my analytical tools - using the materials from the previous chapters. And the rest would be an analysis of like ten (very) different comic books printed in Poland, with an option of proving, there is a sublime in comic books, there is a need for it and there is a synergy going on. Or not.

I'll use Wilq, Szninkiel, Bilial's Nikopol Trilogy, Peace on Earth and Kingdom Come, Sheena, Preacher, Maus, Watchmen, Stan, Cierń w koronie, and the Wrzesień anthology. This is a huge spectrum of comic books, with the oldest work being from 1980. Fresh things, new approach (I've never ever seen a book on sublime in comics). And now I wonder - is there any chance someone would like to buy such a book in English?



15 games in 15 minutes


It happened in Poland like two weeks ago - the Facebook thingy for 15 games.

The rules are simple: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen video games you've played that will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.  

But I am different. Old, you know. And stuff. So I did it here, after like two weeks of idea being kept somewhere in my head. So - here are my 15 games, folks: 
  1. Montezuma's Revenge - an old C-64 game that rocked my world (my first computer back in 1987),
  2. Warhammer Fantasy Role Play - first pen and paper RPG ever. I've read it in German (altought I've never spoken German...)
  3. Wolsung - hey, it's my child, I've put so much heart into this one...
  4. Talisman - the old boardgame, played the Polish pirate version of it, called Magia i Miecz,
  5. Doom Trooper - my first card game ever, it killed me with the brilliant world of Mutant's Chronicles,
  6. The Call of Cthulhu - paranormal horror fiction in the times of bootleggers and jazz...
  7. Vampire: the Masquerade - it's a sin, a brain damage, but I loved it back then - and I'm proud of it, 
  8. Fallout 2 - the best cRPG I've ever played. 
  9. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - I've spent 4 months in there... literally inside the world, 
  10. MU Online - Korean MMORPG - I've met the most important person ov my life playing the game, 
  11. Kryształy Czasu - two things I've learnt with this one - how to run games and how not to write games, 
  12. Prime Time Adventures - my very first indie RPG, it rocked my world, really, 
  13. Blood and Honor - game by mr. Wick - it's an ideal game - includes all the tools I need to run exactly the things I want to,   
  14. Apocalypse World and Lady Blackbird - one day I woke up with an idea in my mind - we should burn all other games, cause everything could be played as a hack both to AW or LB...  
  15. empty - I am still looking for the Ultimate Game (and I hope there isn't any).

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Ideas for Pseudocontest 17, attempt #2

Most of the guys taking part in the contest already said some things about their games. One thing is common - the medieval feeling, some sort of a Dark Ages ghost, above all the projects. Blame the ingredients - atavism, rats and gothic are quite dirty, backward-oriented and pesto-gloomy. So, what the guys declared: 

Jagmin: survival-horror sandbox about not very brave rat-catchers
Omlet: great cathedral is the last relic of a human race. Last sentient beings on Earth are rats, 
Magnes: rats are ruling the world, but due to atavisms they became human (again?), 
Skryba: rats running around in Chartres cathedral, gathering stories from the past, avoiding Rat-catcher, 
Szabel: myth-heavy post-apo about sentient rats as a last resort for dying humans, 

I need to make my game different. Knowing Skryba and Jagmin, they will score both on the layout and content. I will completely miss the concept of Magnes' game, Omlet will forget to write his piece and Szabel will do the good work, but still without the visible (for me) 'it factor'. Those are the predictions, if I want to be a star of the show, I need to deviate as much, as it is possible (and still, preserve the clarity). 

One of my agendas is to make this game quite rule-driven. I got slightly more time than for the previous editions, so no easy way out with story game this time, I hope. So, I'll try to make clear yet complex ruleset for one of the two ideas I got.

- A gothic castle is being sieged by the army of rats. Their purpose is unknown, the only thing we know is there is no stop to the rat's army. Players are the inhabitants of the castle, now forced to do one thing - defend it. Every action of the character generates a pool of points for the GM. In GM turn he buys the rats with the budget and sends them to conquer. So - moves are generating budget. There is a detailed map, both sides can cut-off the portions of castle (barricade or forfeit or something). Some areas are crucial for survival - like wells, the armory, the granary and so on. 
Bad side of this idea: not too much place for the narration whatsoever. 

- A society of Goths, linked to a gothic venue Sad Sister of Pain. One of the players is a drug dealer, trafficking cocaine in the club. Second one is a rat, a snitch, an undercover cop on a mission to catch the dealer. The rest are background characters, that provide 'strikes' and 'blocks' for both protagonist and antagonist. I don't know if the roles should be revealed (i.e. - no secrets at the table). For this game I need a board representing social relations, some cards, some other 'crimes'.
Bad side: I've read Dirty Secrets like a year ago, never played, but I'm afraid that still it inspired this game a lot. Which is not that bad thing at all ;-)


Ideas for Pseudocontest 17, attempt #1

So, the next (17th) edition of Polish variation on Game Chef is on. The rules are: use two out of three ingredients and make a game with it. Write it in a week. Read through the other games and give feedback. 

 The three ingredients are:

- atavism,

- rats, 

- gothic, 

First question to ask is: what are the semantic fields and radial categories for those terms? What is being evoked by those terms, how to grind them into a game. So, what do we get from those?

Atavism - it's prehistoric, a thing that is revealed (or hidden), a connection to our animalistic ancestors. Tail, claws, squeaky squeaks, gills - or legs, if you're a fishy fishy fish. Something that is preserved in DNA, like a backdoor to a previous form. Canine teeth, extra nipples. Sometimes it occurs due to inbreed, eugenics and other kinds of genetic manipulation. Sometimes it's like a mutation, creating a super-being, either hero (Spiderman) or a monster (Vulture). In a society and culture - atavism is something primitive - connecting into clans, aggressive behavior, inbreed, incest, feudalism, paganism or the degeneration of a formerly great empire (due to atavistic instincts of the new generations). Regression, degeneration, sickness. 

Rat - rodent, pest, carrier of the Disease. Black Death, rats leaving the sinking ship. Rat is a snitch, a grass, a nark, a dog, a stoolie, a fink - a police informer, who sells you just for the cup of coffee. Lab rats are test animals that can escape and bring the pestilence. Rat is a food in Asia. It's a first animal in Chinese zodiac. It's traits are: creativity, intelligence, honesty, generosity, ambition, a quick temper and wastefulness. A rat-trap over the head in Orwell's 1984. A sack with hungry rat placed over a prisoner's head in series of Vietnam movies with Chuck Norris. Brothers Grimm's Piper of Hamelin. But remember - there is a Splinter - a wise ninja and a mentor to the Ninja Turtles. Also, there are a lot of rat pets in the households, in those numbers the Rat from the Joey the Barbarian comics. 

Gothic - or gothick - XIII century. Thick walls, dark cellars. Wet, rusty chains with skeletons in it. Soaring towers and churches. Raw light filtered through the magickal art of stained glass. Chivalry, armour, breastplates, helmets, kleinodes, blazonry, helardly, coats of arms. Cold castles. Shit on the roads. King Arthur and his knights, the Lady of the Lake. Norseman. Vikings. 

Also - gothic music. Cold wave, new romantic. Thick maquillage, white and black. Sisters of Mercy, Depeche Mode, Bauhaus, the Birthday Party, Joy Division. Antihuman aura. Negation, nihilism. Anti-punk. The birth of electronic music. Style that exhibits literary romanticism, morbidity, religious symbolism, and supernatural mysticism. Vampires. 

Gothic novel - Castle of Otranto, the Monk. Gothic revival in the Victorian Era. 

Damn. Too much bricks. Need to trim it down.


Why TNA sucks more than anything else in the world

* It's beyond my perception how amazingly poor TNA has became. Who writes storylines for them? Do the wrestlers work on their spotlights alone? Most of the recent matches were so crappy, stiff and pretentious that my eyes started to bleed out!

The Most Awesome Crap number one - main storyline is about bloody WWE Hall of Fame rings! How come TNA authorities came up with the idea of making whole production based on the item from their market competitor? It's like Michael Jordan playing while wearing Lakers jersey. 

Second Most Awesome Crap - whole Samoa Joe piece of mumbo-jumbo! Who the hell kidnapped him? Was it the spike-haired guy he beaten up first time after he came back on Impact? The genetic-freak Brit he beaten up on the second Impact? The blonde in faggy white rocker jacket he beaten up on the third Impact? Why is he beating all those suckers, instead of going and kicking the crap out of kidnapper? Or even better - why won't he go to a bloody police station and report a crime! Jeez, it's so lame my eyes bleed even now.

* Speaking of bleeding - I feel sorry for Mr. Vince Kennedy McMahon, his rectum is probably bleeding out of irritation when he watches this bunch of a-hole copycats out there in TNA. But you probably need some proofs - so let's start with Beer Schmondaks Inc. One of those guys is a British-descent almost-elegant clone of gues-wHHHo. The other is a cowboy-styled, hat-wearing, Superkicking xerocopy of the other sexy-stranger. Lame as... Sorry. I'm lacking words, just lame. 

Next? Brian Kendrick. When I saw him I went like "What is Drew McIntyre doing in Total Nonwrestling Annoyment?". Hairstyle, walking style, moves, even the shade of accent. He even smiles the way Scottish Fag does. Lame. 

Next? Abbys = Mankind. Which is more than sad concerning Mick Foley is in TNA now, selling his old persona again. Amazing Red = Evan Bourne. And so on, so on, so on...

* The only original characters in TNA are the Icon, the Nature Boy, (oh, fuck, they are old WCW stars!). Okay. The only one original is AJ Styles. Period. And now those suckers stripped him of the title, ordered him to turn heel and made him a jobber to the mid-carders (he lost to Jay Lethal in late May. And yes, I bled out of me eyes)

Back in 80's we used to call WCW Wrestling on WheelChairs... TNA starts to look the same. Just look at this - Nasty Boyz, Team 3D, Mick Foley, Jeff Jarret, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair. Even my all time No.5 - Scott Hall (he is one of the best guys in this business) - too old, too fat and too stiff. Why can WWE find 8 talents and make show out of them? And after couple of months - another 8 new talents and another season of the show? You can stone me, but I think Wade Barret, Skip Sheffield or Heath Slater have more charisma and style than half of the current TNA roster. 



Hello World

1...2...3... keyboard testing...

Hello World,

For starters - my name is Maciej, everyone calls me lucek. I live in Poland, known also as a Land of the Polar Bears. Born behind the Iron Curtain, during the last decade of the Cold War, when cards of global game were dealt by Leonid Brezhnev and Jimmy Carter. I remember times of economic crisis, food rationing, workers' strikes in Gdansk and eventually, the fall of the Berlin Wall. Having that as my childhood memories made me a typical example of my generation - yearning to Western lifestyle, yet dipped in Slavonic melancholy.

In 1989 I've stumbled upon the "Gods of Bal-Sagoth" short story by Robert E. Howard. This was the very first book I've ever bought. Cheap edition, pulp paper, ugly as hell cover picture. I was nine. And I've realized fiction will be my staple diet for the rest of my life. And then the capitalism came - with even more books, that I would ever read. But I've tried. And I've managed to do just about the half they ever printed. Seriously.

In 1993 someone introduced me an idea of role playing games. Sixth photocopy of sixth photocopy, with barely recognizable print, all in pure German (we had no game in Polish back then. And no retailer, publisher, not mentioning the Internet). It was called Warhammer and I died. The concept struck me as a lightning. Wow. Next 16 years passed like a flash. And now I am here, with one of my games published (Wolsung - in Polish), hundreds of titles played, thousands of gaming sessions, larps and other gaming activities.

Conventions are my adrenaline. I love the atmosphere, places crowded with fans, never sleeping, constantly playing, arguing, socializing. And I try to do my part of the job - I run semminars, presenting resources, inspirations and resolutions. Also I do LARPs (even organised a national WoD larp network), run games, teach boardgames and show movies. I've managed to co-organise some events in Poland, including PolCon 2009 - our national convention. And that was the place, where I've met John Wick. I saw what he does. I saw his attitude to gamers, gaming and games. And it opened my eyes.

I dare to call myself a game designer. And this is the place I will show you my games. Erm... I mean, after I translate it to English :-)