Buffy, My Chateau & the RPG Anti-life

hmm…now that i think about it, the mixing of those three headline elements comes close to expressing one of my more moving fantasies. but that was not the point…

buffy:

i really have to say, buffy the vampire slayer is the greatest show on tv. and aside from the twilight zone, i can’t think of anything on tv i have ever enjoyed more. i started watching buffy midway through season one, after hearing from Rob ‘Xemu’ Fermier (non-stop) that the show was really funny and cool. soon i was hooked. not only does the series have a clever sense of humor, it has the Undead *and* a harem of cute, quirky chicks like sarah m geller too. anyway, the What If episode that aired this week was an amazing thing. as a comic fan, i have always loved the what if concept. (when i was a school kid, the alternate time line issue of the x-men in which some of them were killed rocked my world.) anyway, buffy did it as well as anyone ever.

the chateau:

this is one of my Deus Ex paris locations. i am working on it (with UnrealEd of course, which is totally cool) side by side with ION artist Russell “the love muscle” Hughes. he & i actually have some contacts in paris who are cool enough to send us reference photos via email. i also have photos (and some interesting memories) from my trips to france. anyway, we are attempting to create a place, out in the country, that has a distinctly different feel from our more urban parisian sites. the more we work on the game, the more i am convinced that the plot itself will be one of the most powerful parts of the Deus Ex experience. people have been asking for more story, more character interaction and other rpg elements and they are going to get it… regardless of the focus of each individual Deus Ex mission, there is a heavy emphasis on role-playing. looking over the maps done by the team’s designers, i am amazed at how different some of the locations look and ‘feel’ while still maintaining the overall Deus Ex vibe. steve powers is doing the exotic Hong Kong locations, for instance, which are completely alien to bob white’s gritty NYC missions. warren has always made it a point to push the ‘exotic world travel’ element of Deus Ex and i think it’s going to pay off, judging by the ‘places’ the art & design teams are pulling together.

rpg anti-life:

since the night of my 11th birthday i have played role-playing games with a passion. real life and geeky gamer activities have always clashed. years ago, explaining to parents or to a girlfriend that you really were up til 4am sitting at a table with a bunch of social outcasts playing a strange, hard-to-define game was tricky. my dad, the next morning, would always ask: ‘did you win?’

anyway, recently i’ve been involved in a Rifts campaign & a ‘play-by-email’ fantasy rpg campaign. also, playing through Thief: the Dark Project, by Looking Glass, felt for some reason very much like a thief in a solo rpg campaign. (play Thief if you get the chance.) yet all this is still not enough. i constantly find myself wanting to play more. when i was younger, and had more free time, we played even more frequently. now work & life get in the way. it’s a difficult juggling act and it forces me to wonder if the ‘growing up’ of the rpg crowd has been one of the factors behind the growth of computer rpg’s–it’s a hell of a lot easier to get a game going if it’s just you and your computer. and it’s even easier if the game does not take 8 hours on a saturday night, but instead, via the save game feature, the ‘campaign’ can be broken up into little hour long sessions.

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