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Rachel E.S. Walton
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Hey all, 
I didn't do much planning ahead this year, but just a heads up on two games I'm planning on:

1. A fairy egg hunt for the kiddos, which can be done whenever during the day, preferably when it's not raining. :)

2. I'll be bringing Brand Robin's game Hope Was the Last Thing in the Box: A Canadian Grail Quest - a freeform scenario that won this year's Fastaval Jury Prize. It's seriously one of the most beautiful games I've ever run and played. It's about this group of losers, all impacted by various traumas, brought together by Terry Fox's memory and by fate for a cross-country run that may harm or ultimately heal them. It's weird and poetic, and challenging - at times really angering and sad, but also with moments of hilarity and humans being good to each other. It has a structure that does a journey story really well - so hard to do in a game!

I don't know when I'm running it yet because I'm not sure when other things are happening, but it'll be in one of the more generous slots - it takes 4-5 hours, 4 players, serious content, adults only. 

If you're interested, let me know or come talk to me so I can aim for a time when interested folks are free. :)
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Excited about this! 

"Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc. is a comic book store and coffee shop hybrid that will be coming to the city of Philadelphia in the spring of 2015. We will be more than just a place to buy comics and coffee however, we will be a celebration of geek culture! Our goal is to create a community space while promoting diversity and inclusivity in comics and other forms of fantasy based entertainment."
 
I just supported this campaign because I want to help make this Philly-based comic shop/coffee house/inclusive geek paradise happen. It sounds like a dream come true. (Also, the video is adorable.)

"About Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc.
Amalgam is a comic book store and coffee shop hybrid that will be coming to the city of Philadelphia in the spring of 2015. We will be more than just a place to buy comics and coffee however, we will be a celebration of geek culture! Our goal is to create a community space while promoting diversity and inclusivity in comics and other forms of fantasy based entertainment."

Philly could really use a space like this. If you cannot pledge, please share. Thanks!
Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc. is raising $5000 to grow their business. Anyone that helps out today gets great deals! Check out their project!
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Aw sweet! Makes me miss Philly plenty.

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The Long Orbit was accepted into Denmark's Fastaval 2015 and I've been working on both getting it generally done for a late Spring Kickstarter (it has to be after Fastaval) and also on gearing a specific scenario towards Fastaval tastes, which will probably leak back into the original game, in a good way. The main game is designed for a lot of replay value. This scenario has to be simpler and more targeted. Good lord, this game is a lot of work, but every step is making it stronger. Below is the Fastaval preview - it's a little quirky, like the con, and it's what I'll be working pretty intensely on for the next few weeks, until the deadline.

The Long Orbit
By Rachel E.S. Walton

You are part of a modest crew aboard a space freighter, headed for a planet that’s being terraformed. You awoke from stasis at the proper time, but there’s a major storm on the planet’s surface. It’s much too dangerous to land, so you’ll be stuck in orbit for days. Which is a problem because you feel different up here and you’re seeing things...and people...you shouldn’t be seeing. Can you get it together? Is this happening to the others too? What if the greatest threat to this mission is the crew?

The Long Orbit is a story game about human connections that save or destroy you in the face of the terrifying unknown. It’s about being an adult and still not knowing what to do. It’s about dangerous choices and following your heart to disaster. And it’s about isolation, desperation, survival, love, and horrors inside and out.

Expected duration of play: Four hours

Number of players: Four plus one game master

Tags: Psychological horror; relationship drama; sci fi; tabletop story game; Monsterhearts hack; Powered by the Apocalypse; inspired by films like Solaris, Sunshine, Event Horizon, and Moon. 

Player type: Survival elements, complicated relationships, rising tension, and hard choices appeal to you. You can enjoy using dice and engaging light mechanics to send the story in thrilling new directions. 

GM type: Orchestrating a carefully-paced, drama-heavy catastrophe in space sounds fun to you. You can frame scenes, engage with light mechanics, and run gleefully with the players when the story takes a turn.

About the designer: Rachel is a new game designer, long-time GM, and artist from Philadelphia. She sometimes likens the experience of making her first game to facing horrors unknown in space.
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+Tore Vange huzzah! :D See you there!

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Ah cool! A hair stylist with a love of history figures out some things about ancient hair styles that archaeologists could only guess at.  
A hairdresser at a Baltimore salon has stuck a pin in the long-held assumptions among historians about the hairstyles of ancient Rome and Greece.
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Wouldn't that make the hair stylist an archaeologist, too? ^__^

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+Mo Jave - I had to look that up because it's not part of the storylines I've read, but yeah - that's fucked up.

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Jim Edwards in Business Insider on Gamergate.

'But look at the priorities here. On the one hand, a handful of women have said, "Some of these games are frankly not great, guys!" and been threatened with death for having that opinion. And on the other hand, a huge chunk of the gaming community is now fiercely arguing that the death threats aren't important. Rather, the technicalities of video game reviewing are the priority.

'It's completely insane. It's insane that you even have to say out loud that _sending death threats to people who disagree with your opinion of video games is wrong._'


#gamergate #harassment #misogyny

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oh man, that is unfortunate!
Have her in circles
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An interview! With me! About The Long Orbit! I did this during the near-sleepless break-neck rush of getting the Simulacra scenario ready for Fastaval. I'm glad to discover that I didn't totally embarrass myself and was able write more than spaaaaaaace horrorrrrrrr. :D
 
Interview by our +Ariana Ramos  - +Rachel E.S. Walton talks about her new game, The Long Orbit!
Interviews with a Game Designer: In this series, we’ve asked the women who make games to talk to us about the whole experience so you can get an inside view of what it’s like to make the games we love! This time meet Rachel E.S. Walton, designer of The Long Orbit!
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You were delightful, +Michael McDowell. And yeah, that string of bad luck...oof. 

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Ah...one more thing. Thanks +Daniel Levine
Here's a listing (though not organized) of planned responses around the country to the Darren Wilson Grand Jury Announcement. Most of them are tomorrow (Tuesday) - a good way to connect to the people near you about what's going on.
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Heya +Chris Bell - Union Square seems like the place to go. There may be several meet ups around the city, but you have to do a bit of digging to find this stuff - Facebook groups and local groups that do social justice action may be hosting or posting about where to go. Here are two things at Union Square - one at 5pm and one at 7pm:
https://www.facebook.com/events/367725876729641/?source=1
https://www.facebook.com/events/450074491800495/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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As exciting as a robot exploring a comet is, I love that we're still figuring out this rock we live on too.
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::closes his eyes and says to himself::

I will only say that science is awesome and not make the obvious joke. I will only say that science is awesome and not make the obvious joke. 

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"See what happens when feathers and a bowling ball are dropped in the world's biggest vacuum chamber."

This is something I knew in my head but it's a delight to see it demonstrated so clearly.
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+Peter Tierney - yeah, I wanted to see more too.

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In case you haven't seen this yet, this is my favorite response to GamerGate. It's by an NFL player and gamer. It's a scathing take, with a lot of great points, the most creative swears, and yet is bursting with love for gaming.
Chris Kluwe played in the NFL for eight years, but he’s been a gamer for 26 — and he’s tired of the misogyny in today’s …
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that was a highly articulate outburst that i deeply enjoyed.

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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Before posting a news article, make sure it's not from National Report. This is a fake a news site, fabricating plausible articles. Not clever satire like The Onion, it's pure click bait, trying to make money on stirring people up. So unethical. Today alone I've seen reposts of graffiti artist Banksy getting arrested and Ebola spreading through a school in Texas. Save yourself (and everyone else) the outrage and fear and beware of National Report.
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Rachel Speirs
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