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Remko van der Pluijm
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Rpg designer, Applied game designer specialised in narratives, philosopher, lecturer in design fiction and pervasive games
Rpg designer, Applied game designer specialised in narratives, philosopher, lecturer in design fiction and pervasive games

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No matter who you love or who you are, everyone should enjoy the same rights and be protected from discrimination in the same way ❤ Discrimination should have no place in our Union. We put together a list of actions to advance LGBTI equality – a to-do list for us and the Member States. Change will not happen overnight, but it is possible if the political will is there.

Read it here: http://europa.eu/!yX73bp

#EU4LGBTI #LGBTI #IDAHOT

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It is meant to be
A game about secret love, oppressing forces and fighting against that force by ordinary mud throwing in public.

Preparation
Both players write down a name and distribute 7 points between Rebelliousness and Determination. Players are secretly in love together, but have an oppressive force. Name the Oppressor and assign it 2 points.

Conflict rolls outcome
If each die rolls under target stat, the PC has Full success. If at least one die does, the PC has a partial success.
If a Player invokes a characteristic in the scene, -1 to one die per characteristic involved. Use Determination for Reroll (refresh per scene, but describe action).

Taking turns, each person plays one of these scenes.

Scenes

Opposing: Describe how the PC opposes his oppressor in the public sphere. Roll 3d6 vs Rebelliousness.
Full success: Oppressor is giving in; Oppressor +1.
Partial success: Oppressor is put in bad sight: add characteristic to Oppressor.
Failure: PC is put into place: -1 Rebelliousness.

Meeting your lover: Describe a covert amorous encounter. Roll 3d6 vs other PCs Oppressor. Full success: describe love scene: Add love characteristic.
Partial success: slightly caught: -1 Rebelliousness, but add love characteristic.
Failure: Caught: -1 Rebelliousness or Determination.

Romance is successful:
- Both oppressors are 6 or
- Total of 7 love characteristics.

Romance is failure: no Rebelliousness left.


Hi guys,

I know I want too much here, but is it still slightly comprehensible? Any tips would be welcome..

Enduring terrors - a game about escaping nightmares for two players

On your sheet, write down Nightmarewalker and a name.
Then, write down Savior and ask the other player for a name which resembles his PC's best characteristic. Divide 7 points as you see fit between Fearlessness and Speed, no score higher than 5.
Lucidness starts at 1.

Take a sheet of paper and draw a room. In the first room, write down "Loneliness".

During each turn:
First, draw another room and connect it to your current room. Roll a d6 + Lucidness. If the die is:
<3 Choose a stat. Compare each die to the chosen stat. If all die lower than stat, +1 Lucidness: write a remembrance of your Saviour in the room. Otherwise, -1 to other stat and write manifestation of nightmare in the room.
4-5: Roll 2d6 instead.
6: Relaxed sleep: +1 in stat of choice.
7-8: Lose one point of both Fearlessness and Speed, but add two points of Lucidness. Describe a large sacrifice to keep the nightmare at bay.
9+: Connect both sheets of paper with Loneliness. From now onwards, walk back:
Nightmare room: 3d6 against stat. Exchange 1 Lucidness against a die.
Remembrance room: refresh 1 stat.


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A little game I designed for a class I co-run at the Willem de Kooning Academy with +Bruno Setola.
For a first class in Gamification (which is actually about discussing, putting at stake and exploring social rules through gameplay) at the Willem de Kooning Academy (Art & Design Academy), I designed a small pervasive game to show how rules can be challenged. It worked out quite okay. Students were first a bit uncomfortable with playing it, but slowly on tried to make more bolder moves to score points. They actually discovered something quite important: while we talk about a learning community at the Willem de Kooning academy, almost no verbal reaction sparkled from the community at all, which is at least remarkable given the boldness with which the students brought about their commentaries. All in all it was a nice example of action research and of showing hidden rules within our current educational system.

Notes I made about the game (not very verbose, but still comprehensible I hope):

Pervasive game: The critical student

Synopsis
This game challenges the idea of not criticising a fellow student and explores the facets of being a “Learning Community” inside of the WdKA and especially within the different “stations” [fields of expertise which try to become a learning community, RvdP].

Setup
Half of the group of players is given the role of critical student, the other half is given the role of helpless student. The group of helpless students gets five minutes to locate themselves somewhere within the stations.

Roles
•Critical student. The critical student tries to give (constructive) criticism to the helpless student. The critical student only gets points awarded if there is no verbal or overtly nonverbal reaction by the bystanders within a reasonable time (about 1 to 2 minutes). Just making a sound of dislike isn’t enough to prevent the critical student from getting points awarded. Points are awarded by the helpless student to the critical student based on the theatrical / exaggerated element of the reaction:
⁃Normal verbal reaction, no overtly physical gestures: 1 point.
⁃Either strong verbal reaction or overtly physical gestures: 2 points.
⁃Both a strong verbal reaction and overtly physical gestures: 4 points.

•Helpless student. The helpless student tries to attract help from the bystanders in an exaggerated way. The helpless student gets points awarded by the critical student based on the theatrical element of their reaction and whether it spoused a reaction from the bystanders. Note that this means that a critical student must be able to see the reaction for him/her to be able to award points:
⁃Normal reaction, no reaction from other students: 1 point.
⁃Either a strong verbal reaction or a strong reaction from bystanders: 2 points. ⁃Both a strong and a strong reaction from bystanders: 4 points.

Extra Rules
First rule of fight club.

Safety
To ensure that aggressive or otherwise negative reactions can be prevented, if one of the players makes a T sign (placing one of his/her hands perpendicular on the other), play is suspended and the players can explain the fact that they are playing a game which tried to spouse reactions. 

For a first class in Gamification (which is actually about discussing, putting at stake and exploring social rules through gameplay) at the Willem de Kooning Academy (Art & Design Academy), I designed a small pervasive game to show how rules can be challenged. It worked out quite okay. Students were first a bit uncomfortable with playing it, but slowly on tried to make more bolder moves to score points. They actually discovered something quite important: while we talk about a learning community at the Willem de Kooning academy, almost no verbal reaction sparkled from the community at all, which is at least remarkable given the boldness with which the students brought about their commentaries. All in all it was a nice example of action research and of showing hidden rules within our current educational system.

Notes I made about the game (not very verbose, but still comprehensible I hope):

Pervasive game: The critical student

Synopsis
This game challenges the idea of not criticising a fellow student and explores the facets of being a “Learning Community” inside of the WdKA and especially within the different “stations” [fields of expertise which try to become a learning community, RvdP].

Setup
Half of the group of players is given the role of critical student, the other half is given the role of helpless student. The group of helpless students gets five minutes to locate themselves somewhere within the stations.

Roles
•Critical student. The critical student tries to give (constructive) criticism to the helpless student. The critical student only gets points awarded if there is no verbal or overtly nonverbal reaction by the bystanders within a reasonable time (about 1 to 2 minutes). Just making a sound of dislike isn’t enough to prevent the critical student from getting points awarded. Points are awarded by the helpless student to the critical student based on the theatrical / exaggerated element of the reaction:
⁃Normal verbal reaction, no overtly physical gestures: 1 point.
⁃Either strong verbal reaction or overtly physical gestures: 2 points.
⁃Both a strong verbal reaction and overtly physical gestures: 4 points.

•Helpless student. The helpless student tries to attract help from the bystanders in an exaggerated way. The helpless student gets points awarded by the critical student based on the theatrical element of their reaction and whether it spoused a reaction from the bystanders. Note that this means that a critical student must be able to see the reaction for him/her to be able to award points:
⁃Normal reaction, no reaction from other students: 1 point.
⁃Either a strong verbal reaction or a strong reaction from bystanders: 2 points. ⁃Both a strong and a strong reaction from bystanders: 4 points.

Extra Rules
First rule of fight club.

Safety
To ensure that aggressive or otherwise negative reactions can be prevented, if one of the players makes a T sign (placing one of his/her hands perpendicular on the other), play is suspended and the players can explain the fact that they are playing a game which tried to spouse reactions. 

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For those near Rotterdam and interested in social art and design: there will be an event called Beyond Social in Het Nieuwe Instituut, organised by the Willem de Kooning Academy, on Thursday February 9th called The Art of the Inclusive City. Entrance is free:

https://guestlist.co/events/446475

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This is a copy of a post I made on Tumblr on using Mars Colony in a classroom as a multiplayer story game. Tim Koppang, the author of the game, actually referred to it on his website. Might be interesting to read here.

For the class in Design Fiction I teach at the Willem de Kooning Academy, we decided to incorporate story games as an alternative means for classical design fiction with objects. I use a different definition of story games than most other people, allowing Interactive Fiction, Choose Your Own Adventures and even story cubes and games like Once Upon a Time incorporate the essential characteristics for me to be a story game. For me, A story game is a game which creates a story. In other words, story is a part of the game mechanics instead of just being colour.

For this purpose, I needed to have a story game able to tell a story ideally dealing with governmental issues regarding decision making, also incorporating different stakeholders. Mars Colony by Tim Koppang (see the link) is ideal for that. However, the role-playing game is meant for two persons, while I had an estimated twenty students. I considered two different methods: let the students play the game in ten groups of two persons or redesign the game to be played by twenty persons. Since most players players had nil experience in role-playing games, I opted for the latter, which actually turned out to be quite an interesting game.

For those who do not know Mars Colony, you can find a great review by a good friend of mine, Victor Gijsbers, on his Gaming Philosophers blog (higly recommended!): http://gamingphilosopher.blogspot.nl/2013/12/ludorama-1-mars-colony-by-tim-c-koppang.html.

After discussing with the original author, I adapted the original game in the following manner:

1. I’m going to assign two Saviors and the rest are Martians. I myself will play the role of the Earth council to keep the pressure on.
2. Each player will belong to one of the political parties. Furthermore, each one of the Saviors has a Personal relationship with one of the players.
3. Each player has an appeal, which he or she can use to re-roll one die after it has been cast. However, that person should be able to explain that narratively.

Beforehand, I decided upon three health markers and upon the political parties. The health markers I used were Disease, social unrest and corruption. I partly based these upon the political parties I assigned to the colours:

Yellow (Majority): People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (Dutch: VVD, Conservative Liberal Right Wing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Party_for_Freedom_and_Democracy).

Blue (Fringe): Party For Freedom (Dutch: PVV, Geert Wilders party, Populistic Coservative Extreme Right Wing with Left Wing economical policies, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_for_Freedom).

Green (Minority): GroenLinks (trans GreenLeft, Progressivistic Leftwing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GreenLeft).

I ended up with thirteen students in my class. Of those thirteen, I chose two of them to be a Savior (Tamara and Rosan). The rest was split up evenly on the political parties (with one less for the blue group). After explaining the basics of the rules, I turned to the political parties and asked each of them to think about a slogan for their party (which I wrote down on a sheet visible for everyone) and to think about an agenda for each of the health markers. Meanwhile, I explained Rosan(Green) and Tamara the idea behind the personal relationships. Tamara(Blue) chose Mariëlle (Green) to be her politically succesful daughter and Rosan chose Saskia (Blue) to be her drug addicted daughter.

While the Saviors decided upon their relationships, I noticed two things:

The personal relationship didn’t have any mechanic, while I had, save a few, only gamist players. Therefore, I decided that the Saviors also received an appeal, but they could only give it away to their personal relationship when their relationship was sufficiently fleshed out (i.e. the problems were addressed).
The political parties (i.e. Martians) asked whether there was a method for them to win. I argued that, effectively, if it was their own solution which was adopted by the Saviors. This had an enormous impact on the way the appeals were applied.

Furthermore, I decided upon three different associations for the Martians, of which the party members should decide who was responsible. These groups were The Martian News Network, the Minng Company, the Council and the Majors office.

I (Yellow) started the game as the Earth council, urging the Saviours to do their utmost to solve the problems so that Earth could claim their rightful Martian resources. Afer this prelude, play continued as normal, except the role of the Governor, which was played once per political party, who would put forward a spokesman.

In the beginning, players needed to get accustomed to the whole system. On one hand, there was some confusion about whether they were telling facts or fiction, since the students were feeling quite in character in that sense. Questions like “Am I allowed to talk about that in my role?” and “That what I am saying, is that the truth or is it a lie?” were confusing in the beginning, but as the game continued and I explained that it should be clear from the context whether it was fact or fiction, the game went quite smoothly.

The players did use far more appeals to re-roll a 1, because they wanted their ideas to succeed. This meant that during the course of the game, only one deception was introduced, which is quite a pity, since it introduces a core mechanic.

One thing I did like about this version was the seemingly frustrating effect for some players that their ideas weren’t valid anymore due to the story elements introduced by the other players. Part of creating a story together is the fact that not all of your ideas will be part of the story.

The players from the political parties found the deception system confusing, since they found that deceiving information extremely useful to introduce via their News Network person. However, due to the nature of the Deception system, this is knowledge unknown to the Martians. The difference between in-character information and meta-game information now became quite apparent.

Afterwards, I discussed with the students their experiences. In general, they found it quite a cool game, save for the part after a break, which ruined the atmosphere. They thought it would add to the experience if we would introduce a win-lose condition for the political parties. One way could be to think about some hidden agendas beforehand and hand them over to the political parties. If those hidden agendas would be satisfied by the Saviours, it would count as a win for the political party. Another option would be to mix hidden agendas and open agendas.

A second point is that there should be much less appeals. It influenced the result far too much, but that was to be expected I guess. It clearly needs some finetuning.

Overall, it was quite a joyful experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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At last it is finished! When Robots Dare to Dream is my first entry to the Game Chef competition.

Synopsis: In the future, robots will have emational intelligence. This is seen as a bug and there will be an uprising by the robot community. Later, while the possibility of their emotions is pondered upon, the robots are banned from the upper surface of the earth, forced to work in the shadows. The game explores the question whether the dream of the robots to live on the surface of the earth and see the sunlight again will become reality.

I set up a sketch game in which players had three minutes to draw up a situation regarding story elements brought in by the other players. Then, via a list of verbs and nouns, the inactive players can change the direction of the scene, while keeping a central struggle from which the question is explored.

Oh the horror and tragedy. At last I had an idea for a story game involving sketches by the players, but alas, my laptop died last evening (I live at GMT+1) with no backup and no backup file. Synopsis: In the future, robots will have emational intelligence. This is seen as a bug and there will be an uprising by the robot community. Later, while the possibility of their emotions id pondered upon, the robots are banned from the upper surface of the earth, forced to work in the shadows. The game explores the question whether the dream of the robots to live on the surface of the earth and see the sunlight again will become reality.

I set up a sketch game in which players had three minutes to draw up a situation regarding story elements brought in by the other players. Then, via a list of verbs and nouns, the inactive players could change the direction of the scene, while keeping a central struggle from which the question is explored.

I still intend to write this game and will post it here, but I'm afraid the deadline for the competition will be impossible (especially since I now am walking to my job).
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