Category Archives: Game Design

Seekers Unlimited, bringing live action role-playing and education together!

SU_V01_Color_WBHello all! Been away for a while… Gone but, hopefully, not forgotten! For the three of you that were wondering where I was, I was finishing my MA classes. All that’s left now is the thesis. Once that is done I’ll have finished my MA Education with a concentration in Curriculum Development. Before you wonder why I’m posting about this here instead of LinkedIn, I recently discovered a Kickstarter campaign that combines my love for all things role-playing and my passion for education, Seekers Unlimited!

Their Kickstarter campaign is a project that aims to create educational live action role playing games. I am a long time role-player but have done little larping (live action role playing for the uninitiated), but I can see the benefits and how this can be put to good use in a classroom. Their Kicstarter pages explains that they have developed six edu-laps aligned to California Standards and aim to align them to the USA Common Core Standards through the Kickstarter.

The concept of engaging children in a creative endeavor, while at the same time facilitating exciting learning experiences really captures my fancy so I had to reach out to the Kickstarter project creators to get more information. Aaron Vanek, longtime larper, larp creator and author, who also happens to be the Executive Director at Seekers Unlimited, was kind enough to answer my long list of questions.

Sunglar: Aaron, your bio certainly shows your passion and experience for larps, but I’d like to hear it (read it) in your own words. Who are you and what do you do?

Aaron: Years ago, on a cross country trip to Chicago with my then-girlfriend, now wife, we stopped in a mall outside Denver. I had long hair then, and wore a red bandanna over my skull to keep my flowing locks out of my face as we rode with the windows down. Inside a store, a little girl looked up at me and asked her mother “Is he a pirate?” Her mother said, “No, he’s just a guy.” The girl replied, “Is he a pirate?”

Depending on my attire and your imagination, I could be a pirate. I could also be a starship commander, a wizard, Rasputin, Harry Houdini, or a ghost. But I’m really just a guy.

I do too many things, really, none of which makes me any (or very little) money. But they keep me exceptionally busy 24/7. Like many liberal arts college graduates, I scratch and claw for scraps. I’ve mostly been involved in motion pictures, running a film festival, freelance writing, game design, running a film festival, and of course, live action role playing.

Continue reading Seekers Unlimited, bringing live action role-playing and education together!

Ask The Readers! Input on a BareBones Fantasy sci-fi hack… (First draft)

Seems like we are on a sci-fi roll here in the blog in 2013! So keeping with the theme, I’ve decided to share with Stargazer’s World readers a sci-fi hack I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks.

107498-thumb140.jpgEver since I read the BareBones Fantasy rules (which Michael reviewed here, and posted about here), I’ve been itching to use the rules for a sci-fi game. It’s no surprise, the creators of the game DwD Studios are longtime supporters of my favorite old school sci-fi game Star Frontiers, about which I have posted here. They are in fact working on the FrontierSpace game, and some of the work done for that game apparently was carried over to BareBones Fantasy.

So I got about trying to modify the rules for a sci-fi game. This is NOT an attempt at a super detailed science fiction game, but more of a general rule set for the genre. It will require some simplification and assumption of genre tropes. I tried to keep the spirit of the BareBones Fantasy rules and REALLY tried to keep it simple. I don’t know if I’m going in the right direction, so that’s why I’m writing this post. I would love to get some feedback on the rules so far, criticism, see what you think work or doesn’t work.

Mind you this is a work in progress. Not all areas are complete, and I intend to revisit, but I encourage you to pick it apart and leave your feedback in the comments. Page references are to the BareBones Fantasy rule-book  and notes in italics are design decisions I am unsure about. Thanks to Michael, aka Stargazer, for his input as I was conceptualizing this! OK let’s get to what you are here for…

Continue reading Ask The Readers! Input on a BareBones Fantasy sci-fi hack… (First draft)

NaGa DeMon: Another update

The progress on Galaxy Rising has been slowed down a bit in the last few days. The fact that I suffer from bad lower back pain for since Monday didn’t really help with my creative projects. Today I managed to finish the equipment section at least.

So what’s the status of the project so far? The core rules are pretty much done and the game should be playable at this point. There are no special rules for spaceships yet and neither vehicle nor spaceship stats. The rules for character advancement aren’t written either, but that’s not a big deal.

The big question remains: did I “win” NaGa DeMon? Yes and no. Even though I didn’t win when the official NaGa DeMon requirements are concerned, I still see it as a big success. Galaxy Rising is slowly taking shape and the core rules are more or less playable already. I am committed on getting it done if not by the end of the year then at least in early 2013. If you want to have a closer look at how the game is looking so far, check it out below!

I am looking forward to your comments!