March 25, 1998


Role playing can be a way of life.

Or, at least, it can take up an entire day. It started with role playing the various parts of a UI and the database underneath. Each of the design team took a part of the design and responded to each other, asked for the appropriate information from each other, and negotiated interfaces, data structures, arguments, and expected returns with each other. It worked through quite a few issues, and made imperative that all the design team worked through all the nomenclature that had to be in common. That was very useful, and took about four hours of brain time.

So, I ended up with pages and pages of notes about the architecture that we were gradually coming to agreement on, and I spent most of the afternoon thinking through how to best represent the information we had gathered. Quite a lot of it was best represented through flow diagrams, but we had also captured quite a few coding practices that we should be documenting and using. So I started on that document as well.

After the day of was mostly over, I got to play with Trip and Keely in Keely's IN/FOS game. It's quite the contrast to Genevieve's game, in that, presently, there are only two players interacting with Keely. The third should be brought back in after this last session. Both have really imaginative GM's and really great players, so in that way, they are the same. I really enjoy all the interaction in both games. What's always fun is to watch how the GM's manage to respond to what the PCs do, even when what they do is unexpected. Like Carl, who is also an excellent and very flexible GM, they all allow the players to play their characters completely, and only respond with consequences that the world provides.

So John then I didn't get out of the office until late, and since I couldn't think of anything for dinner we went to the grocery store, picked up chicken and mojoes, and went home, where had to do a little work de-boning the whole breast, before I could fry everything. Dinner was very good.

Then we decided to play Neverhood on the new machine. We had some fun figuring out one puzzle, the one involving the radio in the satellite dish tower. Then we got really, really stuck on the colored crystals problem in the room beyond. We puttered about in the strange car that meandered all over the canyon walls, and saw three test tubes, one fully filled with blue, one with just a little bit of red, and one with just little bit of green. When we went back to the crystal room, we saw three test tubes with orange, yellow, and purple filling them. So, we speculated wildly about the order of the tubes as they were seen from the window, about whether the levels in the tubes dictated the order of the colors, and tried them all. At one point we were sure that the order indicated was for us to turn all the crystals to that color, and then to the next color.

We gave up around midnight. So we just watched the Making Of Neverhood, and at the end of the credits was the Web address for Neverhood. I bounced around, and asked John to reboot into NT and look at the Web page. So we did that, and then died laughing. Everything else in the game had been really nice and simple. Easy, even. I don't think I would have thought of the solution, even if I had been given lots more time, which just made it all the funnier.

Brought to you by Dragon System's NaturallySpeaking.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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