Category Archives: olmag

Episode 11: THE END OF THE WORLD!

40:30 long & 37.1 MB big

In this episode, Robert Bohl (designer of Misspent Youth) and Joshua A. C. Newman (designer of shock: social science fiction) end it all. Just in time for your Dreamation 2010 drive/flight!

- You can’t cut a piece off something living unless it wants you to, like one of those happy cow-like aliens from Resturant at the End of the Universe or a German suicide
- The TV show Dollhouse by J.J. Abrams
- Rob’s a bad designer and Joshua doesn’t like people
- Game Chef
- Shock: Human Contact by Joshua, and In a Wicked Age…. and Apocalypse World by Vincent Baker of Lumpley Games
- Meguey Baker of Night Sky Games
- Behavior-based questioning in interviews, and how it relates to game design
- John Wick and Ed Healy also are doing a project like Oo!
- AXE COP
- Another project: Ludic Jibber Jabber (no link yet)
- The Podge Cast shows up on iTunes when you search for Oo!
- Our negative review on iTunes
- Our requisite Radio Lab reference
- Sons of Kryos, Science Times, Brilliant Gameologists
- HOW TO FAIL!!!!!
- An NPR story referencing public administration and dead horses
- Kevin Smith’s The Mountain Witch

You can subscribe to the show (if you still want to) by plugging the RSS feed URL into your preferred podcatcher. You can also use the one-click iTunes button thingie:

The intro music is “Gotta Whizz” by Boris the Sprinkler, from the album Mega Anal. The outgoing music is a live version of “The End of the Tour” by They Might Be Giants from the album John Henry.

Choose Your Adventure! [Oo! Let's Make a Game!]

SUPERCOMPUTER

51:04 long & 49 MB big

In this episode, Robert Bohl (designer of Misspent Youth) and Joshua A. C. Newman (designer of shock: social science fiction) discuss major changes to the game, spend a lot of time with feedback, and discuss how Jewish someone has to be in England.

We took some during-the-show notes. If you have Google Wave you might be able to take a look at the Wave we created while recording. For those of you without, you can check out the Google Docs transcription

- The Weird Jews Livejournal group that Joshua joined
- The Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution
- The Alas, A Blog entry about the New York Times piece on England and Jewishness
- Kat & Michael Miller’s Serial Homicide Unit
- The Starship Troopers and Robocop films
- Feedback from Doc Holaday, Luke Crane (sorta), Vincent Baker, Jj
- cat and man!
- We know who the game will always be about now!
- Larry Ellison
- Rutgers and Yale Universities
- Blackwater Worldwide
- Postmodernism
- On Mighty Thews, by Simon Carryer
- Frank Frazetta
- The Draconis Montreal convention

You can subscribe to the show by plugging the RSS feed URL into your preferred podcatcher. You can also use the one-click iTunes button thingie:

The intro music is “Gotta Whizz” by Boris the Sprinkler, from the album Mega Anal. The outgoing music is “Taffy Lewis’ Night Club” by Vangelis.

Oo! Let’s Make a Game! Episode 9: Secret Powerz!

ooh-lets-300

57:39 long & 52.8 MB big

In this episode, Robert Bohl (designer of Misspent Youth) and Joshua A. C. Newman (designer of shock: social science fiction) discuss the abilities of the hunter-fog-cloud thing, talk a bit more about the tech web, then get into brainstorming some of the possible powers that the different characters in the game have.

Notes taken by Joshua and I before and during the episode, with lots of detail on what we came up with.

- Joshua tells a story about badasses and kukris
- Listener feedback from Renato Raimonda, Dave Michalak, and Noah Trammell (02:54 – 10:00)
- Archetype / Dramatic role as a class / race combination
- Vincent Baker’s Apocalypse World
- Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki’s (aka “Slash”) board game, Salah Ad-Din: Rise of a Leader
- We tried to use Google Wave, and there’s a public Wave to look at from our planning session (you need a Wave account)
- The James Herbert novel The Fog, which Joshua conflates with the Stephen King novella, The Mist
- The German boardgame Keep Cool (you may be able to buy this if you speak German), and Vincent Baker’s Mechaton
- The Steven Spielberg sci-fi film Minority Report
- The limbic system (for those of you perplexed by Joshua’s “limbically”)
- The unlinkable but cool Chris Moore game, Psi Run (it was an Ashcan Front game
- Return of singularitarianism
- Return of the tech web!
- Brennan Taylor’s Mortal Coil
- DARPANET

Listener homeworks (2 of them):

1) Give us a name for the cloudkill
2) Give us a name for the little quanta of information the cloudkill gets on you

You can subscribe to the show by plugging the RSS feed URL into your preferred podcatcher. You can also use the one-click iTunes button thingie:

The intro music is “Gotta Whizz” by Boris the Sprinkler, from the album Mega Anal. The outgoing music is “Games Without Frontiers” by Peter Gabriel.

[Oo! Let's Make a Game!] Episode 8: Building People!

identities

54:46 long & 50.2 MB big

In this episode, Robert Bohl (designer of Misspent Youth) and Joshua A. C. Newman (designer of shock: social science fiction) finish developing the character-based situation for the game they’re designing — before your very ears! — then move on to discussing some ways that characters can be pushed to change away from baseline humanity

Rob’s during-the-show notes, the document containing the complete write-up of the relationship map, and Joshua’s ideas on the cloudkill technology.

- Rob does a staged reading of the lyrics to “Prevenge” by They Might Be Giants
- We reflect on how much podcasting is like The King of Comedy
- Obligatory references to Vincent Baker, Radio Lab, and Paul Beakley (we also talk about Ben Lehman)
- COINTELPRO
- The film Jarhead
- The Wire, Generation Kill, and Battlestar Galactica
- John Dillinger
- Toxoplasmosis, Brilliant Gameologists podcast, and Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
- Hampshire College, the college Joshua graduated from
- Crank, which has a sub-standard sequel
- Mortal Coil
- My Life with Master
- Cloudkill
- A Scanner Darkly
- JiffyCon
- There are mysterious goings-on on the Facebook page for shock:

You can subscribe to the show by plugging the RSS feed URL into your preferred podcatcher. You can also use the one-click iTunes button thingie:

The intro music is “Gotta Whizz” by Boris the Sprinkler, from the album Mega Anal. The outgoing music is “Prevenge” by They Might Be Giants from the album The Spine.

Oo! Let’s Make a Game! Episode 7: Life During Wartime

ethnicRhinoplasty

58:34 long & 56.2 MB big

In this episode, Robert Bohl (designer of Misspent Youth) and Joshua A. C. Newman (designer of shock: social science fiction) try out a new way of designing and recording. The show will be going biweekly and Joshua & Rob are going to start doing some design before recording, then discuss it. A great deal of headway is made making up the starting characters and mapping out some of their relationships.

Joshua & Rob’s pre-show work and formal/structured notes written during the episode.

- Joshua & Rob discuss fucking robots and the uncanny valley
- Jenn from Trapcast is happy to “see” us back
- The setup of the protagonists in a pentagram
- Each iteration of the game will have one of the five characters as protagonist
- Matt Wilson’s Primetime Adventures has rules for saying who’s the protagonist on a per-episode basis, and shock: does it on a per-scene basis; Rob presumes that The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Role-playing Game has something to handle a main protagonist with back-ups
- Seth Ben Ezra’s Dirty Secrets also has one main protagonist
- Vincent Baker‘s game Synthia
- Emily Care Boss has a game in playtest that adapts Eero Tuovinen’s Zombie Cinema (there’s a Story Games thread post that discusses it very briefly
- Stealing the qualitative fictional rule-setting from Brennan Taylor’s Mortal Coil
- Joshua is reading Not of Woman Born on recommendation from Meguey Baker of Night Sky Games
- Joshua and Rob argue over whether police are just another gang
- A discussion including the film L.A. Confidential and the TV show The Wire
- I spoil the 1991 remake of Cape Fear to make a point

You can subscribe to the show by plugging the RSS feed URL into your preferred podcatcher. You can also use the one-click iTunes button thingie:

The intro music is “Gotta Whizz” by Boris the Sprinkler, from the album Mega Anal. The outgoing music is “Life During Wartime” by The Talking Heads.

Incidentally, you can find more information about the header image for the blog post at this article about ethnic cosmetic surgery.

OLMAG Episode 6: How to Start a War!

Check out that kid's face.

(EDIT: I’ve changed the header image that was originally on this post because it was NSFW. For posterity, in case someone is curious, you can find the original image here. Edit: No, Rob. That wasn’t the real image. That was for a completely… different project.)

52:24 long & 50.3 MB big

In this episode, Robert Bohl (designer of Misspent Youth) and Joshua A. C. Newman (designer of shock: social science fiction), we talk about a few possible initial scenarios, and decide which one we want to explore first. There’s some good progress here from the absolute slaughter and misery we inflicted on each other in the prior episode.

Joshua’s homework and Rob’s notes during the show

- Joshua tries to let Rob off the hook for being lazy
- Vincent Baker gave us extremely helpful feedback on the forum
- We get more status by talking about Vincent’s input than we do from discussing Paul Beakley’s
- Joshua talks about a whispered Story Games thread between he and Alexandre (board name Kobayashi), who was a soldier in the Yugoslav Wars
- Joshua’s scenario idea is the refugee one
- In LIFELESS, you play…. (around 10:30)
- Simon C’s feedback, which brings up discussion of Vincent’s fiction-first posts
- Bruce Sterling’s Schismatrix and Crystal Express
- Requisite references to Dollhouse and Richard K. Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs novels
- We settle on the refugee thing, as at least the first “module”
- A mention of (and spoiler for) the film Silent Running
- Emily Care Boss’s Sign in Stranger
- We want to have the game to come with the scenario all set to go, like John Harper’s Lady Blackbird
- Our homework: each of us writes: a setup for the war, 6 characters, a relationship map, and the initiating technology that made it terrible
- No listener homework
- Working title: “Lifeless”
- We mention the comic book/game store we were about to head to in Northampton, MA: Modern Myths

You can subscribe to the show by plugging the RSS feed URL into your preferred podcatcher. You can also use the one-click iTunes button thingie:

The intro music is “Gotta Whizz” by Boris the Sprinkler, from the album Mega Anal. The outgoing music is from the same band and the same album. The song is called Sheena’s Got a Microwave Now, and I chose it because it’s the harrowing story of a love denied and interfered with by an insurmountable gap in technology.

Oo! Let’s Make a Game! Episode 5: Sticky Situations!

01:54:51 long & 110.3 MB big

In this episode, Robert Bohl (designer of Misspent Youth) and Joshua A. C. Newman (designer of shock: social science fiction), discuss how to pre-bake-in a situation for the game they’re developing. Many hearts were broken, unforgivable things were said, will they still be friends at the end of this arduously long show? Listen in to find out.

Joshua’s homework (Rob didn’t do his).

- We start of being enthusiastic about Idiocracy
- Rob skipped homework, Joshua didn’t
- Discussing input from Vincent Baker, Simon C., and Doc Holaday
- Charles Stross’s Accelerando
- Futurama
- Transhumanauts!
- John Cassaday and Warren Ellis’s Planetary
- My friend Blake, who had an interesting idea for a game
- The movies Cube and Saw
- Montsegur 1244 and carry: a game about war
- Ganakagok
- 100 Bullets
- Exquisite corpse
- Wildly various spider genetalia
- Twenty Bucks
- Psi Run (or, at least, its forum)
- Dogs in the Vineyard
- Mouse Guard RPG
- Do not look Vincent Baker in the eye
- Our homework: Vomit forth creativity on this project
- Listener homework: Give us some scenarios

Rob’s during-the-show notes

You can subscribe to the show by plugging the RSS feed URL into your preferred podcatcher. You can also use the one-click iTunes button thingie:

The intro music is “Gotta Whizz” by Boris the Sprinkler, from the album Mega Anal. The outgoing music is Overlap by Ani DiFranco from the album Out of Range

Oo! Let’s Make a Game! Episode 4: Social Networks!

01:06:30 long & 63.8 MB big

In this episode, Robert Bohl (designer of Misspent Youth) and Joshua A. C. Newman (designer of shock: social science fiction), discuss possible structures for a session of play, talk about how to structure technological and interpersonal relationships, and talk a bit about how mechanics might work. Lots of meaty game design here.

Joshua‘s and Rob‘s homeworks

- Listener feedback: Paul Beakley, Nathan Wilson, Simon C, Doc Holaday
- The book Starfish by Peter Watts
- Discussion of how many players the game should service
- Initialization, a word to be used a lot in the game
- Drop initialization phase created NPC?
- Primetime Adventures
- Spotlight characters, scene order, and whether scenes are about players or characters
- Are there too many scenes? Can you run out of interesting stuff before you run out of time?
- The roles that PCs play in spotlight characters’ scenes when they’re not spotlight
- The Wire
- Introducing new NPCs and new tech, tying Currents to them
- Talking about the tech web
- Separate relationship maps on each character sheet to reflect different visions of relationships
- What am mechanics?
- Joshua = power, Rob = meaningfulness
- Joshua promises a diagram
- Mind control!
- Personality Anchors, and we argue over it
- Richard K. Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs novels
- Rob keeps talking about “spotlight scene” when he means “spotlight episode”
- Anchors and immunity
- Vincent Baker’s thread where he’s asking for critique on Apocalypse World
- What to call the co-GMs?
- Homework: write up what a scene might feel like, which we’re probably going to do on the forum
- No listener homework

Rob’s during-the-show notes

You can subscribe to the show by plugging the RSS feed URL into your preferred podcatcher. You can also use the one-click iTunes button thingie:

The intro music is “Gotta Whizz” by Boris the Sprinkler, from the album Mega Anal. The outgoing music is I Wish I Was a Boy by Angry Red Planet, provided by Podshow’s Podsafe Music Network.

Oo! Let’s Make a Game! Episode 3: Human Evolution!

Philip K. Dick lives in the Uncanny Valley.
58:55 long & 56.6 MB big

In this episode, Robert Bohl (designer of Misspent Youth) and Joshua A. C. Newman (designer of shock: social science fiction), discuss what character creation should be like in the transhumanist science fiction game they’re designing—before your very ears! What are the characters going to do? What are the meta-fictional mechanics going to be like? What will the system potentially care about? We get a lot of substantive design work done here and come up with a nascent mechanic that I know Joshua and I are both very excited about.

- We start with listener feedback: Simon C and Nathan Wilson
- Talking about eschatology
- Rob’s and Joshua’s homework from last episode
- Thor Olavsrud and Terry Hope Romero got shock: to do some interesting things at JiffyCon
- We talk about a possible initializing phase of the game (character creation, only not)
- Joshua’s blog post about memory erasure
- What can you use technology to change in the game?
- A Radio Lab episode called (and about) Memory and Forgetting
- We don’t want the world to crush characters like it does in shock:
- Linus Torvolds
- Charles Stross’s Singularity Sky and Accelerando
- We talk about whether the technological singularity will necessarily be a part of the game
- Lyndon LaRouche
- Waffling on libertarian transhumanism
- The tv show Connecti ons
- Jared Sorensen, of Memento Mori Theatricks, was the first person to suggest to Joshua the idea of non-person-based relationship maps
- The technology web mechanic
- Vincent Baker and his idea about capping things
- Our homework: describe what a session of play would be like
- Listener homework: Tell us about protagonists undergoing change in transhumanist fiction; what are your favorite examples or trends?

Rob’s during-the-show notes from episode two and this one. Also, initializing-phase 2.0 (aka character creation but not).

You can subscribe to the show by plugging the RSS feed URL into your preferred podcatcher. You can also use the one-click iTunes button thingie:

The intro music is “Gotta Whizz” by Boris the Sprinkler, from the album Mega Anal. For outgoing, rather than music this time, we have a talk by Joshua’s old professor, Slavko Milekic, on the important role touch plays in human nature.