JP On Gaming

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Writing a Steam Radio Episode?

Ever since I took part in Nanowrimo 2009, I really have taken to writing non-adventure material. I have been approached by some of the folks (folks being my good mate Scott Crosson) at Steam Radio to guest-write an upcoming episode. Now this is FAR from a done deal, I mean I have to submit a sample, then go to full production then editing and finally recording. So there is still a lot of water to flow under the bridge before/if this ever comes to see the light of day.

But its a start. I'm really looking forward to writing this. I'll also share with you, my RPG-folks any thoughts and lesson I learn as I do so. Like the novel, this is a new media for me. I had previously written a few things of the sort, but they never saw the light of day. I might've showed them to a friend or two, but nothing I could call "serious".

If you have not heard their podcast, I literally sat down and listened to it non-stop. It is very entertaining. It's not a professional job, but the guys are getting a LOT better as the episodes go by! Oh! And read the Website BEFORE listening... I did the mistake of listening to the first episode, going WTH? and then going through the website and going OH! Now THAT makes sense!

One thing I really liked were the commercials they have mid-episode. Like the anti-kraken powder for the ladies! Good, fun stuff! Hentai girls... that could save your ass... LITERALLY!

Now my personal history with steampunk was an odd one... It came in the form of Space 1889 and its sister product The Soldiers Companion, back in the 80s (or maybe early 90s...). Space 1889 is a real 80s rpg system: very much oriented towards miniature gaming, with rules taken right out of a minis game. Everything is there to do more than combat, but the system is just.. BAD. just bad. The game mechanics are just TEDIOUS. Really. Clunky, complex and just plain too difficult for their own good! Compared to today's game systems... Night and day.

For example: every time you get shot, you get to roll 1d6 and on a 6 you avoided/ dodged/ took cover from the attack. 40k's cover save anyone?

BUT THE SETTING! The setting is what got people into it. It had inter-planetary travel, Victoria as Queen and Empress of the solar system, evil Germans, Martians, and if that was not enough... You *ALSO* had the Earth to deal with. Just awesome. Just great. In the years since its publication, many have ported Space 1889 to other game systems: Gurps and more recently to Savage Worlds. I haven't got to play, but really would like to.

So... Space 1889 was the first time that I realized an interest for history closer than the Roman era. It got me thinking, researching, reading and getting me very much interested in the period.

To this day I can't call myself a Steam-punk aficionado or expert, I enjoy it. So... What I lack in specialized knowledge about Ether engines and copper boilers, I (think I) can make up with historical knowledge, and a love of sci-fi.

I'll keep you posted.


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