The written word

Friday, December 7th, 2007 11:28 am
caddyman: (master)
It’s odd how even in a short period of time, your memory can play you wrong.

Having received (finally) my copy of NWO Transylvania from the printers, I have taken a very quick moment to reacquaint myself with some old friends. The interesting thing is how few of the characters I contributed to that volume; in my memory there were more.

Hereafter there is to be found a long and largely pointless retrospective and introspective waffle about writing, which you should feel free to skip )

The written word

Friday, December 7th, 2007 11:28 am
caddyman: (master)
It’s odd how even in a short period of time, your memory can play you wrong.

Having received (finally) my copy of NWO Transylvania from the printers, I have taken a very quick moment to reacquaint myself with some old friends. The interesting thing is how few of the characters I contributed to that volume; in my memory there were more.

Hereafter there is to be found a long and largely pointless retrospective and introspective waffle about writing, which you should feel free to skip )
caddyman: (master)
Columbina, Columbine, Mysterioso, Serenissima. )

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This picture has had a gestation period of about three years. I drew the initial sketch shortly after we ran NWO: Rome and filled it out before scanning it. Then the outline lay fallow for some months because I could not find a background for it. [livejournal.com profile] nyarbaggytep came to my rescue by allowing me the use of one of her Venice photographs, showing a quiet little backwater somewhere in the labyrinth of Venice. Then nothing happened for a while longer through a combination of inertia and technical failure. My ancient ArtPad would not work on my most recent motherboard, so it stalled again.

Now it is fixed and for some reason, over this weekend, I have found the enthusiasm and creative drive to finish the picture. It is not quite what I envisaged when I started out all that time ago, and it is a less than accomplished mishmash of techniques, but seeing as all apart from the initial out line sketch has been done with a mouse, a keyboard and an ArtPad, I am not too displeased with the result.

One of the days, I may post up the sequence of development and variations that the picture went through to get to this.
caddyman: (master)
Columbina, Columbine, Mysterioso, Serenissima. )

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This picture has had a gestation period of about three years. I drew the initial sketch shortly after we ran NWO: Rome and filled it out before scanning it. Then the outline lay fallow for some months because I could not find a background for it. [livejournal.com profile] nyarbaggytep came to my rescue by allowing me the use of one of her Venice photographs, showing a quiet little backwater somewhere in the labyrinth of Venice. Then nothing happened for a while longer through a combination of inertia and technical failure. My ancient ArtPad would not work on my most recent motherboard, so it stalled again.

Now it is fixed and for some reason, over this weekend, I have found the enthusiasm and creative drive to finish the picture. It is not quite what I envisaged when I started out all that time ago, and it is a less than accomplished mishmash of techniques, but seeing as all apart from the initial out line sketch has been done with a mouse, a keyboard and an ArtPad, I am not too displeased with the result.

One of the days, I may post up the sequence of development and variations that the picture went through to get to this.

Sola Volcano?

Friday, June 23rd, 2006 08:14 am
caddyman: (NWO)
This will mean nothing to most of you, but erstwhile NWO writers and some of the player base will recognise the reference.

It seems that eight centuries after the arch mage Casus Belli last visited the place, scientists have rediscovered Sola Volcano. That they are now calling it Empedocles shouldn't distract anyone in the know from the realisation that it is the same place!

Sola Volcano?

Friday, June 23rd, 2006 08:14 am
caddyman: (NWO)
This will mean nothing to most of you, but erstwhile NWO writers and some of the player base will recognise the reference.

It seems that eight centuries after the arch mage Casus Belli last visited the place, scientists have rediscovered Sola Volcano. That they are now calling it Empedocles shouldn't distract anyone in the know from the realisation that it is the same place!

The End of an Ear

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006 03:02 am
caddyman: (NWO)
A little later in the day than I had hoped - largely on account of the time it took to upload the pics (torrenting at the same time, see)- here is the final post I intend to make concerning NWO: Grand Tribunal.

It has been a long time coming. I have lost track of when we started, but I think my involvement goes back six years. I joined the writing team for Thebes, and despite questioning my sanity every time since, have stuck with it to the end. Suddenly I'm not quite sure what to do; I don't have to worry about deadlines, I don't have to worry about quality and I don't have to worry about continuity.

It's been a ride and a half; there have been ups and downs, crises major and minor, successes, failures, flanges and moments of exceptional brilliance.

I am glad I was involved, I'm glad we finished it, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I am very glad it's over. Ladies and Gentlemen, for the very last time, I give you New World Order Games. I challenge anyone to do what we have done over the course of five events and six and a half years. I am not expecting any takers.

Good night, and thanks for the memories.


The Archmage Marain ex Tremere, First of the Conclave and Primus Tremere swings round after delivering the killing blow to the discredited Archmage Palatine ex Bonisagus, erstwhile First Magus of the Order of Hermes.


Registered users can go here for a random selection of my pictures from the event.

The End of an Ear

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006 03:02 am
caddyman: (NWO)
A little later in the day than I had hoped - largely on account of the time it took to upload the pics (torrenting at the same time, see)- here is the final post I intend to make concerning NWO: Grand Tribunal.

It has been a long time coming. I have lost track of when we started, but I think my involvement goes back six years. I joined the writing team for Thebes, and despite questioning my sanity every time since, have stuck with it to the end. Suddenly I'm not quite sure what to do; I don't have to worry about deadlines, I don't have to worry about quality and I don't have to worry about continuity.

It's been a ride and a half; there have been ups and downs, crises major and minor, successes, failures, flanges and moments of exceptional brilliance.

I am glad I was involved, I'm glad we finished it, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I am very glad it's over. Ladies and Gentlemen, for the very last time, I give you New World Order Games. I challenge anyone to do what we have done over the course of five events and six and a half years. I am not expecting any takers.

Good night, and thanks for the memories.


The Archmage Marain ex Tremere, First of the Conclave and Primus Tremere swings round after delivering the killing blow to the discredited Archmage Palatine ex Bonisagus, erstwhile First Magus of the Order of Hermes.


Registered users can go here for a random selection of my pictures from the event.

And that's that....

Monday, May 15th, 2006 04:16 pm
caddyman: (NWO)
The Beast is dead.

I can concentrate on other things again; I am free!

More later, after rest.

And that's that....

Monday, May 15th, 2006 04:16 pm
caddyman: (NWO)
The Beast is dead.

I can concentrate on other things again; I am free!

More later, after rest.

(no subject)

Sunday, May 7th, 2006 06:46 pm
caddyman: (NWO)
It occurs to me that a week from now, the beast will either be dead or coughing up blood in its final death spasms. For all the grumbling I've done over the past few months, a little bit of me feels sad at the prospect. It has been a long journey, starting with peering over [livejournal.com profile] colonel_maxim's shoulder at a brief he was struggling with for NWO Levant, and thinking that it was something I could help with. A page and a half later and I was crewing for the event, and shortly thereafter, on the writing team for NWO Thebes, Transylvania, Rome and now the Grand Tribunal. It's been a long, long haul and the events have grown more complex as they progressed with awful inevitability towards the Fourth Crusade in 1204.

By and large I think we've done well. Perhaps things could have gone better at NWO Transylvania, but while the team fretted, the players seemed not to notice and enjoyed themselves. Rome far surpassed expectations, and I hope that what we have written for our final outing will do that justice and at least equal it even if we cannot out do it (although at this stage, I believe we will).

It is surprising simultaneously both how few plot lines have survived the sequence intact, and how many others have. This isn't a contradiction, but it is symptomatic of how the games morph and evolve as player interaction twists the plans of the writers over a weekend, leaving plot strands dangling where they should not, and unearthing avenues for inspection and further exploration that were previously closed. That is the bit that remains exciting and challenging.

This time next week, anyone who is at the event, and who is interested will get to find out in the debrief precisely what has eluded them over the sequence, and we shall all kick back with a beer or two and relax.

And then we shall keep it all in our memories and forget the sheer bloody hard work of it all.

Until some one says "I have an idea..." at which point he (or she) will be pounced upon without mercy. I can't do this again, wistful reminiscence not withstanding.

(no subject)

Sunday, May 7th, 2006 06:46 pm
caddyman: (NWO)
It occurs to me that a week from now, the beast will either be dead or coughing up blood in its final death spasms. For all the grumbling I've done over the past few months, a little bit of me feels sad at the prospect. It has been a long journey, starting with peering over [livejournal.com profile] colonel_maxim's shoulder at a brief he was struggling with for NWO Levant, and thinking that it was something I could help with. A page and a half later and I was crewing for the event, and shortly thereafter, on the writing team for NWO Thebes, Transylvania, Rome and now the Grand Tribunal. It's been a long, long haul and the events have grown more complex as they progressed with awful inevitability towards the Fourth Crusade in 1204.

By and large I think we've done well. Perhaps things could have gone better at NWO Transylvania, but while the team fretted, the players seemed not to notice and enjoyed themselves. Rome far surpassed expectations, and I hope that what we have written for our final outing will do that justice and at least equal it even if we cannot out do it (although at this stage, I believe we will).

It is surprising simultaneously both how few plot lines have survived the sequence intact, and how many others have. This isn't a contradiction, but it is symptomatic of how the games morph and evolve as player interaction twists the plans of the writers over a weekend, leaving plot strands dangling where they should not, and unearthing avenues for inspection and further exploration that were previously closed. That is the bit that remains exciting and challenging.

This time next week, anyone who is at the event, and who is interested will get to find out in the debrief precisely what has eluded them over the sequence, and we shall all kick back with a beer or two and relax.

And then we shall keep it all in our memories and forget the sheer bloody hard work of it all.

Until some one says "I have an idea..." at which point he (or she) will be pounced upon without mercy. I can't do this again, wistful reminiscence not withstanding.

blink blink

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006 04:14 pm
caddyman: (Stalin Award)
Rarely have my eyes been this tired! I have worn my glasses for longer periods this afternoon than I have before at any point, and for the first time at all in the last fortnight.

I still can't get used to them, and I seem only to manage five minues on, ten minutes off. I should get to bed earlier, give them more rest.

We still have bizarre IT problems here; my PC won't let me in and I only have limited access from the one I'm using. The IT Helpdesk seem to have gone to ground and are nowhere to be found.

On the plus side, I have managed nearly a full edit of one of my earlier NWO sheets, simply by adding around five pages to it.

More coffee, that's the answer.

blink blink

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006 04:14 pm
caddyman: (Stalin Award)
Rarely have my eyes been this tired! I have worn my glasses for longer periods this afternoon than I have before at any point, and for the first time at all in the last fortnight.

I still can't get used to them, and I seem only to manage five minues on, ten minutes off. I should get to bed earlier, give them more rest.

We still have bizarre IT problems here; my PC won't let me in and I only have limited access from the one I'm using. The IT Helpdesk seem to have gone to ground and are nowhere to be found.

On the plus side, I have managed nearly a full edit of one of my earlier NWO sheets, simply by adding around five pages to it.

More coffee, that's the answer.

NWO

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006 12:09 pm
caddyman: (NWO)
Finally, my last pre-deadline (just after the deadline, D'OH!)character sheet is done.

I had hoped to be able to help with some of the slack, but with the editing I need to do to ensure continuity both across those I have written, and with those from the rest of the rather heroic writing team, I doubt I shall have time. For largely work-related reasons, which have meant that writing a game is not what you want to do when you get home after a very trying time at the office, this has been a slog from start to finish.

And of course, latterly I have had other things on my mind, too (he says, deadpan).

Despite the trials and tribulations of getting this final NWO written, I am confident that this is a worthy finale to the sequence, and the quality coming from the writing team has been truly astounding.

I don't play Freeforms these days. But I almost wish I didn't know what was happening in this one, so I could play in it.

You lucky, lucky, people.

NWO

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006 12:09 pm
caddyman: (NWO)
Finally, my last pre-deadline (just after the deadline, D'OH!)character sheet is done.

I had hoped to be able to help with some of the slack, but with the editing I need to do to ensure continuity both across those I have written, and with those from the rest of the rather heroic writing team, I doubt I shall have time. For largely work-related reasons, which have meant that writing a game is not what you want to do when you get home after a very trying time at the office, this has been a slog from start to finish.

And of course, latterly I have had other things on my mind, too (he says, deadpan).

Despite the trials and tribulations of getting this final NWO written, I am confident that this is a worthy finale to the sequence, and the quality coming from the writing team has been truly astounding.

I don't play Freeforms these days. But I almost wish I didn't know what was happening in this one, so I could play in it.

You lucky, lucky, people.

Writing...

Friday, March 31st, 2006 07:08 pm
caddyman: (NWO)
My eyes are sore, even with my reading glasses on.

Six pages down, and probably twice that to go... I am taking a music rest for an hour or two, maybe until tomorrow, but hopefully I can get another page done later tonight.

But I'm on the final stretch before editing starts.

Writing...

Friday, March 31st, 2006 07:08 pm
caddyman: (NWO)
My eyes are sore, even with my reading glasses on.

Six pages down, and probably twice that to go... I am taking a music rest for an hour or two, maybe until tomorrow, but hopefully I can get another page done later tonight.

But I'm on the final stretch before editing starts.

Friday afternoon

Friday, March 24th, 2006 04:13 pm
caddyman: (Default)
I am in the happy position of having work to do, but being unable to do it, and as it is late on Friday afternoon, my motivation is draining away very rapidly.

I am trying to interrogate our subsidy data base for another interminable and pointless PQ. The payments team are running some arcane tests on the system, which means that anything other than their diagnostic (makes me feel right Trekkie) exercise, is progressing to geological timescales. Part of the fun, if I can ever get the data down is that the question I am answering will return virtually nothing of use to the MP (yes, the same MP I have waffled about before). For someone who aims to reform the system, he betrays a shocking lack of familiarity with the subject of his ire.

This morning I had my annual job chat which went well. I now have to go and muck about with my objectives a bit to make them look better, but apart from that…

Lunchtime saw Yours Truly wandering out to buy a Mother’s Day card. I remember when it was Mothering Sunday, which to me, sounds better. I also took the opportunity to wander into half a dozen local mobile phone shops with a view to acquiring a new battery for my V3 Razr. This turned out to be far more problematic than I think it should be. I had to wander out of two shops because they were so full, finding an assistant was not dissimilar to locating the source of the Nile. Of the rest, only Vodafone sell batteries, all the other places were either out of stock or never sell them anyway, preferring to unload new phones on people instead. Given that when I eventually purchased the new battery, it cost £40 I’m not entirely sure that a new phone might not have been cheaper.

Still, if I am to upgrade at some point (not, I hope for another 12-18 months, but I‘ve said that before), it will be to the even funkier Motorola V3i or V3x.

Tonight I shall slob around, I think, and listen to music. Then I shall watch the West Wing and maybe last night’s House. Tomorrow, NWO fans, I shall be finishing off Marsilla the Golden, and then starting on Aurelia Dandolo. Please note that I am the only person on the NWO writing team who ever spells Dandolo correctly.

Friday afternoon

Friday, March 24th, 2006 04:13 pm
caddyman: (Default)
I am in the happy position of having work to do, but being unable to do it, and as it is late on Friday afternoon, my motivation is draining away very rapidly.

I am trying to interrogate our subsidy data base for another interminable and pointless PQ. The payments team are running some arcane tests on the system, which means that anything other than their diagnostic (makes me feel right Trekkie) exercise, is progressing to geological timescales. Part of the fun, if I can ever get the data down is that the question I am answering will return virtually nothing of use to the MP (yes, the same MP I have waffled about before). For someone who aims to reform the system, he betrays a shocking lack of familiarity with the subject of his ire.

This morning I had my annual job chat which went well. I now have to go and muck about with my objectives a bit to make them look better, but apart from that…

Lunchtime saw Yours Truly wandering out to buy a Mother’s Day card. I remember when it was Mothering Sunday, which to me, sounds better. I also took the opportunity to wander into half a dozen local mobile phone shops with a view to acquiring a new battery for my V3 Razr. This turned out to be far more problematic than I think it should be. I had to wander out of two shops because they were so full, finding an assistant was not dissimilar to locating the source of the Nile. Of the rest, only Vodafone sell batteries, all the other places were either out of stock or never sell them anyway, preferring to unload new phones on people instead. Given that when I eventually purchased the new battery, it cost £40 I’m not entirely sure that a new phone might not have been cheaper.

Still, if I am to upgrade at some point (not, I hope for another 12-18 months, but I‘ve said that before), it will be to the even funkier Motorola V3i or V3x.

Tonight I shall slob around, I think, and listen to music. Then I shall watch the West Wing and maybe last night’s House. Tomorrow, NWO fans, I shall be finishing off Marsilla the Golden, and then starting on Aurelia Dandolo. Please note that I am the only person on the NWO writing team who ever spells Dandolo correctly.

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