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The Future Proof Podcast 006

Podcast episode

Melissa Avery-Weir  0:21  
Hello and welcome to the Future Proof Podcast. This is a monthly podcast where we chat about stuff we've been working on and anything cool we're planning. I'm Melissa Avery-Weir...

Gregory  0:31  
and I'm Gregory Avery-Weir.


Melissa Avery-Weir  0:34  
You played in a bit of fun recently!

Gregory  0:36  
Yeah, so I think last month we talked about how Melissa was running a role playing game on Twitch on our friend otherdoc's channel called "Still Waters Run Deep".

It's using our

cool improvisational role playing system Rosette Diceless.

Melissa Avery-Weir  0:55  
Yep, which we've been writing a lot of articles about.

Gregory  0:59  
Yeah, there's a lot of supplement

material at RosettaRPG.com. Yeah, that's just all sorts of extra stuff. And like both new stuff that you can add to your game, and also more in depth ideas behind our intentions when making the system.

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:15  
Yeah, ways you can, you can think about building characters or approaching gameplay, especially long running games.

Gregory  1:22  
So this game was that Lissa was running was in two parts, it was originally going to be a one shot, but it just proved just--circumstances in the way that the players and the story worked out, ended up going long and so got split up. And we had a player who was unfortunately unable to make it to the second session, not due to not wanting to just just scheduling issues.

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:45  
It was the person who played that cop in the first episode.

Gregory  1:51  
And so I dropped in as an understudy and played as

a school teacher who is also from a me good family, capital G, capital F. And was very, very much Southern, polite, but incredibly rude person.

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:09  
Yes, it was, it was cutting.

Gregory  2:13  
But the story was interesting.

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:18  
There are a few things that worked out in a way that was just... I don't know if I should reveal it.

Gregory  2:22  

I think we can kind of talk and very vague terms, but folks who, who want to listen will still get something out of it.

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:29  

so when I was planning the story, you know, I had to come up with names and places and, and I wanted to be regionally appropriate. And I live in the South.

Gregory  2:40  
And this takes place in--I don't think the state was clear--

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:43  
I did not specify.

Gregory  2:44  
It's in a, in a--

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:45  
It's an Alabama-y place.

Gregory  2:47  
In the, in the south.

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:48  
Yeah, definitely, definitely pinning off of Georgia or Alabama or whatever kind of Deep South states and so I named it based on some things here in North Carolina, which are very common family names.

Gregory  2:59  
The old plantation,

some of the old families involved.

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:02  
Exactly. And as we were coming to the end of this, this is this was set in 1971. So there are a whole lot of factors going on culturally

with, you know, the setting being a little weird, and, and, and things like that. But as we got to the end, and we we sort of it all sort of came together--

Gregory  3:23  
The way things turned out, it ended up being that we set into motion certain events that actually happened in historical reality.

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:31  
Yes. Yeah.

Gregory  3:32  
Like things that Melissa could never have planned a ended up being, oh, yeah, well, our characters did this. And that could have easily resulted in this thing that happened in 1973 that used to this specific name.

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:46  
Exactly. I'm like, tiny, tiny example is, you know, I picked 1971 because... throw a dart at the wall. And it and I wanted

the person who, who is our chemist or lab tech to be really interested in lab safety. And it turns out that 1971 is the first year that OSHA was existing.

Gregory  4:08  

the American like, occupational safety--

Melissa Avery-Weir  4:12  
Safety hazard, something or other.

Gregory  4:13  

Melissa Avery-Weir  4:14  
And so I was able to kind of give this person a quirk of like, "Day One OSHA Fan," I think. Yeah, and so there was, things like that, where I didn't specifically pick names and end dates to fit historical events, but it all just fell together in a way that just had us cackling at the end. So we'll definitely post...

We'll embed both parts of that, or a playlist, I think we have to set that up so you can watch it. It's, you know, a few hours long, but if you watch Giant Bomb Quick Looks, you'll

survive this.

Gregory  4:49  
And we're intending to offer to run this for other folks. We'll be sending out emails. And also, if you are interested in here, this feel free to contact us for for running this or another scenario. And one of the things that I was struck by was, as I was watching, and then later playing is how differently it would run when I run it.

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:08  

Gregory  5:08  
I think it ran great. Like, it's, I don't have criticisms, or you did this wrong. Yeah. But like thinking about like, it was horror, but it was a very, kind of sedate, and--

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:20  

Gregory  5:20  
--Person focused horror.

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:22  
Yes. There was no chasing involved.

Gregory  5:24  

It was just kind of like, oh, periodically, people would die. And we were like, what the hell is going on?

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:31  

Gregory  5:31  
And I think that when I run it, it will be a little more, a little more... Not, not running around, but visceral.

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:38  
Yeah, yeah.

Gregory  5:39  
Possibly literally. So that's not the only thing you only piece of writing you've done that that has been Future Proof related lately.

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:49  
Yeah. And

I guess sort of speaking of strange horror, I've been doing the bulk of the narrative writing for the next Headless Swarm job for Exploit: Zero Day. And I'm getting to write as my favorite character, which I'm pretty sure I mentioned last month, KernelPop,

who is our sort of elder statesman of a sort. Quirky elder stateman.

Gregory  6:15  

Maybe maybe a grizzled veteran more than elder statesman?

Melissa Avery-Weir  6:20  
Yes, but he's attending a cryptocurrency--not actually cryptocurrency--conference and ends up in a spot of trouble. And it's been interesting. It's one of the things about writing for Exploit: Zero Day, it's kind of hard to get into a flow because a lot of what I'm writing are things that about the length of an email.

Gregory  6:43  
Yeah little chunks.

Melissa Avery-Weir  6:44  
Little chunks and so... it's NaNoWriMo month, which is--

Gregory  6:50  
The nano in NaNoWriMo does not refer to small pieces of fiction.

Melissa Avery-Weir  6:55  
Exactly. And so you know, there's, I follow a lot of people who are doing this more actively doing NaNoWriMo more actively, and certainly remember my own writings in the month. And it's not the kind of writing that's that's conducive to getting in a flow. Like, I can't just sit and write 3000 words. For one,  there aren't 3000 words in this in this particular bit of plot. But also, it's all chunked up, and there's puzzles in it, like, like word puzzles hidden in it. And I have to write in character for extended bits. So it's weird. It's, it's proving difficult to kind of get back in the flow. But it is fun to get to never use a shift key because KernelPop--I have to forget to use apostrophe sometimes.

Gregory  7:42  
Well I haven't actually read any of it yet, but I look forward to it. I've got as one of my tasks this sprint to test the first bit of writing. So I'm looking forward to taking a look at it. Hopefully, you won't have gotten everything completely wrong.

Melissa Avery-Weir  7:57  
Yes, I hope not. I think I asked enough questions. And that's been tricky. You know, coming back to this after several months of not doing it is like, okay, we put we put fairly abbreviated notes here. Like, what, what exactly where we intending? What do we think that puzzle would be? So on and so forth.

Gregory  8:14  
We're getting the hang of it.

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:15  
We are.

We are.

Gregory  8:16  
So something we've been starting recently is a series of weekly or roughly weekly live streams of video games: let's plays, Twitch streams, whatever, whatever they're called these days. And we've been picking trying to pick short games that can be finished in one or two sessions. And it's been fun and interesting. We've gotten--

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:41  

Gregory  8:41  
Folks dropping into to chat about stuff. It's been very cool.

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:46  
Yeah, we've played...

I played a bird story.

Gregory  8:50  

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:51  
I also played Tacoma.

Gregory  8:53  

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:53  
Which I loved.

Gregory  8:56  
I think Tacoma was a really good game. Watching it for another time made me like it even more.

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:00  
Holy crap. Such a great game. You on the other hand, have played a weird-ass game.

Gregory  9:07  

I played--was the only game I played Beckett?

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:10  
Quite possibly.

Gregory  9:11  
So Beckett is a weird... ah, boy.

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:15  
Beckett like the author.

Gregory  9:16  
Yeah, it's an unpleasant game to play. It's it's, I mean, mechanically, from the stuff you're doing, it's basically a I don't know, graphic adventure game. You walk around and talk to people.

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:27  
Yeah, and click on things.

Gregory  9:29  
But the, the, the art style is sort of a cut and paste--

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:36  
Serial Killer.

Gregory  9:38  
Yeah, like people are represented by images. Like little cockroaches or clamshells. Their voices are all foley of some sort sound effects. So Beckett's is just coughing. So whenever, whenever Beckett's talking, it's just like *cough*.

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:54  
So weird.

Gregory  9:56  
And it's a noir detective story where you're looking for a missing person, but it's also sort of does some William S. Burroughs or

Philip K. Dick-style like reality bending?

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:11  

Gregory  10:12  
Where you're maybe mentally ill or maybe don't exist, or maybe reality itself is being bent. You're definitely in a city where, at least as far as the narration is concerned, people like wear live insects as jewelry.

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:27  

Gregory  10:29  
There's, there's a hospital you go to that has some medical atrocities being performed. It's weird.

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:36  
It's super strange. It's one of those games where I don't think we realized how many content warnings from here to put on the stream originally.

Gregory  10:42  

I mean, we, we looked at it. We're like, it's probably fine. We'll put some content warning. Yeah. Yeah. But then we kept being like, Oh, hey, the hope you don't have an issue with bugs or well, all sorts of thing. Yeah. Medical.

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:56  
We don't want to have to content warning this


Gregory  10:58  

It's there was a bunch of stuff. I don't think that I mean, no one seemed to have--no one mentioned having an issue with it.

Melissa Avery-Weir  11:06  

If so they just kind of quietly left.

Gregory  11:08  
And I

think our I think our general tone that we adopted pretty quickly was was enough to, to warn people about it.

Melissa Avery-Weir  11:15  

Gregory  11:16  
But, uh.

Melissa Avery-Weir  11:17  
Yeah, it's been, it's been fun, like, kind of having that regular schedule of things like that to do. I'm often sort of leaving what game I play in your hands, Greg, because I'm kind of like, I have a list of games. Which one of these is short enough? And I don't, you know, I'm not going


Gregory  11:34  
I've got a pretty both encyclopedic memory for this, this sort of thing. And also like, and I--I can look at a game pretty quickly and be like, okay, yeah, that'll be photogenic enough, and short enough and stuff. And the game I'm playing almost certainly Sunday is going to be something that's much more, you know, pleasant and less unsettling than Beckett. It's a game called Paratopic, which I think soon as--

Yeah, that's absolutely a lie. As soon as Melissa looked at the first seconds of video, they audibly made a sound of disgust at the, at the creepy swimming face of a character in the trailer.

Melissa Avery-Weir  12:13  
Yeah, there's there's too few pixels and the faces.

Gregory  12:15  
Yeah, it's very clearly inspired by--

Melissa Avery-Weir  12:17  

Gregory  12:18  

Melissa Avery-Weir  12:19  

Gregory  12:19  
Quake-era graphics of people with very low polygon outlines, but also like that creepy distortion of textures that happens in--

Melissa Avery-Weir  12:29  

Gregory  12:30  
--for various mathematical reasons in early 3d games. So I'm looking forward to that.

Melissa Avery-Weir  12:35  

And when you say Sunday, you mean the Sunday after this podcast comes out.

Gregory  12:40  
Oh, yeah, oh yeah.

Melissa Avery-Weir  12:41  
So listeners, you will be able to go after hearing this if you hear it relatively soon.

Gregory  12:46  

Melissa Avery-Weir  12:48  
So you can find us and all of our stuff at futureproofgames.com. We only exist there.

Gregory  12:54  

Melissa Avery-Weir  12:56  
All of our souls are there as well. We're over on twitter at @playfutureproof and on Facebook as Future Proof Games.

Gregory  13:03  
And if you want to check out our previous streams there on YouTube on the--if you just search for Future Proof Games, you'll find them. And then we stream on our individual twitch streams: so averymd and gregoryaveryweir.

Melissa Avery-Weir  13:17  
Yeah, we'll, we'll link that show notes, too.

Gregory  13:19  
If you've got any questions or comments for us, you can give it send them to us on our blog on social media. You can write us at info at future proof games. com if you want a more private conversation.

Melissa Avery-Weir  13:31  
Our theme music is "Juparo" by Broke for Free, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.