Sunday 19 June 2011

My Gaming Memoirs Part 23 - 2005

And another slow year. But, to be fair, that wasn't totally my fault.

I discovered two things this year. One, I found that blogging was helping me with my lack of gaming and was giving me focus and something to write. It didn't help that the blog was basically me ranting about everything I hated about the world, usually after a few drinks. My nights became alcohol-fuelled rages about anything that even mildly upset me, and after several hours of typing, a bottle of Southern Comfort and smoking a packet of twenty Embassy No1 I was usually pretty much useless for anything else.

So gaming came to a juddering halt. No games here or there, no swift scenarios or a quick bashes. There were no games, period. I didn't write for them, didn't run them, didn't play them, didn't even read them. There was no gaming, at all. None. Zilch. My roleplaying days were over. Gone. Finished. Behind me. I was destined to never sit behind a GM's shield ever again, or roll dice, or imagine myself as an otherwordly hero.

You get the picture.

The second thing was finding out that my writing skills were getting me paid work. I was approached to draft a treatment, design the missions and write the dialogue for a video game of the new re-imagined 'Battlestar Galactica'. I had seen the whole first series so I jumped at the chance and within a couple of days had written the entire thing, including the presentation for the pitch to Universal and extra bonus missions. The contract was won and my work was turned into a video game. At last! My work was being recognised!

It was a thrill, but I still wasn't gaming. In fact, my gaming really had seemed to have come to an end.

Now that I think about it, I should have just skipped a few years until 2009 when I got back into gaming proper. Still, a few things did happen between now and then.

Tuesday 7 June 2011

My Gaming Memoirs Part 22 - 2004

So my gaming had taken a turn for the worst but my writing hadn't. It was this year I decided to have a serious stab at getting published and I did so by being featured in the British Science Fiction Association writer's magazine 'FOCUS' with a short story based on part of a huge science fiction roleplaying campaign I had done years before. It got some pretty good feedback and gave me the impetus to try some more. My League of Seven setting began to take form in a detailed novel, the first eight chapters I managed to complete, but this was abandoned and the chapters incorporated into the Lo7 game as short filler stories to help invoke atmosphere.

I found myself longing for the old days of my gaming. I wanted the 1980s back - not the music or style, just the gaming - as I missed the wide-eyed wonder of new games, discoveries and realisations about what I could do with the hobby. I missed dungeon-bashing, and those first few emotionally-driven games that I would throw my heart in to with abandon, and laugh and fantasize and not care about anything else except being there, in the game, as that character. Now I was working, I had responsibilities, I was much more self-conscious about the level of emotional involvement I had in the game, and was now very coy about expressing myself as wildly as I used to. I was playing at being grown up and I wasn't being very good at it.

I realised then, as I do now, that one of the things I missed the most about the old games was becoming invested in a character. It seemed I had gone full circle - the stats on the paper were just numbers to me when I first began in the hobby, and they were number on a sheet to me once again. The PC was a playing piece, not a character by any stretch of the imagination. I still think I feel that way and I still long for games I can lose myself in.

This was mainly due to the lack of gaming. The games were quick, one-off, simple, with next to no chance of blossoming into a larger campaign. I was becoming lethargic about the whole thing, cynical. I needed a kick, something that would re-ignite my passion for the hobby. I was spending my time writing and that was just fine, but I needed game time.