Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Veteran Game Master Ivan Van Norman is running a post-apocalyptic adventure game that follows a band of survivors as they journey into the infected American Midwest streaming on Alpha. Based on the award-winning podcast, We’re Alive: Frontier features five new characters and countless ways to die. Joining Ivan Van Norman around the table as players are Mythica actress Melanie Stone, Twitch streamer, and cosplayer Alcuin Gersh, Xander Jeanneret of Sagas of Sundry: Madness, Overwatch voice-actress Anjali Bhimani, and Vince Caso of The Guild.I got the chance to chat with Ivan about this exciting tabletop game/TV show hybrid.Let’s get started! So how did you start making your own tabletop RPGs?AdChoices广告Ivan: I made my first campaign in the World of Darkness using all of the books. Vampire, Werewolf, Hunter, like everything. During that time myself and a buddy of mine decided to make our own game Outbreak: Undead, in 2011, featured in We’re Alive: Frontier. We have our own publishing company, Hunters Books, which was a side hustle, but now it’s finally got some traction since we partnered with Renegade Game Studios which are putting out all our games. I don’t know if you knew this, but RPGs are cool now! People love interactive storytelling. It’s giving us the capacity to do interactive storytelling that doesn’t require a big budget and a green screen to put together. And there’s no script, so the players know as much as the audience knows. It’s very honest storytelling. As a result, people are starting to show, like the people that watch Critical Role or Horror Show, that they like this more than scripted television because they really honestly feel they’re going on this journey with these characters. It doesn’t matter if it’s one episode or a hundred.Dealing with streaming a show like this, it’s not like a Game Of Thrones budget, but it’s still a big production. What are the challenges and rewards of doing a game in this format?Ivan: The main challenge is making it feel like a game when everyone wants to make it a show. The natural reaction to something like this when a budget is introduced is how much risk can we remove. What do we guarantee? Are we going to need a prop for this item? Are we going to need a set for this location? And from playing RPGs, you know the answer is usually “I have no idea.” I am planning for them to go here, but players will do what players do. And even if you lay out very clear messages for them they may not pick up on it, and that’s just something that happens. So the big challenge when putting together these shows is making it feel very immersive and well thought out while still making it super clear that this is a game and these players have choices. And especially in games like Sagas of Sundry where they have a choice to interact and make difficult choices. Not only the choice to survive, but to live. Make every moment with their cast count. Knowing that there are points where you need to back off and the players tell the story too, which is really what you want when you want a perfect game. Like with We’re Alive: Frontier my goal was to run the game I always wanted to run of Outbreak: Undead. Like if I had the time effort and energy to put I would do every week for my friends. The one I always wanted to run on my own, but we all know that life gets in the way.The benefit is when you are putting together a show like this you have an ultimate commitment from your players, you know? This isn’t just a casual weekend where people come out, you order pizza, and people are diddling on their phones while they’re playing. Everyone here is committed because not only are they all professionals, actors, as well as role players, but they really want to be there. It’s not just a job. They love the material and their cast. And for We’re Alive: Frontier, half the cast have been doing test sessions and have also part of my Outbreak: Undead test group and we’ve been playing together for a year on and off throughout this time. And just having this opportunity to be inclusive, teach people the game, have people feel comfortable, and know they’re not just here to play the game, but to entertain people, to make craft, good story. I think anyone that does an RPG show; they take it beyond. They’re not playing for them, they’re playing for their cast members and the audience.Why We’re Alive? Why adopt this particular podcast?Ivan: We’re Alive, Kc Wayland started his podcast around the time I started Outbreak: Undead. There was a part of me that really celebrated what he did with his world. He has such a gloriously rich world building. He managed to craft a story with zero visuals at all. He did a scripted version of what a lot of games wish they could do all the time. And he had the benefit of having a sound engineering and screenwriting background to basically make this medium for him. He brought back the radio drama and I respect him for that. I really thought that We’re Alive was ripe for a world that we could expand off of it and tell a new story. Looking at his notes, he’s barely touched any of it. He’s got the timeline really figured out, and it seems almost a shame to not dive into that area of his story. And when I brought this up to him he was delighted to hear it. He felt the same way. He wanted to do it he just hasn’t been able to do it, you know? Plus, in my mind, he put We’re Alive together right when the Zombie Survival Guide from Max Brooks took off, the 28 Days Later craze, and the Dawn Of The Dead remake hit. Even now with the oversaturation with shows like The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead, in my mind those shows have taken a great idea and just applied that formula again. People love survival horror; we want to explore the fantasy of our own disasters. We’re constantly reinventing survival horror like every five or six years. Like Resident Evil, I thought it was dead, but then they made Resident Evil 7, and it’s the Resident Evil we’ve always wanted to play.Yeah, plus there are like seven Resident Evil movies at this point. Might be six?Ivan: The movies are an action-adventure excuse and that’s fine, but that game literally did things emotionally to me that made me feel something with that kind of story.Something else too that comes up in a lot of these sort of formats with people screening games, even like this one, often comedy/levity creep in these environments.Ivan: Breathing moments.Right. People who might not be as familiar who may be fans of things like The Walking Dead might not be prepared for the kind of humor and the frequency of it. How do you explain that to people?Ivan: The thing that always comes to mind with shows like these are how do you create pacing. It can’t just be go go go all the time. It burns everybody out. Burns the players out and the DM. When something does happen, they don’t have the same stakes anymore. You do need to provide those breathing moments to allow perspective. That’s what I love about survival horror. That constant struggle of I want to give you a little something to love and hold on to; then I’m going to rip it away from you like a child with their doll. Then I want to see you cry about it. That’s what you want. Then people start to feel those emotions. A lot of our fans are almost masochistic in their love for these terrible emotions. It’s lovely, it’s unique, and it’s different from I’m just watching this slasher movie and I don’t care about these characters; they can all die. As long as I’m getting some good gore out of it. That’s not at all what this is. It’s about the emotions that come from reacting to something in the moment and having to make a choice of what to do and live with that. It provides real stakes.That’s great!Ivan: It’s great. It’s a fun platform. Alpha is really investing in their talent and their content, and they want to be like the nerdy Hulu, and I say good for them!Excited about We’re Alive: Frontier? Catch up now so you can tune in for the finale on 4/18. Watch it using the promo code “frontier” for a 60-day free trial on https://www.projectalpha.com/ Hands-On: ‘Oninaki’ Is an Emotional Action RPG ExperienceFan-Made ‘Zelda’ Tabletop Game Returns You to the Wild Stay on target
Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation will set up semi-auto mechanical mini slaughter houses at five different places in the city.”We have already finalised the places where the slaughter houses will come up. The tender in this regard will be floated soon as funds have already been allocated. We have plans to set up such slaughter houses in all boroughs,” Member, Mayor-in-Council (Health) Atin Ghosh said.He added that Rs 3 crore have been involved for setting up each slaughter house. The places that will have such houses includes New Market, Landsdowne, Entally and Behala. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeGhosh while responding to a poser from BJP leader Meena Devi Purohit said KMC wants to ensure that shops that sell goat meat are kept covered with glass and are not hung openly infront of these shops.He pointed out the lack of veterinary officers on part of the KMC to keep a track on such shops that sell mutton in unhygienicconditions.”We have kicked off the process for such recruitment through Municipal Service Commission, which will help us to keep vigil on whether mutton is kept inside a glass cover,” Ghosh said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedGhosh also said customers want live birds to be cut in front of them in case of chicken.”We had a plan for a chicken-selling mobile van in the city for the benefit of the city dwellers. Talks were held with a foreign agency, who had evinced interest in this venture, but the plan was shelved as we realised that people will not go for sliced chickens,”he maintained.Kolkata presently has four slaughter houses for pigs, sheep, goats etc but the civic body feels that there is a need for more mini slaughter houses to usher in ascientific process of animal slaughter.
What happens when artists create games that define unexplored frontiers in new media art? Through art games, they can decode our political system, create a dialogue about refugees, and even raise questions about the Kashmir issue. All this and much more is being explored through an array of board games and digital games developed by eight international artists who have spent six weeks at Khoj Studios working on their projects.Khoj International Artists’ Association will present Of Games-III, a show resulting from a six-week long art and gaming residency at Khoj Studios which begins on October 15. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“The residency is closely curated to facilitate and incubate innovative projects that push the boundaries of contemporary art practice by exploring the burgeoning culture of art games within game development. Art Games defy and critically engage established tenets of gaming experience by breaking down traditional game mechanics, incorporating notions of identity, identification, immersion etc into the structures of game making. With its gaming residencies, Khoj is partaking in this global conversation around gaming as experiences of art,” said Promona Sengupta, curator at Khoj. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWith over a decade of experience in practising design, Chinmayee has worked with user experience(UX), interface design, wire-framing and branding, using visual art as a catalyst. She says about her gaming project, “The Indian Government structure is ambiguous to majority of the Indians. My project looks towards decoding and understanding conversations between the Indian Government system and the common man. This game offers an in-depth journey into the know-how of the systems at large. Through a strategy based game play that leads to competitive and alliance based interactions between the players, a conversational space about the working of the Government system is initiated. The game’s objective is to increase the interest level of the player in complex political and social changes through a light and fun based game play.” Krishnarjun Bhattacharya is an author, film-maker, and storyteller who is fascinated by all things supernatural, and firmly believes that stories have vast, untapped power; that stories can document and change history itself.He is working on two projects—Amor Fati is about an eternal battle between Hope and Despair, as they try and control a mortal’s life and steer it towards their own end. Players play as Hope, Despair, Mirth, Ego, or as the Mortal — this game being about pure storytelling, countering other stories with stories of your own, and believing in a world enough to make it real.The other project, An Old Lady Dies is about storytelling balanced with gameplay on a game board. A rich old woman dies, and relatives turn up for the inheritance, except none of them knew the old woman at all. Through photographs and visual cues the players try to lie their way into convincing the lawyer that they did know her the most, until night falls and the old woman’s ghost appears on the game board.Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra work collaboratively in a wide variety of media including painting, sculpture, installation, film and design. Their work responds to Bhau Daji Lad Museum’s collection and space, exploring the idea of “play” from cultural, strategic, and psychological perspectives, with the title “Walk of life.” The game is built upon the ancient Indian game called Ganjifa, Originally played with a set of 120 cards, the artists have turned it into a board game that depicts Dashavatar, the ten earthly incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu.The avatars can also be considered as the evolution of mankind: from fish, to reptile, to mammal, to human, to deity.The game aims to impart the meaning of life to those who play it, in effect by paying off one’s ‘debts’ and equalizing one’s ‘scores,’ which are recorded on the card of Karma.
Kolkata: Amid protests by doctors in several districts of West Bengal, four junior doctors were injured when stones were pelted at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital on Wednesday, an official said. “The doctors were peacefully holding a dharna when some hooligans pelted stones from outside around 11 a.m. One intern Mayank Agarwal, 22, was seriously hurt on the forehead, while three others received minor injuries,” Amitava Saha, Deputy Superintendent of the hospital, told IANS. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata He said the outpatient departments (OPDs) was shut as the junior doctors were protesting against an attack on interns at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, but the emergency services also got disrupted after the stone pelting. “The emergency services were kept open. Admitted patients are being treated. But as the situation went out of control, outsiders are not being allowed anymore,” Saha said. The police brought the situation under control and all senior officers are at the spot as the doctors are continuing their sit-in, he added. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state Similar scenes of cease-work were witnessed in districts such as Bankura, Birbhum and Coochbehar. In Kolkata, family members of patients at the state-run SSKM Hospital started a simultaneous protest by occupying the streets outside and blocking traffic on the AJC Bose Road crossing demanding treatment of their ailing kin. Services at some private hospitals were also disrupted as they showed solidarity with the doctors. “We want some sort of assurance because whenever any incident occurs, the security and administrative staff becomes untraceable. It is us (junior doctors) who are beaten up or manhandled,” said one of the protesting doctors at NRS Hospital. Protests erupted at the state-run NRS Hospital on Tuesday morning bringing the regular services to a standstill, after a junior doctor was allegedly beaten up by the relatives of a 75-year-old patient who died there late on Monday night. The family members of the deceased patient alleged medical negligence. The intern named Paribaha Mukherjee sustained a serious skull injury in the attack and has been admitted in the intensive care unit of the Institute of Neurosciences in Kolkata’s Park Circus area. His condition is reportedly stable.