Right now I am engaged in the process of getting a game ready for the end of March. It’ll be played by Twilight Realms at Oakraven Field Centre in the Forest of Dean. I’m fully into the writing groove and I thought it might be a good idea to share the process; that for me is the birth of a LARP.
It started with a confirmed date for an event and the realisation that we needed a new LARP for the Friday night. We seem to be establishing a tradition of a short modern day / horror game on the Friday and a much longer low fantasy game on the Saturday.
This gave me the first parameter – the game would start somewhere around 8pm (give or take). This meant it would be a short game (around the 2 – 4 hour mark).
I also need to mention that I am not writing this on my own. There is a team putting this scenario together. The other members are Liz and Keith. Liz is our overall organiser – she puts in great ideas and also makes sure everything we do is practically achievable. Keith is an awesome ideas man – so we plot and plan together then I write things up.
From this starting point we had a couple of rough ideas. I had an idea, that went via Liz and Keith. This caused some refinement and from this I created a 1 page outline of the LARP.
This one page version is really important. It lets everyone involved see the structure of the game in a succinct version.
Following on from this Keith and I had a brainstorming meeting where we worked out a few ideas. Thought through some problems and solutions to them. In doing so the overall nature of the changed. I’d like to say refined. I took these ideas to Liz. She had a few more ideas and also started to list out what we needed to make this work.
I now had to write 2 more documents. The first is a longer version of the outline that encapsulates the ideas of the game and some of the key events that will happen within. This is broken up into Beginning, Middle and End to give us a story structure. The second is the start of a kit list; what equipment, props and costuming will we need to make this work? It’s a good idea to get this started early. The last thing you want is to realise with just days to go that a key prop will simply not be possible.
That’s the start of writing the game. My next tasks are to
- Create documents outlining the key NPCs
- Get into a bit more detail key points in the second document – as it contains a number of questions that need to be answered.
Once these are done myself and co-authors will need to look at the characters submitted by the players and to write pre-game plot for each one of them.
As you can see this is an iterative process. Each step leads to greater refinements until we have something that is in a fit state to play.
I’ll continue this account – probably in a few weeks when more work on the game has been completed.
The image for this post comes from Flickr User: United States Mission Geneva