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Metatopia 2014 (Nov 7)

posted Dec 12, 2014, 12:27 PM by Shane Harsch   [ updated Dec 12, 2014, 12:59 PM ]
Nov 7-9 was Metatopia in Morristown, NJ. Every year I have gone to this has been fantastic, and every year is better than the last. This year I set myself a couple of personal challenges for attendance at the con, and I am very happy with the results. 

For me, the con opened at 9am Friday morning hosting a panel on Computer Hacking in Games. Clark Valentine and Tim Rodriguez joined me and I kicked it off with a 15 min preso (large file below) on some of the high-level basics of the attack lifecycle. My goal was to establish some vocabulary and also demonstrate that the Gibsonian hacking model used by many cyberpunk games is, by and large, no longer a very good model (if it ever was). Clark and Tim helped me explore this topic, and we had great audience participation. Thank you to everyone for your support — I definitely got some good perspective

The second panel I facilitated was Explicit vs. Role-Based Knowledge In RPGs presented with Clark Valentine & Evan Torner. This resulted in a fantastic discussion around the nature of handling character knowledge in games, and some strategies to managing that in interesting ways. I'm not sure we "solved" the issue, as that wasn't necessarily the point. 

I participated in a number of playtests and spent some quality time with some very interesting people. I also ran 3 sessions of Novapunk which exceeded my expectations. First and foremost - it worked. Secondly, the feedback on the setting (which fit well into Ken Hite's discussion: "Bisociation, Mashups, the Uncanny, and the Weird: Toward an Aesthetic of Setting Bricolage") was overwhelmingly positive. I think the only hiccup we ran into was meeting the expectations of a playtester who was very solidly a fan of Shadowrun. While I definitely intend Novapunk to scratch my Shadowrun itch, I'm not sure it worked for this particular playtester, but the feedback was extremely helpful. 

Novapunk is definitely on the project list for 2015. I've posted the current cheat sheet on the site, and will continue to post updated material as I can.

Shane Harsch,
Jan 11, 2017, 8:21 AM