Forum Posts

gametilewarehouse
Feb 08, 2018
In Upcoming GTW Kickstarters
The Dark Side of Kickstarter. Just my 2c for aspiring Kickstarter users to be kind to yourselves... I've run 16 campaigns, 5 of those were successful relaunches and the other 5 first-time successes. Together from 2015 to 2017 I think, they netted around 20k. 10k a year is what I live on. I did it for many years on benefits when in between jobs, and my previous job as a forklift and delivery driver would demand 14 hours a day of my time six days a week, sometimes seven. After refusing to drive an unsafe vehicle I turned to Kickstarter to try my hand at seeing if I could find support for the artwork I had been playing around with. None of my KS were major projects but they did irrevocably change my life - but the thing I want to discuss here is the incredible psychological stress that running a Kickstarter can put on you. Firstly you have a very steep learning curve to using this program. My first KS funded at 5k, but because I hadn't costed correctly and put in add-ons at a later stage - to fulfill rewards I had to pay out 5.8k so I actually lost money I really couldn't afford to. The delight of the rise in funding, drop in funding, vocal and incoming support and overall sucess of the campaign was an intense rollercoaster of doubt, fear, worry, frustartion, surprise, and more than anything it was very hard to go through. But I was inspired seeing how quickly that much money could be raised and the kind words from those who pledged their support (and many who still do) and kept trying. I still am. But I have been living a tightrope life the last two years as KS (and the change I make from my online store) are my sole source of income so the pressure to fund can be quite immense and keeps me having to keep running KS's every few months to stay afloat and to keep being able to design digital RPG tools/resources. The amount of work/material/designs required to put together the art, marketing, info, page, header, graphics, etc is considerable. When I quit my job I decided not to go on benefits which Australia offers and to try and become independant. I have largely, done that, but not to a point where I cannot take more than a very short rest and get back into it. Albeit I am very passionate about what I do and have a lot of ideas that I am still bringing to the fore, so it is much less like work than work used to be - though I still put in up to 18 hours a day until my hands simply cannot do anymore. The darkside of KS, and I have discussed this with others, not only relying on my own experience, is the way it can really smash you and bring you to very dark places, even suicidal thoughts. When you pour your heart and time into something and put it in front of others - it often gets dissected, sometimes viciously - it can be very hard to take, and not all KS's fund, that is a fact - but the experience of running one has far-reaching mental and physical side-effects that you should anticipate being a part of the hellish rollercoaster that is a failed kickstarter. I have seen my share of KS creators simply trying to share their concept and being deluged by an onslaught of criticsm, hatred, nit-picking, disparaging remarks and also a rise in people freaking out that they cannot run a Kickstarter without knowing an A-Z of things. I have even heard of sucidal attempts from the impact of those kinds of campaigns: and I have to say, as someone that runs one every few months the pressure is immense. Customer service, on the fly modifications, the realization that you could have done something different, or a dozen things different, the slump where weeks go by with nothing, the slew of backers that pull out after the fact leaving you short with hundreds of backers expecting rewards, or simply dealing with hundreds of people is exceptionally hard. The 2 weeks that KS gives for KS backers to get their funds, is a godsend, but it is not nearly enough recovery time to sort your head, feelings, direction, out: success or failure both have intense pressure, one to keep Everyone happy and the other that you were simply not good enough, that your work or idea was not good enough, and that more than anything else can be very crushing. So, keep this in mind when you decide to launch, use, or support a Kickstarter. We are all humans - and if you haven't run one, please understand it is an exceptional amount of work especially on your own. We are all humans with feelings and the throwaway comments on so many KS campaigns are being directed at real human beings like you. And if you're new to it - expect all of these feelings and more, especially if you fail - but even more so if you succeed as that is when the pressure really dials up. And be kind to yourself. Take time out regularly from the campaign to breathe deeply, focus on something else and try not to watch it like a hawk or take it too seriously - you'll fuck yourself up by experiencing the minute-by-minute rises and falls that are not good for the heart, soul or mind. And be kind to yourself - KS is not a guarantee, be prepared that you might fail - too many go in with false or exxaggerated hopes - its an industry now, used rather differently than perhaps first imagined. You can still make money, if the market votes on your product- but if you don't have to exist on it like I do - be KIND to yourself and wary going in that KS does have a darkside, just as any gamble does. KS addiction is also a factor to consider - I don't think I am addicted, but the thrill of funding is definitely unsurpassed. And there might come a sense that you can keep doing that - making a loss even more painful. As for the backers, since you pretty much place a bet on an outcome, it is just like gambling, and supporters/backers can also go through some very dark places thinking they are being ripped off, ignored, deliberately misled or short-changed, which also has negative psychological impact. In that regard I would re-iterate what many have said on the matter and that is that KS is Not a shop, though Some few large companies use it as one - it is mostly made up of people with a dream. (and some very few deliberate or opportunistic scammers) and most of us are trying to achieve something on a scale we've never tried before because that is how you get those products - it's as much a learning curve navigating that huge step forward as it is learning to use Kickstarter in the first place. So maybe - just maybe - everyone can just take a little step back and not get emotionally wrecked on either side on the back of this beast. Kickstarter is more than just a slot machine website that coughs up things when you put in coins - its a life-changer, it offers the little guy that has nothing and wouldn't ordinarily be able to get into the sewn-tight shut industries and processes, a way in with something that is often a little different and sometimes very cool. I just want it to stay cool, to be a fun rollercoaster more than a depression machine, and everyone plays a part in doing that. Maybe I didn't communicate all this very well, but that's all I want to say. Cheers. Kris
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gametilewarehouse
Jan 28, 2018
In Partners in Crime
A new collaborative venture offering courses in learning the particulars of Fantasy Grounds VTT has sprung up, called Fantasy Grounds College. Early this morning I was privileged to take part in this webinar on Twitch by #Laerun of Fantasy Grounds College to get a group of digital RPG mappers together to discuss why we do what we do and also touch on how. This was a great opportunity to see and hear about the motivations, ideas and work of lots of other mappers in the industry and you now can view the presentation on youtube. If you were exploring the idea of getting into making maps yourself this is a great video. I was grateful to be asked and you can hear my segment at: 21:04 -46:30 The line-up included (in this order) #MapHammer, #GTW, #Andreas Baarbesgard#, #VenatusMaps, #ZovyaMaps, #DysonLogos, #AnnaBMeyer, #AmaiAkDesignKokoro, #Flo"8/16bitScifiMaps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9q47OAMkklA&feature=youtu.be&a=
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gametilewarehouse
Jan 28, 2018
In Upcoming GTW Kickstarters
Samples are in production: but a mid-year launch is likely.
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gametilewarehouse
Jan 28, 2018
In Upcoming GTW Kickstarters
This project was delayed by several other projects taking priority - but art design is now underway with an planned launch in March. Meanders 3 will see another expansion to the Fantasy range before I move onto to attempt new genres. The following is a list of maps that I am working on. FANTASY - Spiral Wizard Towers -New Expansions for Town, Forest, Underdark. Ruins and Temples / Buildings etc that can be added to existing Meanders. -Swamplands -Infernal Citadel (Interior) -Dwarven Citadel, Forge and Mine -Atlantis and Underwater Coral Reef -Shores, Reefs, Islands and Ocean -Large Caverns -Haunted Mansion (Interior) -Cursed Forest -Lost Temple -Clifftop Fortress/Castle -Ruined City -Sewers -Roads -Plague Town, Medieval Village, Village with walls/gate boarded up buildings beseiged by Monsters... -Burning Village / Growth Reclaimed Village -Bloody Battlefield - Castle wall with Catapult/Seige Engine - Ripper London - Halfling Warrens - Flooded Tunnels - Medieval Market, Festival, PLague Camp, Docks - Mushroom Forest - Wild West Interiors / Box Canyons / Indian Village - Dungeon Crawler Maps -Battle Maps for Random Houses/Villages - Hilly & Mountainous Terrain - Aztec - Egyptian - Rivers /Fjords - Elemental Planes -Giants House -Volcanic Mountain - Manicured Hedge Garden - Viking Village, Longhouse, Docks -Mountain Path with Perilous Drops - Necromancers Lair - Arcane Library
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gametilewarehouse
Jul 29, 2017
In Research & Development
Like Heroquest on steroids - GEAS is a huge new Dungeon World Crawler in development and its hoped to release a playable demo for the boardgame by early next year. These early shots mark a revisiting of the entire board layout and artwork for the game. You can follow along as this monster is assembled, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1625758761048662/
GEAS content media
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gametilewarehouse
Jul 29, 2017
In Partners in Crime
Wonderful images from the Dragon Thrones LARP Event in the USA by Game Theatre for which I was involved in designing the World Map "Cambria". Very exciting commission and it's not easy to describe the warm feeling you get as an artist seeing your work enjoyed by others around the world. And take a look at the incredible costumes put together by the players - very impressed.
GTW & Dragon Thrones LARP content media
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gametilewarehouse
Jul 29, 2017
In Upcoming GTW Kickstarters
Rounding out the collection of Fantasy Meanders - Dragon Dens, Dungeons and Dwarven Halls will be my next Kickstarter - joining an expansion of the basic terrain to include many more common features and a ton of new exciting add-ons, terrain types and additions to the range. Check the shop for more details. This wave is planned for December 2017 - with the majority of the artwork to be completed ahead of time.
Meanders2 Wave 3: Dungeons, Dragons and Dwarves. content media
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gametilewarehouse
Apr 28, 2017
In Game Mechanics
GAMING: Can it have an impact on how we dream? - - - Years ago I wrote a paper on the effect that Gaming had on my dreams. Whilst the battle rages back and forth about the possible affect of violence caused by video games I have been more interested in the changes to my psyche that have been taking place after a lifetime of gaming. I am 33. When I was just 9 years old my family won a commodore 64 then valued at $3000, at that time it was a state-of-the-art machine; and a super-lucky chance occurrence that introduced me to a life heavily involved with playing, coding, dissecting and making games of all kinds. Because of my age I have lived through the transformation of computers from clunky 64kb machines with tape players and 16 colours into a multi-million industry of futuristic equipment with powerful graphics engines and complexity we never dreamed of. I experienced each stage of the revolutionary rise of gaming as technological improvements gathered momentum and transformed games in every way possible. The implications of such a vast leap forward in gaming experiences have occasionally been blamed for increasing violence but this essay is about the changes games may be having on our very psyche itself and the way games may be influencing our dreams. When we consider that gaming consoles of any sort are very recent, perhaps 60 years old if that – we might dismiss that they could have any effect on our dreams; but what if they do and what might that mean? Is it a provable phenomenon? Is it widespread or becoming more widespread as gaming increases? Is it beneficial for people to have dreams that resemble games? Is it altering a mode of communication or psychic phenomenon that has remained relatively stable throughout ancient human history? If it is happening with games, has it happened before via other mediums? I looked into the history of dreams and saw that there was a correlation between the kind of technology and its level of availability that was common to a time and the way people described their dreams. Dreams are ancient, there are records of dreams going way back to the Sumerians around 6000 BCE at least – they being the oldest civilization we have evidence for. They have played a crucial role in many of histories figures lives with key insights, inventions, and genius being derived from them. Countless wars have been started over them, lost from them. Rulers have changed hands or made far-reaching decisions because of them, incredible breakthroughs have transfigured the world because of them and their effect on those who dreamed them. History is littered with thousands of examples of people having them and experiencing prophesies, ingenious solutions, warnings of impending death, works or art or song that did not exist, answers to difficult decisions or questions – and the way in which they explained or recorded them took on contemporary models by which humans interacted with one another. Very early records of dreams are explained by Myths. Gods speaking to men and women would pass on messages, visions, warnings, blessings, curses and dreams recorded then were often described in ethereal detail. As humanity passed through its cultural apexes and technology changed human life dreams began to be interpreted through the then popular model of Plays, where characters took on definite roles and human dramas permeated the interactions between them. Earthy and distinct ideas, concepts, archetypes, roles, figures emerge from records of dreams where characters took turns to say what they needed to say with much definition and poise. Perhaps even the popularity of sports, war, physical excellence and other phases exemplified and raised to a virtue by cultures as time has gone by have also been responsible for attributing to the way we dream. Perhaps the very spatial location of 'us' in dreams has changed as various modes of vogue have come and gone. The act of being a spectator, watching stories, plays, may have come about from the prolonged exposure and act of witnessing spectacles, torture, trials, or sports. Perhaps these pasttimes which ate all our time developed or influenced how we 'appeared' or took presence of mind or where we stood on the stage in our dreams – first person, second person, third person, shifting and changing as culture and technology did. Dreaming has continuously passed through changing phases of popularity and ill-repute; variously being treated as messages from the Gods or spirits, as messages from ancestral ghosts, as aspects of high culture, have fallen into disrepute and spurned as hogwash and mind dribble, as occult mediums for divination and prophecy, as lunacy or psychology, magic or witchcraft. At the present time dreaming is largely ignored and shunned by society at large in the West but still embraced by pockets of the East. As technology or culture becomes more relevant it becomes more omnipresent, leading to more and more chance of association with it in the subconscious as well as the conscious. Plays, Films and Games all work on basic principles of human interaction and the stories of drama and tragedy as developed by the Greeks from whom we base most of our societal laws, practices, models of society, human interaction, story-telling. Whilst a vast span of time separates us from the Greeks, the common theme of interpretation and similarity between how stories are told that we have adopted from them, has stayed the same; but the means to tell them has been through many changes. There are lots of different opinions on what they mean or if they mean anything - but I find this potential technological correlation of the type of technology influencing the type of dream to be of significant interest. If technology and the way we tell stories can impact dreams - How important are dreams – and what does it mean if games are hybridizing with them, mixing up game experiences with archetypal experiences that have been dreamed a similar way for tens of thousands of years? In more recent times, through speaking to people about their dreams it seems people tend to describe their dreams as being like a movie with even more distinct stories and characters with sets, actors, scenes, plot, unfolding in a seamless dialogue where characters speak through their dreams more like the script of a movie. Since dreams are essentially very private affairs and many people do not remember them or believe they have them any observations I have made can only be made with the interested air of a casual observer who thinks he sees a pattern that may or may not exist. Is this a new case of playstation thumb where prolonged exposure to console equipment has unexpected side-effects? Personally speaking, my dreams have in the past few years taken on the aspect of seeming like games. Not all of them, but enough to make me notice the change and I think prolonged exposure to games has had a profound effect on the way I dream. For a few years I wrote down and recorded my dreams and there was definite patterns and changes in the way they evolved. I can see points where exposure to new mediums brought on new symbolism in my later dreams. As if my psyche were watching what I was watching and using it as props for dreams. One persistent belief of dreaming, I don't know if it's true, is that you can't die in your dreams. In one particular dream I Did die, shot in the chest by a gun after playing a video-like dream in a large industrial complex where I was shooting enemies ala GTA game engine style. The words 'Game Over' flashed up. I woke up startled. I remember it because it was so different from any other type of dream I had had before. I think somehow my brain cheated. Technically, I didn't die because I could "continue". Which is exactly what I did when I went back to sleep. It was like reloading the exact same level and moving through the dream almost identically, but being ready to change a tactic at a certain hard point of the 'game'. I thought it was odd but I also thought it was a solitary event. On occasion I now have dreams where I must score points, move through levels, experience third person hands as I move through them, drive as if in a game, explore worlds as if in a game, and have values in my dreams that reflect those of various games. Is it just me and my level of exposure to games or do others experience this change in their dreaming too? I wrote this paper in the hope that I could find out. There used to be this idea that dreams each had a very specific meaning and books of an A-Z definition of dreams were very popular. A lot of people based their understanding on such motifs in dreams from those books believing that any symbol meant the same thing for everyone until pioneer Carl Jung's work on archetypes began to surface. In his book "Man and His Symbols" he showed how dreams that people were having in the 1950's were largely identical to dreams being had in medieval, byzantine, and even more ancient times. He indicated that dreams had not changed significantly in thousands of years. His main premise was that all minds are striving to achieve individuation - a state of wholeness or optimum performance by all of the faculties that make up our mental state, an integration of shadow, anima/animus, ego, id and more that works in mutual co-operation and that dreaming is a vital part of getting them to talk to each other. In a sense not be taken too literally, he suggested that the mind has a type of inner guidance system of its own accord where it throws up these dreams to communicate between the conscious and unconscious. It follows that we may be unaware of certain things we are doing, being, saying or actions we are performing Consciously - but the Unconscious is well aware of them and tries to let us know what is Really happening beneath what we Think is happening. For example, many dreams are Corrective or Compensatory, meaning they show us in an exaggerated or distorted light so we might realize that what we think of ourselves or some part of ourselves is blown out of proportion. We might appear as a King laden with jewels with millions of subjects bowing at our feet. This might be the unconscious saying 'hey, you're not the King of England, just calm down a bit' - if we get embarrassed in the dream by our grandeur we might wake up and think about how we are acting and maybe change our course before we get too big for our boots in real life. His theory was that many dreams serve to bring to our attention certain deficits or psychic processes that are causing internal strife in the hope that we can correct them and integrate the contents of our dreams consciously to achieve improved communication between the different parts of our psyche. Could the function of dreams to act as a sort of internal guidance system be influenced or even damaged through an interruption to traditional delivery symbolism and models by the effect of beginning to Game inside dreams? Is it possible that such an effect could be altering the way my mind works and if so – is such a change going to be beneficial to me or harmful? Although I've not spoken to a great many people about this topic I do know people who do not game frequently but who have also had similar dreams of gaming. Like me, they describe them as “empty” or “filler” - a holding pattern that the brain goes into but which ultimately means nothing. There is no 'feeling' or 'importance' to such dreams, it is merely as if we are playing games in our dreams, going through the motions without significant purpose. There is a widespread but I think incorrect belief that somehow we can get a perfect synchronicity between the forces of our psyche - but I believe what is actually perfect for the psyche is not at all congruent with what is perfect for the ego. The ego is that Sense of Self that we have that gives us identity - the strong feeling of who we Are. Dreams can wake us up, scare us, haunt us, shame us, make us sad, or joyous, show us ingenious ways to solve a problem, share with us unwritten music, and provide a means of interaction with deeper forces that we believe not to exist because they are not conscious to us. Its easy to forget them because we are so absorbed in our ego we cannot consciously recognize unconscious cognitive processes. Dreams help us to do that however albeit in an often confusing but sometimes very uncomfortably clear way. Whilst many dreams have an 'archetypal message' which is a kind of script for what is to be expected; i.e. what is normal for you or abnormal for you – all of which contains a mix of fantasy, fear, motivation, drive, ambition, ego, sense of self, distortion and a whole mix of other things personal to us – the phenomena of dreaming is also intensely private. Even when we want to or have presence of mind to try Dreams can be elusive things to describe or even remember. The complexity and other-worldliness of many of them gives us pause to share them not just because we fear what others may think of us believing dreams are anything other than useless junk, but because the sense of time, space, change, events does not often accord with our general perception of time and space. Dreams are extraordinarily difficult at the best of times to accurately describe or too intimate, disjointed, incoherent, fragmented or strange to try. But for those that do take notice of their dreams they can be a source of guidance into the deeper meaning of humanity. While some motifs or themes appear in dreams recorded thousands of years ago still appear in people's dreams today, it is generally accepted that dreams do not automatically have a single definition for any given symbol that they mean something unique to each of us. Losing teeth in one persons dream may means something completely different to another persons dream of losing teeth. What matters here is Context, the situations and events, feelings and sensations that surround the dream and whether it makes any sense to the dreamer. Oftentimes, a dream will repeat itself until an important message gets through. Othertimes it will change its outward symbolism but inwardly be trying to say the same thing over and over. It is surprising how gentle the unconscious can be when it tries to get the Consciousness to recognize something, often veiling its harsh message of reality in codes and symbols, animals and weird stories - OR - wake you the @#%$ up with a terrible realization that makes you wake in a sweat with the conscious feeling of shame, guilt, anger, sadness and recognition that the message was for you, it was meaningful and you had no idea you were being such a jerk. It seems the bigger the ego the harder the unconscious has to try to get through with its message but this is also a generalization. In some sense, losing teeth means Transformation - just as when a baby loses its milk teeth and begins to develop into a small child with autonomy it is a sign of change and metamorphosis from one person into another or from some significant stage of life into another. It is the development of the psyche taking place, though usually we as a wholistic organism Know this - we do not have access to most of it Consciously. Constantly running is just one of thousands of signs or motifs of motion or momentum toward or away from something, it might be symbolized as running from a monster which in waking might life be us running from some problem we think will eat us alive. The Dream might allow us to see the absurdity of this and we might wake and face the problem with a new understanding - or we might just keep running and begin to see that motif of running constantly appear in many other ways, we might be driving a bus across a desert; or falling without hitting the ground. These all signify changes in the psyche or desires for the psyche for us to consciously address deficits of experience We need in order to make that change happen. A lot of people experience being unable to defend themselves in dreams and throwing slow motion punches against an aggressor - or being unable to run on grass or only run in slow motion. There are no definitive sources on what these mean but it is fairly certain that there is a correlation between the stages of psychic growth in the unconscious and the conscious recognition of unconscious processes in waking life. Said another way, once you recognize that the unconscious is there, and talking to you, and you pay a bit of attention - the dreams begin to change. I've had all of those dreams described above and kept dream journals most of my life. The patterns of what was going on Internally as opposed to what was going on Externally in my life are striking and often profound. Dreams are tricky animals though - they are so clever they can often say many things using just one dream or symbolism. I believe they say something both about the way your psyche is growing as well as reflect outward matters such as how you feel about a job, whether you are being a jerk by doing such and such, whether you are in danger because of something you are doing in your waking life etc. If you have trouble defending yourself from an aggressor because you cannot punch or fight back - this is what I believe to be a sign that you have virtually no recognition of your other psychic components. Meaning you think YOU are all there is and that there are no deeper processes in your head controlling everything. There is no bridge between your ego and self and so you cannot defend yourself against the onslaught of other psychic processes that are going on and are driven by forms and forces around you, peers, friends, family, issues, problems without any real understanding of how you may be attributing to them. A lot of people take this dream to mean they are weak and sometimes start physical training or gather confidence to speak up about something. This is a by-product I think of trying to listen to the unconscious and act on what it is telling you. That said, you Cannot safely always listen to the unconscious - it takes Two to tango and the Ego, despite often being grossly distorted, is just as important a psychic faculty of ours that keeps the unconscious from spilling over into our consciousness and sending us crazy or into psychosis. As I look back through my dream notes I see distinct changes in how messages were relayed as gaming began to come into vogue and the Platform on which gaming experiences were delivered began to leak into my unconscious mind and influence it. It may be that because I was taking so much notice of games that my unconscious saw this as an opportunity to get messages through in a new way or because I was paying more attention to anything gaming related. One thing is certain gaming has altered my dreaming. The dreams I have of gaming seem alien, they are seldom recognizable as archetypal and leave me with the odd sense that I have had my perception mind-jacked. It is interesting to note that until Christianity (Monotheism) began to scour the Earth with its One God Recorded Dreams were not particularly moral. Zoroastrianism coupled with jewish mysticism combined to give the world the concepts of good and evil as directly opposed forces in battle. At first these were gods, now they are humans. Now almost every blockbuster movie or game has the same colouring - good guys vs bad guys. With these reinforced messages hitting us from everywhere it is difficult not to believe in and live the story of a diametrically opposed struggle between good and evil or see them everywhere - but I honestly don't believe such a struggle exists. I think the reality is much bleaker in fact and that humanity has a heart of darkness. If we just fell into that darkness we'd be engulfed by shadow - but we seem to think it all the sweeter to accentuate the shadow with light, to toy with that darkness so that we can plunge ever deeper into it from an artificial platform of our own design that allows us to dive from a higher height. I imagine there may be some people who ask -what does this have to do with gaming?- the answer is Everything. The human condition, struggle, suffering, morality, choice, outlook, hope, despair all have everything to do with what makes a Game GREAT, to really feel the blind destructive nihilistic all-consuming hatred and vengefulness of Kratos in God of War when the gods abandon him requires telling a story that appeals to what is inside us, our passions, codes of ethics, traditions as human beings. To feel pressed upon when forced to make decisions that affect millions of lives in games like Army of Two or Mass Effect requires drama, tragedy and a self identification with the characters and the consequences they face from choices they make - and more than that - Feeling something about those choices, not just playing them through but being involved and feeling sad, happy, triumphant or depressed. I don't believe any game did this better than Heavy Rain on the ps3. Dreams are much the same in the way they involve us and force us to make decisions or see things in a new light, we are being asked to make choices that we often cant reload if we make a fatal or destructive one but can sometimes reload if we catch any major issues in time by listening to what they have to say. Really these is no difference in playing a game or dreaming a dream - both sets of content come from the same place, from the stories of humanity, antiquity and beyond, from the unconscious made conscious through imagination, creativity, memory, and the long trawl of archetypal stories our race has been through time and time again. Tell me Star Wars isn't World War II in disguise. The subject matter and the issues I have raised would require a far more in-depth analysis, experts in sociology, psychology, artists, social media and the comments and insights of other people to really lift the lid on what I have touched upon hopefully not in a boring manner for my readers – even to see if there is anything to what I have suggested beneath that lid. As it stands I do not know if others have had their dreams affected in this way. I suppose I don't really know what the question I am asking is either – I feel perhaps I am just on the verge of noticing something happening to me that seems important to mention. That perhaps the omnipresent world of gaming has begun to bleed so deeply into our subconscious that it is mixing ancient messages with modern ones in a way that is yet to be noticed on any large scale and the effects of which are as yet undetermined. In part I think any answer requires each of us to ask ourselves why do we game? What is its purpose? And what purpose might it be used for by our unconscious mind? I use it for escapism and to get the psychological reward of achievement. Yes they are fun, entertaining, thought-provoking or just too good and therefore too hard to put down, i.e. addictive. But I do not get any sense of reward when I “game-dream”. Someone else who uses games for another purpose might feel differently, might have another perspective on what these game-dreams 'do' if anything, for them, but for me it is like important archetypal content is perhaps being missed out on because my unconscious brain suddenly wants to play pacman. Perhaps this is the pre-stage of a future trend for humans toward becoming more hybridized with machines – by developing deep unconscious associations to such material. What could be some advantages of beginning to have game-related dreams? Firstly I suppose games introduce us to worlds that have very specific challenges. Re-living these worlds and the challenges they present allows us to solve problems that arise in those worlds in a game-type fashion with restricted functions and actions but which challenges may prompt new solutions as the unconscious enters the picture. These new solutions which come from a hybrid of gaming theory and raw ingenuity may improve our ability to solve problems. For example, in the PC game Discworld, notably one of the hardest point-and-clicks of its time, I was stuck in a section where I had to somehow take a pancake from a chef who was flipping it. Standing in the kitchen I tried everything to take the damn thing but after an hour of clicking my vast inventory on everything in the kitchen I gave up and went to sleep. It was while I was asleep that my mind ticked over the problem and dreamed the solution. The high window, the ladder, the butterfly net. It played out in my head in quick flashes and when I woke I tried the suggestion only to find to my immense surprise that it worked. It seems that aside from solving problems games also provide a means to explore alternatives to violence in a safe and relatively controlled environment inside the head when we re-live them. My mind appears to use them as a control or baseline background against which enter all sorts of philosophic thoughts about the nature of suffering and the reasons why humans inflict it. I have found myself dreaming several games to which solutions were provided in my dreams. Myst. Doom. Gun. And others, where consciously I could not grasp the solution but while sleeping it just came to me. They may also provide some context for human experience because many of them are now so advanced and advancing in terms of copying human interactions, problems, challenges, stories and behaviours that for those who do not have experience of such ideas, it introduces them. Games that began to introduce morality that illustrated the short and long-term consequences of the players actions such as Mass Effect, Army of Two tackled many hard-hitting issues that people have or are likely to find themselves facing. Granted that a game like GTA may introduce people to experiences of a nature that do not provide strong moral context in the traditional manner, but it is more reflective of the propensity of human behaviour to explore possible actions in any given environment and just this sand-box for experience alone seems enough to feed a person with many new and varied kinds of stimulus, media, ideas, concepts that may be used by the unconscious in its messages or symbolism. Very few of us are going to be astronauts and fly among the stars but with Games we are given the opportunity to present to our psyche a simulation from which it can draw new or hybridized experiences creating and generating new scenarios, new challenges, new worlds and characters it may not have met or explored or eve get the chance to meet or explore and which it draws from to enrich our dream symbolism, potential to solve problems, face issues or experience consequences in all manner of ways that would kill or imprison us in waking life in a safe environment that processes these things in a positive way for the majority of people. Games are the very stuff of dreams, they are fantasy made playable. Just like dreams we enter a world to interact with its environs and characters, to do as we wish freely in the safety of our paralyzed sleep. We play through options, scenarios, concepts living out behaviours we might never copy in real life but which seem to require exploration out of some inward curiosity of 'what if' that humanity seems to have within it and because it is a healthy outlet in the private realm of the dreamer. As games continue to become more Advanced such as the upcoming revision of Tomb Raider which is a significant leap forward in mimicking human behaviour and realism through its dialogue, mobility of characters, appearance of textures and rawness of storyline Games take on a more visceral, imitation of a dreamers dreams. They set us among challenges in a safe contained way in which we are allowed the freedom to act as we will within the limits. If we come to then dream said game, those limits become boundaries against which a psyche of a person makes internal measurements. The realism of dreams and games is beginning to meet, and whilst dreams are far more complex in the experience they provide, games are providing the dreams of others to each of us. In dreaming what they dream, we experience empathy of a previously unknown and private concept hidden deep within other human beings. In seeing it come to life in our hands or heads we are able to see what they see, sometimes feel what they fell, or live their dream our way. They say that 90% of human communication is non-verbal – involving subtle movements of muscles, eyelids, facial twitches, minute iris movements, body posture and so on. Understanding this has allowed many changes to take place in how people interact with one another. An expansion of dream content from one person or group of people to another through the medium of games by way of experiencing the imagination of others can only bring us closer to understanding more about ourselves and each other. They say that playing an RPG or chess game against someone brings out their true nature. Someone you thought was a passive shy person suddenly becomes a tyrant or sore loser on the chess field. They show their greed, anger, envy, pettiness or bravery, courage, fortitude as they take on other characters. But just because they take on those masks, does not mean they do not take them off. Since we only have one biological face it is customary to believe that people only have one distinct personality – but do we? Games allow us to explore facets of our personalities that rarely see the light of day. We can be a evil badass or a noble knight, we can care about saving characters or do it only for the points – whatever we choose, games allow us to choose safely, just as dreams do, so that we can expand, explore, enhance our breadth of experience without harming anyone. That some do choose to harm others is hardly attributable to games except for a very few direct cases – but because of a sense of alienation from other people. Games may on occasion isolate people physically to play them but they unite them in common experience of what it means to be human and act human. It may not be pleasant, but violence and mayhem are as much a part of our ability as kindness and warmth. There is a beast inside all of us that develops naturally as a human function of survival and autonomy but which beast often has no outlet on which to vent. Some choose sport to channel it, some the army, some exercise with weights or create works of art or story, some bottle it up and express it through rage or violence, or try to shut it down or let it out. When most of us play games its just like walking the dog. It needs to be let out every now and then so it doesnt tear up the furniture, whine, or go mad. Its a part of us we cant deny – when we deny it it becomes twisted and shameful – but when we accept it we own it. Games are an outlet for the beast as much as they are a harvest of ideas, concept and constructive problem solving or human interaction. Whilst it is too early to predict the implication of having game dreams on an increasing basis – I would suggest that the benefits outweigh any negatives. These odd occurrences of playing games in my sleep will not stop me gaming yet I cannot simply help but wonder how many times technology has revolutionized not just the external world in which we live in but perhaps the very biological function and mind-print of our psyches and the long-term influence of gaming.
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gametilewarehouse
Apr 26, 2017
In Past GTW Projects
A set of Urban Meanders is planned for release, so the Urban Rooftop maps will be re-visited with new sets to be made compatible with the Meanders range. In addition - these new sets will feature entire buildings with different floors and sub-sections from the penthouse to offices, to the foyer to the basement.
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gametilewarehouse
Apr 26, 2017
In Past GTW Projects
It is hoped that the Soloman Temple Square concept can be improved and re-launched - with a new understanding of sizing, vtt requirements and the ability to create superior tiles, this product deserves a second go. Only this time, if it is sold as a physical set, it will be as a boxed set of professional tiles made by a good game company like WinGo - to ensure superior formatting, a storage box, and better quality, less expensive materials than the previous incarnation. I hope to work on these towards the end of the year, after my Sci-fi Meanders launch, mini-Zombie Meanders launch, and my DM toolkit late in the year or early 2018.
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gametilewarehouse
Apr 26, 2017
In The Meanderverse
Setting out to create a new variant of RPG Dungeon Crawler on a massive scale, that I'm calling a World Crawler requires some considerable terrain - my RPG in development will be merged with Meanders, basing quests on specific Meander Terrains and featuring expansion packs with new vectors and locations for campaigns to enhance the terrains. GEAS is currently in deep development - but will combine fixed boardgame rules similar to Heroquest and AHQ, but slightly less total freedom than D&D. IN it you will be able to go from exploring dungeons to owning a home to travelling on merchant caravans to mounting expeditions or raising an army and fortifying your own castles for war. Using a lot of unique mechanics, I aim to simplify a sophisticated system so that you can do a lot by only doing a little. As the Meanders range will now include a gigantic World Mega Map (The Meanderverse) - it is ideal to set campaigns within, with any special terrain required being crafted for that campaign. I hope to have a demo of GEAS ready by early 2018.
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gametilewarehouse
Apr 26, 2017
In The Meanderverse
Meanders will be undergoing a revision to its entire format slightly changing the size of the maps so that they can be more easily sized for VTT digital gaming - with use for Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds. VTT-ready JPEGs will be available from the GTW Store as an instant digital download by the end of May. The new size of 8100x5400 will be applied to all exiting Meanders, with a re-issue of all the synchable terrain in the new standard with the grid's taken all the way to the edge. A new coding system will also be implemented in the file title and description to help quickly identify individual maps within the hundreds that will soon populate the shop.
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gametilewarehouse
Apr 26, 2017
In Partners in Crime
GTW was pleased to partner with the official Italian forum and beloved game Heroquest to offer tiles/tokens for use in its 2016 Christmas release 'Epic Quests' featuring all new quests and campaigns.
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gametilewarehouse
Apr 26, 2017
In Partners in Crime
Following a successful campaign on Kickstarter funding a new map-making tool program, GTW and WE will be teaming up with other artists to provide tiles/maps for the World Engine program.
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gametilewarehouse
Apr 24, 2017
In Upcoming GTW Kickstarters
As the Meanders 1 Fantasy Kickstarter Rewards are finalized and sent out it's time to look to the future and the next wave of Meanders: with another gigantic set of 75 maps covering a broad range of Science-Fiction themes. Divided into four main core groups here are the planned core Meanders: Spaceport: 12 all-new maps Imports and Processing, Quarantine/Customs/Detention, Hotel, Food Court, Warehouse, Skywalk, Entertainment District, Market District, Launching Pads, Offices, Bar, Pawn Broker . Galactic Supercruiser: 12 all-new maps Bridge, Captains Deck, Tactical Planning and Strike Operations Centre (War Room), Engine Room, Airlock, Armory, Gunners Booth, Cabins / Crew Quarters, Escape Pods / Stasis Pods, Cargo Hold Medical, Comms Station. Moon Colony: Mining Facility, Exterior Ore Processing/Sampling, Interior Droid Repairs, Bio-Organic Lab, Firing Range, Quarantine, Transporter, Science Labs, Shield Generator, Hangar / Rover Buggy, Refueling Depot, Hangar / Shuttle Bay. Alien Mothership: Launching Bays, Queens Hive, Worker Nests, Portal Gates, Laboratory, Interrogation and Prison Complex, Reactor Core, Archives, Stasis Pods / Specimen Chrysalis, Transport Hub, Youngling Chambers, Armory. As per usual a Superset as well: 32 EXTRA ROOMS: Docking, Tractor Beam Facility, Cryogenics, Gym, Lounge, Messhall / Kitchen, Barracks, Observation Lounge, Briefing Rooms, Morgue, Ship Maintenance, Engineering Lab, Cloning, Pathology, Training Holodeck, Officer Quarters, Garbage Disposal, Bathrooms/Showers, Casino, Red Light District, Outpost, Bar, Vehicle Maintenance, Garbage Dump, Multi-Level Factory, Robotics, Anti-Grav Facility, Containment, Exterior Fortress, Defense Laser Cannon, Fortifications, Hyperspace, Black Hole In Addition to these there are a ton of Stretch Goals that will be announced later in May,
May: Meanders 2: Wave 2: SCI-FI content media
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gametilewarehouse
Apr 24, 2017
In Partners in Crime
Over the coming months GTW will be doing web design for 2Kings Games, LLC and contributing maps for its September scheduled Kickstarter Campaign. http://2kingsgames.com/
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gametilewarehouse
Apr 24, 2017
In Game Mechanics
Making a map look realistic only requires a very basic understanding of physics and geography. Fantasy Geography doesn't have to stick to rules - but it helps to think of Earth's geography for realism. Is your world on a globe-shaped planet? If so, then it might have an equator, or poles that are colder or warmer - so you would put deserts in the middle where it would be hottest, and ice at the very top/bottom where the temperature is coldest. It is helpful to think of all of the things that contribute to the shape of landscape, including mountains, beaches, rivers and even deserts as controlled by Weather. Weather is caused by the height and density of mountains: where clouds gather, winds are formed and rain runs down and forms rivers. Rivers usually start at the base of a mountain and make their way out to sea by following the path of least resistance or a downward slope. Rivers turn into lakes when they are trapped by the landscape and pool or flow and split into smaller estuaries out into the sea when not. Terrain pushes right up against other terrain types in realistic geography with plains separating climates and terrains such as jungle, forest tend to form around mountains where there is a lot of water. Desert can form anywhere. Erosion of mountains leaves behind cliffs which turn into rocky surfaces and eventually sand on a beach when erosion is at its highest and the rocks are strongly tested by the salt waters of the ocean and exposed to wind. Large Towns are generally near plentiful water sources and sources of wood for building - forests in particular, or bays/coastal areas ideal for trade and commerce. Smaller villages can be anywhere as they usually have a brook, well or spring to take care of their water needs.
Basics in Map-Making content media
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gametilewarehouse
Apr 24, 2017
In Research & Development
As a lifelong gamer, I tend to think alot about the tools I use and dream up ways to improve them. Although little can be said of upcoming innovations underway or in development until they are further along - I have been working on a new set of compact tools that will allow millions of story-lines/basic RPG staples to be invented and chained together quickly - greatly lessening overall fatigue on the DM's hands, eyes and brain. With luck this will be on Kickstarter by Jan 2018. It will involve moving to a larger bulk manufacturing model and new risks and business decisions - but if it works, may be a very welcome addition. I have also begun to look toward 3d printing, with the funding from the last KS going toward a new prusa 3d printer and 3d software programs to begin making a new range of miniatures in 2018, as well as an entirely new conceptual miniature range that is not currently available. Eventually I hope to begin creating 3d printable files that co-incide with Meanders and to produce all manner of things that are still not out on the market. Having a 3d printer will greatly explode the capability for creative ideas and execution, so it will be the next goalpost for me to buy, learn and include 3d forms in the GTW collection. And in the coming years, produce my own range of unique board games.
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