I’m happy to be able to say that tomorrow and Thursday, TRACES, along with its companion larp, ACT ‘NORMAL’, will be playtested this week!
It’s been a hard road since September 1st — I easily lost three productive months (September, December, January). Technically, May is the 9th month since I started TRACES. I am hoping the next creative project goes more smoothly and fits more neatly into the 6-month timeline that I have planned for it. Actually, I am hoping to be able to use this last project to end up back on track in terms of writing the dissertation component of this project.
We will see if that happens — at this point, I think that I have to accept that doctorates are hard, doctorates while dealing with systemic issues doubly so, and that they take time. I have to be careful about how I plan my time in order to avoid burnout (I really came up to the edge of it during this project around December and January, largely because of issues related to Tom’s work). Learning to take a step back and limiting my involvement with the things that I do not have energy for is an important lesson.
Meanwhile, I have seventeen players lined up to play this week. That’s amazing! And I think it’s plenty of data for my purposes, although there will certainly be future playtests if I can manage it.
Some of the challenges around playtesting this game are that, ideally, it would be played in a crowded, busy space. The challenge with that is not wanting anything to break or go missing, or to get in trouble for playtesting publically where I’m not allowed (since I will basically gaffer-tape the sculptures in various positions where they won’t damage any paint). Getting the space that I did get is not going to be possible as often as I would like — it’s unusual for a solo project to be allowed to use the space in that way.
I guess that brings me to the Companion Larp for TRACES, which I wrote in order to try and solve the issue of not having a crowd to play in. In a nutshell, I am asking people to play characters/caricatures of people they would expect to meet in 2019.
What else should I be recording for posterity in this post? A lot of the records are in github, in the version history of documents I’ve been writing.
I guess I am just, at this point, overwhelmed with how much care I have for this game. I really feel like I’ve put myself out there in a way that feels vulnerable and exciting.
Oh, I guess it’s also worth mentioning that the “final for now” version of the Escape Room that I have been helping with is up and running as of today.
I have no idea what I’ll make next, but I haven’t stopped collecting the molded pulp paper forms when I get the chance. I’ve got some excellent ones that Marc and Gina gave me recently. For now, I’m focusing on doing the best job that I can playtesting and documenting this game that I care for so much.