Gaming My Way

16 Mar

Gaming with Home in Mind

Quite awhile ago, I wrote about a campaign in the works based around a conspiracy theory that I was going to set in and around my hometown. While it’s ready to run, using home as the setting for the game gives an interesting perspective on home sometimes. Sometimes, I just look at a place and think about how it would make an awesome set for a particular plot point or battle. Naturally, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing.

On the good side, it’s always nice to have some inspiration. Having things set at home makes me more likely to notice things around where I live that will make interesting pieces in a campaign. I don’t have to take the individual piece and work it into the geography of a new world or location, I can just use it and see how it fits in. On the down side, it keeps the campaign in my mind more often than is necessary sometimes, since certain landmarks remind me of the game now, as they will quite possibly be prominent features of the campaign.

I’m still happy with my choice to set the game around here though. The advantage of being able to add detail on the fly by virtue of my familiarity with where I live will be a godsend, and will compensate for one of my biggest weaknesses in running a game: good description. I just need to find the right blend of real world and fantasy world to make the game work out. Then I need to remember that it’s ok to change things for the fantasy world if it will add to the plot or the smoothness with which the game runs. After all, where I live is simply a way to breathe life into the world… it’s the differences that will make it an exciting place to explore in the confines of the game. If we wanted to explore it exactly as it is, we’d be better served to get up, walk outside, and explore. This is, of course, something I do with local friends sometimes, but that is certainly a different activity from gaming.

Watching the differences between my home and my campaign world develop as I create the world is interesting though. It will be even more interesting to see how things change once the players get heavily involved in the world. I have to say, I’m excited to see what happens when the time comes.


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One Response to “Gaming with Home in Mind”

  1. 1
    Kai Skye Says:

    Shigeru Miyamoto, possibly the most influential game designer of all time, has said that his inspiration comes from taking walks outside and exploring his home town. He used the ideas he saw outside to design locations like the dungeons in Legend of Zelda and the worlds of Super Mario and Metroid.

    In short, I think you’re on to something :)

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