Thursday, April 30, 2020

The UVG Digital DM Screen

I may have made a thing

It's just about finished. You can find it here.

This post is... a very big thing for me. I didn't realize how difficult it is to actually finish a project that's been this important to me for so long. My copy of the UVG arrived and holding it in my hands was the tipping point, irrefutable evidence that this is a real thing.

On the UVG


The UVG was the project that gave me the first glimpse of what science fiction was capable of in the world of TTRPGs, and it continued to push the limits, moving the goalposts over and over again. Onboard the Stratometaship, I got to witness the UVG evolve every step of the way, until it became what it is today. And now, with this, I have an opportunity to bring my own little piece of science fiction to the landscape of TTRPGs.
my ancient foe returns in material form

Some other takeaways:
-It is truly fascinating to work on developing a digital tool for a project as it evolves. There were some sections that were, for lack of a better term, a real pain in the ass to deal with (here's looking at you, The Near Moon) that I now see in their final, illustrated form and cannot help but be astounded.
-An immense thank you to Luka for giving a relatively unknown newbie a chance. (also- if you have the chance to work with Luka Rejec on any sort of project, take it. He's an absolute joy to work with.) Thank you to ExaltedFuneral for believing in this project enough to support it!
-This project ends just as it began - as an expression of appreciation for a setting that captured my imagination when I was very new to this community, and continues to hold it.

 

 

My Soapbox on Digital Tools


And now, an aside on digital tools. I see discussions every so often debating their merits, or whether they are truly necessary. I hear people say that face-to-face, pen-and-paper is the best way to run a game, and I cannot help but agree, but-
not everyone has a house or apartment where they can run a game. Not everyone has their friends close enough geographically to show up to a game in person. Not everyone has the space to spread out a sheaf of papers. Sometimes your friends are busy. Sometimes you're busy. Sometimes the only way you'll get that game in is to run it off your phone at a crowded Denny's.
That's what digital tools are for.
They break down the barriers between the idea of running an awesome game, and actually running it. They make more games happen.
I'm not an economist, I can't tell you if having a digital tool made for your game is a good financial decision, or whether it will actually make you money. I know I'm shooting myself in the foot by saying that. But what I can tell you is that it will allow more people to enjoy your game. People who otherwise wouldn't. People like me.
There's a reason why I have a passion for digital tools, after all. I found them at a time when the local game stores were closing down one by one, when my prep time slipped away, when schedules drifted apart. That bit about running a game at a crowded Denny's is true. I ran it off a digital tool I had made the weekend previous, it was a blast, and it wouldn't have happened otherwise.

Here's hoping for the future of games, of digital tools, and of us, the sentient beings who use them.


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