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Fermius Firefly

A Dream Log, whenever I remember the dreams I've had.

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Location: San Marcos, United States

Fermius is a pen name drawn from a series of short fiction I wrote when I published the small press magazine Stellanova (on paper.) I play RPG games to escape from my daily grind as a technology wage slave for the state of California. I eat out a lot in order to do my part in supporting our increasingly service level economy. I am butler to 2 feline masters. If you ask them they will tell you I'm not very good at it, late with dinner, don't have enough hands with brushes in them, and sometimes I even lock them out of their office.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Spare Parts Online

              I dreamed again of play testing Spare Parts Online. This time, however, the scenario was set in a sort of Jules Verne arcane technology world. Players were scattered across the game world in small clusters as their great colonial star galleon broke up in the upper atmosphere. As players progressed in making their way in this new world they would come across the sleeper pods that held the colony's trade and craft personnel.
              Like many previous dreams it wasn't long before I was a character in the game rather than sitting behind a keyboard playing the game. I was a juggernaut jockey in the game. I had built and maintained a powered suit made of leather, iron and bronze. The game mechanic was a sort of plug and jack and arcane circuit placing exercise which used the items and materials that were found or created. In the dream, however, I was able to see, with the aid of a pair of goggles, the arcane circuitry that was wired, etched and painted on my equipment. I was able to shave down the wooden handle of an ax I had taken from a fallen foe. I carved a rather intricate pattern into the stub, and then fit that into a socket on the outside of my left arm. A few brass rods welded around the thing allowed the arcane engine and the external drive chain to spin the ax in an arc of defensive iron. I now had a powered shield capable of defecting thrown weapons as well as melee as I faced my enemies. I suspected that it would make a good improvised weapon as well.
              All the while I was in our makeshift camp workshop I had the game mechanics running in the back of my head. Using the enchanting and crafting UI to alter the ax from a hand weapon into a shield. Living with the durability hit the system imposed because of a botched set of arcane casts, etc. Still I could listen to the conversation around the fire, the speculation that the ax wielding native was only part of a larger whole, that we should try diplomacy rather than the brass fist of Manifest Destiny in a headlong march to repeat the mistakes of our fore bearers.
              I could smell the wood fire, the ozone from the welding rig, smell the oil that kept the leather of my machine running smoothly. As I worked I could see my companions had tattoos that allowed them to interface with their gear and weapons, a slightly different path than my own, more an emulation of the native in its origin.
              Our camp had several servants dashing about, assisting with repairs, tending the fires, cooking our dinner. It was a very elegant, in a way, method of adventuring. I found myself wondering how I could capture that in the game engine.

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