Larping in Minsk

I must start by saying how well organized the whole thing was. I’m gonna steal a lot from Minsk Larp Festival for Black Box Horsens.

Just look at those stickers! They worked as both flyers and well stickers. I now have one on the back of my phone. It’s brilliant! They even had name tag stickers.

And as a game designer I have never felt so taken care of. Before the festival they had asked for a list of what I needed, so when I came into the venue there was a bag with the name of the game with everything I had requested!

First I played “Take a lift” a game about people somehow stuck in life. And in an elevator. Imagine the scene from “You got mail” in the elevator and you get a pretty good idea of the larp. I sadly have no pictures from the larp.

It used space very well. With the lift, flashback and flashforward spaces as tape squares on the floor. The interesting thing was that in flashbacks the player having the flashback could control that scene, but in flashforward he could only set it and then the other players decided what happened. Nice little twist.

Next up was my own game “Waiting for Flight GO901” it went well, there was crying. It was also the record for most surviving travelers. It didn’t change the game that much, which surprised me.

Apparently there’s a game called “Turbulence” from a previous Larporatory. I talked to one of the designers about combining the two games, as Turbulence is about people on board a plane that crashes.

First we were joking, but in the end we actually had a cool idea for how that could work. So it might happen. It would basically be running the two games simultaneously but workshopping them together so that the instead of a bag you are actually waiting for another player character.

Then play the games as normal but when it comes time to find out who survives you bring the two groups together. They stand in each end of a room. One at the time the travelers move forward, then the people waiting for that person also moves forward. We wait for a painful moment. If a red spot turns on, on the traveler is dead and must walk away. If it is white she survived and can go to the ones waiting for her. It’s so over the top it might work.

Any way that was the program for Saturday the rest of the evening was talking and dancing.

On Sunday I had the first slot off so I hung out with some of the organisers and just relaxed. I needed it.

After that I played Ground Rules a very well designed larp from this year’s Laboratory. It’s a funny yet serious game about living in a communal flat in an unnamed communist country.

I really liked it and the tools it used. I could have played it for longer. I kinda want to hack it and make a day long version.

All the plot happened a bit too much at the same time for my taste. But I like dwelling games.

But the structure was so good. A scene took place in the morning or evening with either players waking up and going to work or coming home from work. Work was a space outside the play zone with chairs facing the wall. There we could imagine how our day went. I liked that.

Between each scene we slept and each player was asked to do a inner monologue about what happened between each scene. It was a way we could signal intentions to each other. Really cool.

Workshop and character creation was also well handled. Although a bit too fast for my taste. But they had each family do a scene for the others showing why it was that they had to move into this communal flat. And that had the most alcoholic line I have ever heard:

“Are you drunk again?!”
“I only had one bottle.”
“Of whisky!”
“Oh I didn’t notice…”

Loved it. All in all good players in all my games.

As I said in the last post I could ramble on much more. But if I did I would never get it done. So let’s stop here

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