My journey through Knudepunkt 2015 – Saturday part one

You know the drill this is my personal experience of KP, what I felt and thought, just random rambling thoughts. KP seen through the eyes of a first timer.

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09.00 – 11.00
– Wake up feeling ok, tired but fine.
– Same routine: breakfast then the next round of Keynotes.

IMG_1145– Keynotes theme this time is: Roles, first of is legendary Erik Fatland, whom I mostly know from his work with ritual workshops, something I want to use a lot more. His breakdown of what is a character is rather good. A role play character is never a whole person, but rather: an alternative pattern of thought, a different public identity, a different set of relationships, an alternative pattern of movement, an alternative voice and language, an unique reason and goals within the game.

IMG_1148– Next up is another person I hold in high regard: Tor Kjetil Edland have been part of creating among much other: “Just a Little lovin” His talk centered around the relationship between us and our character. Very close to the body workshop from friday. It was interesting to hear some theory connected to the very physical experience that workshop had been. It’s a brilliant aspect on how to get into character: by looking at where the character is different from you and where you are the same. That’s something I’m going to be using more, both as a designer, and as a player.

IMG_1153– The last bit was by my good friend Oliver Nøglebæk and Josefin Westborg, and this time the theme was: what is the players looking for in a game and in their characters. I think these three keynotes was the most thematic complementing. First we heard about what a character is, then the relationship between character and player and now a look at what the player wants from a game and the character.

– And taking inspiration from a U2 song, the players want us designers to: hold me, thrill me, kiss me, kill me. Hold Me: Safeness, knowing what to do, knowing responsibilities as a player. Thrill Me: excitement, hype, awesome, Oliver suggested that to get thrilled about a character he always finds a song for that character. Kiss Me: create emotions and motivations, and that these are different from the everyday you. Kill Me: something should be on the line, where is the drama?

11.00 – 15.30
01-DSC_0044 - 2015-02-14 at 16-27-54– With the keynotes over, it’s time for me to step up my game, it’s time to start prepping for running my game “Waiting for Flight GO901”
– Feeling very strange, both looking forward to it, because I get to run it with the best players in the world. But also feeling nervous, because I have to run it for the best players in the world.

– Force myself to forget that, and just go and do it. Start prepping room, can’t find the rather important glass hearts, slight panic, find them. Also slight panic when the technical equipment acts up. But all is solved bit by bit.

– Room is ready, people start showing up. A lot of people wants to play my game, end up increasing the amount of players from 15 to 20.
– It’s about to start, sit down to relax and listen to my hype song, open eyes, start!
– I won’t say much about the game, here, read this post, to get my (way too) thorough description of the game. This will mostly be my rundown of thoughts and emotions during the run.

IMG_1174– Feeling very nervous during the workshop. What do they think? Does it make sense? Are they bored? Try to hide it as best I can, and just do it.
– realise that the brainstorm with posts it at the beginning of the workshop not only gives the players a lot to work with, but also gets them in a creative mindset. Always fun to discover that your design is more clever than you thought.
– Stick too closely to the workshop script, not realising, that they are doing fine on their own. You
have opened the floodgates, should just have stepped back and let them at it.
– Become a bit better at that as the workshop goes on.
– The workshop is taking longer than normal, the game ends up taking six hours all in all, the players don’t seem to mind.

15.30 – 20.00
02-DSC_0058 - 2015-02-14 at 17-31-29– The game starts, the amount of people means that the background soundscape is not needed they create that themselfs.
– They play much more aggressive and outward than the first two runs, perhaps it’s the amount of people again, or just different play styles.
– I have to step in as NPC much more than
the first two times, they need someone to blame, someone to ask questions to. I stick to my concept of not giving any information. This creates a lot of frustration among the characters, but I think the players are loving it.
05-DSC_0069 - 2015-02-14 at 18-01-17– Not sure if this difference of play is better, badder or just different. I’m leaning towards the last.

– It’s great to have Jacob by my side to talk about things and the game. Discuss how such a simple things as them having plastic cups they can crush and crumple does a lot to the game.

– As the game moves into the tragedy the play style becomes more intense, but at the same time more quiet. The room is radiating emotions, I feel them myself.

– Haveing to, as an NPC, go and tell them: the plane has crashed is physically hard.
08-DSC_0082 - 2015-02-14 at 19-02-15– The last symbolic scene in the spotlight works beyond great and it’s very emotional to watch them.

– For the first time someone survives the crash and thats creates whole new dynamic in the group. As someone said afterwards: “I hated them, because the one they were waiting for survived. Why not mine? Why him?”
10-DSC_0092 - 2015-02-14 at 19-12-44– The game ends, waow… waow… This was a great and very powerful run. We do a runde and people keep thanking me for a well run game and workshop, except for a few minor mistakes, that I agree with. This is by far the best run of this game so far, I will not soon forget it.

– Taking of the NPC costume is a physical relief, like taking of that character. This had influenced me more than I thought.
– Doing completely improvised debrief “get out of character” excise based on all the new ideas and techniques KP have given me. Seemed to worked very well.

– Get them to move around, more and more exaggerated. Shout! Shout as loud as you can, I think we all needed that. Move your body, move it a lot, shake out the character, the experience, find yourself again, deep breaths and then over.
– Thank you a lot.
– The players hug it out with each other. Then many find me and then immerse me in a great big group hug. God I needed that.

– Start packing as the others go to dinner, we agree to sit and eat, at the same table. When I come over a bit later, one of the players finds me and brings me to that table. They want to talk to me about the game.

– Spend the next long time just talking about the game with the players, and listening to them talk about it. Very strange to really get to talk this game all the way through.
– Decide to go and change for the party that night. As I’m by myself I reflect on the game. Not sure I want to run it again. This was such an intense and special experience. I kind of feel like I’m done with this game. But promise myself to make a larp script so others can run it from now on.

And tomorrow the party, yes that get’s it’s own post, but hopefully not that long.

4 thoughts on “My journey through Knudepunkt 2015 – Saturday part one

  1. Francesco "Rugerfred" Sedda

    Some thoughts:
    – The post-it part is truly great game design. I loved every bit of that. Very co-creative and functional.
    – It’s true: we didn’t minded about the hours. I didn’t even noticed the passage of time like that. Which is great. 😉
    – Your NPC was simply perfect. We need to ask information about the crash as much as we needed not to receive updates about it.
    – And finally: THE WORLD NEEDS THIS SCRIPT! 😀

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