Live gaming blends the creativity of open-ended, role-playing games like D&D with the ease " /> Salt Valley Tally: Live Gaming

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Live Gaming

By Alec Sorensen

  • 986 votes

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Live gaming blends the creativity of open-ended, role-playing games like D&D with the ease and speed of videogames. A host narrates the story line, players create and narrate the actions of characters, and a web application handles rules, points, and story assets. Live Gaming provides all the creativity and social interaction of tabletop RPGs without the need for memorizing books full of rules or buying lots of dice.

Compared to online MMORPGs (massively multi-player online role playing games), older, pen-and-paper RPGs are much more social and creative. Instead of narrow quests that require players to kill X monsters or collect X objects, players can define their own objectives and a 'game master' or 'storyteller' adapts the game in the moment to whatever the players decid to do. Hosting a game, however, requires memorizing books full of rules. New players frequently require 2-3 hours to create a character. The creative, open nature of old RPGs is bogged down by having to do all of calculations by hand—which would be done automatically by a computer in a video game.

Even Virtual Tabletops, designed to take traditional RPGs online, require people to do much of the calculation, organization, and memorization of paper-and-pen RPGs. They mimic the experience (and messiness) of the old RPGs, while barely taking advantage of a computer's ability to handle the math. Frequently, gamers have to both buy the books (in order to understand the rules) and pay for licences to use the Virtual Tabletops (in order to download the rules into the gaming environment where they could play online).

In contrast, Live Gaming:

  • Guides players through a character creation wizard—allowing new players to create characters easily and quickly, without reading a 300-page book.
  • Allows both automated and manual modes. Default rolls and common series of rolls can be strung together, and any effects can be applied automatically to involved characters, giving Live Gaming sessions the speed and ease of video games. Or rolls can be carefully controlled by the host and players, allowing the host to elaborate and narrate the effect of each roll, for an immersive, dramatic experience.
  • Gives game hosts tools that make creating maps, characters, and scenes easy. For games taking place in the modern world, hosts can even take advantage of Google Maps, marking locations and adding pictures with their cell phones.
  • Features an intuitive, simple interface for games; the game session uploads players' characters and links them with the host's story. It also allows for editing and creation of new materials on the fly when players make unexpected moves.
  • Uses cloud-based architecture, allowing people access to characters and stories on multiple devices. Instead of bringing books, paper, pencils, and dice to a session, all players need is the app on their cell-phones, tablets, or laptops. Alternatively, games can be hosted with people in remote locations via computer or mobile device.
  • Contains all the information you need to create a character or host a game. Buy the manual only if you prefer having a physical book; all the information will be at your finger tips as in-context help.


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Explain, in non-confidential terms, why your technology / business concept is incredible.

Despite the advances in technology, computers still can't think. The set of actions that players can take (or that a programmed world will respond to) is small with computer-based games, but infinite when a real, live human being is running the show in real time. Instead of trying to replace the human brain, this blended gaming environment develops a framework that uses both the computers' strengths (handling lots of complicated rules and displaying media) and people's strengths (creativity, spontaneity, improvisation). The combination is more creative and immersive than video games and easier to use than book-based RPGs.


Describe, in detail, why voters should back this project.

With this platform, you and your friends can make and tailor games to each other, without learning to program or memorizing tons of rules. You can find out what it's like to be a superhero, without having to wear spandex to work. It's a little like being a co-author, video-game designer, comic book creator, and improv comedian.

Create any kind of persona you can imagine and be free to do whatever you like—using your hometown as a basis or creating your own Gotham. Just watch out, because your friend has created an army of robots, or a team of secret agents, or Things from that creepy, abandoned house up the hill to make your character's life interesting...


Describe why you feel your team is capable of achieving your vision.

The Appify team has all the right nerdiness in all the right places, and we have the cloaks to prove it. We're addicted to the freedom and creativity of human-run games, and have the web development know-how to implement intuitive apps that support creativity without replacing it.


If you win a cash prize, what will you do with the money?

Even with the explosion of amazing web development libraries and frameworks, development and testing of an API and three client apps takes time and money. The money from the Salt Valley Talley will cover a substantial portion in-house development costs. The additional funds will also allow Appify to contract some design or development of features and to support local students.


Primary Contact


  • Alec Sorensen



Team Members