By Alec Sorensen
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:
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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.