Game Design Panel Update

Only 10 days until Mysterium!

First, I would like to clear up some confusion we’ve been seeing from people who aren’t familiar with Mysterium. Generally speaking, all events take place in one large meeting space at the hotel. Because Mysterium is a relatively small convention, we have no content ‘tracks’, and there is no lining up to get into an event. You just need to be in the room at the time an event starts.

This year, we do have our side activity called Escape the Age which sometimes overlaps with things going on in the main room. This is a small group (~15 people) activity that will be repeated throughout the weekend. There will be signup sheets to choose your time slot on a first-come first-served basis.

Also, you don’t need to print out a ticket and badges aren’t being mailed out or anything like that. We will have a list of attendees at the registration desk, and you will be able to pick up your badge on Friday morning by giving us your name.

As always, please feel free to contact us with any other questions. If you want to know the answer, it is likely others will too.

With that out of the way, I would like to introduce you to our third (of four) panelists for the narrative/writing game design panel that was mentioned in the previous post.

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This is Dean O’Donnell holding some sort of vegetable. Dean is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Interactive Media and Game Development major at WPI, where one of his focuses is storytelling in games. For instance, in his freshman course, students learn improv acting, play and write Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, and even have to design and run a small-scale alternate reality game (ARG). In addition to working on narrative and level design for games, Dean is a novelist, a playwright, and a screenwriter. You can undoubtedly look forward to some amusing stories from him, and possibly a hidden puzzle.

Or a vegetable. Who can say?

Remember, we can’t make this panel a success without your input! What narrative/game design topics do you want to hear these crazy folks discuss? Let us know! Ideally, email your ideas to info@mysterium.net, but if you post them as comments to this post or on our social media, we will probably be able to track them down too. The power is yours!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to soldering if the Escape the Age activity is ever going to be finished in time.

-Taniith, Mysterium 2015 Chair

Mysterium Schedule & Game Design Panel

It’s the post you’ve been waiting for!

The Mysterium 2015 schedule is now up on the site! Check it out here.

As usual, we have a mixture of presentations, group activities, and free/social time. Cyan’s Obduction presentation will happen at 2pm (Eastern Time) on Saturday afternoon, and will be streamed on our Twitch channel (as will all other presentations). As with last year, we don’t have a formal scheduled Marker Mission, but instead have an ongoing ‘Mysterium Adventure’ that includes finding the markers we’ll be hiding around the area.

We have a new presentation format we’re trying out this year. We’ve collected several folks who have been involved in game design/development for narrative and writing based games, and will be holding a panel-style Q&A/discussion with them on Saturday afternoon. The panel is not strictly related to Myst, but rather about general game and narrative development within these genres. If you have any topics or questions you’d like to see the panel cover (about themselves, their games, development in general, etc), please let us know by emailing info@mysterium.net.

We’re still nailing down the exact list of panelists, but here are two that we have confirmed:

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First up is Andrew Plotkin, better known as Belford in the Myst community (or Zarf in the interactive fiction community). He is well known in the interactive fiction community, having made a bevy of games in the IF format, including the semi-recently completed Hadean Lands. If you were at Mysterium 2013, you may remember his presentation on his multiplayer text-based Myst-universe game Seltani.

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Second is Ichiro Lambe, president of Dejobaan Games. Ichiro has been designing and developing games of all types for many years. Earlier this year, Dejobaan launched Elegy for a Dead World (free to Mysterium attendees), which is a game about writing (and reading) fiction while exploring dead civilizations. Prior to that, Dejobaan also released Monster Loves You, which is an interactive visual novel that allows you to live the life of a monster.

We’re excited to see what discussions come out of this panel, but we can’t do it without you! So be sure to send us those discussion topic ideas!

-Taniith, Mysterium 2015 Chair

And Now A Word From Our Sponsors

Not that we have actual sponsors, mind you. But I would like to call out some companies that we have done business with this year. We’re happy with their end products, and we think they deserve some love from us. First up, shirts!

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Remember kids, this is what you get when you use a cell phone to take pictures.

The shirts are in, and they look great! We’re trying something new with the shirts this year. Instead of the standard type of screen printing that can feel weird and that can deteriorate (known to the pros as “plastisol”), we got our shirts printed with a specialized water-based ink in a process called “discharge printing.” It means that, once you wash your shirts, the fabric will be smooth to the touch and the design should never come out for the life of the shirt.

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We used a company called Mint Printworks up in Nashua, NH this year. Their setup is pretty snazzy, and they are lovely people.

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Next up, posters! We got some beautiful 11×17″ posters printed at a local print shop called Connolly Printing, based out of Woburn, MA.

Anyone who registered before the early bird cutoff will get a free poster and tube with their swag. For anyone else, they will be available for $5 (with tube) on-site while supplies last. We’ve had some folks ask about buying these and having them shipped. We may offer that as an option, depending on how many are left after the convention.

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Next up, another piece of swag. Dejobaan Games has graciously offered to give *everyone* who pre-registers for Mysterium a free Steam key for their game, Elegy for a Dead World. Elegy is a game about writing (and reading) fiction while exploring worlds filled with long dead civilizations, which we think will appeal to many Myst fans.

Full disclosure: I have worked for Dejobaan in the past, and played a minor role in the creation of Elegy.

One last fun thing for you. You may recall I mentioned an activity we’re doing this year that we’ve codenamed “Escape the Age.” Well here’s a little spoiler of one small component of that. Better brush up on your D’ni numbers!

To wrap up, I have a few reminders. The Room and Ride Share forum is still available for those of you that need a place to sleep or are figuring out how to get to the hotel. You can also still submit paper people or pre-register for Mysterium until July 24th. We are just about done writing the convention schedule, and hope to have that available to you by the end of this week. Otherwise, I’m all out of things to say.

Until next time,

-Taniith, Mysterium 2015 Chair

Hotel Reservation Deadline

This is just a friendly reminder to BOOK YOUR HOTEL ROOM if you haven’t already done so. You must make your reservation by July 7th (next Tuesday) to get our group rate. You can get all the hotel info on our Location Page.

Remember, we also have a forum setup for those of you that would like to arrange room (and ride) sharing. You can find the forum here.

-Taniith

Travel Info, Room Sharing, & More

Greetings All,

I have a handful of things to share with you today.

Registration, Shirts, and Hotel Rooms

Early bird registration has ended, which means that t-shirt pre-orders have also ended. You can still register online until July 24th. There will be a limited supply of t-shirts available for purchase on-site, for those that missed the cutoff date.

On a related note, when I last spoke to the hotel on Monday, we were within two rooms of hitting our initial room-block reservation. I don’t know how much space the hotel has available beyond that, so I would recommend booking your hotel rooms soon, if you haven already done so.

Travel Info

We have added a page that explains several options for getting to the Mysterium hotel from various starting locations. You can check it out here. That leads into…

Room & Ride Share Forums

The forums have returned (after a bit of database wrangling)! You can use the forums to find roommates to lower the cost of a hotel room, and for coordinating ride sharing on the way to the convention. I’ve pinned a post to the top of each sub-forum with directions on how to get the most out of them.

Submission Reminders

A few quick reminders:

If you were planning to submit an event/panel idea, now is the time! Submissions close at the end of this week, on June 19th. You can get all the details here.

Paper People submissions are still open. You can get the details from this post.

Finally, we are still looking for some kind souls to donate items for prizes. If you have any ideas, please drop us a line at info@mysterium.net.

The End

We’re getting very close now! Under two months to go. Next time, I hope to have a little teaser of something we’ve code named Escape the Age to show you. But until then,

-Taniith, Mysterium 2015 Chair

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