Mixing Multimedia with Gaming

Started by khoras2, August 13, 2005, 10:01:29 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.


Mixing Multimedia with Gaming

[Here is another email response that I wrote back in 2000 to an email asking about my methods of mixing multimedia with gaming].

I've been spicing up my gaming sessions for about 3 years now. I've got a great group of enthusiastic players who are open to new things.

Here are some of the things I've been doing:

1. Detailed maps. No matter what the situation, I present them with a good map. One that looks good and shows them what they need to see.

2. Pictures - I scour the internet looking for good pictures. Whatever the characters encounter, I've got a good picture for it. I've got a
collection of several hundred pictures organized into categories.

3. Sound - I've been compiling my own personal library of WAV files for gaming purposes. A dragon's roar, a galloping horse, etc. The
right sound effect can really make a difference. I once used an eerie animal cry that echoed through the forest. It was the cry of a predator. It had them horrified.

4. PowerPoint - I recently have starting using Microsoft Powerpoint. I create a small presentation that details what the players did last session. I start each session off with this "presentation". The presentation shows the party exactly what happened last session and reminds everyone of the storyline. It's usually very graphically rich - every slide has a picture and perhaps a short bit of text to describe the picture. Besides lots of pictures, it sometimes has a short animation or bit of video. It's usually humorous and gets a couple of good laughs out of them. Also, it gets everyone psyched up and reminds them of exactly what was going on.

5. Props - Whenever possible, I try to have a prop. An actual physical item. This is usually just for the important stuff. A small wooden
chest, a gemstone, a piece of cloth, a crumbled map, a dagger, a piece of bone, etc. Whatever it is, it's really cool if the players can actually hold the item in their hands. I once gave them a box that had a hidden compartment. It was several sessions before anyone noticed it. Of course, there was a small piece of paper in there the whole time.

6. Animation - Just recently I've started getting into 3d software. Programs like Bryce, Poser, Carrara, Animation Master, 3D Studio Max,
Lightwave, etc. I personally use Animation Master. Extremely powerful and only $300. You might want to start of with something like Bryce. It makes great landscapes. And you can probably pick up version 3 really cheap or even free. There is also a free 3D program on the net called blender. And there are others. Anyway, the idea is that with 3D software, you can create a picture of anything. It takes a lot of work, but you can create stunningly beautiful pictures of anything you can imagine. I'm still learning this craft but I see a lot of potential. 3D software can create pictures and it can also create animation. Actual movies. You can combine both pictures and movies in with powerpoint presentations and such.

Overall, I try to give my players a good "show" and make them really care about their characters and make them feel like they are actually
in a complete world and that what they do really matters.


Wow. That sounds great. Especially the PowerPoint thing. I wish I had more time to do stuff like that. I like to make maps and lots of drawings of things the players encounter, but more often than not I don't have enough time to prepare for a session. We play very irregularly so I never know when the next time is. How about you, how often do you play?

Regarding multimedia and gaming, I thought this was pretty cool.
- Kristian


Wow. That digital light projection map is freaking cool! I'm going to have to try that the next time I'm running a group through a campaign. I like it because you could easily update the map through software. That's fantastic. Of course, it would require a lot of preparation prior to a gaming session, but then again, there's usually a lot of prep time.

To answer your question, my group typically plays once every two weeks. So about twice a month. I'm temporarily retired from GMing for a little while. I'm taking a year or two off while I enjoy just being a player and one of my other players is taking a hand at being game master. I'm enjoying it! But when I return to GMing, I'm definitely going to have to give that digital light map a try.  ;)