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Just a place for the odd thoughts, updates, and the detritus of my mind that doesn't belong on social media.

Posted: May 6th, 8:45am

Mee's Adventure and a history of solo adventures

When I was a child, one of my first encounters with Roleplaying (a hobby that has come to dominate my life) was through solo adventure gamebooks — the likes of Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf, Way of the Tiger, and the excellent Asterix gamebooks (which included code breaking and menhirs). I was hooked from the first one I read, and bought every one (usually second hand) that I could get my paws on.

Naturally I was obsessed by the concept of making my own, which involved assembling tiny pamphlets from coloured paper and writing them in paragraph by paragraph (with, generally, little to no advance planning). I designed cut-down rules systems based on my Termite RPG, first Grasshopper, and then the even simpler Flea, which had only one stat — Luck.

Later, when I learnt about computers, I translated that love of solo-adventures into early programmed attempts. At that time my tool of choice was the late lamented Hypercard. I designed a Hypercard toolset for makeing solo adventures (I think it was called "Adventure Maker"). These were still text based, but now had a much more complex set of adventure codes and items based on Fabled Lands. The idea being that you could transfer a character from adventure to adventure, in any order, carrying over your magic items, spells, and accolades.

The adventure maker project was probably too fancy for its own good, and I don't think anyone ever played the games other than me. Not long after, however, the World Wide Web came along, and hypertext provided the perfect medium for more solo-adventures. In the mid 90's I was the webmaster for the GEAS Village, which was the grandly named website for the Grand Edinburgh Adventuring Society — the University of Edinburgh's Roleplaying club.

The GEAS Village was a pretty grand undertaking in its own right. It had hundreds of pages: forums, before the concept of forums as we know them; an e...

Posted: May 3rd, 3:01pm

First Post

Yes, this is one of those posts that you find on any blog if you go back far enough, a first post, justifying why there is a blog here in the first place.

So, why a blog?

For the last decade I have tried to put my assorted thoughts not on a dedicated blog, but on social media sites — Facebook, Goodreads, DeviantArt, Medium. My thinking, at the time, was that by posting on existing networks I would benefit from organic discovery — people would find my posts using the relevant site's own tools, and that would drive interest in the sum total of my creative endeavours.

To some extent I think this probably worked. My Medium posts have attracted views, my Facebook pages have followers, my DeviantArt posts have been favourited (if that's a word). But at the same time it means that my creative output has been splintered. I'm spread over a dozen sites. There isn't one place anyone could go to see all the things I do, except of course this website, which I've unintentionally made an effort to direct people away from, just by posting elsewhere.

Hence the blog. My intent is to create a place where all my news can be found. I am not planning to give up on Facebook and the rest, but what I post elsewhere I will also post here. Will it work? Will I end up abandoning the whole thing for my original plan? Only time will tell.