Friday, August 5, 2011

Using Technology in Roleplaying Games - Help?

   I had an idea a year or so back. For it to make sense, I guess you need to know that I have a good sized (32") flatscreen on the wall of my game room. It is usually hooked up to my sons' video game consoles, but does have an input that I could drive from a computer.

  Anyway, the idea struck me when we played a couple of games of Star Frontiers. Good OSR Sci-Fi stuff there. I want to use my mini laptop and the big screen to put up video transmissions. For example, when the characters get a call on their vidphone, explaining a potential job, or when the enemy starship captain sends a threat to "lower your shields and prepare to be boarded, or be destroyed!" 

   I just imagine this as a really cool use of technology to make for a memorable gaming experience. Problem is, how do I make the videos look good? Does anyone know of a cheap utility that could help me make good backgrounds, animate aliens, that sort of thing? I mean, a Sathar is a big worm. I can act, but that's a bit beyond me. By the way, I hear its voice as a mechanical translator with a heavy German accent.


Kobold said...

If you have the time and cash, a modern digital stills camera can be used to shoot little videos. If you can load the videos onto your computer, you could probably buy some second hand editing software (Avid or similar) or even just find some simple shareware on the web to cut your clips up. Alternatively, use stills - use photoshop to make a composite of the Sathar on its bridge, for example, and use something like power point to call up the picture you want, when you want it. If you have a vocodor or a singing star mic, recite the Sathar's dialog into the mic while the players are looking at the screen and this will add to the Wowness. You're not IML, but you can show starmaps and library data, etc on the screen as well.

J Womack, Esq. said...

I do have a digital camera that does video. Not well, but still. Suppose I need some prop hats. Think it might be odd that all of my son's prospective employers look quite a bit like me?