So that's another Peaky done for another year. 30 or so writers, two cooks, six writing groups, five freeforms and lots of boardgames played. I had tremendous fun - still my favourite gaming weekend of the year.
This year there was a definite romantic feel to Peaky, with three games exploring themes of romance.
In no particular order:
- The Saga of the Lost - a 12 player Viking game with supernatural elements. I didn't play in this, but it sounded good from what I could tell talking to those that had played in it.
- Love Letter - 10 player game set in Britain in World War 2 with young men off to the war and how that affects their romantic partners. Very interesting structurally, and I hope they don't change it too much. To say too much about my game would ruin it for others, but if you like romance, heartbreak, torn emotions, and "doing the righ thing" it's the game for you. (I felt I had a slightly easy ride - but things could have gone very differently.)
- Burning Orchid - I didn't play in this 10 player game about a 1930s Hollywood movie, but I heard good things about it from those that did.
- Mars Attracts - a workshoppy game about couples preparing for a mission to Mars going through a 6 month training simulation to confirm their compatibility. I both wrote this and played in it, and will reflect on it more in due course. I really enjoyed both the writing and the playing - so for me a big success all around. The photo right is of the writing team getting into mood…
- The Annual Assizes at Anchori'is - a Dying Earth game for 14 players. This was the most ambitious game I played - it was only four more players than Love Letter, but it felt like there was lots more going on that I didn't see. That's one of the things I really like in the big freeforms, and this game captured that.
- Tut's Top Tat - unfortunately, for reasons outside anyone's control, this game wasn't finished. But it sounded interesting, being an 18 player game set at the time of the London Tutankhamun exhibition. (I don't know where we would have found the players needed for it though, but more on that below.)
Challenges and lessons learned
Organising the games and pressing buttons
I organised the games again this year, which means I worked out who was playing in which game on Sunday. As we could have had six games being played and time for only three games on Sunday, that meant two streams of games. Assuming that all the games were run, then that means the writing teams would have about 10 players each for their games.
Unfortunately two problems occurred. First, most of the games written were for more players than were available. That meant that some writers ended up playing in their own games, or played in the "opposite" game (and didn't see their own game being run).
Second, as romance can be a fairly sensitive topic, there were some players who didn't want to play in a romantic game at all. And thanks to one game dropping, we had one period where both games were romantic games, reducing the player count even further. Luckily, we had written Mars Attracts to be modular and we reduced the game size accordingly.
Next year I need to make it clear how many players each group is likely to have for their game, and let the writers figure out what they do about any potential shortfall.
A misunderstanding with accommodation
On Friday night one person couldn't find a bed for the night. They then had such a bad night that they couldn't continue and left shortly after breakfast. Unfortunately, there were beds available, but when the misunderstanding occurred many people were already asleep or not available.
We need to make sure this doesn't happen again - and make sure that everyone knows where they are sleeping before we start writing on Friday night.
(The photo right is of me as Foodle, a - a vat grown warrior of brutish appearance. With a nice hat. From The Annual Assizes at Anchori'is)
So apart from a few glitches that we will make sure don't happen again, Peaky 2015 was a resounding success.