Friday, June 28, 2013

VR.5


"VR.5" is a show of which I have fond memories. It was some time in the 90's ... 1995 I think. My memory (such as it is) is that the show debuted the same night as "Sliders" on Fox and I remember being upset when "Sliders" was picked up for a second season while "VR.5" was cancelled. I thought that "Sliders" was silly and that "VR.5" was cool.

A friend recently shared the news with me from tvshowsondvd.com that there is a glimmer of hope for a "VR.5" release on DVD. This apparently because of a listing on Amazon. The listing says, "Sign up to be notified when this item becomes available." Which to me is code for, "Abandon all hope Ye who enter here." Except that as tvshowsondvd.com points out, this entry has one significant difference.

The DVD listing is for a DVD-R ... that's a DVD recordable service offered by Amazon. Amazon explains: "Through manufacturing on demand, CreateSpace, part of the Amazon.com group of companies, enables Amazon.com to offer music and video content that might not otherwise be available."

That would seem to me to indicate that Amazon has some interest in securing the rights to release the series. If that's the case, perhaps they are simply waiting for enough people to show an interest to make it worth their while? If you have an interest in seeing these old episodes of "VR.5" get over to Amazon and click on the "Sign up to be notified when this item becomes available" link.

I just hope the series is as good as I remember. I tried watching the "Robin of Sherwood" series pilot from 1984 awhile back and it was so ... 80's ... I just couldn't make it through. I have had a similar problem with some other old series that I remember from my past.

Also high on my, "I wish they would bring this to DVD/BluRay" list is a series created by Issac Asimov that starred Parker Stevenson and Ashley Crow called, "Probe." What about you? Any classic TV from your past that you'd like to see again?

Regards,


Jeff

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Positive Feedback


The first customer review for Five by Five is very positive and has me pretty excited.


But, then the reviewer even went so far as to follow up with a personal email to me which I just wanted to share:

Hi Jeff,

I posted the Five by Five review on RPGNow.com. I just want to congratulate you on writing a great game. This is kind of a long mail and probably strange to receive it unsolicited but I just wanted to send it because writing can be kind of isolating and publishing is the payoff. Good writing deserves accolades so... here goes.

I recently had a couple of guys at work ask me to play a game of D&D with them - neither had done table top RPGs before. I haven't played D&D in ages so, against my better judgement I said `OK - we can play D&DNEXT'. 

So we sat down last Monday and 2 hours later we're still making characters and I'm thinking `this is why people play MMORPGs.' The barrier to fun in that game is just immense. So... we eventually got to gaming and had a great night. 

It was one of those great sessions where you are with players who are not carrying preconceptions or weird roleplayer baggage. Pretty soon they were riffing off each other and doing all kinds of cool things that just did not fit within the character class silos of D&D. So I ended up pretty much ignoring the rules and playing a game of `make stuff up' with d20 rolls and Hitpoints'. My point here is that we came to this after hours of explaining why Wisdom is better than Intelligence for a Ranger, the difference between hitpoints and hit dice and blah blah blah.

Five by Five skips all that. I see it as a solution to the disconnect that I experienced between the story that the Players and I wanted to tell and the tools we had for rendering it.


Thanks Jeff, much appreciated.


This kind of feedback has me really happy!

Today is going to be a good day.

Regards,


Jeff


Positive Feedback


The first customer review for Five by Five is very positive and has me pretty excited.


But, then the reviewer even went so far as to follow up with a personal email to me which I just wanted to share:

Hi Jeff,

I posted the Five by Five review on RPGNow.com. I just want to congratulate you on writing a great game. This is kind of a long mail and probably strange to receive it unsolicited but I just wanted to send it because writing can be kind of isolating and publishing is the payoff. Good writing deserves accolades so... here goes.

I recently had a couple of guys at work ask me to play a game of D&D with them - neither had done table top RPGs before. I haven't played D&D in ages so, against my better judgement I said `OK - we can play D&DNEXT'. 

So we sat down last Monday and 2 hours later we're still making characters and I'm thinking `this is why people play MMORPGs.' The barrier to fun in that game is just immense. So... we eventually got to gaming and had a great night. 

It was one of those great sessions where you are with players who are not carrying preconceptions or weird roleplayer baggage. Pretty soon they were riffing off each other and doing all kinds of cool things that just did not fit within the character class silos of D&D. So I ended up pretty much ignoring the rules and playing a game of `make stuff up' with d20 rolls and Hitpoints'. My point here is that we came to this after hours of explaining why Wisdom is better than Intelligence for a Ranger, the difference between hitpoints and hit dice and blah blah blah.

Five by Five skips all that. I see it as a solution to the disconnect that I experienced between the story that the Players and I wanted to tell and the tools we had for rendering it.


Thanks Jeff, much appreciated.


This kind of feedback has me really happy!

Today is going to be a good day.

Regards,


Jeff


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I'm so happy I feel bigger on the inside ...


That's a really old picture of me, but it sums up how excited I am. I just put Five by Five up on RPGNow this afternoon, and someone has given it 5 stars. My first 5 star rating! I am really geeking out on the inside!

Thanks everybody!



Jeff

Five by Five is ALIVE!


Yay! Hurray!

Five by Five has gone live on DriveThruRPG and RPG Now!! You can check it out by clicking the link above!!


Jeff

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Note About Revisions

I uploaded the V3 playtest of Five by Five to Dropbox so many times these past few weeks. Each time with minor corrections or changes. If you want to make sure that you have the latest version of Five by Five take a look at your Table of Contents. The first entry for page 14 should read, "All Other Tasks." if it reads, "Rolling Unskilled" then you have an older version.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Five by Five ver 3 Officially Released!


I'm calling this one official. Five by Five version 3 is done and ready to go! Please give it a look!! To celebrate I am giving Five by Five it's own little home on blogger:

http://fivebyfiverpg.blogspot.com/

Future Five by Five stuff will be cross posted to FivebyFiveRPG.blogspot.com the new home of the Five by Five RPG.

Regards,


Jeff

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Man of Steel Overwhelming?


I went to see The Man of Steel on Father's Day. I don't get out to see movies much. I kind of wish that I had went to see Ironman 3 instead. Not that I have any objective complaints about the movie; it was a competent retelling of Superman's origin story. It managed to make itself unique from the Superman movies of the past and stands on its own two feet.

However, movie viewing and immersion is a very personal thing, and for this *person* "The Man of Steel" failed to make a proper connection. There's a little boy inside every man who goes to see a comic book movie and "The Man of Steel" failed to speak to my "little boy."

There were some very nice moments in the film. I loved the sequences on Krypton the best. Zod was well portrayed and became an almost tragic figure. I would have liked to have seen more of this. If Zod had struggled more with his choices we could have really been sucked into his story and that could have been awesome.

But, it wasn't awesome ... It was good ... But it fell short of awesome because any emotional context we might have been provided was denied us in favor of "action." Too much action. So much action that I was numb halfway through the movie. So numb that when Zod finally meets his tragic demise, I was not so much shocked, upset, outraged, or excited by the end ... But relieved that maybe this damn movie was finally over.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the movie ... I did. But, I honestly think that if the film editor had cut 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there from the action sequences they could have cut 40 minutes out of this movie and only made it better. 

Any attempt at an emotional connection to the characters was "for me" ruined by the sensory overload of non-stop action sequences. This was more of a Superman thrill ride than a movie. Something that I should have strapped myself into my seat for and watched with my hands in the air as I screamed with each roller coaster plunge and violent hairpin turn. And I don't know about you, but 3 hours on this roller coaster was more than enough to turn me Kryptonite green.

Now my inner child ... That little boy inside ... He might have loved this ride, except that he never got on. There was nothing innocent and fun enough to coax him to the surface or to bring his smile to my face. So he missed it, and the grown up me had to endure the movie alone. And that adult wanted more substance.

Amy Adams was fine as Lois Lane and they "fix" the age old question of her and Clark and the stupid "glasses disguise" by making it a non-issue. But we get very little of Lois herself. Nothing to connect to. This movie is rife with near misses. Moments that could have or should have meant something to us (Pa Kent's death) but didn't because every connection the movie wants us to make is severed sharply by the cut to the next action scene and mind numbing explosion.

I started out by saying I "liked" the Man of Steel, but thinking back on it now ... I think that may have been too generous. I rode the ride ... And there is no denying that the ride was thrilling ... But in the end, the ride went on too long ... And I had gone to the cinema to see a movie, not to ride an amusement park ride. So when placed within that context, I didn't get what I came for. I understand that summer action movies are supposed to be thrill rides, but I could have used a little less ride and a little more movie.

Regards,



Jeff Moore


Five by Five on LuLu


I have created a page for Five by Five on LuLu. The plan is to make a print edition available very soon. Please check it out, and rate Five by Five for me.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.


Jeff Moore


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Superhero Adventure Added

I have updated the Five by Five playtest with a Superhero sample adventure. It's the same adventure from HiLo but adapted for Five by Five. I am pleased with the way it turned out. Five by Five might just be finished. I am going to sit on this for awhile. I will continue playtesting. Currently things seem to be working really well.

Five by Five Playtest

Regards,

Jeff Moore

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Five by Five Playtest Updated


CLICK HERE FOR FIVE BY FIVE PLAYTEST VERSION 3 UPDATE

It's been a month. The Five by Five version 3 playtest document continues to evolve. My thanks to Chris Nason, Chris Vogel, Larry Straining, Tonya Greene and Jon Edgar for valuable feedback that has helped keep me on track and keep Five by Five true to its design roots. Again, if you haven't taken a look at the playtest in awhile, give it a quick look when you have some time. There have been a lot of changes since a month ago. I truly feel the game keeps getting better and better. I also hope that these updates have been interesting for those of you who are following me, to be able to see the results of the development process as the game document evolves.

Regards,


Jeff Moore