GameCity 9 Launch Event Rundown

Last Thursday was the launch event for this years GameCity festival where the nominees and judges for this years prizes were announced. Myself and Kieran had the opportunity to show off the current build of Hashtag Dungeon at the event!

It was really cool to see people playing and talking about the game. It’s definitely shown us what things we need to improve upon over the next few weeks and what is good about it right now.

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Unfortunately we edited our server’s code just before we left to show the game off; this meant that all the tweets being grabbed by the server were missing a bunch of important data which poor Kieran had to input manually! (We should know better than to edit the games code a few hours before we show it off… but nevermind!)

We also had chance to take part in the Spaceteam Admirals Challenge which was really fun but we didn’t do particularly well at it (3rd from last… could have been worse I suppose…) Congratulations to the winners of that by the way – those medallions you got looked really sweet.

I very much enjoyed myself and I’m really looking forward to my first trip to the GameCity festival this year. I’m also excited to show our game off again – hopefully we’ll have worked out the bugs by that point! I’d like to thank Dr. Patrick Dickinson for coming along to the event to support us, Alex for helping get me in contact with the people running GameCity and Iain and Chloe for making me feel super welcome! It was also really cool to see Sam from Boxface Games again – he’s seriously the coolest kid I’ve ever met – ever.

Can Jam 2014

Can Jam Logo

Hey everyone! Just a quick blog post to tell you all about the upcoming Can Jam at The University Of Lincoln. It’s a 24 hour long game jam ran by students and staff at the university for the glory of game-making students everywhere!

It’s going to be starting on the 8th of March at 9:00am and any UK student with a valid form of identity is welcome to come along to participate. We’re really hoping that you’ll be able to come along and make games with like-minded people. If it’s anything like the last three it’ll be an awesome event. I will be there helping out and providing people with my homespun brand of passionate encouragement (until about 3am – then you’ll have to deal with grumpy Sean).

There will be people coming from both Crytek GmbH and Rockstar for the judging so it’s a great opportunity to network and show off your skills!

Also… this year we have a fancy trophy. I’ve yet to lay eyes on it because apparently it’s far too fancy for any one person to lay eyes upon. It’s really that fancy.*

You can sign up here! There’s only a limited number of places so make sure to grab a ticket quickly! Also feel free to share the details with anyone or anything you might think will be interested.

*I have literally no idea how fancy it is right now. But I can only assume it’s going to be pretty fancy.

Hashtag Dungeon: Thanks Guys!

Hey guys and gals!

This is just a quick little blog post to thank everyone who has tweeted, retweeted or blogged about Hashtag Dungeon so far. Myself and Kieran have been flipping out at every positive comment, response or article we’ve found. We’d like to thank everyone for the great interest in our game.

I literally squealed when I clicked on this video…

We’re working super hard to get the game out as early as we can in order for you guys to get your hands on it. I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am to see what everyone does with the dungeon editor – if it’s anything like the fancy stuff I’ve seen done by our alpha testers then I’m going to be so happy. I’m really looking forward to playing through your dungeons… hopefully you won’t make them too hard (I’m kinda sucky at not getting hit by stuff – especially goblins).

I’m going to get back to working on sprites now. The more enemies, items and traps I can cram into the game before we release the better. We’d really appreciate it if you guys continue to give us feedback and share around the game with anyone you think might be interested – that’d be super special awesome of you.

Also as a little thank you because you’ve decided to click on this blog page thingy here is an EXCLUSIVE picture of one of the enemies from the game – the fireball throwing Flame Mage:

Flame Mage

#GGJ14 Post Mortem

So myself and a bunch of the staff at The University of Lincoln decided to host an event for the Global Game Jam this year! It was very daunting as we’ve never done a whole 48 hours before – we’ve always considered 24 hours to be a pretty crazy feat on it’s own. We had students from a bunch of other universities and developers from outside the university come along too. It was pretty awesome to see so many new people coming to make games together over a weekend.

Not going to lie though “We don’t see things how they are. We see them how we are.” I didn’t really like that theme – I know for a fact that Alex was almost going to bail on me when he saw it.

Luckily we kept the band together and managed to form an idea for it with the help of a pint of alcohol and some good hard thinking. We looked at the idea of propaganda and how it pushes people to form somewhat inaccurate opinions of the world around them. We decided you’d play the role of a person employed to put up posters around an area for the government or those who opposed them.

GGJ14Screenshot

Myself and Alex decided it’d be cool to revisit the country of Happystan that I created along with some of my friends back home. It’s a dictatorship ran by a crazy man who expects everyone to be CONSTANTLY happy ALL of the time. I’ve always wanted to make a first person game in this world so this seemed like a perfect time! After having finished our drinks we went up to the computer labs and started work: Adam Bowes made 3D models of security cameras, buildings and trucks, Alex Saye programmed real-time poster physics and I made a metric-fuckton of poster graphics ranging from government propaganda to XXX strip club advertisements. (Meanwhile we were all listening to plenty of Caravan Palace…)

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Unfortunately we didn’t get the game finished. Despite our solemn vow to never make a branching tree-like story for a game ever again we ended up making one anyway. We had a load of bugs that we didn’t manage to squash in the last few hours and they ended up leaving us a little stressed out and on edge.

On the plus side we got a heck of a lot of comments saying that we’d created a really nice atmosphere for the game, which I tend to agree with as it’s pretty much exactly how I’d imagined the land of Happystan to be like (it was very heavily influenced by Orwell’s 1984). I also really liked the cool billboarding effect we had on the NPCs – totally gonna use that again at some point! I consider ‘District Smile B’ to be a glorious train wreck – both beautiful and terrible at the same time.

My Thoughts On: Continue?9876543210

Continue?9876543210 is a game that attempts to answer the question of what happens to a character in a game when they are deleted from memory.

I remember myself and Alex talking about making a game where you play as a pointer that has wandered off into memory somewhere so I was very interested to see what this game would be like. I was hoping for a Zelda-esque hack and slash game… instead it was a very artsy philosophical game filled with oodles of despair.

The game opens as another game finishes – one of several random characters is seen dying. Then a ‘Continue’ screen flashes up on the screen, it ticks slowly down to zero and then everything goes black. It appears though that the character you are controlling doesn’t want to die… at least not yet.

Continue? Screenshot

The character has to spend its last remaining moments in the memory of the system exploring strange artistic set pieces and hiding from the garbage collector. Each time you play the game there are six random levels for you to explore out of a total of eleven. These range from a wartime trench scene to a small haunted village filled with medieval NPCs. When inside a level you have to talk to NPCs and answer their questions in order to gain ‘prayer’ and ‘lightning’ which help you to stay alive.

Lightning helps the player move to another level by destroying obstacles. Prayer lets the player build houses in a town in order to hide from the garbage collector when it comes along to delete stuff. Both are vital to the players survival but no matter how much you get you will eventually die.

Continue? Enemy

The enemies in the game remind me of Stephen King’s langoliers. They’re vicious and hunt you down without remorse – after all you are just memory locations waiting to be cleaned up. The game ends when the player is finally deleted. The players score is defined by how ‘ready’ the character is to die when they finally meet their maker.

The game was apparently inspired by a drug-trip gone bad that left the designer in the middle of the Mexican desert. It seems to me to be all about survival, life and the inevitability of death. It made me think about my life so far and brought up a lot of emotions about death and how I feel about it.

My only issues with the game are the amount of flickering and loud noises that gave me a headache. I expected the game to have a pretentious air around it and it does – however the designer has attempted to combat against this by adding in some fun gameplay here and there. I’m also going to point out that the game is very confusing towards the start: a lot of things happen without much warning and they can really put you off playing.

If you want to try it out and see what you think it’s available on Steam right now.

Game Jam Round-Up (#7DGGC and #ScareJam)

I’ve been a little busy recently so I didn’t get chance to write a round-up for either the Gentlemanly Game Challenge OR the Scare Jam. Yes, I know it’s been a while since both of them… quite a while – but I don’t care! It’s time to round them up and discuss how they went! Grab a glass of wine substitute (grape juice) and enjoy my game jam round up! Cheers!

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So I’ll start with the Seven Day Gentlemanly Game Challenge. It was interesting to see what people took from the idea of ‘Gentlemanly’ as a theme. There was a whole lot of steampunk stuff – which I approve of, however I’m still not sure if steampunk always equates to gentlemanly or the vice versa.

We had a nice array of games. Team Noname (Now known as Volatile Element) made a cool RTS game in Unity. Kieran Hicks (who is now working with me on Hastag Dungeon) made a game in which you play a hobo who must rise through the ranks in order to get into the country club. There were some really juicy ideas in the game entitled ‘Monoculus Rift’ which placed the player in a retro environment as seen through a fancy monocle.

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The Scare Jam was awesome. I can’t believe how many people turned up to make games. I was so impressed by the turnout from every year of the computing courses at Lincoln. All the games were pretty well done too and there was a great deal of variety among them. I’m not entirely sure why I chose to do a game jam based on scary games since i’m a very jumpy person myself. This was particularly evident when I jumped halfway across the room when playing one of the games.

Halloween

Alex Saye won the prize for the overall best use of mechanics for his game “14565” where you play a blindfolded person attempting to escape from a terrifying monster. Its lack of visuals and reliance on sound really made for a great experience as your imagination fills in all the blanks and makes it far more terrifying. You can download it here. Wear headphones.

Kieran Hicks received the award for scariest game. His 3D Gamemaker maze game pushed the boundaries of what most of the judges thought could be done in the software. Plenty of jump scares all around.

Team Volatile Element gained the final award for most interesting use of the theme for their game “Child’s Whisper” for the Oculus Rift. It was a surreal and spooky experience that had the player controlling their right and left eyes with a controller.

Duncan Rowland gave out a special award for a game developed using the Mindwave. This game tried to gauge the players stress levels in order to change the environment around them. It was a very interesting insight into getting the Mindwave hardware integrated with Unity.

As with all the game jams I’ve ran at Lincoln i’m always impressed at the creativity and skill the students have. It’s great to see people who are passionate making games and I love to give them opportunities to just make games for the hell of it. It’s my hope that at least one or two of the games will be developed further after the jams are done – there’s definitely a few gems that deserve the attention of the gaming public!

 

The Scary October Jam #ScareJam

Boo! So it’s time for the first of my many little game jams that I’m going to be running at the University of Lincoln! Since it’s Halloween soon I thought it might make sense to make it a spooky-themed scary game jam of occult hi-jinks!

Halloween

So ‘The Scary October Jam’ will be coming this Friday (18th October) to the University of Lincoln. I’ll be starting it at around 5pm and it’ll be finishing 72 hours later on the Monday! Anyone at the university is welcome to come along, we’d like to see as many first year games students there as possible – you can use the weekend as a crash course in GameMaker!

Let’s make some games that make people jump. Make games with all those creepy things that go bump in the night. Make something terrifying that’ll terrify the judges!

This time around we’re having an online poll to decide on a mechanic to add into everyone’s games. This should give people an interesting challenge and push them to think a little outside of the box with their game ideas. (Let’s avoid having a thousand and one jump-and-run games, people!)

You can come in a team of up to five people. The event will be in Computer Lab B on the top floor of the MHT building. Don’t be afraid to ask me some questions about it: if you want some more information on the jam then send me an email or drop me a message on Twitter.

My Thoughts On: A Machine For Pigs

I have a confession to make: I never finished the original Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

Why? Because of several reasons:

  1. I was a great deal younger and therefore my ability to man the fuck up was severely hindered.
  2. I was playing the game in the dark and with my best friend Mark, who was also unable to man the fuck up. In fact his jumping and breathing down my neck made things worse for me.
  3. We saw the first gatherer and after jumping out of the chair and yanking the mouse out of its USB port decided we’d come back and play it again later.
  4. We never came back to play it again later.

But I did get around to watching Jesse Cox’s wonderful play-through of it. So I didn’t miss out on the story or anything like that. I respected the fear inducing pursuits of the monsters and the creepy warping of the insanity meter. I loved the large levels with multiple rooms and paths.. and I really hoped that they’d make a new one.

So when I heard The Chinese Room were making the new one my first thought was “I don’t know if it’ll be as scary… but it’ll be damn pretty.”  When I saw it had a steampunk Victorian vibe I was pretty excited (I have a distinct love for steampunk…)

I’ve played it through now from start to finish. So I’m going to list my thoughts on it below – I’ve separated them into good and bad points to make it easier for anyone who reads this:

Good Points

I really liked the story (despite having guessed where it was going very early on…) It was creepy, sickening and macabre – it was definitely what I wanted from an Amnesia game. I’ve been told by a few people that they don’t think the ties between this game and the original are strong enough – but I think the references to the original game were just right without being too annoyingly in your face. I liked how they dared to be perverse in their storytelling  when so many games don’t dare to get anywhere close to that. I was engaged by it from start to finish and I liked the ending a great deal.

The setting of the game was beautifully done. I wouldn’t have expected any less from The Chinese Room, though. They really brought grimy industrial London to life. The levels were sufficiently terrifying and I was constantly impressed by the attention to detail in their grand design.

Enemy design was wonderful… the pig men were gross and their effect on the lights always made me think twice before going down a small corridor. There was one particular enemy type close to the end that REALLY caused me to panic in utter terror.

I liked the removal of the insanity, oil and health meters – it allowed to me focus more on the world and the issues at hand instead of fumbling around inside an inventory. Come to think of it the lack of inventory in general really helped to immerse me deeper into the game.

Bad Points

It was too damn short… I was surprised how quickly I managed to plow through it. I was even taking regular Facebook and food breaks to ensure I didn’t die from a heart attack or something.

The really terrifying enemy type I mentioned earlier is only used right at the end of the game for a few encounters. This is a real shame because it was a damned good heavy hitter. Now I know that using it more might have made it lose its impact… but it seemed a shame that it came and went so quickly.

The levels in the game were far too linear… it lacked a great deal of the exploration that made the first Amnesia so interesting. This linearity made the puzzles exceptionally easy too as the solutions to problems were normally a room or two away instead of far on the other side of the level. Hiding from the pig men was something that I would only have to do in order to progress past a certain location instead of in the original Amnesia where they were an ever-present threat. I think this made the game less scary as I knew there was always bound to be an obvious way past the creatures because I needed to get to the area behind them.

Man pigs raping small children is never going to be okay. You hear me? Never.

This Little Piggy Had A Conclusion

A Machine For Pigs is a most excellent game, I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was genuinely terrifying at some moments and thats what I expected from the game. The story was most interesting and enthralling and was played out quite nicely through the use of notes and voice recorders. I would definitely say it lacks some of the things that made the original Amnesia so nerve-wrackingly terrifying but it does a good job of making you jump once in a while. It feels like a decent successor to the first and in an age where sequels never live up to the originals it does hold itself quite well. Nice work The Chinese Room… nice work indeed.

The Laundry RP (Entry #3)

Bear in mind that this entry is being written up about a week later than it should have been (mostly because my dissertation and other work got in the way) – as such: the overall accuracy of this particular story is highly suspect. Here is the next entry in the Laundry RP series… I like to call it “HOW NOT TO DO A MISSION” for obvious reasons:

It was an early morning for the Charnwood Laundry Branch. All the members of the group slowly dragged themselves out of their beds and to their workplace underneath the town’s monument. Ethel welcomed two new members to the group: Jemerald Smith, a reasonably attractive young woman, and Lesley Bian, a huge woman who was ‘built like a brick shit-house’.

After a quick coffee to wake themselves up, Reginald called the group into this office. He thanked them all for coming along at such short notice and started to explain what was going on:

“Recently we’ve been contacted by head-office to investigate some suspicious activity in Wales. I’ve not been told much be I know that you’re all being sent to investigate what’s going on. Oh, and Penelope is off on another mission right now – she’ll be dropped in via parachute as and when she becomes free.”

Reluctantly the group left the building and walked to the train station… caught the early train to East Midlands Parkway and then walked into the airport to await a flight across to their destination. It was at this point that most of the guys went and bought some duty-free junk: Bruce bought matches and deodorant, Jemerald bought a giant packet of Smarties and Dr. Smedley grabbed himself a bottle of very strong alcohol.

Bruce was rather unsettled by airports – his simple mind could not fathom that not everyone in the world was a terrorist. He glimpsed a shifty-looking man loading a black duffle bag into a nearby storage bay for their plane. Reacting instantly: Bruce yelled “Bomb!” and ran at the man… rugby tackling him to the ground. The poor man turned to Bruce and said “I’m one of you guys! I was just loading the damn plane!”

After a few minutes of calming down the airport security with various warrant cards and fast-talking, the group of Laundry operatives wandered onto the jet and took off towards Wales. Inside the plane the group opened up the duffle bag and pulled out some interesting equipment: a tillinghast resonator (a machine that shows magical energies to those around it) a few bags of the powder of Ibn-Ghazi (a powder that shows up invisible things) and a black plastic bag with some kind of gun inside it (attached to which were orders that it was not to be opened unless the team were specifically told to).

The team landed in Wales and were picked up by a man named Rennie. Rennie was a grumpy looking man with messy hair, wild eyes and dirty-looking hunting clothes. The group sat awkwardly inside the welshman’s four-by-four as it drove off into the middle of nowhere.

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Eventually after an hour or so the car stopped and the group got out. They had arrived at a restricted military testing area, similar to Salisbury Plain. Rennie took them to some strange looking tracks near the edge of a forest, he mumbled that there were ‘strange things’ in the forest. The group turned on the tillinghast resonator – a strange feeling of nausea hit the group hard as the world warped around them, they could see a creepy glowing trail into the forest: they decided to follow it.

After a few minutes the group turned off the resonator due to it making them feel too sick. They continued to follow strange tracks in the ground – which Rennie identified as mostly sheep… Eventually the group came across a field, in the corner a bunch of sheep were huddled together in fear.

It was at this moment that Penelope Tittington drifted down into the field, behind her a giant union-jack parachute billowed in the wind. She probably should have said something bad-ass at this point, but she couldn’t think of anything.

The group noticed that three of the sheep were dead, drained of their organs through nasty-looking slits on the back of their necks. They were shocked to see this but decided to continue following the tracks on the ground. Rennie continued to mutter to himself, but he was interrupted by the sound of a little girl singing.

Following the sound of singing the operatives came across a small clearing in which a girl was sitting. Jemerald walked up to the girl and offered her a Smartie; the girl said she loved Smarties and her invisible friend would love them too. Lesley (or as she preferred to be called “Lez”) asked the girl what she meant by ‘invisible friend’ to which the child replied “My invisible friend: Yog-Snuffles… he’ll be here again soon.”

Almost instantly Bruce went into action mode – he picked up the girl and punched her in the face to try and knock her out. The group looked on in confusion as their fellow agent span back around with the girl in his arms, an inane grin on his face.

Bruce’s grin dropped quickly as a loud roar from seemingly nowhere echoed through the forest. In an instant poor Rennie was lifted off the ground by an invisible force, he neck was slit open and the group watched as his body was drained of its organs.

The group pleaded with Bruce to let the girl go before the invisible creature killed all of them. Bruce refused so an irritated Dr. Smedley shot him in the leg with his pistol. Bruce fell over and dropped the girl, she ran off into the forest without the team’s notice.

In a moment of genius, Smedley ripped a piece of Penelope’s shirt off, stuffed it into his bottle of powerful alcohol and lit the end with one of Bruce’s matches. This makeshift molotov splashed all across the invisible monster before them, making it run off screaming into the forest.

The group spotted a large concrete bunker nearby and ran into it for safeties sake. Bruce refused to go into the bunker with Smedley, so he stood outside in the cold, wet air. He was fed up of Dr. Smedley shooting at him every time he did something silly.

The rest of the group investigated in insides of the facility. It was completely abandoned… it looked as if there had been a break out by one of the experiments. Upon turning on the resonator, the group were shown images of ghostly shadows experimenting on long-forgotten experiments: tentacles growing from petri dishes and people running from something down a corridor.

At this moment Bruce was still waiting outside despite hearing the sounds of the approaching monster. As the monster approached Bruce attempted to burn it again using his deodorant and matches – but due to taking far too long to think about it… he ended up losing his arm to the creature’s attack.

Jemerald dragged Bruce kicking and screaming into the bunker before the monster could devour him. She left him by a wall and went back to the main group to see what was going on.

The operatives all entered a large summoning chamber in the center of the complex. Inside a man and a woman were chanting in an unknown language: they appeared to be opening a portal to another universe. A tear in space-time floated in the center of the room, inside  which unspeakable horrors laid in wait.

Smedley pulled out his pistol and shot the man in the head, Ernie Nybble followed suit and shot the woman. With both the people dead, the portal closed quickly, but not before something behind it could speak:

“You will not stop the coming of me and my kind, Laundry. The walls grow thin and we shall feast upon mankind! The girl still lives and she will summon us through! My creature will find her!”

Upon searching the bodies the team realised that the child that Bruce had maliciously attacked earlier was the daughter of these two people. After feeling bad for a few minutes the group moved back to Bruce.

Penelope ripped another piece of her shirt off and used it to bandage Bruce’s wounds. Lez then picked up Bruce and carried him for the rest of the mission as he groaned in pain.

Ernie deduced that the girl would head to the nearby hill in order to summon the portal once again. He partly guessed this based on a book he’d read and the fact that there was a dark spinning hole in the clouds above said nearby hill.

The group reached the top of the hill and destroyed the chalk summoning circle that had been drawn there… it was here they rang Reginald: they weren’t happy with the lack of information they’d been given for this mission.

Reginald apologised, he didn’t realise that the creature that had been created years ago by the Laundry scientists was still alive. He asked the team to take out the bag with the gun inside, he explained that it was a marking device that would call in an rail-gun strike.

Armed with this new weapon… the team came up with a couple of plans:

  1. Kill a bunch of sheep and wear their bodies as camouflage, then mark the creature as and when it comes to try and eat them. (Lez’s idea…)
  2. Use Bruce as bait to lure the creature to the summoning circle, then blow the both of them to kingdom-come (Bruce was heavily against this idea.)
  3. Lure the girl into the bunker and hope that the creature follows her – then blow them all up using the rail gun marker. (Lez’s other idea…)
  4. Re-open the portal and fire the rail gun through it, just to piss of the creatures on the other side. (Smedley’s idea…)

They chose plan number three. Using the large bag of Smarties that Jemerald had bought at the airport the team created a trail from the hill to the bunker. The group then hid and watched as the girl followed the trail into the bunker. They saw the grass around the bunker move as the creature moved in towards the girl.

Jemerald protested as the team pulled out the marker and pointed it at the bunker, she didn’t want to kill the girl. Smedley said that they’d already killed her parents, so it wasn’t exactly fair not to finish the job.

The rail-gun strike came quickly. A bright light decimating the area around the bunker and leaving a massive crater. Bits of the monster lay strewn across the landscape along with crushed pieces of concrete bunker.

Reginald congratulated the group on a successful mission. He asked if the group had seen a family at any point during the mission, as several soldiers had come across a people-carrier stuck in the mud in the restricted area. Robert replied with a simple “No.”

Guilt weighed heavily on the operatives as they boarded their plane for home. They hoped never to have such a botched mission again. Bruce sat in the corner grumbling, holding the stump of his arm and glaring angrily at Dr. Smedley.

What will happen next time? Will Bruce get his revenge on Smedley for the loss of his arm? Will he actually do something that doesn’t involve rugby tackling everyone he sees? Find out next time!

The Laundry RP (Entry #1)

Thus begins a new set of entries for my website: I’ll be chronicling the storyline of  a Laundry tabletop role-playing game that I’m  running as a game master. What is The Laundry? It’s basically the British version of the Men in Black… with more bureaucratic red-tape and a heavy heaping of tongue-in-cheek Britishness. Today I ran a little practice mission with two of the players… here’s how it panned out:

Dr. Robert Maria Smedley and Bruce Campbell reported for their first day on her majesties secret service, not fully knowing what their new job entailed or what the future had in store for them. All they knew was that they were now both plumbers, working at The Laundry: Charnwood Division. The two men walked into the Carillon, a local monument in the town of Loughborough, and through a door that was hidden behind a wall of shelving.

After walking down a flight of stairs, the two men were greeted by an old woman at a desk in a clinically grey room. They looked around the area and read through a few leaflets on a nearby wall, Bruce gained a deeper understanding of things to come by reading a leaflet on “Counter Possession and You“, Robert attempted to snatch the leaflet from him, but failed miserably.

The old woman, named Ethel, greeted the two men with surprising excitement for someone of her age. She signed the two men up and then pointed them down the corridor to the head of the Charnwood Division’s activities, Reginald Burton.

Robert, (who was irritated by Bruce not giving him the leaflet from earlier) attempted to trip Bruce up when they were walking down the corridor, Bruce avoided his attack and then lifted Dr. Smedley over his shoulder. Smedley grumbled in annoyance as they both entered Reginald’s office.

The head of activities ordered Bruce to put down his co-worker, he then went on to explain what their job was in its basic terms. Reginald was very reluctant to send the two men on a mission without them having been through basic training, but the division was relatively low on agents after an accident in the local leisure centre involving a rather angry shoggoth.

Robert and Bruce were tasked with investigating a paranormal disturbance at the nearby Wetherspoons public house: “The Moon and Bell”. They walked to the pub and Bruce attempted to talk to a rather shaken-looking man at the bar, unfortunately his lack of social skills left the man threatening to call the police, so Robert took over to try and calm the situation whilst Bruce went to get a pint and a curry.

Robert learnt that recently the pub had been experiencing strange occurrences from the scared man, these claims were backed up by the barman. Both then went on to say that a group of students had been recently frequenting the bar – about the same time as the paranormal activity started.

Meanwhile, Bruce overheard a group of students from the LUPS (Loughborough University Paranormal Society) chatting about a cool book that they had found in the archives at the library. Bruce went over to investigate, but was shrugged off by the group. It was at this point the ‘leader’ of the group left the table and walked off to the toilet – Bruce tailed him.

Robert sat down at the table with the student group and managed to convince them after a long debate to give him the book. He was unable to discern the origins of the damaged-looking book, but he could tell it was missing a great deal of its pages.

Meanwhile, the leader of the group of students had noticed Bruce tailing him, so he assaulted him in the bathroom with a knife whilst yelling out possessed cries of madness. Bruce was stabbed in the shoulder, but managed to knock out the possessed student with his fists. He picked up the young man and carried him out of the pub, “He drank a little too much, I’m taking him home.”

Robert awkwardly followed his co-worker out of the pub, the students glaring at him as he left.

As the two walked back to the carillon Dr. Smedley decided to read the scraps of book a little more closely, unfortunately for him the knowledge he gained from the papers caused him to lose a considerable amount of sanity… he had accidentally stumbled across some excerpts from the Necronomicon.

Reginald congratulated the two men for a job well done and waved them on their way – telling them to get some rest before they headed to Dunwich for basic training. Robert went for a spell of therapy over the coming week and Bruce read up on some esoteric history.

Hopefully you liked this entry… I’ll be continuing this story on into the near future based on how the RP continues into the future. I’m sure things will get even more strange and twisted as I introduce more elements, characters and stories! What will happen next? Who knows?! Who cares?! We shall see!