21
June 2018

Interviews

Today we are announcing that we have a new member on our staff. After working with Kaza Marie for many years, we are happy to welcome her as a member of our team! Kaza will be serving Larping.org as an administrative assistant. She has served as a social media coordinator and administrative assistant for several larps, as well as held a position in the field professionally. Kaza has a wide variety of professional skills that will apply to her work here at Larping.org, among those are graphic design, video editing and media marketing.

 

Kaza Marie has served as a dedicated member of the larp community for many years. She is most recognized for her work on YouTube as Larp Girl. On her channel she advocates for Live Action Role Play. With her channel, she hopes to draw more people into trying larp. As Larp Girl, Kaza has accomplished a lot within the larp community. As a game designer she creates larps from traditional to nordic. She continues to assist the community by working on social media projects for Live Action Role Play’s increased visibility.

We have put together a brief Q&A with Kaza to help you get to know her!

Editor: Hello Kaza! Thank you for joining us on the Larping.org staff!
Kaza: Thank you, Editor, for inviting me! I’m incredibly excited to be working with Larping.org. It has been a dream of mine for many years to help people get involved with the larp world and after countless years of doing it on my own, I’m happy to be working with a team.
Editor: We are happy to have you on our team. Lets start with the first question!
Q. When did you start larping?
A. I started larping when I was around 14. A local chapter of Amtgard played in a park I passed on my walk home from school. I had been playing a lot of video games during that time. I had moved around a lot, didn’t have many friends and my reading disability made it hard for me in classes. I was really eager to make friends and try something new. I had this thought in my head when I was younger that “through larp I could become the heroes I played in video games”. Every Sunday when this Amtgard team would play, I’d use my lunch money to buy food for everyone.I didn’t really talk to many people at first but I did watch. I’m have to admit that I would go home and practice alone. Eventually I was able to build up the courage to play.
Q. What’s your favorite role play experience you’ve ever had?
A. I’m not sure if this is a fair question! I really enjoy so much about larp it is hard to imagine a favorite. I recently attended a larp where I tried my hardest to be the most compliant and kind person, which ended up getting me killed. Laying on the ground after that defeat lead me to so many tears. As I continued to lay as a dead body, I asked myself why I was so upset. Why that failure meant so much to me? And I also questioned if dying because I was a good person was actually a failure. My favorite larp moments are those that I get to walk away with a new perspective that has the potential to grow me as a person.
Q. What made you want to create Larp Girl?
A. Larp Girl was a special project I began as a way to communicate about larp. It was something fun and exciting for me and I felt like more people should know about it, so they could also experience the worlds we visit! Soon after I begun my channel a friend of mine died at a larp event. They were an important member of our community. So when they left us, there was a part of me that felt like we would never regain what we lost. So I dedicated my channel to hopefully inspiring others to try larp and embrace all the wonderful things it has to offer. This person really inspired me to look at larp differently and I feel like their positive ideas live on in the videos I make.
Q. Who are your heroes?
A. One of my personal heroes is my dog, Ares. He is scared of most things but once he lets his guard down he finds a way to love everyone. His excitement with life and enjoyment of small things inspire me daily. I also really look up to Kathy Amende from Peculiar Crossroads. She is an incredible larp organizer that puts a lot of effort into writing stories for the heart to challenge the mind. My partner Casey is also a huge hero to me. He supports my work in the larp community and films my adventures. He takes on a lot of responsibility that gives me freedom to chase my dreams. I have a lot of friends who all root for me when I’m down and make me feel so loved. They definitely deserve hero badges. This answer could easily become a shout out to each one of my friends who personally uplifts me but I don’t think we have enough time for me to explain how important each one of them is to me. I love them all so much!
Q. Is a hot dog a sandwich?
A. I have a medical problem that makes it hard for me to eat some foods. Deli meats and pork being a huge problem for me. With that being said, I am often defeated by my love for  chili cheese hotdogs.. however I could never pass on a turkey avocado sandwich.
Q. What will you be doing for Larping.org?
A. I will be working as an administrative assistant for larping.org. This means I will be assisting the team with whatever they need help with. This has meant a lot of organizing important projects for the website, responding to inquiries and implementing creative solutions to engage the larp community.
Q. What is your hope for the larp community?
A. I hope that the larp community continues to grow. That we continue to welcome people into playing with us and inspire them to try new things. I have this vision of the future that in a mainstream audience larp is looked at for recreational therapy. It is with that vision that I hope we can find ways to heal ourselves mentality and enjoy the beautiful worlds of larp.
Q. How do you see those hopes coming true through your work at larping.org?
A. Larping.org has created a place for many larpers to find information about larp. There are articles about how to get involved with great reads on larp theory and a larp list that helps people find a place to play. Through larping.org I’ve had the ability to attend the Voyage North, which serves as a great way for people to try an entire week of a larp festival. I believe that this website has the ability to open doors for larpers and being apart of that is important to me. I hope that with my skill set and knowledge of larp, I can really help larping.org grow with the success that they’ve already achieved and find more success in becoming an educational larp source. Because I have such a dedicated passion for larp, I know I’ll do my best to make my hopes a reality.
Q. What is your dream larp?
A. My dream larp has always been a Battlestar Galatica larp in a ship of some sort. Maybe even some Mass Effect elements. A sci-fi space larp would be so exciting for me to play in. Though I do accept it is one of the hardest larps to plan because.. well.. getting to space isn’t easy and replicating it can be difficult as well. More so recently, I have begun writing my own larps. Through that process I believe I will be able to create my own dream larps very soon.

Kaza is also one of our dedicated players through the Voyage North and has a series of videos about her personal experiences at Bicolline.

 

With her travels, she documents her larp experiences. Currently on the Larp Girl Channel, Kaza offers DIY tutorials, product reviews, combat training and a view for each journey she takes. With these videos, blogs and social media community, Kaza has created a place for herself and subscribers to discuss larp on the internet. This has inspired many to join the hobby. Kaza Marie currently lives outside of Hartford, CT with her dog Ares, who is also known as Ork Dog by her fans.

In the time that we have known Kaza with her work in the larp community, we have considered her a friend for many years. She has shared with us her dreams of working in a career within larp. As she focuses on working with Larping.org to grow our business. We hope to see her reach her dreams as a larp designer and video creator.

As Larping.org continues to expand, we hope that we will be able to create more opportunists for larpers to grow as a community, as well as employee the players that make it whole. We are welcoming our new member of the team with an open heart and hope you will do the same. Please show your support to our new administrative assistant, Kaza Marie.

 

Jun 07, 2018

For years we’ve been waiting for an augmented reality system to come out and change a lot of larps and how they work. There have been a lot of attempts to put sensors in larp weapons and hook them up to phones that have been lackluster to say the least.

 

Legacy Game Systems and Incognita Limited are looking to change all of that.

 

From the video above you can see they are using a bunch of different weapons with a very seamless augmented reality system to fully engross players in the action, instead of calls and worrying about rules. The latter of which can be a huge deterrent to being immersed in the setting and a turn off for new players that aren’t accustomed to doing maths in their head very quickly.

I very briefly spoke to Matthew Webb, one of the creators behind the new system, to get a few questions out there:

 

What details can you give about the new system and it’s hardware? 

The hardware is a multi-peripheral system – meaning it can use multiple types of devices including weapons, wands, sensors and other instruments – that communicates with a smartphone via Bluetooth. The smartphone serves as the game engine, as well as a data connection for the game for syncing with servers and online components. – Webb

What is Spellslingers? 

Spellslingers is the initial game for the system, and involves combat between wizards using the wand peripheral for the system. It will involve casting spells of defense and offense against each other.

Check out the full press release below and make sure to check out their Youtube channel and throw them a like and subscribe to keep tabs on this project!

 

Augmented LARP just got real: Incognita Limited and the creator of NERO join forces

The leader in live action gaming software, Incognita Limited , announces its new partnership with the augmented reality hardware company Legacy Game Systems . Legacy Game Systems is led by Ford Ivey, the creator of several LARPs including the nationwide NERO

Incognita has signed on to create a new generation of games using Legacy Game Systems’ augmented reality hardware, the Daemon Platform, and will be the first company licensed to produce live action software using the platform. Incognita has been developing other live action and augmented reality projects, and is the first dedicated live action gaming software studio. Earlier this year, they premiered their Larpweaver software suite at World of Darkness Berlin, which was used to manage the immensely successful Enlightenment in Blood pervasive street LARP.

“We’re immensely excited to join forces with such a legendary figure in American LARP,” says Matthew Webb, founder of Incognita Limited, “We have been producing some great software products using standard mobile hardware for three years. But to see Legacy’s hardware in action is a real treat, and the entire platform has incredible potential. The Daemon Platform is an incredible piece of hardware. It can handle melee and ranged combat; guns to swords; magic and healing. It really fits our mission of using software to make LARP better than it has ever been before.”

Incognita Limited will be creating several games for the platform, beginning with the highly anticipated Spellslingers game, with other projects coming soon. But there are promises that the platform will be open to even more developers soon.

“We will be developing an open source library for the Unity game engine for using the Daemon Platform, so we can have an accessible and flexible piece of gaming hardware that anyone can use and create games for,” Matthew added.

Incognita Limited and Legacy Games Systems hope to showcase and demo their collaborations by end of this year.

Matthew Webb will be taking part in a panel on live action technology next weekend at San Diego Comic Con , where he will be speaking about the state of LARP technology in general as well as his own projects.

Jul 18, 2017

Head over to the Kickstarter to get your ticket!

Yes! I want to be a Weekend Warrior!

A little bit of confession here: I’ve been drooling over Fell and Faire’s Instagram account for a LONG TIME. I’ve sat around with friends and dreamed about doing an event with them. When I heard about this event I was pumped that they are doing it on the kind of level that they were and everything in the Kickstarter points to this being an epic event you won’t want to miss!

 

I had a chance to get the low down on this epic event from Skip Lipman, legendary larper, and some of the information he graciously spilled is down below.

 

There are just five days left, as of this writing to get your tickets on the Kickstarter and you’re not going to want to miss out!

Who wouldn't want to be in this company of Rangers?

A post shared by Fell & Fair (@fellandfair) on

The Team

Who’s behind this incredible effort? 

A little bit about the Weekend Warrior team, Zan Campbell of Fell and Fair, a growing garb and costume shop with a great Instagram following, Ron Newcomb with The Forge Studios an independent film company that focuses on fantasy and sci-fi, Samantha Swords, internationally known medieval swordsmanship specialistand WETA workshop craftsman, and me, Skip Lipman a documentarian of US LARP with his film Darkon, aspiring actor, and seasoned craftsman. Together they are working to create a next level event here in the US. Weekend Warrior!

Weekend Warrior's Inspiration

What were your inspirations for this event? 

What we want to do is take what is best about European LARP, the realistic and superbly crafted weapons, high level of costuming, roleplay, and story, and combine it with what is best about American LARP, the full contact competitive sport like fighting of Darkon, Dagorhir, Belegarth, and other high speed US based LARPS.

 

One thing that is very different from either Bicoline or Mythodea, that we do take inspiration from, is that we are the first to do this kind of large scale fully immersive event here in the United States.

The World

Tell me a little about the world you’re building. 

he world we are building is based on a cinematic universe that we are growing and will be supporting with narrative episodic videos. We are treating this event itself like a film to help create that immersive experience. Looking at the garb and gear as wardrobe selections that are specific to our realm. Making style choices to reinforce that world building.The idea is to have strong story backbone that will guide and enhance the roleplaying experience. From the moment you step onto the event grounds, you are in “Adrasil”. The story anchors the game play with NPC’s. The participants will create their own personas within this story. The wardrobe is controlled and all high-end – with recognizable factions, and loyalty tho the story and world (it’s going to look great). We currently have three storylines in development or production based on The Rangers concept.

(video below)

Cinematic Experience

You mentioned a cinematic experience, what’s your plan for how that will be used?  

We will be filming the entire event and preparations leading up to it, so participants will have a record of the event highlighting their experience, with eye towards creating a reality show developed for distribution about the event and the players. With our experience in fantasy film and documentaries like, Darkon, we believe that we will be able to produce a highly marketable product that will help promote, elevate, and change the way people think of LARP world wide.

What are you waiting for?

Yes! I want to be a Weekend Warrior!

Jun 16, 2017

Editor’s Note: The article below is an interview of sorts. I asked David Ashby a bunch of questions and this is how he answered them. It may not look like an interview; it is.

Underworld LARP is an 18+ horror fantasy game.  We’ve been running for almost 20 years now, but we’ve incorporated and been running seriously as a business for the last 7 years.  Our games are full weekend events and we specialize in full immersion “hardcore” role-play.  We strive to break the mould on what a larper is considered to be by the mainstream media.  We’ve been coined the “Rock Stars” of LARP by more than one media outlet here in Toronto, which sounds cool, but is a bit odd given the fact that we’re all running around the woods dressed as elves and hitting each other with plumbing supplies. We’re averaging about 150 to 200 players per game during our summer seasons and we have chapters running in Toronto, Edmonton and London Ontario.  I’ve personally been an owner for the last 7 years, before that I was a player.  Edward Watt, my business partner has been here since day one.

I’m happy to say we are successful in Canada and I think, honestly, it’s a result of old-fashion hard work.  We’ve structured our game to make it very appealing and easy for new players to find their place and we created a safe supportive community that acts as a second family to a lot of players. Hell, sometimes a first family.  We have our ups and downs like every larp but we do the best we can with the tools we have and it’s worked for us so far.  Having incredible players helps a lot.  We keep things from getting stagnate by continually upping the bar.  Aside from the grey hairs and little sleep, this year we managed to safely hoist a Banshee Queen 15 feet into the air on guide wires then zip her across our field while she rained down death upon our terrified players.  On our Halloween event, which tends to be our flagship event, we built at 20 foot giant undead, that 80 players took on, in an epic battle that would rival many action movies.  I don’t know what we’re going to do next year but we’ll just keep on going and changing things up to stay relevant.

Underworld on Dragons Den

Recently we were approached by one of the scouts for Dragon’s Den, to do a “spectacle” pitch on their show.  They refer to a spectacle pitch as one that is heavy in theatrics, fills the stage, etc.  The fact that we were scouted, rather than having to apply like most folks, was pretty complimentary.  We were given a month to come up with a pitch, organize our best 15 players, build our rock golem and get our books in order.  It was incredibly stressful but we pulled it off.  We were asking for $60,000 in exchange for 25% of the company.  That money would be used to secure a deposit on a plot of land that we could build our own facility on.    We’ve grown to such a size, that we’re almost capped out on what our currently rental site can accommodate.  If you own a larp, you know the pain of finding sites for games of our size (or bigger). That aside, we also have dreams of building an entire, fully immersive, medieval village for our players to game on. Since the show aired we’ve had a number of secondary investors contact us, we’ve had offers to start Underword LARP chapters in the US and Japan and we’ve just had an incredible amount of positive response from new players, friends, family. It really got our name out there.  We’ve been organizing new player socials for weeks.

A lot of people ask us if we’re happy with how the episode went.  Honestly, we never really expected to get a Dragon investor.  Of course we wanted one, but we knew that LARP in Canada is just starting to break into mainstream.  We knew we would be hard pressed to convince billionaires to throw their money at us, when we only had 7 minutes to explain what larping is and how it has become profitable.  We were aiming for the free publicity, exposure for LARPing in general, and hoping our pitch was taken seriously.  We got the best possible no.  If a 10 out of 10 was a Dragon investment, we scored a 9.   We have absolutely no complaints.

We knew we would be hard pressed to convince billionaires to throw their money at us, when we only had 7 minutes to explain what larping is and how it has become profitable.

Since the episode aired we knew we would be getting a lot of attention from the non-gamer community and the public eye.  We still want to fulfil our dream of having an owned and dedicated site to play on, so we started listening to secondary investors, as well as rolling out our own crowd funding project.  We established a GoFundMe page in an effort to help raise capitol, so we can accomplish our dreams without Dragon support.   We’re happy to say we’re 1/3 of our way there and we’re grateful to any and all that can donate or have already donated.  I’ve been asked in the past why the larping community, as a whole, should support us in our goals.  Rewards for donating aside, I don’t have a solid reason outside of just supporting the community.  Six years ago Edward and I decided to take a percentage of our profits from every game and create a Player in Need fund (PiN).  If a player falls on hard times, loses their job, or can’t afford food, we give them money.  This comes out of our pocket for the most part, although other players can donate,  and since we’ve established it we’ve helped dozens and dozens of people.  We’ve sadly had a couple players pass away unexpectedly over the last couple years and we scraped together just over $2000 for the families they left behind.  Underworld LARP regularly donates to charity and we’ve planning on hosting a blood drive in the spring.  We don’t just take care of our own, we help other games the best we can. Last year a tornado ripped through the site of one of our competitors, ending their season early.  We donated what we could to see them rebuild and get back into the game.  There is no moral obligation to do this, other than to be kind and supportive.  We want to support LARP, we want to see people happy in their hobby, and we want our community to grow.  We don’t give selflessly so that it’ll come around.  It’s great if it does, but that’s not the point.  We will always pay it forward.  That is what a strong community does. We don’t give selflessly so that it’ll come around.  It’s great if it does, but that’s not the point.  We will always pay it forward.  That is what a strong community does.  We are larpers.  We have been the underdogs in the gaming/nerd community for as long as I can remember.  That’s changed a bit as LARP becomes a little more mainstream but we can’t forget our roots.  We have always had each others backs and we want to keep it that way.  Underworld is dedicated to helping the community with their dreams, if you can help us too, great!

If all goes well we’re hoping that within 5 years we’ll not only have a dedicated site but also a fully functional, medieval village.  I have visions of cabins, showers, a fully stocked Tavern and Inn.  We have plans and designs for archer towers, corn fields turned mazes, a beautifully constructed and organized NPC and props cabin.  Aside from our dreams of land, we’re also expanding our chapter base.  We currently have games running in Toronto, Edmonton and London, but we’re in talks with Ottawa, Texas and even Japan.  We want to focus on finding clever hard working individuals that are interested in starting up Underworld Chapters throughout Canada and the US.  We brag no licence or start up fees and have a ton of amazing support from a wicked community of hardcore Underworld gamers.  We’re dedicated and willing to put in the work to see these dreams come true.

Thanks to David and the crew at Underworld Larp for their gracious participation in this interview.

If you want to support them or contact them info is below:

Support their GoFundMe

For all the information about their events, locations and game click here.

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