24
April 2018

Interviews

AFK – The Webseries launched their kickstarter recently and we were able to get an interview with the director, writer, costume designer and editor of the series, Peter Haynes! Here is what he had to say:

AFK Cast

Q:    Tell us about AFK – The Webseries and what the story is about! Who are the main characters and what are their roles?

 ‘AFK’ is a look at what would happen to a group of modern gamers if they were suddenly forced to really inhabit the world they spend so long in virtually – a world away from modern conveniences and technology, where they have to live off the land. A world with no rules, no game masters, and no multiple lives….only the survival of the fittest, fastest, strongest and most cunning. Basically, AFK is ‘Lord of the Rings’ meets ‘Battle Royale’.

 Being in the bodies of their MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) characters, some of the cast are also genderswapped, and have to deal with all the issues that go with that.

 The main characters are Maybel the girl gamer in the body of a male Gnome, and Steven the warrior, a guy who finds himself in the body of a scantily clad and impractically armored female warrior. There is also Brendon the wizard, a 15 year old suddenly trapped in an adult form, and V’rugga the orc, actually an 8 year old who just wanted to play the biggest, meanest looking character. Lastly there is also Jack the rogue, a somewhat arrogant power gamer, and finally their leader, Q.

 Q seems very comfortable in her new form, and one of the series’ most compelling mysteries will be discovering her background, and whether or not she is even female.

AFK - Q

Q:    How did you come up with the concept for this webseries and each of the character concepts?

I used to play a lot of World of Warcraft, and many of these characters are archetypes of other gamers who inhabited that world. Jack is the classic hardcore power gamer, always striving to have the best gear and the highest damage. Maybel is a female gamer who plays a male character because she gets tired of guys hitting on her. Steven is a very casual player, who doesn’t actually know the game very well. I wondered how these very different personalities would or could work together if they were thrown into this new and very high-stakes environment.

Q: What lead you to select each of the people that are playing the character roles? Production Still - Kick to the Gut

I pretty much got my dream cast for these roles. Mia Pistorious is totally believable as Q the leader, and is a highly physical actress. She basically learned how to swordfight in a totally convincing manner in just over two weeks. Calum Gittins, playing Jack, was a hardcore gamer, and so totally gets the mindset. Dallas Barnett, who plays V’rugga has often been typecast as a tough guy/bad guy, so I thought it would be fun to put him in the mind of an 8 year old boy, which he enjoyed immensely. All of the actors bring something unique to each of their roles, and they clicked together really well in the short time we had to shoot the trailer.

AFK - On Set

 Q:    Have you larped before? If so, what do you like about it? 

I have, and I have to say one of my favorite aspects of larping is the costuming.  The amount of work and detail and dedication that some people put into a costume that may only be used for a weekend always amazes me.

Q: For the main female character in particular – have you ever larped before? If so, what do you like about it?

Mia Pistorious (Actress who plays Q): I’ve never larped before or known much about it but became fascinated by the idea while working on the AFK project with people who Larp. As an actress I think of larping as another form of acting and think it would be a great experience to be fully immersed in such a process.

Q:    Peter, why did you choose to make the main character a larper?

AFK - BattleBecause it struck me that a larper, also being a reenactor, would have a unique set of skills to survive in this new world. She knows how to fight with a sword, she’s also done SCA combat, she knows archery, she’s camped in medieval camps and lived a bit rough. In the real world, the ‘cool kids’, like Jack the powergamer, might look down their noses at her choice of hobbies, but here, they’re pretty much dependent on her for survival. I think it’s a nice turnaround.

It’s also a kind of thanks to the local NZ larping community, who have helped this project become a reality in a big way not only by lending time, costumes and resources, but also training. Mia was trained in sword fighting by Vanya Essin, a local larper and display fighter, and it all shows on screen. I fully intend to keep the larping community involved should this project go ahead.

 

Q:    What is your goal with the series? Are you trying to get any point across or is it just for fun?

We want it to be fun, and enjoyable to watch, but I also wanted to explore how far we’ve become removed from the AFK - Lookin Coolreality of the experiences that we like to immerse ourselves in a computer game like World of Warcraft. In reality, living off the land is hard. Hunting is hard. Sleeping rough is hard. Not knowing where your next meal is coming from is hard. These guys will have to really pull it together and rediscover some pretty ancient skills just to survive the first week.

Q:    Where did the filming for the trailer take place?

The trailer was filmed entirely in Auckland, New Zealand, and 90% on Mt. Wellington, which is in the middle of one of our busiest suburbs. A small volcanic cone, the mountain has a surprising amount of beautiful scenery in a very small area, and is remarkably quiet. Of course, if we do go ahead, then we’ll range further afield, and we even hope to get some support from tourism NZ to shoot in some of the national parks for a truly epic look

 

AFK - Moutain Scene

Q:    What are ways someone can help get the project off the ground?

The ways people can help this project are many and varied. They can share our trailer on Youtube or our Kickstarter Campaign.

They can like’our Facebook Page, and invite others to like it as well.

And finally, they can just spread the word. If they have a gaming blog, then give us a plug. If they frequent a MMORPG forum, start a thread about us. Post a link about us on Reddit. We never know which one is going to be the magic link that will make us go viral, so every little bit counts.

Thank you so much for the interview, Peter, and good luck with the project!

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Apr 15, 2014

The following is compiled information gathered form a Q and A with Dracolite.

 

We have been supplying clients and stores worldwide with our products for more than a decade. When we started Dracolite in 2002, we we’re mostly known for our medieval jewelry, but we rapidly expanded our activity. We now offer a lot more than jewelry. You can pretty much find anything medieval in our 3,000-square-feet store, or you can have anything custom made / ordered if its not in stock.

We have been selling jewelry online since 2003 on our website. We are now expanding our online visibility with several websites. We have an english counterpart of our jewelry website, and our new online ventures in French and English include much more products that we create.

This Etsy shop was started because  Etsy represents a great opportunity for us to get our name out there along with all the other amazing craft people from around the world. It was opened not that long ago (Sep 28, 2012). Some craft people actually suggested ETSY to us, and we decided to give it a try!

We are now specialized in jewelry, clothing, wedding gowns, and leather work but we also imports and distribute products from the best craft people around the world.

dracolite 1

The materials the shop works with most are silver and gold for jewelry, crystals and stones for pendants, and real leather and steel for their armor. They use many varying fabrics in their unique costuming, all of excellent quality.

image

We are as passionate about our business as the larp community is of their hobby. Each year we will create new products specifically for the LARP community. For example, last year we created (just in the armor department) the chaotic armor (men, women), barbarian armor with fur, and shaman armor with fur, the elven princess armor (version 2), and a full plate paladin armor. Our main problem is that we lack time to take great pictures of products we create since we are always crafting, but we are working on this, and all armor sets will be found on our website soon.

Whatever you want for your larp character, you will find it in our store : either we will make it, have it made by other craft people we know or import it from whatever country its made. Amazing and creative people bring us inspiring projects all the time, and we are always excited to craft new and unique products for each client.

We are definitely a one stop shop for all larp products.

image

Thank you to Charles Brousseau!

Check out their websites for the products they offer:

http://www.etsy.com/people/Dracolite

www.bijouxmedievaux.com (French)

www.medievaljewelry.ca (English)

www.boutiquemedievale.com (French)

www.medievalboutique.com (English)

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Sep 30, 2013

Guest article by Stephanie Twilley.

This morning I woke up, got dressed, blared the Mad Max soundtrack, then started on my war paint; it was time to get ready for my first day of War With Friends.

I arrived with a group of four friends and fellow LARPers, and we all ended up on the same team, joined by Steven (creator) and some other great guys. I chose the class Knight, and was equipped with a shield, latex war hammer, and chainmail. It was very different from what I am used to, but it was a blast. I never knew live action battle games were such fun!

Having many close friends on my team made playing together a lot easier. We were able to stay well organized and communicated well. It was a ton of fun, and it was great to kick ass with great people.  Next time however, I plan to mix it up and try different classes and teams.

My friends and I talked about the game so much when we left, and I was happy to hear them say that they will definitely come again. I really suggest this game to anyone in the area. If you are looking for a combination of airsoft, paintball, and melee combat, this is for you!

wwf photo

All discussed Rules and Ideas Copyright © 2013 Steven Crawford War With Friends. Anyone may use these rules and game ideas but first must obtain my permission. 

 

Q: Can you tell me about each class? I see you have: Knight, Pirate, Medic, Thief, Guard, Assassin, Fighter, and Mage.

A: Players often swap their classes between games. There is no limit to the amount of classes per team, they are all meant to be completely equal.

The Knight– This class is an armored juggernaut, he is only damaged to hits to his eye lens, legs, crotch, and butt thanks to his armor. His armor must look like some type of armor to help players identify him. Arm armor and neck protection is also required. Full coverage helps you not accidentally call yourself out when struck in your armor.

The Knight may not throw any weapons or use ranged attacks. He is hard for most classes to kill from any range. At long range a small shield and high grass keeps him safe from projectiles. At close range a shield and lowering your stance can make you extremely hard to damage. Bum rushing from the shadows works great, when enemy players are surprised they will slash away at your armor. The Knight leads the charge, he is the forward offense team leader. He protects his team when the rush in and hacks down many foes that dare face him.

The Pirate– This is the gun class. This is the guy that put an end to hand to hand combat for the most part. His rifle can be effective and extremely accurate up to 150 ft. The gun is also the most painful attack in War With Friends, so people avoid you just because they don’t want to get shot. To balance things the Pirate only has 3 shots per battle. The pirate may use any paintball gun, airsoft gun, or a combination blunderbuss pistol that shoots a huge scattershot of both paintball and airsoft.  The Pirate also gets 6 points for other weapons or equipment besides his gun. The Pirate takes out high value targets at the right time never wasting his ammo. He is a sniper that everyone is very afraid of.

The Medic– Everyone’s best friend when they are bleeding out. The Medic comes equipped with a large number of rubber bands. When a teammate calls for you when they are wounded rush to them. All you have to do is stretch a rubber band out and put it on their wrist. They are instantly revived to full health, this may be done to the same player multiple times. The best part is that it does not count against your team respawn tokens. Medics have just as many points as the other classes for equipment. So technically they can still kick a lot of ass. Or they could go full limb armor & shield turtle style. They are the only class allowed to use the pike since it is supportive in nature. A Medic is best utilized in the back of a large attack party of mixed classes.

The Thief– The Thief has skills, lots of skills. He can steal a weapon from a wounded player, very effective against a pirate! If a guard puts him in jail he can escape as his leisure. If the defending team has a gate blocking a main entrance he can pick the lock. If he comes across any trap lines he can disable them, even if he trips them by accident. He can also hold twice as many objectives as other classes, à la 2 flags at once. His main role is on offense, He can open the most direct entrance, steal 2 flags at once, by-pass any traps, and escape jail if he was caught. When he escapes he can kill the guard and steal his large shield. Perfect for objectives, he really upsets all enemy defense.

The Guard– The master of jail and the large shield. The Guard can take wounded enemy players out of the game for 3 minutes at a time. After that they still die and must respawn. You can really get a major team numbers advantage by putting a few enemy players in jail. Jail happens to be located by the flag box, this makes the Guard a natural flag room defender. If that wasn’t enough he is the only class that can wield a large riot style centurion shield giving him great blocking ability.

The Assassin– Only for the sneakiest players! He gets a full load out of equipment just like everyone else. What makes him special is that he can Backstab with a dagger. Backstabbing basically kills someone really hard. They may not be revived and when they respawn it cost them all of there lives to come back into the game. You can forget trying to capture the flags with this guy. His focus is winning the game by killing the enemy team over and over, depleting their life tokens.

I created this class because I was always back attacking unaware players and wanted a bonus for doing so.

The Fighter– If you want to get brainless and simple you found your class. No skills or abilities, just equipment, twice the starting amount.

Some things when used in mass could really become powerful. You could get 36 paintball for your slingshot, your arms will get tired before you shoot them all. Getting 12 traps could really help create a death funnel.

The Mage– The only anti armor/shield solution in War With Friends. He has 2 reusable tennis balls/fireballs. These wound through armor, heat blocking weapons/shields for 30 seconds or simple wound a soft target. The Knight was just to good at everything and had no natural enemies to fear. The Mage is the anti knight for sure. At the request of several spell casting larper I added bird seed packet magic missiles he can throw. He can have up to 6 and they simply wound like anything else.

 

Q: What age range usually plays?

A: We have an 8-year-old that always wants a gun, when give him swords for safety. He also wears safety glasses under his paintball mask for a back up. My Uncle, Chetman is kind of a legend in War With Friends. He is in his late 40’s, has full grey hair, and kicks his share of ass. Mostly it is people in their 20’s, sometimes we get a little heavy on the teenagers on occasion.

 

Q: What is the normal dress for this game?

A: Normal dress would be long sleeves and pants due to thorns and bugs. Camouflage is also somewhat popular, most players just wear a hoodie and jeans. The really fun players dress up in some type of custom garb. It always brings a smile to my face to see a really cool get up for WWF. We have a Black Clad hooded knight and I like to wear anti riot gear with BDUs for a zombie slayer militant look.

 

Q: Exactly where are you located?

A: 745 Morris Rd, Hiram, GA 30141 at Cross Walk Chapel Church. It is an extremely small church with a large 20 kid youth group (Free food and youth Weds at 6:30). We have a few places we play at on the church property. The main field is an acre and a half maze cut from thick brush. There are many entrances into the enemy base and gates that only thief’s may open. Tons of nooks to hide or trees to climb to snipe, a truly fun field.

 

Q: Can you describe the game play?

A: In my head it is medieval paintball, it has kind of turned into mad max paintball. Extremely limited ammo for the guns, just enough so that melee & gun combat can flow and exist together.  It is basically attack and defend capture the flag paintball with reinsertions or respawns. Each player has 3 lives pooled together for his team, so dying matters. The defenders have 1 flag for each person on their team and 15 minutes to defend the base. If you are hit with an attack you have 25 seconds before you bleed out and can only call for a medic. If they get to you, you are instantly revived and keep fighting. This is a major part of the game, getting revived does not count against your team respawns and keep you in the action. If your team runs out of lives the game is over. Every class is extremely simple, diverse, and powerful. You have to decide what mix of classes/equipment can help you to win. A nice mix might be a good choice to be well rounded or a team of paintball pirates could keep the other team at bay. It’s up to you to decide!

wwf photo 2

Q: Is there any information you can give me regarding armor in the game? Types allowed, disallowed, common, armor rules if any?

A: Any class can wear some type of armor if they purchase it. Armor in War With Friends makes you invulnerable to the area it covers. Knights have armor covering their torso, upper limbs, neck, and head. They only place they can take damage if they are struck in the eye shield, crotch, butt, or legs. Every other class purchase armor that protects their elbow, forearm, and hand all together. Another option is a piece of leg armor that protects the users knee, shin, and foot from damage.

Any armor is fine for WWF, we have all kinds of scavenged Mad Max style armors I crafted together. Anything store-bought or full on real plate armor or even a bullet proof vest with cardboard strike plates would be fine. The important thing is that when you are smacked with a boffer or shot with a paintball you should not feel pain to that area.

Some armor examples we use: Sports pads, life jackets, cardboard with duct tape panels, pickle barrels, mud flaps, motorcycle jackets and real armor.

 

Q: What weaponry and weapon reps are allowed or  disallowed, weapon rules?

A: Weapons include: Slingshot(fires paintballs, spell packets, arrows), bow and arrow, water grenade, sword/axe/hammer, dagger, great sword/hammer/axe, spear, pike, morning star, nunchucks, punching knuckle, spell packets, break away trap line, paintball guns, airsoft guns and shields.

Players are given 6 points to purchase equipment at the start of the game, most weapons cost 1 point.

Any padded melee weapon is allowed from the painful high-end sturdy replicas to the old school pvc/duct tape/pipe foam weapons. Dagorhir weapons are preferred, we one day hope to retrofit all of our loaner weapons to their standard of safety.

A controversial weapon we use is a long morning star. It is a doggy chew ball with a 3 ft rope on a handle. This weapon is more of an asian style weapon than a traditional morning star. We have nunchucks and very soon a player is bringing a padded rope dart. Roped weapons are never thrown or used for tripping. They are useful for snaring weapons are bypassing shields.

We use any type of paintball or airsoft gun. They are available to any player but are limited to 3 shots per battle. The airsoft guns have to fire 4 round bursts to count as 1 hit. I also have 2 blunderbuss pistols that fire both a paintball and 30 airsoft bbs at the same time, these are amazing at close range.

Almost any melee weapon is throw-able , you can pick up any found weapons for yourself.

All weapons cause 1 wound, everyone has 1 health to keep it simple. Get hit with something, you are dead.

Pretty much anything is allowed, if a player suggest it or builds it we at least try it out.

 

Q: How long do you play?

A: We play until we have less than 4 people left or dark. In the summer we start a 4:00 pm and play till 9:00pm any other time we mostly start at noon. Most days we play for 5 or 6 hours. Battles last for 15 minutes and then we take a break in the AC at the church in our staging area. We hydrate, change classes/equipment/teams, and share funny stories about the last battle. As the day goes on the breaks become longer between matches.

 

Q: Do you supply weapons and armor to players?

A: Hahaha oh yes I do, I’m a one man show, I basically had the idea for War With Friends and started making weapons for around 12 people. I have some of the best friends and family, they were willing to try it almost 2 years ago. All of them had never did any form of larping and only a few played paintball. It was a crazy idea but since it was important to me they tried it. War With Friends has been going on strong since then, people just find it fun. At this point I have enough weapons/armor for a 15 on 15 match, I would need a few more paintball masks. I can’t help but continue to build new and exciting weapons to mix things up. A player once suggested a slingshot and I made a few. This turned out to be a major game changer and one of my favorite weapons.

A big draw for people is that all they have to bring is their self. I provide the paintball mask, the weapons, and the water. It is completely free. Playing paintball at a field is $50 bucks easy, WWF might be a weird form of paintball/larping but you can’t beat free.

 

Q: Do you define your game as a LARP or more as a live action battle game? (Is there any role playing? Do players have characters?

A: I tell people it’s a paintball LARP to keep it simple. But it is much more of a live action battle game. I would like to have a big 1 day scenario with missions one day. I have been going to other LARPs and paintball scenarios to see how it’s done. Maybe one day we can be more of a LARP, I think it would be more fun.

 

Q: What are the required/suggested protective wear?

A: Everyone has to have on a paintball mask that fits snug. Extra stuff I encourage is a backwards ball cap, long sleeves, pants, and gloves. If someone gets shot in the eye with a paintball they may very well never see again. I take safety very seriously.

I purchased a chronograph to measure the speed of the paintballs so we can adjust as needed.

 

Q: Are there types of combat not allowed? Are there any no hit zones?

A: Anything pretty much goes as long as you don’t remove someones face mask. Even shooting someone from point-blank with a paintball is allowed, it happens many times every game. Any place on the body is fine with melee or ranged weapon. I tend to go easy on the head but I will strike their if it is open.

If your arms are armored, a great tactic is to grab weapons or weapon arm. When fighting a pikeman you should grab his polearm shaft to best them. Anything that is going to really hurt someone or put them in danger is not allowed. Grappling is fine, shield bashing counts as a wound, shield kicking is also allowed.

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Sep 24, 2013
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