Enrolled in WYFA2022
20 June 2022 | 1:31 pm

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Growing up in the 80s and 90s was great. My days were filled with RPGs and arcades. It was a glorious time for tabletop RPGs. So many companies experimenting with crazy ideas, I think that it was only recently (in the last 10 years or so) that our ecosystem became richer and more willing to experiment than the early 90s. We are surely living a golden age of RPG innovation right now.

From those days all the way to right now, I’ve dreamed of being a writer. It was only recently (more precisely this very month) that I realised that I can actually call myself an author. Heck, I have six published books already, I’m probably an author. But those books are not RPG books.

I want to dive deeper into that ecosystem from a writer POV. Yes, I’ve published some small stuff on Itch, even some incomplete stuff because I was too busy, but I really want to make that kind of writing a more meaningful aspect of my life. That is why I decided it was time me to take the jump and enrol into the Write Your First Adventure course from The Storytelling Collective.

Want to write epic content for your favourite tabletop roleplaying games, but don’t know where to start? Start here!

Write, produce, and publish your first one-shot tabletop roleplaying adventure in this one-month-long, self-paced workshop!

Source: Write Your First Adventure | General Path | Summer 2022

It is a one-month long program to write a small one-shot adventure. I’m so excited for it. From the three possible paths, the Chaosium one felt the right one for me right now. As a game developer, I’m usually more inclined to roll my own stuff which would mean joining the General Path, but I also want to leverage an existing community of fans and be able to get feedback on my adventure from people outside my own platform. In the 90s and 00s, I was heavily invested into Call of Cthulhu RPG. It is one of my favourite games, and RuneQuest (in its current Glorantha flavour) has been pulling me for a while. All that made me opt for the Chaosium path.

Yesterday, I went to Leisure Games — my friendly brick and mortar store — and got myself both an up to date 7th edition Keeper Rulebook for CoC and a starter set for RuneQuest.

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Both games feel so familiar to me, but so fresh. The last Keeper Rulebook I had was the 20th Anniversary one, I guess that is 5th or 6th edition. The 7th edition book looks great. RuneQuest is brand new to me, but it doesn’t seem that hard due to my BRP background.

I’m not sure if I should go with Call of Cthulhu or RuneQuest for the adventure. I want to do both, but that may be overreaching.

As the course moves on, I plan to post regularly about my progress. Subscribe to my feed if you want to follow along.

About iPads and Developers
7 June 2022 | 1:00 pm

So WWDC 2022 just started and the keynote got a ton of threads spinning in Hacker News, Lobste.rs, and many other outlets. Recently, I’ve posted about developers never being happy with Linux laptops. Reading those WWDC threads made me feel the same way I did when I wrote that article.

Every time Apple does anything related to the iPad, no matter what, people will write long treatises about how they can’t be a developer on an iPad. How they want to run Docker, VS Code, PostgreSQL, k8s, Linux, or whatever in their beloved tablets; and how since they can’t, the iPad is useless.

Of course anyone has the right to voice their opinion. If you totally feel so strongly about these topics that you must vent, be my guest. I’ll make space for you and listen to you trying to understand your point-of-view. I’m not here to say you’re wrong, I just want to present my understanding of things and why I think I some people can’t see the solution to their problems even when it is right there.

Apple is an Experience Company. Much like Disney, what Apple sells is dreams. It sells you on an idea, on a curated experience of what computing should be in their vision. It doesn’t matter if your own personal vision clashes with that, what matters is that their business is based on this idea and everything they make is done in favour of supporting this vision.

When Apple makes a tablet, they don’t want it to be a laptop. They want it to be the truest Apple tablet it can be. Whatever that means, I’m not even sure they know, but that is their guiding star. Apple wants their devices to be true to themselves. That means that a tablet is a tablet, a phone is a phone, and a mac is a mac. Their experiences complement each other, but they are not necessarily interchangeable. Some workflows are present in all of them, but others are not.

Looking for experiences that Apple want to keep in one device class while using another is a recipe for frustration. That is not how Apple rolls.

The iPad is getting a lot smarter and more flexible since they decided to decouple iPadOS from iOS. My own beloved iPad Mini is getting a ton more usage than what I thought it would, but an iPad is not a Mac. You can use Swift Playgrounds, and have some development apps such as Working Copy and others. It is still not a Mac. That doesn’t mean it is not useful. Stop looking for the Mac in your iPad, and instead find your iPad in it.

Apple is firmly in the Two Boxes camp. Instead of a single convergent device, they want to build discreet separate devices with different experiences because that is what they sell. They sell experiences.

Now, most of those criticisms I mentioned above could be coalesced into a single category of people who want a Single Box convergent solution. They want their tablet to be their computer and more. They are looking at the wrong company for that.

The convergence company is not Apple, it is Microsoft.

Hear me out! don’t close the tab! Keep reading, I’m going to unpack this.

If you’re a frequent reader here, you might have seen previous posts of mine in which I was using a Surface machine as my primary machine. I’ve rocked a totally underpowered Microsoft Surface Go as my main development machine for more than a year. I had a ton of fun pre-COVID with working from anywhere with a 4G-enabled Surface Pro X.

The Surface Pro is what these people are looking for. It is a tablet and a laptop. It can have keyboard, mouse, touch, and pen input. It can transition between those experiences on the fly. It can run both Windows and Linux at the same time. Heck, these days WSL can even run graphical Linux apps.

It can be your development laptop, your notetaking tablet, your media consumption gizmo. Surfaces are damn awesome. I just stopped one because I wanted macOS development tools over Windows development tools (I mean for native apps and stuff), but I still think that in terms of form-factor, hardware design, and flexibility that a Surface trumps everything else. It is a wonderful machine.

The Surface is a worse laptop than a Macbook Pro. It is also a worse tablet than an iPad, but it is a better laptop than an iPad and a better tablet than a Macbook. If you want a single device to be your tablet and laptop, go with Surface.

You can even remove Windows and go full Linux with many Surface models if that is your jam.

People keep asking why they can’t run VS Code, containers, RDBMS, Linux on their iPads and all I can think is why don’t you use a Surface? It can do all of that.

Wonderful time at Cymera Festival
6 June 2022 | 11:00 pm

Had a wonderful time in Edinburgh. It still is my favourite city in the UK. For me it is a magical city that inspires me every second I’m there.

Cymera Festival has been the best convention I’ve been so far. Everyone was so friendly and generous. An important aspect that plays a huge role in my enjoyment of that event is that after going to three other cons during the year, I’m starting to know people and can finally arrive at a con and find friends in it. This for me is a game changer because my first three years in London have been very lonely in terms of new friendships, while these cons have been a fountain of new connections.

I spent most of the time just enjoying the sun (which was scorching by both the Scottish and broken-Brazilian standards), having pints and wonderful conversations. I went to three workshops:

  • A writing masterclass with Gareth L Powell, an author I really enjoy. He’s wonderful. Can’t wait for the new expanded edition of his craft book to be out.
  • One about maintaining a social brand for authors on social media, with J. Dianne Dotson, another great sci fi author. Dianne has mastered social networks in a way I can only dream of. :-)
  • And the final one (which was the most entertaining) was about using Tarot as a creative writing tool with Noele Harrison, an author who also runs an Irish Castle writing retread :-O

IMG 2149 A small spread from my Goblin Market tarot.

I loved the workshops and took copious notes about everything.

I managed to get many books signed by the authors, unfortunately I forgot to get a signature on one of them even though I spent a good solid hour talking to the author. We were just enjoying the sun, well, there will always be a next time.

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I made so many friends. I met writers, poets, editors, publishers, developers, musicians. Wow. It feels so good to be among like minded people. I had a great time.

The venue is a place called The Pleasance and it was indeed quite pleasant. It is a U of Edinburgh Student Association venue that is used for the Fringe Festival as well. Don’t get me started on the cheap prices, it was probably the cheapest coffee shop I’ve been in the UK. A cup of tea was £1.40 and a flat white was below £2. Here in central London both cost at least £2.70

Edinburgh is a great place for coffee. There are so many cozy coffee shops in there, and the city is so gorgeous.

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Anyway, I’m now a part of a discord server with Edinburgh SFF. They meet once a month IRL. I will probably hop to Edinburgh every now and then to join them.

It’s the friends you make along the way…

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