So I made this, it's terrible…
…so why did I make it? Just to prove a point: here's a widget that generates random 3d6-in-order ability scores and walks a person through character creation and I made it in like fifteen minutes with zero programming skill using a thing called Inklewriter and the advice here. There are also ways to make it so certain options or ideas appear or disappear depending on whether you've passed "key" screens and to insert pictures and whatnot.
If I'd put a little more work in, I could actually plunk a new-to-D&D player down in front of the screen while I went and fished out dice and minis for them and they could make their first character for any edition with all the bonuses and thief percentages and spells and whatever. I can also see this interface being used for:
-Interpret-the-picture style puzzle challenges
-Giving players characteristics or class/race based on hidden rules (i.e. like What Voltron Lion Are You?--style quizzes)
-Dungeon modules (click the option the players took instead of trying to find a page in a book)
So that point I was making is: there are several easy-to-use online story/text-game-writing tools that you can use to make stuff that might be useful at a game table instead of for their original purpose.
Another one is Twine...
D&D With Porn Stars Official Digital Widget Contest
December 4th (but there's a bonus for turning your widget in early, see below).
Signed copy of Red & Pleasant Land goes to the winner.
- What you make is supposed to be a useful tabletop game tool, not a game or story in itself. Edge cases acceptable.
- Enter as many times as you like.
- Tools can be for any tabletop RPG but since I'm the judge I'm probably biased towards ones I like.
- You can make your widget using Inklewriter (some tips here) or Twine (available here--a little more complex instructions here) (some tips here and advanced tips here) or any other program you like so long as I can make the final product work on my mac.
- Your widget cannot be extant and available on the web as of yesterday (i.e. no submitting old stuff)
- More info about how to do things available from the RPG community here on Google +--add me if you haven't. (Not necessary to enter the contest).
- Submit your entry by emailing me: zakzsmith at hawt mayle. If you don't email me, it does not count.
- Entries will be judged by me on the following criteria:
- Usefulness: 1-100 points. How likely would I be to use this at the table for a game? Does it duplicate something already available or is it genuinely new? Do the writing and pictures (if any) make it more useful?
- Speed of Entry: 1-27 points. For each day (Pacific time) your entry is received before December 4th you will receive an extra point. So if I receive your widget on December 3rd you get one bonus point. If I get it today--Nov 7--you get 27 bonus points.
- Attractiveness: 0 points. Does it look lovely? If it doesn't make the thing work better I don't care.
- Dorkness: Negative 100 points. Oh my god your widget is actually a Turing Test! How cleverly you have subverted the contest paradigm! If you do anything that tries to be funny but actually just makes the widget less useful you will end up with negative points which means I have to come to your house and take whatever you value most away from you. Exhausting for everyone involved.
- Special Handicap Rule: Fancy smart actual programmers are totally allowed to enter with super-advanced widgets utilizing skill and programs far beyond that available to the average blogger. However, if this results in one or more stunning Lebron-shows-up-to-the-playground entries, these will be judged separately and I will award both "n00b" and "Jawa" prizes