A couple weeks back Mr Luvva Luvva asked for a little bit of help with a recent project to look at the special gaming experiences we’ve had over Christmas. I’d meant to write sooner but we’ll… forgot but it isn’t over yet so send your stories to him right NAOOW.
Anyway, thinking about this actually made me remember some of my own Christmas experiences. For many years there was the Christmas curse on me, I’ll tell that story another time but the other great experiences I had was with my 3 cousins when the family all got together for Christmas
For christmas our family would usually go up to my grandparents house at the coast, in a place called Rainbow beach. Here it was without the usual daily tools of time wasting you would use as a child so much of the time you had to make up your own fun. Being at the beach this mostly invovled, well, going to the beach but coming home again in the afternoon after that we were left in a house with not much to do. There were other times as well of being a bit stuck, rainy and cold days and those without adults to take us places while younger.
The TV was usually something for the adults here in the lounge room. Some type of sports for dad and my uncles, or news show playing constantly so that left being bored looking at this, reading a book or magazine, or maybe some kind of card game. Sometimes a board game if we remembered to bring one up.
During one Christmas we had the idea to make up our own game and at the time I was rather taken up with the strategy genre so that’s were it took ideas form. I was always the more imaginative one and well, a gamer from a young age haha so I drafted out a few ideas and we all worked from there. We ended up with A fanatasy style Age of Empires type thing but with more of an input from players, DnD style in a way with me as the game master.
I created maps for the game world and copied this a few times to keep track of what each player waas doing and making, where they had travelled and what they were doing. It also contained a lot of randon information like other towns and settlements and special features. Some hidden exploration points. Jotted down the basic buildings plus costs and even the size they would be. The units and what they did. There was of course a few soldier types, scouts and such but also miners, lumberjack, planters, gatherers, hunters and a few other specialty types.
Playing was basically taking turns with people and writing down there actions and drawing the results. Moving things around and revealing the map parts they explored. Drawing buildings and changes. Doing the calculations about how much they had earned that time and the amount of actions they could do before turn ended. It played quite well surprisingly.
Science was rather amusing and mostly asking what they wanted to try researching and how they might achieve that with what they had, imagination at it’s best. Mostly just basic improvements to units and buildings but once getting the hang of it there were great lumbering machines as well as certain magitech items. Dice were often rolled to determine results, usefulneess and any problems that might arise…. You know like blowing up and taking out adjacent buildings.
Usually this was all done with one person at a time so the other people invovled wouldn’t know the other persons actions. This kept a bit of mystery and of course the goal to find the other, then of course kill them because my cousins were all brothers, and that’s what brothers do. When they did eventually meet up it was always rather funny. A diplomatic situation between 10(ish) year olds about trading goods, soldiers, or that giant flaming catapult tended not to end very well so of course there were many wars.
It was a lot if fun to play, I know that because I would be a late riser coming down for breakfast and they’d already be in the lounge room waiting to continue the campaign. And each new day they had obviously been thinking about their current situation as well as new fantastical things to make for their empires. I don’t think we ever even finished an actual match although for many years after that first game we would start up a new game each time; new maps, new worlds, sometimes new environments and begin a new.
This was my Christmas childhood for many years and one that probably shaped my gaming interest and abilities for a long while after. It was something I looked forward and that gave an incredible creative outlet but also let me in a position of leadership, something I was usually rather uncomfortable to do.