Registration for the 2021 virtual Peaky Midwest writing workshop on May 14th to 16th and playtesting weekend on May 22nd to 23rd are now open. Register to write or playtest with us!

Peaky Midwest is having a virtual writing workshop in the spring of 2021 for the safety of our writers and playtesters. We will be getting together online to write larps over the weekend of May 14th to 16th. The next weekend (May 22nd to 23rd) we will be organizing online playtests of the games we just wrote.

Please take a moment to read the Code of Conduct we expect everyone to abide by at our events.


Contents


Writing

We have space for 20 writers this year. If you register as a writer you will need to pay a $5 fee and attend Friday May 14th through Sunday May 16th. We also encourage writers to attend the next weekend (May 22nd to 23rd) to help run their game's playtest. See the schedule below for exact dates and times.

We plan to write entirely online games this year (also known as Live Action Online Games or laogs). If you've never written a laog before, please read over our article on Writing Live Action Online Games and this post on Technology for Writing Larps Collaboratively Online. If you've never run a laog before, you may also want to look over this post on Communications Software for Running Online Larps.

If you are new to writing at Peaky Midwest, please plan to the attend the New Writer Welcome at 6:30pm on Friday May 14th. Please also read this guide that describes our common style assumptions beforehand. It's totally fine if you want to write different styles here, we just want folks to start with a shared context for how larp normally works in our community.

Just like in our face-to-face workshop, if you are under 18 and want to write with us you will need to get a parent or guardian to attend with you. They will need to be on the same writing team that you join.

Stuff You Will Need

You will need access to:

* We recommend using a camera and microphone that is hooked up to your computer, but in a pinch you can probably use a smart phone as long as you have some sort of stand to point the camera at you in a hands-free way.

Forming Teams

This year we intend to form writing teams in advance of the workshop. In mid-April we will invite all our registered writers to online, asynchronous brainstorming (probably via a Discord chat server, TBD). Two weeks before the workshop we will ask all of you for specific game pitches, and will send you a questionnaire where you can tell us which pitches appeal to you and your other preferences for writing.

Then one week before the event we will matchmake teams and send you contact information for the other writers on your team. At this point we will also send you information about how to get into the Friday night welcome video conference.

Hopefully this will allow us to spend most of our first Friday night working on our games, instead of trying to brainstorm and put together our teams.

Scheduling Playtests

On Sunday we will ask you to submit your game's basic information (a blurb, how many players you need, etc.) through a Google form by 3pm. The next day (Monday the 17th of May) we will send all writers and playtesters a form asking about what you want to play, if you want to help run your own game, and when you'll be available during the playtest weekend. We ask that folks get that back to us by Wednesday at noon and as soon as we have all the forms we'll schedule the playtests and let everyone know who is playing what when (no later than that Thursday night).

For more details on how the playtests will be organized. Please see the Playtesting section below.

Your Game After Peaky Midwest

We hope that after the playtests you're excited to run your game and polish it up for publication!

Please take a moment to read over the rights you are agreeing to grant Peaky Midwest if you attend. These are mostly safeguards to make sure that games can be developed and published if authors have disagreements or drop off the face of the earth.


Playtesting

We welcome players of all skill and experience levels and our playtests are free. Before the playtest weekend (between Monday the 17th and noon on Wednesday the 19th) you will need to respond to a questionnaire asking about which games you want to play and when you'll be available.

On the evening of Thursday the 20th of May we'll send you information on which games you're playing and when. All the playtests will be scheduled on May 22nd and 23rd. See the schedule below for exact dates and times.

Just like in our face-to-face event, if you are under 18 and want to playtest with us you will need to get a parent or guardian to attend the event with you.

Please try to be kind to the writers. They want to know what needs work and are also exhausted from working on their games. There will almost certainly be omissions, continuity errors, and typos in the games you playtest at Peaky Midwest. Let the writers know what you see that looks wrong, and try to be forgiving. Do your best to ask questions before and during the game to clarify the writers’ intentions if you see something that doesn’t make sense.

Stuff You Will Need

You will need access to:

* These are optional but what you have will impact which games you can play in.

We recommend using a camera and microphone that is hooked up to a computer, but you could also use a smartphone (you may want some sort of stand to point the phone camera at you in a hands-free way).

Each game our writers create will have its own requirements for how you interact with the technology to communicate with other participants. The more things you have access too (video chat, audio chat, text chat, etc.) the more games you'll potentially be able to play. It's up to the writers exactly what their games will call for, so we can't promise you any specific forms of accessibility before the writing workshop weekend is finished.


Event Schedules

Writing Weekend

The writing portion of the workshop runs the first weekend from Friday evening, through Saturday, and into Sunday. Playtesting is the next weekend (playtest weekend schedule below).

Please note that all times given below are in Central Daylight Time, the same timezone as Chicago, IL.

Friday
6:30 pm to 7:00 pm New Writer Welcome and (optional) hanging out on Zoom
7:00 pm to 7:30 pm Brief Zoom meeting for announcements
7:30 pm to 11:00 pm Break into groups and begin writing
Saturday
10:00 am to 1:00 pm Teams write
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Lunch Break: go offline, eat, do whatever you need
3:00 pm to 6:00 pm Teams write
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Dinner Break: go offline, eat, do whatever you need
8:00 pm to 11:00 pm Teams write
Sunday
10:00 am to noon Teams write
noon to 2:00 pm Lunch Break: go offline, eat, do whatever you need
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Teams write
5:00 pm to 5:30 pm We’re done! Briefly come say goodbye on the socialization space!

Playtest Weekend

Playtests run on Saturday and Sunday of the second weekend.

Please note that all times given below are in Central Daylight Time, the same timezone as Chicago, IL.

Saturday
10:00 am to noon First playtest slot
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Second playtest slot
Sunday
10:00 am to noon Third playtest slot
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Fourth playtest slot

Resources