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May 21, 2001

EA: Gromm on the Stage

The following was posted to the Team Comments page of the Ultima Online Web site:

Gromm on the Stage

Evening everyone,

"All the world's a stage..."

One of my favorite quotes, growing up acting. I loved acting in plays. Later I got into improvisation and fell in love with it even more. I became addicted to going up on stage with another actor and being given something random by the MC to create a scene with. The whistle would blow. We had to react and start a scene and make people laugh. We never knew what was coming next and by comparison, acting in plays got dull for me. I still loved acting, but improv was and always will be my favorite. I'll get back to that in a moment.

So right now we're looking at our big stage, Britannia. We've had this stage for a long while now, and we've done some very interesting things on it. We've changed the set a few times. We added a few magnificent actors with brilliant scripts. Occasionally we tossed in a new prop. Like I said, we've done some interesting things on this stage. Now we want do to something *with* it.

We're going to take what resources we have and try out a new style of theater. Ladies and germs, it's time to improvise.

Think of us (Cal, Augur and myself) as the MC. We're going to call out a scene bit by bit, and we want to see how you react. We're going to make new sets, build new props, and do some new tricks with the stage. You are the actor. You are the star. How you react is up to your character. There is no script.

Now don't think that we've abandoned the idea of a plot! These sets and props aren't a random assembly of ideas. They all go together, forming a cohesive background story. But it's just that, the background. You are in the foreground.

This is not a quest engine. That would be handing you a script. We're presenting you with a situation. A change that makes the world itself the stage, a more interesting place for your character to live in and react to. We want to surprise you. We want to keep you on your toes. We want you to expect the unexpected. At the same time, we want you to be able to see what's going on in the background situation and see it react to you. Improvising as you go and living in the situation makes you a part of the plot.

This is our first run, so we're watching closely and we're going to be reacting as well.

As Iím sure some of you are aware, the first scenario has already begun. Many of you have been finding and unlocking the secrets of the new orc mask. A new situation has been placed on the stage. Actors, play your roles as you will; it's improv time. You are now creating the script as you go...


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Posted by Nobody at May 21, 2001 8:40 PM

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