Interview: Matt Pennington (1/2)

Matt-PenningtonMatt Pennington ist Gründer und Geschäftsführer von Profound Decision, einem großen LARP Veranstalter aus dem Vereinigten Königreich. Ich sprach mit ihm über Großcons auf der Insel, den Einfluss eines Veranstalters auf die Spieler/NSCs sowie Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede zu Deutschland und dem ConQuest.

(Da das Interview recht lang wurde erscheint es in zwei Hälften. Teil 1 heute und Teil 2 am kommenden Mittwoch.)

Fabian: Hi Matt. First off, please tell me what you do, what kind of games do you run?

Matt: Currently we run Maelstrom and Odyssey. Odyssey has been running for three years and has 450 players and 150 crew. The main stage for the game is a purpose built gladiatorial arena, over 50metres long and 30m wide with seating for an audience of 200. Maelstrom has been running for nine years, the biggest event had over a thousand players and 150 crew, but the game comes to a grand finale in 2012.

Fabian: And next year you’ll start „Empire“…

Matt: In place of Maelstrom we’ll be running Empire for the first time in 2013. The main sets for the first event will be a purpose built medieval tavern, a senate building for politicians to confront each other and a mystical hall of worlds for players to travel to. We’ll build more sets to add to these once the game is up and running.

Die Arena

Die Arena auf dem Odyssey.

Fabian: Sounds nice! A new beginning is always a good time to join. Are you looking for some German players as well?

Matt: We’re really keen to encourage international participation in the game. We can help with the logistics of the event; we can offer transport from the nearest airport if needed and tent hire for our event is available on our website for any who need it. One of the members of our design team, Rick Wynne, created the Grand Expedition to Mythodea, so he has a lot of experience for what is involved in getting a group to a LRP game in another country.

Fabian: So what’s your approach to the always present language barrier?

Matt: The world setting is being specifically designed to make space for players from other European countries. Real world languages will represent in-character languages in the game, so a group of German players can speak German amongst themselves, while they are roleplaying their characters. Our setting will include foreign nations who periodically send embassies to the main event – with the intention that these parts are there for European LRPers to play. This will mean that players can come to the event and be confident that their characters and their goals will be important to the plot of the event.

Fabian: You’ve obviously thought this through a lot. I know you are doing this full-time. But who or what else is Profound Decision?

Profound DecisionMatt: I founded Profound Decisions because I’d been running LRP games on a hobby basis for six years previously and the events just kept getting bigger and bigger and taking up more of my time. In the end I had to either quit LRP or quit my job! So in 2004 I gave up being a database programmer and started Profound Decisions to run LRP events full time.

As a company Profound Decisions has only three full time employees, but we currently have around 200 crew who help us with our events. We usually only have around 150 volunteers on site at a single event but Empire will require a lot more crew, so we’re expanding our volunteer team to around 250.

Fabian: This definitely sounds a lot like LiveAdventure! We have four departments (logistics, plot, team/ref and tavern/merchants). Are your game teams structured anything like that?

Matt: Our crew are split into several departments (called “hats” because of the different coloured hats we give them to wear). At a single event we have about 40 “red hats” who do all the physical work of putting our tents up and taking them down for each event, as well as putting in all the electrics and operating the bar. We have 10 “green hats” who handle all the first aid requirements, 25 “blue hats” who handle all the event administration, sorting out tickets and packs for people, 10 “yellow hats” who referee the game itself and around 50 “pink hats” who do the plot for the event. On top of that we have departments for photography, weapon checking and some specialized departments with responsibility for very specific areas of the game.

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Die zweite Hälfte erscheint am 25. Juli 2012.

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  1. Pingback: Interview: Matt Pennington (2/2) « Conquestofmythodea's Blog

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