The Atropos Project (LARP) “Measure Once Live Twice”

Well, this sounds kind of cool… Are you interested in helping someone local create “Shadowun Go”? If you’re interested in finding out more, check out the Facebook group for updates.

Here’s the text of the Atropos want ad from the the creator, Eric Finley.

TL;DR: I need many different kinds of help to make this work. Join me!

At the moment, it’s not clear to me what the precise roadmap for Atropos is going to be… structurally, – nancially, or organizationally. I know just enough about the options to know how much I don’t know, and how much it’s outside of my personal core competencies.

Which, of course, is ne… it means I need a team. This document is one step, planning out needs and ask- ing for people to contribute to the project. I’ll be doing this one way or another. It might even (someday) make money. But the odds of success, and of being able to share both the coolness of the result and the potential bene ts, go way up if I can nd people to ll in the roles I’ll talk about here.

Atropos is going to be awesome. Chip in and make it more so!

Right up front: this may come across as me-centered. This is because, well, until now the project has been purely my own baby. I’ve had verbal support and encouragement aplenty, but nothing concrete. So in or- der to get some real support, I’m going to start from a baseline of simple honesty about what I’ve got and what I need. If you prefer, translate “I” into “we” as a reference to Atropos (the project) and, right now, everything reads exactly the same.

What I have right now is a core idea, some sparse test code, a fair bit of research about what needs to be done to make it into a minimum viable prototype, and a practically tangible vision of the nal product. My superpower, you might say, is being remarkably good for an amateur at all sorts of things, but I need more than that in so many realms.

Publicity and nding people! I know roughly what kinds of networking are available to be done and what resources are out there (Edmonton has a lot!), to get access to skills and funding – but am bad at networking. I know roughly what kinds of people we need to get onto the team, and how to pitch the idea to them… but although I can contribute the vision and Shuttle-loads of enthusiasm, I’m no good at creating pitch pages or navigating social media. This document is about the best I can personally do, to put forth what I need. Obviously it needs to reach a wider audience in order to nd the best people, but handing it off to certain people (like Star) is the best I can think of to garner visibility for it.

Coding! On the software side the situation is similar. I have one programming course under my belt, and that one was in Fortran. I’m pretty damned good at it for all of that, but it’s a spotty and self-taught kind of expertise, and it’s running up against certain limits that would be much easier to overcome with some actual software people to back me up. And if you know anything about, or want to learn, stuff like gesture recognition and machine learning, those will be an especially big part of this.

Organzational skills! Let’s just say that as a project manager, I make a pretty good platypus. I know I need folks who can refocus my efforts and coordinate them with others in a team. Scheduling, tracking outlays of both time and resources, all that jazz… if you’re good at that and want to dive in and join me in this madness, please do! If this document gets any results, I’ll need you right away.

Measure once Live twice

There are a few different ways we could go. I have philosophical issues with the whole Venture Capital paradigm, but at the same time I want to be able to actually reward the folks who answer this rather wordy “ad,” and I want to be able to say “no, this free framework might do the trick but we can succeed faster and more completely with this one here that costs money.”

This ties in to the networking thing. There are lots of agencies and groups, even locally, who specialize in helping projects turn into companies. Alberta Innovates, Startup Edmonton, and others, should be able to provide input into which of these roadmaps makes the most sense. I just want to give a feel for what our options are.

The most obvious option is to crowdfund it. I think we could make a really bloody kick-ass Kickstarter project out of this, we would just need someone who knows (or learns) the ins and outs of doing that right. I have a rough script of what a Kickstarter pitch video might look like, but – like this document – it’s prob- ably too detailed by about 200%.

Alternately, or perhaps in addition (??), I have dipped a few toes into the investment and entrepreneurship possibilities, enough so that there’s one local VC who “looks forward to the day when I come into his of ce with a real pitch.”

Figuring out which route is the best one to take is something I’m more than willing to delegate.

At heart, this project is two things. A community of players and scenario designers, and an app that ties them together. I talk about the app, and the tech, and the interactions it will enable, a lot more in other documents; here, I’ll just say that at the core we need something that runs on Android and iOS, and can access sophisticated libraries for performing gesture recognition, and coordinate efforts with other clients on other smartphones.

So if you know how to write multiplatform code for smartphones, you can help. I’m not picky about what programming language we use, or any of that jazz; left to myself I’ll probably end up using C#/Xamarin, but only because I don’t know any better routes.

And if you know (or are interested in learning!) about machine learning and distilling complex inputs (like accelerometer & gyroscope data) into identi able commands, you can help. Currently I’ve been looking at using the Gesture Recognition Toolkit, by Nick Gillian; Google that and you’ll see how exible it looks. But if you know something better, sing out!

Come help make this fabulous. Along the way you’ll prob- ably learn all kinds of cool stuff about working with sensors,

advanced GPS, Bluetooth beacons, and so forth.

Ideally, we’re not breaking new theoretical ground… but I know we’re breaking new conceptual ground with how

we pull those together into something awesome. Pokémon Go bedamned…

I want Shadowrun Go!

I want puzzle-caching, replayable heists, Spartan races with snipers and spells, and players looking fantastic while doing ‘em all.

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