I am a massive app user. I don’t necessarily like playing games on my iPad or iPhone but I am always on the look out for cool Apps that can come in handy! For example, I use the PFR app to play Pathfinder with. I have all the books but it is much handier having them in searchable app form!
I especially love apps that enhance my games and also enhance my creativity. You know who else does? +Georg Mir does and he keeps posting these really cool apps to Google Plus and if his frequency over the past few days continue I will need to remortgage my house (OK, maybe a little melodramatic, but certainly remortgage the dog house!). So I present to you the two apps that Georg has introduced me to over the past week. The two that I keep playing with though it irritates me to admit it!
The first of these is the Silk app which is essentially a really cool way to draw excellent abstract images. Why would I mention this app in an RPG blog? Well, I am writing my own RPG and I have to say I have been faced with a few issues over my rules in the past week and I have found two things that help me get ideas out. The first is the shower, where I do most of the heavy thinking and have had several “Aha!” moments. But to keep my blog suitable for all ages I will avoid the pictures of me in the shower and show you some of Silk because it is this app that has cleared my mind and allowed for some smaller, yet not less important, “Aha!” moments. When I am refining my rules down to the level where I am writing them down and I am struggling for the wording I grab silk and an image or two later I have it in my head ready to type out! The attached images are a few of my own, one of my daughter’s (turned 15 last Sunday) and some of my sons (who is 9 and the best ones are his).
The app has a beautiful tranquil soundtrack and the touchable interface is absolutely fantastic. I find myself lost in it as I experiment with its interface and techniques. I will try to do one thing and have the app do something else that intrigues me just as much. I believe it is only available for Apple systems at the moment but I may be wrong. I think it was $1.99 or $2.99 at most. The beautiful thing though is you can have a go at it for free online at this address. It even comes with the music to listen to as you play in the browser. I find it a little harder using a mouse but it can still generate some beautiful images.
So the second App that +Georg Mir has got me interested in actually, by happenstance, was something I was trying to find out about myself. It involves story cubes. I was in the Fate Core community of Google + and a fellow GM was off to run a game of Fate and posted a picture of his “kit”. One of the comments referred to some dice with funny images on them as story cubes and I was intrigued. I filed that in the back of my head in the folder for “intriguing things to follow up on the net the next time I have time”. Of course I rarely have spare time so it is still in it. However, +Georg Mir savedf me the trouble by putting some app images up for Rory’s Story Cubes which is essentially these dice in app form. Put the dice in, shake the iPad, organise them how you want and create a story!
These things are fantastic for adventure designing. If you ever get a mental block thinking what adventure will I design, drag out the iPad (Android tablet) etc and give it a shake and connect the cubes. The app is available for phones and tablets of both major flavours and is $2.99 and you can buy more cubes at about a $1.99 a set (though there is only one purchasable set at the moment more are planned). You get two sets of the dice standard with different images and you can mix them up how you want. Fantastic idea! I love them and have been playing with them all day.
More importantly I am a teacher and I have shown them to the English teachers here and they are madly trying to find ways of incorporating them into their classes. You can actually buy the physical dice too. There is just so much goodness packed in these little dice for all to share!
So, if you too want to send me bankrupt (or at least sleeping in the remortgaged dog house after my wife reads the credit card receipt for apps) comment below on the apps that improve your games no end. Even if they are programs for a laptop that you could not live without I am interested to hear about them (and buy them and covet them…)
Must put down iPad and do some real work…