Preparing for the 20/20 article on Thursday


#1

I would like to suggest an update to the main page of nzLarps.org in response to the 20/20 article coming up soon. My suggestion would be to set it up the main panel with:

What is Larp?
We shouldn’t use the dictionary meaning of larp and instead should be using simple language that anyone that comes to the site will understand, for instance:
LARP is an event in which one plays the role of one or several characters. People play their characters themselves, much like a play. They act out the things their character does, dress like their character, and often talk in the way their character would.

What does NZLARPS do?
The current paragraph is good.

Getting Involved
The current paragraph is good.

-Photos-

News
Updated often

The reason for this is to keep the introduction to larping as simple as possible with emphases on the more important questions to those coming to the site for the first time. Another note to make is that the photos should show positive things such as people smiling, cool costumes, and people having fun.


#2

I think preparing the website for the 20/20 article is a good idea.

In terms of the news section, I’d be happy to update it whenever the committee wishes to put news up. To date I’ve just been updating it now and then, when big things happen. Equally, anyone with FTP access and an understanding of HTML can update it. Just be aware that the page uses PHP for it’s formatting, and edit inside the tags.

Are you generally suggesting that the page needs to do a better job of introducing what larp is? Won’t people who have just watched the article on TV have a pretty good idea about that, and be more interested in finding out more about events coming up?

In my opinion changes to the text on the homepage should be carefully considered, drafted up in full and commented on, just as the existing text was.

This is the definition of larp currently on the website:

It’s not an actual dictionary definition, it’s a description I put together to describe larp in the fewest words possible. It’s been put in the form of a dictionary definition to add visual interest. Here’s the description you’ve suggested:

Personally I find the shorter description easier to read and understand, chiefly because it’s more concise. It’s also more accurate - larp is not much like a play at all, it’s more like an improvisation. We don’t need to mention costumes, there are pictures of people in costume right below the definition.


#3

Yes and No, there will still be some people that go “That looks really cool, but I still don’t really understand what they do.” I also believe re-iterating what larping is is a postive first step for someone coming to the website for the first time.

Agreed.

[quote=“Ryan Paddy”]This is the definition of larp currently on the website:

It’s not an actual dictionary definition, it’s a description I put together to describe larp in the fewest words possible. It’s been put in the form of a dictionary definition to add visual interest. Here’s the description you’ve suggested:

Personally I find the shorter description easier to read and understand, chiefly because it’s more concise. It’s also more accurate - larp is not much like a play at all, it’s more like an improvisation. We don’t need to mention costumes, there are pictures of people in costume right below the definition.[/quote]

I personally find the shorter version easier to understand as well, but there a still a few words there with some baggage for first time visiters to the site and larp in general. The definition is also not very fun sounding, without knowing more about larping in general. The suggestion that I put was just that, a suggestion, and I would like to see an expanded definition than the one currently on the site.


#4

One way to make it sound more fun is to personalise the activity to the reader and issue a call to action. Put the reader in the position of a player and ask them if they’re ready to take on the challenge.

So it might go roughly “In a larp, you will do XX. Can you achieve YY?”

Personally I’d be inclined to focus the call to action on “can you achieve your character’s objectives?” somehow. While not every larp is focused on that, most are. And it makes larp comprehensible. But we could also challenge them to stay in character.

Do we want to flip the homepage around, so that first it introduces larp and then further down it describes the function of the society?


#5

Something like this perhaps?

What is larp?
Can you achieve your character’s goals when others may be opposing you or even trying to kill you? Can you stay in character and help improvise compelling scenes? Larp is a hobby that has everything: from wonderful costumes and dramatic intrigue, to tricky problem solving and action-packed combat, all wrapped up in a fun creative community.

(Photo montage)

What is NZLARPS?

The New Zealand Live Action Role Playing Society Incorporated is a non-profit organisation that promotes live action role playing (larp) in New Zealand. We help people to run larps by providing funding and equipment, and we help players by arranging discounts for you.

(News)

(Getting involved)


#6

I’m thinking for this:

Want to participate in huge battles? Battle the stone golem? Meet interesting and interact with amazing characters?
Can you achieve your character’s goals when others may be opposing you or even trying to kill your character?

(Photo montage)

What is larp?
Larp is a hobby that has everything: from wonderful costumes and dramatic intrigue, to tricky problem solving and action-packed combat, all wrapped up in a fun creative community.

(Photo montage)

What is NZLARPS?

The New Zealand Live Action Role Playing Society Incorporated is a non-profit organisation that promotes live action role playing (larp) in New Zealand. We help people to run larps by providing funding and equipment, and we help players by arranging discounts for you.

(Photo montage)

(Getting involved)[/quote]

(News)

Important notes:
-The photos need not be breaks between the questions and should be more interweaved into the paragraphs.
-The photos themselves should be of people smiling, cool costumes, and a sense of fun when you look of them. So for instance the picture of the gas mask or craig in front of the usa flag is not what I would like to see on the front page.


#7

Good ideas on the photos.

On the text, I think it’s important that we don’t kick off with the impression that it’s all about fighting, or that fighting is a major aspect. There’s a danger of turning off those who are put off by the “fantasy battles” aspect by giving the impression that combat dominates. That’s not true of intrigue larps, and we have increasingly numbers of them. Also, the stone golem is kind of an insider thing.

Can you point out some photos you’d like to have? I’ll put together a draft homepage with the content ideas we come up with here.


#8

Here’s an initial draft with the text above, that might give an idea of the effect on layout:

nzlarps.org/index_draft.php

The photos are just examples at a size that might work. I’m not sure whether that’s what you meant about interweaving photos. The left column of the site is rather narrow, which is why I previously did a wide photo montage that interrupted the text, I think that layout was cleaner in the narrow space available.

I think it probably needs a title at the very top, which could be “What is larp?”. Just starting with text may look a bit untidy.


#9

I like it, the stone golem picture is a really good pull for larpers because it is so unique (could we have a link going from that picture to the youtube video?), another picture like kara and derek in the larp guide page, both smiling, looking good and in costume, or the middle picture in multiverse where the players are gathered around looking like they are having a good time. When picking photos, think about the logo of nzlarps, little guy jumping up, gives the sense of someone really having fun.
Could we move the “getting involved” section above news, I like having the link to the guide to kiwi larp up the page as much as possible.
Could we also look at shortening the news section and putting in either above or just below upcoming events with an archive link so we have a news archive page.

Just a few other things looking through the site:
-Can we switch the two main panels in the membership, project and affiliates pages? The smaller vertical panel disappears, and I only noticed it when I really looked at the website, but a quick glance misses it because of left to right reading.
-Changing the empasis of the What is Larp? panel in the larp guide so it stands out a little bit more, maybe a slightly different colour scheme? But I do like that panel being on the right.
-Can you move the forum link to just after the larp guide link?


#10

As for the text, I think the first paragraph on the draft page is more suitable for a flyer or advertising booklet for the catch line for someone to pick it up. Start with “What is Larp?” I really do like the new paragraph for that section though.


#11

Nice to have a fresh set of eyes on the website.

I don’t think I’ll have time to revamp other pages of the site before Thursday, so maybe let’s focus on the homepage for now?

I’ve updated the draft homepage with some changes to text and images, and reordered the sections.

Have used Kara and Derek as the first image. However, Kara is sometimes photo-shy so we’ll need to okay this usage, and I also think this photo is a bit washed-out and a more vibrant colourful photo might give the page more visual appeal. Perhaps a closer-up framing of Kara and Derek would have more human interest as we’d get more skin-tone in it, which would also need their permission as they’d become more recognisable.

This is the text I’ve tried:

Live action role playing

Can you achieve your character’s goals and defeat your enemies?

Can you stay in character and help create an interactive, living fictional world?

If that sounds like fun then live action role playing (larp) may be the hobby for you.

Larp has everything: from fantastic costumes and dramatic intrigue, to tricky problem solving and action-packed fights, all wrapped up in a fun creative community.

What is NZLARPS?

The New Zealand Live Action Role Playing Society Inc is a non-profit organisation that promotes live action role playing in New Zealand. We help people to run larps by providing funding and equipment, and we help players by arranging discounts for you.

Getting involved

News


#12

I’ve put in a closer image of Derek and Kara, and slightly amended the text again.

I’ve shortened the description of what NZLARPS does, because the “Getting involved” section makes that clear. Better to keep the boring stuff short.

Now reads:

Live action role playing

Can you achieve your character’s goals and defeat your enemies?

Can you stay in character and help create an interactive, living fictional world?

If that sounds like fun then live action role playing (larp) is the hobby for you.

Larp has everything: from fantastic costumes and dramatic intrigue, to tricky problem solving and action-packed fights, all wrapped up in a fun creative community.

What is NZLARPS?

The New Zealand Live Action Role Playing Society Inc is a non-profit organisation that supports larp in New Zealand.


#13

My suggestion for your consideration, written with the idea of a total n00b reading it. It’s a bit more long-winded. Feel free to use any/all/none as you see fit.

Imagine jumping into your favourite historical or fictional setting and becoming an integral part of the story. Unlike watching a film or reading a book, you have a chance to shape the outcome of the story in grand and magnificent ways. Achieve your character’s goals, defeat your enemies and help create an interactive living fictional world.

If that sounds like fun then live action role playing (LARP) is the hobby for you.

LARP has everything: from fantastic costumes and dramatic intrigue, to tricky problem solving and action-packed fights, all wrapped up in a dynamic, creative community. Similar to theatre or improv, participants react to the actions of other players, often times with startling or humorous results. LARPing is an all-inclusive activity where new participants are welcomed and helped every step of the way.


#14

This all sounds good to me, I’m putting my muppet stamp of approval on the new homepage :slight_smile:


#15

I’ve put Jackie’s text (very slightly edited) up on another page, so they can be compared side-by-side:

nzlarps.org/index_draft_2.php

Overall I like it. It’s more wordy, but that will appeal to more intellectual types who are typically interested anyhow. It’s somewhat more mature. I thought that cutting back to hard-hitting short paragraphs might draw people in, but I can also see that more words can tell a fuller story.

Questions:

Is “integral” a word that all readers will understand?

Is “grand and magnificent ways” a bit overkill on the adjectives?

I’m not 100% sure on the “Similar to theatre or improv…”. My concern with mentioning theatre so up front is that it might put off people who don’t consider themselves “actor” enough for something theatre-like.


#16

“…and becoming a part of the story.” some people may be frightened away by becoming ‘integral’ to an event.

Getting rid of them reads "Unlike watching a film or reading a book, you have a chance to shape the outcome of the story."
Which sounds good but it also feels like its missing something like “in any way you can imagine”, changing the paragraph to remove the double use of imagine would then read:
“Picture jumping into your favourite historical or fictional setting and becoming an integral part of the story. Unlike watching a film or reading a book, you have a chance to shape the outcome of the story in any way you can imagine. Achieve your character’s goals, defeat your enemies and help create an interactive living fictional world.”

Is “Similar to improvised theatre…” more appropriate or the same thing? I think there is enough difference in putting emphasise on improvisation.


#17

Your changes look good to me, Muppet.

Gosh, I’d hope “integral” isn’t a challenging vocabulary word! It could always read: “UR importent to the storeys.” :wink: (Offered with tongue planted firlmy in cheek!!!)

Like I said, chop, change, embrace or discard any of what I offered. :smiley:


#18


#19

Okay, here’s my hack at it, tinkering with what Jackie suggested based on Ryan’s comments:

Ever wanted to jump into your favourite historical or fictional setting and become part of the story as it unfolds?

Larp is interactive fiction at its best. Unlike watching a film or reading a book, you shape the outcome of the story, for good or for ill. Achieve your character’s goals, defeat your enemies and help create an interactive living fictional world.

LARP has everything: from fantastic costumes and dramatic intrigue, to tricky problem solving and action-packed fights, all wrapped up in a dynamic, creative community. It’s part theatre, part murder mystery party, part swashbuckling action. Participants react to the actions of other players, often times with startling or humorous results. LARPing is an all-inclusive activity where new participants are welcomed by a thriving community and helped every step of the way.

If that sounds like fun then live action role playing (LARP) is the hobby for you.


#20

I’m actually with Muppet on the integral debate - some people are frightened by being important. You guys wouldn’t believe the number of people that requested unimportant characters for Fleet Street! :open_mouth:

Ryan, your lolcat will make me lol for the rest of the day :laughing: