I and some friends have a project of trying to watch all movies, tv episodes and other stuff with moving pictures related to roleplaying games ever made. We’re pretty far along on this goal. I’ll write here about old and new things we’ve found and watched.
(You can check out the DragonStrike video on YouTube above.)
DragonStrike is a board game published by TSR in 1993. It was a sort of D&D lite, with a group of adventurers exploring a game board. The game came with a video casette explaining the ideas behind the game in the form of an adventure led by a disembodied game master. It’s quite interesting as an example of how to communicate about games of imagination in the form of a movie or a video.
The first instruction the video gives to would-be Dungeon Masters is “Ham it up”, something future generations of tv and movie game masters have taken to heart.
There was supposed to be a sequel set in the Spelljammer world called Wild Space. It was cancelled, but the trailer is here:
There’s a great article about all this on Boing Boing:
In 1993, he recalled, “I got a call from TSR, which my sister owned at that point, and they wanted to do a video — an instructional video for how to play a role playing game. Beyond that, they didn’t really have much idea.” The budget was minuscule, making both live-action and traditional animation impossible. Flint and producer Peter Silver decided to combine the two: shoot actors against a blue screen and “then strip out all the color … insert the background digitally and then put the color back in.” This sort of filmmaking was about a decade ahead of its time. “It’s what they later perfected with stuff like 300,” said Flint, referring to the Zach Snyder adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel. “Oddly enough Frank came in for the screening of it and was kind of hanging around with me when we were shooting it,” he added.