Tuesday, April 12, 2005


First up for tonight, the special project I mentioned in my post this morning. And despite my hints to the contrary with Josh, it does not involve a light VTOL aircraft for the military (this also comes with an apology to those of you I already killed to protect the secret). My project is the planning for a “Creative Date.” For those of you who don’t know, a creative date is a Crusade event where a guys cell group does something fun as a fellowship time with a girls cell group. In this case we’re planning a murder mystery night (kind of like a live-action version of the Clue board game).

We’ve planned it so the date is next Tuesday night, and our cell group has divided into sub-committees to plan the various aspects of it. Actually, I think we are down to three subcommittees, with only two people each; one is in charge of preparing the food, another in preparing the setting (the room we’re having it in, and the third is the plot. I’m working with Dan Logsdon on the plot (I get that duty because doing a murder mystery night was originally my suggestion and Dan was kind enough to volunteer for it, he’s been invaluable in helping come up with interesting characters).

Each guest will be assigned a character with a full profile including name, occupation, some personal history, what their motive would be to kill Chip, when their opportunity would be to kill him, and their alibi (no promises about having strong alibis though). The murderer will also know that he or she is the killer. They will arrive at the dinner, get a briefing (most likely via a video I’m preparing) on the future “history” of the world since 2005, then commence having dinner in character. Clues will be distributed to people as the dinner progresses and they will do much of their detective work by simply conversing in character. Then at the end of the night everyone gets to guess who they think the killer is and we’ll watch a video of the murder itself.

Our victim is Chip Pollock, a good friend of mine and a senior in Aerospace Engineering (seriously one of the smartest people you’ll ever meet). The stage is roughly 25 years into the future, with Chip having become a Thomas Edison of sorts for his engineering work on revolutionary space propulsion methods. He is killed while on the verge of announcing another breakthrough.

That’s all I’m telling for now because some of our players may find this blog and I don’t want to give anything away. I’ve spent many hours over the last few weeks dreaming up the plot, and even more hours over the last few days pulling it together. As our invitation to the girls (delivered in person to their cell group tonight), I put together a newspaper from the day after the murder announcing Chip’s death. Took me about 10 hours to get together, but I was able to look at screenshots of the covers of real newspapers (St. Paul Pioneer Press, Chicago Tribune, etc) to get design ideas and fonts that look realistic. I also threw in all sorts of “easter eggs” (if you don’t know what those are, look at this link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&oi=defmore&q=define:easter+egg) scattered throughout the paper. In a moment I’ll link to a PDF of the Newspaper Invitation, and I invite you to try to find all the easter eggs (and those of you I’ve already told them to are not allowed to point them out, that would be cheating). Most of the items in the paper are actually integral to the plot, as I’ve spent 6+ hours making detailed timelines for the next 25 years so we can have a cohesive plot. Many of the events in my timelines will never make their way into the parts of the plot that are part of the game; they are merely foundation material to help me set the stage. For example, a manned mission to Mars is a current event, and I worked with Chip (whose Senior Design class project with a bunch of other Aero Seniors has been to design, in detail, just such a mission) so that the timing of the Mars landing would coincide with an actual launch window and transit times. So yeah, it’s been a lot of work and will continue to be as we prepare character profiles over the next few days, but it’s a lot of fun. Now, onto the actual invitation the girls got:

In other news, it’s link time:

Just in case you were wondering, I can reassure you that America is in no danger of a “stupid persons” shortage in the near future (and a nice way of proving it):

Wow, just wow. I mean seriously, this is a perfect example of what happens when engineers get too much free time. I really don’t need to say anything more about it, but you can: insert your favorite engineer joke that applies to this clip in the comments area (watch the whole thing!)


At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is in loving memory of Josh Bright. He knew a lot. Some believe he knew to much. He was found dead this afternoon with the main compressor shaft for a small jet stuck in his heart. The shaft was inscribed with the letters PA-28-JT. We will miss him. For a few days until we forget.

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Rebecca said...

Awww too bad I know where all the easter eggs are (at least the intentional ones... and one unintentional). Finished product looks great. I think those girls will like it a lot :)

*grumbles something about Acrobat Reader's latest version not working in Netscape*


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