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Kickstarter Love & Barbed Wire - final week on kickstarter

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
I’ve got a kickstarter running for a small, simple story-game called Love & Barbed Wire.

It’s a letter-writing game for two players, taking the roles of a soldier in the trenches and their loved one back home respectively.

It can be played together in person, or over zoom*. It can also be played completely asynchronously by using forums, messaging apps, email, shared documents or actual letters.

Warning: it is designed to be emotionally engaging, and even though a game typically lasts just one hour the characters whom you create can leave a real impact on you.

Anyway, I’d love it if you could come and check it out - and back it if you would like to support indie game development and have a smashing little 2-player game.

The kickstarter is here:

 

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Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
If anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to answer them!

In the mean time, I'll post some examples that one pair of playtesters has given permission to share more widely.
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
Correspondence style play. John and Anna, England, 19 and 17, and childhood sweethearts, not engaged yet; they were waiting for her to turn 18.

Chapter 1 - Goodbye and good luck!​

Anna (hearts)​

My dearest John,

Not a day goes by that I don't miss your smile, your wit, your courage. Take courage, now, that God will see you safely back to me. You have only just left, and God willing, you will return by Christmas. You will see my little sister and brothers' eyes shine as they have their Christmas oranges by the fire. In my own mind's eye, I see you telling your tales of faeries and princes to them as they laugh and hug their knees, sitting on the rug. Think on this when war raises his nasty head. Your voice, your stories, the laughter of children, my own adoring smile.

I feel we are already engaged in our hearts. I do not need a ring to know your love, or to remember your hands on my shoulders. I long to year your voice again, my dearest. I pray that the war will end soon and you will be back in my arms again.

All my love,
Anna

John (clubs)​

My darling lovey,
Training has barely finished and I miss you terribly. I know we will lick the Krauts and be home soon, but this is so much worse than I thought it would be. The guns are so loud and there is so much blood even in a small accident. God's Grace and your love are the only things keeping me going. I don't care what your parents say, we are getting engaged as soon as I get home, and married as quickly as we can. I need something to look forward to. You are forever my little ducky and my lovey dovey,
John
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!

Chapter 2 - Somewhere in France​

Anna (spades, oh-oh)​

John,

My dearest, I am so worried for you. You do not sound like yourself, my darling love. I hope that you received the package I sent you--all I knew was somewhere in France, but the Queen's postal service is said to be the best in the world, so I hope they will find you. I want to keep some of it a surprise, but I do hope some of what I put in there takes that awful taste out of your mouth and replaces it with something sweeter.

If it makes you feel better to put your horrors of war into letter, do so, but I fear that I am losing you and your cheerful spirit. What would the bonny and mischievous Puck do in this situation? My sweetheart, try to remember your stories and imagination and dream yourself a better place, even if it is just at night.

All my love,

Anna

John (clubs)​

Anna, my darling baby girl,
Your letters and thoughts of warm lips are the only things keeping me sane. This is a godless place. They tell us we are somewhere in France, but in truth it feels more like hell. God grant me the strength to stay strong enough to make it home to you. The trenches are full of mud and rats. The cries and screams of the dying ring in my ears and in my dreams. I'm an Oxford man. I didn't know that the smell of blood coats your tongue in with a metallic taste. That it bathes your face in think crimson warmth when the man next to you gets his arm blown off. That it...my God! What am I doing? I am so sorry my dearest little one. I should not burden your kind heart and pure soul with these things. God forgive me, you are the only I can share this with. I promise my next letter will better. Please forgive me and pray for me, my only Love.

I have been and always will be your loving and faithful John.
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!

Chapter 3 - Separation and longing​

Anna (diamonds)​

Dearest John,

I am so proud of you for rallying. I know--well, I do not truly know, but I imagine it is so horrible there, and here you are, fighting for the Crown and keeping home in your heart. So brave, so true, so loyal to country. Every day without you tears at me like the claws of some kind of demon or beast. I walk by the elm tree, I pray at it, I hear nothing but the wind in its boughs. It has lost its leaves, just as I don't have you, but in the spring the leaves will grow, and I hope to God you can return to me. You are amazing in your courage, my life, my dearest one. Here you stand between our home and utter hell. Please think of home and stories of fiction. What would brave Lysander or Demetrius do?

In the meantime I have sent another package. After the colors changed on the tree, we realized you must be cold in France. I cannot take all the credit--my mother and Eleanor dug in as well, and when the lady at the dry good store heard it was for a boy at the Front, she threw in an extra skein for free. I thought the colors would suit your eyes, with their own green-blue. I hope it arrives with all the pieces intact: It should be two pairs of mittens (they are so easy to lose), a scarf, and a hat! The scarf may be a little long, I think Eleanor got a little overexcited. Anyway, imagine that every single knit and purl was done in love and (in my part) longing for you. Know that I am ever so proud of you and the home front awaits your return.

All my love,
Anna

John (diamonds)​

My little lovey,
I did get your package, and it was a gift from God. It was almost like I could hear your voice whispering in my ear and feel your breath on my neck as I read your letter. By your grace, God opened a passage through the fog of war and reminded me of your love and your light. I feel reborn as thoughts of your loving arms, sparkling eyes and soft lips occupy my waking moments. I miss your quick mind and your bubbling laughter. I cannot wait until we can sit under the elm tree in your backyard, sipping your mother’s lemonade, eating my mother’s scones and reading sonnets to each other. I love you so very much.
Your only,
John
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!

Chapter 4 - After the war we shall…​

Anna (diamonds)​

My darling John,

I am so pleased that my package was so good for your spirits. And I am so proud of you and all the lads. I told the ladies at the dry good store about you and the other boys at the front, and they ALL made mittens and hats and scarfs! We pooled our money to ship it to you and your company. By my count, there are twenty pairs of mittens with matching scarfs and hats, all from the ladies of our town, all in different bright colors. We debated the colors--dark and grey to keep you all hidden from the Krauts in your trenches, or bright to bring the love of home for you. It was quite the debate, and in the end they are mostly dark colors, but some of the fringe on the scarfs is very bright indeed. We hope you can tuck this into your coats. I also have a separate package for you, just from me, for my dearest love. A sweater. Be very careful unwrapping it, because inside it is a paper package with some hard cheese and a flask of scotch. I hope these provide comfort. And maybe the flask will be of use. Bring it back to me when you return, and we will see what we can fill it with next.

Odysseus would persevere, as you do. He would keep his wits and wisdom and compatriots, as you do (I am so proud of you!) and bring everything to succeed and come home. I am thinking of what we can do after the war, and praying for your safe return. I will be here awaiting you with my own weaving. I hope it will be spring, and we can walk in the field of daisies behind the church. Let all the lads know that we at the home front are proud of you! Your strength in the face of danger and horrors, your duty to God and Crown.

All my love,
Anna

John (clubs)​

My Dearest, loveliest little Anna,
Your package arrived just in time. I did not know France could be so cold. I'm afraid the mittens are a bit dirty, but I think of you every time I wear them. I'm very glad you are such a smart gal. I often need to wear both pair at once to keep away the frost bite. I thank God every day you, mother and Eleanor are so skilled, thoughtful and loving. It's as if the fibers of your love cover my ears so I hear the whistle of the bombs and the extra length of the scarf keep the shrapnel from my neck.

I'm doing my best to make you proud of me. I try to be brave for my trench-mates. I ask myself, "what would Odysseus do?" I pray to God that I am not away as long as he was. Even if I am, I know you will be even stronger and more cunning than Penelope. Keep in your heart and prayers as you after in mine.
All my love, always,
John
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!

Chapter 5 - Darkest days​

Anne (did not write)​

John (spades)​

Madame,
It is my painful dirty to inform you that a report this day has been received from the War Office notifying of the death of (No) 16929 (Rank) Corporal (Name) John Hawkins (Regiment) Royal Regiment of Artillery which occurred at not stated on 13 November, and I am to express to you the sympathy and regret of the Army Council at your loss. The cause of death was killed in action.
 

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