All posts by Will Hindmarch

Writer, mooncalf, worrier-poet.

Launch A Thousand Ships

One more thing: Guest writer Will Hindmarch didn’t take the opportunity to share this post last week, while Wil Wheaton was on a boat, but here it is now, revised and shared because of reasons.


This bottle of American single-malt whiskey was made at the St. George distillery across the water from San Francisco. This bottle was a gift and I’d saved the last dram. That dram belonged to a special day. That day arrived this past Tuesday.

The idea was to create a platform for collaborative gaming online, something with a bit of roleplaying and some narrative sensibilities. It didn’t start with me. It started with Stephen Hood, whose vision, code, and moxie lit the way. It grew and shone thanks to the skills of a steadfast and creative engineer named Josh Whiting. They devoted their time and ingenuity to getting excited and making a thing — a place to help people play and tell stories online, together.

I came on board to help spark and hone some of the gameplay and structure for the story-worlds where games could unfold. Personally, I’m enamored with fictional places and collaborative storytelling, from the often fantastical worlds of roleplaying games to the worlds built for fiction at Shared Worlds, where I work most summers. So, for me, a whole new kind of spell was cast on the project when the authors and artists started coming on board to share their own worlds for play. Some of these worlds were built especially for play, some were adapted from existing novels and stories.

And this past Tuesday, they went live online. The game’s called Storium.


Here’s the thing: a remarkable team of coders, editors, art directors, designers, and writers made Storium. Well, sort of. The launch doesn’t finish this sort of project any more than takeoff completes a flight. The Storium team has a lot of work ahead, developing and building on the work they’ve already done and responding to the needs of a whole lot of storytelling players. When I poured that last dram from the bottle for myself, I realized I’d made a mistake. (I do that sometimes.) I meant to toast to the Storium team on a job well done — and toast them I did! — but what I should have done was bought a bottle of champagne to break over its bow. It’s a launch, after all. The ship is built and it’s lovely, but it was made for the voyage. Stories get written down and bound in ink and paper, but words are for reading. People got excited and made a thing, but that’s not the end of it. It’s the start of something.


An Episode Guide for TIME LORD, Season 1, Starring Wil Wheaton

Please welcome Will Hindmarch back to WWdN! He’s sharing this special guest post with us while Wil Wheaton is at sea.

This is a thank-you note to Wil Wheaton for sharing his blog with us this week. Thank you, Wil! I cooked this up with a bit of help from other guest authors, this week.

And, yes, this is very much what it looks like: Wil Wheaton fanfic.

Even if Wil gets to play a Time Lord someday, I bet they won’t do it quite like this — which is why I am writing it like this. While I believe Wil could imagine, write, and play a great Time Lord, I thought it might be fun to imagine Wil Wheaton as a Time Lord himself. This is how it turned out: in ten short episode synopses.

1. “A Traveler in Time”

Wil stands alone in a Los Angeles beercade long after last call, playing the only remaining cabinet-edition of the unfinished 1984 spaceship-combat game, Armada, when he hears a sound: the thrumming of a TARDIS! Before Wil’s eyes, what looks like a sit-down video-game pod fades into existence in the middle of the shop — and a black-and-white dog steps out. “Come with me,” says the dog. “It’s time.”

After locking up the beercade, Wil and the Dog journey to the edge of the Milky Way galaxy in the year 7494, where the Dog reveals that Wil is a Time Lord who was hidden away on Earth as a child to await the day when Wil’s TARDIS came looking for him. The Dog explains that it is a facet of this particular TARDIS, capable of taking different shapes to blend with different spaces and times. “I just like being a dog right now,” it says.

Together, Wil and the Dog head back toward Earth’s 21st century so Wil can bring his wife on his adventures, but on the way they are attacked by time-eating aliens called the Vye, who damage the TARDIS and send it careening across time and space — and out of control!

2. “Fix Everything”

Stranded in a deep, rocky quarry in a remote corner of an alien planet, Wil and the Dog attempt to repair the TARDIS. Wil tries to re-harmonize the quantum-flux emitter by reversing its polarity, but Dog explains that it won’t work until the neutrino matrix cools enough to be turned off and on again. So Wil and the Dog venture out to explore, while they can, only to discover they are on 1L-729, a planet inhabited by millions of humans who crash-landed there a thousand years before and are now dwelling in a peaceful but forlorn society governed by a tyrannical and vocal computer system — the Defense Imperative Command Computer — infused into every facet of their lives. Wil attempts to rouse the populace to stand up to the computer, but the populace is too timid, too dependent on the computer’s automated factories, and too afraid to make things themselves, lest DICC leave them to the mercy of the alien monsters that dwell on other planets in the star system. Wil is saddened to find that he can’t make people change.

“We can’t fix everything,” the Dog tells Wil. “Besides, you’re just getting started.”

Unwilling to do nothing, however, Wil goes back to the TARDIS and prints out burrito recipes and shares them with the people. “They help,” he says, before stepping back into the TARDIS and heading back toward Earth.

3. “Every Rose Has Its Gorn”

Headed back to 21st-century Earth, the TARDIS misses its target by a few decades. Stranded for three days in Los Angeles in the 1960s, the Time Lord and the Dog thwart a murder plot on the set of the original Star Trek television series, where it turns out that a reptilian alien monster isn’t a rubber suit after all!

4. “Table Stop”

The TARDIS carries Wil the Time Lord to 6th-century India, where the precursor game that will lead to chess is currently being invented. The Dog takes the form of an elephant, but is captured by alien bandits! To free him, Wil challenges the Bandit Prince to a duel — in the form of a proto-chess match. Along the way, Wil stops the aliens from adding a new rule to the game called “Whoopsie-Poo Takebacksies,” which would make all games terrible forever.

5. “Call A Doctor”

On the ancient planet of Seebeus, where crime is rampant despite the work of a vast array of detectives, Wil and the Dog find themselves apprehended for a crime they did not commit when local law enforcement detects the arrival of the TARDIS. Before long, Wil and the Dog discover they have been mistaken for another Time Lord with a warrant for his arrest on the planet: the Doctor! With the TARDIS and the Dog locked in a prison with notorious interstellar criminals, Wil must prove he is not a regenerated identity of the Doctor by securing testimony from the Doctor himself. But drawing the Doctor to Seebeus could land both Time Lords in a Dalek trap!

Continue reading… →

Jenn & Trin Do Friendship at the Problems

Welcome Jenn & Trin to WWdN! They kindly answered some questions written by Will Hindmarch, made up just to share with us while Wil Wheaton is at sea. Their friendship is the genuine best.

Jenn & Trin are the community & event directors behind Cards Against Humanity. They co-host a podcast called Friendshipping, a weekly discussion about friendship and mental health. Every week they answer audience questions, like “How do I stop feeling jealous of successful friends?” or “What if I have a crush on my BFF?” or “Should I ask my friend why she unfollowed me on Twitter?”

Will Hindmarch caught up with them via some of the communications technologies that are so popular right now and asked them a few questions about podcasting and friendships and windjammers…

Q: If you were to describe your podcast to someone who is not a friend of yours, perhaps someone sitting next to you on an airplane, how would you describe it — and where would each of you be likely to help move the conversation thereafter?

Trin: I recently spoke with a woman who told me that she goes on annual cruises with her friends of 30, maybe 40 years. I told her that her story was especially interesting to me because I care so much and so deeply about friendship that I record myself and my good friend Jenn talking about it every week, and we put it on the Internet. That’s the crux of it for me – we just truly give a shit. If I were trying to get someone to listen to the podcast, I guess I’d tell them that it’s two women giggling and complimenting each other for 20 minutes, and they eventually give people advice on being a more empathetic person and better friend.

Jenn: Friendshipping is what I needed when I was younger. I wasn’t a particularly good friend, and I thought I was doomed to feel that way. But that’s not true! No one is doomed. It turns out, friendship is actually a skill and you can improve at it. No one’s a perfect friend, but you can improve. So our podcast is for anyone who wants to make new friends, or strengthen their current relationships. Plus, it’s an excuse for me to hang out and talk with Trin for an hour on Monday mornings. We have to cut out about 40 minutes of our giggling. Trin literally makes me cry of laughter before I’ve even had coffee. Best way to start the week.

Q: What’s the secret origin of Friendshipping and/or its theme song?

Trin: We asked our friend Molly Lewis to write a song that could be anything as long as it was very short and included “Do friendship at the problem.” We trusted her entirely and we were not disappointed!

Jenn: Molly is a genius.

Q: What’s the bold future of Friendshipping as/or beyond a podcast?

Trin: We’ve long considered branching out into other projects! Right now we hold friendship advice panels at the PAX conventions called Making Friends in Geek Spaces. Our 50th episode is going to drop in a few weeks, so we’re old pros at this stuff. Now’s the time to experiment.

Continue reading… →

I’m On A Continent (2016 Version)

Welcome our guest authors to WWdN! They’re sharing special guest posts with us while Wil Wheaton is at sea. They’re the genuine best.

The bad news, for those of us not on a boat — a specific, particular boat — is that Wil Wheaton is on a specific, particular boat for the next week and we are not.

The good news, for those of here within sight and reach of Wil Wheaton dot Net (WWdN), is that Wil Wheaton saw it fit to name a sterling roster of guest writers to share unique material with us all this week. I won’t spoil who’s coming by and when, but trust me: We’re in a for a whole slew of treats.

My name is Will (note the second L) Hindmarch. I’m around just to help this week as an array of great artists and authors share their works with us. Please welcome these guests with the generous camaraderie that WWdN is known for and maybe click a few links in their intros when the time comes? You’re going to find a lot to like through the magic technology of hyperlinks, methinks.

We — you, me, all of us — here in Wil Wheaton’s lingering aura, have one, prime directive this week: Don’t be a dick.

Okay? Ready? Here goes.

Guest Post by Will Hindmarch: Here’s to Wil Wheaton

Will Hindmarch just posted a thing here on WWdN earlier today and the bio on that post is pretty much still accurate.

On behalf of Stephen, Ryan, and Shane, I’d like to thank Wil Wheaton for having us at the blog this week. None of us wrote as much as we meant to (we have our reasons), but we got to talk on email about all the things that can get in the way of writing. Cheers, friends.

At the same time, thank you, WWdN readers, for sharing your time with us this week. We appreciate it.

And, Wil? When next I’m in LA, can I ring the RFB bell?