GMing Tools – Prezi In Your Campaign

prezi_horizontalA while back I discovered a nifty online tool called Prezi. It is a presentation platform online that functions a little differently than a standard power-point. With a prezi, you place a bunch of bits of information onto a background (like laying out index cards on a table or drawing on a whiteboard) then you can build a path through the presentation, showcasing different elements. I haven’t used it in-depth for gaming yet, but I was inspired to think of a lot of nifty ways it could be used. The prezi files are stored online at prezi.com and can be accessed from any computer, so you can access them anywhere or you can download them for offline use. To attempt to lead by example, here are some prezi on the subject.

You can click on objects to zoom in and out or follow a prescribed path through.
You can press space bar to move along a prescribed path.
You can copy the prezi and play around with it on your own.

 

Character Relationship Maps/NPC Lists

I love to write up all of the NPCs before a game starts and present them to the players. This would make a great tool for that.

 

Maps

A prezi could make an awesome dungeon map as part of a screenshare in a G+ game. You can load lots of images in and draw lines between elements, as well as zooming in on many areas. You could have a zoom in for each “room” and control it from the edit dashboard if you were screensharing or sitting around a big tv monitor.

 

And Many More

One thing I am impressed by with the Prezi website is their constant innovation in what you can use a prezi for. I got a promotional email suggesting a prezi as a resume and it made me realize outside the box thinking could make a lot of nifty things with this tool. Like the NPC list/character relationship map above, you could keep all of your campaign info at the ready and rearrange it ala Island Design Theory. You could store all of your reference images for use in the game. You could create a puzzle with a prezi and an image file of something like a tapestry. The players would have to interact with it and find the clues you place over the image with bits of information about what they figure out when they examine certain sections.  You could place videos or sound files in and use it as a sound-board to have all of your sounds at the ready.

 

The more I played with prezi for presentations I’ve given, the more interesting I found it. I’d check it out, starting with this tutorial and see what you get inspired to create. What are some of your thoughts for ways to use a tool like this? Do you have any amazing online tools that wouldn’t seem to be made for gaming, but provide interesting solutions when thought about out of the box?

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John Arcadian is a writer, gamer, art director, web designer, crafter, and kilt-wearer. You can find more of his writings on gaming over at http://gnomestew.com. For web-design projects, check out http://beezenwebdesign.com.
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