The Game(ing) Show needs you!

Let's face it, Moss Robot is a diverse universe. Just when you think you know what it is that we do, we throw something new at you. Falling into this realm of "who knew?" endeavors-is the hand we played in a recent, spunky production called 'The Game(ing) Show' by Urban Gardens Performing Arts.

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UGPA came up with an innovative concept that combines staged acting, improv, games, puzzles and "free beer" tokens with a fully, interactive audience. Bystanders draw cards to choose characters and plot devices, enter into competition and take on their hero's adventures and challenges, ultimately deciding their hero's fate by the way they play each game.

Our hideous dragon in piece.


Think 'Zelda' meets 'Who's Line Is It Anyway' and then goes on to meet "So I Survived a Japanese Game Show' and they all somehow combine to make a super love child, and you're getting warm... 

 Super love child?

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UGPA approached us about making some very "homemade looking" props and costumes that leaned toward minimalistic and the absurd. We were told the more ridiculous the better. We know ridiculous. (see above photos) They came to the right place.

 Game cards in-progess.

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Our involvement did not stop with the twenty-some props and official game-play cards they commissioned us to make. Oh no, kind friends, it gets better. We got this crazy idea that we would like to do LIVE sound effects for the show-just to add an extra level of absurdity. Even more crazy, UGPA let us do it!

NASA-esque command center.

Basically, we raided our six year old son's gear. We have his old water bottle for splashing, his trusty electronic toys for transition music and "Horribozo the clown" sounds. We used his kid instruments and harmonica to play interim music and to eventually play "taps." for one of the death scenes. Most of the time we made vocal sounds, and beat-boxed the mike. Very close to how we spend our evenings at home, mucking around, trying to make the other one laugh.

 Clown poison warnings... (non)Lethal spears... Wizard bits.

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Fun was had by all, the show was a rousing success, and well, they want to do it again. But in order to continue to do it around the Triangle here in NC, "The Game(ing) Show" needs a little backing.  They have a Kickstarter campaign to fund this possibility, so if you want to get behind some talented folk, and have a future opportunity to partake in the games, here's your chance.

Heinous Beasts... Tetris... Sweet abandon.

And while we are talking about support for the arts, let's give mention to the one venue in town that does this consistently. The Game(ing) Show was held at one of our favorite places in Raleigh, Kings Barcade. Kings not only houses excellent bands and music of all genres, but it opens it's doors to every kind of creative, cultural and community-enhancing event that it can place. Again and again the fantastic owners of Kings have donated or discounted their space for a charitable function, or a fledgling troop of performers, testing their wings.

Hats off to Kings and let's throw our coin to the coffers of these traveling players.

Lisa and Matt

LONGBOARD Design/Build

Moss Robot gets into all kinds of projects. Some months ago we had the utmost pleasure to design and build a longboard for Geoff Wood Photography.

Fortunately, I had the prudence to snap some pictures along the way. And we're proud to be able to share the work with you now.

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We first decided on the bomber-style board or teardrop shape and went about creating a template out of some poster board. Or, half a template anyway. Traced the half-a-teardrop shape onto the wood (3/4" plywood). Flipped the template over. And traced the other half. Everything matches up. 

It's great when everything matches up. 

Then it's out to the workshop for sawing and clouds of sawdust.

The rough shape.

Once that shape is released from the confines of the plywood sheet, it's time to round and smooth the edges. We used a vise and a planer. 

Matt's personal note: I love a planer. Really I do. And absolutely no workshop is complete without a vise. ...I have three. And they are all my best friends.

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Unfortunately, no pictures of the top design in-progress exist. But there is a nice shot of it laying down on top of fresh mulch.

Fresh mulch with deck.

Black, electrical tape was used to mask the colored stripes. Each stripe was painted individually with a wash of color so that the grain of the wood shows through.

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Then the tricky bit. Measuring and marking for the trucks. We tried a few different methods but the one that worked best used the riser pads that came with the trucks themselves. Riser pads allow you to increase the height of the deck a little. They fit right where the trucks meet the deck. Which means they share the same through holes. Which means they are a great template for measuring and marking placement.

Like so.

Just those riser pads and one long straight edge to align the risers and (with the help of another smaller ruler) to find the perfect center of the deck.

Eight pencil marks later and it's back to the workshop for drilling.

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It's very important that the holes go through absolutely perpendicular to the deck. Otherwise, you could have crooked trucks. Crooked trucks = crooked wheels. Crooked wheels = Anger, Frustration, Madness, Dejection and predominately a lengthy session of eye-flaring and an oh-this-&#!%-board! kind of afternoon.

We happen to have a leveling thingy on the back end of our battery-powered drill. So, you know, phew! Perpendicularity, achieved.

Another good idea is to widen the top of the hole using a countersink bit. This will let the bolts rest flush with the top of the deck. 

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Back inside, everything matches up.  Holes and bolts. Bolts and trucks. Trucks and nuts. Dons and Knots. 

White wheels!

And the finished bomber board...

A great project to have completed. A feather in our cap.
And we'll be making these to order for any of you enthusiasts out there.
Just send us a message.

Thanks for being around.
Matt and Lisa