Parsons MFA Design&Tech

William Ray, Patrick Mooney, Dylan Shad

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A Massively Multi-player Online Pen and Paper Story Sharing system.

  • games-play
  • product-design
  • web
    Thesis Studio

    Colleen K. Macklin

    Nicholas J. Fortugno

    Writing and Research

    Barbara B Morris

    Christine L Prentice-Popken

    Wayscape is a web-based map system for players of tabletop roleplaying games. It is a re-imagining of the classic “Living Campaign” experience, with a focus upon empowering each player with the capacity to impact a shared world in their own unique way. Gamemasters (GMs) or event organizers can use Wayscape to participate in a living world, using stories from other playgroups in their sessions. This world will grow and change over time as players leave a record of their adventures.

  • Project website

  • Wayscape is not a stand-alone game; it is a tool designed to add another layer to the tabletop experience. Players roleplay as they normally would, with a GM using a system like the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset. With Wayscape, those players have access to a virtual map of the world, and can see what is happening around their characters.

    GMs can drop pins on the map, representing places, characters, items, or events. These pins can be thought of as plot hooks within the world’s concurrent stories. When a player interacts with one of these plot hooks, their GM can add a short update to describe what happened. These updates are posted to an event log, and are then visible to all participants.

    Our campaign setting, Shrouded Isles, is a Celtic-inspired world based on 19th century folklore and faerie tales. It is a mysterious world of ancient ruins and wild things, a place where people are small and stories are very large. While the map and the Codex (the encyclopedia of the realm) are filled with information about places and creatures, much of this is background detail to give a sense of texture to the land.

    In detailing the Codex we’ve used Victorian-era poetry and artwork from the public domain to give Shrouded Isles a mythic quality, to make it seem like a place out of time. Every entry on a creature or race opens with a quotation, some dreamlike, some ominous – a window into another world.

    William Ray

    Born and raised in North Carolina, I have spent most of my life in quiet rural surroundings fulfilling artistic and crafting endeavors. After achieving my Bachelors in Fine Arts at Howard University in Washington DC, I spent time working for the Federal Government as a Graphic Designer as well as doing freelance work for small businesses and people in the community. As a MFADT student, I have renewed this focus in Graphic Art and design theory towards Game Development.

    Patrick Mooney

    Pat Mooney is a writer and designer of games and interactive media. His work spans a variety of forms from hypertext fiction and educational games to tabletop roleplaying systems, with a focus on accessibility and user agency. Pat received a degree in media studies from Drew University in 2011, where his honors thesis explored themes of surveillance, complicity, and networked identity through a distributed narrative on social media platforms. He currently is an MFA candidate in the Design and Technology program at Parsons, the New School for Design. Pat also works as a producer at Playmatics, a design and transmedia firm in New York that develops brands through games and playful experiences. He is interested in the balance of usability, engagement, and immersion, and storytelling systems of all shapes and sizes.

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  • Dylan Shad

    Dylan is a game designer hailing from the north woods of Upstate New York, currently exploring the intersection of play, persistence, freedom, and social interaction. He works as the Lead Concept Developer at Colmena Design in the South Bronx while wrapping up his MFA at Parsons School of Design. Before that, Dylan studied music and sound design at Bennington College between bouts of designing physical games and running tabletop RPG campaigns, and worked for a number of years in the music industry as an audio engineer before returning to graduate school. He has taught both game and sound design, and has now contributed to approximately two dozen games at Colmena Design. He currently lives in Brooklyn with a violent but lovable tabby, Calypso.

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