The Bluebeard’s Bride Kickstarter campaign is live! And it’s a runaway success! Myself and my two co-designers are so proud of this game after two and a half years of work. The Kickstarter speaks for itself, so you should go check it out. There’s only a little time left, and no guarantee of what will be available for distribution outside of the Kickstarter, so back it while you can.
Had the honor of being a Boss at GaymerX. I love this con! Sat on some panels about game mastering, the space between video and analogue games, diversity and inclusion, and even had my first ever scheduled time at an autograph booth! It was a wonderful space and I look forward to attending again. I met so many cool people.
I sat on three panels at Pax West. One on horror, one on Twitch, and one where the audience tried to make a game or we would kill them and destroy the world. Who’s great idea was that? (Looking at you, Luke Crane!) The horror and the game design panel both easily had over a thousand attendees.
Aaaand I also went to E3, the golden paradise mecha of all games. I had the privilege of repping an amazing game anthology, #Feminism. I was there for the very first meeting of the #Feminism collective, and it’s so amazing to see this thing come together and be awesome. I’ll be honest. I freaked out at E3 really, really hard. I played the new Zelda demo. I saw all of Capcom’s new stuff. I nearly had an aneurysm. I did a livestream interview about #Feminism on Twitch, available here.
Also, I may have gotten on top of the giant golden chocobo after the convention was over and gotten chased down by security.
I did some writing for State of Decay 2 for the Xbox, which was awesome. And I also did a whole lot of writing and design for Scion 2nd Edition for Onyx Path. I did some consulting for the new Geist that Onyx Path is putting out as well. And finally, I popped out a little piece for the indie game Sig: The City Between. Now that I have all of those and Bluebeard out of the way, I have a little more room to think about what else is on my plate.
I was a guest of honor at PaizoCon! This con was fairly small and laid back, which was nice. I presented panels about mythology and games and how to diversify your game.
What, still not done yet? I’ve been doing some VO work in various places too. Turns out I really enjoy it. I strongly suggest you check out the sci-fi podcast drama The Voice of Free Planet X. I’ve done VO for a handful of episodes now, but this one is my favorite: Parable of the Leopard.
I’m still doing my thing at HyperRPG. My show, Weekly Affirmations, is still going strong. We haven’t run out of indie analogue games to explore yet : ) It’s also been moved to a prime time slot, and now airs at 6:00 PM PST on Thursdays right here. Did I mention the fan art is rad?
Death from Above, the HyperRPG show I’m on that takes place in the BattleTech universe wrapped up it’s first season! It was amazing and I won’t give any spoilers. So go watch it.
I’m sure I’m missing stuff, but this post is already overloaded from waiting too long to get it out. Cheers!
2015 has proven to be quite a busy year already. There’s so much ground to cover! Where did we leave off? Ah, yes. DREAMATION 2015. It was a great con, and I was so busy that I actually didn’t get any photos this time! Both Marissa Kelley and I ran playtests of the game that we’re developing together with Sarah Richardson, Bluebeard’s Bride, which I’ve talked about before on this blog. Bluebeard’s Bride has finally ousted me out of my semi-retirement from GMing. We’ve been getting some really awesome feedback, and I’m pretty darn excited about getting it out into the wild.
Then there was Carnegie Mellon’s Transformational Experience Summit, which I co-presented at with Emily Care Boss. It was a great experience. Our panel was very well attended, and we met and spoke with a lot of amazing people, including the guys from over at Games for Change, and Heather Kelley, an amazing and awesome game designer and thinker. Thanks again to Jessica Hammer and Chris Klug for inviting me to the conference.
Then it was off to India for two months, were I did field work for Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project, which is the most astounding NGO I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. While I was there I playtested Shanna Germain’s No Thank You, Evil! with some of the kids at the school. These children had never encountered an RPG before, and I was a little nervous that it would just be too far out of our depth. However, they seemed to immediately grasp what RPGs were all about, and THEY LOVED IT. They begged me to bring No Thank You, Evil! again the next time I visited the school.
On the way home from India I made a brief stopover in Japan, and got to spend a day with Andy Kitkowski, who has translated some really great Japanese RPG titles into English, among many of his other distinguishments. He took me to a game store in Akihabara, and we discussed some of the fascinating differences between U.S. and Japanese gaming cultures (while also stuffing our faces with ramen). It seems that no matter what country I go to I can find something to do that involves games. I’m billing Japan as a vital games research opportunity : P
Immediately after coming back from India I moved cross country and started a new job. At the last minute before Gen Con I discovered that I wasn’t going to be able to make it. Much to my chagrin! Still, I had friends on the ground, and a couple of great GMs volunteered to run playtests of Bluebeard’s Bride for us. One even sent me a picture of my Industry Insider profile. I was honored to be selected as in Industry Insider, and so incredibly bummed that I wasn’t able to make good on it this year.
Now, on to actual content.
I had the pleasure of writing an article titled “Why Minority Settings in RPGs Matter” for TOR.com in April. It went off pretty well, and several other places picked it up. It was even translated into French! If there’s any of my stuff that I would point you to, it’s this. Go read it! Afterward I was invited out to Tor in New York City, and got to me my editor, Bridget, who is one of those people who can just light up a room. The whole staff is great, actually, and they stuffed a bunch of books into my hands, which anyone knows is the most direct way into my heart. I got to go a floor or two down to see my friend Liz Gorinsky, and she and I chatted about her lasted work, including editing The Three-Body Problem.Incidentally, it won the Hugo award for Best Novel last night! Eeee! A super hearty congrats to Liz!!
We did (or rather, Evan Torner did) a write-up in the Knudepunkt Companion Book for the Golden Cobra freeform competition that I helped judge, entitled “The Golden Cobra Challenge: Amateur-Friendly Pervasive Freeform Design“. Article starts on page 70. Jason Morningstar also did a write-up of the same title over at NordicLarp.Org. We’ve decided to host another Golden Cobra competition this year! We’ve invited a new judge into our rotation and changed up our challenge constraints. I’m really looking forward to what the competition produces. Last year’s games blew me out of the water.
Lastly, I’ve been working on a section for The RPG Studies Handbook with Jessica Hammer. It’s a university level text book that will be published through Routledge when it’s done. Can’t say more about it than that for now!
I’ve been on some panels and video casts, also.
“My Gaming Resume” hosted by Richard Rogers as part of Indie+
“Larping as Other” hosted by Julia Ellingboe as part of the Gaming as Other Indie+ series
“Lady Event Organizer Roundtable” hosted by Anna Kreider
As for the games I’ve been working on, my freelance docket is nearly full.
Urban Shadows has launched, and my L.A. City Guide has been released out into the wild, so I’m officially all finished up with that.
I’m developing a Greenwood District/Black Wall Street setting for Dead Scare, an RPG about 1950s housewives surviving a zombie apocalypse. I’m developing an “Encyclopedia Draconica” entry for Epyllion, an RPG about being a dragon. So badass! I’m co-developing with A.A. George a setting based in rural India for The Warren, a terrific and terrifying game about being rabbits. I love these indie projects, and they make me very happy.
Oh, and doy! I am of course in the middle of co-designing Bluebeard’s Bride. We’re getting very close to an open beta. If you’re interested in reading more about it, I post our playtest feedback and wax philosophical about the game over on my Google+ page.
In relation to larger publishers and studios, the things I’m doing are harder to talk about. I’ve signed a number of NDAs that basically mean I’m not allowed to tell you what game I’m working on. What I can say is that I’m doing a pretty good chunk of work for Onyx Path, in an area that directly pertains to my academic expertise. It looks like I’ll be signing on for a second project with them soon.
I am also writing for a video game being produced by Undead Labs. These are the guys that partnered with Microsoft to make State of Decay. Video games are a different animal than their analogue brethren, but I’ve really enjoyed the work so far. I’m considering opening up to video game writing more widely. I guess we’ll see!
I’ve been doing a bit of mentoring work through Different Play also. Not as much as I would like. It was especially hard to get anything done when I was in India. I’m looking forward to picking it back up again now that I’m back in the States. It’s a pleasure working with such creative people.
Coming up I’ll be ghosting around PAX Prime. Then it’s off to Sand Con on the East Coast. And finally, in October I’ll be a con sponsored guest at Big Bad Con. I know there’s a couple of things I didn’t get around to discussing this post. I just can’t remember what they are!