I have been keeping my head down and just grinding. So I thought I’d surface with a roundup of what I’ve been doing this last year (hint: it’s a lot, per usual).
Let’s start with the biggest news first; I recently joined a studio as the narrative design lead on their next big game!
That’s right, a game about the ocean. Do you know how jazzed I am? So jazzed. This is full time, which means I’ve officially made the crossover from part time freelance spliced with tech industry work to concentrating on narrative design exclusively as my profession. I am really, REALLY happy about this. It’s been years in the making and this is basically the perfect job.
How did Bluebeard’s Bride do?
The kickstarter ended up bringing in about $130,000. It’s already been nominated for one award, it held one of the top spots for most purchased game on DriveThruRPG for weeks, and the reviews have been glowing.
I did a lot of interviews around the game release, and they’re floating out there in the ether somewhere. I knew I hit peak interview when I sat down to talk about Bluebeard’s Bride with a frog.
What other projects are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a playset for Weave by Monocle Society.
And Celestial Rangers, based off the Sailor Moon RPG.
Things I finished up.
Okay, it’s a lot of things. Pretty sure this list is incomplete, but I’ll do my best to remember.
I wrote a freeform game called Möbius that was published in the #Feminism game anthology. Did narrative consulting for Qneuro. Judged the Golden Cobra game design competition. Translated some ancient Egyptian for Chaldea. Saw Mulaka launched. I had a very minor role consulting with the Lienzo team, but I’m super proud of how well received Mulaka has been. In the early days it was really a struggle, and I wasn’t sure the game was going to get released. Now it’s got everyone’s attention.
Did diversity and inclusion narrative consultation and VO work for the new BattleTech game that is launching this month. I really like doing voice over work! I also love all the folks over at Harebrained Schemes.
Both live streaming shows Death From Above and Weekly Affirmations have wrapped up. Death From Above was a seminal experience, and I miss the whole cast and crew. We really made something special.
Weekly Affirmations will probably come back in a new form with a new name at some point in the future. Several Twitch studios have offered to pick it up, I just haven’t had the bandwidth to do it yet. It’s a show that takes a lot of work on my end to produce. But it’s totally worth it. So many meaningful experiences.
I did various other Twitch shows including fundraisers, voice acting to Hatoful Boyfriend and Night in the Woods, Feminist Cookies, The Gauntlet, Masters of the Metaverse, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego, and lots of others. And no, I’m still not a streamer : p
Also participated in the Games to Grow panel on Culturally Responsible Gaming.
I dropped out of the rest of the con season in 2017 after I contracted dengue fever in India, and was too ill to travel for a while.
I’m going to be a speaker at XOXO!
I’m also going to be attending Project Horseshoe, an invite-only game industry think tank. I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of this, and can’t wait to mind meld with other top folks doing cool work.
That’s it for now. I’ll try not to wait another year to update.
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!
Prepare to be drowned in content! It’s been a while, so there’s lots to talk about.
I’ve slowed down my con appearances a little bit as I’ve taken on more work in other sectors of my life. And by slowed down, I mean attending 5 or 6 in a year, rather than 11 or 12 : P
I’ve also waded much deeper into the video game industry, and the work I’ve been doing there is very rewarding. It’s mostly been in the areas of writing and narrative design, and I hope that continues. But in addition I’ve been doing some consulting on diversity and inclusion, and for funding for companies outside the U.S.
Upcoming guest of honor appearances: GaymerX – GaymerX Boss of Honor, woo! OrcaCon – Special Guest
Right now I’m slated for three panels at PaizoCon. One on mythology and games, and several on diversity, inclusion, and community. It’s coming up real fast, so if you’re in the area stop by!
I recently attended The Game Developers conference. GDC Was awesome. I applied for and was accepted into two competitive initiatives for GDC. The first was the Amplifying New Voices leadership bootcamp sponsored by Oculus. They put upcoming leaders together with veterans in the field for professional mentoring. The free Oculus swag was neat, but sitting down with people like Caryl Shaw and Brian Sharp was very special.
I was also an #INeedDiverseGames Scholar. Through #INeedDiverseGames I got to connect with other minority folks in the game industry, share experiences, and build my network. I felt honored to be counted among so many talented people.
The highlight of GDC for me was the Narrative Summit. Yes, all of the Narrative Summit! It was like I had come home. It has very strong programming, and I hope that the rest of the organization can slowly get on board with the way the Narrative Summit does things. It’s good, good stuff.
We’re going in reverse chronological order here, so next up is Hive. Hive is a highly selective global leadership program for visionaries, entrepreneurs, etc. who are committed to positive global change. With all the brouhaha I kick up over myth and play, I figured I’d give it a shot. Several thousand people ended up applying for about 150 spots, and I was selected. Hive was four days of being surrounded by amazing people, and all of us working together to figure out what comes next.
I started a new adventure in the world of Twitch! The showrunner of Geek & Sundry recently moved up to Seattle to try his hand at a new channel in partnership with Harebrained Schemes. The channel is Hyper Rabbit Power Go! (or Hyper RPG). I started off hosting two shows for Hyper RPG, but found I didn’t have enough time. Now I’m solely dedicated to Weekly Affirmations, which is MY show, utterly. On Weekly Affirmations I run indie and freeform RPGs, talk about feelings and emotional safety, host local game designers, and generally just have a freaking good time. It’s my ship to run, so all the content and programming is my choice. It makes me very happy.
I’m involved with other parts of the channel too. I sometimes guest on Death From Above, a Battletech show, or Trivia Hops, in which I was forced to wear a unicorn onesie and answer questions about the Justice League. Hyper RPG is good people, and I’m glad to be associated with the studio.
My Death From Above Character, with awesome fanart from Stephzorz.
This is a video from Honesty Hour on Hyper RPG, where we talk about real stuff and I can put my hosting personality aside for a hot minute. Honesty Hour got very involved, and ended up being Honesty Three Hours instead, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. We talked about some really interesting stuff.
Here is also the latest video from Weekly Affirmations! We played Our Radios Are Dying by Caitlynn Belle, which is a freeform game about lesbians hiding a forbidden love dying in space together. So many #GameFeelz!
The entire youtube playist of all Weekly Affirmation episodes to date is HERE. So far we’ve featured Fall of Magic, The Warren, Dread, Our Radios Are Dying, and now Monsterhearts.
Bluebeard’s Bride is in its final stages before release. We’re writing the copy and commissioning art. So THE BOOK IS REALLY HAPPENING OMG. If you want to get the down-low on Bluebeard’s Bride, join the Google+ community, follow on Twitter at BluebeardsBride, and check out the official page through our publisher, Magpie Games.
We have a bunch of actual play recordings now too. Be advised, all actual play content is considered to be 18+ and not safe for work. Trigger warnings for sexual violence, body horror, and other spooky stuff.
I’ve also been doing some voice acting for a recurrent role on The Voice of Free Planet X, a sci-fi podcast. This has been a lot of fun as the character evolves, and the creator of the podcast has informed me that there will be more coming up for this character. You should take a listen to the whole thing, but the episodes I’m in are linked below:
Let’s see, what else? I think I’ve mentioned the consulting I’ve been doing with video game companies on diversity and inclusion. On the whole, I think it’s been going pretty well, and with some of them I’ve seen the needle move a lot. I was a Special Guest at Big Bad Con down in San Francisco. I ran Bluebeard’s Bride and successfully made a player cry. In a good way! It’s how I know the game is really shaping up.
I was a judge again for this year’s Golden Cobra Challenge. Golden Cobra is a freefrom game design competition, and this is its second year running. year one produced some stellar games that are still being played all over the world. We had some fantastic games come through the door this year as well. The full anthology of this year’s games is here (warning, large PDF). The highlights for me were A Crow Funeral by Timothy Hutchings and The Other Place by Banana Chan. Look em’ up!
SandCon happened. Geek Girl Con Happened. They were both wonderful and I’ll be doing them again, I’m sure. SanCon is where I got to play The Warren for the first time, incidentally. At Geek Girl Con I got to hang out with some hard hitting ladies!
I was also prominently featured in a divsersity in table top games documentary made by John Sheldon. It’s very eye opening.
Here is the documentary:
Here is my full interview:
I spoke with John about the overall tone of the documentary, because it leaves the viewers hanging with a lot of questions. How do we change these things? What steps do we take? John told me that this first film is meant to establish a solid foundation for defining the issues around diversity and inclusion in tabletop. He felt we needed that piece first. He’d like to go on to make a second piece that details how we can affect a sea change. I really hope he does, and in my own interview we do get to talking about these things.
I was on a Virtucon panel about fostering local RPG communites. This one got a lot of views and comments, and people reached out to me privatly for months after it came out. I think it’s worth the watch also.
Finally, finally, we’re nearly at the end! Touching base on the game writing I’ve been doing for digital and analogue games, I’m afraid I can’t say much. I’m tied up with a lot of NDAs these days. However, I’m still writing for Undead Labs, who are the folks that made State of Decay. I’m on two big projects for Onyx Path, one for Storium, and I’m working on a handful of indie games. I think I’ll wait on listing specifics until I have something to point you to. My Warren playset Baliganapalli Fields is done and available at Bully Pulpit. My Urban ShadowsLos Angeles playset is available to backers. You know who you are. Just waiting for a lot of these other games that I’ve written for to come out!
Okay, I think I’ve linked enough media to keep someone busy for literally a week, so I’ll stop here. I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of things. I’ll try to not go so long between updates next time.