31 December 2013
Recap posts appear to be a thing, so I thought I’d take the opportunity and be one of the sheeple. I am not afflicted with nostalgia; in fact, I have a really hard time reminiscing about the past. With that in mind, let’s review what all happened in 2013, shall we?
Mental Illness (Which I Don’t Talk A Lot About)
Mental illness is one of those topics that gets a lot of play in creative circles, including tabletop game design. I’m in a slightly different position than most, though. I myself do not struggle with mental illness. However, my wife has bipolar disorder, which was diagnosed in late 2011 and involved hospitalization. Most of 2012 was taken up stabilizing her, and this year has been the first year in our almost decade together that she has thrived. It’s been amazing to see, and I’m as proud of her as a husband can be.
This past year was a great year for me in regards to the tabletop hobby. Late in the year, I decided I was going to go to Metatopia. I’d been planning to go for the last two years, but circumstances prevented it. I even upped the ante: I was going to pay for the plane ticket with actual freelance gigs.
I’m happy to say I made this goal. I got to do more than I would have thought possible in the span of two months. I edited my first two projects, the Fate Core Character Journal (kickstarted successfully and one I need to double-check current status of) and Heroine of Heian-Kyo (which is currently in layout). I enjoy editing very much, and it’s something I will do more of 2014.
In the same time frame, I got to do my first actual writing gig, a short story for the “Trust Me” anthology to accompany the Doll RPG (another successful Kickstarter). The final story of the anthology is currently in editing, so I expect this to come sometime soon in 2014.
Metatopia was an amazing convention run by amazing people (big shout out to Avonelle and Vinny!), and I felt so at home there even without my wife and child with me. I will definitely be going back, maybe this time with a designer badge. Oh, and I have to thank John Adamus for letting me crash at his house so I wouldn’t have to pay for the hotel stay.
Although I was a bit passive-aggressive (how’s that for some brutal honesty?) about it initially, Quinn was a stand-up guy and allowed me to come onboard his Schism project and do some writing and design work for it. I’m hoping it’ll be coming soon, but I’d honestly rather see him finish Five Fires first.
As if that weren’t enough, I’ve got two projects lined up for 2014 already. One is the Iron Edda mega-project coming to Kickstarter in just two short weeks as of this posting. You’ve probably already heard me talk about it, and you’ll definitely be hearing more in the weeks to come. The second is a supplement / rules hack for Rosemont Bay (yep, another Kickstarter).
2013 was the year I also shelved some personal projects. Night’s Black Masquerade is done as far as I’m concerned. I’m no longer interested in pursuing it any further. It was a good thing to get my design brain engaged, and I needed it as a stepping stone. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll also notice that Planescape 4E is dead in the water, too. It was the first design work I ever did, and it (and Planescape in general) still hold a dear place in my heart. It’s possible I might revisit some of it in another system (13th Age, maybe?), but I wouldn’t hold your breath.
Before I forget, I also had the opportunity to work on converting Farewell to Fear over to Pathfinder. It’s a project I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t finished, and I need to do it, both because I said I would, and Filamena deserves better than what she’s gotten from me.
Several paragraphs later, and I see I am truly blessed to have worked on so much in such a little amount of time. The trust each person has extended to me — a relative newcomer in game design — is both awe-inspiring and gratitude-inducing. I hope to continue to be someone that produces high-quality work reliably.
Oddly enough, 2013 was the year that I became more aware of gender issues. This stems from two sources. The first is my amazing daughter (who turns five today). I strive to teach her to be herself, regardless of what that means. Pink isn’t her favorite color. She likes superheroes. Dresses she can do without, but she likes having her fingernails painted.
The second is a collection of wonderful people in the gaming community that defy gender normalization in their own unique ways. People like Tracy Barnett and Avery Alder keep me honest when it’s easy for me to forget that gender is anything but simple.
So much has happened this year that I’m sure I’ve forgotten something. I haven’t even begun to name all of the amazing people that I’ve met and interacted with. If you want to know more about any of my current or upcoming projects, I can certainly point you to more information. And, if you need an editor, a freelance writer, or a freelance game designer, let’s talk! I want to help with your project if I can.