Back from GenCon!

22 08 2008

Hey! Shreyas and I are back from GenCon, and wow, it was a truly amazing experience. I’m so glad I got to put faces to names, and meet all kinds of new and amazing people– plus spend a little extra quality time with already-close friends. The whole experience of working a booth and selling my game was overwhelming and humbling and cool, and I especially owe Vincent and Ben big time for that. The highlight, for me, was probably Ryan Dancey coming over and buying a copy of It’s Complicated, probably with money he got by developing D&D 3 or inventing the OGL or doing something else equally amazing.

Meeting the people, though, man. I made so many friends that I am now bummed I don’t get to see every day. Our “little” community is huge and diverse and wonderful, and there’s not a single person I met that didn’t make my day a little brighter. I’m so glad to be in it with all of you.

That said! Two Scooters Press did amazingly well. I came home with a single copy of It’s Complicated to my name, and Shreyas came pretty close to selling out of Mist-Robed Gate, as well. Now, if you’re interested in some wuxia fun, you can go bug Shreyas for a copy over at summerbird– but if you want a copy of It’s Complicated, you’re in luck. I should be ordering a second print run next week, and you can order your copy for $16 (with $5 shipping) here.

Other things!

Two Scooters Press should be launching our website soon, along with a forum on The Forge. Also, we’re so jazzed and energized from the con that we’ve got a bunch of projects which are swiftly gaining steam..





DexCon fun

16 07 2008

Shreyas and I are headed to DexCon tonight! We will be running:

  • It’s Complicated on Thursday, 7-16, from 2-6 PM (R171)
  • Mist-Robed Gate on Thursday, 7-16, from 8 PM-12 AM (R182)
  • It’s Complicated on Saturday, 7-19, from 9 AM-1 PM (R249)

We have to HURRY back to Western Mass after that last round of IC, so if you want hangout time, find us before then. Also, we’ll have a bunch of the sweet promotional bookmarks for Mist-Robed Gate to give away. If you’re not going to be at DexCon, one comes with every copy of It’s Complicated, and with every preorder of Mist-Robed Gate.

The bookmark doesn’t look exactly like this, it’s prettier. But it’s close:





It’s Complicated is available for preorder

3 07 2008

Preorders are closed. If you would like to order a copy of this book, you can do so here.

Cashier: How are you?
have them a week or two before GenCon. You can preorder <a
Customer: Do you want the honest answer?

Cashier: Yes.

Customer: I feel like the business end of a donkey. I am extremely hungover and did a mountain of cocaine last night. Now I have to make dinner for a 68-year-old gay artist who is trying to fuck me.

Cashier: I’m… sorry.

Customer: And the woman I love is in another state pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby, and I wish the baby was mine. And I’m sleeping with a dominatrix. And it’s all true.

-From “Overheard in New York”

Do you like stories about happy, functional, well-adjusted people who fall in love with the right people, say the right things, and live happily ever after?

If so, this is definitely not the game for you.

It’s Complicated is a about personality quirks, secrets both dark and embarrassing– but most of all, it’s about convoluted, messy, compelling, and occasionally one-sided relationships. This game is designed to facilitate play in the style of movies like The Royal Tenenbaums, and television shows like Ugly Betty and Pushing Daisies.

It’s probably going to be around 40 pages, 4.25″ x 7″, with color interiors. Art by Shreyas Sampat, layout by Nathan Paoletta, and game by me!

I’m really excited. I hope you are too!

(Also, Shreyas and I may be running a couple games of this and of Mist-Robed Gate at DexCon. Stay tuned!)





JiffyCon and other awesomeness

23 06 2008

JiffyCon Greenfield was this weekend! It was so great. Things got kicked off here at the farm on friday night, when our house was invaded by a ton of cool people. We ate nachos and drank iced tea and watched our favorite movie fight scenes, and a good time was had by all.

The Saturday sessions were great– I played Brennan Taylor’s awesome game called “How We Came to Live Here.” It’s set in a flavor I’ve never really had the taste for, but the structure of the game made it such that I’d love to play it again, and I was actually really drawn in by the color. (Although that night at Meg’s, I talked to him briefly about how great it would be to play a game of it with some Celtic color, because it’d work really well. Shreyas threw up a little in his mouth at the suggestion, but whatever.) I ended up winning a copy of Caper! for the JiffyCon superlatives contest– “Best character name: She Births The Dead.” (My character was known for having stillborn children.)

In the afternoon, Meg, Don Corcoran, and Nathan all joined Shreyas and I for a game of It’s Complicated. Nathan said it best: “Worst. Moon Festival. Ever.” It was a ridiculous game about virgins and unicorns that was a cross between Shakespearean comedy and porn. It went really well though, and I learned that although you might only be able to get through a round of play a session online, you can get through an entire gameboard in 2-3 hours in person. I really enjoyed it, and everyone has expressed a desire to play it again sometime, which makes me really happy.

On Sunday, we playstormed my new game Homecoming: One Soldier’s Story. The premise is something I came up with when Shreyas and I were driving to visit my family in Ohio, since my nephew just got back from a year and a half of bouncing between Iraq and Afghanistan. Meg, Emily, and Nathan were my playstormers, and holy crap, those Imagination Sweatshop people know what they’re doing. I’ve got more than enough material for a first draft, and thanks to Nathan, a super-hot conflict resolution/resource management system I’m really excited about.

It was so great seeing every single one of my favorite people! I wish every day were JiffyCon.

Oh right! I said “Other Awesomeness.” It looks as though I’m going to be doing some photography for one of the versions of Nathan’s amazing game Annalise, which is way exciting! I’m also doing the art and cover for Emily Care Boss’ highly-anticipated, much-beloved Under My Skin. Yay for projects!






Who I wish you were

7 05 2008

So I had a breakthrough on my paper-doll Pygmalion game, Created, yesterday at work. Everything in that post still stands, pretty much.

There are five slots for clothing, right: head, arms, feet, chest, legs. That’s also the order of play, because this is a relationship game. A relationship game where you don’t get under-the-sweater action until the fourth date, apparently. (Not that this game is going to progress in dates.)

The clothes for each slot will be available in two primary colors, and one secondary color. The primaries will represent a personality dichotomy. Example:

Head: Beauty (Yellow) vs. Wit (Red)

Arms: Building (Blue) vs. Performing (Red)

Feet: Grounded (Red) vs. In Clouds (Blue)

Chest: Armored (Red) vs. Bared Heart (Yellow)

Legs: Planted (Blue) vs. Wandering (Yellow)

We’re sticking with primary colors because we’ll need some differentiation for the special third piece of clothing for each slot, which is a secondary color made up of the two primaries. This third piece of clothing (purple, orange, or green depending) represents coming to a halfway point. You can’t start with a piece of secondary clothing, and there is only one piece per clothing slot.

Every time you choose a piece of clothing in character generation, you also write a secret desire/imperfection beneath the piece of clothing which is in opposition to the clothing’s trait. Example: Alexis chooses “Feet: On the ground” on her turn. Beneath the clothing, she writes “I wish you’d dream of something more.” During conflict resolution, when the clothes come off, this secret desire for that character will be revealed.

After resolution, two things happen: first, both characters change the article of clothing for that scene, to reflect how the other person has permanently affected their personality. The change can either be to the opposite color or to the secondary color– but there is only one piece of secondary clothing, so someone changes completely and the other person changes partially.

The second thing that happens is that the desire gets replaced with a lesson. Whereas the desire was written in the voice of the second character, the lesson is written in the voice of the character whose sheet it is.

I realize this is complicated and I’m not explaining super well, because my notes are spotty and I’m not caffeinated. Here is an Example!

CHEST

Douglas has chosen Armored (Red), and Jenny has chosen Bared Heart (Yellow).

The secret desire written on Jenny’s character by Douglas says “I wish you were less sensitive.”

The secret desire written on Douglas’ character by Jenny says “I wish you’d tell me about your past.”

There’s conflict, which I’ve not written the rules for yet.

Jenny replaces Bared Heart (Yellow) with Armored (Red).

Jenny replaces her desire with a lesson: “I won’t let anyone in.”

Douglas replaces his Armored (Red) with Compromise (Orange).

Douglas replaces his desire with a lesson: “I am not an island.”

Essentially the game is about how we’re profoundly affected by the people we love, whether we want to be or not, and how– no matter how sure you are that you want something– sometimes you can never be sure what it is you want at all.





Slowly but surely

2 04 2008

So, a couple nights ago, Shreyas and I are over at JACN’s house, and Joshua shot me a pointed look from across the room.

“Hey,” he says, “So this awesome thing happens to me, ever since I published Shock.”

“Oh?” I venture.

“Yeah. See, when you finish a game, and publish it, sometimes you go
to PayPal and there is money in there. Because people buy your
game. So I guess what I’m saying is, when you publish a game, you get money.

In case I missed the aural italics, Shreyas decided to help. “So you’re basically saying Elizabeth needs to finish It’s Complicated.

“Yes. Yes I am.”

***

It’s going pretty quickly, considering the fact I get access to my computer maybe once a week, tops. (Stupid lack of monitor.) I’m going to overhaul the art (awesome illustrations by the illustrious Shreyas Sampat will be forthcoming), and I need to get talking to the fine printers that JACN has put me in contact with. But someday soon and very soon, once I have a rough cost for my book worked out and a likely pagecount, I’ll be starting pre-orders.

I wasn’t entirely sure if I had the Thatchers to pull off pre-orders, but Sean is running a game of IC at Kubla Con, and in the event listing, he mentions that Complicated is going on pre-order “soon.”

Well, poops. It’s time to get to work.








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