I just reprinted them before GenCon, and am very happy to have them again. However, one day I’ll commission him to make ME my own coffee-ring card (click on his name above, if you missed it).
* I went to Ambercon 2010 for the first time in many years this past March. I co-ran a terrific dark superheroes game, “Where Angels Fear to Tread.”
* Just got back from GenCon, where I bought too many games (lots of Trail of Cthulhu,Armitage Files, Delta Green, and Ganonoque: the ice-people who fear the dawn is coming) and have a head filled with too many ideas.
* I’m in THE BONES. Why do you not own this book yet? It is very good.
* I will be at FanExpo 2010 in one week!
Look at how the dust has collected.
It has been…Lord, it’s been a year since I’ve been here. Time for some serious clean-up.
As you may have gathered from my recent Tweets / Status updates / etc., I’m going to be at FanExpo this weekend, in Toronto.
I can be found – despite whatever the program says – Sat. afternoon at 4pm on the panel:
“The Video Gaming Industry: Overview and Opportunities”
Had drinks last night with a buddy of mine that I worked with last year. We talked about my comic script, and his action movie short, and general catch-up. It was a good night to sit on a patio and drink beer, even in the chill pre-autumn.
We spent most of the evening talking about his script (or so it seemed to me), but that’s fine. My work – for True Ink – is in fairly solid shape for a second draft. I expect it will change a little before I’m through with it, but I’m set for
The only show I’m going to make it to this summer is the Fan Expo in Toronto.
I’m listed as a “Special Appearance,” which…I dunno. I think it means I’m on a panel or two, and I guess I get to wander the hall and exclaim, “No, I do NOT sign body parts!”
I might make it in for a bit on Friday night, but primarily I’ll be at the con on Saturday. Once I know the schedule, I’ll post it here. While I’m mostly repping myself at the show, I plan to say good things about Green Ronin, White Wolf, and of course, Ganz.
The gaming guests are listed here (and it’s a good list).
And the main page is here.
Honestly, this looks like it’s going to be a great year (check out the comic and SF…I won’t say SyFy…sections of the above link). Great to see how big FanExpo has grown since its early days.
Hope to see you at the show!
I have been given the greenlight to talk about Family Games: The 100 Best. Think of it as a companion volume to Hobby Games: The 100 Best, which I wrote about continuously last year.
I’m in *very* good company once again. As I said before, they got 99 great game designers, and then they asked me to fill out the roster. With any luck I’ll win another 1/99 of an award or two – trust me, I don’t mind. Enough with the self-deprecating humor. Check out this list:
Insert usual responses as to why this blog hasn’t been updated in awhile – work, holidays, personal development projects, and so forth – and of course I may “make a resolution” to update more, but I’d only be lying to myself.
On the home front, well, things are busy. If you are in the need to know, you should know. If you think you are, but don’t, shoot me an email and we’ll sort it out. 🙂
Two interesting links to point out.
First, Rich Danksy, the Tom Clancy Czar of Red Storm, has a solid essay on writing for the video game industry entitled, “Young Industry My Sweet Patootie, You Goldurn Whippersnappers.” It’s posted up at Storytellersunplugged (which is kind of an ugly name, but whatever)
His essay is a nice exploration of the challenges of writing for games. It debunks some of the classic arguments, and has an optimistic look towards the future. But it also examines the realistic hurdles of working as a writer. It’s a nice companion piece to my “Pencils to Pixels.”
The second article is on Reputation, by Brian “Psychochild” Green. He discusses managing one’s professional reputation given the small, incestuous nature of the industry.
One of the points I raised in the comments is: how carefully should one tread in online space, such as a keeping a blog? There’s obvious things not to post (such as exactly what you did during your downtime at a conference in Vegas), and then there’s personal choices. I don’t post much about my private home life, for example. (see Sanya’s post from last Feb for a similar reasoning).
Brian answered my comment thusly:
As you point out, it cuts both ways. I think it’s also just one element to what you can do to build reputation. There is a core of people who read my blog, for example, but many more that know me from my M59 work, or my conference talks, etc. I get some useful contacts from blog posting, but I get a lot more from personal contacts.
So, a blog can help. Standing out from the crowd by being a big ranter can also help. But, it can also hurt. Luckily Scott’s a pretty good guy in person, so a lot of people have forgiven him for his earlier ranting. He knows now that he was severely off the mark in many ways (and painfully on the mark in others), and he’s been a pretty decent guy about it.
Anyway. So go read about writing and reputation and tell me what *you* think about ’em.
The meek did not inherit the Earth.
Welcome to the Twilight of the age. In the early 2000s, the governments of the world slowly collapsed and various social institutions crumbled in the face of accelerated social change. Almost by default, the superheroes took over. While the duties were unwanted and unasked for, the superheroes have become a new feudal royalty, offering a government and civic authority to those under their province. The world’s citizens find themselves in an upheaval more abstract and bizarre than any period, yet every bit as violent as the worst social and civil revolutions. As their institutions disintegrate in the wave of change, they cling to the various superhero clans who represent the only anchor of stability in this rapidly altering world.
Twilight of the Superheroes is a near urban legend, a pitch given by Alan “Watchmen / V for Vendetta” Moore. A very full version of it can be found on the web (such as here).
[The goal] is to create a storyline that lent the whole superhero phenomenon, the whole cosmos and concept a context that was intensely mythic and we extracted from the characters involved in it their last ounce of mythic potential, aiming at coming up with something that cements the link between superheroes and the Gods of legend by attempting something as direct and resonant as the original legends themselves. One legend in particular will be the main thematic drift of the storyline, this being the Norse legend of Ragnarok, twilight of the Gods.
I bring Twilight of the Superheroes up because I got a very unusual, and kinda neat email earlier this week. A gamer and seemingly cool dude named Sam sent me a note that read, in part:
So I’m GMing a superhero RPG based around “Twilight of the Superheroes”, the story proposal by Alan Moore. In the proposal, Moore talks about the idea making for an awesome superhero RPG setting, and I tend to agree; on the other hand, the actual plotline presented in the book doesn’t easily lend itself to gaming, given that it’s basically “Everyone follow Constantine around. Check out how awesome he is!”
Sam Googled Twilight + RPG and lo and behold he got a hit on me – because a few years ago (c2003) I co-wrote and co-ran a con scenario directly inspired by this. And Sam wanted to know if I had any notes that I might be cool to share. I’ve thought about using this blog/thinger to post some old game ideas. I don’t have as deep an archive as I probably should, but this is a good push to revisit that idea.
So I’m going to do up a few posts on our Twilight game, and try to put the files up for anyone who is interested. Back in 2003 I was in the thick of Silver Age Sentinels, The Authority RPG adaption, and the Amber community with Mark MacKinnon. It was a good time with the horizon bright and full of potential. And we (Mark & I) approached Ambercon as a challenge in game design. When the big mega-games worked, it was the fine wine of role-playing (or at least a hearty European beer). When they didn’t, well, it was still a weekend with great friends.
A year or two previously, our pal Prestor John had run the fantastic “Gods” game at Ambercon. It was the end times. We were gods from any and all pantheons. It was based in the Mt. Olympus Casino in Vegas. It was awesome.
So Mark and I riffed on the scope of that game. Ambercon was becoming a place to experiment with other diceless stories. We wanted to run a superhero game, and were fairly taken with The Authority and Planetary view of “mature superhero stories.” I can’t remember if I dug up the Alan Moore Twilight document from my files, or if Prestor John recommended it to me (his knowledge of mythology, and the occult, and superheroes is invaluable), but as soon as we read it we knew it was the perfect cornerstone.
We decided to blend the Marvel & DC Universes to have a greater pool of iconic characters. And we needed to use recognizable characters to get the players into the game more quickly. That’s one of the great things about the Amber DRPG and Ambercon — if you are playing an Amber game, all the players have a common basis of knowledge, and many of the characters exist from game to game (either as NPCs or even players, in many cases, when they play Zelazny’s “Elder” Amberites). As long as the players in our superhero game were playing Superman or Spider-man or Captain America, and NOT Batroc the Leaper or Speedball, it would be a short cut for getting into the meat of the game.
And we roped Prestor John in to help script the story, and to play as a “directed NPC” (not quite a GM, but more “scripted” than a player; consider him directly tied to the plot, and then given fairly free reign). John brought his “Dr. Deimos” mad-scientist to the game, and we spitballed from there.
In future posts I’ll try to explore the game from a few different angles. Feel free to poke me if there’s anything you’d like to know more about.