A Magical Year
Yep, this is issue twelve of the new-format Little Mouse Letters. Feels good to have kept this thing going for a year. Whether you’ve been here since the beginning or you’re a recent subscriber, I really cherish having an audience to speak with—it’s a welcome reminder for me to pause and reflect each month, and I hope it’s interesting for you too.
1. One Big Project
It’s been a wild ride for Mousehole Press since the Artefact KS back in 2020.
In two years, we’ve weathered:
four kickstarter projects
four thousand requests for kickstarter project updates
one very longglobal pandemic
one attempt to destroy the USPS
two monumental cock-ups
one rambunctious toddler-turned-kid
and one premature baby
Apart from the really shit times, this venture has been a welcome focus for me. For all the joys of parenthood, it can be thankless, drudging work with a lot of idle time. Being able to think about game mechanics, book formats and art direction during these mundane moments, especially the wee hours of the morning, has become a pillar of my mental health.
My heart wants to write more and more games, to realise the ideas I have nestled away in notebooks and messages and chase that high of productive creativity while I can. Two games a year seemed a practical aim—six months to write a game? Easy.
Except, it’s not just writing, of course. Bucket of Bolts was written in about a month, while delivery took more than a year. Making physical things–even simple things like books–is a painstaking, frustrating process. But it’s amazing to hold my work in printed form and see pictures of you, all over the world, opening up your packages and discovering it for yourselves.
So, I’ve decided to refocus on just one big project a year. A more sensible pace that will hopefully give me space for lower-stakes writing, playing more games and (!) taking evenings off.
As I announced last month, this year’s project is Koriko, launching next week on the 4th October. I really hope it succeeds with aplomb so I can fill it with even more beautiful art and make the printed book into an object of little wonders. I’ve got a patch being made (illustrated by Rachel, the other half of Mousehole Press) which you’ll get for free if you back the project on day one.
To all of you who’ve shared it already, thank you so much—your support is truly, every time, a little burst of sunshine.
2. Two Big Coats
And just like that, summer was over and autumn had begun.
Coats out the loft, wellies dusted off, socks rediscovered. I love this season.
3. Good Stuff
I’m in love with this beautiful old guitar. There’s a demo by the virtuosic Nikos Tsiachris, which probably helps. Shame about that cost of living crisis eh?
I’ve enjoyed watching Masahiro Sakurai’s new channel, full of tips on game design & development. It’s focused on video games, but as always there are plenty of lessons we can consider for the analogue space. This video, ‘Just Let Them Play!’, is a great example—how much time are we asked to wait as players of TTRPGs before we can actually start playing?
This game, Islands & Trains would absolutely destroy my (train-loving) eldest if we showed it to him. I’ve definitely bookmarked it though. I discovered it via the Wholesome Games mailing list, which is a lovely curation of chill & beautiful video games.
Cheers everyone! See you next month.
well, arguably the wild ride started further back with the birth of our first child—but I’m editorialising for effect here.
despite never missing a month…
that I know of, anyway
both bucket of bolts related