Into the Fold
Hi! In typical last-minute fashion, here’s January’s letter. I hope it finds you well.
1. Getting it Out
It’s been such a delight this month seeing the Bucket / Artefact project come to fruition in print form.
I’m really thankful for the working relationship I’ve built up over the past few years with my printer, Dizzy Ink. When I got the first run of ‘The Artefact’ printed with Mixam (the yellow one), I uploaded all the files to their website and a week later a box of zines arrived. This is a world away from the setup I have now, where Craig & the team at Dizzy will chat paper & ink, send over test prints, share videos of the books being printed and finished, and just generally go above and beyond to make my products as awesome as they can be.
So, if you’re receiving a zine from me in the next month or so and are struck by some variation of ‘wow, this is awesome’, well it’s mostly thanks to Dizzy. Tag ‘em, shout them out, let them know they’re great!
2. Keeping it In
It’s January, which is as good a time as any to be looking ahead. My work on Bucket of Bolts is (finally) pretty much complete, and it’s fun to be planning what’s next.
But there’s a but. I’ve teased The Slow Knife in a few places over the past couple of months, but not said much more. I read something a long while ago1 about creative work, and the trap of sharing too much of your work too soon. Not from a fear of theft or ridicule, but because it feels real good to tell everyone what you're working on—to the point where it can actually sap some of the psychological 'reward' that you get for finishing a damn project.
I've definitely found that when I'm really excited to talk about a game I'm working on, it's more productive to channel that energy towards working on the project rather than getting all excited on Twitter2. I fully understand that it probably hurts my 'marketing plan' to take this approach, but at this point in my life I find finishing project far more challenging than funding them3, so here we are.
So, yeah! Here is yet another mild teaser for my next project. It involves… arrows? chalk?? knives??? Sorry!
I'm really looking forward to sharing more when I’m ready, which will hopefully be next month. I think it's a really cool concept, and we've got some fun physical props to figure out too. Plus, the illustrator we’ve got lined up is incredible. Prepare yourself to get hyped…
3. Good Stuff
Every month, I’ll share a few choice links that have caught my eye.
This hardcover second edition of The Wizards and the Wastes is really beautiful, and a stunning example of how intricate illustrations aren’t everything in RPG book design (though, I do love them!). I’ll definitely be picking up a copy from a UK retailer when it makes its way over here4
I loved this blog from Meguey Baker about rituals in tabletop gaming and game design. It’s always fascinating to read something that we instinctively know is true (that sitting down to play games with people is its own kind of ritual) explored in a formal, structured manner. It also made me think about the ritual of the games I run, which usually have a big break in the middle labelled ‘one of my kids woke up and won’t stop crying’.5 😬
I’ve been researching cargo bikes recently. We’re thinking about how to juggle the school/preschool shuffle with two kids, possibly in different directions, without acquiescing to the dreaded second car. This article, and blog in general, seems to have a good amount of practical advice for carting kids around like the heavy, meaty parcels they are. If any of you have taken the plunge on a cargo bike, I’d love to hear more about your experience!
I think next month is gonna be pretty big, and not just because it’s my birthday. In the meantime, congratulations for getting through what is often the longest month of the year!
Can’t for the life of me remember where I read it! Let me know if it rings a bell for you.
I definitely still share some bits though, I'm only human!
Which is, of course, both a blessed and challenging position to be in.
International shipping is wild!
Sorry gang! We’ll get out of the subway eventually.