I haven’t posted a newsletter for a while. I wasn’t enjoying feeling like I should post every month, and part of my drive to find balance this year has me trying to do fewer things that I ‘ought to do’. (still need to do taxes though, unfortunately…)
I think this works well for you too—if you hear from me, it means I have something interesting to share ☺️
If you’re getting this email after opting in from the Koriko project survey, hello and thanks! I make sure not to repeat the KS updates with these emails and, as I said, don’t plan to post here unless I feel like I’ve got something fun to share. I hope you enjoy it!
My work on Koriko is coming to a close, which is very exciting! It’s been a pretty full-on start to this year, with me & Rachel working flat-out to get the design finessed, the (many, many!) prompts written and the layout completed. We’re currently working on the last few illustrations and waiting on a final bit of critical feedback from our editors, and then the book will be complete and ready for printing.
If you’re not a backer, you might not know that I recently announced that we were able to offer a boxed edition of the game too, for a small upgrade fee (you can also preorder it here!). I’m increasingly passionate about the idea that my games should be as ‘ready to play’ as possible—the time between you opening the box and starting your story should be minimal. I was first exposed to this idea by Ross Cowman, perhaps best known as the designer of Fall of Magic, which definitely embodies this ethos. I’m glad that I can offer affordable versions of my games through community copies and digital / DIY editions, but when you’ve decided to set an evening aside to play something I want that to feel as special and frictionless as I can. Being able to offer a boxed version of Koriko with custom cards and dice is a big step in that direction (though, of course, it still works wonderfully with the book alone ☺️)
I’m going to be locking orders for Koriko on the 2nd June, so if you’d like to get your copy as early as possible I’d recommend you preorder soon!
With Koriko wrapping up for me (in a sense—we still have an awful lot of coordination and fulfilment to oversee!), I’m starting that fun process of looking over my design ideas and deciding what I’m in the mood to pursue next.
I know that I need to figure out a reprint of Artefact and Bucket of Bolts, so the likeliest candidate is a third game in that series. I read Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro last year and it immediately made me want to make a game that told the story of an artificial companion and their many… friends? owners?
I think it’s really cool with Artefact and Bucket how people have used them to create stuff for their campaign games, and I think it’d be pretty fun if the robot on your ship, or your cyberpunk android, or your magical golem (!) had this kind of backstory too.
Expect to hear more about this later in the year, unless I get distracted by some other bright idea…
After a fairly long dry spell, we’re back playing RPGs in our weekly group. We kicked things off with City of Winter, the sequel (?) to Fall of Magic. Who doesn’t need more scrolls in their life?
Where Fall of Magic has a ‘fellowship’ vibe, and is very much about the journey and your relationship to the central character (the ‘magus’), City of Winter has you playing as a loose family group migrating across the world. It focuses on the traditions that your group maintains, and how those traditions change as you encounter new cultures and deal with losses. It’s not as straightforward as Fall of Magic—we’ve had to work hard at times to make the prompts feel more like ‘traditions’ and less like transient story beats, but when it hits it really hits. My character passed away in our last session, and I was able to play out the process of this person fading to memory in the minds of those remaining—with all the guilt and expectations you might imagine! Lumbering the next generation with the burdens of tradition, how’s that for a bit of fun on a Wednesday night?
In less game-related news, last weekend we had our first night away from the kids in almost five years. It’s amazing how you don’t even need to do that much (wander around some shops, enjoy the sunshine, eat some good food, go to a gig) to feel very lucky indeed. Hopefully it won’t be another five years till we can manage it again 😅
Other than that, I’m spending a good amount of time staring at the (sealed) box for the new Zelda game on my desk and trying my best not to open it—I know how ruinous it’s going to be for all the useful things I’m trying to do with my life once I break that seal…
But maybe I could play it just for like, half an hour? That would be fine….right?
Thanks for reading, everyone! See you all next time.
Besotted with the idea of a game about artificial companions! I've been thinking about it in idle moments since first reading this newsletter, and thought I should come back to tell you! So excited for Koriko. x
Thank you for the update! If you end up doing anything with golems in Klara (or in general), please use a Jewish sensitivity reader 🙏