“Turtle” is a Verb

Over in The Kat Box, my wife makes a good point: Identifying and labeling patterns of behavior is useful in understanding how they work, why they happen, and how to change them. Labelling people is the first step on the road to dehumanizing them, turning them into “The Other,” a thing, a non-person. We’ve got to be careful about this.

Maybe I’m just a little touchy about this area, being guilty of treating a player at my table like an outsider lately, in a Dreamation WGP… game. Players may turtle for many reasons. It doesn’t make them “a turtle,” just a player with a problem.

Thor’s Call to Action!

Over in The Well of Urd, Thor had this to say:

what’s next for us as a movement of people that are trying to create and innovate and as people running our own businesses? What do we need to do to improve? How do we market better? How do we distribute our product better?

Since Blogger won’t let me post a comment over there. Here’s my take on things:

Greg C. has been talking about the need for indie computer games at least since he reviewed the NPA. Glad we had some small part.

One thing we can do is to design games that actually fit into people’s busy, busy lives. Low to no prep time. Provides meaningful play in a few (or a single) sessions. Needs only common stuff (no funky polyhedrals). Addresses imagined content that non-gamers can identify with (i.e., no Lasersharking). Be as clear as possible what each player’s options are, and the likely consequence of each option, at each decision point in the game.

Okay, now I’ve stated my design goals for R.I.P. What was the question again? 8^)

Censored for your Amusement

Last night I had to bring some work home with me. Sucks, I know.

The work was going to take more than an hour, but less than 50% brainpower. Kat asked if I’d read Keith’s recent One Angry Polack about Stephen Colbert. I’ve been working a lot.

She said, “I’ll read it to you.”

I nodded my head toward the kitchen where Dalys was doing the dishes. Kat knows I’m a little uncomfortable with too much cussin’ around Dalys.

Kat says, “I’ll beep out the bad words.”

And she does. She reads the whole thing saying “BEEP” everytime Keith’s language gets … colorful. Had both of us in stitches. I’m not sure I can read One Angry Polack without the beeps anymore.

And Oh, What a Lucky Man He Was

Anyone who’s been on the receiving end of that ambrosia called With Great Chili… knows that I’m a lucky man. Anyone who’s gamed with Kat, chatted with her, or read her stories or her insightful LiveJournal knows how fortunate I am have such an intellegent, creative woman by my side.

Yesterday, she went above and beyond.

Shortly before Dreamation, I learned that you didn’t need to be a member of GAMA to enter the Origins Awards, and that the deadline was January 31. I had a few extra copies that I could submit, so I figured I’d do it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

However, both before Dreamation and afterward, I’ve been slammed with overtime. I spent the better part of the weekend in the office. I’ve been coming home drained & cranky. On Monday, the day before the deadline, I just plain didn’t have the gumption to get together all the niggling little stuff they wanted for the application packet. I figured I could pull an all-nighter to enter an award that I had no real chance of winning, or get some sleep before the next long day of work. I picked the sleep.

At work yesterday, Kat calls and says, “Do you have any company letterhead or do I have to make some?”

“Why? Are you doing the Origins Awards?”

“Yes.” Wow. That’s love. She got the entry packet to the post office 8 minutes before they closed.

Isn’t she the greatest?

Dreamation’s nearly upon us!

Lest I be hypocritical, I want everyone to know that I’ll be at Dreamation 2006 this coming weekend, January 20, 21, and 22. I’ll be part of the Indie RPG Explosion. I’ll be running a new With Great Power… event called “They Came From Beyond!” It’s a thematic crossover with Tony Lower-Basch’s Capes tournament. We’re both dealing with world-shattering invasions from beyond. Play in both to experience the strengths of both games.

I’m also nominally in charge of the Room Party. If you’re reading this, you’re invited. If you’d like to bring something, Let Me Know!

And if they all jumped off a bridge…

It’s January and sales data is thick in the air. Here’s a smattering I’ve found:

My sales for With Great Power… since the release of the Full Edition at GenCon in August looks like this:

WGP... 2005 Sales Data

Almost half the year’s sales in the first month, but GenCon skews this pretty badly. I had no conventions in November or December, but IPR made some solid retailer orders. Online orders were up in December, but that was part of the Christmas rush.

Of course, Brennan has reminded me that I would have sold more to individuals and a good deal more to retailers if I had managed to keep the game in stock throughout December. That’s something to be certain to avoid in the future.

Sales were not nearly as bad as I was whining about last week. I originally said that I wanted to sell (and work) 10% as much as Luke. Well, Luke sold out the 1,500 copy first print run of BW Revised in about 5 months, so I’m on target so far. But keeping up will take some work.

This year’s Indie RPG Explosion

Here’s a thought on how the Indie RPG Explosion at GenCon might work:

What if, in addition to any scheduled games people want to run, we schedule an open table in each and every timeslot? We make sure there is at least someone there at the table and that they have *some* game ready to run. Then, this table becomes something of a mini-staging area. Players that show up can hand in their generic tickets and either (A) play in whatever the scheduled GM has prepped, or (B) break off into another game at a different table.

I’m even thinking that there could be a forum where interested players & GMs could coordinate their meetings.

We ask GenCon to plan for overflow from the scheduled game. We agree to collect generics from everyone playing in the room. Everbody’s happy.

I’ll be sure to talk with people about this at Dreamation, then run it past the Forge, then propose it to GenCon.