It’s been two months since I became unemployed and started picking up a couple of freelance jobs to occupy the time and bring in some cash to keep things afloat. My original expectation was to have a couple of minor jobs here and there in between working on various Broken Ruler projects, including Duel and HPS Legends… but things have been much busier than expected. In a good way, don’t get me wrong.
So I thought I’d share the stuff I’m working on and what I’ve finished up recently to showcase some of the exciting stuff that will release in the coming months. Strap in, kids, ’cause this one’s gonna take a while.
Adventurer Conqueror King: The Heroic Fantasy Handbook and Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu
If you’ve ever done layout before and haven’t tackled an OSR game like ACKS, it is a major challenge. Not just because games like ACKS are a couple hundred pages each with hundreds of spells, monsters, etc., but because character styles are crucial in presenting the game to players and GMs. Each of these games presents spells in italics (or bold, as the case is with ACKS), for example, and there’s no room for error there. Starting mid-December, I started work on the Heroic Fantasy Handbook for the line and with the near-final copy in backers’ hands right now, this is a project I’m happy to list on my Everything I’ve Done page. This week, I started on the Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu supplement and the tricks and tactics learned from the last book have already helped me pick up speed on the layout for this second book.
Third Eye Games
It dawns on me now that I didn’t make any kind of announcement here on the blog, so let’s make it official for those of you who haven’t heard yet. I’m now the Design Manger for Third Eye Games, which means I’m in charge of the graphics for everything produced by Eloy Lasanta’s company. New and updated logos, marketing, and more. We’ve already updated their main logo (as you can see on the right), created one of the Darklands supplement for the Mermaids Adventures line, started work on the H.P. Lovecraft Preparatory Academy RPG (launching on Kickstarter next week), and began designs on the Pip System Starter Box set. While this position is part-time (about 10-15 hours a month), there’s no shortage of work with 3EG, that’s for sure. You can check out my handiwork on the 3EG site as it’s released.
Fragments: Duel and By The General’s Hand
After some additional, last minute revisions and Vince’s editing touches, the layout on Duel is complete and this free mini-game should be ready to release in the next couple of weeks. You can learn more about this game on the BRG site. There have been some really sweet goodies added into this game with the help of Ryan Hennesy, including some divine influence from the gods who will either approve or disapprove of your duel. I’d like to spoil some more but you’ll just have to wait a couple more week to see for yourself.
This game’s the first in a line of free games called Fragments. They’re my shot at smaller games normally outside my wheelhouse, each one using a unique system that’s either been sitting in my brainpan for a while or simply came to mind at the drop of a hat. The next one is called By The General’s Hand, a letter-writing RPG where two players take on the role of generals presenting the results of an ongoing war. The unique feature is that each letter is actually written to a fictional loved one back home with the results of a player’s dice rolls encoded into the letter. I’m hoping Vince and I can start a playtest of General by next week and include our correspondence in the final version of the game.
After responding to an open call for adventure writers last month, I had a great call with Dustin DePenning on a one-shot/convention game for his dark sci-fi RPG, Synthicide. It’s about a future where robots have more rights than humans and players take on the role of sharpers working on either side of the galaxy and the law. As much as I’d like to spoil the plot behind this adventure, that’s not gonna happen just yet. What I can say is that the PCs will have to confront a plot involving corporate espionage, cloning, and the very nature of humanity vs. synthetics as they are falsely accused of a crime they didn’t commit. My plan is to have this finished by the end of the month so Dustin can add in the mechanical goodies, artwork, layout, and more. I’ll keep everyone posted on how this project progresses.
High Plains Samurai
There’s only a little more than a month until the first official HPS book, Legends, launches as a free PDF (with the option to buy a full colour or B&W softcover copy). I’ve mentioned this a lot lately, so you can learn more about HPS Legends right here. Vince and I are working on proof copies with a goal to have physical copies available at Breakout, Indie Press Revolution, and maybe even a few local gaming stores.
But there’s more going on too. Remember the name Ryan Hennesy from above? Well, Ryan is working with me on designing a website for HPS. It will not only become the main website for the game but the home to the Atlas of the One Land, a special feature unlocked during the Kickstarter. The Atlas will provide additional locations, supporting characters, monsters, legends, and anything else we can think up from actual games played by anyone. Think of it as the expansion of the One Land. It’s a project I’m very excited about and having Ryan working on the web design will create something far sharper than I could design. For now. 😉
There’s also the looming deadline to finish the core rulebook and I’ll admit this particular one may bleed over into March. I’m working on the settings chapter on and off over the past couple of weeks before polishing off the players/GM advice chapter and wrapping it up with an unlocked chapter on playing villains in the One Land. That one’s gonna be fun. Add on all the marketing that will go into plugging Legends and this project is really starting to take on a life of its own. Kind of in a do-or-die moment right now, which makes me so happy to have a team on board to help cross the finish line.
Fraser Ronald’s Patreon
I love me some sweat equity deals. So when Fraser was looking for some help with cover and logo designs for his Patreon games and I was looking for writers to add content to the Atlas of the One Land, a deal was struck that would shake the world! Or at least help both of us out in a pinch. Right now, I’m working on the cover design for Broken Tiger, a Korean action RPG based on Fraser’s Nefertiti Overdrive (you can check out the current low-res draft of the cover to the right).
The Unread Files
Finally, I’d like to share a pet project of mine on G+. If you’ve ever downloaded PDFs of games, odds are you have a collection of them that have maybe been opened but never read. Yeah, same here. So I started up a community called The Unread Files as an RPG book club for older RPGs that have never been read. For our first month, we’re discussing fantasy heartbreakers, including Old School Hack, OSRIC, Barbarians of Lemuria, and Circle of Hands. Check it out and join in on the discussion; we’re also going to set the theme for March in the next week or so.
Ok, wait… is that it? Not exactly. There are a couple of small design projects for freelance clients not worth mentioning here (because they’re not cool RPGs), but suffice it to say my list is rather extensive. It’s been nice to have a lot to work on and while this freelance thing may only be short term, living the dream for even a couple of months has been it’s own reward.
These things won’t finish themselves. Time to get back to work.