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What About Nesting Them?

Last week I completed the fifth draft of a relatively new game idea, threw it into layout, and printed ten copies for some generous backers on an indiegogo funding campaign. It looks pretty princely, if I may say.

The game is called The Cacophony.

In this story game, a murder of crows psychically picks insights from the minds of an established cast of characters. After much discussion, they take to the sky.

What I’m most proud of is its reliance on another role-playing or story game, which must be played partially through, then paused. The Cacophony uses the scattered papers on the table as a play-space, draws inspiration from the paused game (which The Cacophony refers to as The Tale That Hangs), and makes judicious additions to that game’s fiction before letting it unpause & careen merrily on its way.

Also, you can teach it in 5 minutes and play it in 10, so it nestles right into a game session, no problem. So, cool, another door swings open into a new wing of game design possibilities. Let’s start nesting them!

Ah, it bears mention that The Cacophony will become available to non-backers at Fabricated Realities 2013, should that year end up occurring after all. It also bears mentioning that without the loving eyes & thoughts of Morgan Stinson, Em Stinson, Orion Canning, Joe Mcdaldno, and Robert Bruce, The Cacophony would be a bird of a dull feather indeed.

You’re welcome for all the bird puns.

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These things take forever, I especially am slow.

I’m very glad to open the door to this website – thanks for coming to check it out. I have a constant internal tension between aligning things (any things, all things) with my aesthetic ideals, or instead preparing those things for easiest usability & comprehension.

What you see is the current state of that balance – in some places one desire has won out clearly over its twin, other places wear a mish-mash. I hope you like what I’ve done with the place.

The sun is still out these days; August is leaving us but we’ve got a handful of weeks before we start dreading the overcast skies again here in the Pacific Northwest region of North America.

Thanks for reading.

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This is a placeholder. Good things can be placeholders, too – you can love something and know that it is temporary; indeed, all things that we love are. Since we love each thing differently, your love for a placeholder needn’t be startling or upsetting to you.

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Returning To The Well

So I’m participating in the Game Chef “competition” again this year, which for me has suddenly become an annual thing – this is my third year making something for it, though last year that was mostly just within my local community.

(Game Chef hands participants a deadline of nine days, some number of thematic or mechanical ingredients of which each individual selects a few and then undertakes to make a playable early draft of a tabletop or otherwise analog imaginative game. Lots of indie roleplaying games and story games have begun this way.)

This putting aside of current projects and focusing on specific dictated constraints – it’s a meditation for me; a pilgrimage to a place within. Once each year there is a celebration week, sort of, it’s a way to measure time and show when you’ll return to that doorway where you’ve been been marking your height and stand up tall, balance the ruler back and make the line. How much have I grown?

And growth isn’t linear, not in this internal creative way. But to go there, to return unadorned to the source and say quietly “I shall use these tools and no others, I shall combine only these things and it will be I myself which makes the glue, draws the connecting lines, unavoidably shines through.”

It’s a powerful and raw thing. The beauty of each global participant in their beloved city or town riding those busses home from work or drumming their hands on steering wheels or handlebars at stoplights musing to themselves, looking at faces, looking at trees and shadow, thinking –

Play it only once; Last Chance.
Coyote. Doctor.

It’s like a spell. And then each with their personalized toolkit this year: four old and never-thought-to-be-again-valuable dead-end threads from a soon-to-be-abandoned internet forum. Brilliant, and fitting.

I love thinking about them out there. It helps me start the work here. The line drawing, the dreaming. The returning, unadorned, to the well.