All posts by Newt

Games Designer, Publisher, Web Developer, Dad.

The excitement has returned!

Man I’m more excited about D101 than I have been for a long time.

You see in recent years D101 had become this big list of things to do, like a pile of High School homework, while work and family became more demanding. Things started to drag as a result, and the only thing driving me on was sheer tenacity on my part and an obligation to get out the books that other people had worked on or were looking forward to. I think if it had not been for that I would have probably put D101 on hiatus.

But now my home and work have settled down, mainly because I’m better at coping with it, and the big block in the release tube that is OpenQuest 2 is done dusted, shipping to backers as I type and about to go on general release ( either tomorrow or next week). I’ve also gathered Paul Mitchener’s Tomb of the Necromancers together with some sweet artwork  which compliments Paul’s writing (which completely NAILS what I was trying to convey with C&T 🙂 ).  The light at the end of the tunnel suddenly is shining very brightly in my face 😀

This weekend I’m off to my favourite (and UKRoleplayers.com‘s) rpg convention. The small but perfectly formed Furnace in Sheffield’s Garrison Hotel (an old Napoleonic era Barracks, just off its old parade ground which is now a supermarket ) where its all about the games. No Larps, no stoopid trade hall (although there is a couple of enthusiastic traders) just 60 games over in a relaxing atmosphere. BRING IT ON!

D101 turned 5 last July, the anniversary of our first release Hearts in Glorantha issue 1, so when I get back as well as the usual fun of writing/producing I will be kicking off birthday celebrations which will last to the end of the year.

That’s all for now!

Knuckling under

Conpulsion 2013 was fantastic, and while I was only able to stay one day fully the mad awesome fun I had Friday-Sat means that this going to be my annual “break out of Winter” con. Hats off to Phil Harris and Greggor Hutton for refining last years format and taking it forward. Cast solid gold recommend from me 🙂

One of the highlights of Conpulsion was Friday night when I got to sit down with almost the full membership of the Collective Endeavour. I’ve spent the last year or so in a mental locked box of confusion about where D101 is going, so it was glad to get more than a few things straightened out from these chaps who have a fair weight of publishing experience behind them.

Unfortunately Conpulsion was cut short by issues at home and I’m gutted my planned visit to UK Games Expo (which is on like now) fell victim to this as well. With the house extension done I was hoping for things to return to ‘normal’. I’m now once again rolling with the changes and fitting D101 alongside that, which is a more realistic way of looking at things.

I’m now in a period that I’m firming up D101. First order of the day is working solid on the games that have to go out. OpenQuest 2 is the absolute priority, with River of Heaven coming next. Getting better at business is also a big aim. Getting a web store up and running for direct sales (I’ve still got a pile of stock from last years Continuum!) and making print editions available at Drivethrough for a start.

This and getting my home group back up and going for playtesting and fun are my priorities until I hit the last quarter of the year where I get to be out and about again. Furnace in Sheffield Oct 19-20 is up first (if you haven’t signed up yet, get in now last ten or so places last I looked) , this is more about me kicking back running games. Its followed by Dragonmeet in London on 7th December, where I’ll be in full sales mode with the D101 stall 🙂

 

Overview of D101 games as it whizzes past your nose!

I should have done a big state of the D101 at the beginning of the year, but I was up to my neck with Real Life™ stuff. If I had have done it would have had the cheesy title of “2013: The year of Mega Gaming Fun!” and I would have outlined all the fun stuff that I have planned to come out with this year.

2012 personally felt as if there was a bit of a spanner in the works due family issues. But despite this I learnt that D101 is a Juggernaut of a Beast that trundles on even when I’ve got less of an iron grip on the wheel. Look at what got released last year!!!

2013 has been quiet so far, with only the print release of Worlds of Wordplay (which has done quite nicely) with LOTS of stuff lined up for release later in the year. I’m going to keep quiet about specifics until I’ve got first drafts in, but so far lined up are:

  1. OpenQuest 2
  2. Savage North (The Directors Cut)
  3. Life and Death (expanded edition)
  4. Here Be Dragons (a new OQ adventure setting, Think Jason and the Argonauts meet Clark Ashton Smith directed by Ray Harryhausen)
  5. The River of Heaven (D100 Scifi by John Ossoway).
  6. Tomb of the Necromancer ( by Paul Mitchener for Crypts and Things )
  7. Dark Corners of the Empire a fantasy setting for Worlds of Wordplay/Wordplay
  8. Hearts in Glorantha 6 + 7 (content is already written, realised I had enough material for two issues!)
  9. Gloranthan Adventures issue 2 (Long overdue Lunar adventures book, art being produced and scenarios being revised)
  10. Project Darklight ( A stand alone Wordplay Cyberpunk game )
  11. The Ministry of Thunder ( an adventure/setting supplement for Monkey, a compilation of all the scenarios I’ve run at cons over the years).

Plus a ton of stuff bubbling under the surface for C&T, The Company, a big setting book for Glorantha ( on the size of the Book of Glorious Joy ), Wordplay and possibly FATE (if I can grok the system).

But hey more on that once I’ve got the behemoth that is OpenQuest 2 out the door 😉

 

 

Conpulsion 2012 con-report

Teviot Union, Edinburgh
Look its Hogwarts!
(aka Teviot Union, Edinburgh Uni)

A bit of a quick review here, mainly as a bit of positive propaganda on my part to publicise this VERY VERY fine convention to folk outside the region.

The Quick and the short. Conpulsion is a two day gaming convention held at Teviot Union, Edinburgh University , traditionally over the Easter Weekend (although this years is week after 12-14th). 2012’s incarnation covered RPGs, LARPS, Boardgames and games for kids. It was attended by young perky student types and old crusty Grognards like myself. A gaming con for everyone!  Despite being under new management, it was very well organised and atmosphere was very friendly.

The Long and the drawn out…..(with Pictures)…..read on.

Continue reading Conpulsion 2012 con-report

Where’s Wombat?

For those of you faithfully following the progress of Wombat, my rules lite narrative game, here’s the latest.
Rather annoyingly Wombat is on the back burner until I get OpenQuest 2 out the door.
Silver lining, I’ve managed to get the core dice mechanic allot more robust.
I’m hoping to get a play test version out in Feb/Mar, and will announce loudly when I do. Its very very likely to be a public play test, given the Creative Commons nature of the Free version of the Rules.

Weekends are cool :)

Hurrah its the weekend! Counting down the days to TWO FULL WEEKS off at Christmas.

Started layout testing on OQ2 (which is now full colour 🙂  – which is a little too ‘red/orange’ at the moment. Still a blast seeing the full intro chapter come off my colour inkjet:)

Did a quick run on River of Heaven’s intro chapter, which by contrast is a very clean no-art B&W affair.  Commissioning art this weekend. Plans for a Kickstarter brewing, so backers can have the rules san art (which is what the KS is for) once the Goal is reached.

On the Crypts and Things front, looking to get the first UK Masters Scenario Temple of Urshruuk by Rik Kershaw Moore out before Xmas.

Gaming wise rather taken by Dungeon World, which we are about to launch into a short intensive campaign.

Not doing a Kickstarter for Worlds of Wordplay

Finally after a disrupted month of family stuff and illnesses, got the final print draft of Worlds of Wordplay off to Lulu for a FINAL print proof. So fingers crossed, later this week/early next for release 🙂 Decided against doing a Kickstarter for this and the rest of upcoming D101 Wordplay releases, an option I had been mulling over.

Briefly if I had done it it would have been Worlds of Wordplay immediately after the KS had ended, followed by the next 3 D101 Wordplay releases as they came out. So that’s Wordplay Fantasy (Dark Corners of the Empire), Wordplay Cyberpunk (Project Darklight) and Wordplay Lovecraft (R’yleh Rises/Book of Madness and Mystery) as full books, with stretch goals being extra content in the form of GMs advice and adventures. The whole campaign would have been billed as the “D101 Wordplay subscription”.

Reasons for not doing it?

  1. I want the game out, not delayed for another 3 months.
  2. I’ve just done and OQ2 Indiegogo campaign and I’m quite burnt out by the process. I also sense a certain fatigue amongst you good folks out there in RPGland.
  3. I want the book/game to grow organically. Go on Wordplay folks pick the book up and preach it to the masses 😉
  4. By not promising content that hasn’t yet been written, I free myself from the stress of deadlines/expectations and can have fun writing it. Which will lead to better books 🙂

Yeah there are also counter points to the above, but on the whole I feel happier releasing Wordplay in a straight forward way via POD when its done 🙂

Coming soon….

Been a week of work and family stuff, but as usual D101 ticks over in the background. Some amazing developments on the OQ2 front, new stuff for C&T in the pipeline and some robust support for Monkey on the way. Not to mention an incoming Worlds of Wordplay, with a new announcement on supporting material…..all for next week 😉 Have a good weekend amigos!

Looking Big and finding Small, Looking Small and Finding Big

I have had a lot of days recently when I’ve been feeling low about D101 Games. This has been purely a reflection of my personal circumstances. We were out of our home in rented accommodation for a good eight months and just as that was reaching a boiling point of stress and anxiety my father was taken ill with terminal lung cancer. After a short but brutal fight he died a month later.  All this has thrown my carefully laid plans of world domination out of synch. Now that the dust has settled I’m desperately trying to pick up the pieces and get things back on track.

While trying to get my head around the ever thorny one of “where I’m I up to with D101” ,I have a saying that arose from me looking at the sales figures for D101 Releases that is helping me no end.

“When you look for big you will find Small. When you look small you will find BIG!” 

This reflects an observation I made, that if I’m looking at the figures expecting mega-bucks, I’m let down. If however I approach the figures in a more humble state of mind, I get to see how successful every D101 title has been, even the more obscure ones which had by necessity small production costs. Its a more Taoist way of looking at stuff, which fits in with my personal belief systems and makes me happy.  Oh and before you mistakenly say “You’ll never make any money out of RPGs”, lets just say D101 Games is a business, where artists and authors do get paid and I’ve built it to the point that I can occasionally draw money into the family finances. Sure it doesn’t replace the day job, which to be honest is easy money by comparison, but as far as learning on the job and having to do it part-time in any bit of time I can find after the high demands of my job and family, I’m doing very well thank you very much 🙂  Another example of looking “Looking Big and finding Small, Looking Small and Finding Big” 🙂

One vital and naturally arising element of this view, is the constant support I get from for wont of a better word “The Fans”. While D101 may not get wider recognition in an industry sense of getting huge coverage on RPG.net and wining (or even being nominated) for awards, I get a constant stream of thank yous and intelligent constructive criticism and questions in my inbox. This in itself is its own reward 🙂  Thank you to all who have contacted me in this way. Your kind comments and interest have literally kept D101 going over the last very bumpy eight months.

Overall this leads me to the conclusion that

D101 Games is a Small Press Games Publisher, who is Wining in a BIG way 🙂

 

 

Warning! Warning Will Robinson! Website update incoming!

Its been at the back of my head for a good six months that d101games.com needs a good updating.  Being a Web Professional this should be a piece of cake. However there is a trade off between putting shiny new features on t’website and getting books out.

  • An online store. So you can buy books/pdfs from me directly. This one is a no brainer, but how far this is all integrated with the rest of the site. In fact there is a case for the Online store to become the site.
  • Continued support of the blogs. Personally I love blogging and some of the D101 authors have started to use their blogs too. I want to update/enhance this for the next iteration of the site. – UPDATE 22/11/2012 – Done.
  • D101games.com.  I’ve already got this domain, type it in and you’ll get the homepage of the site, but I want it so it maps to all pages of the site. While I’m particularly fond of the .co.uk domain name due to pride in my country, the .com domain name makes a huge difference in a business sense.- UPDATE 22/11/2012 – Done, with appropriate redirects for .co.uk so fingers xed no broken links.
  • A shiny new theme for the website/blogs/sub domains. Some of the site is looking a bit tired and I’ve now got quite a large gallery of images that I can use around the site to perk it up a bit.
  • Discussion/support forums. I know I closed down the previous forums saying I didn’t have a , but I think there’s a case of having at least a ‘Support’ forum for the rules and release date questions I get from time to time.
  • Clean up of navigation. Direct links to main titles, titles I’m working on etc.

Any suggestions, please leave a comment below.