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Hillfolk: sneak peek at the art for Secret of Warlock Mountain

28 Jan

ImageRobin D. Laws posted a status update on his Hillfolk tabletop roleplaying game today. Exciting enough, but I was thrilled to see that he included an image that I described to him in an email weeks (months?) ago: the illustration for my Series Pitch “Secret of Warlock Mountain”.

See, in Hillfolk you and your group play characters in an ongoing dramatic series, such as The Sopranos, or Carnivale. The default setting is an Iron Age drama of tribal conflict, but as part of Robin’s recent Kickstarter for the game, he invited people to write “series pitches” for other dramas that gaming groups could choose to play out. For my pitch I imagined a 1960s televisions series that would be a prequel to one of my favorite movies as a kid. (It’s about an orphaned brother and sister with mysterious psychic powers and a map in a metal case. You know the one.)

I don’t want to give away too much about the pitch, so I’ll stop there. Suffice to say that “Secret of Warlock Mountain” got accepted into the game’s companion book Blood On The Snow, and I responded to Robin’s request for an art brief with a detailed description of the image in my head. I even included a link to a reference photo I found showing “ordinary Joe” type young men circa 1965.

And look! Here it is, in living color by Jonathan Wyke. Very neat.

New short story in Midgard Preview from Kobold Press

26 Oct

Midgard Preview coverMy very short story “At the Sign of the World Serpent” is one of two pieces of fiction in Midgard Preview, which you can download free from Kobold Press. DriveThruRPG named Midgard Preview the Free Product of the Week in the current issue of its e-newsletter.

The other piece of fiction in the book  is by best-selling author and award-winning game designer Jeff Grubb. The credits also include Ben McFarland, who just won a gold ENnie award at Gen Con, and Wolfgang Baur who is…well, he’s Wolfgang Baur. It’s an honor to be included, is what I’m saying.

It also makes me think that “Grubb and Rockett” would be a great name for a business in a steampunk story. Maybe they’d make rocket packs.

WTIA gamification panel recap at Weber Shandwick Seattle blog

16 Jul

At the WTIA gamification panel The fine people at the Washington Technology Industry Association’s Gaming Community invited me to be on a panel discussing gamification, along with BigDoor’s Jeff Malek and Bobber Interactive’s Scott Dodson. Our moderator was Kraig Baker of Davis Wright Tremaine.

Several of my colleagues from Weber Shandwick Seattle were in the audience, and wrote a nice recap on the agency’s blog entitled Gamification: The Next Big Thing. Also, check out BigDoor’s recap of the event.

I used the phrase, “notional author of the experience” during the panel in order to address the question of whether playing a game alone is a social activity. Thankfully nobody punched me.

(Photo by Elaine Norton)

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