Monday, September 23, 2013

It's been an age, hasn't it?

I've left this blog fallow for quite a long time. I think my last post was in June and even it wasn't very long. Status updates, though, are good for the people who found out about Before Iron and ACTION MOVIE WORLD: FIRST BLOOD through here.

Before Iron: This is still in limbo, despite my having been told that I could talk about it a year and a half ago. It is, I am assured, still a priority. I've received some good news on the Before Iron front from Stewart, but it's not the sort of thing I can share publicly.

It'll be out when it's out. I don't know when that is, but it's probably best to not think of it until I post firm news.

ACTION MOVIE WORLD: FIRST BLOOD: Always in caps. Always.

As far as I'm concerned, AMW is feature complete for testing. Not feature complete for release, of course, but for testing, absolutely. You can find the latest playtest docs here:

The only reason I haven't been playtesting the hell out of this online (we've done some locally and it's gone swimmingly) is because Apocalypse World derived games are really tough to do properly without playbook pdfs to consult. There's something deliciously tactile about the *W experience, so doing it without those pdfs is both incomplete and lacks a certain ease of use.

The pdfs are slowly, ever so slowly, coming together. Work on them has been turned over to my brother and co-author on Before Iron. But he's started a new job at a new school, which slows things down, and I've started school again, been busy with other projects, and my daughter started preschool, which slows things down even further. Rest assured that our mutual breaks in the action are devoted to things like the playbook and script pdfs. I suspect testing will come in hardcore once the holidays roll around and everyone has some time off. I also suspect it might be ready for release by the end of Summer 14, though that is optimistic.

Release is already more or less settled. My brother and our friend (that's +Peter Williams and +John Cocking, respectively) have a company called Flatland Games which publishes a very nifty and well-regarded OSR titled Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures. AMW will be released there when it comes out.

Will there be a Kickstarter? That's unsure. Frankly, signing on with Flatland means that it's not strictly necessary; the infrastructure for printing on demand and having an awesome pdf are already there. That doesn't mean it won't happen, however; I like Kickstarter as a way of helping with lump sum payments to talent and getting the word out.

If we do go Kickstarter (and this is probably a topic for another post), it will be handled quite differently from many others. For one, it won't go to KS unless and until it's fully written. Since it's not necessary to have the operating capital a KS could offer to get it out in some form, I see no need to kickstart it and then write it over the next however many months. This is not least because I'm rotten at time management and I want precisely zero risk that it goes over my time allotment.

We also won't have any stretch goals as they've come to be thought of. It'll be very simple: more money means better art. Maybe there's a hardcover version. Maybe it's in color. The initial goal would be very modest, as well. I prefer things simple and streamlined as much as possible.

Geeky & Genki: I'm proud to be doing some entertainment writing over at Geeky & Genki. It's a bunch of cool folks I respect the hell out of doing podcasts and writing on all sorts of things. If anything's suffered because of my busy Fall, it's really G&G; I hope to write some more for them very soon (I already have my In the Heat of the Night cultural criticism magnum opus written in my head for Fall break).

Jacobin: Being a more or less lifelong socialist of one stripe or another, I've been very excited to be able to write for Jacobin (and by extension Salon) on geek culture. Jacobin is a magazine I really and truly respect, young as it is, and to have my name next to people like Eileen Jones, Bhaskar Sunkara, Connor Kilpatrick, Corey Robin, etc truly, sincerely blows my mind and humbles me.

If all goes well with the draft, I'll have a long read on the political economy of the video game industry in the next print issue. It should hilariously torpedo any hopes I may have had of returning to the video game industry (spoiler: I actually have no desire to return), but I hope it proves a thought-provoking read.

Anyway, keep an eye on here and follow me on G+ for updates. My next focus is AMW, AMW, AMW, at least once midterms are done.

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