Now that I have a newsletter (Go to QT Games to sign up and never miss an issue!) and have been meeting a lot of new friends, I thought I’d change directions a bit and dig even deeper into my game design work (Cosmothea Blended-Genre Roleplaying Game, Cosmoverse Campaign Setting and related fiction). As such, this is more of an introductory blog post, so you’ll know where I’m heading with the blog for awhile, and be able to gain access inside my head as to what decisions I’ve made about my design work and fiction, and why. I think you’ll find it interesting. And to sweeten the pot and hopefully generate some meaningful discussion . . .
I’ll give away one free ebook of Arcane Synthesis (click to read an excerpt and see some QT Games art) to a random poster in my Comments section if I get at least six comments from unique sources (i.e. different people, not just six comments from one or two people) that are relevant to this blog topic, our product line, or QT Games (Spamming/flaming/trolling, etc. won’t count and will be removed, so do be respectful and friendly, even if you think I’m nuts.)
I’ll run this promotion during the month of November and I’ll even count posts on other blog entries I make during November (but again, the total number has to be unique ids, not that the same person can’t post more than once, but I’ll just count it once, regardless of how many places the id appears) as I want to hear from several of you! And if I get 12 posters, then I’ll give away 2 ebooks, and so on. Make sense? Sound good?
Heck, if I get at least 18 unique id commenters abiding by the rules above, I’ll give the most active and insightful poster on my blog an Arcane Synthesis bookmark and maybe even another goody, on top of any ebooks I hand out! Now back to the main reason I sat down to write this blog post!
Back Story: When I started designing my setting and game, there were only a few games on the market (D&D of course, Boothill, Tunnels and Trolls, Traveller and just a few others—all of them very rough around the edges, but notable in their own ways.
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope had come out the year before and had my creative juices flowing. Although Gamma World debuted the same year I started my own setting, I wouldn’t get my hands on it for another five years.
There just wasn’t much out there back then, and none of it covered the bases I was shooting for, nor with mechanics that thrilled me (not that they weren’t fun, but I knew a better game and setting was yet to be had, but the hobby was still in its infancy). So, I got cracking and developed the basics for both Cosmothea and the vast Cosmoverse.
Many of my ideas have found their way into some of the most popular games, settings and books on the market over the years so I know I was on the right track. Knowing that was both discouraging since it would then look like I was copycatting if I kept using some of my ideas, even though my friends and I knew better—and it was also encouraging to a point because I knew what I was doing was something people wanted.
Now, I’m not saying anyone stole from me by any stretch, but obviously I wasn’t the only one with cool ideas that needed to be invented. I seriously doubt only one person saw a rock roll and thought of making a wheel. Maybe more than one did, but in life, it’s the one that gets published first that typically gets the credit. The others are forgotten, if they are ever known, or they have to come up with another cool idea.
They beat me to publishing, by a large margin. I was just a teen when I started designing, with no money. Teachers were encouraging me to pursue a career in writing and I liked the idea, but I loved designing games and drawing too. My stuff was creative, but rough. It got much better over time, of course, but I didn’t have any money to publish anything. When I did have money, I didn’t have time to pursue my creative projects, then when I finally got time again when I got laid off, I didn’t have any money!
Interestingly, QT Games had more fans seven years ago than it enjoys today, because I was running games off and online on various sites with a lot more people than I do these days (time is tight), and I was volunteering at the WotC forums and blogging there to boot. I was networking on various forums and eventually helped form and eventually run the RPG Design Alliance, a place for game designers, authors and artists to connect and grow, but we only got a handful of folks participating, despite those that said they wanted to, so I eventually put it to rest.
After being laid off, I reevaluated my dreams, brainstormed, searched for another job, began to write another book and moved forward with a refined vision for Cosmothea. For the first time in years, I only had one game of Cosmothea running at the time, so most of those who were playing the PlaybyPosts and face2face games I shut down to have more time for Cosmothea and my fiction, moved on to other games.
In a nutshell, I started near the dawn of the RPG games industry, even though you’ve probably never heard of me. I’m not boasting—most of my inventions remain unpublished. I’m in the middle of my second book for publication (I’ve written drafts for others) and hope to publish a third next year—and a pile of goodies after that. No egos here—just trying to give some context.
Since I haven’t posted any of the hard questions yet, I’m going to Post Part 2 tomorrow (11/5) instead of my usual week or two between posts. Sound good? Good stuff ahead. Hope to see you tomorrow. Don’t forget about the Giveaway I mentioned above! Let me here from you folks. Thanks!