Welcome, friends, to another post about Toonaria, a blended–genre realm unlike any other. Oh, sure—anyone can say that! And as I discussed in a previous post, it is generally best to avoid the extremes of being too obscure, and too familiar. I always seek to strike a delicate, but powerful balance between those. But just because such extremes can be dangerous with regard to trying to generate fans (confusing one and boring the other), that doesn’t mean that all extremes should be avoided.
As those of you know who follow my blog, fiction, games, etc. I’ve mentioned the term blended-genre more than once. Call it mixed genre, hybrid genre, multi-genre, cross-genre, genre-bending, or just plain Science Fantasy, but everything I create is such a thorough and intricate blend and covers more than Science Fantasy, that I call it blended-genre. Regardless, carefully crafted blends of different genres are powerful and amazingly good fun! Toonaria is a realm of striking contrasts both visually and emotionally.
I’ve said it before, but it has been my experience that genres when blended right, go together like peanut butter and chocolate, bacon and eggs, male and female . . . well, you get the point. If you haven’t experienced good blended-genre stories, you’re really missing a special treat.
Chances are, you’ve fallen in love with a number of blended-genre movies and haven’t even realized it. Sure, blends have been done poorly. But they have also been done very, very well, as in movies like Alien (Science Fiction/Horror), Avatar (Science Fiction/Fantasy), Inception (Action/heist/Science Fiction), Star Wars (Science Fantasy), Back To The Future (Comedy/Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction), Blade Runner (Science Fiction/Thriller), just to name a few fun ones. Maybe some of my favorites aren’t yours, but if you’ve got blood running through your veins, chances are you’ve fallen in love with at least one. Got one on your mind? I’d love to hear it! There are so many great ones!
One of the aspects of Toonaria that has always gripped me, is just how many cool concepts are blended into it—not forced, but born to be together, sometimes in ways that are not immediately recognizable. Even I keep discovering how deep the rabbit hole goes and how much potential the campaign setting actually has. I can’t tell you everything. I have to keep some secrets! I’ll be unpacking more and more in the days ahead. Toonaria on the surface may seem like a silly universe filled with adorable monsters, giant kaiju, exotic technology and wayward gods, but it’s really so much more than that.
A Toonarian blend that immediately comes to mind regards Pink Syndrome, which I’ve given you a taste of before, but will reveal a lot more on later. The concept goes deeper and is more exciting than I can unveil in one or two blog posts. Pink Syndrome is so powerful and so pervasive that it is entrenched in every aspect of the lives of those affected by it. The universe is indeed a realm of striking contrasts.
A gubbling sitting on a mound sipping a warm cup of hot chocolate, thinking about gumdrops and enjoying the view of a beautiful sunrise might be experiencing just that, or might be completely oblivious that the mound she’s sitting on is a heap of mangled bodies, the bright pink drops around the mound are spatters of blood, and the meadow is a ruined city in flames. Yes, that’s rather disturbing, but not every inch of the universe is that morbid. Toonaria also includes virtual reality, augmented reality and dream realms.
Pink zones abound within the universe—regions where the populous are under the effects of Pink Syndrome, a magical condition that causes the afflicted to become oblivious of the more dangerous and painful aspects of life in a universe filled with “adorable monsters, giant kaiju, exotic technology and wayward gods”. There are post-apocalyptic regions, a whole new kind of zombie and numerous exotic creatures unlike anything you’ve seen. There are dystopian communities, thriving, isolated, high tech and superhero cities, time-phased regions, bizarre dimensions, floating islands, and peaceful, happy communities of little folk.
You can pick and choose what you want to experience. The RPG and board games will not belabor unpleasant experiences, but focus on telling dynamic, fun stories, sometimes with surprising depth, but always over the top fun. Oh, there will be plenty of conflict, difficult choices, and wild and dangerous adventures, of course.
Our upcoming Epic Destinies Roleplaying Game and board games will spotlight the adorable monsters and life in a society of kaiju and more. Epic Destinies is still under heavy construction and we’ll do plenty of playtesting before release. So far, both Toonaria and Epic Destinies are exceeding all expectations, but time is a bit elusive. Still, not a day goes by that I don’t work on one or the other, and I’ve got another Cosmoverse novel due out before long!
As for the games, I’ve designed more than two dozen board and card games over the past 3+ decades, and aim to polish and publish a few of the very best. If we had piles of money and time, I’d already have several out. Most of them focus on the wonderful little creatures and their incredible journeys. I’ve a feeling you’ll see something cool before long.
One of the neat things about Toonaria is how readers of our fiction and players of our games will be able to enjoy wonderful, clean, family-friendly adventure, something more mature, or even downright scary, or a smooth blend, as desired.
Would you like to hear more about Toonaria or Epic Destinies? Anything in particular? I’m all ears! Just post in the comments below, or join our forums, leave a tweet or post on our Facebook page. You can also join our QT Games Newsletter to be sure not to miss upcoming fiction and games. In fact, joining the newsletter will snag you a cool book for free! Till next week, friends, never stop dreaming and never give up!