New Year, New Newsletter, New Games
Goodbye 2022, hello 2023
Goodbye 2022, hello 2023 and a new home for the newsletter over on substack following one too many ‘why would you do that?’ arguments with mailchimp. To start this year I want to take a quick look back at the last one.
Monthly Musings Year in Recap
As is traditional I’m planning to write some year in recap posts over on the blog. The first, looking at sales is already up (you can find it here) but I thought I’d expand on it with a quick run down of my 2022 hots and nots.
I ran my second crowdfunding campaign, this time for Signal to Noise: Interstellar Edition which funded a series of beautiful illustrations and a print run.
I published Rock Hoppers and The Kandhara Contraband as well as completing the Say Aargh! adventure for Dr Ahoudi’s Mutant Menagerie.
I collaborated with Albi to create Numb3r Stations which went from concept to print in under 2 months.
I attended Dragonmeet as a trader for the first time and had a blast!
[Redacted thing I can’t talk about yet]
I got to play in the Kehaar's fantastic Aftermath Tenerife setting, just one of many interlocking mini campaigns he ran (I was part of the 6th and final campaign).
I ran an 11 session campaign of Tachyon Squadron and finally found a starship combat system that I not only enjoy but would recommend to others!
I spent more money than I earned. Sort of. My net profit for 2022 is -£148.20 but that doesn’t factor in some royalties I’m still waiting on, the unsold stock I hold or that if you look at the 22/23 tax year I’m already in profit.
I didn’t complete a number of items that were on my to do list, some of which I'd carried over from 2021. The second half of The Ajax Stratagem has ground to a halt while The Cyclic Void and Red Roots of the Rose have seen little to no progress.
With the exception of 3 convention games I didn't play any in person sessions during 2022. While I do enjoy online games I definitely prefer the dynamics of face to face gaming.
What’s next? 2023 goals
First up for 2023 we have Zine Quest / Zine Month where I’ll be running a campaign to fund Hopes and Dreams of the Orbital Bound, the next instalment of the Dyson Eclipse and my first slice of life game. It’s a game about how normal, or even boring, life can be even when you’re living in what may seem like an extraordinary situation to outsiders. We like to think of life in space as exciting action but to someone who has known nothing else it will feel quite different.
Mechanically the game uses a rotating GM and focused scenes that cut quickly from one character to another, slowly interweaving them as they go. It very much leans into the storygame side of the indie scene with a pool of characters seeking to achieve their dreams, at which point they are written out of the main story. My hope is that Orbital Bound will allow groups to build up a collection of interesting characters and locations that they can draw from when playing other games in the Dyson Eclipse series. Do you leave to become a salvager or do you join the XenoArchaeology Protectorate to explore the secrets of the Arrays? Or maybe your crew of merchants has come to the Habitat for shore leave and temporarily enter the story?
It’s this sort of intersection that makes me excited to develop the Dyson Eclipse and I want it to feel like a real world that, most importantly, makes sense. Right now, Signal to Noise, Rock Hoppers and The Kandhara Contraband stand apart as isolated entities so going forward my aim is to start connecting each entry together, even if it isn’t immediately obvious to the reader.
I expect Orbital Bound to be my largest project of 2023, if only because I am going into the campaign with more work still to be completed relative to the position I was in for both Project Cassandra and Signal to Noise. I have a rough draft of the game itself that I’ll be working on over the next month while the wider setting material is currently a haphazard collection of notes. You can expect a preview of that in next month’s newsletter but if you want to sign up to be notified when it launches then click this link (and please share if you know someone who might enjoy it).
Beyond that I have few concrete plans and many vague ones. Right now my vague plans look something like this:
Complete one of the projects on my unfinished list and decide if I want to shelve any of the others.
Put together the outline for a Cold War game where maps are a central feature (inspired by this book I’m currently reading and my collaboration last year with Albi).
Find and take on some freelance work.
Grow this newsletter - with the ongoing challenges of social media having a direct line to gamers such as yourself is really important if I want to get the word about my games out there.
Wait, what’s space23? Well you may have already heard about dungeon23, if not then it all started here:
Space23 is the tag a number of us are using for sci-fi inspired takes. For my take on the challenge I'll be doing world building for the Dyson Eclipse using a series of repeating prompts which you can see here alongside the first entry.
My aim is to try and write an entry each morning while I savour a cup of coffee but importantly I’m not taking it seriously and have no plans to write everything up neatly. If I miss a day or two then so be it. There have, predictably, already been a small number of people creating discourse about it but honestly, to hell with them. It’s a fun little challenge that I’m choosing to do for me and if I get something usable out of it then that’s a bonus.
The Wrap Up
So that’s a little preview of 2023 for you. This time next month I will be (fingers crossed) poised to launch the campaign for Hopes and Dreams of the Orbital Bound while simultaneously trying not to spend too much on other zines (a task at which I’ll probably fail). As I’m working on spreading out to other avenues of the internet I thought I’d end with a silly little tiktok I created as I learn my way around the platform.
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