It's still too early to discuss the company itself, but a lot of work has been under way over the past several months, and while I'm almost certain nothing will be ready for release until 2017, I'm quite happy with the number of projects that are already in the pipeline.
In the past I've hinted at them, and I tend to share quite a few things on G+, at irregular intervals.
You can find some things by searching key words; hints of concepts, like #Waste and #Acrossthestars. Pretty soon I guess #bagofastronauts, too. I tend to have a lot of ideas, but very little time to work on them myself. I'll get a couple of hours a week, at best, to write and share something, but there are times I can go months...sometimes up to a year...without doing anything creative.
Which is what led me to begin hiring writers to contribute to projects. Like +Ariana Ramos, +Evey Lockhart, +Christopher Hopkins, and now +Andrew Shields. I'm pleased with the work I've seen them produce, and they are doing great things on projects I want to see get made. I'm really thrilled, actually, because I never thought I'd be at this point, where I was working with other writers to bring my ideas to life. I was certain I'd have to wait until I had made my own things, with all my own writing, to be taken seriously. But after recent conversations I've been having, and thinking back on what numerous friends of mine have said, I am finally starting to accept that my ideas have merit in their own right. That they are worth seriously developing and publishing, and that it's okay if I didn't write them exclusively. There are more talented people than me out there, who have already taken simple concepts I've had and built them up into massive dreamscapes, teenage angst-filled futures, bad ass bounty hunter businesses, and more. I've had artists create content with no guidance, fueling the creativity for myself and other writers, and for each other as well. Here are two examples, by +Anxious P., whose working on the dreamscape-like setting I currently call "Waste":
|Dream Genie (and Shadow Worms) manifest from an abandoned oil can...
|A tomb wagon rolls slowly through the dry stretches of the Golden Thirst...
And I'm very pleased to announce that +Andrew Walter joins Anxy and Evey as they work on developing the strange place built from the dreams of a dying god. Here is a sample illustration I pulled from Andrew's G+ wall:
|Can you tell why I hired him?
Jeez does he do amazing work. You can find Andrew's art (and Anxious too and several other talented people's work) in the latest issue of The Undercroft (#10) (note: this is an affiliate link.) I can't wait to see what he comes up with for Waste, and also for my "Across the Stars" project I mentioned a couple of days ago.
Thankfully, I'm not alone on this journey. So far I've handled and set up some of the product concepts I want to see. But this isn't my company; I have a partner with me, who makes sure we stay on track to complete everything I've currently put into the pipeline. And she's fierce. I'm proud to have her as my CEO, while I handle the finances, making sure everyone we work with gets paid their fair share. Sure, we're a small company, of course, the way everyone starts out. We know there will be plenty of challenges for us to face, and lessons for us to learn. But we're committed to releasing high quality work that we can both be proud of. We want to embrace opportunities to create functional settings and game tools, and things that are fun, too. And we want to embrace what we're most passionate about: people playing games.
We have a big heart. Just like the tag line of this blog: a big, soul stealing gem heart. And I promise, if you stick with us, if you let us steal your soul with our big gem heart, we won't let you down.