Posts

Expanding the Tortured Earth multiverse

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Over the past few weeks, Kevin and I have been working to add stories to the Tortured Earth collection. At the moment, we are converting some of the convention modules into boxed sets - each set containing a Rules Lite GM Guide, Rules Lite Player's Guide, Story booklet, Fold-out maps, Character sheets for 10 people, and two sets of dice.  The current design of the Rules Lite set allows players to run the boxed scenario but also opens the doors for a broader storyboard if a GM is creative and wants to get a little extra mileage out of the set. Each boxed set is designed to serve as a story starter for a larger campaign and can be used by GMs as a means of introducing players to more advanced game mechanics. With all that said, allow me to inform you of the reality of a small game company producing said boxed sets. Due to the uncertainty of customer interest in the boxed set, we have been producing the sets ourselves. This means we have a spiral binding machine and assemble the sets

A Never Ending Cycle

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Part of launching into this industry is the continual creation process. The development of Tortured Earth was a means to an end - the development of a framework in which a broad range of stories could be told. Now that the system is finalized, the process of storytelling must begin. Kevin and I are currently focusing on the development of one-shot adventures. These kits are retrofitted from the 2.0 Core Ruleset and give players a taste of the system without having to invest in multiple books. Other game systems have developed similar products for the same goal. The Rules Lite versions allow for replayability while the core books provide the full flexibility of the system. A creative GM will be able to adapt the Rules Lite version for homebrew adventures fitting in the world setting for which the kit was built. Currently in the editing phase are four such adventures. Two have been completed and are already in production and being distributed through the convention circuit. Eventually, t

Northwest Arkansas Comic Con

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Rogers, Arkansas is an amazing place for gaming. The community is supportive, the convention was well attended, and the scenery was really nice. Overall, the convention was a huge success. The convention team is looking forward to attending next year's show and seeing how it grows! Getting to Rogers is another matter. Traveling as much as I do, I've become rather dependent on Google! Maps. The problem with Google Maps is the complete lack of road-hazard awareness. Google! faithfully calculates the shortest distance between two points and plots a course from where you are to where you are going. It doesn't matter to Google! if the roads are broad, expansive highways or stretched like noodles on the edges of ridges that pitch at impossible angles as you are barreling down the highway at 65 mph at 11 PM. The path we were directed on meandered between Oklahoma and Arkansas, giving us the most challenging roads both states had to offer. At one point, the road seemed to simply dr

Promoting a Game

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Since June of 2020, we've been refining Tortured Earth 2.0. The process hasn't been easy: making sure the document is clear and concise while maintaining a degree of interest. Rules must be checked in play tests, written, rewritten, examples created, and checked for compatibility with all other rules in the system.  The editing process alone has taken fifteen months to complete. Once the document is prepared, the fun job of finding a publishing house begins. For those not familiar with this little joy in the process, allow me to enlighten: each publishing house has its own set of standards and terminology. Aside from the standard publication jargon, setting margins, spine width, page counts, and all the other components required to produce a professional copy must be learned and sorted through.  Novelists reading this will recognize some of the heartaches. The main difference between the struggles of a novelist and a game developer falls in the degree of art associated with the

Mountains of Mists and Mystery

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With the publication of Tortured Earth 2.0, production of minimodules, and the dreadful editing of our upcoming modules, Mountains of Mists and Mystery is now available as a download to fill the span between releases. For those wishing to launch into a post-apocalyptic campaign, please enjoy the story. As always, Tortured Earth is looking for module writers willing to contribute to the mad multiverse we propose. The current phase has Kevin and I converting the game demos into minimodules for our Game Night in a Box line. We are also writing and editing our own projects. We are also gearing up for a busy convention cycle, having been admitted into Origins in Columbus, OH and PAX - Unplugged in Philadelphia, PA. It's difficult to contain the excitement of being able to present at such large conventions.  After speaking with our caster, we are told the first line of miniatures is still a few weeks away. The ultimate goal is to have modules, books, and minis ready for Origins and pres

Smoky Mountain Fan Fest

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The issue with having a convention in a tourist town is the abundance of amazing alternatives to participate in. Shops, museums, local attractions, and restaurants all compete for the the traveler's attention. In short, the show which should stand out simply blends in to the scenery.  For Tortured Earth, the convention is a bust. The traffic was light both days, spending was conservative, and attendee interest was mild. The observation seems shared among several vendors - evident by the abundance of free time and ability to roam without customers at their booth. We did meet some amazing creators and picked up a potential artist. However, attending conventions for contacts would be far more beneficial and economical as attendees and not vendors.  We are looking for venues in the area. The region is amazing and the community does support conventions. The power of other events simply overshadows the allure of any event held in the city proper. More than one attendee commented that the

Luck of the draw

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This week finds us in Gatlinburg, TN. We are attending Smoky Mountain Fan Fest. Tomorrow, I'll be sure to have images of the convention floor before everyone gets there. It has been years since I was last in Gatlinburg. The last time I passed through this area was in the late 1980's. The town situated along a two lane road with a few campy shopping areas on either side of the lane. Now, it's a bustling tourist center with all the trappings of a typical tourist town: Hard Rock Cafes', Ripley's Museums, and Bubba Gump's Shrimp.  As my convention team often complains, I am a bit of a tight wad when it comes to purchasing hotels. I pick the cheapest lodgings within an acceptable driving distance. Rarely will I book something above $125 a night and have been been known to book a few $40 dives from time to time.  For this stay, I book a place called Deer Ridge Mountain Resort. Hotels in Gatlinburg were out of my price range, largely due to tourist season. Fair enough.