The Things We Left Behind finished

August 16th, 2016

At long last, i can say that The Things We Left Behind is really done. Right now, the interiors are complete, and is getting a once over to check for typos and other issues right now. I’m expecting that, if everything goes okay, it’ll be ready some time next week. I believe the plan is to get the .pdf out to backers first, and then to DriveThruRPG for POD orders.

I’m really rather proud if this book; Stygian Fox really let me stretch myself creatively, and i got to try some things design-wise that i haven’t done before. I believe Stephanie said that it looks “visceral”, which is definitely something i was shooting for when working on the design. I’ll post a couple of pictures here to give you an idea of what the interiors look like.

Meanwhile, i’ve also been working on an art book for my friend Skinner. You may or may not have seen his work; his stuff is gonzo, underground, insane…and completely awesome. I can’t tell you how honored i feel to be working on this project.

Lastly,  i’ve been running Horror on the Orient Express for my gaming group. And, being the handouts/props geek that i am, i’ve been making my own versions of the handouts that are needed for the campaign. As much as i love OE, the production the handouts in the books leave a lot to be desired. Guessing that other people may want to use them, i’ll start posting them here- i might even make a dedicated page for the campaign, if interest is there.

Be seeing you…

It might be starting to pour a bit

June 4th, 2016

You know that saying, “when it rains…”? Yeah…after a bit of a dearth of assignments, i’m suddenly starting to get contacted a lot about new projects to work on, which is awesome.

What is decidedly NOT awesome is the fact that we recently moved, and my work station is all in bits and pieces. Which is not good when you have assignments to finish and now others to potentially start on. Oh, and our internet access isn’t up and running yet. I’m hoping to get this all sorted out this week.

Speaking of assignments to finish, The Things We Leave Behind has been in a holding pattern as a) i wait for more maps to come in, and b) we get our move completed. But Stephanie has been putting more map files in my Dropbox lately, so that’s good. Now i just have to take care of part b.

In Feed the Shoggoth! news, we’ve been slowly but surely expanding the number of stores that carry the game (including one in Denmark!), and our online store is up and running: you can check that out at FeedtheShoggoth.com. You know you want a copy.

That’s all for now. Be seeing you!

Call of Cthulhu 7th ed finally seeing the light of day

May 4th, 2016

After what seems like an eternity, word is coming out that backers of the CoC 7th ed Kickstarter are finally starting to get their copies of the game. I haven’t seen the books myself (apparently my contributor’s copies are on the way), but reactions from people are starting to trickle in, and so far, it’s been very positive in regards to the design and layout.

I can’t tell you what a bloody relief it is to see 7th ed finally come out (and i’m sure that feeling of relief doesn’t compare to how Fricker & Mason, and all of the Chaosium management people feel); i think this the biggest delay from the time when i’ve turned in a book project until it actually saw the light of day. But better late than never, especially considering that there was a real possibility that 7th edition wouldn’t come out at all.

I’ll be really glad to see this hit the stores eventually, too, and hear about people’s reaction to it, particularly when it comes to the new rules changes. There’s been quite enough written on that already, but customer reaction will have a big impact, i think, on how the rules mods play out (pardon the pun) over time.

I just wish we’d been able to save those corner icons, dammit. 🙁

International TableTop Day!

April 28th, 2016

We here at the Studio are proud to announce that we’ve been invited to participate at Games of Berkeley for International TableTop Day. This is a huge event that takes place all over the country (if not the world) to celebrate board and card games. Games of Berkeley, in their mission to stay awesome, invites local game designers as part of their celebration.

If you’re interested in checking out Feed the Shoggoth!, or a host of other games, swing by Games of Berkeley this Saturday, any time from 10am – 7pm.

In other news, layout for The Things We Leave Behind is at a stall right now. I’ve done pretty much everything i can, and am waiting for Stephanie (head honcho at Stygian Fox, as well as cartographer extraordinaire) to finish all the maps. Once those are plugged in, the book’ll be done, but she has other assignments that she needs to get completed first (contractual obligations, ya know).

Beyond that, there are a couple more RPG book projects down the line, and Montag has more stuff lining up for me…but right now, it’s kinda quiet.

A quick blurb about that card game of mine

January 28th, 2016

Something that i’ve been remiss in mentioning; if you’re interested in purchasing a copy of Feed the Shoggoth!, here’s what you need to do. Shoot me an email at badger@squamousstudios.com, and i’ll get you set up (basically, send me 26 bucks via Paypal). I don’t have an online store set up yet, but it’s in development (along with the rest of the website for FtS!). Until that’s all complete, however, Paypal is the only real way that have to take orders.

That’s all for now. Be seeing you.

-=Badger

Weird West Call of Cthulhu Character Booklets

January 7th, 2016

Last month, i had the pleasure of attending a small horror RPG convention. While i’ve been running Call of Cthulhu for years and years, it’s really only at cons where i actually write original material; in my regular campaign, i almost always run pre-written adventures. So, for this convention, i got a bug in my bonnet about writing a scenario set in the Wild West. Previous adventures that i’ve done have covered modern day, the 1950s, World War II, and of course the 1920s, but i’d never done anything in the Western era. I’d been partially  influenced by my friend Dovi, who ran this utterly amazing scenario early last year.

Naturally, as a huge prop geek, i wanted to do more than just the typical character sheet. I did a search online, of course, and found one that was done by the Mad Irishman for Worlds of Cthulhu #2. It looked great, but it wasn’t quite what i was looking for. I wanted a booklet, something really tangible that my players could sink their teeth into. A friend of mine suggested that i make it in the style of an old playbill. Eureka! That was the inspiration i needed, and off to InDesign i went…

I thought it might be cool to make that booklet available for people to use, if they want to, so i’m offering up some files for free download. Some things of note:

  1. You’ll notice that the pages might look a little out of order. This is done so that you can print the booklet double sided. For example, the page that has “One Night Only” is meant to be the front cover; the Gear and Weapons page would appear on the back. “The Main Cast” would be the inside front cover, and so on.
  2. You’ll want to print these out in landscape mode, on two normal 8.5″ x 11″ pages. I used some special marbled paper from an office supply store to get more of an old timey look.
  3. There are a few skills listed, and Draw! rules, from Worlds of Cthulhu #2. I know it’s out of print, but if you can track that book down, i’d advise it. I think it’s all self-explanatory, though.
  4. I’ve made most applicable fields editable, but please note that it’s my first time doing so, so please let me know if i can improve on the pdf.
  5. The “Ace in the Hole” is a house rule i came up with just for the scenario. Each of the six characters has a secret, heroic ability they can use, mostly just once per game. You can read an example of this in August Black’s character booklet.

I think that’s it. Here’s an example of what the front and back covers look like:

August Black example

 

Here’s the link to the editable pdf: Blank Wild West CoC Char Booklet

And here’s where you can download an example of how the final booklets looked: August Black.pdf

Enjoy!

-=Badger

Slithering into the new year

January 5th, 2016

Hope everyone had a fun time celebrating Krampus and the death of 2015. 🙂 Things, as usual, have been busy in the Studio, with most of the time chewed up by packing and sorting and folding and spindling and taping and labeling various things for Feed the Shoggoth!. It’s taken a while to get everything out the door, but as of last week, the last of the copies (and various goodies) for the Kickstarter backers who all live overseas…which felt like a Herculean task. There was a lot of back and forth between myself and the representative from Sans-Detour (who has been awesome, btw- i’m not complaining at all), so it took a while to get everything set up. In the end, it’s all worked out.

So now, i’m actively getting the game into more and more stores, and ramping up direct sales. If anyone is interested in ordering a copy of Feed the Shoggoth!, please shoot me an email at badger@squamousstudios, and we’ll get you taken care of.

I know its something that i’ve brought up before, but i’ll say it again. If you’re doing a Kickstarter, for GOO’s sake, get your shipping costs in order. I cannot emphasize this enough. Shipping has cost me more money for this project than anything else. Here’s just one example of how it’s fucked me- i thought that the cost of shipping the game would be the same no matter where in the U.S., and based my shipping rates off of that. I weighed everything, made a spreadsheet, and thought i had everything correct.

Well, i had it only half right. Up to a certain weight, it was true that the shipping rate would remain flat. However, any shipment that had more than the game, and the counters, hit a threshold; thereafter, the price for shipping the KS fulfillment could vary as much as 10 bucks, depending on where the person lived. Ouch.

I’ve also been hard at work designing the “Things We Leave Behind” book, but i’ve been crippled by my computer having to go into the shop for more than a week. It’s still looking pretty good, if i do say so myself.

Oh yeah, and i’ve been slowly building out the FtS! website. Bear with me, it’s taking a while. 🙂

Guess that’s it for now! Be seeing you.

Shipping Shoggoths

October 27th, 2015

It’s official- the shipment of Feed the Shoggoth! copies arrived from China, and were delivered right to my door (of my storage unit). Over half a ton of game product is quite the site to behold…

…and makes me glad i’m not in the book business. I can’t imagine what schlepping around 1,500 copies of an RPG would be like instead…no, wait! I do know what’s that like, having done so when i used to work the booth for Chaosium at conventions. Ah, those were the days.

Anyway, the inside of my apartment now looks like a tornado hit a warehouse, with piles of boxes ready to be shipped, and other product scattered about, lurking behind shipping and packing material. It’s a glorious mess. This is what i’ll be doing for the next…i dunno how long. Packing and stuffing and taping and labeling. But the end result’s already worth it.

Meanwhile, i submitted my first page design tests to Stygian Fox for that book i’m working on, “The Things We Leave Behind”. It’s a lot…rougher than my previous work. On purpose. This is a collection of modern, deadly, no-holds-barred dark collection of scenarios for Call of Cthulhu. I aim to make this book look mean. A couple of adjustments aside, they’re really happy with what i’ve come up with, which is a great feeling. I’m really looking forward to really diving into this book.

Clearing the plate

September 10th, 2015

Well, at least it didn’t take until next year to post an update. Good gods. I’ve been terrible at this lately. And by “lately”, i mean for a long bloody time.

Since last we spoke, De Horrore Cosmico, a collection of Cthulhu Invictus scenarios, has been completed, sent out to Kickstarter backers, and should be on shelves at some point in the future (i would hope!). I’m rather proud of this book, especially since it was the first book i designed a cover for. Credit to Mark Shireman, also of GGP, for helping with some ideas on that. Check the book out; looks like you can get it on Amazon (edit: actually, it’s not available there!), but i would highly suggest purchasing it at your local gaming store instead.

De Horrore Cosmico

At least one fiction book for Montag Press was also completed during that time, and i’m currently working the layout for another one, plus going back and plugging in a bunch of corrections for a previous title, Xtremus.

 

Xtremus

But mostly, i’ve been working on Feed the Shoggoth! stuff. At this point, the game is done and dusted- in fact, it’s on the way here from China as i type this, and should be in my hands the first full week of October. Woot!

Speaking of Feed the Shoggoth!, i’ve learned yet another lesson through this process of self-publishing that i can pass along to you, dear reader. Make sure you’ve got your shipping costs nailed down before you start your Kickstarter. I’m not talking about the shipping fees that your backers will need to pay in order to get their stuff. I’m referring instead to the costs incurred from the printing company when they ship your product to your doorstep (or wherever you’re going to stash your product). I didn’t, and it’s come back to bite me in the ass, to the tune of $2000. Ouch. I have the money to cover it, thankfully, but i’m going to have to eat much of the costs of mailing out all the KS product out. And that’s going to suck.

Lastly, i’ve signed a contract to do the book design for a new company that’s a Chaosium licensee, Stygian Fox Publishing. The Things We Leave Behind will be a collection of six scenarios for Call of Cthulhu, all set in the modern era. It looks to be really good, and i’m excited to be a part of it.

Okay, that’s it for now. Oh, and in case you’re keeping an eye on it, i’ve finally updated my damn portfolio.

I’m not dead!

June 7th, 2015

Honest! I’ve just been…ummm, off doing stuff. Seriously.

As usual, i don’t mean to let my blog here slide, but when you have only so many hours in a day, you have to prioritize. It’s like editing, sometimes; you have to let slide bits and chunks of stuff that you know (or think, at least) that would be really cool, but just can’t fit for whatever reason. But i’m back! I swear!

What have i been working on? if your first guess was “Feed the Shoggoth!“, you’d be right. I won’t go into the long, boring details of it, but i spent most of the winter struggling with printer companies. One in particular that, even though they were highly recommended to me, ended up having the worst fucking customer service i’ve yet to experience in this process. You would think that when you’re telling a company that you literally want to give them your money, but they’re not letting you, they’d say something… This cost me precious time, and further delayed the game coming out.

Oh hell. You know what? I’ll out them. They’re called DeLano. I had gotten a quote from them about a year ago, and thought everything was fine. When i requested an updated quote…crickets. Several emails and calls went unanswered. Eventually, some emails were responded to…vaguely, as if they weren’t really paying attention to what i was writing.

Thankfully, i’ve solved that issue; we’re going with Panda Game Manufacturing now, and the difference is night and bloody day. The status of Feed the Shoggoth!, then, is this- pretty much everything concerning goodies for the Kickstarter have been created, paid for, and shipped to me. All i’m waiting for now are the minis and boxes. As far as the game itself, we were delayed (again!), when the pre-press fellow at Panda pointed out that our bleed amount wasn’t enough.

But, as of last night, i finished processing all the cards, after Damion went back in with Illustrator and did some tweaking. I need to do some last tweaking of the rules, and Damion is in the final steps to getting the box design finished. Then we’ll be off to get this all printed!

Of course, we won’t be done after that; there’s still the Print ‘n Play version to put together. But that should be easy (he says, well knowing he’s said that phrase before only to be kicked in the arse by it later).

Meanwhile, i’ve been working on some other projects. You probably know that Call of Cthulhu 7th edition is out now, at least in pdf form. I’ve been told that the dead tree version will be out…this month? May? Anyway, the new year has seen me working on the 7th ed revision of Cthulhu by Gaslight, which is about 90% done.  I’ve also been actively working on the newest book for Golden Goblin Press, De Horrore Cosmico. That particular book is a collection of six, standalone scenarios for the Cthulhu Invictus era. I’m currently done with the big pass on that, and am waiting for the proofreading feedback to get back to me. It’s been a challenge to not duplicate the work i did on The Legacy of Arrius Lurco.

What else…a couple of books for Montag Press that are in the can, and i really need to update my portfolio here….sheesh.

Okay, back to work with me!