Monday, June 1, 2015

The Lazy Post: Where We're Going

I spent much of May neglecting the ol' blog here. Sure, I wrote some stuff about required reading for the dynamic hexcrawl stuff I have yet to write, but basically I spent most of my blog-writing-time working on other stuff. Most of it, thankfully, involved "next projects" of one sort or another. It seems that every time I talk about my "next projects," though, something else gets in the way of them or they get delayed or something stupid wrecks my plans. So, that having been said, here's the stuff that we're putting on the stove before any of it gets moved to the back burners.

Exhibit A: Nova Scream zine



So, our old pal +James Spahn wrote this RPG in, like, record time, and it hit me in all the right parts. It's a sci fi take on the S&W Whitebox rules, which is pretty awesome as far as I'm concerned. The rush of new stuff for White Star has been pretty exciting as well, in particular the stuff that +Mike Evans has been kicking out (isn't his enthusiasm contagious?), so that got +Donn Stroud & I to thinking about we would want in a White Star game, which ultimately led to us deciding to work on a zine together. Now, Donn has done some work for Metal Gods before (check out MGOUH#2), and there's that whole podcast thing we do together (Drink Spin Run in case you weren't sure) so I know I can work with the guy.

Donn & I both take more of our sci fi cues from the grittier end of the genre. When we talked about our top influences, stuff like WH40k, Dune, the Incal, Doom Patrol, FarScape (totally gritty universe, less gritty crew), Red Dwarf, Dark Future, and more that I can't think of right now. Even Star Wars, at times, can be gritty, broken-down and cruddy. So, not so much on the Flash Gordon side of things. Not that we have any problems with that stuff, it's just not the direction that we want to go.

Here's the original announcement copy that I wrote for the zine, posted to the White Star community.
"The Universe is old, and she is crumbling. I have seen humankind's reach throughout the cosmos and, though it is vast, her grasp is failing. I have felt the deaths of millions in the collapse of planets and the grave yard of an asteroid field. I have tasted the bitter ash of our decline and decadence, unwilling to face the truths of time and where we are headed. I have heard the Nova Scream, the death-rattle of worlds, and know it waits for us all."  
Nova Scream is a new zine for the White Star RPG from +Adam Muszkiewicz (of the Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad zine & Drink Spin Runpodcast) and +Donn Stroud (of the Drink Spin Run podcast and many other projects) set in a Universe where humankind's glory days are long past and the cosmos teeters on the brink of total collapse, and so every ray of hope counts. Could there be a better time for adventurers to make their mark?  
In the pages of Nova Scream, you'll find resources for your White Star game, bringing a signature brand of dystopian future adventure to your table. An ancient universe of savagery and sophistication awaits you in the pages of Nova Scream, available soon in pdf and print. 

Exhibit B: Metal Gods #4

Sadly, I have no picture for this one... yet.

My plan for 2015 is to kick out three issues of Metal Gods. We've already got one under our belt (MGOUH#3) and we've started assignments for the second (MGOUH#4) which will include some different stuff. In keeping with our trend of theming issues, Metal Gods #4 centers on the elves of Ore which, if you've been paying attention, means you shouldn't be expecting any sort of namby-pamby tree-huggery. Nope. It's not that "our elves are different," but rather that, like so much in the DCC-o-sphere, we take what's cool about elves in DCC and turn it up to 11!

We got a lot of ground covered with this issue in the wake of MGOUH#3, but we still have some headway to make. I'm expecting this issue to hit a little later than Nova Scream #1, but it should only be about a month afterward.

Exhibit C: The Big Move

I've mentioned this elsewhere in hopes of getting some advice (which didn't happen), but it looks like Dispatches From Kickassistan has finally grown to the point where we're ready to take the blog to the next level and switch platforms to WordPress from Blogger. I don't mention this to have a big, drawn-out conversations about the merits of one platform over another. My mind is made up, and this is the thing that I need to do. Yes, it's going to cost some money, but that doesn't mean that I'll start putting ads all over the site. Not while I'm the Minister of Tourism. Nope.

I've already started the "getting acquainted with WordPress" process and it's probably going to be a few more weeks (if not a month or so) before the move is complete, but it is inexorable. Like the mighty glacier, this change is a-comin', if slowly, and will leave some huge changes in its wake. If anyone has any advice on moving from Blogger to WordPress, and by that I mean constructive advice (asking why I'm making the change isn't constructive), let me know.

Exhibit D: The KMT Store

One of the problems I've been having with selling zines online is trying to manage multiple digital presences for sales purposes. Gumroad, PayPal, OBS... and then I have convention vendors and retailers who carry the zine as well. There's a lot to keep track of. The move to WordPress will allow me to run a Kickassistan Ministry of Tourism store under one banner (don't worry, we'll still be on OBS for pdfs). The boring part that you won't care about is that this move will make tracking inventory and invoices and such a lot easier. The part that you might care about is that it will also make it possible for us to carry stuff other than zines, so we'll be able to sell stuff like those cool t shirts that Wayne's been kicking out lately, along with some other neat stuff. The idea that we've been knocking around is to sell cool things that allows us to make more cool things; we love making new stuff and we've discovered that a good way to get to make more of it is by trading it to people for this money stuff. It's not like we're going to be rolling in cash or anything, but we'll have a little better control over our cash flow so that when Wayne gets the idea for a new shirt, or some stickers or a cool bookmark or whatever, we can turn around and make it.

That's what I've been up to lately. How about you?