The Next Chapter
is very soon out, and I couldn't be more excited. It's the culmination of a
great many different goals, both for me personally and for Malhavoc as well.
Gen Con is going to be a blast.
But afterward, for me, things
are going to change a bit. Truth to tell, they've actually been changed for
quite some time. I haven't worked on a new Malhavoc book for almost six months.
When I left Wizards of the
Coast in 2001, I did so primarily to write fiction. I had some ideas for novels
and other work, but I wanted to keep my foot in the gaming door as well. (Lots
of you have read this story before, so I'll try to be succinct.) I lined up
some freelance work to tide me over and started doing some of my own stuff as
well. "My own stuff" quickly turned into Malhavoc Press, which blossomed
suddenly and dramatically with a life all its own. Very quickly, it became clear
that Malhavoc was something that I should focus all my efforts on, and that
Sue should as well. Although not without a few bumps, it went wonderfully and
it's still going wonderfully. Malhavoc has afforded me the freedom to do every
game book I've wanted to do. Ptolus, in my mind, rivals 3rd Edition itself
as the coolest thing I've ever produced.
But over the last five years,
there's been a little nagging voice in my head. "Hey. Hey? This is great
and all, but it's not why you went out on your own. What about all that other
stuff you were going to do?" And that voice has only gotten louder as the
years have passed. You see, I've worked on game material professionally since
1988 (in fact, it's all I've ever done). And it's been a great 18 years. But
there are other areas I'd like to explore creatively. And in the last year or
so, various doors have begun to open that have made some of my other goals suddenly
a lot more attainable.
So I have focused on those
other goals for most of 2006, and I am going to continue to focus on them. Malhavoc
Press and virtually all game-related work is going on the back burner for me.
I know for many readers,
this may all seems very sudden and out of the blue, and I understand that. Please
know, though, that for me it isn't at all sudden. It's been "in the works"
for a long time. I have long intended Ptolus to be something of an end
point. I want to go out at the top of my game (so to speak), and I feel that
I have done so. In spades.
Ptolus is complete
and needs no further support from me. Arcana
Evolved has a nice range of products, and the Spell
Treasury was the last book I'd really promised myself I'd do someday.
The Iron Heroes "trilogy"
is all out now, making the system fully playable. I don't feel like I've left
anything undone, which is important to me.
But is Malhavoc done and
gone? No. We're going to continue to make sure that our products remain in print.
For example, the Complete
Book of Eldritch Might is getting reprinted right now and a new printing
of Arcana Evolved, with all listed errata, will be coming out later this
year. But even more importantly (to me), I'm keeping the door open to use Malhavoc
the way I'd originally intended five years ago -- if I get a cool idea for a
short game product, I'll just do it. It's not going to be my main creative focus,
but it will be there. It's a nice luxury to know that I'll still be able to
write up a cool adventure or whatnot now and again.
And the website is going
to continue. Perhaps even more like the site was a few years back -- a nice
outlet for me to write the occasional article about whatever, or a place to
post some new spells, and so on. And obviously the wonderful community we've
created in our forums will continue, but it long ago took on a life of its own
anyway, so there's really no question there.
So what does the future
hold for me? Well, at least one more game project. Earlier this year I got an
offer to work on something so cool that I couldn't say no. But it's not a Malhavoc
product, and so I'm not at liberty to announce it here. That comes out next
year. Other than that, though, the irons I have in the fire, so to speak, are
unrelated to traditional RPGs. My comic book series will continue to come out
throughout the rest of the year. I have a novel in the works, a non-fiction
book, and even more cool things that I plan on telling you about right here
on the website as they develop.
You know, as I re-read the
previous few paragraphs, I can't help but wonder what the reaction to all of
this will be. People look at things so differently than I do sometimes. I'm
sure some will see this as some kind of failure on my part, as though the only
path to success is to do the same thing, better and better, until you die. Others
might see this as some kind of personal affront or an indictment on gaming or
the game industry. (I'm sure still others will say, "So what?") I
still love gaming, to be sure. At the moment, I think, I am facing a bit of
burnout, just because I've done the same thing for so long. But I'm not turning
my back on the hobby or anyone in it, pro or fan.
In any event, I'll see many
of you at Gen Con, where you can harangue me for all this. I hope that those
of you who've enjoyed some of my work on RPGs will check out some of my other
work as it becomes available. No matter what though, you can always look for
me browsing the shelves at the local game store, checking out what's new.
|A Daily Dose of Adventure!
My latest game-related project
is the launch of Dungeonaday.com,
a subscription-based website that offers new game content every weekday. Basically,
what I'm doing is building an ongoing dungeon-based campaign of a decidedly
old-school tradition, but utilizing all the newest presentation options. So
expect an adventure like no other with hypertext references to all the important
game content (including various rules references), fluid encounters, and incredible
amounts of detail.
|Gary Gygax (1938-2008)
If you're reading this on
this website, you don't need me to tell you who Gary Gygax is, or to list all
of his amazing accomplishments. In fact, it's not hyperbole to say that, if
it weren't for Gary, you wouldn't be reading this, and this website would not
|Left But Not Gone
I was sitting in my office
at my dream job at Iron Crown Enterprises. Except my office was a small room
with two other editors, and my job was quickly becoming nothing more than trying to convince irate, unpaid authors that financially
things at the company would soon improve and they would get paid. It was less and less the dream I had been dreaming for so long.....
|Gen Con on the Other Side of the Booth
When I started working in the game industry, it was at Gen Con. My very first day working full-time for ICE was at Gen Con 1990. It was also my first Gen Con ever. I had never had the opportunity to go just as an attendee, for fun. For those first few Gen Cons, my job was to "work the booth" a few hours each day, which meant sell product and chat with gamers. It was fun, actually. Then I went to work for TSR, and Gen Con really changed....
For quite a few years, I'd
been in contact with the people at Devir -- a Brazilian game distributor, translator,
and publisher -- about coming down for a convention, but it never seemed to
work out. Finally, almost a year and a half ago, they pinned me down and forced
me to agree to come to Brazil this July. Okay, maybe not forced...
|Well, Here I Am. And I'm Not Leaving
It was the very last day
of my summer internship at ICE, and my boss, Coleman, called me into his office.
By that time, I was pretty sure I knew what this was going to be about. There
had been hints from a few people over the previous week or so...