Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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April 2018

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#AprilTTRPGMaker Day 18: Current Inspiration

My current inspiration right now, for a game I’m noodling with, hopefully in time for Strategicon, is a dream I had. It was shortly after I watched the pilot episode of Last Man on Earth, and in the dream, all the survivors of the apocalypse were monsters.

So, now I’m working on a game called Last Monster on Earth. It started as a PbtA game, but I think it works better in Fate. I’m hoping to playtest it at Strategicon on Memorial Day weekend.

And yes, this is a game I started working on 2 years ago.

#AprilTTRPGMaker Days 14, 15, 16, and 17

Playing catchup. Don’t judge me– I’m on my 3rd week at a new job!

Day 14: What are your dreams and plans?

I would like to turn a profit on Threadbare. I’m honestly having some cashflow issues with getting it out. Nothing I can’t manage, but it makes the process a little tricky.

Day 15: Do you design in public or private?

Both? I’m a very public person, and have a fairly open circle in Google+ for playtesting. I post a lot on my blog where I muse about game design and decisions I’m making about various games.

Day 16: Design Partners?

That would be my best friend and partner, Toby Strauss. You will see his name crop up in collaborations with me in many places. Someday, we’ll probably have to form some kind of partnership corporation to handle our creative works together. To date, we’ve published a larp, a comic book, and have co-authored a game that’s in layout right now. He’s contributed to Threadbare, and I know I’ll be contributing to his next project, too. We’re collaborating on a PbtA game about office politics as well. We tend to throw our ideas around at each other quite a bit, and then note them in our various notebooks and google docs until we’re ready to flesh them out.

Day 17: Favorite form of feedback?

Direct, personal feedback from playtesters is always great, but I’m going to talk about feedback that’s motivating.

I love achievements, so any time I win something for my work, it’s a big rush. Winning the 200-word RPG contest was a huge motivator. Getting a Champion ribbon on a knitted shawl at the county fair provoked me into entering again this year. Money is great, but the amount I make from writing games is unlikely to match what I make at my day job. But accolades? Having someone semi-objectively judge my work and find it worthy? Yum!

#AprilTTRPGMaker Day 12 and 13

Day 12: Getting My Work Out There

This varies based on what the work is.

When I contribute to others’ projects, I’m limited to their delivery method. Usually, that means a DriveThruRPG delivery plus some physical format if it has a physical product.

For my own stuff, I’ve fulfilled one project through DriveThruRPG, and have gone through a printer for other non-game projects. I sell Threadbare on IPR and at conventions.

In all cases, you can find a list and links to my published works here on my blog, in the My Games drop down in my sidebar, as well as on the My Games page.

Day 13: Biggest Influences

Some of the biggest influences on my game creation life are probably the amazing women and non-binary people I know who are nerds, gamers, and leaders in the gaming and game design space. Women like Stephanie Payne, a local organizer in Las Vegas who founded the Very Awesome Girls group. Avonelle Wing, who heads up Double Exposure, a company that tirelessly promotes games and game development through conventions, street teams, playtest rooms, etc. Elsa S Henry, who is a leader in accessibility and representation in gaming. Beth Rimmels, who runs rings around me (and everyone else) in social media marketing. Kate Bullock who heads Breakout Con and numerous Toronto-area gaming events. Non-binary folx like Stacy Dellorfano who founded ConTessa. Brie Sheldon, who does 5-question interviews with game designers and shows you don’t have to do longform articles to make a big impact (which is not to say they don’t spend as much time or more on those interviews!)

Stephanie Payne, founder of Very Awesome Girls. Photo credit: Chris Lebron


#AprilTTRPGMaker: What’s your Brand

I really don’t have one. I tried a few years ago, and did pretty well with the knitting comic book, but I burned out, hard.

Now, I try to make each project or phase of my life its own brand, but down beneath the surface, it’s all still just me, being me.

Since I don’t have a lot to say on this count, here’s me being licked by a dog.

AprilTTRPGMaker Day 10: Favorite Game to Relax With

My go-to for time killing is Star Realms, which is a competitive deck builder that can be played in person or online. I have both the mobile app and a very extensive library of the physical cards, thanks to a fortuitous buy on G+ from someone who was getting rid of some games.

The nice thing with this game is that, although they sell booster packs, the contents of each pack is entirely known. The core box, at $15, is all you need to play a 2-player game, though if you add a second core box, you can expand to 4. I think the maximum number of players is 6, though I’ve never played with that many.

There are a large number of variations on the game, and the company released a high fantasy variation called Hero Realms. Hero Realms is cool because there’s a campaign expansion where you play cooperatively against a campaign deck.

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