It’s A Trap!

Almost two years ago, I told you about Trapslyvania, a project to be published by Goodman Games. The book was delayed for many valid reasons but is now in the final layout stage. I was excited to receive the pages of my submission in all their final “typeset” glory in my email yesterday. This was timely, because I was struggling for a February topic to post here.

My contribution for the book was written in the fall of 2015, so reading it again was like remembering a weird dream. It was so fun to relive the little adventure I wrote that I wanted to share two sneak peeks with you. Above, you’ve seen a small piece of the grand artwork by Steven S. Crompton. And below, here’s an excerpt from the story.

Watch for a Kickstarter from Goodman Games to bring this project out of the caverns and into the light. I will announce further news on Trapsylvania here at this blog.

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Stop! Look! Listen!


Merry Christmas to all my Twitch viewers, book readers, and audiobook listeners! I hope you are having a wonderful holiday. Gifts are not a big part of my holiday experience, but here’s wishing that you received many treasures this month.

Year’s end is a time for reflection. I was unable to meet all my creative goals in 2017, but that’s okay. This past year felt like I was moving my pieces around a war game board to set up for a future attack. The time I did have free was dedicated mainly to my broadcasts on Twitch. They’re what I enjoy most at the moment and I hope that you will stop by, say hello, and become a follower. (On Twitch I go by the name TalkingTowhee – towhees are the birds shown in the Christmas card above!)

But there are newsworthy items I wanted to let you know about as 2017 draws to a close. First, STOP by Drivethrurpg.com .

Traps Bazaar, one of my gaming projects from way back in 1994 is available again as a digital download. Can your dungeon party survive this collection of devious traps specially curated by Grimtooth the troll and young Grimtina? I think not!

Next, take a LOOK at what’s coming in January at MarsCon in Williamsburg, VA. Here’s a sneak peek at the table of contents for Go Ahead and Howl, the werewolf anthology to benefit the Heritage Humane Society. Weather permitting, I will be at the convention on Saturday, January 13 for a signing, so look for me at the Dreampunk Press table.

Lastly, have a LISTEN to this interesting interview with my City of the Gods Universe creative partner Steve Crompton on The Susan Harmon Hour. Steve talks about the City of the Gods, mythology and more. You can hear this free at Soundcloud.com. Skip to the 31:37 mark to jump right to Steve’s interview.

I wish you all the best for 2018. My next update will come in late January with a look at what’s on the horizon for Spring.

Ever Used a Sanborn Map For Gaming?

What do I love more than writing about fictional places? Creating maps and background resource material for them to be used in role playing games! Today is “Free RPG Day” at many gaming stores. I’m late to the party, but you won’t find any Utopea materials in stores at this time anyway. To get your hands on those, you need to subscribe to my newsletter.

I’m happy to give you a sneak peek at a piece of the Utopea role playing supplement that will be available in the future. I have been working on a Sanborn Map of the village of Utopea. Sanborn Maps are historical documents that depicted the structures in American cities and towns to assess fire insurance liability. They detailed every building, the material it was made of, and its use. They are invaluable for historians and genealogists and are just plain fun to study. While a hidden mountain hamlet like Utopea would in reality never have had a Sanborn Map made for it, I decided to imitate the Sanborn style in the maps I am creating for this project. They really have that turn-of-the-twentieth-century look to them that fits Utopea perfectly. All the colors and markings reveal interesting details about the buildings.

What you see here is just a small piece of the map. More of it will be revealed in future “Wynn’s Window” newsletters. Did you sign up yet?

 

News About Your Favorite Titles

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Welcome everyone! You might read this blog because you’re a City of the Gods Universe fan. Or, you may have heard me mention my work during my Twitch TV broadcasts and have dropped in to see what I’ve been up to. You might have met me at a convention, or played in one of my demo card games of Awkward Compliments. However you have found my website, enjoy these updates on all those projects and more!

City of the Gods: There will be something new released at Phoenix Comic Con, May 25 – 28, 2017. Come back to my blog monthly until that date for hints about what it will be!

City of the Gods, Planet Coaster Builds: Not everything in the realms is epic and huge. Here’s one of the crystal guardian stations manned by its hidden deity of discernment. Will you be judged worthy of entry to the City?

Utopea: The Arrow newspaper of the mysterious town of Utopea once published these intriguing lines. “A black wolf was spotted on the ridge over east hollow last full moon. Ben Moates said he couldn’t be sure if it was one of his kin or a regular beast.” I can confirm that there are indeed werewolves lurking in the forest, and in 2018 their story will be told. I have been invited to contribute a tale to a werewolf anthology which will debut at MarsCon 2018, January 12 – 14 in Williamsburg, VA. If you haven’t yet guessed, the convention’s theme is “Werewolves of MarsCon!”

Awkward Compliments Card Game: Our sales page at Gamecrafter has been updated to reflect our new packaging. Awkward Compliments now comes in a Large Pro Box which contains the three 108 card decks of the base game and allows room for storing future expansions. Rules now come printed on deck cards, so no more paper instructions. We have also been awarded the “Red Stone Seller” accolade.

Your next chance to meet the Awkward Compliments team will be at RavenCon, April 28 – 30, 2017 in Williamsburg, VA. Stop by the Dreampunk Press table, buy the game, and receive convention-only bonuses!

Happy Spring to all my readers and gaming friends. I’ll be back in April with more news on all these projects and more.

I Know What I Like

I spent the end of the summer learning how to live stream and integrate my content into Twitch TV’s gaming platform. Now that I have been broadcasting my  video game show nine hours a week for over two months, I can honestly say that streaming is my favorite way to interact with followers. I’m “talkingtowhee” on Twitch. Here’s my channel banner:

channel-offline-coaster-farm-banner

When viewers enter my chat room during a show, I can speak directly to them, find out their interests, and engage them personally. Twitter follows and Facebook likes seem so hollow in comparison to an actual conversation — not that I discount that support, but unless a comment is included with a thumbs up I have only a general idea why my content interested you. And it’s rare that a writer gets a chance to go in depth with a reader about particularly pleasing elements of a work.

In contrast, broadcasting is instantly rewarding, unlike writing. But handling live feedback requires a degree of extroversion and flexible social skills that some creative folks lack. Occasionally a troll will spawn in the chat room, or some awkward person will say something uncomfortable. But that’s easily dealt with, and uneven chat sessions don’t have the staying power of negative reviews. Streaming has also confirmed I have “the gift of gab.” No one wants to watch a boring, mostly quiet stream. I’ve found I can chatter on to the camera easily for the three hour time slots of my shows.

My streams have been visited by gamers from all over the world. Many of them have become regular viewers. I haven’t run into any negativity or criticism or judgment which has been a breath of fresh air when compared to some of the writing world’s elitism.

Once “City of the Gods” is completed, I may put books permanently on the shelf. I find myself drawn creatively to the mobile gaming and streaming world at this time. We’ll see what 2017 has in store for me. In the meantime, grab yourself a free Twitch viewing account and come say hello during one of my streams. You can also view short highlights at the same link below.

“Talking Towhee’s No Kill Zone” broadcast schedule: Monday, 8-11 AM EST — Wednesday, 7-10 PM EST — Friday, 1-4 PM EST. View live on Twitch TV: https://www.twitch.tv/talkingtowhee

Times Are Tough; But Card Games Are Fun!

18fdid The Kickstarter campaign for Awkward Compliments has about three weeks left to run. That means you’ll be hearing a lot about this card game that matches people, places and things to the most innapropriate and crazy kudos. We’ve had a bit of trouble getting the word out with most gaming enthusiasts attending GenCon, cosplayers prepping for Dragon Con, film fans experiencing Suicide Squad, and everyone else playing Pokemon GO. Kickstarters fail without a broad base of fans sharing the word. So I have favors to ask of you all, and some tools to make it easy for you to help.

First, VISIT OUR KICKSTARTER PAGE. There’s a video to show you what the game is all about, and if you don’t have time to watch we’ve summarized play succinctly in the text. I have to commend the play testers who so willing posed for the crazy character photos you’ll see in the video. We had an amazingly fun time posing in front of a green screen and being silly.

Then, PLEASE MAKE A PLEDGE! Remember, you will only be charged if the campaign reaches its goal. Yes, it’s a large amount of money; but the number reflects actual costs and you can see the financial breakdown on our campaign page. We are not trying to “get rich” on your dimes. We are just trying to bring you 300 hilarious cards in a three deck set that will give you hours of quick, play anywhere fun.

SHARE OUR CAMPAIGN. You can do this quickly and generically from our Kickstarter page by clicking any of the social media icons (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). But it really helps to add a short personal remark to your shares to appeal to your friends and followers. If you’re stuck for something to say (I know it can be awkward to promote projects!) here’s some text you can copy and paste:

  • “Do you like crazy, easy-to-play card games? My friends made one and you can get a great deal on it. Check out the link.”
  • “Have you heard about the “Awkward Compliments” card game? We should all buy decks and play together. Pledge with me!”
  • “These people are crazy!! Watch their Kickstarter video. Their card game sounds like a lot of fun. I’m backing them!”

BE AN INFLUENCER. If you have a podcast, a Twitch stream, a YouTube audience, or a busy Instagram account, please talk about Awkward Compliments and especially the BACKER ACHIEVEMENT badges that can be unlocked. You can encourage your viewers to write compliments on potatoes, dress up like cat ladies and lumberjacks, or record awkward songs. Double dog dare your audience and see what mayhem ensues.

Lastly, A FEW SIMPLE CLICKS are always appreciated and will help unlock backer achievement badges. IF you haven’t already done so, please FOLLOW @awkwardcardgame on Twitter and LIKE our Facebook page

Thanks in advance for doing any or all of the tasks above. I truly appreciate your help and will strive to continue creating content that you enjoy. ~ Wynn