I’m flying over Oklahoma right now, after a delay at LAX. I’ve slept 45 minutes out of the last 36 I’ve been so busy getting ready for the convention.
An update: The book, as always progresses. It’s a strange experience to think I’ve really nailed down a concept about Sorcerer, and then wander the lands of the Internet and discover there’s even more subjects to cover than I anticipated. (Sorcerer is all about squalid and degrading character with no redeeming qualities on a moral death spiral? Really? Guess I better add another chapter to the book.)
And a lot of work has been done just going over ideas and concepts and checking them again and again. A big shout out has to got to Jesse Burneko for helping me on this. I keep starting conversations about Sorcerer with him, he keeps thoughtfully replying. We check in with each other to see how we might handle a subtle aspect of the system, look for way to find the basic principle of the game, have conversations about the nature of Kickers and so on. His words have not only been informative, but a pleasure.
On other fronts, in the last year I’ve been working on an original Internet series I sold to Michael Eisner’s company, have had meetings around town about a TV pilot that’s getting good buzz, directed a documentary I’ll be cutting next month, and built a relationship with a Saudi Prince to get funding to make a mini-series about the history of Saudi Arabia that I’ll be writing. I’m very excited about the project. It’s kind of like a real life Dune.
But I’ll keep typing.
Projects like this require a lot of starting and stopping of the brain and a great deal of creative momentum to really dig in and solve problems. How exactly do you compress 70 years and four generations of early House of Saud history into seven hours? This means working on Play Sorcerer in snatches when my brain isn’t focused fiercely on setting up larger writing assignments that can pay the bills and all.
The exciting news, for me, at least, is GenCon. I’ll be there all four days, working the Adept Press booth running a Sorcerer Boot Camp each day. The reason this matters to me is that it will let me test a lot of the phrasings and subjects I’ve worked up for Play Sorcerer. One of the big anxieties I have about ht book is, “Okay, I think this book is making sense to help people play Sorcerer. But does it really?” For four days I’ll have a chance to interact with people face to face specifically on this subject, see what words use “click” with people, find out where people get snagged, and what issues people most want to focus on.
The other cool news is that I have what is essentially a chapter of Play Sorcerer in the form of a pamphlet that I’ll be selling at the Adept Press booth. It’s an 8,000 word document, presented in a 8.5″x5.5″ format. It presents the kind of layout and page structure I’ve been working on the for the book. Each page is a self-contained unit — either a mini-essay on a specific facet of the subject at hand, or specific mechanical facet of the subject at had. The idea is the each page is a discreet concept or procedure. The reader gets to read the page and say, “Oh, okay. Got it.” And then turn the page to the next stand alone idea and go, “Oh, Okay. Got it.”
By having this chapter in people’s hands, I’ll get a sense of how that is working out.
Finally, a big shout out to Ron Edwards, not only for making a great game that’s given me so much fun, but also for making sure I made the time for the convention when I wasn’t sure if I should go. He was right, I was wrong. I’m really looking forward to the this week.
If you’re at the convention, please make sure to stop by and say hello!