This post originally appeared as an update across various social media for Spell Saga.
Eh, ya’ll know I ramble. I don’t fucking like it when people who are too old use new language as if it’s their fucking language, but there is a tl:dr (god, I had to google that) at the bottom of the page if’n yer only interested in the sweet stuff (shipments, deck 2 & the like). But I like stories, and I am–if not old, getting older, so my stories take a long time to wind up and spill out. Longer than they did when I was a kid, anyhow. And much slower than these new youths and their dang emotiji’s or whatever.
all the kids’ talk in hieroglyphics
It’s good for feelings but not specifics
It all comes down to choices, really. I remember when I was younger–I was very newly 20, and barely 13 in most of my head–I remember I was homeless, not like, starving homeless (though sometimes I was) and not like, sleep under a bridge homeless (I had the couches of friends, and their friends, and my barely-met acquaintances, though no one seemed to own an air conditioner that Summer. One dude shall remain nameless, as I’m fairly certain he might be a super bad guy. He was never around anyway so I used to listen to his CD collections and spread my Star Wars figures around his house (13, remember, 13). I remember he had a box set of Joy Division, and I became obsessed with this one really fast version of “Love Will tear us Apart”. I used to listen to that in the Summer heat and walk around the house naked looking for something to eat. It was really years later that I realized I had lost my mind.
I had made the choice to stop taking my meds regularly. And then some other choices, as my mind spiraled without that ketracel-white. After what some would say was an alarming series of ordinarily dysfunctional life, my parents made the choice to kick me out. I have had to make a lot more choices since then.
here is a pic of me from around that time with original french toaster: Paxson of Ashgarden.
Where are your fucking packages?
I know that there are some people who keep in touch with me regularly and have a better idea of what’s been going on. And I also know there are others who backed this project 2 and a half years ago and think it’s dead, or i’ve been trolling everyone with shipping dates.
I was at a restaurant. I was not a customer. I had just spent three days straight and about 30 hours running around mopping up drinks. By Sunday, I’m usually on my third double, and it hurts to stand, or run up the stairs with trays of food. (who puts stairs in a restaurant)? But I was feeling pretty good about myself, having made it through one more death sentence of a weekend. I took the job to pay for Spell Saga when some other stuff fell through (like, uh, all our plans, & people abandoning the project). Each Sunday usually ends with me depositing a wad of cash into an ATM and then passing out on my couch surrounded by boxes of a fantasy card game. It is not a bad life, if not a little embarrassing. Also this particular Sunday it was tornado weather and I got to watch an entire porch of rich people get fucking destroyed. I was soaked and running around collecting plates being thrown on the wind. Inside I sat down next to people my age, and before long it came time to tell them why I was serving them and not doing something with my life, which is what I always do if I like a table. As it came out, these people were super into games, and Kickstarter, and anything I could possibly like. I had a used deck in my car that I grabbed for them and they thanked me and told me I was doing great. It was a real moment for me. What was most important though, was the stories they told me about other crowdfunded projects, and how much keeping backers up-to-date mattered to them.
Most of my choices about Spell Saga have been insane. Whether good, or bad (there have been both) the choices have been the work of a mad man. That goes for game design as well as business wise. I do not apologize for the game, but man I am fucking trying you guys. And you will have all your shit this year. But it’s taking forever and here’s where we’re at now:
In 2016 I made a plan with my main man J Rizzo to fund a shipment of 300 units, so all of you would get your shit before we finished with all the printing (there were delays due to packaging changes and etc).
Also that year, J Rizz* dropped off the face of the earth, as did most everyone involved with the project, due to various reasons. I took a second job or two and funded the shipment myself. They arrived in July of that year.
*J Rizz and I are cool. We had a very long talk recently that lifetime asked if they could film.
here is a pic of me & paxson of ashgarden & his son! (we are cool too)
I started sending packages out almost immediately, but I had to wait on the mail myself (autographed boxes take some damn time). By the end of the year everything was going smoothly and every. Single. Package. was about to go out by December 31st. What a fucking relief that was.
Then I lost two jobs in a month, and so did my wife. That was around the time the comments started to crop up, “where is my shit” and etc. Which I get. I mean, I don’t leave comments like that, but I get why someone would.
I scrambled and pulled together jobs and money and started sending out packages again. But now there was a problem: It was 2017 and we needed to start thinking about our patient, angelic manufacturer. Right now, they are waiting for us to upload the art to print Deck 2 and pay the deposit on it. Panda Games has been amazing with us. And I’m not saying that I’m paying for everything by working a restaurant–I have other sources of income for this project. But I am putting most of my personal funds towards it this month, just to get it finished quickly.
So in the last month I had to make another choice, in a long line of choices, and not send as many packages out. Everyone in the US who pledged over $25 should have their shit. I sent out a few Internationals, but not many. My ever-shifting goal is that by July everyone has their stuff. But again, I’ve lost two jobs before–shit happens. I used to not want to leave ANY updates because I didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. I think looking back that was a bad choice. It was probably also a bad choice to air ship any units over here. The cost alone would have covered the printing of Deck 2. But I like all’a you. Even if you leave a mean comment every once in awhile. And I want everyone to have their stuff. Most of my e n t i r e life revolves around it right now.
More choices have been made since the last update. We are printing new packaging for deck 1 and the prelude deck (which means everyone will at least have a fancy zero edition package from those we air-shipped last July–only 301 ever made)! We are also printing deck 2 AND it has it’s very own super-cool holofoil sleeve. But that’s not even the most exciting shit for me.
Cousin Lauren and I are finishing it up. That’s right. It’s happening. She is illustrating a picture for the front of deck 2’s box (I have been dreaming for years it would match the minstrel/lover pic we use on deck 1) and then she’s illustrating a picture for deck 3’s box.
We aren’t printing deck 3 at the moment. But it’s going to happen. So in the meantime, she’ll be spending the next month getting all the art for deck 3 and the ending finished (as soon as I finish writing her an art list).
And THAT’S NOT ALL. Lauren is going to be working on the art for the a new realmwalker deck you may remember called The Discordant Shore. It is the deck that includes copies of all the homemade Paladin Cards you will be receiving this year.
I don’t want to get too into details on this one just yet, but you play as a girl named Brell, who is also named Scaradh. And it’s an adventure so unlike the highlands you will be surprised at where it takes you. Here is a pic of some character descriptions I sent Lauren:
When I’m not trying to NOT vomit because I am cleaning up a table, or worrying about you, or reading wonderful or disparaging comments in between cleaning up tables and worrying, I have been very hard at work on the next Spell Saga release: 1.5 The Under Sky. This DECK is like 2 games in one. You can use it between decks one and two, or use it as a new deck one. The design of this thing has destroyed me. I had to Photoshop the cards as I was making it because the ideas became so complex. It’s all about The Last Minstrel, but it’s also about how this process of making the game has been. Everything has taken so long, and a part of me is sort of dead inside. But I think maybe that part was supposed to die. In it’s place I have found a new type of strength to make things no matter what.
This December is the 8th anniversary of when I first designed Spell Saga. In my head, there is a sort of countdown clock (198 days as of this posting). When the clock in my head strikes zero, my plan is that everyone will have everything. every. Thing. And then I’ll never work in a restaurant again.
Spell Saga continues to dominate my life. As do other things. My band just finished recording everything except the vocals on our first LP, another project that took longer than expected. And I wake up nearly every morning and try to spend at least an hour working on The Novel that has consumed a decade of my life. My plan is that once everyone has their shit, I will pay to have decks 3 and the ending printed, and then we will Kickstart them to recover costs and make sure everyone who wants one sees it. I don’t give a shit about money. I don’t care if I ever make a goddamn cent on this game. It’s all going to end up going back into it anyway. Ii just want to finish the story. And now we can. I hope, regardless of how you feel or think about me, you will want to finish it to.
913 days since the kickstarter started.
-packages still going out
-no you have not missed yours
-deck 2 the forest being printed with holofoil sleeve
-deck 3 the caves being illustrated / finished
-deck 4 the ending being illustrated / finished
-deck 1.5 the under sky nearly finished
-realkwalker ~ the discordant shore being illustrated / finished
-paladin level cards part of discordant shore
-everyone will have everything this year
-most will have everything by july
-life is hard but good