This is a guest post from a good friend and incredible GM, Tracy. Tracy is working on a kick ass project called Sand & Steam and I highly recommend that you check it out. 🙂
Hey there. My name’s Tracy. You may not know me, but I’m working on a multi-system campaign setting called Sand & Steam. You can find it right here: http://www.sandandsteam.net. Good stuff, right? Yeah, well that’s not why I’m writing today’s post. I’m writing this post to point out that, as gamer’s we have impeccable instincts for supporting people and things that are awesome. I can hear some of you now, saying “Yeah, well what about Game X that we all know is crap, but still sells?” Have a seat, right over there, and prepare to pay attention.
What prompted me to write this is a couple of events that happened on December 1st. The first of those events was a display of the humanity and caring of gamers that was awe-inspiring. You see, there’s this guy, Ryan Macklin, and this girl, Elizabeth Sampat, who had convergence of who seemingly unrelated things. Ryan’s been working on a game called Mythender for about five years, now. It’s pretty much done. Elizabeth has a friend, named Kelly. Kelly recently good good news: she has cervical cancer. Yes, I said good news. Good because she had tumors all over her body, and the possibility of multiple type of cancer. Turns out, she only has one. She deemed this to be good news, and I’m backing her play.
So what happened on December 1st? Well, Ryan and Elizabeth got together (along with some other awesome game designers), and decided to try and raise money for Kelly. Ryan stated that if the gaming community could raise $4,000 by January 1, 2012, he would release Mythender for free, to everyone. If not, he’d drop the project. Strong words. In addition, anyone that donated, much like a Kickstarter campaign, would get some stuff for their efforts. Stuff besides the goodwill that such acts bring. The result? As of the writing of this post, less than 24 hours after the challenge started, the total stands at $9,890. You heard me. Almost ten thousand dollars. And, it’s still going. This thing, put together by two great game designers, is an awesome thing, and the gaming community supported it.
I said above that two things happened on December 1st. So, what was the second?
A distinguished gentleman by the name of Will Hindmarch, some 11 years ago, ran a cyberpunk campaign for his friends. They loved it. Recently, he hacked the fantastic Lady Blackbird to serve as an anniversary tribute to that game. He set the game eleven years after the cessation of the original campaign, and he advanced the in-game timeline the same amount of time. And, he ran it for the same group.
Now, Will has decided that he’s going to make the game available to the public, if he can raise the funds. He began a Kickstarter on December 1st for the project, titled Always/Never/Now. He needed $1,500 to make this goal a reality. Again, as of the writing of this post he is at $2,535, and he has 37 days to go. If you like the idea, you can support it yourself.
Here’s the point. As gamers, we are often a tribe divided. We huddle around the burning fires of our love for various games, or editions of games, and we stand our ground, attacking anyone who dares question our loyalty. There’s something natural to that reaction. After all, with all of the time and money we spend on our passions, if someone questions the greatness of what we love, it seems like a personal attack, rather than a simple difference of opinion.
But, on December 1st, in two very different way, but for two very good sets of reasons, gamer across the world saw something awesome, and they supported it. As a game designer, and as a person, those actions warm my heart. They give me hope in that people can just be good. They also give me hope that, when my time comes, when Sand & Steam is ready for primetime, and I need the support of the community to make it a success, if I have created something awesome, I know I will be just fine.
Thanks, gamers. Thanks for being awesome.