Recent Teen Band Movies

While I try not to use the term “guilty pleasure” – because it implies that there are things we should feel bad about liking – I admit that I don’t quite understand my enjoyment of teen romantic comedies. With a few notable exceptions, I hated most of the movies targeted at me when I was a teen. They didn’t really speak to me about my own life experiences, and often rang quite hollow. Continue reading


On the Liking of Things

What do Star Wars and My Little Pony have in common?

I could jump into a cultural commentary about how both have been at the center of recent attempts to un-gender fandoms and (more importantly) children’s toys and clothes. I could compare the writing between the various animated properties of the two. I could even talk about how both of them make excellent use of music, with specific examples. But I won’t. I’m going to go much more personal than that.

Star Wars and My Little Pony are both things that I love unequivocally. They are also both things that people have given me a lot of crap for loving. Continue reading

Popularity vs. Impact – The RPG Awards Season

As we come to the end of the summer, I wanted to reflect on the winners and losers of a variety of contests and awards (including my personal experiences).

Origins Awards

The Origins Awards have historically been more focused on card and board games. They contain only two awards for RPG: “Best Role Playing Game” and “Best Role Playing Game Supplement.” As you can see from the nominations, these awards tend to be focused on prominent companies and popular products. The nod to Atomic Robo is probably about as far out as the Origins Awards are likely to get. Continue reading

Reviewing and Anticipating – Game Chef 2015

The critic has to educate the public. The artist has to educate the critic.

-Oscar Wilde

This year, for the first time, I participated in the annual Game Chef design contest. I enjoyed the process very much, largely because the theme – “A different audience” – led me on a very unexpected design path that has resulted in what I believe is one of my most important pieces of writing in recent history. There will be more about that product in another post. Right now I want to discuss the last step I have just completed as an entrant: the peer reviews. Continue reading

Introducing Rockalypse

All our shows are secret shows.

-Kim Pine, Sex Bobomb

Mentioning a project on the internet is one of the ways that I commit to doing it. With that in mind, I would like to announce that work is underway on my first major RPG project outside of Steamscapes.

Rockalypse (working title) is the post-apocalyptic game of musical adventuring. It will be powered by Fate Core and will use the full advantages of that system. There will be no physical combat whatsoever – all conflict will be resolved by how hard you rock.

I have already started developing the game, but I am going to save the details for later. For now, I’ll just leave you with a short list of influences so you can get a taste of where I’m going with this:

  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  • Tank Girl
  • FLCL
  • Six String Samurai
  • Brutal Legend
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension


That’s all very well! But finally, after years of stagnation, the TV people have woken up to the need for locally-based minority programs! Made by amateurs! And perhaps of interest only to two or three people! It’s important, right? It’s now! And I want to watch!

-Rik Mayall, “The Young Ones”

This is – at least for the time being – the home of my new writer’s blog. This is where I will post all of my thoughts about writing that don’t necessarily follow a specific product line (like Steamscapes) or that discuss projects that are still in the embryo stages and may not be ready for the primetime marketing push of an official website. I may also discuss theatre, gaming, education, and other topics of interest to me, but always at least partially through the lens of writing.

You are welcome to comment, of course, though honestly I don’t expect a lot of general traffic here. More likely I will post things so I can refer to them later. If you’ve come here from one of those references, feel free to poke around the random pile of thoughts, or just hightail it to more interesting corners of the internet.