Thursday, June 11, 2020

Death comes to Glenfallow: Heading to Beta Test




June 11th, 2020

It's been far to long since I've posted an entry to this blog.  Sorry everyone, the end of 2019 and all of 2020 has been chaotic (to say the least).  To get back into the swing of things I'm posting this entry to let everyone know where we are with Tarot Adventures, Book Three: Death comes to Glenfallow.  

What is 'Death comes to Glenfallow'?

Death comes to Glenfallow (DctG) is the third book in my Tarot Adventures series.  Each is an adventure module themed after a particular card of the Major Arcana from the traditional Tarot deck.  DctG carries with it a particularly import bit of NPC character evolution, the 'change' that underlies the larger story, all set against this horror story / zombie movie style adventure.  It will be easy for groups to get multiple horror-filled game sessions from this book.


Where we are and what has been done:

The alpha level play test sessions were conducted virtually.  Our play testers were subjected to the DctG horror story over multiple game play sessions.  With the holiday season at the end of 2019, personal schedules, and then full blown 2020 happening, it took a few months for those game play sessions to wrap up.  

There was some really good feedback about DctG and the entire play test group has declared that they really enjoyed the adventure.  Notes have been gathered up, particularly along clarifying the mystery elements and some changes to pacing and introduced mechanics.  Presently the playable draft of the beta test edition is being assembled, beta test game masters have been lined up, and play testing at that level will begin soon.

Art:

Anthony Ojeda is almost done with the book's cover! He has been sending in work-in-progress images very regularly.  For this book we are once again going with a wraparound cover format and, I have to admit, it looks amazing!   The title card for the book cover has been lettered by none other than Brian Lee and now only needs its final coloring. The black and white base version of the title card is shown above.

We'll be crowdfunding this book to pay for interior art, also created by Anthony Ojeda, to make this the first book in the Tarot series that has been illustrated by a single artist.  This decision was made so that the art would be more uniform in stylistic execution.  With an adventure that is so thematically intense it just made sense to keep the art as consistent in style as possible.

Maps are being developed by the remarkable James Lee.  


What's next:

Throughout the remainder of this week assembly (formatting, editing, etc) of Death comes to Glenfallow's Beta test document will continue.  I'm hoping to have it completed by June 17th so that it can be distributed to the game masters before launch of the crowdfunding campaign.  This will provide time for me to collect impressions from the various beta-test groups and publish their feedback to the KickStarter campaign. 

Crowdfunding for this book will be done to pay artist Anthony Ojeda for creation of interior art/illustrations.  To this end the KickStarter campaign is being created with its first goal being funding for two full page illustrations.  Additional illustrations will be funded as stretch goals are reached.  The cover art will be displayed for the KickStarter campaign and we'll be sharing out work in progress on illustrations on the KickStarter page after we reach funding goal.

Editing will begin after the feedback is in from the beta test groups, meaning it will begin during the last week of the campaign.  


The Crowdfunding / KickStarter campaign:

Creating a KickStarter campaign requires a lot of research, comprehension of inherent costs, contingency planning and patience.  Given the current Covid-19 pandemic, civil unrest and the early stages of recession that seem to be upon us here in the U.S. I have had to make several changes during the development of this campaign.  

Shipping within the United States remains fairly consistent from before the pandemic outbreak, but international shipping is largely unavailable to several nations.  With the virus outbreak on the rise in my region (Kentucky) I don't blame any nation for being cautious.  Because of shipping uncertainty I'll only be offering signed copies within the United States and its territories.  

To date I have fulfilled all ten of the KickStarter campaigns that I've launched which have successfully funded.  Artists commissioned for these projects have all been paid on schedule in accordance with their contracts.  With all of my campaigns I have resolved any problems that arose in shipping or production.  If you haven't backed one of my campaigns before, just take a look on KickStarter for campaigns under my personal account and campaigns launched under the company account .  I am very grateful for all the support I've received as I continue my adventure into publishing.

The eternal question: Where doe the money go?  For each of my crowdfunding campaigns money has been used for production costs (paying for art), printing & shipping expenses.  Any extra funds left over have been applied toward development of subsequent projects.  For DctG, I'll be following much the same formula, though I will be claiming a small portion of any extra funds as income this time with all remaining used for future projects.


I hope you are looking forward to Death comes to Glenfallow and will enjoy running/playing through it at least as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

Special thanks to Anthony Ojeda, James Lee, Patricia Lee, Brian Lee, my Patreon supporters and all of you who have followed my blogs.  Your support makes a tremendous difference.


W.S. "Sam" Quinton




















Thursday, August 1, 2019

Catching up: A lot going on, so check this out.


Art by Brian Lee, colored by Rebecca Coulthart

It's been a while since I posted about my new adventure, so let's catch up a bit.

Two years and still going strong:

Hard to believe that I've now been publishing role playing game books for two years!  It has been a LOT of work and has been possible through the support of wonderful backers on KickStarter and from the remarkable work of the freelance art team.

From the beginning, I've tried to learn from every project and worked to make every book better than the one that came before.  It can be quite tiring but I'm happy to say that I'm very pleased with each book I've released.  That is a HUGE thing to be able to say and it's only because I know that I did my very best effort with each project that I can feel that way.

There is a stack of "to do" projects sitting next to my little desk now.  Throughout this blog I have recommended that self-publishing writers / game designers take notes of every project concept that blossoms in their mind.  I've been doing that and now have a little over 100 (seriously) projects that I've noted.  Many of these ideas are getting scheduled for development while others have to wait their turn.  Some projects garner more interest than others and the momentum that builds behind them gives rise to discussions with artists, to KickStarter campaigns and the calculations of how to make them a reality.  IT. IS. AWESOME!

There are a LOT of projects I'll be releasing over the coming years, but here is where I reiterate one of my biggest points I return to on this blog:  "No one can enjoy your book until you write it".  In other words, you just need to do it.  Please remember that a bad draft is still MUCH better than no draft at all. Hit the keys, pick up a pen and paper, write down your ideas.  Even if it's vague or strange, (Example:  'book about goblins getting murdered by evil heroes').  Come back to what excites you and get to work.

Cover of Tarot Adventures, Book Two: Comet over Echo Rock
Artist: Brian Lee


Work life balance:

Writing, game design, coordinating your release schedule, dealing with printers, running crowdfunding campaigns and all the various little tasks you do when you publish your own work take up considerable amounts of time.  I recommend that you DO NOT let your writing and publishing intrude to far into your personal life. 

I'm a single father.  I work a day job, one that I actually enjoy, then pick up my child from school and we head to the park or go home and play.  I make dinner, we eat, play time gives way to getting cleaned up for bedtime, we have reading time and then it's lights out for the little human.  Even though I love writing, I love my kids far more.  Even with deadlines fast approaching I make every effort to keep my time with the kids sacred.  Don't get me wrong, there have been a few times when I've had to compromise a few hours, but it bothers me to do so.  I don't want to miss anything from their lives while they're so little. So, I work after bedtime, often until two in the morning, then I'm back up at six to get breakfast made and get our day started.  It is tiring.

Speaking of tiring, I'm normally good on four to six hours of sleep.  This is just how I'm made, and is definitely not for everyone.  Don't let my schedule intrude on yours.  The key take-away here is, don't miss out on family time to get your writing done.  Find time outside of those moments, in the quiet hours when it's 'me time' to put your ideas down. 

From "Whispers of Persephone"
Artist: Christian Martinez


Is there money in it yet?

Friends and family ask this of me sometime.  I think they assume I'm making money because I have put out several books over these two years and when you look at my KickStarter campaigns you see dollar signs.  I can tell you honestly, that after expenses I'm still just about breaking even.  Extra revenue, what would be 'profit' gets used up for art on new projects.   My list of books, posters, merchandise items and art that I own rights to, continues to grow but like so many of us I keep working the day job to pay the bills.  To my thinking, there is nothing wrong with that. 

When I started, people actually told me that I should wait until I had a few thousand followers on social media before I tried launching a KickStarter campaign. Nope, I didn't wait.  I still, to this day, don't have numbers like that.  What I can say is that I'm slowly approaching 200 followers on my personal KickStarter account and that, to me, means a lot.  It means that people who are happy to support creators have taken the time to follow so that they will get notice when I put out a campaign.  It is a great feeling.

But is there money in writing, in designing game content, in being your own boss?  Yes, I firmly believe there is.  I'm building for the long term, so I can leave my company to my kids one day, but I am optimistic for the future.  Someday, maybe when I write about being three or four years into publishing, I'll be saying 'Yes, there is money to be made"... time will tell I suppose.

D'Inn, the veteran goblin mercenary
Art by the amazing: Alexia Veldhuisen


Monthly Releases and Patreon:

I have a simple ambition that has grown from producing books.  One day I would like to release a lot of content for subscribers each month.  Sounds simple, right?

The truth of the matter is that funding art becomes pricey very quickly.  Currently, I fund it out of pocket with help from subscribers (now on Patreon).  So, I realize that seems pretty standard, but what I'm wanting to grow to isn't.  I aspire to release a monthly comic, a dystopian rpg "news sheet", a monthly pair of pin-up illustrations (one male & one female), the monthly PDF detailing a character/companion/creature/monster that I'm currently releasing, and adventures and news for a living campaign.  I want to combine this with a live stream to provide fun, good quality content that I can enjoy and be proud of.  Is that too much to ask for? (hmm... maybe, lol).

Fact is, it will take copious amounts of funding and I don't have that level of following, yet.  I say 'yet' not because I think it's inevitable (I certainly don't) but because I've watched an audience grow over the last few years.  It's a small, close knit audience certainly, but an audience I've been blessed with because they have been AMAZING!!!! So, I'm sticking to my guns on my opinion on the matter of growing your audience.  Creating the best quality content you can, being open and honest about missteps, and daring to put yourself out in front of folks to say "hey I made a thing!" is really a fantastic way to grow.  Is it slow?  Yes.  It's also what I'm comfortable with.

Now, last year I got some criticism for making comments on growing an audience when mine is so small.  There is a validity to that position in that conventional wisdom measures followers in the thousands as a minimum.  I just happen to disagree with that position.  I think an audience of five is just as important as an audience of five million (though not as financially beneficial).  Those five people following you think enough of your work to check it out so treasure them because they are important.

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Shameless self-promotion warning:  As I write this entry the Patreon page has been active for three days.  So far, three of the subscribers from the Drip page have migrated over and I have three new subscribers who have arrived.  I invite you to subscribe as well to receive the monthly PDF and to be a part of what I hope will become a growing community.  (Subscribe Here) Or use the button at the top of the page.  Thank you.
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Back to what's new:

                                                                Sinopa Omnibus

Collecting the monthly releases together into a biannual book proved to be a good idea.  From a formatting stand point, the book was simple to produce as the PDFs were already put together, so stitching them into one book was relatively easy.  This also appealed to KickStarter backers who are not fond of subscription formats and/or who prefer print over digital.  Bringing the Omnibus to KickStarter also allowed me the opportunity to release bonus content and to set up stretch goals to add even more.  The first volume funded fully and I'm cautiously optimistic about it as a recurring biannual title.  Volume Two will come to KickStarter in late September.

                                                          Break KickStarter!!!

As a subheading, 'Break KickStarter' is fun.  This a campaign theme being promoted by the folks at KickStarter as a sort of challenge to do things differently, shake up the status quo and to make things on KickStarter look different.  I'm rising to that challenge with the help of some very talented people as we work to fund Broken!

Title card designed and illustrated by: Zack ViolaClick on image to preview the KickStarter campaign

You can click on the title card image to preview the campaign page.

With this campaign we're working to create a new, never before seen role playing game.  But unlike the usual method, we're putting the choice of what is going into the game in the hands of the backers.  I've built the budget, assembled the art team and even lined up additional writers to help bring this game from nothing to play test in four months time. 

I'm very excited about creating Broken! and can't wait to see what the community chooses for it to become!

                                                        Fantasy Pin-Up Collection

Yes, you read that right.  We're putting together a fantasy pin-up collection.  These illustrations will be done in a tasteful manner reminiscent of the pin-ups of the 40s and 50s.  The pin-up girls for this first book will be from fantasy races straight out of tabletop role playing games and fantasy themed fiction.  This is going to be a beautiful little book and lots of fun to create.


                                   Tarot Adventures, Book Three: Death comes to Glenfallow

Several re-writes have gone by and now Death comes to Glenfallow is in its initial play test (the one I'm running).  After this adventure has been resolved, I'll make what corrections need be done, then send it on to the play test group for a good beating, err, I mean round of testing... yeah, that's it.  Art for this Tarot Adventure will be done by the remarkable Anthony Ojeda.  See the illustration below he did for Tarot Adventures, Book One: The Draw of Glenfallow!

Goblins ambush the group in 'The Draw of Glenfallow'
Art by Anthony Ojeda



                                                                  47 Furious Tails

With the successful funding and release of 47 Furious Tails, Issue One I am thrilled to say I have released my first comic book!  This was a labor of love, requiring two kickstarter campaigns to get it funded, and months of illustration work by Alexia Veldhuisen.  The comic is gorgeous!  I'm really excited to be working on a few re-writes for issue two before we come back to KickStarter to fund book two.

Cover by Alexia Veldhuisen

In 2019 we've released issue one of 47 Furious Tails, the first Volume of the Sinopa Omnibus and the regional map of Glenfallow (the setting of the Tarot Adventures).  As you can see, it's been a busy year indeed.


There are several books in development at this time, and the Sinopa Assemble comic anthology is currently live on KickStarter.  You can support that campaign (please do) by clicking on the link to it in the Featured Crowdfunding Campaign, link above. 

*****

There is a lot going on in my new adventure.  I've had some successes, a few setbacks, some inspired ideas and some not-so-great.  KickStarter has been particularly kind to me and I look forward to breaking it with Broken!.  I'm enjoying the thrill of writing as well as the challenges of production. I've had the opportunity to share useful information with first time KickStarter creators and I'm very happy for their success.  I think the future is bright and I am looking forward to pushing my limits with each book.

Most importantly, I hope that the people who read my work, play in my games, and pick up my comics enjoy them every bit as much as I enjoy creating them.  Maybe then I am sharing some of my own joy with the world, and that just might make the world a little better.  I can hope so anyway.

Thank you for joining me on my adventure. I hope you'll join me for the next post as 'Adventure Awaits' and it's more fun to have such adventures with good company.

~ W.S. "Sam" Quinton




Thursday, January 24, 2019

47 Furious Tails and other cool comics on KickStarter

January 23rd, 2019 at 12:00 PM (noon) the campaign for 47 Furious Tails launched.  The response from backers was amazing!

In the first twelve hours of the campaign 45 backers pledged $1116 toward the campaign goal of $6500!  This was a huge day, particularly when compared to the first launch.  I'm thrilled by the response this project has received. (Thank you all!)

Promotion for the campaign:

47 Furious Tails has been promoted in a number of ways.  Update posts on the original campaign page have continued as new information became available, the project has been mentioned in every podcast I have appeared on, I've written entries about my mistakes on the first crowdfunding attempt both here and on the Drip page, flyers have gone out at comic shops and events, and I've enlisted the help of several folks who have been sharing the links on social media and on their various channels.

Is it enough?  Time will tell but I'm optimistic.

Coming promotions will include a number of podcast interviews.  I've been invited to two new shows since the launch (thanks guys!), which can only help raise awareness for the comic and the KickStarter campaign.  I'm looking forward to it.  This is also a great opportunity to meet new creators and share information/insights which is something I'm always excited about.

I was fortunate to once again appear on the Darkslinger Mafia Podcast to talk about 47 Furious Tails.  You can listen to that interview from the link below.




Other cool comics on KickStarter:

There are really interesting titles on KickStarter right now.  Below are a few I thought were particularly cool.

Cornrows #1 



If you missed my last blurb on this comic, don't wait, go check out the campaign which has a week left as of this writing.  The art is great and I, for one, think the story premise is fantastic.



Boston Metaphysical Society: The Spirit of Rebellion



New on Kickstarter and gaining steam, check this one out quickly before the special commission backer tier is all gone!


Mayo the Cat


Ending in the next few days, this cute book is funded but certainly deserves the shout out.  If you have children this looks like a good title to share with them (Disclaimer: I've only read through the KickStarter campaign, I haven't read the book.)

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Closing words and shameless self-promotion

People build communities to help each other and make life better.  In today's society we do the same as we promote others on social media, review products and write about our own experiences to help others avoid our own mistakes ( 😇 ).  I hope you each have great success in your own projects, that you'll learn from my (many) mistakes and that you too will benefit from other content creators offering up their advise and information to help make your path easier.

(Shameless self-promotion time)
I hope you'll check out 47 Furious Tails, Issue One; Cornrows Issue One; Mayo the Cat; and Boston Metaphysical Society: The Spirit of Rebellion.  Support the projects by sharing the links on social media and pledge your support if you can.

Thank you all for following my adventures in writing, self-publishing and game design.  Until next time please remember, Adventure Awaits.

W.S. Quinton


Monday, January 14, 2019

Three Live Comic and Games KickStarter campaigns (January 14th, 2019)

A little divergence from my usual content, today I want to shine the spotlight on some of the current KickStarter campaigns that I found interesting.  To be clear, none of the campaigns mentioned here have any association with my own releases, these are just some cool projects I wanted to share with everyone.

COMICS:

It is an interesting time for indie comics. With crowdfunding sites like KickStarter and Indiegogo, these gifted writers and artists are bringing their vision to the world.  In some cases whether the world is ready or not!

As I prepare to re-launch my own comic book title I enjoy checking out what's new in comics on KickStarter.

***
Cornrows #1

Urban fantasy, no heroes and a story of revenge.  I read over the story description and it caught my attention immediately.  A high school phys. ed teacher dons a mask to avenge the death of a student.  As someone who lived in Baltimore for a time, I find the setting choice very powerful.  If you're looking for a gritty title that doesn't pull its punches, you need to see Cornrows #1.





***

SuperKids! Mental Health Support Coloring Book

I discovered this campaign by accident, when Bill Shatner (Captain Kirk himself) tweeted out a link to it.  I looked it over and knew I wanted to help this project succeed.  I've backed this project myself.

This project creates coloring books for sick children in hospitals, which just makes it the 'feel-good' campaign of the year for me.  The example pages on the campaign are well done, with excellent attention to the lettering.

This is not your typical comic / coloring book KickStarter campaign.  Check it out.


***

GAMES

Treacherous Traps for 5th Edition!

This is the RPG KickStarter campaign that all of my friends are talking about.  Launched by the fine folks at Nord Games (these guys know their RPG's), this campaign is rapidly reaching for its next stretch goal, where trap schematics get added to the book. 

This project boasts both a book and decks of cards for the creation, generation of unique trap combinations.  A fantastically ambitious title and one that promises to bring new and exciting challenges to tabletop role playing games everywhere.




With 2019 off to a strong start on KickStarter, I look forward to what the creative communities bring to our little blue world in the coming months. 

I hope you'll check out the projects presented here, share the link with others, and help these creators to reach their goals by supporting their campaigns.

*****

Thank you for joining me on my adventure today.
This post has been a bit different from my normal fare as I am preparing for my own KickStarter campaign launch for 47 Furious Tails, Issue one.
I hope you'll check that campaign out when it launches on January 23rd.

Thank you


Monday, December 24, 2018

New Comic Book: 47 Furious Tails, the story of the 47 ronin

Cover Art by: Alexia Veldhuisen

In January 2019, just a few short weeks away,  I'll be launching the KickStarter campaign to fund 47 Furious Tails, Issue one. 

For more than a year, I've been working to get this re-launch ready.  Alexia Veldhuisen has been working on art for the KickStarter campaign and we're very nearly there.  The KickStarter will be launched to fund the remaining art costs, printing and fulfillment expenses (like shipping). 

The story unfolds over the course of 12 issues, with Issue One introducing legendary figures from this story out of history.  I hope you'll check out the campaign on launch, support it if you can, and help spread the word.

Click on Lord Asano Naganori's image below, to get a glimpse of the character art and learn more about the story.
Lord Asano NaganoriAll characters are portrayed as anthropomorphic animalsArt by: Alexia Veldhuisen

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Santa Dragon Claws Presents, 25 Holiday magic items (DnD5E OGL)



Happy holidays everyone!


Back in October, while the Whispers of Persephone KickStarter was running, I came up with an idea for a holiday themed RPG book detailing useful and fun magic items.  Zack Viola liked the idea, and so he launched the KickStarter campaign for the book last night.


While I'm finishing up Whispers for fulfillment, Zack is going to be running the campaign for the Holiday magic item book.  It will be good for him to learn the creator applications on KickStarter for his future endeavors. 


What we did with this crowd funding campaign:


This project is something of an oddity, in that we launched the campaign to fund our marginal costs but we wanted to keep the campaign simple and the pledge level low.  We hit upon the idea of having only one backer tier and keeping the rewards as digital only for simplicity sake. 


$4 backer tier:  The only backer tier for this campaign was specifically created to provide value for the backers while minimizing fulfillment expenses and facilitating a rapid delivery of rewards.  To maximize value for the backer, we are distributing PDF and Print on Demand codes for hard cover and soft cover versions of the book.  {Yes, this means we aren't making any money on the print versions through this campaign.  The purpose is to provide the best value possible for the backer. This is our way of saying 'Happy Holidays' to the KickStarter community}




How it's going so far:


We didn't promote this campaign much before launch but we've seen several people sharing links for us on social media platforms.  As of this writing, the campaign is less than twelve hours old and hasn't yet funded.  With six days left in this short campaign I'm optimistic that we'll reach our goal.




Fulfillment:


Normally, I wait to fulfill campaigns until after the money comes in from Kickstarter.  This is due, in large part, because I usually need to use that money to pay for printing costs and shipping.  With this campaign, where are rewards are digital, fulfillment will begin Christmas Eve night after the backer survey goes out.  PDF files will be sent out starting that evening, and the print on demand codes will go out once they are available from drivethrurpg.com. 




For other creators:


Running a campaign like this, where you are collaborating with someone you work well with, is a lot of fun.  This project benefits from having little stress on either Zack or I and is a fun holiday project.  If you decide to run a campaign like this yourself, I recommend far more advance promotion that Zack and I did, as we limited ours to a few social media blurbs and reached out to some bloggers and podcasters we know.  Give yourself a couple of weeks ahead of launch to build interest.


Here's to one last KickStarter campaign for 2018!
Now, I'm going to get back to work finishing up the things I've left to do for Whispers of Persephone.  Backers are getting that book this month and I've still a few things to take care of.


Check out Santa Dragon Claws Presents at the link below.  Happy holidays to you all!