Thursday, July 11, 2024

Just Keep Selling

I have been noticing something odd that I love but that I cannot fully explain.


And I know that is a very 'duh' thing to be saying, like yeah Mike, you want your game to sell, so that's good, right?

Yes, it's great. Fantastic. Gives me little warm fuzzies every time I check. But it's just unusual...

I've been doing this a while. Games come out, they have a week or two of sales, and then it just drops off. That's been the cycle for the almost twenty years now I've been selling games online. I hope I can get a lot of sales in the first ten days, because after that there's no guarantees.

I have sold 15 copies this month, which is a full month after the game came out.

I think this thread might be part of the reason. I would jump on and comment, but my account on rpg.net has been locked out for some reason. Not sure. I'm very flattered that people are saying nice things about the game (and especially the mechanical things). I've said to my wife for a long time that I am very proud of the complex mechanical problems I've been able to solve in some of my more recent games. Being felled is definitely one of the strengths of the game. It's just SO gratifying to have someone who is not me saying it :)

Anyway, I wanted to pop in to say thank you to everyone who reads this blog and who is also playing, supporting, making characters for, talking up, having fun with, and just being part of the whole Stalwart experience. 

It's probably been the most rewarding RPG publishing experience I've ever had. This last six weeks has been so much fun, and been so fulfilling, on so many levels.

Thank you a dozen times over.

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Get Yer' Stalwart Updates Here!

I've got two new documents that are both quite rough around the edges...

The World of Stalwart Volume 2 is my first work on expanding the game world that was presented in Volume 1. Volume 1 was largely a collection of the material that I had thus far (revised and re-aligned to fit into this world and this game). However, Volume 2 is largely new ideas and things that I've only hinted at in the past. FYI, I've left the original notes for the appendix in the back, but I'm adding new catalogued Doc comics to a new list (before the old list)... I've just kept the old list in place temporarily so I can refer to it and align new back issue discoveries to the existing list.

The Stalwart Guide to Meridian is already shaping up nicely. I expect it will be relatively brief (maybe 16 pages)? but will have enough to start an ongoing series of your own with this as a base. I am not putting a lot of game information here; that is going into the World of Stalwart Volume 2. So, when I mention a new character, I will talk about their role in Meridian in the Guide to Meridian, but will give their game stats and comics history over in the World of Stalwart Volume 2. While it's tempting to have everything right where you'd want it, I think it's better to keep things organized for later use; if I have some character stat blocks that aren't in the World of Stalwart collections, then things can be harder to find later on. I'm also going to put in a bunch of plot hooks, which may or may not get built upon later as I develop some adventures.

My plan is to finish these two books (at least the Stalwart Guide to Meridian), and then start releasing adventures set in and around the city. I can already see a possible long-term campaign or two here, so those might end up being books as well (but there are only so many hours in the day).

One final thought... I've had several themes emerge as I've been working on Doc stories for the last while here, and some of them have surprised me a bit.

1. I have found that Doc Stalwart is largely a peace maker. So many of his stories end with him figuring out how to call a truce and have people dwell in relative harmony. I like the irony that a guy who can throw a tank and is constantly fighting everyone and anyone wants peace more than anything. I like that conflict in him.

2. One of the emerging core themes of the series is the role of machines in human experience. I guess that AI has me thinking about this more and more, but I've now got two storylines where Doc gets into philosophical debates with robots; he gets Zero to stop killing people by having Zero consider that creating is more powerful than destroying, and to be a truly powerful creature, Zero must find a way to create (since that is the primary role of God... the thing to which Zero aspires). The second debate is with the Stalwart Sentinel (no he's not my take on Vision, why do you keep saying that?) who was created by Project Javelin to be their own 'version' of Doc Stalwart (they were able to use brainwaves they had taken from him in his younger years while he was being studied and trained at the Tomorrow Project).  When they realize that he's missing something, Doc meets with the Sentinel (who he didn't know existed) and ultimately argues that the Sentinel cannot 'be' like Doc until it truly has the ability to think and create, not only to apply algorithms to replicate what Doc would do in situations. Doc is able to craft a program that gives the Sentinel the opportunity to learn and grow, and possibly become human at some point.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Commissions

I've been very happy with how my style is evolving of late, and I thought I'd throw a net out and see what kind of interest there would be in commissions. I am looking at doing tutoring as a side hustle, but drawing commissions for people would be a lot more fun!

Email me at mtdesing@roadrunner.com and we can start talking about what you'd like...

Options include:

Simple color or greyscale drawings are $20
    These include a character and a simple, suggested background. I will also create simple dungeon maps (up to 20x30 squares).

Samples:






Complex color or greyscale drawings are $30. 
    These include multiple characters and/or more fully-realized (although still largely suggestive) backgrounds. I will also create dungeon maps of up to 30x40 squares.

Samples:










Instagram

Are you on Instagram? I guess I am, too (at least, that's what they tell me). 

My instagram handle is @the_world_of_stalwart

See you there. Maybe. Or not. I'm not really sure. :)


Meridian Base Map Complete

I've had a busy 4th of July... we are road tripping tomorow, so today is a low-key day of hanging out at home. I'm making videos and maps, and Mary is setting up an Instagram for my game (I HATE Instagram and don't really like Facebook all that much, so Mary is doing the heavy lifting on those for me... which is VERY sweet of her to do). All that said, I finished my base map of Meridian, and I really like it. This is the foundation I'm going to use going forward.



A video introduction to Stalwart

I assume I'll get better at this as I do more of these, but here's an introduction to the basics of how Stalwart works. I think I'll make one for character creation next...

Playing with Loom - My First Video Tutorial

I figure that I can create some videos to help get the word about the stuff I create. Here's a video I created with a new character I designed on the spot... still figuring out how to embed this places and get it to youtube and signal boost it and all of that good stuff, but at least I have a video. Maybe next time I'll drink more water so I don't cough and will go somewhere my dog won't be barking :)