It’s been almost two months since my last update, and without a doubt it has been a busy two months. Every time it seems like I’ve cleared some space on my work table, I turn around and add another two projects to my workload. However a lot of what I do these days is a unseen by the public, so there is no way for everyone to know what is happening on my side of the internet.
So, for today’s update I am going to run you through an example of the last two months of my work so that you can see what I’ve been working on as well as providing a bit of transparency to the process that goes into making all of this happen. While this isn’t going to be all the details (I won’t bother mentioning things like fixing a typo in a single page print or every quick meeting to confirm work) it will give a bit of an idea what goes into all of this madness.
First of all, we’ve opened a new branch of Dystopia Rising which is DR NY and we have interviewed a few others. These days I don’t do a ton of direct interaction and work with the Directors that are running chapters and instead most of my resources and teaching tools and techniques are handled by Jeff Moxley (the lovable rock and roll martial arts moppet). While Jeff handles a lot of the oversight, training, and monitoring of the chapters it allows me the time to produce local blueprints, create additional resources such as antagonists, and produce new adaptations to make what we already do well… better. An example of this is I’ve been working on the layout of item cards to produce more notation space and I have also been working with Jeff and the Directors to get localized equipment and materials produce that provide unique flavors for each chapter without making any single branch “better” in regards to their unique resource.
In addition to the DR LARP materials I have been working on the production of the next DR table-top book. Overall the breakdown of the book is roughly 150 pages of materials written by me and then I work with two freelancers who each produce about 75 pages of content. After the initial draft I will cut that material down to closer to a total of 250 pages, and then it will go to our freelance editors to cut it down again to about 200 pages. I will then put together a list of key pieces of artwork that we need done, I will handle initial conversations with the artist, and then the project artwork will be contracted and processed by Ashley Zdeb and Megan Jaffe. Down the line I will do the layout work for the book and make it published materials, but that is a down the line project for me.
Rounding off DR, Uprise has been super easy for me this year. Steve has spearheaded the event and then after a few meetings all I have had to do is occasionally poke Steve and say “Remember when you were one of my STs and you used to do the same thing? God it is great seeing you have to manage it from the other side.”
Then we have Utopia Descending. Utopia is a very exciting project where the first event is literally one week after Uprise. So what that means is that over the past few months I have worked with Evan Tessier and our amazing team of storytellers (Jessica, Brianna, Kelsey, and Catie) in bring this event to life. What does that mean? Everything from creating documentation to organizing meetings to doing fan AMAs. Beyond the actual technical design and organization work it also means that my living room has become a crafting room and I have not seen more than a two-foot square of my living room floor in many months. Since we are using a lot of custom materials, much of what I am doing is literally being crafted by our own hands.
Crafting is also digital as well. Many of the promotions, web pages, and posting content for Utopia Descending come through Evan, Catie, and myself. This means producing a dozen or so adaptations of existing contracted art or creating new materials from the bottom up.
Most would see this as a full load of work, but I am not that good at taking breaks. So in addition to all of the LARP design work I am finishing the layout and final stages of a Utopia Descending short story book that HOPEFULLY will be available within a few weeks. The PDF portion of the book is already complete, cover and all, which was at least a couple days of work these past two weeks.
Next there are the two mega-projects: Roadtrip and Battleship. These two massive events are the sort of thing that will really shake the world up. Roadtrip is one that as long as a handful of people are into it, we can scale the event to match what we are looking for. Jeff is doing the lion’s share of the work on this project and the only things I really need to add in now and then are content for web-site PDFs. Battleship on the other hand is a “all or nothing” sort of scenario with a huge startup cost and a limited number of spaces. Normally we could run an event at $100 or $200 tickets and do 200 players for an event for 4 weekends in a row, but with the scale and cost of running this one it would take us just about $80K just to make one weekend happen. While I know it’s a longshot looking to make this one happen, since it is well on the north end of what people are accustomed to paying for LARPs, it is without a doubt a project worth the attempt.
I also had a couple of publications go live these two past months. Imagine Nation released its details for American Excess as well as ASH (A Series of Hauntings). We have a couple more of these single event LARPs getting set up with their future sites. It looks like that we will have American Excess running multiple times this winter, and if the site pans out well, ASH running in the fall.
In addition to these projects I have an short piece that I adapted from theories I have on guiding immersion overall that has been refocused for Vampire and Werewolf LARPS that will be in a By Night Studios story telling secrets book. Working with Jason to make sure the content reached that companies audience instead of the LARP audiences I have been working with for the past decade took a bit of patience on their part and a couple of rewrites on mine.
So yeah, there is a snapshot of the last two months. Add in the fact that I’m getting married in two months, will be running Downfall in less than 6, and have half a dozen conventions I will be at… I hope yall can forgive the slower updates to the blog.