You folks out there might notice that I start a lot of these Monday Lunch Meeting Notes by mentioning that Eddy and I talked about this show, or this book, or this game or movie, etc. That’s because we like to compare notes as to what we enjoyed in the previous week- you have to remember that when I was down in ATL working on the WoDMMO (doing very well, I hear, thanks) he and I hung out every day and even after when we were Transmedia we talked several times a day. So now we usually get this once a week opportunity to go over what’s new.
Now I could skip that part, I certainly edit other info that isn’t pertinent, but actually I think that it is of interest to understand that not only to we enjoy these things, but we look at them critically in the old use of the word- we break down what we’re enjoying into pieces that help inform us as to how drama, or comedy, or editing, or even the politics of what happened with a particular piece of media behind the scenes, can be understood and used in our own projects. For example, for years I’ve had the idea that the organizational process of creating our RPG books could be likened to the creation of a weekly comedy skit show. Lots of different creators with lots of different ideas that have to be combined correctly and with formats, a budget, and a deadline, but still the end result has to be really, really creative. Towards that, I took the time over the years to read “insider” info on SNL, SCTV, Monty Python, Kids in the Hall, etc. (I won’t go into the results of all that here- maybe another blog post on the Onyx Path site, or buy me a drink at a con and I’ll tell you more than you ever wanted to know about it.)
Today, Eddy and I started with how our daily routines are starting earlier and earlier despite us being night-owls for years and years. Job and family requirements and a willingness to bow to the needs of both and Get Things Done tends to alter your internal clock, I’ve found. In Eddy’s case, he finds he’s more creative before breakfast and the inevitable meetings start, for me, I wake up excited to get going- ever since I started Onyx Path I can’t get back to sleep in the morning as there are just too many cool things to work on. That led to talking about Full Metal Alchemist, which I suggested to him at Atlanta by Night, and how beautifully bleak and twisted it is, and then to Sports Night as another example of a series far more compelling than it might sound to those of us not into ESPN.
Eddy just finished this Aaron Sorkin beauty, and I’ve been a fan since its original run on broadcast TV (remember that, fellow streamers?). Eddy found that he was trying to figure out the protagonist of this ensemble cast- he thinks it’s Dan as he holds the conscience of the show, whereas I think it might be split between Dan and Jeremy as Jeremy seems to be speaking about Sorkin-y things more often. This led to talking about my concern that characters are often overwritten to the point where they lose important base concepts of the show itself. Case in point, the buddy relationship of Dan and Casey is not something that should have been touched as it defines why the fictional show could work. We believe that the same easy familiarity, fire from the hip, keep it light, but go intense on the things you love attitude that we see between them also makes the fictional show fun to watch- which gives meaning to the struggle for ratings and all that stuff. But writers, needing to write as it’s their job, can undercut a show’s basic building blocks in the search for more drama. Especially after the first season. We’ve all seen it happen, and we’ve seen the same thing happen with our RPGs. Just because it’s a cool idea doesn’t mean that it’s the right idea for a book or even an entire line- and the longer the run of books, the more likely one of these ideas slips in and undermines a line and players start to take off. See- told you there’s a gaming reason we talk about this stuff.
I’m reaching out to our Devs right now to ask them for pitches for 2014 WW books. What projects do they want to do for their lines, what projects might they want to do for other lines or new lines? What should our nWoD gameline be in 2014? Responses are coming in, we’ll take a look and compile what looks like a fun schedule we can make happen, and then it’ll go in front of the CCP Review Board. We need to do this now in order to have some rounds of iterations and still have something we can start using for hiring writers in time for the Jan 2014 books. And as for our current schedule:
- Silent Knife (VtR) This was the second awesome book to come out of the WW Fiction contest and it is now finally available on DTRPG and DTFiction. If you love WW fiction and would like to see more, check this out and take a few minutes to write a short review- it really helps get the word out!
- Conventionbook: NWO (cMtA) Check it out on DTRPG and write a review- let other folks know what you think about the first new official Mage the Ascension book in years!
- God Machine Chronicle (nWoD) and Strix Chronicle Fiction Anthology (VtR) Strix is still being written. As some folks might have read on Twitter, God Machine is in editing and tight, tight development.
- Mummy the Curse we hope to get this in front of the CCP Review Board this week and the index is being compiled- check out our Facebook page where Genevieve Podleski asks for your thoughts on the Mummy index: www.facebook.com/TheOnyxPath . The KS is with KS for OKing.
- EX3 to say again: Slated for Feb 2013 now. Looking to talk with the Devs this week to get a tighter look on where all the moving parts are. Not Kickstartering this this year-we’ll get back to you on when, but Feb 2013 looks good.
- V20 Hunters Hunted 2 is almost out of Editing and headed into layout as the art comes in for review. Anarchs Unbound‘s outline is out to writers and on the V20 blog: http://whitewolfblogs.com/v20/.
- Deluxe V20 Children of the Revolution is very, very close to shipping. The PDF and PoD versions are on sale at DriveThru RPG. If you didn’t get involved with the KS for this, now is your chance to pick up this beautiful and cool book. Justin and company went all out to present awesome characters, and the art is stunning.
- Deluxe Werewolf 20th Anniversary Edition Kickstarter Surveys are out. Mike Lee is writing his novel. Waiting to see second proof of layout.
-Deluxe Mage the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition has been confirmed for September-ish 2013 and Phil Brucato is on the case!
- W20 Changing Breeds is also in Art Direction and Editing. We have to get backer info and photographs from the w20 Deluxe Kickstarter backers so that folks who are going to appear depicted in the art can get us in photos for reference.
- W20 Rage Across the World is done development and needs to be AD’d and edited- check out the W20 CB blog notes: http://whitewolfblogs.com/w20/
- Guildhalls of the Deathless (MtC) is being written.
- Conventionbook: Progenitors (cMtA) is being written.
Reason To Drink: December?! Really?! Office parties are coming or are here already and you need the practice to survive them.