One of the things that nobody tells you about Kickstarter is how much a successful campaign raises your profile. Since Alas Vegas was spectacularly funded at the beginning of March, Spaaace’s client portfolio has exploded to include environmental charities, major oil companies, a major brewer, an educational establishment and several other new faces. James has delivered a number of lectures and workshops, including one on an island in a fjord courtesy of Hyperion, the federation of Norwegian gamers, has judged a couple of awards, and has contributed material to at least three other Kickstarter campaigns including a complete RPG for Mike Selinker’s barnstorming Maze of Games interactive puzzle novel, new games for Hide & Seek’s Tiny Games app, and Robin Laws’s Hillfolk drama-system game. For the last he created ‘The Battle of Wits’, which is almost certainly the only tabletop game based on the feuds and in-fighting of the Augustan poets.
All this has regrettably meant that Alas Vegas is running late. However its lead artist John Coulthart has now finished his amazing major arcana which will illustrate the book, and things are on track for a release in the autumn. In a race between quality and speed, we prefer the former.
An update on the previous post: Alas Vegas hit 100% of its Kickstarter funding goal in seven hours and 45 minutes. According to Kicktraq it’s likely to reach a total somewhere in the region of £52,000.
Back in December Spaaace’s glorious leader James spoke at Dragonmeet, the London-based games convention he chaired for three years in the early 2000s. They’d invited him back to lead a panel on the British Games Industry, looking at where it had come from and where it was going. He was joined by Simon Rogers of Pelgrane Press, Dominic McDowall-Thomas of Cubicle 7, noted freelance Phil Masters (GURPS Discworld), and Piers of London Indie Gamers. G*M*S Magazine videoed the panel, and you can watch it here.
James will be a guest at Warpcon in Cork at the end of January, where he will be showing off playtest copies of a couple of things he can’t talk about, possibly running a seminar called ‘How I Single-Handedly Saved The UK Roleplaying Industry From Certain Doom’, and auctioning off some rarities from his collection in the charity auction. Warpcon’s a good time. You should be there.
The third edition of the award-winning sui generis storytelling card-game Once Upon a Time is now out from Atlas Games. Meanwhile the game has entered its tenth language, with two more to come—not including the pirated Chinese edition from a couple of years ago.
We mention Once Upon a Time partly because it was designed by James Wallis, head of Spaaace, and partly because it exemplifies what we aspire to: integrating great narratives and great gameplay to create true interactive stories. If you’ve never had the delight of playing it, do check it out.
With minimal notice, in mid-February Spaaace pulled together a team of experienced games script-writers to create dialogue for a forthcoming AAA console game from industry giant Ubisoft. Extremely tight deadlines were met and the work was signed off without a single rewrite. We’re a bit smug about that.