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Jude's World Prelaunch! Plus UKGE plans
Where've I been, eh?

Where’ve I been, eh? Did I give up? Move away? Change my name and start a new life as a used car salesperson? No, no, nope. On the contrary, I’ve been fighting to keep up with my TTRPG work while being assailed on all sides by life stuff. It’s all very heroic. What do you mean, you didn’t notice?

More to the point, the TTRPG stuff I’ve managed to squeeze in has largely been to do with my “home” games or, in an exciting new development, paid work on other people’s projects. That’s right: I’m for hire now. Form an orderly queue.

While I haven’t been told I shouldn’t talk about those other projects, it does feel like I oughtn’t. So I shan’t. If you’re curious about my home game stuff, here are the highlights:

  • I closed out Curse of Strahd with a group I’ve been playing with for 18 months. This is my first completed campaign as a player character and it was emotional. I'll miss my obnoxious teen witch moon druid very much.
  • I ran a one-shot game for my dad and his friends for his birthday. He loved it and wants to play again - a big personal win for me.
  • My homebrew campaign is deep into its third year and we’ve started to approach some endgame arcs. With some big final show-downs needing to be planned I’m SO KEEN not to drop the ball. Keen and petrified.

And then day-job work has been gnarly AF. And, oh, my husband and I started fostering dogs in March. We’ve had two foster assignments so far and I don’t know if you know what it’s like settling a new dog into your home, but doing that twice in three months has been… something. Worth it, certainly. But something.

Little Wins

Somewhere in between all of this I did manage to plot and scheme some upcoming things.

Jude’s World pre-launch! That’s right. I’ve taken the plunge and activated a pre-launch page for Jude’s World on Kickstarter. Follow along on the prelaunch page if you want to be notified when the campaign starts funding later this summer.

a colourful cartoon of a teenage girl looking down at her diary with text overlaid which says Jude's World

UKGE! I’ll be attending a small shindig called UK Games Expo in Birmingham this June. Don’t know if you’ve heard of it? I’ll be working the TIN stall on Saturday from 12-6pm, mongering a wide selection of our members’ games. Come say hey and get yourself a bargain bundle of cool zines.

UKGE again! While I’m at the expo-thingy-whatsit I’ve been asked to be on my first panel! Saturday, 6.30pm at the Meeple Theatre, myself, Grant Howitt (Honey Heist, Spire, Heart), Jon Gracey (No Rolls Barred, Werewolf Live), and a mystery special guest will be chatting about comedy in games with Ed Jollyboat. How did I get on that list? Yeah. I have frankly NO IDEA.

UKGE again-again! Not content with shoving my face in everyone’s faces (metaphorically, calm down) all Saturday, I’ll be running some games on Sunday. Specifically play tests of Three Sails Studios’ upcoming ecology and exploration TTRPG, Mappa Mundi. Come along and try your hand at saving the world by chronicling its weird, enigmatic and magical monsters. No combat, all awestruck wonder and collaborative world building. You’ll love it, you.

Development Diary: Jude's World, Part 8

I closed out my first open play test round of my solo, tarot-based TTRPG about a plucky preteen protagonist struggling to reunite their warring parents. I showed the game to other designers, some of whom kindly found time to give it a try, as well as actually playing the game through end-to-end myself.

I’ve talked a lot over the months about problems that have come up during the play tests. I won’t go into those again. What was new and interesting this time was completing a full narrative. Some conclusions from that:

  • It’s super worth playing your game through from start to finish, but it’s hard to do until your game reaches a certain point of stability. In other words you need to be reasonably happy with your central game loop before you can start to concentrate on the overall picture of a full end-to-end test.
  • The game was too short. This could be because my dice were HOT. I succeeded way too much and while it didn’t make the game un-fun, it did miss some of the pathos I was hoping to experience. I think I’ll opt to make the game harder rather than longer and see how my next end-to-end test goes.
  • This is a game that would benefit from a neatly designed work book. I’ve been thinking that for a while now and it’s finally be time to get serious about designing that.
  • The story I wrote was good actually. I took a long break between sessions, leaving my tarot spread out over our dining table, and had to read back what I wrote to pick it up again a whole two weeks later. And it was pretty fun! That’s not a bad sign, right?

I’m still really happy with how things are progressing. Goals for next month? Write version six of the game and start the whole play test process again! As ever, if you’re interested in getting involved my the door to my inbox is always open.

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