Category Archives: Escape from Tentacle City

Good News For People Who Like Publishing News

Good news everyone!  My games are now available through both Lulu and Drivethrurpg.  You can check out my Drivethrurpg profile right here.

Discount Tentacles

Escape from Tentacle City can currently be bought at Lulu for 15% off with Coupon Code IDES305!

Hey You, Buy This

Lulu has a 15% off Coupon Code for Escape from Tentacle City: FIRESIDE305. What are you waiting for?

Escape from Tentacle City Errata

Thanks to Daniel Di Rubbo for pointing out an error. On page 24, “If the current Global Threat level is less than the number of players…” should read “If the current Global Threat level is less than four…” This way it doesn’t contradict with other parts of the book. This was an old rule that got simplified.

More Money For Games

I was taking a look at my publishing/sales history. Tim thought some people might find the numbers interesting.

Most of my physical book sales have been made in person. I’ve sold 34 copies of Awesome Adventures and 10 of Escape through Lulu, but many more in person, particularly at Gencon 2009. (Hell, I sold 3 of Escape to friends at Gencon 2010).

PDF sales are much higher: 110 of Awesome Adventures, and 26 of Escape. In both cases I make more from a print sale, but I’ve made more total money from PDF sales. I hope these sales will increase- both my games will be going live soon through Drive Thru RPG.

Total, I’ve made just shy of $1000 through internet sales. My physical sales records are a bit spottier, but the total profit is probably similar (more money per book, but no PDF sales).

Not bad for a business with minimal start up costs!

Escape From Tentacle City: Award Nominations

Escape From Tentacle City is having a good month, it would seem.

First, I found out it was nominated for an Indie Rpg Award. Not too surprising, since it’s an indie rpg, and therefore qualifies. The fact that it was one of the first few games to be submitted, and therefore is way up at the top of the page is great news- I had thought that Tentacle City was much more obscure than that.

But the big, big news is my Ennie Nomination! With a nomination for best interior art for Escape From Tentacle City, it’s clear that the game is getting noticed. I have the mad combination of Jason Morningstar’s inspiring art, Micah Bauer’s awesome layout, and my own humble art direction to thank for it. This is a wonderful book, and I’m glad to have it recognized.

Walking Tentacles, Walking Eyes

I was interviewed on the Walking Eye Podcast, about Escape from Tentacle City. There’s some really good discussion about the game near the end.

Books are Here…

…and they are good!  Ready to roll out for the con.  Awesome Adventures has a few small strips of white along some page edges, but Escape is just fine, which is more important, since the border art goes all the way to the edge of the page and is an important part of the look of the game.


Bordering on Madness

Finished up the page borders for Escape from Tentacle City.  This was made difficult by the fact that Ubuntu doesn’t have a good Paint type program.  Sure, it’s got Gimp, but that has way too many bells and whistles and distractions. I downloaded about five or six programs, and they all sucked.  Either no mouse over text, or no ability to resize the page, or no undo function.  I programmed a paint application when I was in high school.  How hard can it be for the Ubuntu community to make a paint program that doesn’t suck?

Anyway, Tim brought up one of his Windows computers from the basement to calibrate his iPhone.  So I booted it up, used the paint program, and tinkered around with the border images.  They’re pretty sweet, Jason Morningstar designed them, but they’re 6×9, and I really need something that’s 12×9 to wrap around the whole page spread.  So I spent some time tinkering with them to make them suitable for what I’m going for.

Forge Midwest 2009

Here’s some stuff I did at Forge Midwest this last weekend.

Friday: Tim and I arrived at the hotel before anyone else.  We played Fury of Dracula 2 player- it was Tim’s first time, and probably the weakest game of Fury I’d ever played.  Tim wasn’t really into it.  Dave the Deranged showed up during this.  I think after that we played Jungle Speed.  There was lots of Jungle Speed at the con.

Dave had his Nerf guns and there was lots of screwing around with Nerf guns and pretending to be zombies.  (This too, would happen a lot at the con, culminating in one of the two rooms being designated as a no-nerf gun area, and us telling the hotel desk guy that if he heard zombies it was just us.  Which is the exact wrong advice to give in case a zombie apocalypse were to happen.)

More locals showed up, Ron Edwards showed up, and Jae and Amanda from far away (Michigan?) showed up.  We split up for two games- I ‘ran’ Escape from Tentacle City for Ron, Jae, Abrahm, and Jerry.  At the other table, Len ran Ghost/Echo or whatever it’s called for Tim, Amanda, and Dave.

Escape was horribly awesome, as always.  Survivor groups included midgets, a Mexican street gang, high school dropouts, 3rd graders, and an Islamic Terrorist cell.  Horrible guilt ensued.  The system is really humming along- I think I need to just adjust a few phrasings.  The core rules just plain work, but need some tweaking.  Ron suggested lowering the available Stress lslightly (to 2/3 from 3/4), and I think he’s spot on.

It’s Complicated got some play.  I played with Len, Tim, Ron, Jerry, and Abram.  I’m not sure what else got played.  Ron was very passionate about getting to try It’s Complicated, and it was a pretty successful session, despite bumbling through the rules a little bit.

Saturday had quite a few playtests- I tested Ron’s new game about the Lebanon Civil War, which is like Spione, but with twice as complicated card play, and with a twice as depressing setting.  I’ve played more upbeat sessions of Grey Ranks.  I was fricking tired, and the setting didn’t terribly engage me.  But it was a dirty mechanics playtest.

As a nice upbeat capstone to Witness (I don’t recall the Arabic word, but that’s what it translates to), we played a nice game of MAID, with Ron, Amanda, Juli, and late joiners Abram and local gamer girl Sam.  Anime madness ensued, with an incompetent supervillain master (young Dr. Doom, sort of), meddling spy maids, wacky catgirl maids, a cyborg ghost maid, and a almost mostly normal maid.  A poorly-controlled summoned demon, a random-event spawning copy of the Necronomicon, and a shrinking potion made sure that the insanity didn’t stop.

After that, I playtested Tim Koppang’s new 1-on-1 player game, Mars Colony, where you play a city planner in over your head at the problem-ridden Mars Colony.  It was amazing fun, with a solid mechanical ground, cutting political satire, and Tim running it really sold it.  I had a blast as Maggie Yang, who bludgeoned all her problems with hard work, positive thinking, and Maoist ideology, and solved the crime and sewage problems of Mars Colony, even if she had to completely destroy human rights and freedoms in order to do it.

I ran a short demo of Awesome Adventures for the Walking Eye podcaster Kevin, and then did a short interview with him.  Expect to see that one coming soon!

Somewhere in here were games of Race for the Galaxy, more Jungle Speed, exciting monologues with Ron Edwards (more entertaining Saturday night when the peanut gallery was a little tired and drunk, resulting in Ron responding with “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” to a player lovingly describing her centaur wizard with the Fly spell) waiting for other games to wrap up so new games to start, and fighting with nerf guns during said waits, and sending Tim for food and caffiene.

Sunday many of the people who were there just wanted to hang out and chat since they were so wiped, and people with longer drives headed out.  It’s too bad more people didn’t game- we had like 6 going on Saturday, and only 1 game at a time on Sunday.  I ran a short game of Poison’d- the arc was a little rushed due to time constraints, but there was a MacGuffin map, backstabbing, pirate brutality, and the surgeon “failing” to save another mortally wounded pirate PC.  At the end, the greedy quartermaster sold out the Dagger to the captain of the Resolute.

Then we played My Life With Master, with the local crew (and Dave).  This was less of a hit- the Master was the Dragon, and the minions were low-level D&D monsters.  I had trouble setting the right mood- I think Len figured it out halfway through the game that maybe you don’t actually want to be a minion- before that, he was enjoying just playing the stupid orc.  But the game got too saddled down in parody of D&D tropes (I was a worse offender than anyone else, with my portrayal of the Outsiders, who were a party of adventurers the dragon wanted to scare and impress). and the game marched right into humor territory, which was fun, but is not where My Life With Master is supposed to live.  We cut endgame short (completely ignoring the whole rolls against the master once refusing a request finally happened), since really, we were all tired, and those rolls would have taken a long fricking time.  The kobold resolutely realized burning down all the fields would hurt the nice blind baker lady who thought he was just an orphan boy, and then the adventurers came in and killed everyone, except the goblin, who attached himself to the watchmaker, a budding mad-scientist Master.

Edit: I completely forgot about Friday’s game of shock between me, Tim, and Dave, which featured a robot uprising against more advanced robots, a female robot with male gender identity, and a human ambassador with alien gender identity.

Also forgot about Saturday morning’s Prime Time Adventures game, produced by Robert Bohl, with me, Sabe, Len, Jen, and Jerry, which was probably the first PTA game I had played that didn’t suck.  Interesting game, but I really think it doesn’t work that great for one-shots.