new vip story: rain of terror (and more news)

5 05 2013

Pull up a chair, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover…

Kickstarter-backed VIP story released! It’s called RAIN OF TERROR and it is exactly that. If you have membership in the VIP Club, you can click dat link and enjoy — if not, you can sign up over here for seven lousy dollars. Or wait for this story to come bundled with the eventual book #2. Kickstarter backers get this for free; check your inboxes for details.

New official artwork up for Kelsey Jones! Thanks to our artist in residence, Allison Barraza. Again, this is thanks to the Kickstarter funding. More characters are on the way, so keep an eye on the blog for details. Also… I have high resolution versions of all this character art. It’d be super easy to make t-shirts or coffee mugs or whatever. If there’s something you’re keen on getting your hands on, suggest it in the comments below! I’d love to have some merch up and running alongside the launch of the first book, this fall.

A poll about how and when you read City of Angles. I’ll let it go another week before closing it, I think, but already I’m getting some good data — and I think it’s time to let go of the idea that if I’m not getting feedback on this blog, there’s nobody out there. Clearly the ways people approach the story and how they interact with it are VERY diverse. In fact I may need to reshape how I approach the blog itself. More to come on that in the future, I suspect.

(One thing I didn’t add in the poll, but am curious about. Folks who are using various social media to access this stuff… would you prefer I link from twitter / FB / g+ straight to the story itself, or to the blog post? I’ve been linking to the posts in hopes of encouraging comments, but it IS getting in the way of hitting the story directly. What do you think?)

Project Wonderful ad campaign for anachronauts. $50 from the Kickstarter campaign is earmarked towards getting the word out about that series. It’s an inefficient way to get readers but it does work — the number of visitors a day that City of Angles gets is definitely higher now than it was before I started advertising that on Project Wonderful. In addition, now that anachronauts is “done” (aside from releasing Second Age on paper) it’s a great opportunity to introduce it to your friends. There’s no pressure to keep current on it, since it’s in the bag.

Next week… hopefully the start of Cleanup on Aisle Ten, the next story in volume 002.  I’ve got a good plan for the story thanks to some brainstorming, although Act II is still quite fuzzy and unplanned. Then again, the last story had a largely unplanned Act II too, and it worked. So hey, who knows? Stay tuned and find out.

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14 responses

5 05 2013
Jack O'tears

All this stuff is great, but I am very curious: With the recent release of Neverwinter:Online are you going to be looking at their Foundry tool for designing custom modules? You had a lot of well deserved fans in NWN1 who’d no doubt love to see you make a return to the franchise.

5 05 2013
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I talked about this in my previous blogpost. It’s definitely interesting… and I appreciate how robust the toolset is… and I MIGHT do some work there… but right now my focus is on my writing. I need to spend the majority of my time on City of Angles (a wholly owned intellectual property that actually makes me money) rather than Neverwinter (a funtime fan hobby toolkit).

Honestly, in the end, NWN was another writing tool for me. I didn’t care about the Faerun setting or even the D&D mechanics, I just wanted the satisfaction of writing stories.

5 05 2013
TheEyes

Not to mention that your time on Penultima probably cost you a lot of readers. I for one was following you back during Sailor Nothing, then got out of the habit when you moved to doing modules for a video game I didn’t own; I only found you again basically by accident when I was clearing out old bookmarks years later.

BTW, Kickstarter link is giving me a 404 error

5 05 2013
TheEyes

Oh, and irony of ironies: I actually own the game now, from a GOG.com deal. Maybe I’ll go back and look through Penultima.

5 05 2013
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Yeah, I was gonna mention that, but didn’t wanna sound too bitter. ^_^; By refocusing from writing to games I lost a lot of the steam I’d built up, and delayed work on Unreal Estate. I think at this point I’m better off focusing on the thing that’s an actual business for me and can be read by anyone, instead of the thing that’d be a hobby that’d only be visible to NWN players.

As for the KS-exclusive link, um, whoops. I just sent another update with the fixed link. Thanks!!

6 05 2013
loopychew

On the other hand, I also understand that your time with Penultima and the Eterna series won you a few new fans, as well. There’s got to be a way to manage to find balance between the two further down the line.

5 05 2013
Lirazel

Wow, the ending to that one made me shiver! I also liked being around a very different kind of person — one without much of a superego, you might say. Not a bad guy, but really different.

5 05 2013
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I definitely got to play around with character archetypes I don’t always get to use — and like the other VIP stories, they tell a self-contained tale which links into and explains the background of the main series. That ending WILL tie in at some point, believe me. (Although I’ll admit I haven’t decided how yet… just that when the new head of the Department of Safety comes knocking, we’ll know why.)

6 05 2013
Ciara

I shall post more detailed comments later, but in summary: Yay, so awesome! Thank you!

6 05 2013
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

\o/

9 05 2013
sraika

You mentioned t-shirts. I’d enjoy having a t-shirt with Kelsey Jones. Or one with just the City of Angles logo.

10 05 2013
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I’m thinking the Dave and Kelsey couples pose that the Kickstarter funded might make a good t-shirt design. Perhaps with Kelsey solo on the back, with the logo. I’ll add this suggestion to the list!

(A list which consists of one item right now. Anyone else got a suggestion? :)

10 05 2013
Lyrandar

Don’t look at me. I’m the sort that will buy anything and everything with my favorite stories’ characters on it. End result is that I’ve ended up with a decently-sized collection of random junk… anyway, probably the best I can come up with is to second the t-shirt. I would suggest something like a key chain, since that appeals to my apparent desire to hoard small trinkety character goods, but I’m not sure whether any of the artwork or designs would really lend themselves to something that small.

10 05 2013
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

The Ghostwriter logo (the one that appears on Marcy’s jacket and in her graffiti) is very exploitable for things like that. I’m planning to put a sticker with that logo in the Kickstarter bookmark goodie packs, for instance.

I think this weekend I’ll research merch options. Maybe run another poll with some candidates. I’ve been having good luck with those polls — folks who won’t normally post on the blog will take polls, and they help me shape the experience to better match what my readers want.

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