Christmas has passed and the New Year is quickly approaching. Six years of freelancing and lots to be thankful for. As I reflect back on the blog, my freelancing, and my life this year, one word quickly comes to mind.
2019 started out like recent years with our daughters in college, me working at Taylor University, and my freelancing in the game industry. This summer, my wife and I celebrated 25 years of marriage, and we were looking forward to a celebration trip in the fall. The transitions starting happening this summer and have continued as the year progressed.
Our Gen Con started the time of transition with my daughters and me no longer working the Modiphius booth, but instead working at the Stronghold Games booth. There I managed the game demo teams in the booth and at Thursday evening’s release party. With my contracted freelance work as an editor with Stronghold Games, I became part of the convention team for Gen Con. We really enjoyed our time working with Stephen Buonocore, Bill Bricker, and the Knights of the Stronghold (not my family, but the official demo team for Stronghold Games). Boxes of board games are much easier to move than boxes of RPG books, and demoing games was a new challenge for my daughters and me after years of only working retail for Modiphius at Gen Con. We enjoyed the change of pace and how active the booth was the entire convention.
During the Fall semester at Taylor University, I transitioned into teaching a brand new class I designed, Tabletop Game Writing Lab. Former students in my Writing & Editing for Gaming course requested a follow-up course that was more focused on the entire process of developing and publishing an RPG product. The course was approved in the late Spring, so I spent the summer, and time at Gen Con, designing the course and meeting with Chaosium creative staff Michael O’Brien, Mike Mason, and Lynne Hardy, who would be collaborating with my students to research, design, and publish an RPG adventure for Call of Cthulhu. Even with a very tight schedule and some issues with my availability (discussed in the next section), the students finalized and published a well-written adventure on Miskatonic Repository, Refractions of Glasston.
To occur during the Fall semester, my wife and I had planned an anniversary celebratory two week road trip to Prince Edward Island, Canada. We had to transition those plans to a shorter trip to Niagara Falls when Hurricane Dorian decided to slam into the Island, closing our hotels and making much of PEI inaccessible. Niagara Falls was beautiful, then we headed home for a second week of vacation as a staycation. The two weeks we were to be gone, I had a guest speakers from Chaosium scheduled to speak to my Tabletop Game Writing Lab, which was a much better idea than I had realized. During the second week of our 25th anniversary trip, I learned I had injured my back and made it worse during the staycation, which led to surgery and recovery. So glad I was collaborating with Chaosium and had such amazing students, as they kept my spirits up and the course moving forward as I worked through surgery and recovery. Discord and Zoom are wonderful for keeping current with your course when you cannot make it to class.
The back surgery and recovery required significant changes and transitions in our home life. If you have been a reader for a while, you know I am caregiver for my wife who has Multiple Sclerosis. My doctor and surgeon both informed me I would no longer be able to lift my wife as a caregiver, and until I recovered from surgery and made changes in our home, I could not be her caregiver at all. That led to my wife living with her parents for seven weeks while I had surgery, recovered, returned to work, and had major changes made to our home. We replaced our minivan with an accessible van, replaced the carpeting in our home with laminate plank, replaced our shower with a roll-in shower, and purchased accessible patient lifts, commode chairs, and an electric wheelchair. Our life at home and my caregiving are very different these days, and we are still getting used to the changes.
During the late summer and this Fall semester, quite a lot of change has been happening at Taylor University. These changes have led to a transition in my responsibilities. I am still the Director of Academic Technology, but as of the end of December, I have new staff and areas reporting to me, with possibly more coming in January. We are still defining these changes, and my new teams are working through the transition with me. Likely my title will be changing soon as well as further responsibility changes, while university leadership work through all that is occurring on our campus.
With all that and late December already, you would think this time of transition was done for 2019. Well, I thought so too, but it was not to be. I was informed recently by leadership at Indie Game Studios that my services as the editor for Stronghold Games would no longer be needed in the new year, as they made changes in their organization. I had wonderful exit conversations with Stephen Buonocore and others at Stronghold Games and IGS. I feel blessed to have worked with their amazing creative teams for four years. Gen Con this year in the Stronghold Games booth was great, and Stephen has been a wonderful mentor and guest speaker for my game studies-related courses I teach. I cherish my friendship with Stephen and Bill Bricker of Stronghold Games and will keep in touch with each of them. What does this mean next for me as a freelancer? I don’t know. I am going to take a break for a little while and reflect on my freelancing, talk with my family, and take a fresh look at the game industry. I will consider editing opportunities that arise, but I also want to consider other creative options beyond editing.
Thanks for being a part of my journey as a freelancer and seeing glimpses of my life beyond freelancing. I have enjoyed your comments and questions throughout the year. What new things, changes, or challenges are to come in 2020 I do not know, but I do know my friends, family, and readers are here with me on the journey.
An overview of my freelance work in 2019 includes:
Publishers I worked with in 2019
Projects Published in 2019
- Aftershock: San Francisco & Venice by Stronghold Games
- Amul by Stronghold Games
- The Boldest by Stronghold Games
- Brikks by Stronghold Games
- Coffee Roaster by Stronghold Games
- Dizzle by Stronghold Games
- Die Macher by Stronghold Games
- Egizia: Shifting Sands by Stronghold Games
- Encore! by Stronghold Games
- Fast Sloths by Stronghold Games
- Fire! by Stronghold Games
- Flamme Rouge Meteo, and Peloton) by Stronghold Games
- Fine Sand by Stronghold Games
- Fool! by Stronghold Games
- Forum Trajanum by Stronghold Games
- Fuji Flush by Stronghold Games
- Futuropia by Stronghold Games
- Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection by Chaosium
- Nova Luna by Stronghold Games
- Second Chance by Stronghold Games
- Terraforming Mars: Turmoil by Stronghold Games
- Twice as Clever (Doppelt So Clever) by Stronghold Games
Classes Taught in 2019