October Updates: Book, Sloth, and INDIECADE!

Slothapottomous Rex. In a tree. Unable to sleep for all the human hullaballoo. Dreaming of a post-apocalyptic peace, when all the humans are dead.There have been several major things going on this month. And in all that goings on, there is both good news and bad news.

Regarding the interactive book project. The official production estimate came it. Turns out that the projected cost of this book is over ten times the production budget. So. Even more than expected. Sux. In consultation with the editor, I’ve cut out 90% of the proposed interactions: all the dialog trees, the culminating mini-game, and various odds and ends. That was incredibly painful, but the good news is that we now have a workable plan. The book will be finished and published, and it will be smaller than I’d hoped, but it will *be*.

The school year is now in full swing, so I’m working hard on teaching classes and designing classes at One Spark Academy. One of our new offerings this year is Popsicle Engineering – and I’m very proud of it. From the official class description:

What would you do with a thousand holey popsicle sticks, a thousand bolts, a thousand nuts (the threaded steel kind), and a team of friends? Build something awesome, of course! Following in the spirit of the venerable Scrapheap Challenge and the inestimable Junkyard Wars, we will split students into teams, and challenge these teams to engineer solutions to terrifying tasks.

The gamer in me demanded an overarching narrative structure for the class, in vague LARP-style. Thus was born Slothapottomous Rex, the ancient and fuzzy god of laziness. Tired of being kept awake by centuries of human hullabaloo – wars and wonders and rock music and airplanes and reality television and more – SPR (as he is known to his friends) has begun the construction of a Doomsday Device. With this Device, SPR plans to wipe the planet clean of life, leaving him finally free to get some uninterrupted sleep (attached photo). Brave engineers from the kingdom of Zalazoo – can you stop him in time? So far, my students have been really into it.

Last but not least, IndieCade will be here in less than a week. I love IndieCade very much because it always feels like my people. It’s a scant three days in which to share knowledge, experience, games, and fun with friends, colleagues, and the world! On Friday, I’ll share some of my experience with educational game design in the afternoon Game Design Microtalks session. On Saturday, I’ll bring out The Puzzle of Life for the Game Tasting event. And the rest of the time – I’ll enjoy talks, games, colleagues, and friends. All good stuff!

All these tasks are full of joy and hard work. Very hard work. Work that is only possible with your support and company. Thank you.

As a special thanks to Patrons who have supported us at the $10/month (and above) level during October, we’re sending each of you a one-of-a-kind letter, straight from the claws of Slothapottomous Rex. Enjoy! And again, thank you.

– Tim