Monday, 18 April 2016

A Random Encounter Issue 2 is out!

I've been a bit buried under work lately, trying to get this and that done, so haven't been making time to blog. I surface every now and then on G+ to try and hype A Random Encounter in a non-spammy way, and this is my hopefully non-spammy blog post shout-out now that Issue 2 is finally finished!

I say finally, but actually it turned around pretty quickly, around six weeks since the last one came out. Issue 1 is still available in print too, but the rest of this post is all about Issue 2, where I interview Chris McDowall, creator of Into The Odd. Just as with talking to Dave McGrogan for Issue 1, it was really interesting to hear about how and when RPGs hooked Chris, and also to chat for a good long while about how he makes games and how he approaches design choices. I'm still learning how to interview really - I've been interviewing people on a podcast that I do for nearly four years, but this is a different sort of challenge.

What I liked about talking to Chris was his commitment: this is something that I'm finding I can only really articulate now that I've got the issue finished and it's out. In reflecting on putting it together, editing down and organising information, one thing that really stands out is how committed Chris is. He frequently talks about doing things well; Into The Odd was a project that evolved over years; he has a clear aesthetic idea in mind for constructing his game and the supplement that's going to follow it this year. Maybe commitment is not the right word actually, maybe the word is vision: Chris changes his mind about stuff (as he says in the issue), but he's got something in his mind about his games that is like magnetic north, something he's working towards.

And I'm not just praising him because he did the second issue of my zine! Jonny Gray made a great colour cover showing Chris on the streets of Bastion. The issue also features great art pieces by Kathryn Jenkins and Anxious P. inspired by the setting of Into The Odd. Check it all out on the zines page.

Coming Soon! Posts about something other than A Random Encounter! Posts about Into The Oort! Hints about a thing I think I'm going to do this summer (hint: rhymes with stick-parter!)! And probably the odd post about A Random Encounter, because I can't help myself...

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