Category Archives: News

News about things I’m working on (which gets piped into the newsletter).

Get On With Things

Last month I posted about Murray passing away. Naturally, this month isn’t going to be easy. This is the first time I haven’t had a pet in the house in more than fifteen years, which is my entire freelance career. You really don’t realize how much of your daily schedule is based around pets (particularly sick pets) until they’re gone. I still have moments where I feel like I need to head back home to feed Murray, or that I can’t stay out too late because I didn’t get a sitter for him.

Yes, it’s hard losing Murray. But I also learned a lot. It’s forced me to reassess my current situation, and find new ways of dealing with things. My work process is slowly changing, for example — as much as I hate to say it, I’m a little more productive now that I don’t have to stop every couple of hours to attend to Murray. I wish with all my heart I had the distractions, though.

Family and friends help. So does work. And certainly things are solid on the work front. Unrelated to Murray’s passing, but I did step away from my Executive Producer position at Earplay to take on a role as In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing. (It actually happened back in September, but Murray’s death distracted me from the announcement.) Monarchies of Mau is continuing forward at a good pace, and with excellent writers stepping up to do wonderful work. New Pugmire projects are continuing to move forward, and I’ve picked up freelance work on projects like They Came From Beneath the Sea and Deviant: The Renegades. My work on Tunnels & Trolls Adventures went public a couple of months ago. I also just signed a contract for an unannounced project, and behind the scenes I’m helping out Phil Brucato in getting more Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition books out the door.

So, a lot of changes. Some of it is the nature of being a self-employed freelancer, and some of it is living in a new country where a part of your family is gone. But by necessity of describing my situation, I perhaps sound more maudlin than I am. Things hurt less. I’m not as numb as often.  I get out more. Life is improving, slowly but surely.

I still miss him, but I need to get on with things.

Murray Lives On

On 23 September, at 9:30pm, my dog Murray passed away very suddenly in my arms. He saw his vet that morning to start a course of heart medication, when a heart attack took him. I gave him several rounds of CPR, but he didn’t recover. He was 15, and led a good and full life.

The past week has been a blur of pain and numbness, as our family comes to terms with our lives after Murray. We all knew he was an old dog, and a sick dog, but within minutes he changed from getting better to gone. The suddenness was a mercy for him, although painful for us.

After I made arrangements for his funeral, I couldn’t sleep, so I wrote a Pugmire story about Murray, and about dealing with death. And through the world of Pugmire, Murray lives on.

Goodbye, buddy. I miss you.


Yosha knocked hesitantly on the thick oak door to her uncle’s office. She heard a deep “Come in, come in,” and pushed the door open.

Behind his desk, Seneschal Murra, Prince of Pugmire, shuffled papers from one part of his desk to the other. Yosha noticed his fur was getting grayer every day. At this point, it was more gray than black. She wondered if he would end up being completely gray at some point.

“You sent for me, Uncle Murra?” Yosha sat in the chair across from him, paws folded in her lap.

“I just need you to sign some papers, niece. A mere formality.” He flipped through the stack, and carefully extracted one. He adjusted the glasses on what passed for a nose, nodded to himself, and then handed it to her.

Yosha carefully took it from him. Her eyes grew wide as she read the first few lines. “But uncle… this is your will.”

“Yes, my child. I am not a young dog, you know, and I have to make certain… allowances… for when my time comes.”

Yosha set the paper down. “But you’re a strong dog, uncle. I’m sure you’ll live for many years yet.”

The elderly dog took his glasses off and set them aside. “Sweet Yosha, I sometimes forget how young you are. To you, everyone will live forever. But I know that I won’t. Every day my legs hurt a little more, and my cough gets a little worse.”

“But…” She shoved the paper away, suddenly. “I don’t want to think about you dying!” Her eyes brimmed with tears.

Murra stood up, walked over to the young puppy, and knelt beside her. She could hear the soft pop from his joints as he did. “There is a way you can make sure I live forever, you know.”

She wipes the tears away with a paw. “What’s that?”

He smiled, and patted her head. “Remember me. Tell everyone about my life, good and bad. If I leave just one happy story behind, then I’ll always live.” He poked her in the chest. “Right here.”

Crying, she leapt out of the chair to wrap her arms around Murra’s neck. “You’ll always be a happy story to me, uncle. Always.”

Murra hugged her back, so she couldn’t see the tears in his own eyes.

It’s Pugmire Time!

At long last, Pugmire is available to everyone to buy! Here’s a handy list of where to get it right now, and in the very near future.

DriveThruRPG. If you want the PDF, this is where you get it from. In a few weeks the print-on-demand version will be available as well. Also, the support decks will become available through DriveThruCards.

Studio2. This is where you can direct order the physical book, if you don’t want to wait for the print-on-demand version. You can also get the Guide screen and the official dice set!

Indie Press Revolution. Very soon IPR will also offer physical Pugmire products!

Your Local Hobby Store. If your local store uses Studio2 as a distributor, you can order from your store!

If you like Pugmire, please spread the word, and leave a review at any of these outlets that allow for ratings. Reviews really help sales!

Care and Feeding of Eddy at Gen Con (and other conventions)

In 10 days, I’ll be on a plane from Dublin to Indianapolis to attend the 50th Gen Con! If you’re going to the show as well, or if we meet at another convention at some point, here are some tips to help you understand me a bit better.

0. I’ll be mildly insane (Gen Con-specific)

Between jet lag, selling Pugmire for the first time outside of the Kickstarter, celebrating 50 years of Gen Con magic with friends and peers, meeting fans for Pugmire and my other work, and getting a chance to catch up with various current and former clients, it’s going to be an exciting and busy time. As such, I may come across as frazzled or distracted. Give me a minute, and I’ll come around.

1. I have hearing loss

I do have hearing loss in both ears, and hearing aids only help so much (particularly in loud environments like… well, just about everyone in and around Gen Con). I will miss what you said, and I will sometimes misunderstand you. Odds are you’ll call our my name in a bar and it’ll seem like I’m ignoring you. If you want to talk, standing in front of me and saying my name to get my attention is a huge help. There are more helpful tips for communicating with people who have hearing loss, if you’re interested.

2. I suck at names

It’s entirely possible we’ve met before, but if it seems like I’m struggling to recall your name, don’t take it personally. I meet hundreds of people at Gen Con every year, and it’s difficult to remember them all. If you could remind me of your name and how we’ve previously met, I’d really appreciate it.

3. I want to meet fans, but I’m here on business

I absolutely want to meet and chat with fans! But please understand that my main goal at the convention is business. It’ll be hard for me to carve out time to let you buy me a drink or to talk about your amazing Pugmire chronicle at length, because I’ve got to spend my time carefully at the show between business partners, contractors I hire, and other fans who also want to chat. Further, some folks I used to see more often I may only see at Gen Con now that I live in Ireland. Please don’t be offended if I cut our conversation short.

4. I don’t mind physical affection, but please ask first

I like giving hugs and other forms of physical affection to my friends, but please don’t assume that it’s okay unless we’ve talked about it first. A simple “I’d like to give you a hug, is that okay?” is perfect.

5. I’m not going to be drinking alcohol a lot at the show

Over the years I’ve discovered that I function better at conventions if I’m not drunk. On some occasions a beer or a mixed drink helps me unwind after a busy day on the floor, but far more often I’ll be having iced tea or water. So if I turn down your shot, please don’t take it personally!

6. It’s not a big deal

In the end, don’t worry that you’ve upset or offended me, or that you did something “wrong.” We’re all here to have a good time (even if it’s professional), so if you stumble, just take a second and try again. I promise I won’t be upset.

July Non-Update, aka “Eddy and Murray Road Trip”

Last month on this blog I mentioned that I would be flying to Ireland on the 15th, settling in, and then diving right back into work, so I would have an update on things this month.

Things did not go according to plan.

If you’re reading this just for updates on my life and work, things are still about where they were before: I’m about to start working on the outline for Monarchies of Mau, I’m still working for clients such as Onyx Path, Earplay, and others I can’t yet reveal, and I have some exciting stuff coming on the horizon. If you’re curious why there’s not much of an update, however, I have a story to tell.

Continue reading July Non-Update, aka “Eddy and Murray Road Trip”

June Update

Not a lot to update this month, for three big reasons.

Ireland

I’m getting very close to the move, so naturally things are hectic and busy. My wife is already over there to nail down housing and immediate needs, while I stay behind to handle last-minute tasks here at home, as well as Murray the Pug’s health screen and flight process. Once I fly over there (on the 15th), I’ll be settling in and catching up on things.

I’m actually considering converting a portion of this blog over to talking about what it’s like to be an American expat living in Ireland, particularly from a freelance/game designer perspective. If this is something you’d be interested in, let me know!

Monarchies of Mau

The second reason is that we’re in the middle of the Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter, the second game in the world of Pugmire. At the time of this writing we’re over $92,000, and there are still some prime backer slots available. Check it out!

Non-Disclosure Agreements

I’m also working on something like five or six other things that I just can’t talk about yet. It seems there’s a cycle of these things — I do a lot of work I can’t talk about, and then a bunch of things all get released at around the same time. I’m deep in the “working hard on things” stage, which seems like nothing’s going on. But hopefully some of these projects will reach the light of day soon!

May Update

Things have been getting steadily busier for me. But I still have a little time for a quick update!

Moving to Ireland

The move continues forward. Getting rid of excess stuff, selling our house, arranging transport for Prince Murray Pug of Pugmire, and consulting with experts about what business actions I need to be taking… there’s a lot left to do! Right now I’m looking at mid-June for the real move, but there are plenty of things my family and I need to handle in the meantime.

The whole situation is stressful, but I’m slowly moving from “anxiety” to “excited.” There’s still plenty that could go wrong, but I’m looking forward to living in a different country, and all the opportunities (and challenges!) that brings. Of course I’ll miss all the friends and contacts I’ve made here over the years, but I really do think this is a great next chapter for everyone in our family.

Pugsteady

I’m still deep in the research/exploration phase of things, but signs still point to me being able to run Pugsteady much as I already have. There may be some value in opening a “Pugsteady Ireland” branch, but it really does look like I’ll just have to handle a little paperwork to keep doing what I’m doing. And I may not even need to do any of it right away.

Further, I’ve managed to pick up some steady contract work for a while. Having a regular income will be really helpful for a while as we settle in. I’ve also got some more one-off contracts since I last posted, which are always exciting. And that’s all outside of an upcoming Kickstarter!

Monarchies of Mau

Yes, the next step in the world of Pugmire is on the horizon. Hopefully very soon will be the launch of the Kickstarter for Monarchies of Mau, the companion line for Pugmire. This is more than just an add-on to play cats in a dog’s world — it’s a whole new brand that co-exists with Pugmire but has its own style and direction. If you love cats and you love Pugmire, I’m hoping you’ll really love Monarchies of Mau!

Once it’s live, I’ll post it everywhere I can, so you won’t miss out. I’m also partnering with some blogs and other media outlets so we can make a huge splash on day one. If you’re a blogger or reporter and want to get involved with the pre-launch blitz, let me know!

ECGC

Earlier in the month I went to the East Coast Game Conference. Last year I really enjoyed going, and this year was no different. It was great to hang out with old friends and meet some new ones. Further, my talk about audio design for people with hearing loss went over much better than I expected (feared), and led to some great side conversations with some passionate and excited audio people. It was a great time, and I hope I can go in future years (although maybe not as often, travel permitting).

In the aftermath of the show, I have thought more about how to increase visibility of hearing loss in fiction and entertainment media. Nothing is fully formed in my mind yet, but I think this is a topic I’ll be focusing more on over the next few years. (Which reminds me, I should probably look into Irish advocacy groups for those who are hard of hearing.)

What Do You Want To Hear About?

Is there something in particular you want to hear about? Leave a comment or use my contact form, and I’ll consider it for my next post!