Tag Archives: work

Murray Looks Nervous

Pugsteady: A New Phase In My Career

As many of you know, I was laid off from CCP in April. From April to June, I looked for full-time work, but I did some freelance writing on the side — partly to get at least some money in, and partly to keep my skills sharp. In July, I realized that my freelance work was taking up more and more of my time, so I took some steps to be more organized and serious about it. A few other things fell into place, and I realized that working as a freelance writer and designer could actually be my job. So I did some research, talked to some very smart people, and a couple of weeks ago, I filed to form a company. I am now the owner and sole proprietor of Pugsteady, LLC.

What does this mean? At a high level, not a lot changes. I’ve done work-for-hire for companies for 12 years now, and that’s not likely to change. However, I realize that there will be down times between contracts, and I’d like to start working on my own projects. Having a company that I can attach those projects to gives me and them a little more protection, and gives me access to a few good things (such as easier tax filing and a separate bank account, so I keep my assets distinct).

While “company” sounds exciting and interesting, I’m still working for me, and I’m still making a fraction of what I was beforehand. It’s not likely that I’ll be cranking out new tabletop RPGs or video games anytime soon. Further, I’m also still looking at other opportunities that make sense for my career and my life. But it also means that even if I do work at another company, I still have my company. I can still produce my work, and know that it’s stable. My work won’t get gobbled up by someone else unless they make me an offer that I like. It’s also something I can fall back on if I do leave such a company. And maybe I can make a new tabletop RPG or video game at some point.

So over the next several months and years, you may hear “Pugsteady” from time to time. That’s me, doing what you love, and what I love doing. This site isn’t going away anytime soon. But it is the next logical step in my life now, and I’m excited and terrified and what happens next.

So… Much… To Do….

I Look At Keyboards A LotAfter I got back from The Grand Masquerade, I had to catch up on work I missed during the show, as well as new opportunities and ideas that came from the show. Then I helped to get the Vampire 20th PDF sorted, fixed, and out to people. And just when I thought I was getting caught up, I got hit with a nasty headcold/flu that has been knocking me down all week. Which is, of course, perfect timing, as I had planned to get stuff done after the Vampire 20th/GenCon/Grand Masquerade run.

Tour de Holmes: I missed last week again, which is doubly irritating because the story is “The Three Garridebs,” and I don’t have much to say aside from “it’s The Red Headed League with a couple of interesting additional bits.” Since my essay on it was so short (I just finished it up), I’m going to see if I can get two out this week, and then make a serious push to get the last six stories read, researched, and written. My hope is to get this wrapped up by Thanksgiving (end of November for my non-US readers), take a break from it over December, and then approach it in January with a fresh eye towards turning it into a proper manuscript.

Vampire: The Masquerade Retrospective: The folks at FlamesRising.com have asked people for retrospectives on Vampire: The Masquerade. I think it’s a great idea, and I definitely want to contribute to it, but time has not been my friend. I’m hoping to knock something out this week.

Far West: I recently got the setting bible for Far West so I can start working on a short story for in the upcoming Tales of the Far West. The draft is also due by the end of November. I have a half-pitch in to Gareth, but I need to dig into some parts of the setting a bit and see if the story takes shape.

Personal Projects: I have a personal project that I’ve been working with a publishing on for a few months now. A lot of higher-priority things have taken priority (on both sides), but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to announce something soon about that. I’ve also had an itch recently to take a crowbar to my old Whitechapel drafts and turn that into a proper novel, but at this rate it’ll be at least December before I can even think about that.

Gaming: I’ve started up two new tabletop games – a weekly game over lunch at work (a homebrew fantasy game of my own creation that’s getting its first test run), and a biweekly-ish Sunday night Vampire 20th game over Skype between some folks in the office and our new friends from Machinima Realm over in LA. The one game needs some polish (as I’m reworking the rules as we play), and the other requires some maintenance writing in order to communicate information more easily over the Internet, which mean both games also qualify as “writing projects” on some level. I’m also getting back into playing in both the local Sabbat and Camarilla LARPs as well, which knocks out one day a month (although that’s so much better than two nights a month), as well as increasing my email RP a bit, but I’m doing a pretty good job of keeping my bandwidth on those reasonable.

Work: And this is all on top of working on the outline for Victorian Lost, organizing and working on the development of Mummy and Werewolf 20th, finishing up work on Strange, Dead Love and Dust to Dust, keeping my podcast up to date, starting up a new blog, and the other three zillion projects I have going on over on the White Wolf/CCP side of things. Although my interview on Machinima.com did come out recently:

This Blog: I do have some ideas queued up for this blog as well, including a couple more “What I Learned” essays. I fully admit, however, that this blog is one of the lower priorities in my writing. Once the Tour de Holmes wraps up, though, I do need to think of another weekly feature to take its place (ideally one with a lot less research needed). We’ll see, we’ll see.

Brain-Dead Grand Masquerade Update

I am so brain-dead
I am so brain-dead

Back from Grand Masquerade. It was an amazing, wonderful, bizarre, exciting, and utterly exhausting time. As such, I’m pretty brain-dead today, but I wanted to at least let people know that the updated version of “Your Game Sucks” that I presented at Grand Masquerade this year is up on my Free Stuff page in PDF. If my recorder worked and I got a good audio recording of the panel, I’ll make that available somewhere as well. Same with the White Wolf 2.0 presentation — that’s been updated on DriveThruRPG.com, and there may be audio from it if all goes well.

As for the rest, I may be able to put together something coherent involving my thoughts from the show. Right now, though, all I can think about is email and sleep.

Lengthy interview with Jeu de Role magazine

Jeu de Role
Jeu de Role magazine

I recently had a lengthy (over 5,000 words!) interview with French magazine Jeu de Role. They gave us permission to post the English translation online, so it’s now up at the White Wolf website. I’m cross-posting it here partially to continue notifying people of cool stuff I’m involved in, but also because we got a chance to dig into some of the ideas and plans we have for this crazy Transmedia thing Rich and I are doing these days. So if you’re interested, check it out here:

http://www.white-wolf.com/community/news/jdr-interview-(in-english)

I babble about technology and roleplaying games

I talk about some shit
I talk about some shit

Readers have been asking to see links to stuff I’ve been involved with, so I’ll try to do more of that. This time, I have two links.

One of the panels I sat in on at GenCon was “How Technology is Changing RPGs.” It was a fun conversation, and the guys at Obsidian Portal taped it and put it on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/27481884

Also, I was recently interviewed for the American-Statesman about the future of roleplaying games. I wasn’t mentioned by name, but I did do that thing: http://www.statesman.com/life/life-guide/dungeons-dragons-grows-up-1698450.html?cxtype=rss_ece_frontpage

 

 

The Grandest and Masqueradiest Show

The Grand Masquerade is next week.

This is, in many ways, a unique experience. It’s absolutely the first time we’ve gotten a lot of different World of Darkness communities together. Live-action, tabletop, card games… all of them are together under one roof in a gorgeous hotel in New Orleans. It’s a great chance to get together and talk about the past, present, and future of the World of Darkness. I’m sure I sound like a shill, but fuck it; I’m the World of Darkness Developer now, and this is an entire show about the World of Darkness. I’m pretty pumped.

On the other hand, I’m nervous as well. We’re going to make some big announcements – maybe not earth-shattering in the grand scheme of things, but certainly we’ll be talking about stuff I haven’t been able to talk about for a while now. I’m doing my usual yearly panel of new LARP theory, as well as reprising the last two I’ve done, and I’ll probably be on a few other panels as well. I’ll likely be audio recording whatever panels that we won’t videotape and post on YouTube. I’m sure folks will have lots of questions, and I want to make sure to do my part to make myself as available as I can for the community to answer the questions I can. Plus our usual slate of awesome parties. It would be great if I could actually get some gaming in, but it’s a lot of stuff going on.

I’m sure I’ll see a lot of folks there that I haven’t seen in a while, and meet new folks for the first time. It’ll be weird to have many of my social networks interacting under one roof as I bounce from being “Eddy the guy I used to game with” to “Eddy the WoD Developer” to “Eddy the person” and back again about a million times over the course of several days. Being an introvert (even if I am a very social one), that’ll take a lot of energy out of me. Normally, I wouldn’t be too worried, but I’m going to roll from the convention right into a lot of work stuff, and then another convention, so I won’t have a lot of time to recharge. I may just say “fuck it” anyhow, but we’ll see how it pans out.

So, yeah. Excited, nervous, and weird. I’m in as crazy headspace right now. This show will be memorable, though, that’s for damned sure.

Russell Beat Me To It

I was planning to talk about our company retreat and how us nerdy game designers ended up breaking our poor facilitator’s team-building game…

but Russell already beat me to it. So, yeah, what he said. About the only thing I can add is that I proposed a system where everyone was the spy (in order to communicate the same message), and my team actually got the problem wrong because we all suck at math.