07 July 2008

Returning to my crafty roots



We just came back from vacation in New Harbor, Maine, where we go every year. We have a family cottage on the ocean. We spent a week walking around Damariscotta and Wiscassett, checking out Fort William Henry, Fort Edgecomb, and Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. Quick! Go find a US quarter--the Maine one. Look on the tail side. That's Pemaquid Lighthouse. They also have a fisherman's museum, which was very fascinating and inspiring for Tales of the Fisherman's Wife. Being in a fishing village had its own bit of inspiration, too, so much so that I'm just about done with the text. I'm aiming to be done with the text next week.

So I'm taking Tales of the Fisherman's Wife to GenCon as an ashcan. This evening in the shower I decided that perhaps pre-orders might be a good thing. I won't announce it at the Stone Baby Games website just yet. A shower-birthed idea needs time to dry off, but if I do decide on pre-orders, here's a preview of my spiel:

Tales of the Fisherman's Wife is a quick role-playing game for two to four players. The Fisherman is about to leave for the sea. Whenever they part ways, they have a few little ritual. The Fisherman asks his Wife how many nets he's mended, and what his boat is like. The Wife asks the Fisherman how long he will be at sea, and what premonitions he has of his journey. Then the couple exchange six words which they each weave into a quick parable about their own story.

The Fisherman and his Wife go their separate ways. While they are very ordinary people, they both attract all manners of demons and ghosts who try to seduce, serve, devour, possess, or supplant them. In defense, the Fisherman and his Wife attempt to seduce, enslave, steal power, merge, or destroy their preternatural visitors.

The game is set in the Japan of the
Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, but is more about the working class consumers of this art. The original inspiration for the game is
the Hokusai print
Dream of the Fisherman's Wife. This simple setting--a Japan that exists in art and folklore--offers games themes that can be sensual and erotic, creepy and horrific, or somewhere in between.

Fisherman's Wife is designed to be played in one session, and will appeal to seasoned roleplayers and non-roleplayers alike. It uses a standard deck of playing cards.

The ashcan version of
Tales of the Fisherman's Wife will be a miniature hand bound collage book, with handmade paper cover, and full color illustrations throughout(with a few exceptions). No two books will be alike, although the text and pagination will be the same. There will be several versions to choose from:

* Pacific--Full color, illustrated with Ukiyo-e, your choice of mature audience (joyfully and bizarrely graphic erotic images), or general audience (naughty pictures replaced by more full color images of Japanese ghosts and demons).

* Atlantic--Some full color, illustrated with images of life by the sea European style, your choice of mature audiences (naughty images of European Fishermen and their Wives) and general audiences (naughty images replaced by vintage illustrations of sea creatures.)

So you can gift the game to your mama or your lover. All books will be signed and numbered. If you pre-order I can inscribe it for you, too. Price will be somewhere between $[rethinking pricing and can't commit]. I'm still gathering supplies. The dimensions will be somewhere in the park of 5.5" x 7" and 7" x 5", and about 22 pages short. Short game, short text, pretty pictures, pretty handmade book.

Here's how I envision pre-ordering will work. If you pre-order and will be at GenCon, I will give you your book at the Con. If you won't be there, I will likely (realistically) assemble and ship after GenCon. There's a good chance I will offer a less labor intensive (still fully illustrated and in color) version (the "Pacific" series, both adult and general) at GenCon as well, for about $10.

If I don't do pre-orders, and after writing all this, I can't see why I shouldn't, the only thing that won't happen is you won't be able to get a personally inscribed book. Before I got into game design and rpg's, I was (still am) a crafty chick, working mostly with fiber, but dabbling occasionally in collages and bookmaking, among other things. TOFW is the perfect project to combine my love of handmade things (see my hand made banner on the left), and homegrown storytelling.

I'm looking forward to making these books, and I've enjoyed working on TOFW. This week, if my box of handmade paper arrives in the mail, I'll put together two prototypes to see what style book works best.

Which brings me to another shower thought--a reflection on the past year with Steal Away Jordan. Quite a rewarding and character building experience. I'll save it for another time.

Since I don't have a real preview to speak of (and this is really a preview of the preview), here are some of the design elements and resources I will be using to make my books.

Articus Studio Design. I love this place.
Washi paper.
ATC (artist trading cards).
Ukiyo-e Gallery (No copyright laws will not be violated in the making of the book.)
Art credit

3 comments:

Verrain said...

Those books sound wonderful. As I won't be at GenCon, I hope you will decide to do the pre-order such that I might shower you with money and obtain one.

Parthenia said...

I'm not sure preorders will happen before GenCon. I'm having lots of fun with the project, though. I will probably make more after GenCon, through Etsy, as well as blank "Tales of the Fisherman's Wife" themed journals. I'm really digging book making and decoupage.

Verrain said...

Good things are worth waiting for. Combining two hobbies like that is a wonderful thing.

-- RichD