I recently sat down to contemplate the current state of Morbidgames Publishing and think about what got me in to this and where I go from here.
When I started it was with a lot of high hopes and expectations of myself mostly. Originally the a game played with friends it grew and became a collection of stories, or rather one story that had many parts to it I have tried to expand upon.
Now many of the ideas I had for Ave Molech go back to my Junior High and High School years where I would attempt to write very baroque poetry for the most part centered around these creatures I called the Hybrude. I always imagined them like space locusts, and if you’ve ever seen the third series of Robotech where the Invid come and white out everything so that the Humans and the Zentradi begin to live and work together…well, that was kind of the idea.
Years later after playing with friends was when I first began to write the story of Ave Molech, or Ave’Molech as it was originally called, I had this story of an apathetic character who along with another group of individuals has won the Hork Lottery. Hork was still an underground city during this time and lottery winners were assigned to fix the collapsed portions of the city or retrieve important items from ruined areas. The adventurers go out to retrieve some equipment, when they run into an unseen force that overwhelms them and are rescued by an Ogre and a Half-Fiend in thrall of a Ancient Black Dragon, Sharess.
That was pretty much as far as things got for a long time.
When I first talked my friends into playing D&D again in our mid 20’s we had just completed a campaign another of my friends, Joe Bond, had wrote himself as well. I didn’t like the D&D rules though and while I have played the game for some time I had recently gotten into D20 Modern. I loved the way the classes worked in D20 Modern, as well as the generalized nature of the class names, but it lacked the Final Fantasy elements that I loved such as medieval worlds with airships, magic and guns.
So I ended up tricking them into trying out this new concept and it seemed to take. My original mesh of 3.5 Edition and D20 Modern favored more towards 3.5 Edition, but since then has changed to favor D20 Modern rules.
As we played I managed to weave them in a round a bout way along my main story path, as I figured the best way for me to finish my own story was to see what the characters themselves would do. I treated as it as if I was watching my own creation take on a life of its own. Eventually this lead me to create Talon’s character and the conspiracy to kill Sharess.
It was shortly after the characters arrived on the surface that we all got busy with our lives, careers, girl friends turned wives and even some kids.
This was actually beneficial to me as it gave me the time and ideas I needed to continue writing the story of Ave Molech, but once the story was done, I realized I still had a long way to go.
I remember many nights, lunches and hangouts with Joe Bond where we talked over my story, ideas and what new portion of the world I had just written out or outlined and then Joe would go through and tell me all the many things I missed, which was always more than I ever imagined.
After about a year of this I was finally ready to release this great piece of role playing literature, with hardly any artwork, a rushed layout and not a lot of commentary from anyone who I had shown it too.
It didn’t do well.
While I sought for as much feedback, especially from a negative review I had and some solicitation of various gaming boards and portions of my work, I also began to have a lot of other ideas for the world. Eventually they got to be too much for my head, and so I began to write them down and they became the Journal Series. Which I tried my best to keep to a monthly, then bi-monthly pace, but health and work would eventually see to that ending.
I learned a lot from the feedback and negative review I received, and after a month I started looking for artists to work with and soliciting local college kids, majoring in English, to edit my writings. Within three months I had Brom, Aimee Pepper and Kim Feigenbaum artwork, in addition to many other talented artists, and a bunch of my manuscripts with red text scribbled on every page. It was fantastic and the result, Ave Molech Second Edition.
It did much better.
The initial reception seemed to do well, and I made the venture into print. In the last two years I’ve sold several hundred copies of my book, but only 6 printed copies. Not worth the couple hundred dollars it cost me to get into that, though I suppose something could be said about the marketing value of being on places like Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.
So here I am four years later talking to myself, writing down what I say and about to post on my blog because I haven’t had any worthwhile content in far too long and I’m thinking. What the fuck do I do now?