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Anodyne Direct 01: Breach Detected
Welcome to the first issue of the Anodyne Direct newsletter.
As I furiously prepare a barrage of promotion for Hull Breach (set to launch in just two days! AHH!) I thought it might be nice to take a break from ad copy and write something a little more personal.
Let’s analyze how my latest project came to be the (somewhat terrifyingly) ambitious project that it now is.
Breaching the Hull
Back in the heady days of December 2020, I was riding high on the smash success of a digital 3rd party Mothership bundle I helped assemble with 10 other creators. I was about to run my first ever Kickstarter for Zine Quest 3, I was still fresh off the back of a beautiful experience contributing to Dissident Whispers — the world was my oyster.
To tee up the next group project with my fellow 3pp Mothership creators, I pitched a modest collaborative zine we could all chip into. We welcomed anyone and everyone in our humble 3rd party publisher’s Mothership server to submit. In January we determined our unnamed project (internally dubbed “the zine”) might hit 50 pages or so on the high end, the upper end of saddle stitching. From such humble beginnings, it grew into a mighty beast.
By February I officially took the mantle of publisher. By March I’d drawn up a rough project framework and assembled all interested authors into a work Discord server. Budgets, logistics and style guides crystalized across a sea of Google docs and sheets. By May we targeted 100 pages, perfect bound. Softcover.
The submission count grew as artists and editors arrived on scene. Initial layouts cast projected page counts into the harsh light of [In]design reality. Scope expanded like an angry rash. Several delirious and dev-filled months later and we gazed at 160 pages, not counting table of contents and other ancillary book anatomy. Could this be a hardcover? Did we dare? It was, and we did.
On this day, one year hence its initial conception, “the zine” which is no longer a zine nears completion. We stand on the eve of a Hull Breach Kickstarter, its complexity and heft ever expanding with each iteration and “yeah, that’s a cool idea!”
200 pages and counting.
Like I did for The Drain, I intend to autopsy Hull Breach with extensive post-mortems and production tutorials (far more insightful and less prosaic than this). I hope you’ll find them useful.
Until then, please consider looking at our campaign page for Hull Breach on launch day (January 4th). You don’t have to back it, but I’ll be damned if people don’t at least witness and appreciate our 90s-anime-homage campaign video. It’d be cool if you did back it, though (there’s a free patch in it for you if you back day one).
So, that was it! The first Anodyne Direct newsletter. I’m still figuring out what I want this thing to be, and I hope you’ll all help me do that.
You should be able to reply to this post (via email? on the Substack website? both?) but if newsletter technology fails you, my Twitter and Discord DMs are open.
Was this too short? Too long? Too informal? Too lacking in big announcements (here’s a small one: I’m including a bundle of my existing Mothership stuff updated to 1e rules in the Hull Breach campaign — slipped it in!)? Tell me your whims!
If you’re reading this, you’re one of a hundred people who’ve subscribed and I just want to take a second and thank you. Publishing RPGs is hard work fraught with uncertainty and anxiety, and I’m deeply grateful to everyone who follows and supports my stuff.
So thank you for reading, and wish me luck!