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Breaking the Barriers

So I've been busy. It seems like I only post these things when I am...

Anywho, there's a lot of things stirring around the ole Two Kings Keep. One of the biggest things is our new forums. Tada!

Might as well register for them now, so you don't have to take the time to register for the site when you go to buy your first D4: Basic product. 

There's not much there as I'm typing these words, but I'll be adding more soon.

I also have another big surprise on the horizon that I'm hoping will get a lot of things stirring. We're just about ready to unleash a full on public beta test of D4: Basic. This is very exciting to me and I'm hoping for a huge turn-out to help us test the game.

We have a lot of our ducks already in line and we're just cleaning up a few last things before we go live. Keep a look out for it soon! Get onboard and help us shape this wonderful game.

I'll leave you all with a delightfully intriguing sample of Ammar's art intended for the initial release of the core rules. Cheers!

D4: Basic Vampire

Artwork is Copyright © by Artist Ammar Al-Chalabi and may not be copied, linked to, distributed, downloaded, modified, reused, reposited, reproduced or otherwise used without express written permission

Treasure Card Craziness

Welcome adventurers. Welcome to the land where D4 is tip-toeing it's way into completion. First I want to rant and rave some more about Ammar our artist. He's furiously working on getting the cover the D4: Basic done. I've seen it, I've fallen in love with it and I promise you will too. I want to show it to you right here right now, so bad (oh so bad!). But I feel it would be providing you with a diservice by showing it to you this early on. Instead be patient my friends and just wait a little bit longer so we can fully knock your socks off.

Another piece of news is that we've decided to consolidate all of the books we we're going to release in the initial box set into one book. By doing this we can focus on releasing one very polished product instead of trying to scramble to get out different pieces. Also, to add to the excitement, as a bonus goal to our soon to come kickstarter we're going to shooting to do a small print run of hard back books to sell along with the soft back version and box set of the rules.

Finally, to validate the title of this post, today I've printed out, put together, and laminated my first card prototype for the game. I've been carrying this little puppy around my house and dreaming of the moment I get to lay one of these bad boys out in front a player. I'm going to post some teasing pictures I took on the fly here. As you gaze upon this greatness keep in mind two very important things:

1. This is a prototype card and far from what the finished product will look like. The final product is not completely decided on how it will be printed but it probably won't be laminated either way (as this card is) and might even end up on playing cards depending on production costs, etc.

2. The picture doesn't match the card and isn't even a final piece of art that we're using from the game. It's just a picture I threw in there. Looking back I guess it's silly that I didn't grab a picture of a ball to put in there, but oh well, what's done is done.

Prototype Treasure Card: Front

Prototype Treasure Card: Back

Enter Ammar Al-Chalabi

Two Kings Games has just placed a large puzzle piece into place as we bring on Dutch artist and heavy metal rocker Ammar. Bringing the D4: Basic efforts to a trio, we're excited to have the talents of this astonishing artist on our side as we push closer to production of D4. 

Next step to the release of D4: Basic? Other than finishing up some layout and getting the release scenarios complete, a kickstarter for the initial release. We're hoping that with this exciting look we'll be able to raise enough funding to be able to run a modest print run and start selling this amazing game to you all.

That reminds me, the rules are finally done! Wooo! They're in their layout and they're ready for some talented editing eyes to try and zap all those pesky typos. Ammar is going to be offering some help on some of the finishing touches on the layout as well. 

I'm going to end with a sample of one of Ammar's pieces to get your mouth watering. Enjoy!

 Dwarf Berserker

 Artwork is Copyright © by Artist Ammar Al-Chalabi and may not be copied, linked to, distributed, downloaded, modified, reused, reposited, reproduced or otherwise used without express written permission

Authors and Designers

We're super happy to announce that Two Kings Games will be producing work, mostly in form of scenarios, from game designer Spencer Wright.

Spencer has done work with Gary Gygax and the rest of the Lejendary Adventure team before Gary's untimely and sad passing. Notably, he had a hand in Gary Gygax's The Hermit and also had a hand in Eldritch Traps for the Eldritch Roleplaying System as well as other countless contributions to the gaming industry.

There is a mutual excitement from both sides as we team up to help make D4 a reality. I'm going to take the liberty to share with a quote from Mr. Wright in regards to D4: Basic:

Wow, you are really on to something here. Congrats., Jason. This is one of the more original OSR products I have ever seen. 

and trust me Two Kings Games is just as excited to employ the help from Spencer.

Spencer is bringing some interesting things to the table. Things I can't wait to see and things that I feel will expand on the D4 mentality for the better. Due to the openness and bare-bones style the D4: Basic rule-set incorporates, there is a lot of freedom and a variety of direction a D4 scenario can take. I believe Mr. Wright will be pushing those freedoms to their limits and expanding on the franchise nicely. I'm expecting good things from Spencer's line of work, good things indeed.

Although exciting, this raises some questions on how Two Kings Games is going to handle freelance authors. I'm going to do some out loud musing with all of you so bare with me.

Nothing I say here is going to be written in stone. As things move forward we'll start officially accepting freelance work and along with that there will be terms to that employment. But until then here are some thoughts, ethos, and ideas of where I want to go with Two Kings Games.

My thoughts are that the core of any good RPG product is the author. Sure art is important as well as layout, etc. Really, even as silly as it sounds I've known people or talked to people who will shun a product solely based off of things like art and layout.

Because of this strong belief in the importance of the actual creator I want to make it where when you produce a product for Two Kings Games you feel as though you're are producing your own line of work. I want Two Kings Games to simply facilitate the outcome of that work.

I have plans on presenting items in our online store categorized by author. In other words I want our customers to fall in love with the writer and not just buy another D4 scenario. I want players to be excited about the next Jason Hurst or the next Spencer Wright release and not just our general releases as a whole.

I've also done a little (nowhere near enough at this point) research on freelance author payments for game design and what that entails. I believe I just read today that as a freelance author you can expect about 2 to 8 cents a word for your submitted work.

I have to admit at this point that I need to do more legal research before this comes to fruition but Two Kings Games wants our authors to have a stake in what they're producing, I want authors to feel that they own their own line of products. To do this I'm going to push that our authors receive a percentage of sales instead of a flat $ per word rate. In the long run I'm sure this means less profit for the overall company, but I have to say, Two Kings Games isn't about turning the highest profit, it's about producing games and that's the way it'll always be!

Game on!