The Lightspress Manifesto for 31 January 2023
Balancing creativity and business, new bundle additions, and upcoming releases.
In This Edition
Maker Time, Manager Time: Balancing both sides of a creative business.
Final Day for Hippogryph: After today, it all goes away.
Recent Releases Added to Bundles: In case you missed them.
Upcoming Releases: A look at what’s in the pipeline for the next few weeks.
Maker Time, Manager Time
For the past couple of weeks, I have been unavailable to nearly everyone except my wife. I still have a few hundred unanswered emails and a lot of unread social media notifications. It’s not that staying in touch with people isn’t important, but making rent and preserving my physical and mental health always have to come first. Which is how it should be for everyone, but we know what this world is like. Anyway, allow me to back up a bit and explain what’s going on.
2022 was the year of getting the business side of things in order, as I was still dealing with the complexities of relocating from Finland to Delaware and getting my feet back under me. To do that, a lot of projects had to be set aside, my entire production schedule had to be thrown out, and I spent far too much time in reactive mode. Because my thinking was business-forward, when any time had to be sacrificed, it was my creative time.
2023, so far, has allowed me to flip the script. I’ve been tuning out the world and focusing on getting a lot of projects completed. Boots on the ground, things are going reasonably well. For the moment, the real world around me is reasonably stable. Yeah, costs keep going up and sales are flat, but that just means I need to focus on the creative side of things, releasing books on a regular schedule, keeping food on the table and a roof over our heads.
So for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been ignoring the internet other than to cut-and-paste some product announcements and blog posts.
A while ago, I saw one of Adam Savage’s prolific Q&A videos where he referenced an article about balancing being a maker and a manager. He didn’t include a reference or cite where it originated, but it wasn’t difficult to track down. Before I even read it — and full disclosure, I still haven’t read it — I knew what he was talking about. When you’re a manager, you want to schedule everything. I live in my bullet journal. I have project plans and whiteboards all over my office. You need to know that things are moving, deadlines are being met, and a thousand small details are going to be handled.
As a creator, though, you just want long, uninterrupted blocks of time to create. You don’t want to have to think about all of the non-creative stuff, the demands of the world, and the so-called necessities of running a business and living in a society. Because 2022 was so out of balance in one direction, 2023 has been overcompensating in the other direction. I need to find a way to balance things out, and given time, I will. There are plans in place, for the next time I’m out of maker mode and into manager mode.
Final Day for Hippogryph
After today, you’ll never again have to see me reminding you to buy Hippogryph before it disappears forever.
Recent Releases Added to Bundles
Mansions and Misfits has been added to the DoubleZero Settings Bundle.
DoubleZero: Collapse has been added to the DoubleZero Adventures Bundle.
Here’s what’s what you can expect in the coming weeks.
DoubleZero: The next two releases for DZ will be an all-new edition of the near-future Gerry Anderson-inspired alien Cold War setting toolkit Spectres of Mars, and the adventure toolkit DoubleZero: Escape. I’m also eyeing revised and expanded Professions releases, which will be pushed as updates rather than new products, based on the format used in The Foragers Guild Guide to Troubadours and the fantasy professions that will follow in that line.
Foragers Guild Guides: The first two have sold well enough to continue the line. The next two books are a 96-page setting toolkit for building cozy fantasy worlds, and a 96-page adventure toolkit for creating quests.
New Fantasy System: Before I released that thing I just said I was never going to talk about again, I was working on a Foragers Guild roleplaying system. Then I decided that using the OGL would be easier and potentially grant me access to a wider audience. Due to FOMO a lot of people found that other thing, and I’ve gotten a lot of praise for my approach and the underlying philosophy. So…
Foragers Manifesto will be an all-new 96-page OGL-free core book containing the system and character creation, including ready-to-use backgrounds, cultures, professions, equipment, and the magic system. Use the provided material to make a detailed character quickly, or make up your own stuff and create the character you want to play, labels and categories be damned!
Guildmasters Manifesto will be an all-new 96-page OGL-free book for gamemasters, containing enchanted items, worldbuilding advice, adventure design tips, creatures and adversaries, and the systems for creating your own original material. It will be easy to use, easy to run, and a lot of fun.
Lightspress Manifesto is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Loving the ideas behind Foragers and Gamemasters Manifesto.