May 252010

So, The Bones. It’s a fitting follow-up to Things We Think About Games from the Gameplaywright gents, in the sense that it’s about gamers looking at the games they play.  Honestly there aren’t enough books of that sort in the world (though Green Ronin’s 100 Best series offers fine entries to the form). This time around, The Bones gives us more heft: six in-depth articles including “A Random History of Dice” by Kenneth Hite, and 19 essays, one of which is mine, in which I talk about how playing diceless for years made me love them bones. (Added bonus: the table of contents is a set of random-roll tables. Surprise yourself! Let the dice tell you which essay to read!)

I bring this up because the special-edition hardcover is available for pre-ordering right now. It’ll stay available to order until June 6th or until they hit about 100 copies ordered, whichever comes first (which for all I know could come fast). The special-edition is being printed to order, come June. It’s available only direct through the Gameplaywright folks, and costs $27 + shipping. As an added benefit, folks who preorder the hardcover will get the PDF within 24 hours of placing the order. Details and purchase widgetry to be found hyunh:

If you’d rather wait (why? why?!) then no worries — hang around a while and wait for the softcover edition to go on sale. I’ll holler atcha when it does.


  13 Responses to “Boned”

  1. Damn, finally those dudes make something else! TWTAG was great; I’m excited to see something with a little more than 10 words on a page meat. Thanks for the heads-up!

  2. For those that can’t read the cover (or the link is very slow to load)…

    Written by Keith Baker, Jason L Blair, Greg Costikyan, Ray Fawkes, Matt Forbeck, Pat Harrigan, Jess Hartley, Fred Hicks, Will Hindmarch, Kenneth Hite,
    John Kovalic, James Lowder, Russ Pitts, Jesse Scoble, Mike Selinker, Jared Sorensen, Paul Tevis, Jeff Tidball, Monica Valentinelli, Chuck Wendig, and Wil Wheaton.

    Also, is there a spot for questions of a general nature? I hesitate to make unrelated posts in a comments section .

  3. I was going to ask about IPR but I managed to track down the information independently.

    I did want to also say that I was inspired by your interview on Fear the Boot to put my lifelong desire to work in the roleplaying industry into practice and to thank you for being so “approachable” here on your blog.

  4. I have 3 non-post specific question which hopefully just require a “yes or no”. Being a layout guy, would you advise me to just write and worry about layout later?

    Are two column pages a good idea or just a gaming standard?

    From experience, is there an optimal page size to work with?

    In a “That’s How We Roll” podcast from a few years ago you mentioned an Edmonton play-test group. Did you mean Edmonton Alberta Canada?

    • Woops that’s four.

    • Write now, worry about layout later. Or better yet: figure out who will be your layout guy and ask them what formatting standards they want/need you to use. But generall, write now worry later.

      Columns: The answer there is a little esoteric, and has to do with some layout concerns regarding the number of characters/words per line of text and how that impacts readability. There’s no way for me to give a good general response there; all sorts of factors, including the particulars of the size of the page your game is printed on, margin configuration, etc, that play into that.

      Page size: Depends on the amount of content, marketing presentation, etc. Another difficult-to-address-without-specifics.

      Edmonton: Yep!

  5. Great, thanks.

    Perhaps these are questions for down the road, although, as I’m following your almost zero risk model hiring a layout guy is unlikely so I’ll be doing that myself.

    I know good layout is not something you can just throw together (I’ve done web work and had the “My partner’s son can do that for free” conversation) but hiring a dedicated layout guy will have to wait for the mad gaming cash to start rolling in.

    • Good rule of thumb, at least: if you can type the lowercase alphabet more than 2.5 times or less than 1.5 times on a single line of your layout, you’ve made your column of text either too wide or too narrow. 🙂

  6. Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind.

    Using the .pdf model does that influence your font choice as it may be viewed more on a screen than on paper. I notice you have selected Georgia for your blog presumably for its readability (or perhaps lack of choice) but would you select it for a book that was going out by .pdf?

    I won’t be offended if you stop answering questions. You’ve probably got plenty of Dresden Files promo stuff to worry about.

  7. I’m planning to go to Origins Con.. Any advice on things to look for from a wannabe game designer perspective, or for the con itself?

    My goal is to have my game good enough to run a few games here next year.

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