Tyler Teaches Eppy About Playwriting

Today, Tyler Crumrine teaches me about playwriting! And, not surprisingly, we spend quite a bit of time talking about that intersection between playwriting and game designing.

Behold, Tyler Teaches Eppy About Playwriting!

Tyler is a dramaturge skilled in the eldritch arts of the theater. We talked for a little over two hours about the differences and similarities between playwriting and other forms of fiction and verse—in particular short fiction and game design because I am a creature of habit.

There’s a trove of intriguing concepts and thought exercises in the video, but the one that still burns in my brain is devised theater—a collaborative playwriting technique that shares a kinship with playstorming.

It only takes two points to define a line. Last week Shel Kahn taught me about merch. So here we are, on point two, looking at a path forward. Expect more Person Teaches Eppy About Thing in the future, folks!

Person Teaches Eppy About Thing

I’m looking to record more of these. If you’re a person who knows about a thing, I’d love for you to teach me about it. Let’s hang out and record it! Hit me up in the comments or on my Twitter or wherever else you may find me. It doesn’t matter what your thing is, if you’re passionate about it, I bet I’d dig it.

Shel Teaches Eppy About Merch

Recently, I had the great pleasure sit down with Shel Kahn upon these here internets and talk about making, producing, shipping, and promoting merch. And folks, I am so very pleased to tell you that we recorded our talk!

Behold, Shel Teaches Eppy About Merch!

Shel is an artist and merchwright with a penchant for the swords and the sorceries, and long time Worlds Without Master fans will recognize her art from “One Winter’s Due” in issue 2Worlds’ very first illustrated cover on issue 4, and her comic Wolf Neighbours which appeared in issues 9 and 11.

If it’s not obvious, I’m a fan. Dabbling in publishing the way I do affords me wonderful opportunities like this to work with and just hang out with some talented folks. When Shel offered to tell me about how she handles merch and agreed to recording our conversation, I jumped at the chance.

The video is just under 1 hour and 40 minutes long, and it is packed full of practical how-to instructions and generally helpful advice, covering:

  • Storefronts
  • Print-on-Demand
  • Drop Shipping
  • Experimenting
  • The dazzling array of products available
  • Hawking your wares
  • Seriously, hawk your wares

And it lit a fire in my brain! Expect some merch from Eppy in the near future!

Person Teaches Eppy About Thing

I have a hankering to record more of these. If you’re a person who knows about a thing, I’d love for you to teach me about it. Let’s hang out and record it! Hit me up in the comments or on my Twitter or wherever else you may find me. It doesn’t matter what your thing is, if you’re passionate about it, I bet I’d dig it.

Speed Runs of Swords Without Master

It has begun!

On Sunday, April 29th, over on the ActualPlay Twitch channel, we had our first of several Swords Without Master speed runs. You witness the glory for yourself!

Read More

Worlds Without Master & More Up on Indie Press Revolution

Time & Temp has been up on IPR since, well, since Time & Temp has been a thing. And Dread before that! But I’ve been embarrassingly slow at getting the rest of my catalog up on the Indie Press Revolution. That is, until now!

Thanks in part to my New Year’s Resolution to find a new venue for my games each month, I’ve dedicated April to bringing the Dig a Thousand Holes catalog to IPR.

The Indie Press Revolution Logo

It’s a pleasure working with IPR. They’ve got a hands-on approach that sets them apart of some of the other sites I’ve join so far this year, which is both helpful and reassuring in a way that automated systems simply can’t be. They’re also really big on con support, and since I’m inching my way back to print products, that’s something I think I’m going to appreciate.

So here it is, Dig a Thousand Holes at Indie Press Revolution!

Go dig in!

Dig 1,000 Holes on Gumroad

As part of my New Years resolution to find new horizons to litter with my works, I turn now to Gumroad.

I’m not overbrimming with opinions about Gumroad at the moment. It was easy to set up, but it doesn’t seem to handle VAT and there isn’t a whole lot of structure for cross-pollination, so right now I’m a bit more enamored with Itch.io.

That said, I’ve not done a deep dive on all the features offered by Gumroad. If you’re a Gumroad seller with an opinion to share, tell me what you’re digging!

In the meantime…

Behold, the Dig a Thousand Holes Gumroad store!

And as always, to keep up-to-date on this and other projects in the works, sign up for my monthly newsletter. There’s a special treat coming in the very next one.


Digging 1,000 Holes on Itch.io

Finally, a post that isn’t about a calculator!

As part of my New Years resolution to find new horizons to litter with my works, I turn now to the much vaunted Itch.io.

My first impression, reading through their FAQs, is that I going to dig this site. It’s got a ton of features that I can make use of, including:

  • VAT support, because VAT is something I never want to deal with.
  • Bulk download keys, which can help with crowdfunding fulfillment and perhaps Epimas?
  • Patreon integration, which is still useful to me, even though ill-made decisions at Patreon set me on this path in the first place.

One drawback for Worlds which haunts me everywhere is that folks rarely have a way to classify a magazine that includes stories, games, and comics. They really want to pigeonhole you into one or another of those three categories. Itch.io does not seem to be an exception. But I’m learning to live with that.

What impresses me that most about Itch.io is how they let you set the percentage of your sales they get to keep–from 0% to 100% with a default at 10%. I. Dig. That.

Right, without further ado, I present to you the Dig a Thousand Holes itch.io store!

And as always, to keep up-to-date on this and other projects in the works, sign up for my monthly newsletter.

Step-By-Step Anachronometric Solutions for Your DM42/Free42/HP-42S Calculator

Warning: The Ansari Anachronometer program found herein is provided “as-is” and subject to change at any time. The author and publisher offer no warranty of of any kind with regard to this keystroke program, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of fitness as a temporal stress calibration tool. Dig a Thousand Holes Publishing shall not be liable for errors, anomalies, or paradoxes that arise from the use of this program. Do not meddle in the causal streams of time without proper training.

Though the patents for the actual Ansari Anachronometer are still held by the historically litigious Browne Chronometric Engineer, Inc., we’ve managed to reverse engineer its functions in a—as far as we can discern—unique keystroke program for your HP-42S (or DM42 or Free42). This is not a true emulation of the anachronometer, but rather a simplified simulation, based on observed behavior and the few materials from Browne Chronometric that have been made public.

The DM42 calculator featuring clip art style business people artwork on its screen.

Read More

The Calculator’s Game Design

This blog has seen more traffic in the past 48 hours than all of 2017, and it’s because of a little post about my other hobby, RPN calculators. When I made that post last week, I didn’t even have my DM42 yet. It was ordered it, but still in transit. Now that I’ve had a few days to play with it, and now that I see I have an interested audience, I thought I might say a bit more about it and why I find it so captivating.

But before I do, a brief introduction for all my new readers. Hello there, I am Epidiah Ravachol, author, tabletop roleplaying game designer, and calculator enthusiast. I have written and designed quite a few games over the years. Many of these can be found at the Dig a Thousand Holes Publishing store where until the end of February you can get them for 25% off using the coupon code DM42. You can also get back issues of my sword & sorcery magazine Worlds Without Master—packed with comics, games and weird tales about forbidden sorceries and high adventure. One game you won’t find there (because I published it through another company) is perhaps my most well-known: Dread, the horror game that uses Jenga instead of dice. Finally, I talk about these games, other favorites of mine, game design in general, and my love of calculators and math all over the Internet—on Mastodon, on Twitter, on Google+, on Instagram. I also co-host a podcast about The Rockford Files, for those of you who also happen to love 70s detective shows starring James Garner (which should be just about all of you).

And if you really want to stay up-to-date on my bullshit, sign up for my monthly newsletter!

Right, now on to the gorgeous DM42!

The DM42 calculator as it arrives to you in the mail.

Read More

The Game Designer’s Calculator

If you’ve been following me on the social medias this week, you may have noticed a wee bit of excitement about a new calculator. It all starts with this tweet from Saturday:

Four short days later, it was justified and this wondrous calculator was ordered.

To celebrate, I’ve extended the sale through the end of February. So until then, you can still get 25% off of everything at the Dig 1,000 Holes PayHip store with the coupon code DM42.

While I wait for this beauty to arrive, allow me to tell you why I’m so excited about it and perhaps why you should be excited, too.

Read More

New Year’s Resolution to Discovery New Horizons

Late in the year 2017, the Powers-That-Be at the crowdfunding platform Patreon.com changed how they charged their patrons. It was a simple change meant to address a problem that I had no personal experience with, so I can’t speak the efficacy of their chosen solution. But I can speak to its ultimate effect.

They added a small fixed cost to each pledge, something like 35 cents. If you made a single pledge of $30 a monthly, you wouldn’t even notice. But if you made 30 pledges of a dollar a piece, you would see your monthly cost increase by 35%. For many who enjoyed spreading their love as far and wide as they could afford, this extra burden became unmanageable. Patreon had an exodus on their hands.

In about a week, they reversed their decision; but for creators who depended on lots of small pledges from many patrons, the damage had been done.

I was not hit as hard as some, but I was hit. This was a classic Swords Without Master moral—an unintended consequence with a clear lesson attached to it:

Do not depend on the whims of the Overlord for your livelihood.

A lesson that I choose to learn from.

I cannot depend on a handful of sites for the majority of my income. A single policy change can cost me hundreds of dollars in the blink of an eye. There’s no reason for me to trust any single site with that sort of power.

I cannot depend on a single venue to reach my audience. One of the great features of Patreon was how it kept your audience in the loop on your projects. Several of those who left expressed a desire to be kept in this loop.

I have a New Year’s Resolution. It’s simple in concept. Every month in 2018 I intend to find a one new way to reach my audience and one new way for them to support my work. It might get a little messy in execution. Some months, the way to reach my audience will also be the venue through which they can show their support. Some months, these might be different. But I’ve been rather complacent, relying on the same handful of sites to get my job done. I need to venture forth, explore more, and find what awaits me in the great wilds of the Internet.

Monkey with Sword

This month, I start with some bare bones fundamentals.

A MailChimp newsletter. Sign-up for monthly updates about what’s in the works, what’s just come out, and any juicy game design discussions I’ve had on my various social medias.

A Ko-fi page. For when you’ve just had an amazing gaming experience and want to buy the game’s designer a drink. Or help offset the cost of my new office space. Or say “For the DM42!” in your comments if you want me to throw it towards buying this dreamy calculator.

If you have places you’d like to see my games, feel free to let me know!