Edited: Added DriveThruRPG links
Tides of Gold came out as a stand alone game. It also represents my first serious game-for-money release with itch.io and DriveThruRPG.
This was a project that was never supposed to become a full game...but people kept asking me for updates and asking questions, so I kept working on it. I'm happy with the product. I'm sure there will be tweaks in the future, but overall it's done and in a good place and it feels finished.
Which is nice closure compared to Crossing Worlds which still isn't finished.
Itch.io: free preview version + paid full version
DriveThruRPG: preview version and a paid full version
I'm experimenting with a reduced-content free version along side a paid version (~60 pages vs. ~200 pages). The game is slightly cheaper in itch.io because they offer a much higher cut for creators. I'll still get less money from DriveThruRPG with the small price increase...but I know many people prefer DTRPG for convenience/centralizing their gaming pdfs.
Here is the official summary:
Tides of Gold is a tabletop role-playing game about a crew of adventuring sailors seeking riches amidst the clash of warring trade factions, corrupt marine patrols, and monsters in the deep. There are raids, kidnappings, back-alley deals, marine cults, and above all a cutthroat game of trade to be won—if you're skilled enough to ride the storm.
You and your crew must survive being hunted, shoved out, and battered by the waves of rival pirates, wealthy merchant families, warring nations, and backstabbing patrons. Will you seize wealth and establish yourself as force in the region? How will you navigate the pull of your anchor calling you home while you dream of a greater destiny?
In this stand-alone game, you'll find:
SETTING Two generations ago, the region was invaded by mysterious Sea Raiders, not-quite human creatures who introduced Renaissance technology to an Iron Age world.
It has been fifty years since humans fought back these creatures, and in that time they have unlocked numerous secrets of their advanced technology, catapulting a mystical world into a mechanical future.
This period of peace and invention and spurred on a new level of trade and exploration. The Golden Road of ages past has been rebuilt. But the war time alliances are weakening. And now fortunes are ready to be made...or stolen.
Number of players: 3-6
Age of players: 13+
Length: 2-6 hours
Type of Game: Roleplaying Game
Page Count: 239
“War does not determine who is right — only who is left.”
I usually don't make any New Year's resolutions. This year I made two: make more digital art and explore making some quick-but-quality RPGs.
Crossing Worlds is still a huge focus of my time and energy. However, after years of working on it, it is easy to become burned out. I've tried some other game projects on the side, but inevitably, they've always become complicated, long, requiring 100+ page rulebooks. I can't really refine them without taking too much time or energy away from my main design project.
A few months ago I started reading short games by other people. Games that could be explained in 1-4 pages. I had no idea how to make a meaningful short game, but the challenge appealed to me.
In January I made I'm With You, a narrative game about relationships and community after a disaster.
For February, I made an entry for the Emotional Mecha game jam: Breach. Designed for 2-players, it is a quickplay game that explores the way war forces us to make impossible choices.
Each time I make one of these focused games, it gives me new energy to keep working on Crossing Worlds. Maybe while you wait for the next big update to that game, you'll consider checking them out.