We’re just about at the end of another month, sneakily approaching the mid-way mark of 2020 and it is time to swing the spotlight around and focus our attention in an indie RPG company.
In the RPG Publisher Spotlight this month is In Search of Games. They killed Santa.
If this if your first RPG Publisher Spotlight let’s very quickly explain how it works. Each month Geek Native runs a spotlight poll in which patrons can vote. The goal is to find one of the little guys of the hobby (which is pretty much everyone other than WotC) and give them some attention.
In April, In Search of Games won that vote which means they get written up this month. Thankfully, the founder of In Search of Games, Chris Mennell, agreed to speak to Geek Native and so can cover that whole “Santa incident” directly.
Who are In Search of Games?
Well, In Search of Games is ultimately me, Chris Mennell, managing a number of freelance employees, but really I don’t think of myself as part of the process, I’m just basically a financier who wants to see interesting things get made. So to me ISoG is Evey Lockhart, it’s Alex Mayo and D.L. Johnson, it’s all these other people and what they produce.
What’s the origin story for In Search of Games?
I’ll try to keep this short and sweet: I started blogging in 2008, joined Google+ in the early days, and shortly after that I decided to make my own company. Really it was that I loved having ideas, but I knew there were other people out there that could do better in terms of writing. Our first product was “Santa is Dead”, which came together in a matter of weeks after I pitched the idea to Evey Lockhart, very loosely, of a holiday-themed adventure that took itself seriously.
I’m proud to say that “Santa is Dead” was nominated for an Ennie.
You can find Santa is Dead on DriveThruRPG as a Pay What You Want product. The suggested price is $9.99.
The game uses classic D&D for its base and is part of the Old School Renaissance. The teaser for it suggests Wodan himself is offended by the mash-up of stolen cultures that the Americanised Santa has become…
What are you known for?
We have three product releases so far: Santa is Dead, Ruinous Palace of the Metegorgos, and The Miasmic Intrusion, all written by Evey Lockhart.
What do you wish you were known for?
I think we are building a brand that stands out for quality in terms of writing, art, and layout, and that we don’t shy away from subject matter. I want to continue to be recognized for that. The Miasmic Intrusion for instance, which we released for free to help people game during quarantine, is described by the author as “gross”. I’m not ashamed of that, I embrace that.
At the time of writing, The Miasmic Intrusion is still free at DriveThruRPG. It’s 10-pages long and also categorised as OSR.
All the ideas. No time.
It’s the end of nearly the second month of the lockdown here in the UK as this article is going live. The tension between work, life and getting bonus projects like shiny RPG projects over the finish line has never been more apparent. It was something I wanted to speak to Chris about.
How hard is it for a small company to balance work, life, RPG work and Patreon demands?
Haha, yeah, that’s the challenge I think we all face, right? Balancing all of the things that pull us in every different direction. All I can say is that you have to find a way to move with the tide, and that some days the work gets done and some days it doesn’t, and that’s okay. I’m blessed that nearly everyone I’ve worked with so far on projects has been very patient, they understand we’re not in a rush to get to the finish line on anything, so that helps in terms of a work/life balance.
How do you think sites like Patreon and Kickstarter have affected the RPG industry?
I really love what websites like Kickstarter and Patreon have done for creative people. I see a lot of people complain that Kickstarter has become a preorder service, but personally I don’t think this is a bad thing, as I think there are hundreds if not thousands of products that exist now that wouldn’t if Kickstarter wasn’t around.
You have got a comics section on your site! Can you tell us what your plans there are?
Ha, yeah, the plan was to produce comic books but so far I haven’t been able to achieve it. I continue to talk with artists and writers about the prospect of doing comics but it’s probably far off in the future.
In Search of Games
- In Search of Games website.
- In Search of Games on Facebook.
- In Search of Games on Twitter.
- Steve Bean Games on DriveThruRPG.
Latest In Search of Games products
Over at DriveThruRPG, we can see what In Search of Games most recent publications are.
- 1st April, 2020: Tomb of the Wild Divine.
- 17th April, 2020: The Miasmic Intrusion.
- 25th March, 2017: Ruinous Palace of the Metegorgos.
- 29th December, 2016: Santa is Dead
Are you an In Search of Games fan? Let us know why you like them.