Grisleigh End Swag on Cafe Press!

Because everyone wants to wear the creepy.  And the chill turn in the weather  calls for something to keep you warm through the night, don’t you think?

So check out our new Cafe Press store, with a select set of images to choose from and wear!  We’ve only posted a few designs so far but, if there are particular art pieces you want to see, just let us know at councilofcreators@maslowsix.com.

Is the Actress your favorite? Actress Sweatshirt

Perhaps the Envoy?Envoy Long-sleeved T

Personally, while I’m all about the Vamp, Vamp-Sleeveless

I’m sure most of you are more eager for THIS at night! Arthur Nightshirt(I’m talking about Arthur!  You people!)

 

Grisleigh End 2015 Con Schedule (Updated)

We are currently looking over the list of gaming conventions for next year, and there are so many to choose from!  Even limiting ourselves to our home region, we’re considering as many as 16 cons, which is a pretty hefty travel schedule for us.  We also expect to go to tabletop happenings that aren’t even on the calendar yet, such as AlJam’s excellent Game Design Gala series and Kingmaker’s Game Design Days.

Here’s what we have on our tentative-but-more-likely-than-others list.  If you want have an event you want us to bring the game to, get in touch with us at councilofcreators@maslowsix.com.

  • January: (Due to an unavoidable conflict, we will not be demoing at the Atlanta Game Fest)
    • The Atlanta Game Fest, in Atlanta GA (Removed)
  • February
    • February 21 – BASHCon at the University of Toledo, in Toledo, OH
    • February 28 – Hoop and Stick Con at Ravenwood Castle, in New Plymouth, OH
  • March
    • March 13-14 – Cleveland Concoction, in Cleveland, OH
    • March 28 – WittCon at Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH
  • April
    • We have a tie between WhosyerCon in Indianapolis  (Removed)
    • April 28 – LexiCon in Lexington, KY
  • May
    • May 1-2 – CincyCon, in Cincinnati, OH
    • May 15-16 – ANCon, in Hudson, OH
    • May 22-23 – Atlanta Game-o-Rama, in Atlanta, GA (Added)
    • May 29-30 – MarCon, in Columbus, OH
  • June
    • June 4-7 – Origins, in Columbus, OH
  • July
    • InConJunction, in Indianapolis, IN
    • Protospiel, in Ann Arbor, MI
  • August
    • ……. (nothing yet)
  • September
    • Buckeye Game Fest, in Columbus, OH
    • GrandCon, in Grand Rapids, MI
  • October
    • ……. (nothing yet)
  • November
    • We have another conflict, this time between Fort Wayne, IN’s PentaCon and Ann Arbor, MI’s U-Con.
  • December
    • Steel City Con, in Pittsburgh, PA

Grisleigh End at the Ohio Game Developer Expo!

GE at OGDE 2014 (2) (631x800)Both Grisleigh End: Estate of Confusion and Murder by Rote were in the house at COSI this weekend, at the Ohio Game Developer Expo. Loads of game makers were there, as well as gamers in the 1s, 10s and 100s. (NOTE: Binary was not used in the composition of that sentence.) Only a couple of other tabletop games were on display, with the preponderance of the rest being action-oriented digital games. It came as no surprise that our fantastic art, both in our board game display and our mobile point-and-click murder mystery display, drew people in from across the room. Although we’re not as far along with our digital offerings as many of the others present, it’s nice to have our content as such a major point of differentiation.

We received many compliments on the look and style of Jon Anderson’s wonderful drawings, and also on the depth of our development work. It seems real mystery and puzzle fans have long been disappointed by the limited quality offerings on the market for their chosen divertissement. Hidden object games are often the closest thing people can find and, while they’re fine and can be fun for their own sake, they don’t scratch the itch the way a real Agatha Christie whodunit or a Mary Roberts Rinehart guilty butler tale does. The careful piecing together of clues gathered through keen observation and intellectual analysis by the amateur sleuth (sometimes personified in a book or game by a professional detective, providing the reader/player an in situ avatar of sorts) is core to the enduring demand for this genre, often termed “cozy” mysteries.

In addition to talking with fans new and old, we spoke with a number of coders who expressed interest in working with us on our series of mobile/online murder mystery games. This is great timing, since we’ve progressed nearly as far as we can with our design efforts until we solidify some more of the technical details of creating these. We had a new suggestion from one fellow who thinks we should consider building in HTML5. No decision yet, of course, but it’s in the hopper with Unity for now. More on this soon.

We also received numerous requests for opportunities to playtest Estate of Confusion, so keep an eye out for more of these to be announced!

Grisleigh End Going Mobile!

Alongside the ongoing developments of Grisleigh End: Estate of Confusion, our popular and very-well received boardgame, we have been working on a series of mobile games utilizing the same art and story content. In fact, whereas the board game is limited by its medium regarding how much we can fit into it, our mobile designs incorporate a great deal more of Jon’s amazing art and really bring the mystery aspects to the fore.  Each mobile game is an encapsulated murder mystery following the Myst-like genre of gathering clues and tools to unlock portions of the game, escape traps, and eventually solve the central conundrum of whodunnit.

The first in the series, titled Grisleigh End: Murder by Rote, is well along in design and we’ve begun discussing development with other game developers.  In particular, we presented the series design at a high level to the Central Ohio Gamedev Group meetup last month, and got a lot of great input from the folks there.  As non-coders ourselves, we’ve intentionally been technology-agnostic, but this group provided a pretty strong argument for building the game in Unity.  It certainly meets our core criteria, so we’re looking into it as a tool now.MurderbyRote presentation at COGG September 2014

These are also some very encouraging folks!  At the urging of several COGG members, we will be setting up a booth at the upcoming Central Ohio Game Developers Expo to show off what we’ve done and what we’re working on.  More on that soon!

Going to the Gala!

Grisleigh End: Estate of Confusion will be featured at the Game Designers Gala being held this Sunday, October 19th, at Beyond the Board, the Friendly Local Game Store in Dublin, Ohio.  The Galas are a great series of events run by Al Jam, a prolific game designer based in Columbus, Ohio.  At each event, attendees have the opportunity to play a wide variety of games with the people who created (or, in some cases, are in the process of creating) them, and discuss the whys-and-wherefores of the games themselves.    Who did the artwork for your game and how did you find them?  What decisions led to using this mechanic rather than another, more common one? When is this great game going to be available to purchase?  Which came first, the theme or the rules?   How can I get on your playtester list?

From the designer’s perspective, we get to discuss our creations with people whose interests overlap our own, and we get input from gamers that helps us improve our designs.  Playtesting and chatting with gamers at the last Gala Grisleigh End attended thoroughly resolved a change under contemplation at the time, saving us from going down a bit of a rabbit hole back in the lab.

If you’re anywhere near central Ohio this coming Sunday, come on over between noon and 5:00 pm and see what’s on the slab at the Game Designers Gala, and be sure stop by the Grisleigh End table!

Characters of Grisleigh End: The Spiritist

Madame Zorastra affects an air of mystery and mysticism which, to some, adds weight to her claims of frequent and intimate congress with “those beyond the veil” and “forces beyond mortal ken.”  To others, and here I must make it clear I express no specific view on the matter, it increases primarily her ludicrousness.  I expect the schools of thought on this matter divide largely, but not entirely,  along the lines of belief in not only the after-life but in the interest our dearly departed ancestors would have in hanging about and communing an individual so prone to histrionics and hyperbole.

The Spiritis

The Spiritis

One might surmise that young Sarah Morgan, for so she was named by her parents, of simple but sturdy Welsh farming stock, when born to them in the closing years of the century past, was overly fond of absinthe and the sweet dragon’s breath. Even where it not for her manner of speech, she has by preference  spent much time in the company of artists, musicians and actors, certainly enough to call her credentials into question for any reasonable person.  Indeed, she came into Lord Andrew’s acquaintance by way of Sir Anthony Rossiter, an open and unrepentant rake if ever there was one.

For my part, I cannot speak to the accuracy of such suppositions regarding her “abilities”, but I can say that I have noted her seeming-excellent vision in the dark and her uncanny habit of departing a location immediately prior to the occurrence of an unfortunate event, something to which upon questioning she attributes to the warning whispers of her spirit guardians.

All of these things aside, I cannot but distrust her motives at the very least.  As I said, she moves in circles inappropriate for one of such low birth and her methods of rising the social ladder, neither innovative nor inspired, argue strongly against her professed affections for the Baron but only for her ambitious aspirations.  She is one to watch closely.

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