It's crazy to me that Teddy and I have only been working on Vigor for 6 months. He sent me the message pictured to the left on February 5th. We were working on Vibroblades In The Dark: a Blades In The Dark hack set on a remote space station in the Star Wars Universe (shh... don't tell Disney). We abandoned that project and got to work on what would quickly become Vigor. We've barely looked back.
Sometimes I think, "Whoa – we've accomplished so much in such a short time!" and others (like today) I look at what's still left to do. There are so many moving parts: every miniscule change has a ripple effect throughout the whole design.
I suppose the positive side of that is that the pieces all feel connected to one another – each bearing load in the structure of the game. But the effects are still somewhat frustrating: Rewriting content in the book. Redesigning the character sheet. Undoing something you felt so attached to just weeks before. Every day can feel a bit like clearing one hurdle only to find that you've created a few more in the process.
Still, with each passing day I know that this little team is doing the most we can. And each passing day I see little movements toward our end goal. And I still really believe in that goal. I believe that playing this game can help spark conversations about the corrupt power structures in our world and inspire people to stand against them. I believe that the stories we create through Vigor – while still play – can result in real-world change. I want to see that. I want you to play those stories. I want you to engage in the radical act of creating something beautiful instead of adding to the cynicism and apathy around you.
That keeps me going.
Sure – there's a ton still to do. But I remember often that I don't have to do any of it. To write. To create. None of this work has to get done. We only choose to do it because we are compelled to from within. Because we love to. And love adds beauty to the world.
We're still hopeful of getting a Quickstart Guide to eager playtesters this Fall. Big next steps are artwork, layout, and editing. If you want to help this project move forward in any way, the best thing you can do is tell your friends about what we're doing. Share the website so others can stay in touch with our progress. Share the Art Submissions page to any and all whom you think would be interested.
And keep giving a damn. About your community and those who find themselves on the edges of it. Bring them in. Play a game. Tell a story. Add radical beauty to their world.
- jake -