Freelance Services – What do you need?

e7b78dbc67590b238520d54605e9c65b.jpgI offer a bunch of services already, but am trying to expand what I can offer and the work I can do as writing and self publishing is taking a bit of a squeeze and living costs are rising here. Brexit on the horizon means things are likely to get worse before they get better.

So I’ve tried to think what I can do and what I can offer, I’ve done a few consultations and so on, but it would be helpful to know what I do that people may find useful. I’m not very good at self-aggrandisement or self promotion.

So let me know!

Grim’s Freelance Services

I AM AVAILABLE FOR FREELANCE WORK:

Links to my profiles on Fiverr & People Per Hour (these will be expanded as I add services):

Fiverr
People Per Hour

flat,800x800,075,fDIRECT SERVICES:
Currently, my 2017 plate is clear and free for freelancing and consultancy. I’m pretty reliable and can offer reasonably fast turnaround. I can, perhaps uniquely, provide detail and grounding to scenarios – even dungeons – to humanise them and give them a bit of depth. Give me a try, see what I can do for your games.

I am a 17+ year veteran of the tabletop game publishing world with lots of experience in freelancing and self-publishing.

I’ve worked for Wizards of the Coast, Steve Jackson Games, Nightfall, Cubicle Seven Entertainment and more. I have also written fiction and worked on social media computer games, packing a lot of meaning into short pieces of text.

As a self-publisher, I have overseen every step of the publication process from concept through to publication including writing, editing, layout and modification. I also produce Youtube material and have begun producing audiobooks. If you need some narration for a video project or an audiobook reading, I can help.

Here’s some of the services I can offer, and the minimum prices offered – though anything is negotiable up or down depending on the client. I will work pseudonymously if that is a concern for you.

  • New writing (raw text): $0.03c/word (minimum)
  • Proofreading/Light Editing/Commentary: $0.01c/word (second and third deeper passes are possible).
  • ePublishing/RPG Publishing consultation. Skype/Hangout/Call: $20/hour.
  • Consultation on your game project: $20/hour.
  • Layout (InDesign): $11 an hour.
  • Stock Art Shopfront: Postmortem studios have a huge stock art catalogue from multiple artists and we’d love to add you to that storefront. If you’re an artist who wants to sell your stock art but doesn’t want to deal with the accounts and uploads etc with your own storefront (which would be my first recommendation) then I can do that for you for 50% (I round up your payouts). Even if you don’t want to do this through me I recommend doing it anyway for all artists and can consult on best practice if you need advice.
  • Voice Work: If you find my dulcet tones to your liking, I’m available for voice over work and narration, recording audiobooks and more. Rates negotiable, starting at $11 per hour.
  • Promotion/Interview: Free. If you have a product you want to pimp out or would like to just talk game design and culture you’re welcome to talk to me and appear on my Youtube channel.

#RPG – Postmortem Studios Update June 2016

gor-illo17_sketch

Here’s a quick monthly update on the current state of affairs here at Postmortem Studios.

Personal
I’m a lot healthier than I have been and am working full time again for the first time in about three years. It’s taking a bit of adjustment  but so far I’m keeping it up. I’m using this energy and effort to try and keep up a regular schedule of small releases and freelancing and to build up to regaining the financial independence and self reliance I had before depression slapped me around like a ruler meeting a Catholic schoolboy’s hands.

So far this has only been going on for half of last month but I still treat that as something of a victory especially since I’ve been able to raise my monthly income by about 50% just within that period. It feels good – but exhausting – to be back on the horse.

If you want to support my work and help me out, you can donate to my Patreon, and I’m looking for ideas as to what I can offer as Patreon rewards, but at the moment all I can offer are warm fuzzies.

Work Update
At the moment I’m primarily focussed on finishing off and putting out older material that wasn’t completed. This is primarily because I need to put out material quickly at the moment, meaning it’s all going to be more support material for existing games and odd little interesting notions and side projects. I also have a few people working for me – sadly pseudonomysly – on projects that I’m ‘not allowed’ to look at.

Gor is still very nearly there. There is another slight delay which, again, isn’t anyone’s fault. This project has, I swear, been cursed. Everything that could get in the way for me or the artist has done. Still, we should hopefully be on course for the end of the month. Fingers, fucking, crossed.

Services
I am a 15+ year veteran of the tabletop game publishing world with experience in freelancing and self publishing. I’ve worked for Wizards of the Coast, Steve Jackson Games, Nightfall, Cubicle Seven Entertainment and more. I have also written fiction and worked on social media computer games, packing a lot of meaning into short pieces of text. As a self-publisher I have overseen every step of the publication process from concept through to publications including writing, editing, layout and modification.

Here’s some of the services I can offer, and the minimum prices offered – though anything is negotiable up or down depending on the client.

  • New writing (raw text) $0.03c/word.
  • Proofreading/Light Editing/Commentary $0.01c/word (second and third deeper passes are possible).
  • ePublishing/RPG Publishing consultation Skype/Hangout/Call $20/hour.
  • Consultation on your game project $20/hour.
  • Layout (InDesign) $10 an hour.
  • Stock Art Shopfront: Postmortem studios has a huge stock art catalogue from multiple artists and we’d love to add you to that storefront. If you’re an artist who wants to sell your stock art but doesn’t want to deal with the accounts and uploads etc with your own storefront (which would be my first recommendation) then I can do that for you for 50% (I round up your payouts though).

Recent Products
Clipart Critters MEGABUNDLE:
A once in a lifetime offer (at least until September the first) this is ALL of Brad McDevitt’s stock art – up to number 400 – at a HUGE discount. This is basically a company start-up resource which will provide you with plenty of fantasy, horror, science fiction and modern images to kickstart your company into progress with low initial overheads for art. It’s also a fantastic resource for existing companies.

Diversity Dungeons: Despite claims to the contrary from all sides involved this is intended as a fairly serious examination of diversity issues in gaming from a world-building/game design and publishing perspective. It outlines the obstacles and methods to overcome including (or not including) diversity in your games and some material – from bitter experience – on the current febrile atmosphere around games publishing.

The Cathedral of Misogyny: An affectionate pisstake of 4chan, internet culture wars and hyperbole via the medium of a comedic 5th Edition D&D adventure, based upon a scenario I wrote as an introduction for a new player coming in from computer games. Part of the scenario was played online and there’s a Youtube video of it here.

Fistful of Horror 3: A collection of horror scenario ideas in the theme of my 100 seeds. System neutral but geared towards modern horror.

Fifth Fantasy – The Chancer: A new 5e D&D character class, based around the gambler archetypes found in Japanese RPG computer games. This will become a series and, perhaps, a setting if there are a few more sales.

Our entire catalogue (other than the newer items) – easier to browse than the online sites can be downloaded for free HERE.

Social Media & Contact
I’m always open to contact, discussion, ideas and more. If you have questions, queries, suggestions or feedback – good or bad – please do get in touch.

You can comment here on the blog.

You can find me on Twitter @grimachu

You can find me on Facebook 

You can find me on Youtube

If you want to ask questions (or troll me) anonymously I have an Ask.fm

#RPG – Consultancy Services Available

Locksmith03

As you should already know I have recently expanded my business to offer editing, writing, layout and other assistance to other RPG publishers. These services include consultancy in which I can offer my experience and knowledge, good and bad, of RPG publishing over 15 years to help businesses new and old cope better and maximise their opportunities.

Today I completed a consultancy session with Paul Fields of Evil Robot Games and he had this to say:

I spoke with Jim across a wide range of topics related to RPG publishing. His insights were valuable to me, it would have cost me much more to figure out the publishing, marketing and product selection issues on my own. In marketing he explained to me the marketing options of a major market maker and which ones worked best, which ones weren’t worth your time. I could easily go to the site’s page to see what their offerings are, but they wouldn’t necessarily lead me to the most cost effective options with the better conversion rates. I could use the tools on the site to analyze the sales and conversion rates after paying for ads, but that’s the long way around. We talked about the kinds of RPG products I would like to create, the pricepoints associated with digital products and which products tended to sell better than others. We talked about how product bundling creates a higher perceived value, even if the discounts on individual items weren’t significant. I will be focussing several new RPG projects specifically based on the conversation we had today. All in all a good value for my money.

If you’d like to employ any of my services, I’m sure I can provide you with some value for money. Please do get in touch via social media or email (grim AT postmort DOT demon DOT co DOT uk) and be sure to check out Evil Robot while you’re at it.

 

Back on the Horse

It’s time to get back up to speed. I need to get back to working more fully after years of illness and – until a recent wobble – I was on course to going back to full time work. Because of illness (and controversy) I am pretty set back at the moment, but it’s time to put that effort in to overcome that.

JZ2FnTDFThat said, this means I’m looking for additional freelance work.

I am a 15+ year veteran of the tabletop game publishing world with experience in freelancing and self publishing. I’ve worked for Wizards of the Coast, Steve Jackson Games, Nightfall, Cubicle Seven Entertainment and more. I have also written fiction and worked on social media computer games, packing a lot of meaning into short pieces of text. As a self-publisher I have overseen every step of the publication process from concept through to publications including writing, editing, layout and modification.

Here’s some of the services I can offer, and the minimum prices offered – though anything is negotiable up or down depending on the client.

  • New writing (raw text) $0.03c/word.
  • Proofreading/Light Editing/Commentary $0.01c/word (second and third deeper passes are possible).
  • ePublishing/RPG Publishing consultation Skype/Hangout/Call $20/hour.
  • Consultation on your game project $20/hour.
  • Layout (InDesign) $10 an hour.
  • Full service male escort… oops, wait, no, this is the wrong blog for that…

I’m also looking for light work – preferably office work – in the Whitchurch/Andover area in the UK. If anyone has any leads on any part or full time (work week) positions that are available. Please let me know. Equally, if there are any blogs or websites looking for writers or contributors do let me know, provided it pays at least something!

#RPG Cartographer Needed

Having been let down several times now and with time a genuine pressure, I need to commission a map for the Gor RPG.

There are many existing online maps, such as this one, or this one.

The general terrain, locations and overall geography of the world is reasonably well established but contacting existing artists responsible for the better maps has not yielded any results and three separate people commissioned to do the work have had to pull out or have not undertaken the work or made any progress.

As such I need to try again as the final artwork is coming in, to get a map ready for the final publication.

Ideally I should like to have a map that recreates the tiled-floor of Samos of Port Kar (either in squares or a more RPG traditional hex-grid, with major settlements picked out by gemstones set into the tiles. This would be done with a Roman/Greek style to the iconography/map legend, making it somewhat colour/abstract based (ideally it will work in colour OR black and white).

Alternatively time/money requiring, a standard B&W map along normal fantasy map lines will suffice.

Please contact at grim AT postmort DOT demon DOT co DOT uk marked [Gor Map] and include a link to previous work and your rates for:

300-600dpi

A4 B&W hex/grid map.
A4 B&W standard map.
A4 colour hex/grid map.
A4 colour standard map.
Both.

Thanks.

Full Time RPG Writing: The Reality

buried-under-paperworkThere’s a lot of articles out there telling you how hard writing is, how difficult it is to get into writing or game design and how it’s not really worth it. I suspect some people just don’t want the competition and are trying to put you off. You have to ask yourself though, if it’s so damn difficult why are they still doing it?

I just want to give you a real perspective on what it’s like, but one balanced by giving you the reason why I still do it in spite of the difficulty.

Getting In

I consider myself to be a pretty good game designer and writer, despite getting bashful about it and denying it if anyone asks. It’s something I know how to do and something I’ve been doing a long time. I’ve put in ten years as a self-publisher with this as my only job. I’ve written… a lot. I’ve freelanced… a lot but despite all this I’m painfully aware of one big, blindingly obvious thing about the fact that I’m now employed, full time doing what I love.

I’ve had a lot of luck.

  • I have an incredibly patient wife who has been willing to support me.
  • I didn’t let any of a hundred different things stop me.
  • I’ve not ‘grown out’ of the thing I love.
  • I gained a ‘superfan’, a sponsor and patron without whom I may not have been able to continue.
  • I managed to struggle through mental illness.
  • I was lucky enough to inherit the house I now live in.
  • I was lucky enough to encounter and befriend people who were in a position to make this happen.

It’s not all luck. If you have talent and you have vision then hard work makes up a lot of the ground, but it’s not the only thing. It’s also more than possible to have vision and drive but not the necessary talent. A lot of people are weirdly impervious to their own lack of ability while, from what I’ve seen, most people who are really good at something are crippled with self doubt. It’s a weird dynamic.

The good side? Once you’re ‘in’ you’ll get a bit more respect (and jealousy). You can relax a bit and – if you’re lucky – you’ll form a bit of a legacy.

Doing the Work

Working in gaming is a fucking pig of a job. To justify what I’m paid, which isn’t a huge amount by any normal standards, I have to turn out around 3,000 words a day. There’s other things I can do, since I’m not just a staff writer, but just to justify my existence I need to try and aim for that amount.

This is a punishing amount of work.

RPG writing doesn’t directly correlate to prose writing, some parts of each are more difficult than the other, but to give you some idea an informal survey showed me that most professional writers in prose are turning out – perhaps – 1,000 to 2,000 words a day on average while games writers and designers are expected to turn out 3,000 words or more.

Quality suffers when you have to write that much but the economics of the situation mean that this is unlikely to really change that much unless you can become a real name with some independent market value all of your own. There aren’t that many Monte Cooks.

That’s just the words you put out at the end. There’s a lot of ‘shadow work’ around that which you also have to take into account. In-progress editing, research, cross-checking, correcting errors, checking consistency, reading and so on. That’s just if you’re writing/designing. If you’re doing other stuff it can take some of the pressure off but it’s still going to eat into your writing time.

You just can’t plan around inspiration and creative energy. It’s too unpredictable, even if you give yourself ‘work hours’ there’s no guarantee your output is going to match the time you put in.

This is part of the reason I’ve found it a bit unfair in the past that Mongoose and other mid-tier companies were criticised for the quality of the writing or using a more formulaic approach to making games. The writers had to turn out a mass of material and of course quality was going to suffer. That a lot of the material we get at the end of process is usable or inspiring at all is a bit of a miracle.

Reaping the Rewards

Money isn’t going to be your reward (unless you stumble on the next D&D or Munchkin – and have more contact sense than we did). Give that up right now. If you’re looking to make a lot of money and sleep in a bed of gold coins you’re in the wrong business.

You absolutely have to do this for love, first and foremost.

Gamers are a subculture, for all that D&D is known. Fame isn’t going to be yours either but you may become known and appreciated within our subculture. You may get invited to conventions as a guest if you do well. You will get fan mail (delete the hate mail, keep the good criticism). People will want books signed.

You will find videos and podcasts and blogs by people who are playing your games and enjoying themselves. That’s the reward. It sounds cheesy but knowing you’re making people happy, that you’re providing a way for hundreds of people to be creative and spend some time together. There’s nothing quite like it. It’s not quite as good as sex, but it’s up there with the bit just after sex where your partner tells you how good it was.

I’m not going to tell you not to do it.

Do it. Make games. Tell stories. Help others create their own legends. Just do it because you love it.