Julep of July

July was here. It came, raged, went. From our vantage point, these quotes sum up the month:

“When you start on a long journey, trees are trees, water is water, and mountains are mountains. After you have gone some distance, trees are no longer trees, water no longer water, mountains no longer mountains. But after you have travelled a great distance, trees are once again trees, water is once again water, mountains are once again mountains." 

-- attributed to Ch'ing-yüan, from The Way of Zen by Alan Watts


It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing” 

-- Duke Ellington/Irving Mills


We believe in being super transparent with timelines. Here’s the latest:

  • August: Writing, Editing, Conventions.
  • September: Layout.
  • October: Digital Edition Available.
  • November: Printing.
  • December: Fulfillment

This is our job and our passion; we are treating the work with all of the seriousness and respect that privilege demands. Dates for game delivery are tracking later, but not due to idleness. Good writing takes time and we are putting in the time. Progress continues with each and every day and we will burn bright through the night.


Fulfillment can be a beast for backers and creators alike. After exploring a variety of options for how to do fulfillment in a graceful, compassionate way, we went with the tried and true path: Backerkit. (We actually visited their physical office to make sure the fit was right)

Backerkit will allow you to easily manage your shipping address (and extend the same kindness to us). It will let you update your pledge if you’re so moved. It’s also a familiar system for many veteran backers and that means one less moving part in the Kickstarter clockwork.

Look forward to a dedicated update from us regarding Backerkit as soon as it’s set up!


Our artists also burn the candle at both ends. The indomitable Erica Williams has been working on a centerpiece for the book and it is here and finished. What started as a string of nouns qua art direction (animals! ruins! The hint of a library lost!) has taken form. Taking in the detail, it’s kind of hard to fathom that a human drew this, but it gives us hope that the robots haven’t taken that from us, yet.

Since we believe great art should be everywhere, a screen printing of this poster will also be included for all AESTHETE OF IDIOM backers along with Jill De Haan’s lovely art. Nice.

GenCon 50

From August 17-20, Thorny Games will descend on Indianapolis for the hallowed yearly rite of GenCon. Here’s where we’ll be -- may our paths cross!

  • Trade Day: A day of talks for educators and industry folks. We’ll be shouting about “Empathy and Play” and “Language and Games”.
  • Sign x 2: Two runs of Sign are on offer and pre-registration is open through normal event listings
  • Dialect x 4: Drop-in play through Games on Demand.

If you haven’t played with Games on Demand, it’s a group of wonderful folks who offer games on a walk-up basis, no pre-registration required. We don’t know our exact schedule, but we’ll be there for ample portions of the weekend. Come say hi!

Off the Books

  • Night Forest is entering its final day on Kickstarter! It’s a quietly magical game about lost memories wandering through the woods. We’re both big fans, having played it last year at Origins and Big Bad Con respectively.
  • Game Design Axioms: K recently recorded a new Game Design Roundtable with Dirk Knemeyer and Rob Daviau on the guts of games.
  • K & H gave a talk in SF about the power of play in adult lives last week. It’s still mesmerizing how much this stuff touches folks to their core.
  • The Golden Cobra LARP challenge is currently accepting applications! Sign started its life as a Golden Cobra submission, so it has a dear place in our hearts. H is a judge! Hisssssssssssss.
  • Good books. This is a set of them. Free Play: Improvisation in Life and ArtArt & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

The Good Work

Time to put in the time. As we head back to words and editing, we are so grateful to have you folks along with us. Do know that we’re putting all of the fire in our bellies into this every day.

Be easy like Sunday morning,

B+T n H+K