The title of this post is nothing more than a fancy way of me saying that I’m going to talk about the last three months. I had originally planned to do monthly check-ins, but I skipped the first two months, so now I’m compiling a first quarter instead.

Let’s start with the thing that really matters: how many games I’ve managed to play in so far this year. The total? 18 sessions worth of gaming, clocking in at 61.5 hours. Nice. One of those was 9 Lives to Valhalla on stream with PlusOneExp and the rest are split between personal groups. Only one of those is a game that I GMed—kind of disappointing here, since I want to run more games, but that’s just how it shakes out sometimes.

Neon Shine

January was a solid month where I began a new project that I’m still working on.

What is it? A modern city sourcebook for running sandbox adventures. A mouthful, that. It’s currently full of tables used to generate adventure locations that you can plop down into a modern city. They’re not just random tables you usually find—instead I’ve stolen been inspired by the creation tables from Kevin Crawford. Stars without Number is a golden standard for world-creation, so I’m trying to bring that same energy.

Right now, NEON SHINE has 19 location tables used to fill out locales. In addition, there’s 14 character tables that can be rolled on to generate an NPC. The character tables are a bit more standardized than the location tables: there’s four tables of different sizes (d6, d8, d10, d12) and all of them have Motive, Means, and Opportunity.1 The fourth table is a wildcard, used for adding more specific flavor.

NEON SHINE currently has 50 hours put into it, and it’s still got a lot of work to go. In addition to characters and locations I still need to start on districts.

Swineheart Motel

February was a bad month in terms of nutrition and sleep, but a good month in terms of NEON SHINE and a second new project that I began.

I actually started working on Fringe Variables last month, but that was more of a nebulous brainstorm of what I wanted my adventure anthology to be. SWINEHEART MOTEL was my dive into actually beginning the first adventure, and it’s gone very well so far.

I have an entire post cooking that will be part post-mortem and part how-to that I’m very excited about. I love sharing my process with people, and this one is a big one.

SWINEHEART MOTEL is a modern day adventure that revolves around a (surprise) motel out in the middle of nowhere. I began splitting my time between NEON SHINE and SWINEHEART at this point, taking a break from writing hundreds of table entries a day in order to recharge that part of my brain.

SWINEHEART MOTEL currently has 37 hours put into it, including a playtest that generated a lot of good criticism. Hopefully with the next revision complete I can finish up the adventure and more on to Fringe Variable #2.


March was also the beginning of me deciding to give mindstorm a new coat of paint.

Which you’re currently looking at. This was more of a challenge than a neccessity for me: the original mindstorm site was me taking the default template and hacking away at it until I looked the way I wanted. This redesign is a complete rewrite of all the HTML and CSS by me.

Doing so means that I understand what’s going on under the hood with at this point. It’s not complicated, but before this it was sort of a “ignorance is bliss” situation.

The redesign is, for the most part, done. I’ll still be making small tweaks and bug fixes as time goes on, but I’m very happy with how it turned out. Redesigning a site with mobile first in mind and then adding responsive design was something I’ve never done before.

Wins And The New Quarter

The other big breakthrough I had just before march was an entire rebuild of my own processess. I plan to write a big post on this, titled Creative Periodization, but I can say that these new procedures I’ve put in place have been working very well. I’ve gotten more done with significantly less burnout over the last 5 weeks. This wasn’t done for hustle or grindset purposes (ugh), but rather to realign my desire to be creative in my daily life and the fact that burning myself out on things was a common reoccurance.

My biggest goal right now is finishing SWINEHEART MOTEL. I’m ready to move on and I feel that the adventure is strong and well written, I just need to complete it.

With the mindstorm redesign finished, I want to use the time I was spending on writing HTML and CSS to instead write blogposts. So that’s going up in priority next.

NEON SHINE is a big project that requires a slow and steady burn. It won’t be done in the next three months, but I want to get it to a point that it has a healthy amount of content for the big three: locations, characters, and districts.

What about you? What did you get up to in the first 25% of 2022? If you want to leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about it!

  1. This is inspired by Retired Adventurer’s post on NPCs.↩︎

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