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(These questions occur to me a lot, so this isn’t specific to just one jam, but these have been on my mind as I’ve been using’s Good Morning Apocalypse to motivate me to get out an updated alpha of ALIGHT—and now that jam has been extended by a month!!!)

Is it poor form to...

1) submit an unfinished game to an Itch jam that doesn’t specify that’s okay?

2) submit a game you submitted to another jam in an earlier form if the jam doesn’t specify that’s okay?

I don’t have a good answer yet. But I figured thinking about it aloud on RPG Twitter might help. (Or invite dogpiling.) Still thinking, anyway.

Still, I wonder if there’s another way I can be helpful: By DOING the research on how people regard games, pricing, and purchase habits, and just giving it away for free.

But then I run again into the issues of devaluing labor and implicitly disbelieving marginalized people.

So, I’ve been charging for the one game long enough that it feels like it might support a bad precedent to just give it away for free, but doing pay-what-you-want for the shorter stuff, even though I know some would say this still hurts the market for small, for-pay projects.

(I have what’s think is good reason to doubt that assumption without supporting data, but I won’t get into that here, especially as I KNOW I’m quite biased: I’d prefer NOT to charge for MY game design work, and I’m privileged enough that I can opt not to.)

I feel torn between my impulse as a progressive to just BELIEVE these folks, and my impulse as a researcher to say, “Where’s the data indicating THIS is the solution?”

I’ve seen folks I generally admire and agree with saying that the only way to do these things, and to help marginalized creators generally, is to get more privileged creators charging for their work, so as to fight the norm of undercutting struggling pros with free games.

I want to make sure that my hobbyist communities welcome new players and creators, especially from marginalized backgrounds, and that there’s a viable path to compensating creators fairly for work they expect to be compensated for.

I think a lot about how to be ethical in making and buying things, especially (but not just) lately. Here’s a thread about how this applies to hobbyist RPGs (without citations because I’m nervous about people getting dogpiled on).

Just quickly adapted this to a modern setting so I can run it for Agents of the O.D.D. tonight. Swap with Beelzebub, replace Deel with some version of the ancient god Baal, and decide what stat to roll when swallowed by a demon fish, and you’re good to go.

In case you were wondering: The changes I wanted to make mostly didn’t work, and the change I grudgingly made worked like a charm.

I love how WordPress allows me to customize what will be tweeted in addition to the title, and then completely ignores whatever I tell it.

Anyway, this post is about some changes I'm trying in tonight's Agents of the O.D.D. playtest.

Can't remember if I wrote these magic items or cribbed them from elsewhere. Do these ring a bell?

"Cedar box with a severed tongue which, when soaked in blood, speaks Arcane Secrets."

"Broken head of a statue that, when fed with wine, speaks Prophecies of Doom."

I welcome you to grab a free community copy of Agents of the O.D.D.—and/or pay $0 for any of my pay-what-you-want games—if you’re self-isolating or performing essential services to help during the pandemic.

Somebody sent me an AP report WITH AUDIO for one of my games and I am VERY EXCITED and the feeling is MAGNIFIED because I DID NOT SLEEP ENOUGH LAST NIGHT WOOOOO

surprisingly sad to notice I was inexplicably left out of the giant list of Kickstarter backer names in a beloved RPG 😭 I paused for a moment, thinking, "Do I want to spend 25 bucks for a PDF?" and then noticed that contributors are being paid 20¢ a word. That's worth supporting.

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