Our First Jam Session

Banging it out!

September 2nd, 2019

Our first six-hour Creative Jam Session went swimmingly. Emmy, Tracy Tibbits, Ari, and myself did a reading of Overhuman's narrative beats as they stand, and despite a few hitches and diversions, we got through the whole thing and declared it a success.

This left one question: "how are we going to do this?"

How are we going to do this? The question seems simple from my 'fake it till you make it' presidential perspective I've been slapping together. You know, 'we're going to be organized, efficient, we're going to get a good rhythm going, focus on visual stuff and promotionals first while the tech team gets the engine figured out, we just make good use of our time and resources."

Yeah, easy, right?

Sure. Why not. My UX designer explains to me the vagaries of the engine, primitives, vertices, baked vs. dynamic lighting and how Mirror's Edge looked amazing because all the lighting was baked... oh hey, the programmer has some interns forming under him, we still need a 3D designer. Meshes and statics and materials and actors, oh my.

All the gorgeous visionary bullshit in my head doesn't mean a damned thing when it comes to the very real-time and money and Talent with a capital T economy of creating things to the standards I want them at. But if we hammer at it, every Saturday and Sunday, and if I can get those Talented folks on my team believing in a setting, a journey, and a character we've all come to lovingly refer as our 'trash goblin', then we're going to nail this.

When it comes to startups, it's not just about having a good idea. It's about being able to defend that idea, build on that idea, share that idea, and turn it into something that brings value and joy into other people's lives. "First, we need to have something solid, something that's fun, can be proven fun," says Emmy in our jam session.

Ari understands this - he's the ludology guy. He started our first conversation with Emmy by introducing Emmy and I (two long-time Sailor Moon fans) to the fact that an actual Sailor Moon tabletop RPG existed in the late '90s. Then he gave us the PDF.

We can talk Dark Crystal, Gorillaz, Sailor Moon, Heavy Metal, and all the other '75-'95 underground shit (yeah, back when anime was called 'japanimation', Sailor Moon was pretty underground). It inspired us as kids, but at the end of the day, what makes me believe in this team, this studio, and this brand is the fact that each and every one of us, from coder to creative, understands the need for deep, heavy storytelling that pops with a healthy dash of razzle-dazzle, and finished with humor here and there.

So bring on the newspeak, the trash goblins, and that fine balance between fear and wonder. How are we going to do this? By believing in the vision, and, obviously, by just having a plan for every day. Little by little, communicating, staying on the same page, and never wasting an hour. The way we do it is by doing it.

In six months, we're going to have our minimum viable product. It's going to be an ugly, slapped-together thing, but it'll prove our concept:

Running around and climbing cybertrees in a gigantic, hostile tech-grotto as a foul-mouthed monkey girl is fun in and of itself.