ENnies and Roseville Beach

I've been at Gen Con for the past week, and it was a great convention. I'll talk more about that other places, but right now I want to post some thank-yous from the ENnies!

While indie publishers and the ENnies have a complicated history (starting with a lot of issues that Noora Rose points out in her excellent post), it was incredible to see independent publishers getting Judge's Spotlight, Silver, and Gold ENnies this year, including a Judge's Spotlight Award for Moonlight on Roseville Beach. It was also fantastic to see judges and voters embracing Linda Codega's coverage of Hasbro's self-inflicted OGL debacle. Lin's a friend and a gamer as well as someone who does incredible work covering TTRPGs as a professional journalist.

One of the great things about the Judge's Spotlight ENnies, especially, is we get to hear directly from the judges about their choices, and judge Candace McAffee's pre-recorded introduction for Moonlight on Roseville Beach moved me immensely. I really appreciated Candace's advocacy for this award and their work on the ENnies judging panel (check Candace out on YouTube, Twitch, and LinkTree).

Roseville Beach started as an ashcan player's guide in 2019, originally designed as a supplement for Diogo Nogueira's Dark Streets and Darker Secrets (probably my favorite urban fantasy game). Diogo gave me a ton of encouragement and support, but the setting struggled to find an audience until Gen Con Online in 2020 when this little supplement suddenly filled two game slots. That happened again at Gen Con Online 2021. Without the encouragement from those Gen Con players, I don't think this game could possibly exist.

When I started preparing to fund and publish this game in 2021, DAI Shugars got in touch with me to talk about designing the cover. DAI's art direction and visual design work set the tone for what we were working on and exceeded anything I could have thought to ask for. My co-writers Rob Abrazado, Bendi Barrett, Sharang Biswas, Rick Chia, Alison Cybe, Ezakur, Ethan Harvey, Maxwell Lander, Catherine Ramen, Erin Roberts, Ennis Rook Bashe, Noora Rose, Sean F. Smith, Anne Toole, Preston Leslie, Eric Moore, Logan Rollins, and Ramses Wilde-Wolf added so much to this book, as did editor Jared Sinclair and sensitivity reader Brian Kunde.

The night the Roseville Beach funding campaign launched, Lauren Bilanko from The Twenty Sided Store asked me to join her stream and talk about the game. We made some characters, looked at the quickstart, and got to chat with Tony Vasinda and co-writer Ezakur. By the next morning, we'd funded and were on our way to hitting stretch goals, but chatting with Lauren, a long-time friend, got me through that night when I wasn't sure whether this would be my first Kickstarter campaign to not make it.

I also owe much to my friends and colleagues from the Zine Creators Workshop and Zine Month Discord servers for their commitment to mutual aid, mutual encouragement, mutual critique, and mutual accountability. It was a really big privilege to get to be there to see Charlie and Alex win an ENnie's Silver for their work on Into the Cess & Citadel.

Finally, as I said at the end of my acceptance speech, Roseville Beach is set in 1979 because it was a time when, to quote Andrew Holleran, "everyone was still alive." This award is dedicated to the many, many queer elders we lost to decades of neglect, malice, and disease.


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