Straight from the Page #1: Dreamdiver “Today”

Like I said – run toward the scary. I want my process to be transparent and involve my audience, and I have some confidence problems to kick to the curb. Therefore, look! Look at a thing I have made. It’s a flavor bit from Dreamdiver, a game about an apocalypse in the collective unconscious. Share any thoughts you have.


Today, you wake up from fighting a legion of gladiator skeletons.

Today, you wake up, still not finished with the argument you and Poe shared by the timid light of an unplugged star.

Today, you wake up with a string of mysterious numbers running from your wrist to your elbow.

Your meals are injected. Your commute is fast and violent. Four passengers get into a fight that breaks two noses and bloodies the floor. No one calls the authorities. The fight ends when all four combatants suddenly forget what they were doing and return to their seats, faces still dripping.

Your work is pointless and monochrome. You spend the entire day with brain freeze, fibro haze, or just pure and unrelenting mental fatigue. You can’t focus on anything for more than a few minutes before the work of connecting thoughts becomes too exhausting. Your head hits your desk more than once as each hour passes. Every time this happens, a man in a sharp suit prods you with a sharp point.

Your home is featureless, save for the four “sentimentals” you are allowed to keep or display. If you haven’t stood in court to appeal inflexible MYOCLON policy, you live alone. Your apartment is inside a Habitation and Utility Enclosure – a “Huey” – where the corporation stands ready to meet your every need and witness your every crime. Most nights, you can’t even summon the will to spend your free time. You, and everyone you know, stares at walls night after night. You often work extra hours for perks: real meals, visits with friends inside the Enclosure, sports equipment, even better sleep drugs.

You take the corporation’s pills every day. They often change color, shape, or size: you’re part of an ongoing clinical trial your brain can’t live without. They’re addictive and toxic, and the side effects start at painful and ramp up to debilitating after just weeks of use. You don’t even have time to be satisfied that you’re surviving the worst year in human history. Every day salts your wounds, stabs your eyes, and empties your skull.

And then you fall asleep.


An Introduction: Running Toward the Scary

In the short time he’s been in my life, two-fisted editor John Adamus has become one of my most important sources of support. In Phoenix Outlaw Productions, the company I founded with friend, roommate, and ka-tet member Shoshana Kessock, we call John the Orbital Platform. He’s famous for obliterating deadlines way ahead of schedule, dreaming up entire systems in scant handfuls of hours–you name it, he’s willing to help make it possible. Like any decent kung-fu mentor-figure, John has an arsenal of original axioms like “Writing is the act of making decisions” and his trusty writer’s block killer, “What’s the most awesome thing that could happen?”

One of those John-rules is “Run toward the scary.” So here goes.

People who know me would probably confirm that starting a personal blog by talking about somebody else is a classic Josh move. If that helps you get to know me, I don’t mind. Hi! I’m Josh Harrison. I’m a self-effacing but earnest game designer currently working in online marketing. I’m a full-time Storyteller at my local zombie apocalypse and I usually think better with a boffer sword in hand. I live in Brooklyn. I am trying to figure out how to deal with grief. I am into Magic: the Gathering.

I’m starting this blog because some shrieking mental thing is telling me not to, and I sometimes get to neat places by listening for what my internal critic finds Completely Unacceptable and then Doing Whatever That Is. I’m writing here so you can hold me accountable for completing Dreamdiver, my Fate Core world, and get a look at my process as I go. I’m here to get more comfy with being myself, even where other people can see. And I’m here to answer and questions or help with any problems you guys want to share.

OK, no looking back. Design with courage. Play with sincerity. Write with charity. Stop hoping, start doing.

Yep. We’ve reached the scary. Time to find out what comes next.