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Behind the Scenes: Crafting E.G.O. Adventures at Evil Genius Games

The TTRPG community is incredibly creative, highly skilled, and very passionate about their games. Whether it is in designing homebrew adventures or entire worlds, creating maps, devising fantastic characters, or meticulously painting miniatures, the community’s passion for its “hobby” is evident in every detail of individual preparation, community engagement, and common play.

But what is it like to transform an idea for a game into a commercial product? Once you leave the busstling borders of Hobbyland and enter the dark and demanding Marketplace Forest, you must create games that are so compelling that players are not only willing to spend their precious time with them, but also their hard-earned money on them. And you must do this again and again and again. It’s a daunting challenge when you think about it, and achieving success requires not only creativity and passion, but also a collective dedication to a common vision and professional standards of quality.

Establishing Direction and Goals

Evil Genius Games has a small team, and everyone works together at every stage, no matter what their position is. This includes our CEO, Dave, who, in addition to garnering investors and studio licenses, developing long-range strategies and plans, and overseeing the financial logistics, meets with the team regularly, both collectively and individually. We present ideas, give input and take feedback, and establish a common direction according to a common plan. Haley, our administrative coordinator and den mother, then keeps us all on task, on top of handling customer relations, convention coordination, and a host of other duties. 

The Journey Begins:

In terms of E.G.O., the journey of creating publishable adventures starts with devising a season—a large, overarching storyline into which individual episodic adventures fit. Once we have the concept, we pinpoint key plot points in the metastory and develop ideas for episodes. Each adventure, while self-contained and entertaining, must also carry the narrative torch from one episode to the next.

Narrative Construction:

Once we have a concept that sparks our interest, we flesh out the outlines for episodic adventures. This stage is all about laying the groundwork for epic quests and compelling characters, offering a blend of challenges and rewards. It’s a delicate balance between maintaining excitement and ensuring coherence since we must weave threads from each episode into a cohesive whole.

From Written Draft to Revised Product:

With a broad outline of the season in place, our producer, Bryan C.P. Steele, assigns writers to build upon this framework with their own unique touches and ideas to create exciting adventures. Bryan then reviews, refines, and develops these drafts into the texts that serve as the basis for the final products.

Rules and Gameplay Cohesion:

No adventure reaches your table without a thorough vetting by our developers, Chris “Goober” Ramsley and Sig Trent, who ensure that the game mechanics are not only coherent with the Everyday Heroes system but also balanced for smooth and engaging gameplay. Their expertise helps the rules support the narrative and enhance the gaming experience. This stage may also involve playtesting to gather feedback, ensuring that the mechanics are correct, clear, and player-friendly.

Editing for Clarity and Style:

Once gameplay is solidified, the manuscript moves to Awen Rowan-Nelson, our editor and proofreader. Awen’s role is to enhance the text’s quality, ensuring that it is not only clear and correct as a guide for playing the game but also an immersive and engaging adventure that reads beautifully.  

Artistic Visualization and Layout:

Meanwhile, Product Manager Paul Timm, in addition to his role as production schedule and budget coordinator, contracts and guides artists to create visuals that evoke the essence of the adventure to add another layer of immersion to a product. Then, after the text and art are finalized, Paul oversees their integration by our layout designers into final products that are both functional and visually striking.

Final Touches and Proofreading:

The assembled product then undergoes final proofreading, where Awen makes a meticulous pass to tighten any linguistic looseness and catch any lingering or newly introduced errors. At this stage, our team of Evil Entomologists (the Bug-Bashers) may also scour the product for any issues from a GM’s or player’s perspective. And then: it’s showtime: the adventure goes live, ready to be played and enjoyed. 

Creating E.G.O. adventures is itself an adventure—a collaborative and creative effort to bring joy, excitement, and a bit more delight to your gaming table. But we couldn’t do it without you—our customers, fans, and volunteers. Your patronage and dedication make this all possible. So, to those of you who are already part of E.G.O, thank you. And if you haven’t joined us yet, come give us a try—because the world needs more Everyday Heroes!

Join the E.G.O. program here: https://forms.gle/QFbSyo5TJ8YpYs8s6

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes looks and sneak peeks into how we bring the magic of tabletop gaming to life at Evil Genius Games. Happy gaming!


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