below you may find glimpses into my design process. some of these posts are drafts, some of them are polished works, others are vague musings. i often discuss inspirations: games, literature, movies, art in general.

as i am currently designing THE VIOLET SANCTION, many posts below will delve into the worldbuilding, game mechanics, characters, and mythos of that realm, but please take everything you read within that domain with a grain of salt. until the game is published, everything is subject to change.

red herrings are everywhere, and some secrets are just meant to obfuscate the truth.

well, it was a crazy ~2 weeks, but THE VIOLET SANCTION is funded! 69 people showed their support with $958, and i appreciate everyone of them so much! this has all been such a wonderful learning experience, and while there’s a lot of work ahead of me, this really makes me feel great about the project!

i’ll post more updates as things move forward, of course, but for now, i’m going to wrap up my daily blog post and then take a well-earned break!


it’s almost time!

it sure has been a busy year: setting up a patreon, growing a small but steady social media presence, launching this website, curating a daily blog, officially licensing the company, game design, and, oh yea, building a kickstarter project for zinequest!

this doesn’t even include anything from my personal life, which has also been nonstop. i started a new job, which is honestly pretty exhausting, but in that way that motivates me to go home and want to make art.

now, it’s the day of the launch, and i’m going over all of the pieces one last time to make sure i’m ready. the main page of scaryridge has been updated to show the project launch, and writing a blog about it seemed appropriate.

i’ll keep it short and sweet, since it’s 2am and i’m just about ready to pass out…

but THE VIOLET SANCTION goes live at 9am! i am so incredibly excited by the progress i’ve made, and while i’m hopeful, i want to reign in my expectations just in case. if i bring in just one new fan, it’ll all have been worth it.

go ahead. click that image. back our kickstarter. learn the secrets of capitol hill!

the chariot, pulled east and west, manifests no destiny. only by turning one wheel, all together, do we drive our fortune forward.

magic is a chimeric force, drawing the disparate into one. this is the essence of creation, binding of opposites into a gestalt, every problem containing its own solution. together, we are greater. 

the children of the chariot descend from sphinx, and those wise enough to seek answers to life’s riddles within the riddle of life itself. to speak with nature, to give in to instinct, is to be true to the world. we are all half of two things. 

not always accepted, even while human in daylight, straywalkers keep to the shadows and the alleys. they know the secret passages of the land like the back of their paw.

their solo campaign turns inward, as straywalkers share a dreamscape with many inner selves, exploring: duality; identity; mental health; social sciences; non-human consciousness and intelligence. 

straywalkers are unique, possessing both a human form and, at nightfall, a cat form, their aspect of the dream. these dual-selves see and smell the world differently but are cunning and can learn to work together.

players who believe in the conscious macrocosm of all life are likely already straywalkers at heart. guided to mastery, they will bring balance to the scales of justice.

some of us are suns, giving warmth, while others, moons, reflect beauty. but the stars? they burn and burn out, so to be dreamed of forever.

we learn to sing before we talk, dance before we learn to walk. there are strings guiding our movements, waiting to be strummed by musical magicians, or magical muses. and when the melody is true, it can never be unheard.

a star of stage and screen knows their line, their cue, their moves, and their audience. they throw their voice as well as their inner light, and tend to be the center of attention. now, thanks to magic, they always are.

no matter the venue at which they perform, they give their art over to love. but remember, players only love you when they’re playing.

their character arc looks at many taboo subjects through the lens of bodily autonomy, but this is a dark world: sex work; pornography; recreational substances; altered states; overdoses; music; fame and infamy. art is eternal, but human.

players channel limitless charm into props and guises, bending reality in line with their imaginations. cloaked in the aspect of the passion, they can convince anyone of anything. 

those who understand that all art is sex will likely find an alignment with the stars. as they ascend to mastery, they will speak words of truth and power to the people, to the world, and to the cosmos.

they who hold the card with no name play against a stacked deck: ace of spades up their sleeve; their other hand, in hand with death.  

of the many incarnations of magic, none frighten more than the embodiment of death. she sees through the eyes of her vassals, speaks with their tongues, cuts threads with her many hands. they are everywhere; so too is she.

they who hold the card with no name are those who have crossed paths with death and walked away. though they may have felt this was a gift, life is never that simple. this encounter still claws away at them.

whether by accident, malediction, or choice, these oracles now move through the world with one hand in the grave.

this archetype’s story explores many dark themes: death, naturally; murder; suicide; trauma; loss; grief; and also, acceptance. only death is immortal, and through her, oracles live on.

they possess many strange talents, including countenance of truth, witch’s eye, and grave touch, while their aspect of the veil pulls back the curtain to the void.

players fascinated by the occult and morbid folklore may enjoy this force of inevitability, who at mastery can see beyond time, walk beyond shadows, and talk to death herself.

these post features some format details which are no longer representative of what is on kickstarter, primarily that the prologue is SUMMIT AVENUE (which is now a separate full chapter)

an urban fantasy, THE VIOLET SANCTION takes place in an alternate version of capitol hill, seattle, present day.

a magical reservoir has burst, disrupting the city. a curtain of light, the titular violet sanction, enshrouds the neighborhood like a dam, but the blossoming of magic burns all it touches. it is an ancient force, with rules long forgotten.

but there are plenty who forget nothing: broken promises, uncollected debts, power awakening in old blood. everything changes.

the prologue, SUMMIT AVENUE, initiates character creation, provides residential features that will be frequented between adventures, including a cafe, bar, dispensary, pawn shop, and tattoo studio, and contains the solo campaign through which characters develop their potential.

every episode introduces a new location, and characters will move freely between them as they discover secrets and unravel the many mysteries of the story.

players from or knowledgeable of seattle will be familiar with many places in the game, including VOLUNTEER PARK, where bruce lee is buried, the PIKE/PINE CORRIDOR, iconic thoroughfare to downtown, ST. MARK’S CATHEDRAL, home of one of seattle’s largest pipe organs, and other exciting historical sites painted with dark, fantastic elements.

pay attention, connect the dots: there are no coincidences.

THE VIOLET SANCTION approaches characters asymmetrically, with a focus on shaping each archetype’s mechanics around a narrative. the game trades dice for a personal deck of cards which are altered as choices are made. each player traverses the episodic campaign with their own motives, their own choices, and their own consequences, cooperating with other players in a wide variety of ways.

in place of traditional experience points and levels, each character embarks on a solo adventure parallel to the game’s central campaign. this narrative begins immediately with character creation: these first choices determine ability, specialty, and circumstance

characters record this journey on a tri-fold folio, which opens and closes to reveal an aspect unique to each archetype. further exploration of the solo adventure unlocks potential, which when realized in the central campaign becomes mastery.

these game mechanics shape the journey through the story. the combination of talents brought to the table by all of the players will open new doors as characters develop their skills and relationships (with one another and with those beings encountered in the world). 

there is no wrong path. from all choices may be gleaned wisdom.

when it comes to style – the pieces that define artistic expression – writing has libraries worth of books on the subject. i recommend stephen king’s ON WRITING.

when it comes to my personal style, in an age past a necessity for handwriting but from a time before crossing that singularity, i believe in a visual signature. the structure of sentences, paragraphs, and pages all come together to give the reader a sense of the writer’s voice. of course, context also plays a huge role: short- or long-form, poetry or prose,  tweet or blog.

and we live in a time with exposure to more styles than ever, distributed more readily and with less censorship, rendering grammar laws obsolete.

obsolete, but not dead.

i’ll save a post about the inherent racism, sexism, and classism of policing language for a dedicated space (and it will come up a lot), and for this post just talk about the elements of style that make up my writing (and, therefore, the voice of scaryridge). 

i’m sure most readers will have noticed that scaryridge content is written in minuscule (lowercase). this is a statement on those listed topics of oppression; a reclamation of the written (and typed) word by a world of informality; a shunning of those who look first for  adherence to code. this is a dialect of internet and texting; a choice to be a part of a shifting language; a breaking out of the box.

the one exception to this rule is with titles, such as with our upcoming project, THE VIOLET SANCTION, or king’s book, above. i’ve used underlined majuscule (uppercase) to draw the eye and highlight pieces that i recommend, encourage others to look into, or have drawn inspiration from. i also tag these references, as they’re likely to come up again.

italics signals thematic writing, flavor text, direct story content, or quotes from cited materials.

bold highlights features, adds definition, or provides clarity.

speaking of which, i believe grammar and syntax serve one purpose: to provide clarity. language is an evolving art form, often weighed down by too many rules and constraints and laws. when the audience understands the message, it is successful. 

and because of all this, i believe resolutely in the oxford comma. it never obfuscates intent, whereas its absence spawns endless memes.

everything else? just trappings of oppression meant to gatekeep the tools of power. 

break the rules. your voice doesn’t have capital letters, anyway.