It’s a new year, which means you’ve got an excuse to look for cool new people to inspire you. I’ve curated some of my favorite creators doing cool stuff right now in ttrpgs, and what projects they’re working on.
Jabari Weathers has been killin the rpg illustration game recently. Their vibrant colors and geometric linework brings a somewhat abstract and art nouveau look to traditional fantasy style pieces. Jabari’s artwork is gorgeous and inspiring in it’s interpretations of genre and style. I love the character portraits, and the inherent evocative romanticism in each piece.
Two recent projects they’ve worked on include a tarot deck for Seven Seas, and Joshua AC Newman’s newest game in production The Bloody Handed Name of Bronze. They’ve also done gorgeous tarot illustrations for Bluebeard’s Bride!
DC has just released the design for a Blades in the Dark hack called Mutants In The Night. As a streamer, game designer, and community organizer, DC is creating a massive amount of stuff for the ttrpg world. They’re currently streaming a campaign of Mutants In The Night on Twitch, but you can watch on YouTube if you can’t keep up with the live streams. DC also has a Patreon where they’re sharing behind the scenes design process and drafts of their rpg work. Their Patreon says a lot about their beautiful game philosophy: “Role-playing games are transformative. On a small scale, these games can begin in a place you’ve planned and controlled, but end in a place you’ve built. As the scale grows, people find themselves with more heart, courage, and understanding than they’d ever expect to gain from pieces of paper and small dice. ”
If you want to support DC here’s some links and also their Twitter at @DungeonCommandr:
Mutants in The Night:dungeoncommandr.itch.io
Allie Bustion is a GM, streamer, game designer and artist who’s currently working on a game called Misbehavin’, a Blades hack alternate history/urban fantasy set in the Prohibition Era United States. It seems rad as hell and I’m sad I’m not playing it right now. Her streams focus on game dev and story driven games, and her art is this gorgeous colorful digital illustration. Over at her Patreon you can see some of her design thoughts as she creates and even playlists and inspirations that she shares as she works. Her games on itch.io include themes of relationships, monsters, and buddy cops.
Check out her links and follow her @madpierrot
Tristarae streams and guest stars on numerous ttrpg streams on Twitch! Recently starring in the aforementioned Mutants In the Night, as well as Blades in the Dark, AGON, and several other ttrpg playtests. She’s a delight to watch, her wit sharp and hilarious, and her perspectives fresh and relatable. The best place to find her streaming schedule is on her Twitter: @trist_chi
Laura Simpson designed the game behind the hugely successful Kickstarter A Companion’s Tale, a mapmaking game where you play the companions of the hero and construct the hero together. She’s one half of Sweet Potato Press, which has also created Love Commander and The Dance and the Dawn. Laura also has a game in the #Feminism anthology about four black women driving together to their reunion. Her games have a focus on diversity and protagonists that we don’t normally see at the forefront of the narrative.
Find her work at Sweet Potato Press
Misha Bushyager is a game designer, writer, and GM who’s currently working on the Afrofuturist space opera Orun. Orun had a great Kickstarter campaign and one of the most compelling elements of the game to me is that everyone plays an alien! Misha’s own project is under the name Black Girl Gameworks and is also 1/3rd of New Agenda Publishing, both of which are making and supporting games by diverse creators. Misha’s written for multiple games including Chill: SAVE, Lovecraftesque, and Dead Scare and was an editor of the award winning #Feminism collection of nanogames. She’s also a curator with me on More Seats At The Table. Check out her Twitter which is always on fire at @BGGameWorks
Tanya DePass’s work in game communities is so, so important. Her project I Need Diverse Games highlights projects, work, and articles by marginalized creators across many platforms and types of games. I’ve seen her at booths and panels at conventions, streaming games as a partner on Twitch, and generally being a badass on Twitter. Her feed enriches and educates my understanding of marginalized communities in gaming. INDG also hosts a variety of support projects for marginalized creators, like scholarships to visit conventions, pay for articles, and boosting the signal on games. Tanya also helps organize Orcacon, an inclusive game convention in Washington. There are few projects in gaming that I think are as important as this one, definitely support, follow, and share Tanya’s work.
Find her on Twitter at: @cypheroftyr
main site: http://cypheroftyr.com
Whitney Delaglio is a game designer who recently Kickstarted a game called Prism, which is basically about the relationships among fantastic aquatic creatures. The game focuses on relationships and feelings as a way to navigate both the story and the mechanics. Whitney did not just the game design for Prism, but also all the artwork, which is whimsical and delightful.
You can find her work here: https://www.littlewishproductions.com/