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I Am A (Temporary) Wizard Again!

One of the truest statements about life as a freelancer/creative-for-hire is that the general situation of your working life shifts around on a regular basis. Your creative process and the ebb and flow of your days will change significantly based on who your client is, what type of project(s) you’ve currently got on your desk, and how near or far the deadline is. And then sometimes you get a project that shakes everything up . . . but also creates stability over a lengthy period of time.

That last one is what’s happened here in the Stan!plex about a month ago.

While I’ve still got projects on the calendar doing manga localization for Viz Media, and comics for a new client (who isn’t ready for me to publicly announce the project yet), and private commissions . . . they’ve all had to be rearranged to a greater or lesser degree to make room for my new main project. I’ve taken on a full-time contract assignment—that is, a 40-hour-per-week job that has a limited shelf-life. For the next year (if all goes well), I’ll be spending my weekdays back in familiar territory in Renton, WA, working at Wizards of the Coast as a Producer for Dungeons & Dragons.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is the same title I held via a contract assignment that ran from October 2011 till October 2012. But while the title is the same, the specific work I’ll be doing is a little bit different this time around. Previously, I served mostly as the Producer for material published on the D&D website, in particular the two webzines “Dragon Online” and “Dungeon Online.” This time I’m working with the actual D&D game products themselves, in particular, overseeing the scheduling of the game design staff, freelancers, and licensed products.

There are a bunch of folks on staff that I worked with in the past, and a bunch of new faces. The creative process has changed in particulars, but the general way you make an RPG product at it’s heart is still the same as it has been for the twenty+ years I’ve been working in the industry. When I was in-house at WotC last, they were in the middle of 5th Edition design . . . when I left, I continued to participate in an outside playtest group . . .  and I’m still playing it today. I don’t know the game as inside and out as I have previous editions . . . but at its heart it’s still D&D . . . it’s still the game I love. And I’m proud as heck to be back working on the products that gamers around the world will bring to their tables in the coming years.

There are going to be a lot of details that I can’t talk about over the next year . . . but I’m sure there will be lots of events and projects that I WILL be able to discuss. At the very least, I’ll try not to vague book too often. (I know how annoying that can be.)

Now every morning, I get to start my day with a roll for initiative . . . and a hope that I don’t fail any Wisdom Saves.

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