So, this month we launched a big new project on the Ctrl+Alt+Del Patreon that I’m pretty excited about. Since starting the Patreon four years ago, we’ve had a very limited (four spots), top tier where people could pledge to become characters in a comic strip. Originally, I assumed people would pledge for a month or two, see themselves in some comics, and then vacate the spot, and we’d have a lot of turnover. To facilitate this, the characters and stories were silly and random and designed to be changed or altered at short notice to account for people dropping in and out.
Buuut… that’s not how it happened. The people who nabbed these spots held onto them. For years (in fact, one of my current top-tier Patrons has held his spot since day 1). It was amazing, but it also meant I ended up telling four years worth of story with these crazy characters (a food hitman, a super hero with chinese knock-off versions of super powers, etc) that had only been designed for short term gags.
Anyway, now knowing that people are apt to hold on to their top-tier Patreon spots for a long time, I set out to retool the pledge tier into not only something more substantial and more enjoyable for all my Patrons, but also something people could actually take part in. So in June, after many, many months of planning, I brought that comic series to a close in order to launch a new, really ambitious series in its place.
Doomfall, which just started this month on Patreon, is dungeon-diving fantasy comic series that is a mashup of my storytelling, a tabletop RPG, and a choose your own adventure story. Using a slightly modified version of the Cypher RPG system as the foundation, the four top-tier Patrons have worked with me to create characters for which they will make decisions each month. Because we have an RPG system in the background, not only will they decide which paths to take and what to do, but they will roll dice to determine outcomes, take and heal damage and even potentially die. I will then take these small “play sessions” and translate them into pages of the ongoing comic story for all Patrons to read each month.
But it was important to me that it was not only the top-tier Patrons that got to participate, so throughout the course of the series, all of my other Patrons will have opportunities to vote on things, like which doors are trapped, and what those traps might be, or what sort of monsters lie in the room the heroes are about to enter, etc. I may even hold drawings to select people to be featured as a minor NPC or villain. In this way, Doomfall becomes a story that everyone particpates in crafting, no matter the pledge tier.
Like I said, we just launched the first pages this month, and I’m incredibly excited (and nervous) to see how it goes. This is bigger and more complex than anything I’ve done, but also stands to be something really unique and fun. Doomfall is available for all Patrons to read, regardless of pledge tier, so if it sounds like something you’d enjoy you can support it for as little as $1 a month.