March 21, 2012


In the latest episode of the That's How We Roll podcast, hosts Fred Hicks and Chris Hanrahan talk to author Chuck Wendig about his work on Evil Hat’s burgeoning fiction line. I tuned in hoping to hear Chuck on Don’t Read This Book, an upcoming anthology set in the Don’t Rest Your Head universe, to which I contributed a piece. Much of the run time goes to their inaugural Spirit of the Century novel trilogy, Dinocalypse.

The top of the chat deals with issues well-known to anyone plying the waters of tie-in fiction. There’s the eternal question of balancing material that serves the story at hand with choices that put across the broader property. Then there’s the parallel, game-specific matter of how much license authors are afforded to reference or sidestep game rules.

What I learned from the podcast arises from Evil Hat’s Kickstarter strategy. As someone on the brink of a crowd-funded project or two, I found it a salutary exercise in preconception adjustment. Fred talks about the value of having material not just in the notional phase, but ready to deliver to funders, instant gratification style. This tells me that an issue I’ve been concerned about is actually a plus. Perhaps taking the name of the main crowd-funding organ too literally, I’ve been assuming that pledgers want in on the ground floor and might shy from projects already in a high state of readiness. Why make happen what has already happened? Instead Fred and crew indicate that pledgers want something the creators have already invested their time and money in. It’s more about putting the project over the top than providing seed capital. If so, it’s another example of the culture of a web entity moving away from the assumptions of its original creators.

With benefit of hindsight, it might be called Kickfinisher.