The chat will be held Tuesday, January 13 at 9:00 PM EST / 6:00 PM PST. You can get to the chat through ARGNet chat, just enter your nickname and select stfeline for the channel. For those familiar with IRC just head on over to irc.chat-solutions.org and join #stfeline.
With the action of Book Three finally concluded, the first order of business is to give my deepest and warmest thanks to the tremendous team that brought it to life. This time, that list of thanks is extraordinarily long, but a few people deserve particular kudos -- notably the awesome story direction and experience design provided by Brooke Thompson and Jan Libby, and the amazingly flexible and unflinching production logistics of Robert Wood. There's so much more to talk about, of course, but it is time for this outstanding cast and crew of Book Three to take their bow: there will be plenty of time of additional meta discussions during the hiatus before the inevitible Book Four.)
"Eldritch Errors: Red Moon Rising" (January 2008 - December 2008):
J.D. Ashcraft (GMD Studios, producer) /prop development
Nova Barlow (actor) / nightmare confessor
Toby Barlow (actor) / himself
Oded Burger (actor) / NYC Forsythe henchman
Alexander Calhoun (actor) / nightmare confessor
Chris Campbell (GMD Studios, developer & artist) / web, art & prop development
Brian Clark (GMD Studios, creator/producer/writer) / story, Peter Severn, Arthur Lydney, nightmare confessor
Ron Cohen (actor) / Exu
Dee Cook (actor) / nightmare confessor
Andrew Cowan (GMD Studios, technical lead) / web & server programming
David Crouse / nightmare confessor
Ian Cyr (actor) / nightmare confessor
Wendy DeLaney (actor) / Dr. Elizabeth Riley
Nicko Demeter (actor) / Sacramento Forsythe representative
Miguel Drake-Mclaughlin (videographer) / Bryce hotel sequences
Mike Ferraro (GMD Studios, assistant producer) / props, locations & logistics
"g3k" (actor) / nightmare confessor
Chad Haefele (actor) / nightmare confessor
Pamela Hedden (actor) / Mrs. Compton
Lenore Henry (actor) / nightmare confessor
Jeff Himmelman (actor) / Spukhafte Fernwirkung
Tammy Kearns (GMD Studios, producer) / logistics
Marie Lamb (actor) / nightmare confessor
Jonny Leahan (GMD Studios, producer & actor) / "The Sculptor," event production
Jan Libby (director/producer/writer) / story, Dr. Elizabeth Riley
Lou (LouMac) Maccarone (actor) / nightmare confessor
Gary Millus (actor) / Bryce Drogher
Brian Murphy / nightmare confessor
Caroline Murphy-Himmelman (actress) / B.A. Saint-Feline
Ron Nickell (actor) / satellite photo mule
Andrea Phillips (actor) / nightmare confessor
Mark Rabinowitz (writer) / Eddie Pope
"Rekidk" (actor) / nightmare confessor
Jim Rhoades (GMD Studios, developer & artist) / web, art, video & audio development
Mark Sanders (actor) / Arthur Lydney
Jamie Simo (actor) / nightmare confessor
Kimberley Tibbert (actor) / nightmare confessor
Brooke Thompson (creator/producer/writer) / story, B.A. Saint-Feline, Sploit and the dreamers, web & art development
Jen Waite (actor) / nightmare confessor
Krystyn Wells (actor) / nightmare confessor
Dee Winter (actor) / Dreamer Dee, nightmare confessor
Robert Wood (GMD Studios, assistant producer & actor) / logistics, Sploit, "Gatekeeper," nightmare confessor
Long time, no schmeldritch ... how the hell are you supposed to tell when we're being quiet on purpose and when it means something is kicking, you ask? When I feel compelled to get a quick laundry list out of details out, I guess. Bad puppetmaster!
Some of you might have heard that the lovely offices of GMD Studios were burgled during the summer -- who'd have thought having walls of glass were a security risk! Most notably, they stole a number of computers (including the one with the list of people to send Book 2 coins too, so we're going to need your help to recollect that information.) Most bizarrely, they stole all the extra Book 1 coins laying around the various rooms -- I can only imagine their disappointment when they tried to pawn them. A pox of crickets on their households!
Even more important, though, is a bit of pre-announcement on the Eldritch 3 Reboot. One of my goals for the Eldritch universe was always to have a structure flexible enough that we could have "guest puppetmasters" conduct entire Books in the sequence, much the way guest directors might helm an episode of an established television series. In this case, that means the best I'll be able to credit myself on this Book is as "series creator" or maybe "executive producer". Who's helming it then, you ask?
Brooke Thompson and Jan Libby. Boy are you guys in for a (trick or) treat. See you in the intermission ...
I'm in the doghouse, and I deserve to be. I'm not sure I'll make the dog collar a permanent fashion accessory (we're pretty casual around here for such elaborate bling), but it is appropriate in the short term. When clients ask me why I'm wearing a dog collar with a tag labeled "Providence," I'll explain to them that some really important people wanted to remind me that my clients are taking me away from what I'm supposed to be doing.
One day, I'll tell you the story about how the Poet snagged the Puppetmaster, the Sculptor and the Cultist up into a mad scientist project, all while Sploit got sucked into some kind of psychological testing project. Lesson: even a deep team bench can be devestated by the realities of people chasing a living (the flip side being, of course, it is so much easier if someone is paying you a wage and telling you it is your job.)
Solutions: an even deeper team bench and a recontemplation of what it means to provision them. Armchair quarterbacking yourself mid-recovery is gauche, though, and I'm already in the Lovecraftian doghouse. Why bring a knife to a rocket propelled grenade launcher fight?
Your outpouring of friendly support is amazing, and has barely felt like stalking at all! I'm humbled by it and don't take any of you for granted. I've missed you too. The pre-production wheels are already in motion of making sure we earned that support, although the proof will be in the pudding.
As any scientist will tell you, it is the unexpected result that is the most intriguing. Unfortunately, for us, the unexpected came in the form of what we call the Eldritch Curse. We can't say for sure that it's a curse. Maybe one is just not meant to play with the dark, weird, and otherworldly. Whatever the case, we've known for a year now that there is something strange and magical about working on Eldritch Errors and, with every Book, we brace ourselves for the unpredictable. From death to birth and with gunshots or car accidents, we have learned to be prepared for whatever the universe throws our way. With Book Three, easily the most intense and complex chapter to date, we knew that whatever happened, it would be big.
When I saw the full moon in the sky during the pre-dawn drive to work, I knew it was time to shutter up Schmeldritch. Otherwise, people might wonder if Book Three has started or not, and you might as well say it has: once the interludes are over, we tend to get pretty quiet here in favor of EldritchErrors.com to help new players jump in. It is always so hard to avoid indulging in one brief William Castle moment before shuttering this place up, though. It will be the first Schmeldritch post new participants stumble into for a while. This time, I might even indulge and give myself two brief moments to set that stage.
It goes without saying that the Eldritch crew thinks I'm insane, they've grown used to the mad scientist cackle coming from my office from time to time. My expectations for "Red Moon Rising" are obviously higher than they were even for "Scream in the Mountains," and after that many of us were going "holy crap!" May I recommend that experienced participants change their tin foil hats daily during Book Three and leave it at that?
For new participants, welcome to the party, you're still fashionably early. Don't worry that Eldritch Errors has been going since last April, Book Three was developed with you in mind. It was also developed with Book One participants in mind, as well, so you'll have lots to discover together. You might even argue that new participants only missed the confusing, complicated setup to the real action.
Until we see each other again, I leave you with a quote from Lovecraft: "I hate the moon - I am afraid of it - for when it shines on certain scenes familiar and loved it sometimes makes them unfamiliar and hideous."
It all started when that strange, short new staff member reported in for duty just before the holidays. It claimed it came from the "home office" and that it was paid for out of someone else's budget, but it refused to give us a picture of when it was 12 years old for our staff page (claims that was before photography was invented) and didn't want a phone extention. Mike tried to distract him with the "origami-a-day" calendar, but he was more interested in our production plans for Book Three.
I think we've managed to keep his creepy tentacles out of the storyline, but I totally blame him for falling behind on the meta materials, including the amazing stories you've been telling. I'm told they are calling it the Cthecret Cthanta Worm. We call it Worst Intern Ever, but only when we think it isn't watching us.
The Quiet Zone is one of the strangest chunks of real estate in North America, and an "alternate history" of how it came to be lies at the heart of the tale we're asking participants to dive into with Eldritch Errors. If Book One was in part inspired by real Sentries, then Book Two was inspired at least in part by the Guardian of the Quiet, Wesley Sizemore, an eye witness to the 1988 telescope collapse in Green Bank. This recent PBS & Wired Science segment on the Quiet Zone (noticed by Varin) explores the Zone further.
In Book One, we asked you to show us your creativity. For Book Two, we want to encourage something a bit more in the spirit of H.P. Lovecraft -- we want you to tap the Eldritch storyteller in you and share it with everyone else. As storytellers we believe we can use anything under the Sun to tell our story, and so we believe you can too. No messy self-addressed envelopes this time around, just a quick email to inquiry at this blog's domain with a link to where we can enjoy your EE creation and the address where we should send your participatory commemoration. Those of you who have already been telling stories can count yourself a step ahead of crowd.
We've got a mystery to share with you, too. We don't want to show you the back yet, even though there isn't anything on the back you haven't already experienced. Sometimes, though, what you choose to focus on from a Book makes a detail suddenly more significant. We owe it to you let that discovery come first from inside the narrative rather than from a commemoration of it. You'll have an opportunity early in Book 3 to clarify your understanding of something you already know, and when that happens what's on the back will seem more natural and less like a reveal.