By Matt Corley – Lead Developer of Ghoul Island.
While talking with Arthur and Sandy about this Kickstarter a few weeks ago I made the innocuous comment, “I could always write an update about what’s it’s like to work with Sandy as an update?” and here I am now and this is surprisingly challenging to articulate. How do you explain what it’s like to work with someone who, quite literally shaped and built tabletop roleplaying into what it is today? Let’s just say that I put a lot of pressure on myself to bring his creation to a new system, and that Sandy made me feel comfortable and valued every step of the way.
How do you describe being on the other end of a stream of ideas and impressions coming at you like a broken fire hydrant on a hot summer day? You buckle in, take lots of notes, and don’t fight the tide too much. And that’s exactly what Sandy is, a seemingly endless supply of ideas, suggestions, and concepts. In the months that we worked together I absorbed an enormous amount of insight about games, the Mythos, and the industry at large. There was never a challenge that we weren’t able to work out (and there are always challenges in a book this size), and the level of collaboration was unparalleled. This is one of those projects in which the mentoring and personal growth will change the way I write and design games forever.
After our first phone call I had 5 pages of notes, to go with the 8 pages I already had. And that’s how we started. With each chapter, monster, and section notes were sent back and forth, little adjustments here and there (and a few big ones too). A quick glance at my saved emails and I have literally hundreds of them. In those emails we developed a rapport by bouncing ideas and suggestions back and forth; the excitement for this project never wavered, not by me or Sandy or anyone involved; we all gave it everything we had.
I am very happy with, and proud of, the book that we’ve put together. I know that you will be too. The story, challenges, creatures, and situations that your players will navigate through make it unlike any 5e product that I’ve read, and will provide a different experience that what you’ll get from other gaming systems. In a few words, Ghoul Island will occupy a unique place on your shelves, in your campaign, and in your memories for years to come.
BTW, after almost a year working with Sandy (this was the first of many collaborations) I still stop everything I’m doing when he sends me an email. The excitement hasn’t worn off, and he’s a genuinely amazing person (everyone at Petersen Games is) that has helped me (and my family) tremendously.