Monday, July 31, 2017

A #BlackSpecFic 2016 Report Response

The numbers are in. In case you haven't checked them out, definitely go and read the report by Cecily Kane over at Fireside Fiction. The response pieces are also amazing and really help to flesh out the issues. In my opinion, it's all required reading if you care at all about speculative short fiction. For what follows here, it's more my own (quite white) opinions and observations on the report and the state of speculative short fiction. Needless to say, the numbers themselves continue to be rather awful, if slightly up from last year. But there's something of a story being told underneath just the numbers, and if anything it makes the report even more worrisome.

The report takes a snapshot of the last two years of original short story publications from 24 different (mostly) pro-paying markets. Abyss and Apex is something of an outlier in that respect in that it pays pro for flash fiction and less for anything longer. Technically The Book Smugglers also falls into this category, though it pays pro to a higher word count. Of perhaps more interest is to look at the age of the publications. Most of these publications, as pro-level markets, have been around a while. But there are some that are on the young side, having launched since the beginning of 2015/late 2014. These include: The Book Smugglers, Mothership Zeta, Shattered Prism, Terraform, and Uncanny. Fireside itself isn't too much older, and Diabolical Plots is another fairly new fiction venue. But let's look first at those first five. Of them, The Book Smugglers has the second least amount of stories out of any publication on the list, and no stories by black writers. Shattered Prism has the least amount of stories, and a fairly good percentage, but really only one story by a black writer. Mothership Zeta has more stories out, and one of the better percentages on the list. Similarly, both Terraform and Uncanny put out a fair amount of stories and maintain a percentage well above the average. So at first blush, the young blood's doing pretty good, yeah?

Okay, so the bad news. Shattered Prism hasn't had an update since last year and looks pretty done (though hey, it could be resurrected). Mothership Zeta is on permanent hiatus. And Terraform hasn't put out new fiction content since March. Taking those three publications out of the mix might not seem like much, but they actually represent ~20% of the stories by black writers over the last two years. Not included on the list was Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, which I imagine would have stacked up pretty well, actually (at least in the context of the looks like they published at least 2 stories by black writers between 2015-2016). They, too, have closed. Given that pretty much all of these publications were pulling the averages up, their loss to the field is more troubling than just losing some quality publications. I don't think this is a fluke, either. The younger publications seem to have more invested in reaching toward justice, perhaps at the expense of solvency, but whatever the reason, there was more reason to trust those publications based on their track record. What remains is...well, even bleaker than what we had a year ago.

But really, probably that's just me doomsinging, right? Well, I want to touch on something else briefly. Of the newer publications, only one averaged publishing over fifty stories a year (Terraform). There are eight other publications that put out at least that much: Analog, Asimov's, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Nature (Futures). Of those, all but Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, and Lightspeed have published more than one story by a black writer in the last two years. Only Lightspeed has published more than five. Let that sink in. These are the largest venues by sheer quantity of stories published. And they are among the worst statistically and just numerically. This points to a problem at the heart of speculative short fiction. At the top. So...what?

Well, it's not like the field is doing absolutely nothing about this. But what is it doing? To me, it looks like venues are going a number of routes, but they seem to fall into certain categories. For publications like Fantastic Stories and Apex, there has been a push to include more issues with guest editors. Fireside has also done this. This has certainly helped publications like Lightspeed, and I'm sure that it will help with Apex's numbers come 2017. I often hear that this is Not Good, that special issues are just gimmicks that don't actually help get at the root of the problem. My reaction to that is to say there is likely no better way for entrenched publications to help their numbers than to have a special issue replace a regular issue. Like Apex and Lightspeed, their guest-edited issues were also regular issues. If more publications did likewise, and managed to replace one month (or one issue) of "regular" content with the same amount of guest-edited content, then from a strictly numbers standpoint, there would a huge improvement. Of course, the numbers are very important. "But it doesn't do enough" I hear when this comes up. No, but you know what, it does get people paid. It does give writers publication credits. It does get their stories in front of eyes. It's valid. As someone who has been in a special issue in this sense, it helps.

But what else can publications do? Well, if guest-editors aren't a good option, then bringing on permanent editors who have a better track record of publishing widely would be even better. I'm not going to say it's the only reason for it, but The Dark seems to be publishing a bit more widely since restructuring at the top. There have been editorial shifts at a number of publications, and I'm curious to see what Strange Horizons' numbers will be next year, and Fireside has recently made a shift as well. How those moves will pan out is anyone's guess right now, but changing things at the top seems to have much more an impact than, say, adding first readers. Not that having a representative group of first readers is a bad thing.

The other thing that will be interesting to watch is what new publications crop up to take the place of those that have shuttered. I know that people will point at Fiyah and Anathema (and perhaps Arsenika and Mithila Review) to say that the field is taking steps to change. But...none of those publications will qualify for the report. Having solid semi-pro and token markets is vital, don't get me wrong. Omenana is still going strong, but it doesn't excuse the core, SFWA-qualifying markets and their failure to make progress in this area. Even if the report looks at newer pro-level markets like Gamut, Liminal Stories, Persistent Visions, and Orthogonal (if all of those publications are even around in a year), there's simply no way for a handful of publications putting out 20-40 stories to have enough of an impact on the field to really drive change. Not that even that isn't necessary. But looking to new publications that likely won't last more than a few years to patch the holes in a field where the largest and most secure publications are doing nothing to help is only continuing the marginalization that led to the problem in the first place.

But what can we do? As readers. As fans.

I hesitate to say we need to drop our support of those publications that are awful with their stats. Not, mind you, because I think those publications are doing a good job. But because I know that there are enough people that Do. Not. Care. that if people who cared started dropping their subscriptions, the publications hurt most would likely be those already trying to do better. We'd lose the 4%-6% publications (because they are more vulnerable) while the >2% publications would continue on. The answer to problems is not only to break away and form our own, separate thing. It's part of the answer, certainly. But the other part is to be loud. You know how people are calling and writing in to their politicians? Well, letters to the editor are a long tradition in publishing. Maybe send off a (polite, non-harassing) email asking if the editors have seen the #BlackSpecFic report. Most publications have contact info. Maybe ask if they have strategies for doing better. Maybe ask for them to make a statement. The change, I believe, has to come from within. Which means that those at the top now have to feel the pressure to change. To do better. They have to be told that their readers want more stories by black writers. Because otherwise they can pretend they just didn't know. So take away that willful ignorance. Ask questions. Check to see how the publications allow feedback. Contact them.

Otherwise, do try to support good actors. Do try to reward publications for taking risks and striving to do better. I know that money is not unlimited. It's not the case that we can just grow a better, bigger field out of all that extra cast we just have lying about. We do have to change what's here already, what's entrenched. But we can help publications that are trying to continue their work. So keep informed, and do what you can. Subscribe, or donate to fund raisers, or write reviews, or share links. Try to widen cracks in the walls keeping marginalized writers out of SFF. And listen. The #BlackSpecFic content that Fireside is releasing is a great place to start. But seek out more. Educate yourself. And hopefully we won't be back every year with the same numbers and the same issues.


POSTED BY: Charles, avid reader, reviewer, and sometimes writer of speculative fiction. Contributor to Nerds of a Feather since 2014.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Microreview [film]: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets by Luc Besson (director)

Distracting Bright Lights

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is going to be a movie you either love or you hate. There's no lack of dour, dystopian sci-fi films out there, and Valerian rejects all of that. It's a colorful, fun, exciting adventure with some serious flaws that a lot of people are going to find hard to overlook.

The plot follows agents Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) as they are sent on a mission to retrieve a one-of-a-kind object that belongs to a long-dead civilization. This object, however, is part of a more vast mystery of a deadly, growing threat within the super space station Alpha, where millions of species trade and share their knowledge. Valerian and Laureline have to find what threatens Alpha and stop it.

I'm not going to sugarcoat this; you're going to be able to guess the entire plot from maybe the first 30 minutes. Also, you're going to notice that DeHaan and Delevingne have some very questionable chemistry. These two things will be what kills this movie for you if anything will.

Are you still with me? Because what's great about this movie is the pure adventure of it. This movie is the best parts of Star Wars and Mass Effect and Guardians of the Galaxy. Countless alien species, seedy underworlds, sinister governments, spaceship chase scenes, and endless bright lights and colors. The weak plot and acting aren't the point of this movie. It's entertainment, and this movie is entertaining.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets stands out for being focused on spectacle more than anything. It's fun from beginning to end, even with a simple plot and fairly flat acting. If you're willing to put those things aside, you're in for a good time. 

The Math

Baseline Assessment: 6/10

Bonuses: +1 non-stop action from beginning to end

Penalties: -1 comic book plot with comic book acting

Nerd Coefficient: 6/10 (still enjoyable, but the flaws are hard to ignore)


POSTED BY: brian, sci-fi/fantasy/video game dork and contributor since 2014

Reference: Besson, Luc (director). Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets [STX Entertainment, 2017] 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thursday Morning Superhero: SDCC Recap

Last week was a flurry of pop culture, crowds, long lines, and a minor scandal in San Diego as the nerds arrived four days of panels, swag and fun. While I didn't manage to accomplish everything on my SDCC checklist, I am happy to report that the good folks with Comic Con International hosted another successful convention for over 160,000 nerds. Breaking from tradition, I decided to base my recap on trends I noticed during the show.

Laika Steals the Show:
Some of the props brought to SDCC
by Laika Studios.
Laika Studios brought the Laika Experience to the Gas Lamp and took over a gallery on 5th Ave. The good folk from Laika filled the gallery with scenes, puppets, and props that were used in the filming of Coraline, Paranorman, The Box Trolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings. What I thought would be a simple stop in and check everything out, turned into a guided tour from employees from Laika Studios.  This additional touch made the whole experience more personal and provided incredible insight into the amazing world of the four films.  Seeing the hand-made creations up close, learning about the animation process, and hearing directly from people involved in the project gave me an even greater appreciation of the films that my whole family already thoroughly enjoy. Definitely some of the nicest people that I interacted with in San Diego and an event that I hope everyone in San Diego had the chance to experience. To top it off they brought the limited Nike shoes that were created in honor of each film and even gave a few pairs away.

Derf Backderf at the My Friend
Dahmer panel.
Hidden Gems:
My Friend Dahmer Panel
When I heard that they were turning the Eisner Award winning graphic novel from Derf Backderf into a feature film, I was excited and extremely skeptical. This panel, hosted in the Horton Grand Theater, completely erased any skepticism that I had. The panel opened with a trailer for the film, and I had chills. Ross Lynch, who is best known for his acting for Disney TV, absolutely shined in his role as Jeffrey Dahmer. Throughout the panel, it became clear that the director, Marc Meyers, wanted to remain very true to the first hand account of Dahmer in high school as told in Backderf's graphic novel. Not only did they film in the Dahmer house, but Backderf had such faith in Meyers and company that he didn't spend much time on set. This demonstrates that Backderf had faith in Meyers and crew and didn't feel the need to interrupt the creative process. Backderf stated that he stopped by, but through conversations with Meyers had no doubt that the adaptation would be true to the source material. It is expected to hit theaters in November and enjoy the trailer below!

A drawing of Cobra Commander
from when Gabriel Rodriguez
was a kid.
Gabriel Rodriguez Panel
I wish more people would have taken the time to hear Gabriel Rodriguez speak about his career in comics.  Coming from an architecture background and growing up in Chile, Rodriguez was able to find a home at IDW comics that started by his ability to draw likenesses for licensed comics. He really became a star at IDW with his work on Locke and Key, which then opened the door for his work on Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland and for his first solo project.  Rodriguez is writing and drawing Sword of Ages, which should find its way to shelves in October. From what I have heard from friends who know Rodriguez and from how he spoke on the panel and interacted with fans after, he seems like one of the nicest and most talented individuals in this industry.  I really look forward to his first creator owned project and can't wait to read Sword of Ages.

Mr. Robot Puzzle
The final clue to the phone
One of the biggest surprises that I stumbled on at SDCC was the Mr. Robot off-site. While I don't currently watch the show, I am going to start watching soon as it really made me intrigued about what the show was all about. On the surface the off-site was a great treat for fans, providing $20 worth of credit in e-Coin, a currency used in the show.  After waiting in line for a bank card, fans were treated to lunch and a list of retailers in San Diego that you could spend your e-Coin balance. If you asked the host if the Red Wagon BBQ was hiring, you were presented a job application that spelled out a series of clues. If you successfully deciphered the codes, you were given a passphrase and a phone number. When you spoke the passphrase to the person who answered the phone, you were instructed to bring your application to a specific intersection at a specific time. Curious about what this would entail, I was waiting on the corner when a man dressed in a black leather jacked quietly asked if I was Mike. Upon confirming this fact I was led into a secret room, my phone was confiscated, and I was face to face in an interview with a man wearing a demon mask and caught up living a scene from the show.  It was one of the most surreal experiences I have had at SDCC and has me extremely curious about what Mr. Robot is and plan on tuning in.

More Immersive Experiences:
Blade Runner 2049
While I didn't get a chance to check this off-site experience out, one of my friends went through and commented at how truly immersive his experience was.  It started with a VR chase that ended in a crash.  Upon removing the VR headset, he emerged in a gigantic tent that felt like a set from the movie. Complete with the crashed vehicle he just experienced in the VR and actors spread throughout the set, fans who braved the long lines were able to fully immerse themselves in the world that Phillip K. Dick created.  I was bummed to miss out, but happy to hear about what a great experience it was.

One of the most talked about off-sites at SDCC was Westworld. The lucky fans who were able to book appointments, were able to check-in and register to attend the Westworld theme park from the HBO show. Once they made it to the hotel, fans changed into complete western attire and entered a room that, similar to Blade Runner, put them in what felt like an actual set from the show.  After interacting with the characters in the room, fans got to keep their cowboy hats as a prize and left knowing they experienced an extremely selective event at SDCC.

Moving Forward:
Wristband counterfeiting
What should have been an exciting Saturday in Hall H featuring Stranger Things 2 and Marvel was marred by 300-400 fans not making into the Hall due to wristband counterfeiting. SDCC responded quickly and provided fair compensation, but we are almost guaranteed to see big changes in how admission into Hall H is handled in 2018. I may be in the minority, but I would like to see a lottery and a decrease in the number of fans camping out for days at a time. It always seemed like a huge safety concern from my perspective.

Badge improvement
Last year CCI introduced RFID enabled badges with pretty good success. Attendees had to scan badges to enter and exit the convention center and while it had the occasional snafu, appeared to limit the number of fake badges and the convention floor felt noticeably less crowded. I didn't hear of any issues this year and the crowd seemed used to the scanning in and out process and flowed well. I wouldn't be surprised to see this expanded on in terms of helping with Hall H, but time will tell.

This is just a snippet of the offerings that SDCC has each and every year. If you are interested in attending you should register for a Comic Con ID and hope you have some good karma when badges go on sale for 2018.

POSTED BY MIKE N. aka Victor Domashev -- comic guy, proudly raising nerdy kids, and Nerds of a Feather contributor since 2012.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer Reading List 2017: Chloe

I always long for the reading days of summer. During the school year, I mostly read student papers, journal articles, and get my “fun” reading in with online literary journals and the occasional full book. My plans for most summers are to read at least 100 books for pleasure, alongside rereads of old favorites. This summer, though, I’ve been extra busy and have also been designing a new syllabus, reading research books for a novel, and readings a bunch of books on pedagogy and multimodal communication/composition. So, I’ve cut my planned pleasure reads down to 60 and only a few rereads. *cue sad harp music here* So, I’m trying to capitalize on less books by instead having an even wider array of books than usual. Here are six of yet to be read pile (I’ve only read 35 of 60 so far, so I best get on it).

Image result for the book of joanThe Book of Joan by Lidia Yukanivitch. Sci-fi: check. Language and politics: check. Interesting take on gender: check. This book ticks all my boxes, so hopefully it’ll live up the praise it’s been getting from literally everyone.

Image result for october china mievilleOctober by: China Mieville. One of my favorite sff writers takes on non-fiction with this account of the Russian revolution.

Image result for wonderbookWonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer. These writing prompts, essays on writing, and fun illustrations serve two purposes (research for my syllabus and reading for pleasure because ILLUSTRATIONS).

Image result for globalecticsGlobalectics by Ngugi wa Thiong ‘o. One of my favorite authors (seriously, everyone, please read Wizard of the Crow) writing about the issues that have always been prevalent in his books: the politics of language and translation, oral storytelling versus written, and national vs world literature.

Image result for the kissing booth girlThe Kissing Booth Girl and Other Stories by AC Wise. I love Wise’s work and her generosity to her characters and humanity. The few stories from here, I’ve read so far, have been delights.

Image result for the magpie murdersThe Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. I love a mystery and I also love some of the mystery shows Horowitz has written for (primarily Foyle’s War which is a favorite of mine).

POSTED BY: Chloe, speculative fiction fan in all forms, monster theorist, and Nerds of a Feather blogger since 2016. Find her on Twitter @PintsNCupcakes.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

6 Books with Robyn Bennis

Robyn Bennis is an author and scientist living in Mountain View, California, where she consults in biotech but dreams of airships. The Guns Above is her debut novel. 

Today she shares her 6 books with us...

1. What book are you currently reading?

I'm 50 pages into Neon Lights by Zig Zag Claybourne, and it's genius. I usually don't enjoy books about writers, but the smart, witty dialogue and the depth of the characters won me over right away. As soon as I finish answering these questions, I'm going right back to it.

2. What upcoming book you are really excited about?

I can't wait to read the Demon Spring series by S. Usher Evans. It's an urban fantasy about demon hunters in Atlanta, and it sounds absolutely wild. The first book, Resurgence, comes out in February, and I'm afraid that I might melt into a puddle of anticipation if I have to wait that long.


3. Is there a book you're currently itching to re-read?

I would answer "the entire Aubrey-Maturin series," but I'm always itching to re-read those, so I'm not sure it counts. A more notable yearning would be Matt Ruff's Sewer, Gas, and Electric. It's one of his earlier books, and I believe it's less known, but it already shows the quirky characters and thoughtful commentary he's become famous for.


4. How about a book you've changed your mind about over time--either positively or negatively?

That has to be Breakfast of Champions. When I was younger, I thought it was the coolest book ever written, and that Vonnegut was the most woke author in history for calling European colonists "sea pirates." I recently re-read it and, while it's still a lot of fun, I had to cringe at the pretentiousness and faux-progressivism I once admired.

5. What's one book, which you read as a child or young adult, that has had a lasting influence on your writing?

I can think of a few, but the most influential has to be Tom Sawyer. I didn't grow up in a bookish household, but we did have a copy of Tom Sawyer, and I read the crap out of it. Ever since, I've aspired to Twain's effortless wit and ability to make biting commentary while still maintaining a light tone.

6. And speaking of that, what's *your* latest book, and why is it awesome?

My latest is The Guns Above. It's jam-packed with action, intrigue, and Twainesque wit. Add airships and ladies who shoot people, and you can bet that your friends are going to make fun of you if you haven't read it.

POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 2017 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Writer / Editor of the mostly defunct Adventures in Reading since 2004. Minnesotan.

Monday, July 24, 2017

FIRESIDE CHAT with David Zuckman of Obscure Reference Games

Welcome to another installment of our Fireside Chats! Today's special guest is David Zuckman, the founder of Obscure Reference Games that just successfully published its first game, Overlords of Infamy.   Please join us as we talk Kickstarter and the booming boardgame industry.
What motivated you to create Overlords of Infamy and start your own board game publishing company?
As with most good ideas, Overlords of Infamy started out as a joke between friends. I had the thought that it would be hilarious to have Super Villains doing dastardly things like "Making people's socks damp", and "stealing candy from babies". I shared this with some of my close friends and we spent most of the day joking about it, coming up with more and more ideas. By the end of the day, I had a nagging idea to turn it into a game. The rest, as they say, is history.
The board game industry has been growing rapidly over the past four or five years.  How does this impact you as a game publisher and what role does a small publisher like Obscure Reference Games play?
I feel like the industry is in the best place it has been, probably ever. Right now there is nothing stopping unique and interesting ideas from smaller publishers from seeing their way to market and the general public. Avenues like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo remove a lot of the restrictions and gateways that previously held back independent designers and publishers. Many people can argue about the virtues of allowing scores of new games coming out each year, but I think it is fantastic. There is truly something available for every gamer at this point. 
I don’t think many people appreciate how much time and energy goes into creating a game.  What was the most frustrating part of the process and what advice would you give someone wanting to attempt a similar endeavor?
The most frustrating part of creating this game was finding artists that worked well for the ideas we came up with. Ultimately, we were very happy with the artists that we ended up with, but it took a lot of time and money to get to that point. I would recommend that when you are early in the process of making the game, don't worry about including intricate art. You likely only need just enough artwork to make sure your ideas are properly presented. Worry about artwork when you are closer to having a completed game and are ready to show it to strangers. 
Even though your Kickstarter was successful, what lessons did you learn from using the crowdfunding route to publish your first game?
I learned a lot about how we present our project. The artwork that we used on Kickstarter was almost entirely replaced for the final game. I am certain we would have earned even more during the campaign if we had the finalized artwork back then that we do now.  
Overlords of Infamy features a variety of gameplays, including resource management, tile laying, and worker placement.  Was it difficult to integrate all of these systems into one game?
I really thought it would be, but they honestly work really well together. I had been playing a good deal of games with similar mechanisms, so I had them fresh in my mind while designing Overlords. I am very pleased with how the mix of mechanisms flow during game play. 
I love the idea of playing as the bad guy.  It reminds me of playing Dungeon Keeper on the PC way back in the day.  What inspired you to flip the role and put the bad guys at the front and center?
I think the popularity of Grand Theft Auto, and similar games show that people in general really enjoy taking on the role of the bad guy in instances where there are no real world effects and consequences, and I am no different. It's an escape from the real world and gives a perspective that we would not get otherwise. However, the most alluring thought I had about this concept was making the Evil Overlords believe they were doing truly evil things, when in reality, most things they were doing were just simple annoyances. That just makes the entire situation hilarious to me!
From watching your video on Kickstarter to reading the profiles of Obscure Reference Games, it seems that humor is important to you.  What types of humor influences your staff and what obscure reference are you most proud of in your first game?  Did I catch a Mr. Show reference in terms of blowing up the moon?
Humor is incredibly important to us. If I can make someone laugh, I feel like I have done a good deed for the day. Dry humor, physical humor, and sarcasm make up quite a bit of our repertoire. We love obscure references, as our name implies, and it is hard to pick just one. If pressed, I would have to say my favorite would be "Build a Wall and Make the Kingdom of Good Pay For It". Or one of the Princess Bride references. Or a Spaceballs reference. Or the Dodgeball reference. It's so hard to pick! 
To your last question....maybe.
I know you just got back from Origins.  Was this your first board game convention you attended as a publisher?  What was that experience like?  Are you planning on attending any other conventions?
We've been doing conventions since early 2015, and during those early ones we would just bring our prototype and let people know it would be on Kickstarter "soon". We went to several local conventions in LA, such as Strategicon, which is a fantastic con that happens 3 times each year. We've been to many others since then, such as Wondercon, and San Diego Comic Con. 
Origins 2015 was our first MAJOR convention though, and we have been back every year since. I can safely say that Origins is my favorite convention to attend and I look forward to it every year. I'll be going to Gen Con this year as well to help out Leder Games with Vast and Deep!

In the future I hope to be able to exhibit at BGG Con, Dice tower Con, and others!
If you could acquire any creative license to create a board game, what license would you use and why?
Oh this is a tough one....I think I would have to go with Spaceballs, mainly due to my deep love of all things Mel Brooks and Star Wars. If I could design a game that captures even a fraction of the fun I have with those movies, I would be ecstatic. 
What does the future hold for Obscure Reference Games?
We are working on our next games right now. We have a lot of ideas we are fleshing out, but the one that is furthest along is Dimensions of Discord Online. DoDO is a tabletop game, using mostly just cards, in which you are a guild leader in an MMORPG, such as Final Fantasy XI or WoW. 
The goal is to be the most reputable guild on your server. To do so, you will recruit players to your guild and send them into Raids, or after Monstrous Foes (world spawn bosses) to collect reputation and "loot", the two currencies of the game that you use to recruit players and buy items from the Auction House. Monstrous Foes and Raid Bosses also have the potential to yield equipment items and mounts that you can give to your Guild Members to make them more effective and worth more reputation when you add up your score at the end of the game. I am also including a PvP arena, and Guild Halls that you need to upgrade to increase the size of your guild and number of items you can hold at one time. 

One of the concepts I am really excited about is that each Member you can recruit is only
"online" at certain times of day, so you can only group together guild members who share at least one block of time online.

This one is still in the early stages, but I will be talking a lot more about it in the future, especially when I start public play tests. 
Thanks for taking the time to chat and I look forward to checking out Dimensions of Discord Online and maybe meeting up at San Diego Comic Con!

POSTED BY MIKE N. aka Victor Domashev -- comic guy, proudly raising nerdy kids, and Nerds of a Feather contributor since 2012.