How we got here
Hi there! I’m Michael Coorlim, and for the last eight years or so I’ve been a full time author, making money entirely from book royalties. It hasn’t been easy, and to be honest I had to become a bit of a workaholic to make things work. That suited me just fine – all I ever wanted to do was write, anyway.
I can’t deny my nature, though – I’m a gamer, and writing all the time didn’t leave me any time to play anything. I’ve always been a gamer, playing both tabletop RPGs and video games. I was trying to make my own games way back in the late 80s and early 90s, creating text parsers to write my own interactive fiction on my Atari 800 and TRS-80 microcomputers. Nothing too exciting, but clearly, the seeds were there.
Taoscordian Games began a few years ago when I decided to get into TTRPG design with Hexbox, a sandbox hexcrawl system intended to be bolted on to 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons, and Ibu: The Emerald Canopy, a campaign setting designed to work with it.
Through the years I’d continued dabbling in game development, first with TADS, Inform, Gamemaker, and Ren’Py, and more recently with Unity, Twine, and Godot. I’ve enjoyed the puzzle of how to make something work through code nearly as much as I’ve enjoyed the creation of interactive branching narrative, so tools that took care of all the code never really did it for me. I need to get all up in dem guts – programmatically speaking.
So, now I’ve gone and expanded Taoscordian Games to cover digital games as well.
Where we’re at
Taoscordian Games is going to produce two sorts of game.
I’ve got a new version of the Hexbox system in the works. It’s a free PDF, but also available as an affordable paperback. I’ll also be releasing new expansions in the Heroic Expedition series. I also intend to release worldbook tie-ins for my various book series, though I never seem to schedule enough time to work on them.
My RPG books can be found on DriveThruRPG.
I’m working with the Unity and Godot engines, with occasional forays elsewhere, and dabbling in mobile development. Right now I’ve challenged myself to what I’m calling the Minigame Marathon – small games that are quick to develop, generally centered on single game mechanics. These games are freely available to anyone who’d care to play them.
As part of the Marathon I’ve developed a simple narrative gamebook framework using Inkle’s Ink choice-based library. I’ve got a few games planned to make use of it, including some tie-ins to my Galvanic Century steampunk mysteries.
A third project I’ve been working on is a RPGMaker horror adventure, Let the World Burn. I’m not as interested in the idea of making a normal JRPG, but I do like the idea of a combat-less (or light) adventure game using the engine.
To assist with all of the above, I’ve started taking some on-line courses on pixel art.
I haven’t done much with visual art since high-school and I’d very much prefer to commission visual assets from qualified freelancers, but it’ll do for placeholder art for the time being.
Funding and Release Schedule
To raise the money to pay those freelancers I’ve got a Patreon. This is quite separate from my writing Patreon campaign, because I can’t assume that my readers are going to care about my games, or my players are going to care about my books. If you support me on Patreon, you’ll get rewards and content specific to your interests.
This also allows me to set my game release schedule:
- $5+ Patrons get new releases as soon as they’re done.
- $3 Patrons get releases a month after that.
- Public releases will lag 1 iteration behind supporter releases. So when $3 patrons get version 0.8, I’ll release 0.7 to the public, free.
All $3+ Patrons will also get final copies of everything I release during their patronage, both tabletop games and video games.
So that’s it. If you like what I do and want to support my efforts and help me fund development, consider supporting me on Patreon.