We’ve made many, many statements and posts on Twitter speaking out against police violence and in support of Black Lives Matter. But we dropped the ball on Facebook, LinkedIn and our blog. It’s important for us (all of us) to use our voice wherever we are and make clear our stance against racism, institutionalized injustice, and police brutality. You have our apologies for not making our support plain and upfront on these other platforms sooner.
NeverEnding is a small startup. We don’t have a lot of money (understatement). We don’t have a lot of followers (yet). What we have is a big dream to change the face of tabletop roleplaying games by creating the tools that allow players and dungeon masters to see themselves in their games and better share their stories.
Allowing players to see themselves in their games has been one of our goals since the beginning. We’re working hard to make it a reality with our character builder, scene builder and video animator.
We realized early on, that if we want people to be able to create characters that looked like them, the character builder would be a critical first step. Being able to have a character with naturally curly hair and choosing from a variety of skin tones needs to be a given – but there are other aspects that get missed beyond hair and skin tone. Little things like glasses or freckles can make a difference. Having different body types that are maybe more average or curvier than the typical superhero can make the game better for many. Having a variety of ways someone can feel represented helps them enjoy the game more.
So, we’re doing all of that and more. It’s important you feel like you’re reflected in your game – if that’s what you want. But it isn’t just so you can feel represented. A diverse character builder might be a virtual way of exposing more people to others who look different from them. For example, one of the reasons we included prosthetics in our builder as a base feature is to dispel the idea of disabled people as inherently weak or helpless or broken.
We’re also creating hairstyles and clothing options that reflect non-European cultures as well. There’s nothing wrong with the traditional knight in platemail that we’ve come to expect in the typical medieval tropes of many TTRPGs. But those tropes don’t have to preclude us including options based off of the beautiful beaded coats worn by the Baggara warriors from northern Africa in the late 18th century or the spiked armor of an Indian executioner from the same period. There are many, many rich and gorgeous cultures around the globe. We want to explore them with you. One of the places we’re consciously pulling inspiration from right now is the variety of cultures and peoples of Africa. For too long there’s been this idea of Africa and her people being “less than” or a monoculture. Nothing could be further from the truth. We want to work with artists and experts to reveal and display the myriad gems of splendor available from those storied lands.
This is a huge undertaking. Exhausting and sometimes scary. There is a LOT of art to be created in our platform and a lot of programming work still to be done. We have high hopes. We have plans. We won’t get there all at once – and we hope people have patience with us along the journey.
I recognize now that, even though we’re small, we also have opportunities to lift people up as we try to do something amazing. We have a Kickstarter June 12. We’re planning stretch goals. Initially, I was hoping to connect with some bigger name established artists. I realized today that all those artists started off small and became big, because more people saw their art. With that in mind, I am putting out the call for artists of color who’d like to help us develop and fulfill stretch goals for the character builder and the scene builder (both critical components for our animator). We only have 9 days to plan things out, but we can work together on figuring some specifics as the days go on.
A shortlist of what we’re thinking includes backgrounds and props reflective of different areas and environments around the world, hairstyles and facial hair as well as clothing and armor inspired by West Africa, Thailand, and other places, monsters from other mythologies. The list could go on.
We do have a certain art style. We have always planned on expanding it, and that can be part of the discussion as well. We will put some priority on artists who think they can fit within our style and help us expand our options – but we want to hear from anyone with ideas for how we can make this bigger and better.
Send portfolio links to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s change the face of TTRPGs together.
Jamie Van Doren
PS: No, this will not be the only opportunity for black creatives and others to work with us. The road ahead is long. There’s plenty of room for us to walk together later.
We have a very special update to share with all of our friends and fans!
After polls on Twitter, Facebook, and to our email subscribers, we heard you loud and clear. It seems like nearly everyone wants to try out one of the basic features of the platform/app ASAP. So, we’ve moved our Kickstarter launch date to June 12th. Why? So we can premiere our super awesome character builder right away (like you asked us to do)!
We know that once you test it, you’ll be hooked and want to help us bring you more and better features by backing us on Kickstarter! Our character builder will let you customize facial features, hair, body type, and the outfit – so you can create a unique character portrait. It won’t have ALL the bells and whistles (or options) of the final version – but you get to try it for FREE!
Expect to see it on the site, prior to June 12th. We had an overwhelmingly positive response to this idea, so we hope to see you testing and playing with our character builder as soon as it’s available!
With our Kickstarter fast approaching, we want to ensure people are actually interested in the platform. One way to gauge interest is how many people join our Pre-Kickstarter Email List.
Because we want THE happiest fans, we’re doing a giveaway! (*shouts* *hoots* *whistles*)
For the next 2 weeks, we’ll do a drawing when we hit the following email subscriber milestones:
50, 100, 200, 300, 500, 700, 1000.
What are we giving away? SO MUCH!
- We have a Reaper mini: Sister Hazel, Plague Doctor
- The D&D Bestiary Mini Notebooks
- Multiple miniature boosters: Pathfinder Battles: The Rusty Dragon Inn, Icons of the Realms: Tomb of Annihilation, and Icons of the Realms: Descent into Avernus
- Plus so many healing potions for your table!
Given the odds (and the cool loot) the faster you sign up, the better! Not to mention the deadline to hit milestones for the giveaway is April 21, 2020.
Additionally, if you share a post on Twitter or Facebook about the giveaway, tag us, and email us a link to your post, you’ll be entered into a separate drawing for a super cool, extra special giveaway.
What is this “super cool, extra special giveaway” you ask? Shhhhhhh. It’s a Secret. We’ll let you know once we hit our second milestone of 100 email subscribers.