Descent into Midnight

Created by Richard Kreutz-Landry

A roleplaying game about community, family, and hope on an aquatic world. Descent into Midnight is a Powered by the Apocalypse game where the players take on the role of psionic alien sea creatures who are defending their home from an otherworldly Corruption.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

More cityscape art and week 5 update
about 2 years ago – Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 10:14:41 PM

We've got a writing/personal update plus some new art!

On the personal and writing fronts, things continued to be tough this week. Thursday in particular was a hard day, but it's done now and I was able to take the weekend to recharge and I'm ready to jump back in. I'm setting a goal of at least one hour of writing/work on the game per day. I'm incredibly grateful to be able to work full time from home right now, and the time that would have gone into my commute I can now translate directly into work on the game.

On a lighter note, I got the pleasure of running Lobsters & F-eel-ings for the Dugongs and Seadragons crew and it got absolutely buck wild. Sea cucumber bazookas, an evil underwater restaurant run by Gordon Ramsay and Paul Hollywood, a sea urchin impersonating Jennifer Lopez doing a Cher song and dance number, and that's all before Cthulhu showed up! They'll be featuring the recording on their podcast feed at some point, but (as they say) if nautical nonsense be something ye wish, I'd highly recommend checking the game out for yourself.

We've also been slowly refining the Playbook layouts. We're taking all the things we've learned over three years of development of the game and getting everything just right.

Also, Devon has continued to wow us with the cityscape art. This piece is still in progress but we couldn't resist showing it off. Almost all of these cityscapes are coming directly from requirements submitted by our high level backers, and we're thrilled to see your ideas coming to life!

Octopus-humanoid hybrid raising their arms in the shadow of a giant sea urchin toward a swirling mass of water and light surrounded by undersea columns.

Finally, I want to thank all of you again. Every time I get an art update, or a message that something is ready to look over, or a new idea from the design team, I'm grateful all over again that this is becoming a reality.

Health and safety to all of you

- Richard and the Descent into Midnight team

Lobsters & F-eel-ings and Week 4 Update
about 2 years ago – Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 11:53:11 PM

This will be a short update. The update is coming a day late because I was exhausted last night when I would normally have written this. I'll be honest, it's been a rough week personally. I won't go into too many details, but it has made it difficult to write for the game. I needed a break, so I spent a little time doing something very silly just for fun:

Lobsters & F-eel-ings, a silly game about sea creatures that could fit on one page if we decide to hand it off to one of our layout folks. It's a light-hearted hack of John Harper's Lasers & Feelings that is as goofy as the puns are bad. So... very.

With regard to Descent into Midnight, we have, however, continued to make forward progress. We have continued to send regular payments for the work the team is doing, including completing two backer character illustrations by Taylor Livingston (shown below), and an update on one of the backer city scape illustrations (to be shown in a future update)!

G'joob, an ancient walrus with scrimshawed tusks, a monocle, a water cape, and a pierced tail with many rings.
Mirra, a faceless octopoid mer-creature with a set of dramatic pointed pauldrons and collar formed from her own body.

This week, I'll be setting aside some structured time to write that should allow me to finish off the drafts of the playbooks.

This week's words of encouragement are simple: rest if you need to and you can. All the hard stuff is magnified right now, so those things that you enjoy are more precious than ever. I needed a laugh this week, so I made one of the silliest things I've ever made, and it helped.

Love and well wishes from all of us,

-Richard and the Descent into Midnight team

Surveys and Week 3 Update
about 2 years ago – Mon, Apr 06, 2020 at 01:07:08 AM

The big two pieces of news this week are that we got the money from Kickstarter and we've sent out surveys!

Week 3  Progress

  • Sent out surveys: We sent a test batch of BackerKit surveys on Friday, and after that appeared to go off without a hitch, we sent out the rest of the surveys tonight. If you're not sure what to do with your donated copy, we've got over two dozen libraries who want copies, so feel free to select the option to let us find a home for them. We've got plenty of people looking for books.
  • Got the Big Check from Kickstarter: We now have the funding in hand. We paid out our March invoices to our team who are working hourly, and paid Tracy for their work consulting on the Kickstarter. We've also reached out to the StreamPunks to start figuring out how/when we'll be proceeding with that, but obviously in these strange times the logistics are going to be a bit more complicated. We'll keep you all in the loop as we find out more.
  • Reviewed thumbnail sketches for another of the interior city art pieces by Devon George: Today, we received an exciting set of thumbnail sketches from Devon for one of the backer-inspired city art pieces. As ever, we're incredibly excited by it, and we'll share it as the piece comes along.
  • Recorded an interview for the Marine Conservation Happy Hour podcast: If you've ever wondered what it would be like to hang out with some marine biologists and have a few drinks and shoot the bull about cool marine science topics, this is the podcast for you. I rounded up a bunch of random drinks from the pantry and dove headfirst into this recording session without breakfast, so it was a fun one.

A Word of Encouragement

Last week we talked about productivity and how important it is to be kind to yourself. This was, personally, a tough week for the team. I (Richard) had to deal with a loss in the family, and while I'm thankfully employed full time and able to work from home, several of my wife's coworkers are in a very bad spot at the moment. I really had to dig deep to take my own advice this week and allow myself to be okay with not being okay.

We're continuing to move forward on the project, but I've got an ask for everyone this week. If you're reading this, go find a picture of a cute cat, a puppy, or something that brings you joy and share it with somebody you care about.

Gray and white cat covering their eyes and trying to sleep.

This is the "supervisor" for the project, deciding that it's probably time for lights-out and getting some rest, so that's what I'm going to do. Hope all of you are well, and taking care of each other,

-Richard and the Descent into Midnight Team

New Art & Week 2 Update
about 2 years ago – Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 09:59:27 PM

We’re two weeks out from the campaign and we’re excited to share some new artwork from Devon George! This is the city inspired by your votes on the Twitter polls we ran during the ramp up to the campaign.

Luminous shrimp swimming up from market past giant skull to the surface.

Week 2  Progress

  •  Paid our fiction authors: We got close enough to the $55,000 stretch goal that we decided to bring Brandon in, and we have contracts signed and payments made to the them. We know Aly has already started the research for the piece and we’re excited by what we’ve heard so far.
  • Completed Art of Twitter poll city: Devon is producing full color illustrations of several aquatic cities for the book and this is just the first. For those of you at the highest backer tiers, you can see what they were able to do with just the short description from the polls we ran.
  •  Finished drafts of the Awakened and Cultivator playbooks for copy editing: We have now revised the first two playbooks and have them ready for copy editing. They’ll go through iterations based on that feedback but they’ll then be locked for layout and finalized.

A Word of Encouragement

This week wasn’t our most productive on this project, but that’s okay. We’re still figuring out how to adjust to the situation around us. We’d like to encourage everyone, if you can, to be kind to yourself. Whatever that looks like, congratulate yourself for the things that you are accomplishing, even if that’s just putting on pants or cooking a meal or just getting out of bed.

Health, love, and strength from all of us,

 -Richard

Week 1 Update
over 2 years ago – Mon, Mar 23, 2020 at 12:45:31 AM

We're one week out from the campaign and despite all the things happening in the world right now, we're hard at work. Before we get into the details of the this week's progress, we wanted to take a moment to wish everyone health and safety.

Update Format

We want to be as transparent as possible with the process so you all know exactly what's going on with the project as we move forward. Just like we developed and playtested the game publicly, we're going to finish the game publicly. I'll be posting a weekly update with a bullet list of tasks we accomplished.

One of the my goals with this project, beyond publishing Descent into Midnight, is to collect as much information as possible about how to prepare for an indie RPG Kickstarter and self publishing in the same way that Multitude and the Bello Collective have created documentation for how to start/run a podcast. We can't hire all the amazing people in the community we want to, but at least we can at least provide resources to make it easier for folks to do the work they love and crowdfund it.

Week 1 Progress

  • Opened the BackerKit pre-order store. If anyone you know would love the game but didn't back the campaign, no worries! They can still pre-order while we finish the book. The current plan is to print the books in fall, so there's plenty of time. 
  • Reserved an ISBN number. We need more information to generate the metadata and the barcode, but we've purchased it.
  • Created a workflow for finalizing the playbooks. I'm writing the final drafts, submitting them to I-Hsien for copy editing, iterating, then doing a final check in with the design team. After that, they'll be locked and passed over to the layout team.
  • Identified libraries who want donated copies. We reached out to the American Library Association Games and Gaming Round Table group on Facebook and received over two dozen responses so far from librarians who want donated copies of the book. If you don't have a specific recipient in mind for your donated copy, we'll make sure it finds a good home!
  • Sent setting brief / requirements document to fiction authors. I've now passed along the information the authors for the short fiction stretch goal rewards will need to start their work. Because we ended up so close to the $55,000 stretch goal, we'll be creating a short collection of stories that includes work by both Aly and Brandon, along with bonus contributor Olivia Hill, author of the new tabletop RPG #iHunt, about monster hunting in the gig economy. We're giving our authors plenty of time, and expect to deliver the collection around the time we're planning to deliver the books (December of 2020), though if everyone delivers early, we'll get it out to you as soon as it's ready.

Word of Encouragement

Times are pretty rough at the moment. I'd ask that if you can, find a way to help. Even if that means just taking a moment to do something nice for yourself, to breathe, to dig out that holiday scented hand soap you save for special occasions, to text somebody a goofy thing that made you laugh. Whatever.

Wash your hands. Remind the people who you care about that you love them. We all have something to offer ourselves and our communities right now.

Sending love and care from all of us,

Richard