I grew up and currently live in New England, a place where the seasons are ever-present. A saying we have is "if you don't like the weather, wait an hour, it will change." I also grew up surrounded by stories of wishes, ancient powers, fortune-telling fish, fairies, and things that go bump in the night. A year ago, I was taken by the idea of a series of small games to celebrate the seasons and the connection between the stories we tell and the world around us. This game cycle is the result.
I specifically have in mind playing across generations and across the usual set of "people I play games with" that we all hold. To closely paraphrase Antoine de Saint Exupéry,
"let us build memories in ourselves and in each other, lest we drag out joyless lives, lest we allow treasures to be lost because we have not been given the keys. We live, not by things, but by the meanings of things. It is needful to transmit the passwords from generation to generation."
It is my hope that these games help with the creation of memories and the fulfillment of wishes.
Playing Nature's Year is a series of eight short seasonal games you can play with anybody. There are wishes, fortune-telling, collaborative stories, and lots of six-sided dice involved. In The Holly and the Ivy, you vie to be the one to catch the White Stag of Dawn - if you win the game, you get your heart's wish. Next isIn the Company of Birds, in which you and another player try to attract the most birds to nest in your tree, and how many you attract tells your fortune together. After that comes Bless the Seeds, A Branch of May, Ramble in the New-mown Hay, Hounds of the Harvest, The Bending of the Bow, and At the Stroke of Midnight. Play one or many, with anyone. Play each in it's season, or several together. Play Nature's Year.
STRETCH GOALS! Well! I am now very pleased to announce stretch goals for the Playing Nature's Year collection.
At $2,500: Naturalist Jodi Levine will write an essay on the animals associated with each season and their activities - REACHED!!! Jodi's background here began in a childhood love of animals, moved through work for a herpetology department at a zoo, and on up to being a teacher and interpreter at the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary with the Mass Audubon Society.
At $3,000: Forester Emily Care Boss will bring her knowledge of trees and plants to bear in an essay on the flora connected to each season. Emily grew up exploring the woods around her home in CT, went on to receive a degree in forestry from the University of MA, and currently works with local land trusts advising land owners on how best to manage and conserve the land and environment for future generations.
At $3,500: Food enthusiast Vincent Baker will add an essay about foods in season, possibly including recipes. Vincent has a deep and wide knowledge of foods both local and world-wide, and the connections between. Expect dashes of history mixed with flavors both familiar and unexpected.
At $4,000: Star-watcher Epidiah Ravachol will provide an essay on the stars and constellations of note in each season's sky. Eppy has always been drawn to things not of this world, spent years working at a planetarium, and continues to deepen his appreciation of all things skyward.
I am so thrilled to offer these stretch goals, and I look forward to seeing each of them!
Risks and challenges
I have no concerns about this project. For the past year, I have had a wonderful group of patrons through https://www.patreon.com/Meguey supporting the creation of this game cycle. Everything for this project is complete; the kickstarter is only to cover printing and shipping costs. The only issue that might arise is if there is considerable more interest in having Playing Nature's Year in print than I have estimated, in which case I will need to increase my print run and my trips to the post office!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)