especially fun to see the original source material."
-Erol Otus, artist and author
"Oh my god, you people really are insane, aren't you?"
-Brian Boucher, editor, Art in America
"The streamlined mechanics, side-scrolling play, and quirky-yet-compelling character concept should grab experienced and potential gamers alike. It's easy and fun."
-David Maddux, playtester
-Erin Switzer, MsC/PhD candidate studying octopus immunology for aquaculture, School of Marine Science, University of Maine."What a delight to see how far Dolphins have lodged themselves in our lives and hearts. Everything Is Dolphins is a game which invites us to play with them in their own watery world and discover for ourselves the depth of affinity with share with our mammalian cousins of the oceans.
Everything is Dolphins distinguishes itself in both its ingenuity and its wonderful array of original illustrations, ranging from the charmingly naif to the most superbly rendered realism, and all by a score of different artists.
Whether you appreciate it as a beautiful art book, or enjoy throwing yourself into a fascinating game, Everything Is Dolphins will stimulate your imagination, encourage your creativity, and likely seep those telepathic dolphins in your dreamworld."
-Timothy Wyllie, author of The Helianx Proposition, or The Return of the Rainbow Serpent, and Dolphins, ETs, & Angels
BONUS REWARD SET AT $4000
If we reach $4000 we will give everyone from the $12 Reward Level up a free PDF of four or five adventures. This might include mystical wonder adventures like "The Lilly of the Marianas Trench", nailbiters like "Everything in the Ocean Wants to Kill You", and the SC1-4 series "Against the Shrimp Cult" series. How magic is that?
WHAT IS THIS?
Everything is Dolphins is a role playing game hovering somewhere between side scroller video game, talking animal fairy tale, and triptastic fun. It's a pen and paper RPG that you play at a table, not a computer RPG - don't be confused. It's also an art book with work by a selection of high and low and elsewhere artists.
This is the first book in a forthcoming series, The Hutchingsonian Presents, texts that occupy the Bermuda Triangle between game history, game play, and high art.
The Hutchingsonian Institution has grown out of a project I manage, the Play Generated Map and Document Archive. PlaGMaDA collects and preserves gaming ephemera created for or during actual game play. Used character sheets, game maps, notes and scribbles: any mark made on paper is fair game. The conceit of the archive is that game ephemera are a sort of folk art, and have a value both aesthetic and academic. Such items usually wind up in trash bins, but PlaGMaDA aims to interrupt that process and preserve these items for the future.
The Cranbrook Academy of Art, The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool, and the Nikolaj Kunsthall in Copenhagen are just a few of the institutions that have organized exhibitions of materials from the PlaGMaDA archive.
PlaGMaDA depends on donations of ephemera from people like you, and people like your old gaming buddies who don’t play anymore. Rather than throw something away, donate it to the collection. Email email@example.com to set the process in motion.
PlaGMaDA brought me into contact with Ray Weiss, the author of Everything is Dolphins. He donated a notebook containing a mishmash of stuff: dungeon maps, Gamma World monsters, notes from a political science class, and a hilarious game which you will soon hold in your hands.
Everything is Dolphins occupies a curious place. While it is clearly the work of someone new to the design of role-playing games, it also displays the some of the sophisticated sensibilites one would expect from an old hand. Rather than the excess of complexity that clutters most freshman efforts, Everything is Dolphins offers concision and simplicity. The author gives few examples to illustrate how to use the system and no sample adventure, leaving much to the player’s imagination (and effort). With its bare bones, lacunae, and undeniable beauty, Everything is Dolphins is the role-playing game analogue of outsider art.
Joy Drury Cox
Included in the lengthy Appendix of the book you will find scans of the author's original game notes and lots of playtest material. The inclusion reveals to us where the game began, how it was played over time, and what it looks like when it's played. And the game notes and documents are fun to look at.
The visual artists whose images appear in this book range from gallery regulars who show in Chelsea to people who aren’t merely self-taught, but who are still teaching themselves as we watch. There are “high” and “low” artists, but no established illustrators, and all have been shanghaied into drawing dolphins. Which is hilarious and awesome. The book is beautiful, the artwork is overwhelming.
Casey Jex Smith
Ray Weiss wrote a serious role-playing game where you play a dolphin in a world without humans. Despite the unorthodox premise, I feel no irony in his game; I feel excitement and the enthusiasm of discovery. My hope is that this illustrated, “curated” version of the game measures up to the original version in the Appendix.
It is hard to compete with penciled drawings in a notebook.
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