Everything is Dolphins is an RPG hovering somewhere between side scroller video game, talking animal fairy tale, and triptastic fun. Read more
This project was successfully funded on March 11, 2012.
About this project
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.
Go ahead and add at leas $10 to the donation amount, if you don't mind. You know about what it costs to have something sent from the US to your country, so take your best guess. Sweden/Norway should add $10, Japan should add at least $15. Know that I might hit you up for the difference via PayPal if you underpledge by a significant amount.
Yes! You get the PDF alongside the book for $30.
At the $250 level you get: an artwork, a game book, a PDF, a prerelease PDF like on the $50 level, and a thank you postcard
At the $100 level you get the signed and numbered pre-release book, a regular game book, a postcard, and the $50-style pre-release PDF.
Neither of these get the miniature set, you'll need to contact me directly if you'd like one of those.
Pledge $8 or more
A hand printed Everything is Dolphins postcard. Charmingly shoddy!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $12 or more
A PDF of the game. Yep. But c'mon, it's practically an art book - you don't just want the PDF.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $30 or more
The game book! And it's going to be swell. A delightful book with amazing art, something you can hold in your hands and put on a shelf.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or more
This is a sort of participatory backer reward. You'll get the book and a the finished PDF and the postcard, but you'll also get the current working PDF immediately. As in I'll send you 99.5% complete PDF within a day or two of your pledge. You'll be invited to play the game and have your game play paperwork included in the lengthy plagmada.org style Appendix of game manuscripts and etc. I reserve the right to pick and choose what goes in. If you're not sure what I mean by "game play paperwork", go to plagmada.org and browse the archive.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or more
9 backers Limited (1 left of 10)
This game doesn't require minis, but you can use them pretty easily. At this level you'll get a selection of painted, laser-cut wooden playing pieces. I should be cutting and painting them myself which makes them extra-special. You'll have the book, the PDF, a postcard, and a bag of wooden playing pieces that smell slightly burned - what more could you want?Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or more
5 backers All gone!
One of the limited edition (there were 10) pre-release test copies of Everything is Dolphins. These were use for playtesting and are, possibly, highly collectible. The rules will be a bit different, too. Signed and numbered and etc.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or more
2 backers Limited (2 left of 4)
RETAILER REWARD LEVEL:
$150 gets a retailer ten copies of the book and a hand-painted wall poster (probably not TOO large) to go along with them. The copies can be signed or not, up to to the pledger. This option will come with one hand-made postcard, too.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or more
An artwork! You'll get a painting by me, Tim Hutchings. I'm a medium-fancy artist, believe it or not, and I show paintings in galleries and museums and things. Donors at this level will have a number of paintings-on-paper to choose from, some are RPG related and others aren't. These are the some of the ones that aren't: http://timothyhutchings.com/TH/Photos.html The paintings at the link aren't necessarily available, but are just indicative of the sort you'll be able to choose from.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or more
One of the game creators will play the game with you. You can come to NYC or we will come to you on your dime. We're fun, both of us, really. The logistics of this will be exciting to work out.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)