stickers, magnets and zines now available

i took an economics class in college, once, before i dropped out. i remember our teacher, a wiry capitalist, explaining that price is a measure of how much someone wants something. say a bunch of people are competiting to rent an apartment. the one who is willing to pay $500 more than the others is going to get it, because obviously that person wants it most.

“hold on,” i said (i may have raised my hand), doesn’t that actually just mean that the other people can’t afford the apartment? isn’t poverty prohibitive? no, he insisted, in the ideal free market invisible hand capitalist system, how much someone is willing to pay is a measure of simply how much she desires a thing.

i recalled this conversation this past week, when a legion of affluent indie game developer dudes lined up to insist that the arbitrary $100 fee on steam’s supposedly-democratic greenlight service was chump change to any “serious” game developer. “go make a great game, and then everything will line up for you, assuming you’ve got half a brain,” wrote ben ruiz.

well, no, as i learned this past week, when my new game was rejected by the sponsor we were counting on, the world does not just toss money at you for creating things you love. if you were raised middle class, you’re probably used to having money always within clutching range. this isn’t true for a lot of people. i had to ask for donations in order to cover the fee for submitting dys4ia to the igf (mike meyers generously paid the thing). am i not a serious game developer?

i say all this as a preface to the revelation that i have about $1200 in my bank account right now, and our rent was just increased to over $1100. we have no income for the foreseeable future. it seems like a perfect time to relaunch my online store.

click here to visit my new store!

LEMME TELL YOU WHAT WE’VE GOT. first: mighty jill off stickers and magnets! these are sets of 48 different tiles, hazards and jill poses from the game. make your own deadly tower for jill to endure! if you get the magnets, obvs, you can rearrange them on any fridge-like surface over and over. the stickers you can place once, but you can put them anywhere.

second: a ten-page preview zine of my forthcoming choose your own death adventure, currently looking for a publisher! in this queer pulp adventure book, your only choice is which page to open up to: turn to one and read how you die, or get caught, or are imprisoned for all eternity, etc. this zine features ten deaths out of a hundred and three illustrations.

and finally, there’s the poster of the cover of rise of the videogame zinesters. it’s almost sold out, but we have six more copies that need good homes. there’ll be a reprinting at some point; meanwhile, this is your last opportunity to get your hands on one for a while.

there’s also a mysterious new zine coming soon, co-authored by myself and my partner in crime. what could it be?

click here to visit the store! the money we made selling posters helped us make rent and find food in a big way. any purchases the store makes will for real help us out a lot. i’m not an economics whiz – i only took the one class – but a set of magnets buys a meal for us. if you want my partner and i to keep living and making rad stuff, that’s a pretty solid investment.


16 thoughts on “stickers, magnets and zines now available”

  1. Truthfully, I’ve only been in engaged in this conversation with a few other people, so I’m entirely unsure about who said what. But I personally never said anything about the world throwing you money for anything.* That’s ridiculous. I have, however, been positing that if you’re sitting on something that enough people will care about (which isn’t about popularity, it’s about resonance, which I realize is the flip side of that icky coin) then you have doors around you whether your know it or not. This idea of “things lining up” was me optimistically assuming that people have the wherewithal to recognize these doors and to systematically open (or kick down) until they get what they want or something that resembles what they want. Apparently I was wrong.

    In this instance, one sponsor didn’t like one of your games. I don’t know ANYTHING about your situation, but I can only conceive of a few circumstances in which that isn’t simply a temporary delay: 1. you’ve made something no one else is going to care about and this is the first of many rejections because no one will ever sponsor/publish what you just made (which is highly fucking unlikely) or 2. you had a specific plan built up in your brain and now that it has fallen apart the sting of surprise rejection has automatically released your grip on your motivation. If you care to elaborate on the specifics here I would appreciate it and sincerely listen. But I will also DEFINITELY suggest or insist on things you (or anyone in a similar situation) could do to still get what you want regardless of what has taken a shit on you. That’s just how my brain automatically operates.

    *Which, by the way, DOES actually apply to you. Not general “you”. “You” as in Anna. There are so many people on the internet that care deeply about you, the things you make, and the things you say, that you could ask for a lot of things, and you would get them. Now if you come back to me and indicate that you wouldn’t ever do that for whatever ethical or philosophical reason, I’m going to say that that is a perfect example of a self installed barrier and that getting over it would improve your life greatly. But who knows! Maybe you sincerely don’t know this about yourself, and the relationship you have with your fans.

  2. some people have reported getting weird error messages when trying to buy things in chrome – other people haven’t had any problems. i’m looking into the problem, but meanwhile, those who reported errors in chrome said it worked fine in firefox! so if you’re having problems, try using firefox.

  3. chrome seemed to work for me.

    what size batches do you have to make? I think a 10×10 (or something) poster of Jill in her pixelated glory would be kind of keen. But if you have to make a lot of something it might not be worth while.

    (I think I’m just mildly bummed Alien Bill didn’t somehow magically make it into the poster, not that he has any right to ;-)

  4. WELL

    with the zinesters poster, there was an initial setup fee, and then i was able to have them printed at two bucks apiece. i did a run of a hundred, which is almost gone now. i’d probably do the same size run of any new poster.

    if i wanted to do an unorthodox size like 10×10, there’d be additional cutting fees, or i’d have to cut the posters myself with my terrible paper guillotine.

    anyway, i’m not daydreaming new posters right now. the next thing i hope to be able to sell is the shirts, at more reasonable prices.

  5. So if you have a really awesome game that you want to hit Steam Greenlight and you can’t afford the fee, what’s stopping you from putting up a $100 Kickstarter for it? Or even a paypal donation link on your site?

    If an author honestly can’t afford the fee, and can’t convince ten people to chip in $10 each, or twenty people to chip in $5 each, can they really expect that their game will get the upvotes it needs to make it through the greenlight process?

    On a mostly-unrelated note, how much do sales of your book benefit you compared to sales from your store?

    – HC

  6. I like t-shirts!

    I got the Kid Rad one even though I don’t like black t-shirts that much.

    Light gray is the new white, for T-shirts, I think. Or the new black. Whatever.


  8. anna used to have a paypal link on her site but paypal is awful and froze her account and took all her money :^)

    are you maybe starting to see how possible paths of revenue get closed off one by one to aspiring artists and developers, and why discussions and blog entries like this are needed?

  9. This “Why can’t you raise $100 if your game is any good?” argument is weird. What if you can raise $100 but you need to spend the $100 on rent? Any $100 someone puts toward Steam Greenlight is $100 they can’t put toward something else, even if they raised it from other people.

    Also, from a distance, Greenlight is so obviously messed up that it’d probably be better to spend $100 playing the lottery.

  10. I was kind of surprised $100 was the amount they chose. If the goal was simply to weed out the high level of newgrounds-y trash, $5 would have been sufficient. Maybe $10 at most.

  11. Suppose someone put you in charge, are there ways you can imagine “fixing” Greenlight? Is there some way to “test” someone’s game design capabilities in a non-painful way?

    Or do you think Steam and its userbase is always going to promote memetically stupid junk to the top? If you were in charge, would you declare that Steam itself cannot exist in your ideal world?

    I was thinking about this, and thought I would like to see some genuine peer review system – game designers discussing other game designs. Then I went “Duh. Most of this blog is devoted to exactly that sort of peer review.”

  12. I hate that we can’t support offensive content. I’m fucking offended that I can’t see healthy sexuality in movies, but I can see all the naked women I want as long as they get taken apart with a chainsaw.

    We’ve just passively accepted censorship in movies and now videogames in a way we would never tolerate with books.

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