COVID has been a hard time for creative folks. When … [waves hands vaguely] all of this started, it took me several months to find the ability to be creative again. I found it also changed what I was able to invest creative effort in developing. To whit, Death Knights (my personal white whale) is still under development, but given the subject matter, I wanted to be able to work on developing something a bit happier.
Which is why I’m so pleased and excited to be able to preview a new game that I’m finalizing called Our Traveling Home.
What is it?
Our Traveling Home is a game about queer romance, found family, and finding healing through belonging. During play, you will tell stories about a collection of oddballs and misfits trying to make this new chosen family work in the face of opposition from the Outside World that is trying to tear them apart. But while the stakes are high, this game will always have a happy ending. The queer romance will resolve happily, and everyone in the family will get to have a happily ever after.
It’s GMless and is designed to play out over the course of 2 to 4 sessions for a group of 4 or 5 players.
Why I’m excited: It’s Really Queer
One of the big inspirations for writing this game has been coming out as trans this spring, and the experiences that I’ve had of trying to navigate coming out as trans during a global pandemic. Between things like The Billionaire Transphobe calling all trans people dangerous deluded perverts and governments trying to deny healthcare to trans people during a pandemic, it’s been a hard and stressful time to wrestle with a new and painful part of my identity.
Our Traveling Home sort of grew out of that. I found that I was really craving wholesome queer content about stories of queer family and queer romance that include trans people and people outside the binary. So when I had the idea for a game about queer found family and queer romance by way of surrealist slice-of-life anime, I was able to go from concept to completed first draft in just over two weeks.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that this game was written while I am navigating my transition, queerness and non-binary gender are a prominent theme in Our Traveling Home: all of the playbooks have non-binary options, and some of them require playing a non-binary gender. This is because Our Traveling Home uses gender as another aspect of world-building, to help players define things about the world these characters inhabit. The options provided are meant to pose questions to which there are no correct answers.
And that’s exciting to me! To be able to use gender as a springboard for world-building! In a world where “demon” and “witch” are both valid genders, who is to say what it means to have such a gender? And what does it mean to be non-binary in a world where such gender options exist?
Best of all, despite being Really Fucking Queer, the game has gone great so far in playtesting. It’s created exactly the kind of intimate and lovely stories that I was hoping to tell, and I can’t wait to get it in front of more folks.
I’ll try to talk more here about highlights and future plans, but you can expect Our Traveling Home to come to Kickstarter in Q1 2021, if all goes to plan.