69°25'00.0"S 62°10'00.0"W

Published on 2019-07-17

We're working hard to put all the pieces of the Fiasco Kickstarter together, and there are many pieces. So many pieces.

Our friend Alex Roberts, designer of the Diana Jones Award nominated (!) Star Crossed, was badly injured and we're all worried about her (she will be fine, but she's got a long recovery ahead of her). 

It's hot as the Devil's codpiece down here in North Carolina USA and Gen Con looms like a lumbering beast. If you're going to be there, so are we. Steve and I are all in at Games on Demand

My friend Juhana Pettersson and I got into a good-natured argument about our different styles of game design, and decided we needed to make something together to learn from each other. We've started a small project that I think will be really interesting. It's final form isn't totally set yet, but the narrative scaffolding revolves around an illegal colony in Antarctica in the near future, trying to create arable land where a few years earlier there was a sheet of ice. You get a slow-moving take on climate catastrophe, with all the committee drama of a struggling community, with external pressure from various directions. It's less a disaster movie and more a gentle rumination on community and failure.

 Here's some background stuff we've worked up, basically playing around with world-building:

Hearst Island lies at 69°25'00.0"S 62°10'00.0"W, a featureless, dome-shaped island due east of Cape Rymill off the east coast of Palmer Land. The island is 58 kilometers long north-to-south, 11 kilometers wide, and rises to 365 meters. 

Until the massive biological transformation effort is well established, the colony will eat out of a pair of hydroponic greenhouses and stored food shipped in at great expense.

The local climate can support edible plants like Kerguelen cabbage, but first the colony needs to promote pioneer species that will create soil and nutrients. These include mosses, pearlgrass and hairwort (all native to the region) and Azorella selago cushion plants and arctic willow (Salix arctica, essentially a cushion plant rarely growing over 2cm tall)  in support of buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), initially a pioneer and cover crop and, later, a food source. Durvillaea antarctica, a resilient and edible species of bull kelp, has been introduced to local waters as well. A variety of beneficial insects, such as Hydraenidae beetles native to the Kerguelens (Meropathus chuni) accompany these plants and assist in generating biomass. The second planned phase will involve planting forests of dwarf hemlock and antarctic beech (Nothofagus antarctica) as well as hardy food crops like barley. 

All of this is in aggressive contravention of the Antarctic Treaty. 

Expect to see more of this later! For now, back to the Fiasco mines!

--Jason