I’ll be honest, I laughed when I saw this one was a prompt. I think it’s probably a good moment to reflect back on the last 7 years or so and talk about the “Shade” that means most to me – Shades of Vengeance!
To me, Shades of Vengeance is about something. It’s about doing better than the what I’ve experienced in the entertainment industry, it’s about going our own way to create and it’s about helping others to be creative as well.
There’s quite a lot to unpack there, so bear with me! Don’t worry, I’ll keep it brief.
I’ve mentioned before (Day 5: Tribute) that the entertainment industry, especially comics, TV and movies, run on uncredited people who are quite ludicrously underpaid for their work.
Shades of Vengeance, to me, is about being better than that, being an example (no matter how small) of how things can be done. We aren’t huge, but what we bring in is shared with every artist and writer who contributes to the work, to the best of our ability. We credit everyone – no-one is allowed to be a ghost writer or artist.
That’s led to some interesting situations in the past! We actually made up a pen name for someone who didn’t want to be credited in one of our pieces of work so that they can claim it at a later date if they ever want to.
The industry can do better than it does, and I intend to keep doing what I’m doing to prove it, through games, comics, audio dramas and anything else I end up making.
As I said above, Shades of Vengeance is also about creative freedom for the team working on any project.
I don’t believe for a moment that there is a “right way” to create a roleplaying game, write a story or build a narrative. I’m criticised on a number of reviews for my way of doing it, while others praise it.
I intend to keep doing what I think’s best (which includes learning from products and people I believe do things better!), because I believe there are people out there who want to see the attention to detail in the worldbuilding, the epic history which is all playable and the detailed, real characters which can be included in the story as you progress… just like I want to see those things.
The same applies to the other media we do – the comics tell the stories that the writers want to tell, the audio dramas portray what the writers and directors want to make a reality. I don’t think we need to be bound by a “convention” in any of these areas – there are always people who want something different.
The final thing I mentioned above was about helping others to be creative.
I’m proud to say that I’ve helped a number of people publish their own tabletop RPGs, I’ve helped others become paid professionals – writers and voice actors – when they had an enthusiasm for it and more. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t make these people the amazingly talented individuals they are – I just did what I could to help them show off their talents and paid what I was able to.
I believe that any industry is stronger with more people in it. Different perspectives offer something more to the kind of creative projects I work on, which is absolutely invaluable. I’ll continue to help other people find and express their creativity to the best of their ability, and I’ll continue to reward them to the best of my ability for their work.
This, of course, isn’t everything that we stand for or believe in, but these three are the things I consider most important. I hope you can understand why these matter so much to us, especially in the difficult year that 2020 has been. As Shades of Vengeance gets larger with time, It is my fond hope that all of these things will grow with us.
How fast we, and all of this, grow is pretty dependent on everyone reading this!