Introduction (Catching Up) & Names Not Taken

Hi, my name is Devon Oratz, and I make things. Since I’ve been unable to hold down a steady full time job since graduating from SUNY Purchase in 2008, I’ve had plenty of free time, which I’ve used to make a ton of things. The kinds of things I like to make include tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs), live action roleplaying games (LARPs), and computer games (Interactive Fiction and, you guessed it, RPGs). I also write prose (long and short form), poetry, plays, and screenplays–I even made a short film once, on a budget that approached $0.00.  However, since receiving my creative writing degree in ’08 (ironically) the pendulum of my interests has swung from the writing side of things more and more to the game design side of things. Of course, it may swing back again, as it is wont to do. If I was more capable of focusing my creative efforts like a laser into one discipline I’d probably be more successful…but on the other hand, have this fucking blog!

By the way, in one of my two part time jobs, I am a(n utterly wet behind the ears) freelancer for Catalyst Game Labs, working on Shadowrun, the greatest roleplaying game ever created.  This is the best job ever, obviously, if only it was possible to make a living at it. : )

The things I’ve made fall into two categories. The badly publicized (by me) and obscure–like Systems Malfunction, the science fiction LARP that I’ve been writing and GMing for going on six years, or all of these video games that I made from 2001 to 2010, or the one piece of fiction that I professionally sold to date–and the completely and totally unpublished, hidden, and collecting dusk on my virtual shelves. If you’re curious about the former group, you’re in the right place–START CLICKING LINKS!

To add a sense of scope, the latter category includes two complete novels and countless novel fragments in various states of completion but all unpublished, half a dozen unreleased TTRPGs (just counting the ones that I consider current and salvageable), and a handful of never/seldom released, never/seldom played LARPs and computer games. A lot of the crap I make, especially on the game design side,  is incredibly subversive, experimental, weird, and artsy…though not in the Forge sense, and some of it is emphatically traditional.

This blog is about all of the things that I make, most importantly the ones which do not have web presence  elsewhere. It exists, in theory, to act as a central hub to indicate that all of this disparate stuff which different small niche groups of people might recognize some subset of was all in fact made by ONE GUY. It is another in a long line of many hit-and-miss efforts to promote and publicize my creative efforts. But it will also, in bloglike fashion, deal with my creative process, what goes through my mind when I make the things I make, and the comment on the things made by other people that inspire me to make things. Hopefully, some of this rambling, along with the things I continue to produce, will be of some interest to someone, somewhere. That said, please enjoy! Once I’ve actually uploaded some content for you to enjoy, of course…. : )

– Devon

P.S. If you’re confused by the header and tagline, this blogamajig has nothing in particular to do with TWIFS, except in the simple fact that I just like them. A lot. My first three name ideas were all taken and I was, as I so often am, floundering around for something cool sounding and as it so always does, TWIFS provided something quotable.

Those first three ideas by the way, were “”, “”, and “”. Those three things are, respectively, a phrase I think is cool, the name of one of my weirdest and most experimental game designs, and the name of a poem I wrote in my Freshman year of college that I really liked. But all of them were taken! Lame! Even lamer, one was ‘reserved’, another was ‘private’, and a third was being taken over by a completely blank blog that had never been posted in. Super lame! Anyway, that’s why Tarot American. (cool story bro)


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