Posts Tagged ‘machine of death’.

THIS WEEK: Machine of Death game testing!

You may have heard that we’re developing some Machine of Death card games. If you haven’t heard — well, now you have! We are. And even better — I’m hosting some play-testing events at my studio here in West Los Angeles, and you’re invited! Come have some pizza and play card games with me!

The first two events will be TONIGHT, Tuesday September 13, and TOMORROW, Wednesday September 14, from 8-10pm. I know it’s short notice, but if you’d like to come, leave an RSVP on the Machine of Death site and I’ll be in touch with directions!

Each evening will be limited to eight people, so if there aren’t eight RSVP’d yet for the night you’d like to come — and you know you can make it — go ahead and sign up. (You can come both nights if you want! We’ll be playing different games each time.)

Now, if you’re not local, that’s okay. The MOD card games will be coming to other cities and the internet soon! We talk a little more about them here. And even if you can’t make it to a play-test event, there’s details at that link about how to, right now, (a) play a dice-based role-playing game I just invented and (b) fire up your arts-n-craftiness to make us a custom Machine of Death prediction card.

You see, the motto of the entire Machine of Death opus is, “Things to keep you busy.” If you do end up playing my dice game, “Hitman on a Budget,” let me know what you think!

Machine of Death Volume 2 submission stats!

It’s taken us a while, but we’ve finally entered all the data for the story submissions we received for the upcoming second volume of Machine of Death! I wrote up a bit about it for the MOD blog:

The final few days of submissions felt, for us, in a weird way just like October 26 of last year. The flurry of activity we witnessed on Twitter, on Facebook, and on blogs as you finished writing your stories was incredibly energizing.

It’s a wonderful feeling watching people become enthused and finding reward in the thing that you asked them to do. It makes us not want to have to turn anybody down for Volume 2! But we received 6,373,643 words of submissions — if we published all of it, it would be longer than all the Harry Potter books and all the Lord of the Rings books and all the Song of Ice and Fire books and all of Stephen King’s Dark Tower books put together. You guessed it — we’re having a very busy couple of months, reading all of this!

(Read more)

For more details and all kinds of stats on the final count, as well as some neat new things we need your help with (do you know how to set up and run an academic survey? We’d very much like to pick your brain or enlist your assistance!), check out the full blog post.

Congrats to everyone who sent in a story, or three! We’re reading furiously, and I gotta say, it’s super fun. You devil, you made me have fun!

Another article about writing

My co-editor Matt wrote a great article for the Machine of Death blog about how to finish a short story; how to muscle up and drag it past the finish line — great advice if you’re trying to complete a piece to submit to Machine of Death 2, in this final week, or just for writing under the gun in general.

…This post is specifically for those of you who have about half of a story and about one week to finish it. It’s for those of you who are feeling increasingly panicked as the deadline ticks ever closer. It’s for those of you who are saying to yourselves, I’m almost out of time! What the heck should I do now???

First thing first: DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP. We want to read your story. In order for that to happen, we need to have it by midnight on July 15. And we have faith in you. We know you can do this. But here are some thoughts that might help point you in the right direction. (Read more)

I’ve also started a couple of fun little contests on the Machine of Death Facebook group: try and guess when (down to the minute!) we’ll break Volume 1’s record for total submissions received, AND ALSO try and guess what the title of the record-breaking submission will be. Post your guesses here! Winners will be given prizes from the all-new MOD store on TopatoCo.

(P.S. Caption Contest #3 submissions are now closed — winners will be announced soon!)


This guy has a webcomic that consists entirely of his friend Hays being killed in cartoony ways. I contributed two sketches of same at a recent convention, which have been colored and posted on the site! Here and here. But my favorite episode of the comic is definitely this one.

See you in San Francisco this weekend! I’ll also be at Readercon in Massachusetts next weekend, and then San Diego after that!

Machine of Death deadline approaches

The deadline for submitting a story to Machine of Death Volume 2 is in less than two weeks!

If you’ve already submitted something (we’ve received over 500 stories so far), thank you! We’re absolutely thrilled that you’re a part of it! If you’re still working on yours, that’s fine, but be sure to send in your submission(s) by July 15.

And if you haven’t even started yet — are you plumb out of time? I don’t think you are, necessarily. I just wrote a piece on the MoD blog about how you can spin simple stories out of absolutely any piece of inspiration:

Improvisers are taught that whatever the scene starts being about, is what it’s about. If one person says “I’m hungry,” then the second person could say “Well, of course! You haven’t eaten for days!” And the scene would be about that person being hungry. Why are they hungry? What has prevented them from eating? A diet? A stomach trauma? Torture? Do they have a tapeworm?

The point is that there are infinite reasons why that person could be hungry. There’s no reason to place bricks anywhere else, because that simple declaration, “I’m hungry,” is enough. The entire scene can be built on top of it. The character’s hunger can be explored to reveal deeper issues — problems with relationships, or self-esteem, or conflicts with other characters in the scene. Thematic elements can arise. The scene has the potential to become emotionally resonant.

All this can come from just “I’m hungry” — if you will just dig into it, and keep digging. There is never any limit to how deep you can go on even the smallest detail. (Read the rest)

Also, I’m in San Francisco this weekend! We’ll be doing the Machine of Death theater show on Saturday, and I’ll be at the Renegade Craft Fair both Saturday and Sunday. Details on both events are here.

I’ve taken to driving to San Francisco, instead of flying. It’s an easier way to transport all my goods, although it does take a while and tucker a person out. To show you a little of what the trip is like, here’s a mini-documentary I made about the drive to and from Maker Faire, back in May! Each piece is about fifteen minutes long.

Malki Goes To Maker Faire ! PART 1 on Vimeo.

Malki Goes to Maker Faire ! PART 2 of 2 Vimeo.

Next weekend: Two events in San Francisco!

Two big events coming up next weekend! I’ll be at the Renegade Craft Fair on July 9 & 10, which is held at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion and is totally free to attend!

Come say hello, pick up a book or some greeting cards, or a sketch, or even just a handshake. I’m determined to have at least one new thing since my trip to Maker Faire just a few weeks ago, so I’ll be bringing new little pocket-sized Tinkerer’s Guide booklets!

ALSO: This is cool. I am super-excited about this:

Machine of Death is pleased to partner with the Un-Scripted Theater Company of San Francisco for a special one-night-only Machine of Death stage performance.

The Un-Scripted Company has a new improv showcase called “Act One, Scene Two.” Each night, the actors perform the first scene of an unfinished play — a script that has been previously written, but not completed. Then, the actors will improvise the entire rest of the play.

It’s a different play each night, and on July 9, they’ll be performing a piece from Machine of Death: “Murder and Suicide, Respectively” by your friend and mine Ryan North. Ryan will even be present on Skype for fun chats after the show!

Tickets are $20 ($10 for students & seniors), all of which goes to the theater. It’s a fairly intimate venue, so if you’re interested in attending, you should pick up your tickets in advance! This is a one-night-only performance that will never be repeated. (And if you like it, check out the other plays on other nights! Different Act One, Scene Two shows will be running every weekend through August.)

Also I will have a Machine of Death there at our show, giving out free death predictions. But that’s just a bonus.

ADDENDUM: Are you a Bay-Area-based photographer and/or videographer? I am looking to capture extremely high-quality photos and/or video of the show. If this is something that you do professionally, please email me with your rates.

Tickets for the show are on sale now!