Typewriter Cat

The artwork of Jeremy Mayer

Jeremy Mayer makes his art by dissassembling old typewriters and re-crafting them into sculpture. According to his site, he doesn’t solder, weld, or glue them – his work is all cold assembly.

A part of Jeremy’s inspiration comes from this idea he notes about science and technology “flowing inexorably towards natural systems.” This is very interesting to me to talk about – he’s basically saying that as science and technology evolve they end up looking more like what is happening in nature. This is a powerful idea, one we see replicated by current advances in science and the wonders we see in architecture.

And so I wonder what this means for the steampunk world – especially the world of Hallow’s Edge. Is Hallow’s Edge the ultimate expression of this idea: that evolution happened so much that nature was forced to take its course? Maybe, maybe not, but steampunk seems to be an expression of this idea: the more we move through time, the more we learn to appreciate the tools of the past….

Interestingly enough, Jeremy makes it a point on his page to mention that he doesn’t consider his work a part of the steampunk movement. Fair enough, but a good Graystone quote comes to mind: “a difference, that makes no difference, is no difference.”

Like all the other debris we’ve clumped together to find ourselves, Jeremy we’re happy to have you.

(we found this thanks to Lynn Lavato)

Steampunk Harley Davidson

Hells yeah!

Steampunk Harley! Not since Mad Max have intrepid humans dared show us the awesome power of brass and petrol.

Called the “Barro” this machine is what happens when minds and metal meet.

Its chassis created from a  Steampunk skeleton-eske rather than a typical biker frame gives it an haunting but majestic appearance. It also features a T-Sable Spring engine and a Harley-Davidson transmission.

[New Launches]

We say found it on slippery-brick.

Celebrate Air Kraken Day Mar 17th!

Happy Air Kraken Day!

As discovered on Brass Goggles, March 17 is officially Air Kraken day in the steampunk world. The site says: “Though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote of them (The Horror of the Heights), and the whole ecology supporting these sky based terrors, they seem to have been mostly forgotten about.”

And how better to commemorate this forgotten myth of the Victorian Era than by gracing it with its own holiday.

And since March appears to be, according to the site, the height of their mating season, we too cast our gaze upwards with a bit of dread, hoping to catch a glimpse of its terrible majesty.

Air Kraken day is celebrated by flying kites with drawings of sea creatures upon them – but kites are damned expensive. We suggest you throw paper airplanes.


Adele Blanc-Sic

Luc Besson to produce new Steampunk movie. Drooling.


Character Sheet Released w/ Developer Pack

Character sheet version 1.03 released today! This is the “simple” character sheet, just the steak and chops with no real frills or fancy stuff. A basic sheet for people to record information and keep it all in one place.

We put it out this way because … we WANT YOU to develop it further. I’m releasing our original AI (adobe Illustrator) file so you don’t have start from scratch if you don’t want to. Alter, remix, and create something truly BA for your game.

Download the character sheet developer pack. (zip file).

Version 1.03 Released

The final updates before hard roll out. To go to the Download Page, Click Here.

Version 1.03 release notes:

  • Removed weapon ribbons, red, brown, etc. are just described, no ribbon gets tied unless the enchantment is permanent. Most ribbon-based effects slow things down needlessly.
  • Cautioned Directors to limit stacks to no more than three, unless extraordinary circumstance.
  • Fix barrier description
  • Fix Acid Dart/Wall of Earth
  • Fix bolded description on Infect, Revive,
  • Fix revive to understand that it is more than a shortened death count, affects other critters beyond zombies, however, those killed with the power ALWAYS come back zombies
  • Updated Critter Powers
  • Expand heavy weapons
  • Addition to credits

Nanotech Zombies & Larp 2.0

Larp 2.0, Nanotech Zombies, and Hallow’s Edge

To help give an idea of what Hallow’s Edge is about, the following self-interview with creator Jedediah Walls explores the world of Steampunk to its biblical roots, nanotechnology, and how these things will change Larp forever. Jed lives in South Bend, IN.

So what is Hallow’s Edge?

The web has really changed things, and table games are no different. With PDF books and Online Role Playing, the way people approach games is totally different now than it was 20 years ago. It seems that the technology is different, but the way we go about making the games – and playing the games, has stayed the same. Now it’s changed whether we like it or not. RPG’s haven’t died, they’ve just changed form.

So we really wanted to Zig where other people  Zagged. We wanted to create something that was still and RPG game but was fast, easy, and fun. We wanted it streamlined for the user instead of forcing the user to streamline to us. Most of all, we wanted it to be free, and still turn a profit.

So we really set out to create Larp 2.0.

The end result was Hallow’s Edge.

Okay, that’s a good background, but what is the game about?

Steampunk zombie combat! People dress up in steampunk gear and then fight each other with foam swords and guns. 250 years after a zombie apocalypse, most people hid underground to survive. But now they’re fighting back – the government decides to re-colonize and wipe out the zombie infection forever. It’s post-singularity steampunk.

But there’s more than just zombies in your game, ya?

That’s right. Really, one of the major driver’s of this game was thinking about how the future could go wrong. I’m thinking of the singularity here: Ray Kurzeweil’s idea of what is going to happen when machines, people, and AI are all knit together by nanotechnology.

He describes it as a golden age.

But we got to thinking that nanotech – moreover, nanotechnology guided by AI is potentially the most devastating force we could face as a species. In our world all these Nanites became infected, hacked the other nanites and all the systems they interconnected to, including people. It shut down their brain activity and reprogrammed the flesh that was there. Moreover, it hacked into databases: when it saw someone, it used facial-recognition technology, got their identity, hacked their facebook page, discovered all that person’s friends through the friends list, hacked THEIR cellphones and triggered the phone’s GPS: it ate them COMPLETELY. Anyone devoured became infected themselves.

Our zombies are nanotech zombies.

But the AI didn’t stop there. They downloaded every book on psychology, information warfare, and mythology. They used the nano to twist many of these poor souls into shapes that resembled myths that people feared the most: vampires, werewolves, creatures from the abyss … It looked so much like fantasy that the line began to blur. Cthulu became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The game Eclipse Phase is one way the singularity could go. This is another other. It’s post-singularity.

Web 2.0, huh?

Web 2.0 didn’t introduce new technology so much as it introduced a new way of thinking about web technology: how could we streamline pages based on how people actually use the web? They stopped thinking of just the web as a place where you built sites, but rather a place you built a whole presence – a bunch of different sites that all mutually encourage activity.

I found the idea of an unbook on Warren Ellis’s site – that’s pretty much what we have going on here. We talk about it in terms of software: release notes, bugs, patches … the free PDF is a software application, not a tome. The unique thing about this application though is that it convinces you to actually step away from the computer….

In other words, it’s not just a table game, it’s a GAMING PLATFORM.

But doesn’t your game seem a lot like Amtgard?

Yeah it’s got a lot in common with Amtgard. But we have a lot in common with all Larps. And all table games. And all MMORPG’s. Amtgard itself is a child of Emarthnguarth and Dragohir. And those are just based on kids running around with sticks shaped like swords. There’s a rich family of games here that goes all the way back to pre-historic times. You can’t knock all online games because they all use the mouse and a keyboard. You can’t knock all RPG games because they use dice. We use foam swords, like about 50 other games. Some things all of them do similarly and others they all do differently. For instance, we embrace foam-shooting guns.

Don’t you think that handing out experience for bringing in new players is … I dunno … cheesy?

Not at all. People are rewarded all the time for stuff like that on Vampire Wars and Mafia. Why should conventional RPG’s be any different?

In your book, you say that Punk has been around since pre-history?

Yeah Steampunk is just Punk, another incarnation in a long line of emergent culture. Punk is the modern day incarnation of the youth movement – kids learning to be okay with themselves. Anytime you see identity struggle with society, even … especially when it goes horribly, it’s a punk movement. Stories like those of Joe Orton, Pocahontas, the children’s crusade … totally punk.

Really punk traces its roots all the way back to early agriculture society. Cain was the first punk because he was the was the first one to declare his individuality. I bet though, the moment I say that someone else is going to cite Marduk or something even older. Heh.

Most independent creative ideas fail. Do you think you have what it takes?

I’ve worked in new media for some time now. About 10 years ago I spent a summer working for White Wolf as an Intern and wrote a couple of things for them while I was down there. I spent a lot of time before and after hosting and playing larps since. I’m a certified small business entrepreneur and my Master’s is in Social Networking (almost done!). I hope that makes me qualified.

I don’t think I got everything right, but I made a game that can adapt and evolve much faster. Culture is emergent … our games should be too.

Steampunk Wedding Cake…

Okay, since I posted about weddings the other day, I just thought I’d follow up by posting this awesome steampunk wedding cake done by Mike’s Amazing Cakes in Seattle.


Delicious geary gears of nom-nommy union….

Steampunk News: Mar 10th, 2010

This is Hallowsedge.com, transmitting via intergram:

Make: Online : Biomechanical steampunk taxidermy
By Sean Michael Ragan
We have blogged about American assemblage artist Ron Pippin’s work before, with a focus on his wunderkammer pieces. But he’s been busy since then. Fair warning: Much of Pippin’s work uses real animal parts, and although I personally 

Calvin’s Canadian Cave of Coolness: Steampunk Tinkerbelle

Steampunk Professor Xavier Wheelchair | Steampunk | Gear

The Steampunk Professor Xavier Wheelchair by Daniel Valdez was made from a Victorian rocker from 1875, a Permobil C300 powered wheelchair, some pistons from a steelworks, an Arduino-based audio kit, and a drinks dispenser. 

Version 1.02 Released

Took advantage of the soft-release week to sneak in some fixes. To go to the Download Page, Click Here.

Hallow’s Edge version 1.02 release notes:

  • Minor bug fixes
  • Revive and Infect Powers listed … were conveniently ignored until now.
  • Summoners further defined in magic section.
  • Ribbons can only be crossed once
  • Scarecrow: replaced second fireball with firebuster
  • Armor and Barrier Clarified