When we started out, we thought of several names for the company. One was Aes Dana Publications and another was Apocryphal Games. We played with FarTooReal, considered LeannanSidhe and with a group vote, settled on Crucible Design.
We had a list of games (and supplements) we were going to produce:
Syndicate (plus ‘World Conquest’ and ‘The System’)
Cabal (plus ‘Not Alone’ and ‘Ordo Magnus’)
Frontier (plus ‘Traders Tales’ and ‘The Ant Hill’)
Awakenings (plus ‘High Seas’ and ‘Opus Dei’)
plus some that never made it past initial ideas such as
Empire of the Stars
I initially did a lot of writing for Frontier and Syndicate and a lot of reading for Cabal. We played $uper$ a few times and I ran a game of Empire of the Stars once as well.
The first time I wrote anything for The 23rd Letter was when I started writing the psionics rules for Syndicate which was subtitled “ESPace”. I was more interested in the psionics stuff than I was in the whole game, to be honest.
So…some time later, when none of the games listed above seemed to be completing, I wrote a separate background for this game about psychics and presented it to the group while at WARPCon one year. It was met with amazing resistance until I explained where I saw it going and what it was. It wasn’t one of the super, epic full-colour hardback games we planned to make – it was something however to turn Crucible Design from a group of people who thought about writing games to actually having a product. Eventually they agreed and we started working on the first edition by adding background materials and I laid it out on a UNIX workstation running Frame.
Boom. We had a game.
All of the games we eventually made were done like that. Little side games I was working on which were polished and finished so that we’d have something to publish!