|I have a friend who looks just like Cherry Hinton. No, not the town. The character Jared Earle used to play in SLA Industries who was nicely illustrated by Dave Allsop. The really weird thing is that she even calls herself “Cherry”.
SLA Industries was the game and Nightfall were the people that inspired me to start publishing the games I’d written. I’d long been dissatisfied with the crop of games that were out in the early 90s. There was very little edge, very little to inspire. Going to a RPG shop was a bit like flicking through the TV listings: you just looked because you were bored. It’s sad that things have returned to this way, but I think the industry moves in cycles.
The biggest issue I had at the time was that I didn’t know anyone who could draw and so The 23rd Letter was completely without art. I also didn’t have any money which meant I couldn’t even buy in art. Nightfall, in comparison, were dripping in artists.
I’d written the main draft of the rules and background in 1994 but it took nearly two years to get them into print. Why? Lots of different reasons. Computers then were very expensive compared to now. Also I was doing it very much by myself. When I did eventually start to involve the rest of my gaming group, the motley crew who would become Crucible Design, things actually slowed down rather than speeding up. This would become a pattern in the future for game development. I’m not a bad judge of character, quite the opposite I believe, but I do give people a lot of my faith and a lot of the time it’s needlessly.
In all, I’m kinda glad the real Cherry doesn’t carry a gun. I’d have probably been shot (even just flesh wounds) several times. She does look better in a suit though. And that frown I’ve seen many times.