We got chance to chat with Jay Dragon half of the team at the forefront of Possum Creek games. Possum Creek Games,is a small press TTRPG publishing company in the Hudson Valley. They publish beautiful games about queerness, community, and the magic of the mundane.
Q How did Possum Creek Games get started?
Possum Creek Games existed for a little bit (since mid-2019) as a shell for dealing with accounting on my small little projects, but it wasn’t until Grub became my business partner and we released Wanderhome that the company became real. There’s a big difference between me just sitting around in living room typing into a laptop, and actually working with another person to make your dreams become a reality.
Q Besides just making games you seem to be trying to infuse in them a worldview that is open to all people, how important is representation to you in the things your make?
I think, if anything, the concept of representation doesn’t go far enough. When we talk about “representation” we talk about visibility and presence in media, and immediately we’re making assumptions about who is centered in that. I want to change where the center is, I want to change who is assumed to be at the center. I don’t want Possum Creek to put out games where queer people are also welcome, I want us to put out queer games where cishet people are also welcome. So if anything, representation is a natural byproduct of the process I’m really interested in, which is community itself.
Q Do you have a personal favorite of the games the company has put out?
Yazeba’s Bed & Breakfast is my personal favorite. I’ve been working with the team on it for four years now, since before the pandemic, and it’s been so beautiful watching it grow and it’s awesome having a game I’ve been testing for four years straight and it’s still so fun to play with.
Q How do you think game production, marketing and creation have changed since Possum Creek started?
Well, we’ve gotten better at it. A big factor is that it’s no longer “Jay Dragon does whatever Jay Dragon wants” but instead it’s now a pipeline, a really long process where it might take years before an idea I had actually makes it out into the world. Everything requires a lot more support now, and that’s both awesome (that we can do these sorts of big projects) and very different from how I’m used to creating.
Q Possum Creek Games came out with Yazeba’s Bed & Breakfast last year, one of your biggest projects what did you learn while making the game?
The biggest thing I learned is that it’s way too big. It’s beautiful getting to make an enormous impossible art piece that dazzles the world, but it’s also very exhausting and very risky. It’s a thrilling thing to get to do once, but it’s not a sustainable business model — especially if you’re trying to avoid any sort of burnout.
Q How do y’all put out so much material with just two full time employees? Do you still have time to play games for fun?
I mean!! Barely!
I actually had to start scheduling “game time for fun with friends” into my calendar so that I could give myself time to goof around and play without putting pressure on myself. It’s really easy to burn yourself out by treating your love for an art form as a passive endless reservoir, when the truth is that it does require active refilling, and by the time you notice it needs refilling you’re probably too late. So I try to make time to just play for fun and goof off, and build that into my work schedule, and treat it as part of my job.
Q What projects do you have planned for 2023?
Yazeba’s Bed & Breakfast, which raised $300,000 over on Indiegogo last year, is now actually coming out! We’re releasing the online version (which is both the PDF and a partnership with a virtual tabletop named One More Multiverse) at the end of March, and the book itself is coming in November. We also have a couple smaller things, which you’ll learn more about as we go through the year.
Q} if people want more info about you or your projects where should they go?
Check out the Creekside Community Center (https://patreon.com/possumcreek) for first looks at a lot of our upcoming projects, follow us all over the place at @possum_creek or check out our website at possumcreekgames.com.
Final four questions –we ask everybody
Q) When the zombies take over the world where will you be?
Dead, probably. Or allied with a group of more capable humans.
Q ) What is your favorite Fandom?
It’s been a long time since I’ve been anywhere near fandom, and I would not regard my relationship with any of them as “picking a favorite” but I do think the most bizarre and dearest to my heart is the Homestuck fandom.
Q) What piece of art, be it in the form of music, a book, a film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?
Mad Max Fury Road. It helps get the blood pumping.
Q) Give one fact that most people would not believe about you?
My mom is arguably the most talented antique map restorer in the world. Also her last name is also Dragon.