As I’ve mentioned here on the blog before, over the past couple of years I have been invited by several different game publishers to produce designs for handouts/props for future releases. Most of these books have yet to see the light of day … but yesterday one of them crawled free from its musty tomb and went on sale to the Cthulhu-loving public.
This is a pretty cool book, and something quite different from your run-of-the-mill Call of Cthulhu investigative romp through New England. While it still retains all the best elements of the classic Cthulhuoid investigation, it transplants them to modern-day Las Vegas … or more correctly the literary/movie version of modern-day Las Vegas. So, there’s lots of glitz, glamour, Elvis impersonators, and opportunities for insanely-convoluted heists. But behind the gaudy facade there lies some really repulsive horrors … so, even if it is in lurid Technicolor, you know it’s still good-ol Call of Cthulhu.
My own role on this book was to design most of the handouts … which was actually no mean feat (indeed it was one of the most challenging projects I’ve undertaken). Jeff had some neat ideas about using modern electronic means of delivering clues — so there’s text messages, web pages, wikipedia entries … and video clips. The last of these alone took forever to create — after all you can’t just go out and find stock images of a Hazmat team romping through Las Vegas’s Greyhound bus depot; these things need to be built up as a Photoshop montage of found elements. In the end I also added in some original photographs of my own (by lurking around my local bus depot with a camera, doubtlessly looking very suspicious).
I can’t show all the handouts here — you’ll need to go buy the book to get those. Or even better, buy the interactive PDF version of the handouts which lets you tweak some aspects of the dates/times/TV logos on the handouts to help customize them to your game. Above, I have put together a montage of SOME of the handout images that I contributed to Lost in the Lights (click for a larger version). I hope those that buy this great book enjoy my small contribution … and that players everywhere will enjoy the realism that I’ve tried to bring to the handouts, even if they do get creeped out when they recognize their local bus depot 🙂