I’m Nathan Harrison, and I’ve been working on game designs of my own for a couple years now. In fits & starts, and very much as a side project rather than a full-time gig. I’ve been an avid player for ages, though; a little bit of all the things. Traditional RPGs, storygames, freeform larps, boardgames, card games, MOBAs, MMOs, roguelikes, tabletop minis games… there’s very little I won’t try at least once.
Currently I work for Squarespace in Portland, Oregon, in the grey realm between customer support and engineering. Like so many others, I continue to look forward to the day when I might have the opportunity to see my work and biggest passions align!
The whirlwind at the heart of indie RPGs, storygames, and other narrative stuff defying easy categorizing is where a big part of that passion lies. The experience I want from a game is just that — the experience! I love joining in with other players to create a unique, fragile thing that bumps up against feelings that are real and important.
A lot of the free time I set aside for myself ends up spent on gaming: thinking, playing, making, and organizing. I love drafting Magic: the Gathering, for example, and have a pauper cube I built that I love updating and tweaking. Once upon a time, when I had more time, I helped run events for Games to Gather: a drop-in meetup here in Portland for just the sort of games I’m passionate about and love sharing with a wider audience.
My other interests are very storytelling-focused as well. I focused on journalism and broadcasting in college, and podcasts & public radio remain some of my very favorite things. I round out my media diet with film, spending a hearty chunk of time at the Hollywood Theatre & trips to Movie Madness. Want to know what I've been watching? I log everything over at Letterboxd, which might be the best social networking thing that exists? (Spoiler: I watch way more schlock than maybe I oughta.)
At the end of the day, I’m hoping to use this space to organize and share my thoughts and ideas as I work on them, with the aim to release finished products into the wild someday — probably via crowdfunding. I’m glad the likes of Kickstarter and Patreon exist to help folks bring their projects into the world. I might try to fit in some fiction here and there, also.
If you just want to peek over my shoulder as that happens, great! If you want to join in and collaborate on something, that would also be right up my alley. If nothing else, talking over an idea is a great way to help give it form.
Thanks for reading all that! Here's a bit of a poem:
The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.
—W.H. Auden, "As I Walked Out One Evening"
But what's up with that title? Doesn't "Orbis Tertius" mean "Third world"?
Well, yes and no. Yes, in a literal sense, the Latin translates that way; no, it's not at all a reference to the outdated, Cold War era term for "developing" countries not affiliated with the US or USSR. This story is the origin of what I mean by that name, though while it may clear up that question, it may have the consequence of making other matters worse...