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Triangle Agency, Paranormal Investigation TTRPG

Created by Haunted Table Games

Clock in to work and protect the world in this game of paranormal abilities, corporate horror, and dangerous Anomalies. This new Tabletop Role-playing game from Haunted Table is shipping in Summer 2024. If you'd like to learn more, you can check out our website at www.hauntedtable.games. Shipping fees will be collected close to our estimated shipping date in 2024!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Final Month Push! Triscendent Tier Game Scheduling Starts Tomorrow!
14 days ago – Wed, May 08, 2024 at 09:59:30 AM

Hey everyone! I'll keep this one brief because I need to get back to work!

Layout page for Pursued, a Triangle Agency Reality option. The illustration shows two people looking for someone hiding behind a trash can. The person hiding is clutching a bloody axe. Underneath it says "They know what you are. Soon they'll know where, too."
One of my favorite in-progress ARC Layouts!

We're pushing to have books in production by the end of this month, which has meant tons of editing and layout work. The game has grown, so the books have grown! Here's some fun numbers:

  • The Core Rulebook now has exactly 300 pages!
    • The Field Agent Manual + Character Pieces take up about 140 pages.
    • The General Managers' Toolkit takes up about 60 pages.
    • The Playwalled Documents/Character advancement rules take up the last 100 pages.
  • The Vault has 216 pages!
    • Each of the 12 missions takes up an average of 17 pages!
  • The Triangle Agenda has 96 pages!
    • The plan is to give you around 15 usable pages per Agent. 

The Complete Set has over 600 pages in it?? And then also dice ????? What a value. As you can see, the number of pages total is up by about 50 pages from our initial estimate in each book. This is for a few reasons:

For the Vault, Missions are mostly longer than we initially expected and we opted for an organization that keeps pages easy to navigate and less packed so it's easier for GMs to use on the fly. 

For the Core Rulebook, the culprit is mostly the Playwalled Documents. That section is loooooong, full of abilities of varying lengths, and also one of our favorite parts of the game. We couldn't cut it down without taking away things we knew you'd love, and we couldn't squeeze more things on a page without making it really annoying to read. So the book is just bigger!

A page of Triangle Agency abilities called Flesh Compression, Flesh Domain, Focus Group, Fold, Forced Perspective, and Fortune Teller.
These are still getting cleaned up, but here's an example of what the most basic Playwalled Document pages look like: Anomaly abilities you can unlock, each of which can have a totally different length and shape.

Last month, I started to see that we weren't going to make it by our goal deadline as-is, so we brought someone on to assist. Haggard Clint, game and graphic designer, has joined in to assist with finalizing the layout of the Vault. (He has already done some amazing work cleaning up those pages and saving us WEEKS of time.)

Every day, our workload looks something like this:

  • Sean Ireland is doing last-minute writing and clean-up for design elements that need polish. There are a few tricks and surprises we let stew for a long time and didn't include in the Unstable Edition, and Sean is mostly working on those.
  • Ben Mansky is working through all the layout pages that need really special attention. Stylized introductions for the Vault missions, more challenging page elements in the core rulebook, that kind of thing. He also set the basic style for both books which the rest of us are executing on.
  • Ryan Kingdom is illustrating the Normal Box Set (a huge job!! The entire box, inside and out, is a unique illustration.) and doing color and detail tweaks on our artwork where we realize we need it. 
  • Michael Shillingburg is doing final layout notes on the book after everyone else is done with the pages, drawing unique icons, adding a few surprise illustrations, and helping with product design.
  • Logan Dean is combining information as we get it from manufacturers and fulfillment partners to finally settle our shipping costs and organize freight.
  • I'm doing a bit of everything. Talking to manufacturers, fulfillment partners, distributors, keeping everybody's work connected and cohesive, doing product design as mentioned in last update, and then throwing all the available remaining time into proofreading text, catching game design we could still improve, assisting with layout, and making sure everyone has what they need to keep moving. Oh, and writing these updates!

I'd put the Field Agent Manual at 99% final, the General Managers' Toolkit at 85% final, the Playwalled Documents at 80% final, and the Vault at 70% final. We're getting there and working every day to get those last percentage points.

I can't give an exact date, but we're hoping to be at the printers by the end of May and releasing digitally in June. As a heads-up: we're moving quickly to get the game to everyone, but it's likely this first version won't be perfectly compatible with screen readers. We'll be working on that following digital release, though, and it's a priority for us to make that happen with an update following quickly behind.

That's all for now! Back to work!! I am sleepy!!!

Triscendent Tier Backers: Read This!

Tomorrow morning around 11am EST, you'll receive an email with a link for scheduling your Triscendent Tier game. Here are the details:

  • Openings are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from July to October, 12pm-11pm EST. You can schedule one 3-hour window on one of these days, so check with your players to see when they're available and reserve your time!
  •  If you can't make any of those times work, reply to that email. After everyone who can match my availability has scheduled, I'll open up additional times on weeks that aren't booked.
  • 2-5 players, via Discord. 
  • We're starting in July because I'm pretty confident the digital edition will be out by then, so we'll be able to play directly from it.
  • If you want to combine your games with other Triscendent Tier backers to make a little mini campaign or multi-shot, that's fine! Just let me know in the notes that's what you'd like for the group.
  • I'll be reusing a few different Anomalies/Missions across these games, so you won't want to discuss them with other Triscendent tier backers until after your game.
  • I'm going to do everything I can to make sure we are done with all the games by October, and definitely by the end of the year. I am extremely grateful for your support and want everyone to be happy, so I'll be doing my best to accommodate whatever requests you have, but part of that is making sure I can perform at my best for those games. So I need space between them!

Thanks so much everyone! Join us on our Discord if you want to chat with other players or have any questions about the game.

See you soon!

Caleb

Dice are in Production! (Contains Spoilers of the Classified Dice at the End)
about 1 month ago – Tue, Apr 09, 2024 at 09:29:26 AM

A d4 with a red pyramid shape on top highlighting the 3

Dice Production Samples Approved!

After a lot of back and forth to achieve the exact vibes we were going for, the dice are in production! I took some photos this morning. 

Two four-sided dice in the Agency style.
They only sent me 2, so imagine there are 4 more for your complete set.

I also have samples of the Classified Dice (which we usually refer to as Playwalled Dice now, following rewrites for the Unstable) but I'll give more of a general update for this month before we get to there, so you can bounce if you want to be surprised by the dice.

This is a big one with lots to look at!

Product Design

Layout is still taking up most of our team's time, but we're also doing some product design! Here are some cover drafts for the books I've been working on. (Nothing on these is final-final, especially the text, but it's close.)

The Triangle Agency front cover with the bar code, logos, etc. all placed. Headline text says "Clock in. Save the world." and "Welcome to the first job of the rest of your life."
The Vault: Missions for Triangle Agency cover. Headline says "12 Missions. 12 Designers. 1 Reality-Bending Campaign." Features thumbnails of all the internal illustrations.

The Normal Box is in progress, as well! Ryan Kingdom is illustrating every side of the box, a process which involves a lot more math than expected. Together, we studied the dummy and the templates to figure out what goes where and make the call on how the final will look. It's nicer and more complex than we initially envisioned. You're going to love it!!

Screenshot of a design program with lots of artboards, zoomed out so they're tiny. Each artboard has a different section of the box that need to be illustrated.
Each one of those little rectangles is a different template, which combined make up the inside and outside of the box. on the right is our original concept, which we used to talk through the new version.

The dice ordered separately from the box will have their own simple containers. I'll be doing some design for those too, soon, but I don't have any shots right now.

Layout

The beast!!! These books are big, across the board bigger than we initially planned. They're also going to be beautiful. The Field Agent Manual portion is basically done, here's a thumbnail teaser of that:

Thumbnails of the entire Triangle Agency Field Agent Manual. Nothing is legible but there are illustrations sprinkled throughout.
This section of the book is around 70 pages! 

The General Manager's Toolkit is a little more complicated, but it's also shorter! We're about halfway done and moving speedily. Ben Mansky and I are working together to get it done as fast as possible: he does the bulk of the work designing assets, drafting page layouts, and building the document as a cohesive whole. I've been doing text placement for the easier pages and then editing the final to make sure the text, illustrations, and layout add up to a well-paced, easy read.

The Playwalled Documents section is what I'm working on right now so I can confirm our final page count, and that goes quickly. That section of the book has a ton of information (as you may know from the Unstable Edition) so the layout is less about beauty and more about utility.

The Vault text placement is all done, and is Ben's next stop for clean-up and design of the most important mood-setting pages. In case you're curious, here's what the thumbs for that look like right now (this is about the first half of the pages). Don't look too close if you're avoiding all information about these missions.

Thumbnails of half of The Vault. Nearly every page looks roughly the same because it's a text-heavy book, and only has basic placement completed. Each mission has a full page illustration at the beginning.
All the pages look the same right now, and that's partially by design. We're using a consistent visual language across all the missions so they're easy to follow! They'll look a lot more fun once Ben is done with them, though.

Together the books are around 475 total pages (yowza), and then when you add the Triangle Agenda, the Normal Box, the covers, and the dice packaging...there's a lot of product design to do! But we think it's worth deliberate, careful work to make sure you're as happy with the end product as we are.

Next up: Dice! I'm going to include pictures of the Playwalled Dice, so if you don't want to see them, now is the time to bow out.

More Dice Pictures!

A full set of TA dice. The additions are a d20 and d8 with a red, silver, and pink swirl inside; a d6 and d10 in blue with a shiny core, and a clear d12 with a blue eyeball floating inside it.

If you've read the Unstable, or I guess paid attention during the campaign, you know that additional dice get introduced beyond the d4 for certain Agents. I'm not going to go into what they do (check out the book for that!) but I am going to show off how nice they turned out.

The full set of dice with a cat tail behind them.
featuring: cat tail
The full set of dice with a Siamese cat staring at the camera and hovering over them.
featuring: cat face! This is topaz.

Agency Dice

These dice are received from the Agency. They are less controlled than the d4, but every face is still a triangle. Access to their unusual abilities means the Agency has placed its trust in you!

The d8.
The d8 and d20.

Anomaly Dice

These dice come from exploring your Anomaly's abilities further. And that's all I'll say about that!

The d10 and d6.
Pictures don't capture it well, but the core is actually multicolored!  A gentle, sparkling rainbow at the center of the blue.
The d12, eyeball inside staring at the camera through the 7 face.

Yes, there's an eyeball in the d12. This die has a liquid core, which means the eyeball rotates to always face up. Who is watching? Why would we do this? If you don't know the answer, maybe you need to get a group together and play. :)

The cat in front of a window where the full set of dice are resting.

The Ripple Gun

Oh, and this only matters directly for literally 2 of you but the Ripple Gun is in production!!! Cutemonster Props sent me some fun progress shots yesterday. It's going to light up!

A gloved hand holds the main body of the Ripple Gun, unpainted and created out of a mixture of solid and clear plastic parts.
The antenna/barrel of the Ripple Gun held in a gloved hand. Most of it is solid, unpainted white, but the tip is translucent.

Thanks for reading!

We're working every day and moving closer and closer to release. I always see the comments here and appreciate the nice messages every time (I'm so tired...thank you for sharing your energy!!) 

If you get a chance send some words of encouragement to the other folks working hard right now:

  • Ben Mansky on layout, a full time job basically while he also has a full time job doing real actual science (@syzzygyp on twitter)
  • Ryan Kingdom on box design and last minute art adjustments (@ryankingdom_ on twitter)
  • Sean Ireland on drafting last minute new text and head of constant discord message receipt (@seaniceland on twitter)
  • Logan Dean now navigating our fulfillment and freight planning. We're so close to having shipping costs, and we have partners in the US, UK/EU and Australia/NZ regions! (@L__dean on twitter)
  • Michael Shillingburg on literally any design question any of us have and TONS of incidental additions and surprises in the book (@shillingburger on twitter)

And I'm Caleb Zane Huett, as always! @czaneh or @hauntedtable on twitter if you're looking for me.

Join us on the Discord if you haven't already: discord.hauntedtable.games

That's all. Have a great month and I'll keep you updated as production continues.

Thanks again,

Caleb

February/March Update: New Art! Same Work, Same Continues
3 months ago – Tue, Mar 05, 2024 at 12:05:28 PM

Hello, Agents!

The triangle agency lobby, a wide open space with two big red triangles in the middle of the floor. A shadowy crowd wanders beneath an endless maze of stairs and walkways.

It's been a while since we shared new art, so here is an amazing spread of the Triangle Agency lobby in Ternion City. Ryan Kingdom did the initial sketches and design for this but has been recovering from a joint injury, so Kodasea painted the final piece. It's breathtaking.

The bulk of our work for the last month has been editing, layout, and accounting! Taxes are complicated, paying people in the right way is complicated. But the books are looking amazing. 

Not a lot to share, but I can show some sample pages that are near-final!

Our Mission: Stabilize Reality book spread
Field work and General Employment Book Spread, featuring a graphic imitating the trolley problem with the Agency announcing that it's a simple and uncomplicated decision to choose everything in existence over one person's mundane desires.
Anomalies in Detail spread, with a lamb-like anomaly in the middle, curling around itself with dozens of legs and multiple heads.

Since last time, Ben has completed a full layout pass through the Field Agent Manual, and begun work on the General Manager's Toolkit. The pages above are from my second pass on the layout, coming along behind Ben to make sure everything is supporting the story and the rules.

The book is big!!! And so is The Vault, which is coming out to be a whopping 60 pages bigger than we expected. Lots of mission in there. We wanted it to be easy to read and run, and after lots of discussion settled on letting the page count increase rather than cram the pages full to meet our original goal. They're a bit more expensive to produce, but we reserved money for stuff like this.

Speaking of . . .

The Vault

I want to share some cool teasers/information on this book, but everything past this point has the possibility of spoiling (or heavily hinting) what's going on in the included missions. So, if you're hoping to play them and don't want any clues to the mysteries when they arrive at your table, don't look.

If you are a player, stop reading here to avoid Vault spoilers!

Here is a screenshot I took the other day while I was doing simple text placement on The Vault:

Artwork in order (top left down, then top right down): Corviday, Trevor Henderson, Sajan Rai, Zach Hazard Vaupen, Gravemud, Tofupixel, Kodasea, Coey Kuhn, kevin's computer, Jaden Kristofferson, Wayne Griffiths, Marie Enger

These are nowhere near final layouts (with the exception of Nosedive, which we worked harder on to figure out the template) none of them have had their visuals worked on yet.

What you can see here is the first two spreads of each mission! Throughout the book, we're using the same design elements but different color schemes to differentiate each of the 12 missions. If you look closely, you can see a glimpse of the artwork titles for each author! I can't wait to share the full versions. These missions are each wildly different, and they easily have enough material to last more than one session of play. 

It was wild  and very hard to oversee the writing of an entire novel-length book of missions in six months, but we're finally at the end of it! We could not have done it without the help of our editor, Will Jobst, and Sean's assistance in the editing process and creation of bonus material (like unlockable Requisitions and Anomaly Abilities for each mission!)

Thank You!!!

Thank you so much to everyone who is supporting us by playtesting, sharing the game, and talking about it online. As always, come join us on the Discord if you want to talk about the game.

I'll have more soon, including hopefully more updates on shipping, locking orders, and finalizing preorders before too long. Our priority is finishing the project and getting the digital version to y'all for playing ASAP, and we're moving at a steady pace.

Have a great week, and let me know if you need any assistance!

Best,

Caleb

January Update: Layout Process, Triscendent Tier Details, and More!
4 months ago – Wed, Jan 31, 2024 at 03:39:06 PM

The Work Continues!

Hi, y'all! It's been about a month so I want to give you a quick update. Here's what we're working on:

Page Layout of the Core Rulebook and Vault

Ben Mansky is our layout artist, so most of this work is going to him. It is a HUGE amount of work. Combined, we're looking at 400+ pages. None of these pages are copy and paste, either; there's something unique on pretty much every inch of these books.

A spread of the opening of Triangle Agency, featuring the terms and conditions and the necessities for play.
Image not final. But here's a work in progress page!

Our process goes something like this:

  • Ben and I (Caleb) meet to talk about what section of the book is going to generally look like.
  • Ben takes the text (basically what's in the Unstable Edition) and creates pages. He places art, creates or sources icons, arranges the page, and then passes it to me and Michael Shillingburg (who designed our campaign page, and is my brilliant husband) to give feedback.
  • I focus on the information organization and styling (Does this flow make sense now that it's on the page? What text should be bolded, italicized, given an alternate color?) and drafting new text to fill spaces that appear during this process. 
  • Michael focuses on providing a second eye for design elements, creating icons, or adding quick additional pieces of detailed page design (like below) to pages that feel like something's missing.
  • Ben revisits the spread after receiving the notes, adds new elements, adjusts things, swaps pages where necessary, and duels with the font to make it all fit.
  • Once all of this is done for a whole book, Sean and I will do a final pass on every page to clean up the text, make sure everything is internally consistent and reflecting the most recent development, lock in final text, and move on.

We want these books to be as close to perfect as they can reasonably be, and we want them to be played for years going forward. This means we're being very deliberate, and it's taking a while. It'll be worth it.

A two-page spread of the Triangle Agency's "Our Mission" page. Stabilize Reality is in large red text around a red triangle that's perfectly centered. Thin triangles emanate out from that red triangle, starting as straight lines and becoming gradually wobblier as they get wider. The text box below has nonsense text in it that says "Borblis gorglurb" and other sounds like that.
Here's a mockup Michael made as an idea for a page. Borblis gorglurb?

The Vault is very similar. We're developing a consistent style across all the missions so they're easy to read and reference on the fly! I would love to share screenshots from that, but there is literally no available page that doesn't contain spoilers for a mission. I'm sure I'll find some good ones to show off later, but I don't want to do that to y'all in a regular update!

All in all, I would place us around halfway on this process. Ben is beginning work on the General Manager's Toolkit now, which (if you've played the Delta or Unstable) you know is the most complicated part.

Anomaly Retrieval Missions and Equipment spread. The normal Briefcase and yellow Ripple Gun are displayed prominently. A sidebar box has green rectangles covering the text inside.
Green blocks like in that "How Does It Work"  box are how Ben signals to us that he's adjusted/added text, or that an element needs more attention.

Vault Mission Editing

All of our Vault Missions are turned in, and 9/12 are fully complete and in the layout stage. Right now, editor Will Jobst and I are working on editing the text for those final 3 so we can move into layout with them, too! Each of these missions is going to be a blast to play at the table. I can't wait to share these (and the amazing accompanying art pieces) with everyone!! 

Art

We have, I believe, 5 pieces remaining: two large spreads and 3 smaller illustrations. All are in progress right now, and will be easy to slot into the book when they're done. 

Just for fun, here's one of my favorite pieces from the Playwalled Documents in the book. These little guys might be hard to identify at first, but they're something that's featured in the Unstable Edition!

Two flying fish-shaped packages hold strange things inside of them: one a pile of hands, the other a tornado. Another image shows them opening around a yellow rubber duck, their insides combining into a tornado of hands.
Illustration by Kodasea

Product Design, Manufacturing, Shipping

Both sets of dice are designed (I love them, I'm waiting on having a full set physically to share photos) and we are moving into production. This means all of the physical products' specifications are settled, with the possible exception of exact book page counts. Next we have to design their exteriors: finalize cover designs, make the box design, add barcodes, write cover text . . . a lot to do!

On the manufacturing end, we've paid the manufacturer and they are ready to go as soon as we're ready with the files. We're still a ways from being ready, but the logistics are mostly figured out.

For shipping, I've asked Logan Dean, one of our Vault writers and someone very experienced with campaign fulfillment, to take over coordinating freight and communications with our fulfillment partners. We're making some final decisions this month on partners in some international regions so we can lock in final shipping costs and charge Backerkit preorders. 

This kind of stuff feels like it's secondary to the creative work, but it takes hours and hours on its own.  I'm learning a lot, and I was prepared for it, but it feels like when you're packing up your house and, as you approach the end, new projects keep springing up. Fractal-like, at the fringes of every task are three more tasks. See: calculating royalties and doing taxes, my other current major non-creative challenge for this project.

If you are a game designer and you're ever planning a campaign or working on a project like this, reach out! Let me share what I've learned!! All of this new knowledge will only be truly useful when it is shared.

Triscendent Tier Games

If you backed at the Triscendent tier, you're probably thinking about the game we'll play this year! For everybody's sake, my priority continues to be finishing the game -- but I'll send out an email in late February or March to begin scheduling games in mid April.

Here are some details to help you start planning:

  • You'll provide your own group - 3-5 players, not including me. If you don't have enough people, I'll combine you with another group to get to that number of players.
  • I'll be doing 1-2 a week, and there are around 25 of these. Once the scheduling email is sent out it'll be first-come first served on available time slots. If scheduling proves particularly difficult (like you're in an extremely different time zone) I'll work with you on finding times, but folks who can match my normal schedule will get priority when reserving particular weeks.
  • Ideally, everyone's game will be done by the end of the Summer, close to when the physical editions are sent out. 

Thank you!

Thank you for your excitement, patience, and curiosity. Please ask questions if you have them, here or on our Discord. I'm working on this project for hours every day since even before the campaign and it has been a long, challenging process. Hearing from y'all keeps me going. 

Thank you so much to everyone who has been playing the Unstable Edition and sharing their play reports with us. Your stories are the reason any of us are working on this game in the first place!

I look forward to getting this game in your hands and to continue building the Triangle Agency world for many missions to come. You've made this a really unforgettable year for me, and I'm sure for some other members of the team, too.

More soon,

Caleb

Normal Box Set Preview! Blank Dummy Video
5 months ago – Thu, Dec 28, 2023 at 10:45:11 AM

Hello, Agents! 

We received the full blank "dummy," or test print, of the entire Normal Box Set! (Which means everything.) The dice in here are just sample dice, unrelated to the final designs, but the rest is exactly what we plan on printing next year minus all the actual content.

Check it out below! It's an unlisted video, but you're welcome to share it with anyone curious.

Some highlights about our current place in the process:

  • Unstable Edition feedback has been incorporated into the final book, and we're editing the rulebook as we continue to test and hear from you.
  • Layout is finally in progress! It's a huge number of pages and we're pretty particular with the look, so this will be a while. We expect to be getting close to finished by the end of February, with the digital version releasing in March or April. This might change, though. Our highest priority is quality, so that might mean some small delays.
  • Art is almost entirely complete! We're missing fewer than 10 pieces.
  • The Vault is almost done! We're waiting on a few final drafts, but most are in layout as well. These missions are awesome.
  • Everything is paid for! We've paid all collaborators their full rates, wired the money for our initial manufacturing order, and even sent out our first revenue-share payments to the team.
  • Shipping charges are close! Confirming everything in this box set our dimensions & weights, which means we can reach out to our fulfillment partners and get numbers set and charged, hopefully by the end of January. 

As always, let me know if you have any questions!

More soon,

Caleb