Noah Wizard

Noah Wizard

is creating a card game that explains why being an adult is so hard.

The Un-Mystery of People

We don't have to be mysteries to one another.

We don't have to miscommunicate.

But the shit we're doing right now isn't working.

Everybody's mad. Everybody's worn out and worn down. Plenty of people haven't even noticed because somewhere along the way they accepted this turmoil as the new normal.

It's not normal.

We could be friends again.

Are you a grown-ass adult who is kind of unsure why your friendships fell away as the years went on?

Do you not know how to make conversation with people? Or maybe things just get awkward and you have no idea why.

This stuff isn't unknowable.

There are really common reasons that communication breaks down, and people become strangers to one another.

But learning the skills to solve this problem of miscommunication, has proven to be a drag for people.

I had the strange fortune of being born into a family that has a lineage of listening skills. It was normal to listen to people and imagine them complexly and know what to say and have really good results from conversations.

I've spent my adult life trying to convey what my weird family knows about talking to people. Or more accurately, I've spent my adult life trying to convey that what my weird family knows is how to listen to people. I've spent an unearthly amount of time finding ways to make "Listening Skills" sound cool enough for people to take notice, and the time is coming where my brilliant super-awesome plan is being unveiled.

I turned it into a card game. But learning a card game for some people is as boring as rocks. So I turned it into a cartoon about a card game.

Alvin McAllister, Space Negotiator.


No One Can Hear Us Complain, in Space...

If you're going to tell people the truth, make them laugh, or they'll kill you.

Alvin McAllister is set in space, on spaceships and space stations, on moons and distant worlds, because I thought it was time to get away from our own world for a while. Don't ya think?

Wouldn't it be nice to learn this stuff in a vacuum?

No Earth realities to get in our way. Just cartoonified analogs of them where you can still see compelling (fictional) people working to battle their demons and come out the other side, but by gum they are not gonna do it in an office park! My dedication was to set this series someplace where it wouldn't feel like a bad HR video that you have to sit through. It's gripping. It's compelling. It's funny. It's weird. It gets you out of your comfort zone, but not in an uncomfortable way.

You're gonna be challenged. But it's gonna be a fun challenge where you're testing your limits, and it doesn't suck this time because somebody actually gave you the rules ahead of time so you can craft a realistic strategy that will drive you to your destination!

This isn't a fly-by-night operation. In 2003 I started training in video production and in animation. I made commercials, I won awards, I taught animation at Ford World Headquarters. In 2012 I went to Chicago and stayed at a college just to study how playwrights have been putting stories together for thousands of years. I've got some classic crap backing this up here. The card game's design comes from pieces I engineered after breaking down over 600 video games to find our best, smartest conventions for modeling human behavior.

It's fun, it's clever, it's simple. I'm gonna prove to you a simple piece of it right now, so you've had a taste of what's to come.

Do You Even Know Your Battery from Your Heart?

"How are you doing today"

"Not great"

Well that's not helpful.

And yet if you're not gonna lie and say "I'm fine" a vague notion of what's going wrong in your life is one of the most popular responses to how are you doing today. (It's either that or an entire Netflix comedy special of everything that's gone wrong this week, right?)

When you're down, you're down. And it'd be nice to have more specific words to talk about why you feel so lousy about life lately.

People say, "Oh I'm so low energy lately."

Which is a nice way to explain that something isn't right, something's not full-up, but did you know that when people say "Oh I'm so low energy lately" they could actually mean two different things? And that each one has its own solution, so if you don't know which one they mean, you could trample them when you try to help or offer comfort?

You've got your Batteries, and you've got your Hearts.

Hearts are how you feel about the state of your life, and the world. If the world sucks, chances are good your hearts are low and you are uuuunhappy about the circumstances of your life. The kinds of cards that keep showing up under a low-hearts kind of day are the ornery, bitter, misdirecting anger kind of cards.

Battery is the energy to go do something about your life. You can have full hearts but still be having a not-great day because you've used up all of your action-power for the day and nothing at all feels like you could do it.

"Take a walk" shows up in our hand of cards. You know it's a good idea and you worked to put that habit into your deck. Can't afford it though. No Batteries left.

"Call a friend" shows up. You want to talk to a friend. But that shield you use to soften the blow when you reach out and no one messages you back? That takes energy. So right now you're too afraid to call a friend because they might brush you off or ghost you, and you will be powerless to mitigate the hurt of that kind of missed connection. You sit there hoping against hope that your friend calls you.

Even "Go play your favorite video game or watch your favorite tv show or read your favorite book" can end up with a "yeah...I would...if I could muster up the strength for it..." Sometimes we let our Batteries get so depleted, that even remembering our favorite things becomes a challenge.

We can have High Battery Power and Low Hearts. That's a scary combination. Ever seen someone in a place where we're fighting the world hard and digging ourselves further and further into a pit but we just never seem to wear ourselves out out so we just keep making bad decisions one after another? Every single lousy card that comes up in our hand, we go, "oh heck yes, let's try this out, how could things get any worse??"

The next time you or somebody you care about is having a bad day --you don't have to talk to them in this card metaphor language-- just remember that you know now: is it low Hearts or low Battery? Are they besieged by factors that are trying to tear them down, drive them into the loss of their sanity? Or is their life fine, but today they just can't afford to make an effort?

Somebody with low Hearts needs something different than someone with low Battery. If it's an energy problem and not a stability problem, you can offer up some of your Battery power, "What if I picked out a movie for us?"

Turning Metaphor into a Cartoon YouTube Channel

Hopefully you stuck around with me for that brilliant but extremely frontier-town, rough-edges explanation of only one of the lessons I teach from games about how we can think about ourselves and others.

But what if sticking around weren't a chore?

A cleverly composed cartoon version of that same metaphor is gonna be so much easier to pass around.

Also- just a side note here, but for year one, when the word cartoon is used, it means drawings that barely move, but there's lively narration and humorous editing to bring pretty basic scenes to life. The plan is to keep the art simple at first, because the important thing is to get the message out there. I'd rather have a very-basic drawings cartoon that gets people thinking and gets people talking, than a beautifully animated cartoon that doesn't say anything. -Don't get me wrong, I love the short animated films out there and they're making a great impact, I'm just selling something else.

I'm not an entertainer.

I'm making ideas and discussion and skills entertaining.

I'm a teachy-talky kind of person. I can't help it. I know things that people can use to have less crummy days and I want to get that information out there.

It's costly enough to build the cartoons we're gonna build. Let's keep them simple and get on with it.

What You Get When You Pledge

Other than the- let's face it it feels good to help a good thing get off the ground- you'll be a paying member of the community and you'll have a place finally to post about what you're doing in your life that isn't Facebook or Twitter. We've got a chatroom set up that's for people trying to find their way in the world, and the word of the day is "Encouragement" every day.

You can pledge without taking part in the community, and you can pledge much more than a dollar per month if you want.

If you've never been on Patreon before, it's a way to send money to the endeavors you care about. Before this page was set up, you could cheer me on and hope the work I'm doing takes off, but because you're here on Patreon, if you want to, you can send in funds that will get used for the very many costs of trying to take a few generations of active listening skills and convert them to a card game and then cram that card game inside of a cartoon world and then animate that cartoon world so that it can thrive on YouTube.

Some of the costs are everyday things like food, but the first and foremost costs go to all of the creative development costs it's taken to get the series this far. Even before there's a finished cartoon, there will have been years of work narrowing down the project, and casting the characters, and focusing the video scripts, and mastering how the pros keep an audience's attention.

In the chatroom I'll be posting what I'm working on. And when you're a Patron, who's paying $1 a month (or more) to this project, you can get in there too and see all of the behind the scenes machinations that gets a project like this off the ground. It's especially designed to be a place where anybody else who is getting their own projects off the ground can come and seek support and encouragement, so you can come in there and tell people about what your own dream will be.

Of course it'll have to be something that lines up with whatever you're looking for next in your life. A community to be a part of might not be your next step. In which case I'm not asking you to force yourself into a space like that. I'm just providing the opportunity. 

But if it is time?

I can't wait to see you in there. There's a description on the right sidebar that you can read through. If after you've read that, you think it's time for a little leap, tap the button that says "Become a patron" and they'll help you get set up with an account. I'll also reach out to you to help you get situated in the chatroom so you can see what's going on in there.

And if you want to support the project with a monthly pledge, but don't care about interacting with the community while I hammer out the last details of the Emotional Baggage Card System, you can jump on the "Become a patron" button right now without reading the pledge-rewards description.

It's really cool you stuck around and read that whole thing. Thanks for that, you've been a nice supporter, just by reading all that.

Tiers
Knock Ideas Together
$2 or more per month

Membership. If you’ve got leaderly-type energy living within you, it sometimes comes as a shock when you finally get to meet somebody who cares as much as you do. Strategic access to the other people who back the project.


You have something new you’re trying to bring into the world. Each person here comes from that struggle. We all have more reasons why it’d be easier to quit than reasons to keep going. But you and I and this community, we’re the ones who keep going.


Everything worth doing well is worth doing poorly at the beginning. This is not a place where we strive for perfection. It’s a place where we knock our ideas around until they get a bit of polish. We knock ideas into each other to find where our ideas are strong. And we gracefully surrender the notions that aren’t helping us out any longer.


When you’re a backer at this level, you can logon to an ongoing daily chatroom where you can check in and document your journey for people who understand what you’re up against. You can witness other people documenting their own journeys. They’re gonna feel better that you’re there to cheer them on.


You’re gonna make friends here.


That’s the point.


Backing this project is a vote for friendship in the 21st century. We’re gonna figure out how to not hate each other so much. And we’re gonna find ways to not hate ourselves.


Adult life has been chewing us up and spitting us out. Divided we fall.


This is where we pledge to work alongside each other until each of us is strong enough and knowledgeable enough to kick life’s ass.

Includes Discord rewards

The Un-Mystery of People

We don't have to be mysteries to one another.

We don't have to miscommunicate.

But the shit we're doing right now isn't working.

Everybody's mad. Everybody's worn out and worn down. Plenty of people haven't even noticed because somewhere along the way they accepted this turmoil as the new normal.

It's not normal.

We could be friends again.

Are you a grown-ass adult who is kind of unsure why your friendships fell away as the years went on?

Do you not know how to make conversation with people? Or maybe things just get awkward and you have no idea why.

This stuff isn't unknowable.

There are really common reasons that communication breaks down, and people become strangers to one another.

But learning the skills to solve this problem of miscommunication, has proven to be a drag for people.

I had the strange fortune of being born into a family that has a lineage of listening skills. It was normal to listen to people and imagine them complexly and know what to say and have really good results from conversations.

I've spent my adult life trying to convey what my weird family knows about talking to people. Or more accurately, I've spent my adult life trying to convey that what my weird family knows is how to listen to people. I've spent an unearthly amount of time finding ways to make "Listening Skills" sound cool enough for people to take notice, and the time is coming where my brilliant super-awesome plan is being unveiled.

I turned it into a card game. But learning a card game for some people is as boring as rocks. So I turned it into a cartoon about a card game.

Alvin McAllister, Space Negotiator.


No One Can Hear Us Complain, in Space...

If you're going to tell people the truth, make them laugh, or they'll kill you.

Alvin McAllister is set in space, on spaceships and space stations, on moons and distant worlds, because I thought it was time to get away from our own world for a while. Don't ya think?

Wouldn't it be nice to learn this stuff in a vacuum?

No Earth realities to get in our way. Just cartoonified analogs of them where you can still see compelling (fictional) people working to battle their demons and come out the other side, but by gum they are not gonna do it in an office park! My dedication was to set this series someplace where it wouldn't feel like a bad HR video that you have to sit through. It's gripping. It's compelling. It's funny. It's weird. It gets you out of your comfort zone, but not in an uncomfortable way.

You're gonna be challenged. But it's gonna be a fun challenge where you're testing your limits, and it doesn't suck this time because somebody actually gave you the rules ahead of time so you can craft a realistic strategy that will drive you to your destination!

This isn't a fly-by-night operation. In 2003 I started training in video production and in animation. I made commercials, I won awards, I taught animation at Ford World Headquarters. In 2012 I went to Chicago and stayed at a college just to study how playwrights have been putting stories together for thousands of years. I've got some classic crap backing this up here. The card game's design comes from pieces I engineered after breaking down over 600 video games to find our best, smartest conventions for modeling human behavior.

It's fun, it's clever, it's simple. I'm gonna prove to you a simple piece of it right now, so you've had a taste of what's to come.

Do You Even Know Your Battery from Your Heart?

"How are you doing today"

"Not great"

Well that's not helpful.

And yet if you're not gonna lie and say "I'm fine" a vague notion of what's going wrong in your life is one of the most popular responses to how are you doing today. (It's either that or an entire Netflix comedy special of everything that's gone wrong this week, right?)

When you're down, you're down. And it'd be nice to have more specific words to talk about why you feel so lousy about life lately.

People say, "Oh I'm so low energy lately."

Which is a nice way to explain that something isn't right, something's not full-up, but did you know that when people say "Oh I'm so low energy lately" they could actually mean two different things? And that each one has its own solution, so if you don't know which one they mean, you could trample them when you try to help or offer comfort?

You've got your Batteries, and you've got your Hearts.

Hearts are how you feel about the state of your life, and the world. If the world sucks, chances are good your hearts are low and you are uuuunhappy about the circumstances of your life. The kinds of cards that keep showing up under a low-hearts kind of day are the ornery, bitter, misdirecting anger kind of cards.

Battery is the energy to go do something about your life. You can have full hearts but still be having a not-great day because you've used up all of your action-power for the day and nothing at all feels like you could do it.

"Take a walk" shows up in our hand of cards. You know it's a good idea and you worked to put that habit into your deck. Can't afford it though. No Batteries left.

"Call a friend" shows up. You want to talk to a friend. But that shield you use to soften the blow when you reach out and no one messages you back? That takes energy. So right now you're too afraid to call a friend because they might brush you off or ghost you, and you will be powerless to mitigate the hurt of that kind of missed connection. You sit there hoping against hope that your friend calls you.

Even "Go play your favorite video game or watch your favorite tv show or read your favorite book" can end up with a "yeah...I would...if I could muster up the strength for it..." Sometimes we let our Batteries get so depleted, that even remembering our favorite things becomes a challenge.

We can have High Battery Power and Low Hearts. That's a scary combination. Ever seen someone in a place where we're fighting the world hard and digging ourselves further and further into a pit but we just never seem to wear ourselves out out so we just keep making bad decisions one after another? Every single lousy card that comes up in our hand, we go, "oh heck yes, let's try this out, how could things get any worse??"

The next time you or somebody you care about is having a bad day --you don't have to talk to them in this card metaphor language-- just remember that you know now: is it low Hearts or low Battery? Are they besieged by factors that are trying to tear them down, drive them into the loss of their sanity? Or is their life fine, but today they just can't afford to make an effort?

Somebody with low Hearts needs something different than someone with low Battery. If it's an energy problem and not a stability problem, you can offer up some of your Battery power, "What if I picked out a movie for us?"

Turning Metaphor into a Cartoon YouTube Channel

Hopefully you stuck around with me for that brilliant but extremely frontier-town, rough-edges explanation of only one of the lessons I teach from games about how we can think about ourselves and others.

But what if sticking around weren't a chore?

A cleverly composed cartoon version of that same metaphor is gonna be so much easier to pass around.

Also- just a side note here, but for year one, when the word cartoon is used, it means drawings that barely move, but there's lively narration and humorous editing to bring pretty basic scenes to life. The plan is to keep the art simple at first, because the important thing is to get the message out there. I'd rather have a very-basic drawings cartoon that gets people thinking and gets people talking, than a beautifully animated cartoon that doesn't say anything. -Don't get me wrong, I love the short animated films out there and they're making a great impact, I'm just selling something else.

I'm not an entertainer.

I'm making ideas and discussion and skills entertaining.

I'm a teachy-talky kind of person. I can't help it. I know things that people can use to have less crummy days and I want to get that information out there.

It's costly enough to build the cartoons we're gonna build. Let's keep them simple and get on with it.

What You Get When You Pledge

Other than the- let's face it it feels good to help a good thing get off the ground- you'll be a paying member of the community and you'll have a place finally to post about what you're doing in your life that isn't Facebook or Twitter. We've got a chatroom set up that's for people trying to find their way in the world, and the word of the day is "Encouragement" every day.

You can pledge without taking part in the community, and you can pledge much more than a dollar per month if you want.

If you've never been on Patreon before, it's a way to send money to the endeavors you care about. Before this page was set up, you could cheer me on and hope the work I'm doing takes off, but because you're here on Patreon, if you want to, you can send in funds that will get used for the very many costs of trying to take a few generations of active listening skills and convert them to a card game and then cram that card game inside of a cartoon world and then animate that cartoon world so that it can thrive on YouTube.

Some of the costs are everyday things like food, but the first and foremost costs go to all of the creative development costs it's taken to get the series this far. Even before there's a finished cartoon, there will have been years of work narrowing down the project, and casting the characters, and focusing the video scripts, and mastering how the pros keep an audience's attention.

In the chatroom I'll be posting what I'm working on. And when you're a Patron, who's paying $1 a month (or more) to this project, you can get in there too and see all of the behind the scenes machinations that gets a project like this off the ground. It's especially designed to be a place where anybody else who is getting their own projects off the ground can come and seek support and encouragement, so you can come in there and tell people about what your own dream will be.

Of course it'll have to be something that lines up with whatever you're looking for next in your life. A community to be a part of might not be your next step. In which case I'm not asking you to force yourself into a space like that. I'm just providing the opportunity. 

But if it is time?

I can't wait to see you in there. There's a description on the right sidebar that you can read through. If after you've read that, you think it's time for a little leap, tap the button that says "Become a patron" and they'll help you get set up with an account. I'll also reach out to you to help you get situated in the chatroom so you can see what's going on in there.

And if you want to support the project with a monthly pledge, but don't care about interacting with the community while I hammer out the last details of the Emotional Baggage Card System, you can jump on the "Become a patron" button right now without reading the pledge-rewards description.

It's really cool you stuck around and read that whole thing. Thanks for that, you've been a nice supporter, just by reading all that.

Recent posts by Noah Wizard

Tiers
Knock Ideas Together
$2 or more per month

Membership. If you’ve got leaderly-type energy living within you, it sometimes comes as a shock when you finally get to meet somebody who cares as much as you do. Strategic access to the other people who back the project.


You have something new you’re trying to bring into the world. Each person here comes from that struggle. We all have more reasons why it’d be easier to quit than reasons to keep going. But you and I and this community, we’re the ones who keep going.


Everything worth doing well is worth doing poorly at the beginning. This is not a place where we strive for perfection. It’s a place where we knock our ideas around until they get a bit of polish. We knock ideas into each other to find where our ideas are strong. And we gracefully surrender the notions that aren’t helping us out any longer.


When you’re a backer at this level, you can logon to an ongoing daily chatroom where you can check in and document your journey for people who understand what you’re up against. You can witness other people documenting their own journeys. They’re gonna feel better that you’re there to cheer them on.


You’re gonna make friends here.


That’s the point.


Backing this project is a vote for friendship in the 21st century. We’re gonna figure out how to not hate each other so much. And we’re gonna find ways to not hate ourselves.


Adult life has been chewing us up and spitting us out. Divided we fall.


This is where we pledge to work alongside each other until each of us is strong enough and knowledgeable enough to kick life’s ass.

Includes Discord rewards