Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A question about the future - Faery Curses

I've been thinking about stuff and how to publish things in this new age where the old models for everything are slowly dying around us. How I might want to do things differently.

There is a new method of doing things, which is through the ransom model which has worked well for Arc Dream publishing. There is the Creative Commons License, which I think is gaining more and more steam and rightfully so. There is even the old stick my head in the sand method and hope I luck out. However, with our latest experiment not working out the way we thought it would the last idea seems to be the worst of that lot.

Now, I do have Feary Curses (it has a new name, but I'm sticking with the working title because that's how I've talked about it here, but for the record I seem to be going with Geasa) and I was thinking what would happen if we just released the text as Creative Commons by-nc-nd license.

My question, to the three people who read this blog and anyone else who might stumble upon this. What should I do? Should I use the by-nc-nd license, or should I make it a less restrictive CC license. Should I give the older method a good ol' college try again. Do I take a page from Arc Dream and try the Ransom method.



bartlettmeeks said...

What kind of game is "Faery Curses"? My opinion is that RPGs don't make cash but they do build a following. Use an RPG as a flagship "Here we are!" kind of game to draw and keep fans of the company. Use more traditional games to pay rent. This does not answer the question "How to pay rent?"
regardless, By-nc-nd sounds like a good way to get the game out, but bear in mind that most gamers tweak what they play anyway. Most players have "house rules" so is there a way to use that to your advantage somehow?
The ransom method may work if you have enough of a following to generate initial buzz, but that in itself will not create buzz. Radiohead made it on the internet big in part because they were known. On the other hand, the game bidness seems to be pretty sympathetic to lil companies with big ideas, so it might fly if you advertize enough.
The traditional method we both know is not what we want. Dino-publishing is dead to me. Motzel tov.

Good luck!

beaglesmuggler said...

Okay, lets take for granted two things. First, that RPG's do not sell in the same way as more mainstream fiction. Second, the the main RPG audience is somewhat more technically advanced then the mainstream fiction audience.

There is huge upheaval in the publishing industry in general right now. No one has the answers. It's interesting to me because for a long time publishing has been a closed off sub-section of marketing that has been really hard to get into. More recently I now have friends in publishing asking me my advice on online marketing. So they are opening up and reaching out.

As Bartlemeeks said Ransom requires some sort of pre-established fan base that is likely to engage with and support your project. This is mentioned by Arc Dream in their blog.

Creative Commons self describes that license as "free marketing" but because of the draw backs of RPG 'home spun' culture you would never really be able to enforce your license.

I'd be happy to help you look into this in a more comprehensive way. My guess with this information is similar to the above that you will have to decide a strategy where you give some stuff away for free to entice an audience (Creative Commons) and then start to use pay-to-play to generate rent on Ransom.

Keep an eye on what else is coming up via Kindle and the anticipated iTablet as well as the magazine publishing industry vs. blogs.

Niniel said...

I might be grappling with semantics but... wouldn't, in it's purest sense, a nd license be deadly to a rpg? The story-line DM come out with ans perform with their players are derivatives. Any house-rule, made-up artifact or such is derivative. I know the point is to prevent others from selling cheap-knockoff but...

I look at one of my favorite (French) game called Nephilim.. The publishers went under in 2001 but the fan pages,blogs and mailing list stayed (barely) active. And that in turn, has cause a new publisher to pick up the license...

Not the best example for you (I don't want anything bad to happen to you guys) but it's an example of fan following and the fan creating extra content (settings, characters, etc) and using each-others content to make the game/world grow...

So maybe a cc by-nc-sa license might work better?

Jonathan said...

Thanks everyone for the feedback so far.

Bartlett - That could be something to look forward to, or something to do with the DCG. What would be interesting, if I were a better rule person, would be to make a system that was awesome and then let everyone use it under CC.

beaglesmuggler - I might take you up on that suggestion. I've been watching the kindle and iTablet with interest because it does provide a quicker easier way to get a product out to a lot of people.

Gamers do tend to be tech savvier, but I still hold out for the book as fetish object, which is why it's not totally going away and I want to be able to provide that option to people.

Niniel - a little bit. The CC license doesn't mean that people shouldn't be force to not house rule things. The CC license is about people printing their house rules as the game.

There may be something down the road that should be turned into a by-nc-sa license, I just don't really see Gaesa (Faery Curses) as that type of game. It really is a stand alone, indie type of game.

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