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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 166 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: A new way of Publishing and Distribution Ideas  (Read 5423 times)
Eldrad
Member

Posts: 76


« on: August 10, 2007, 05:37:52 PM »

These are a few ideas although flawed may be a new way to get your game out there. I have thoght of these in the past and what better place to let these out! Some of these are just for the sake of disscussion! Some are ideas I maight actually try!

1. Let's just say you have a really good game. You have a few fanatical players. You get them to sell your game in a network marketing program. You are the top of the pyramid with residual income coming in as your game is sold by word of mouth person to person. A player of GM could also "buy" into the company and go up in ranks causing people above to go up in ranks. Yes if this could work you would be the Amyway of RPGs!


2. Why do (most not all) RPGs have to be published in a large book form? What about publishing them in a pulp paperback form? What about a monthly Indie Magazine that would do just that? A small cheaply published pulp magazine that would contain one or more indie RPGs a month! Either in Pulp Magazine form or Paperback form. Think of the coolness of an entire wall of RPGs on a bookshelf!

3. What about gaming nightclubs? Imagine a bar and grill catering to gamers only. It would sell games too. A safe place to game without interuption. If WotC research is correct then about 9% of the population are gamers making this a fairly large crowd in bigger cities. Prices would span from high to low. It would need alot of square footage and alot of divied areas and or rooms. A place for gaming conventions Possibly a climate controled wharehouse?

4.Another novel idea is gamemasters for rent. Yes the gamemaster could and would charge people to play in his games. This combined with the gaming nightclub above could really work out. I have played with a few GMs that were truly artist in the greatest form. Now this GM would have to have all printed materials, multiple copies of the rulebooks, minatures and maps, and all other supplies as well as there being food supplied to the players.

5. This also gets into what is going on with online gaming. Imagine actual cash changing hands for in game magical items and spells for pen and paper RPGs. This of course in my eyes and many others immoral and I have very little respect for the worm player.

So what do you think?
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Adam Riemenschneider
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Posts: 81

I also go by Capulet on other Forums.


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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2007, 06:27:33 PM »

Two comments:

I'm a bartender, and have worked in the club industry for five years. I think your gaming club idea might (might!) be workable, but only on a small scale *and* if you move away from a nightclub concept and toward a social club concept. People go to nightclubs to dance, meet up with friends, drink, and hook up. Most nightclubs are difficult places to have a decent conversation in for five minutes.... get that many people together, and there's no way anyone could hear each other well enough to game.

Keep in mind the social parameters of gaming.... groups of 3-6ish people, who want comfortable surroundings, snacks, and usually a table. If you've ever been in a pay-for practice studio (with room for 10+ bands to practice, any hour of the day or night), you know how such a place would likely be set up. I've gamed in coffee shops, made from converted/remodeled houses. It can work in such spaces.

On the "GM for Hire" idea: A friend of mine and I actually talked about this one a few months ago. We tried to build a model around 5 hour sessions, 5 players each. The GM would have to pull in $10 an hour to make it worth his while, if it was to be considered a true means of employment, and you'd have to take into account prep time, story writing, research time, and so on. Perhaps 2 hours of "prep time" per session? Now the GM is working a 7 hour day. $70 / 5 players is $14 a player, per session/work day.

That requires having an average of 25 customers who were willing to play every week, and rack up $56 a month in gaming fees. We just didn't think is was at all possible. You could make a run at it as a part-time gig, but it's still asking for an awful lot of money. I bet it'd cut down on table-talk, though...


 
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guildofblades
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2007, 07:40:59 AM »

>>3. What about gaming nightclubs? Imagine a bar and grill catering to gamers only. It would sell games too. A safe place to game without interuption. If WotC research is correct then about 9% of the population are gamers making this a fairly large crowd in bigger cities. Prices would span from high to low. It would need alot of square footage and alot of divied areas and or rooms. A place for gaming conventions Possibly a climate controled wharehouse?<<

Not a bar or nightclub, but more like a social a membership club. Serving booze comes with lots of headaches. Here in Michigan in most cities is also means tracking down an existing liquor license and buying it off someone (average resale price ~ $60,000) and it would be nigh to impossible to have a nightclub environment and be able to admit the younger than 21 or 18 crowd.

But modeled off the Elks, Eagles or other clubs, were also think it to be a viable business model. Centered near major population centers, 60,000 or more of square feet for gaming specifically built out for games. Sofa lounges with sizable square coffee tables in between them for the role playing crowds. Larger format taller table and comfortable bar stool type seating for the miniatures crowd. For miniatures or wargames, private game rooms which can be reserved, rented and locked for use over many days. Longer folding tables and standard chairs for card players. A bar that serves non alcoholic drinks and easy to cook foods like pizza, burgers, hot dogs, etc. Add in a LAN center, wall screen tv for anime and movie viewing, a few pool tables and darts and an old school (el cheapo) arcade game area. And finally, a large and well stocked game store for another 6,000 to 8,000 square feet. Plenty of parking.

Yes, we have a business plan for such in place. Of course, a good location capable of drawing in enough gamers to and in a ok neighborhood with 70,000 square feet or is NOT cheap. Initial down payment on a building like that, build out with kitchen, bar area, specialized tables and loung sofas, private rooms, pool tables, arcade games, etc, not to mention $200,000K in inventory for the store itself, and you get a very pricey business to set up. $400,000 to $600,000, depending on the real estate.

To monetize that we envision a annual club membership. $150 to $225 a year or so, with annual and monthly payment options. Membership gets reduced prices on drinks and food and a flat 10% discount in the store. $5-$8 entry or so for non members...and only when invited to visit with a member. Maybe a free day of admission any time someone buys more than X amount in the store. Of course, money is to be made on the food and drinks. And from the store. Either once or week or twice monthly, have open game days (free admission) and host major card and miniature game tournaments (entry fee based, several styles) on those days. Anime & video rental (cheap) for in store use on the big screen. If the club gets enough of a membership, possible opportunities for vendor and 3rd party advertising and promotions.

To be really success such a club would eventually need to grow to 1,000 of more members. Putting upwards of 100 (200 at peak weekend times or major events) in the club at any given time.

Smaller clubs could be established in smaller communities, but really not much smaller than half or a third of what was proposed above. Anything smaller than that and the place will lose its grandeur and the draw of a very well stock and diversified store won't yield a strong enough ROI given the smaller audience. So basically any community that is capable of drawing rough 300 members would support a similar business.

Now we just have to wait for our board games, RPGs and computer games to give us upwards of $600K that we can afford to play with. Smiley

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Publishing Group
http://www.guildofblades.com
http://www.1483online.com
http://www.thermopylae-online.com
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Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Publishing Group
http://www.guildofblades.com
Eldrad
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2007, 11:51:26 PM »

6. Why make games in book form? I got this idea from LotR when Gandalf was looking for information about the ring in the ancient library. Can games be written on separate pages made to look like ancient manuscripts (at least for a fantasy game?) Have the pages post printer be coffee stained and the edges burnt to look like an old ancient collection of papers.

In modern and futuristic games the game be put in dossiers.

Just printing with no binding.

7. What about a printed game that one would have to assemble themselves?
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Vulpinoid
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Posts: 803

Kitsune Trickster


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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2007, 08:58:20 PM »

3. What about gaming nightclubs? Imagine a bar and grill catering to gamers only. It would sell games too. A safe place to game without interuption. If WotC research is correct then about 9% of the population are gamers making this a fairly large crowd in bigger cities. Prices would span from high to low. It would need alot of square footage and alot of divied areas and or rooms. A place for gaming conventions Possibly a climate controled wharehouse?

We've had a few game shops like that set up in Sydney, with a back gaming room that serves food and drink. Some have been set up in much the same way as those "Cafe Bookstores" that have started appearing all over the world, most have had a network setup for LAN games, and a vaiety of furniture to cater to differentgaming crowds on different nights of the week.

But, the best example of this type of thing that I've seen was just outside of Tokyo, it was a combined comic shop and bowling alley. Basically all of your youth culture needs in a single cool hang-out place.

As for the other suggestions, we've had a few freelance GMs for hire at some of the gaming stores. They basically get paid per hour and per player, with a percentage going to the game store for table rental.  If the freelance GMs run games that suck, people just don't come back to them. If the games are good, people are willing to pay a bit to enjoy themselves. Some were able to charge a premium for their services, because more people wanted to join theit games, but I don't know of anyone who made it a serious form of employment.

V
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
Eldrad
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2007, 06:00:54 PM »

How much money did he make?



As for the other suggestions, we've had a few freelance GMs for hire at some of the gaming stores. They basically get paid per hour and per player, with a percentage going to the game store for table rental.  If the freelance GMs run games that suck, people just don't come back to them. If the games are good, people are willing to pay a bit to enjoy themselves. Some were able to charge a premium for their services, because more people wanted to join theit games, but I don't know of anyone who made it a serious form of employment.

V
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Eldrad
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2007, 06:04:08 PM »

8. Complete RPGs on large poster sized paper instead of book form. It could be printed out, folded, and sold.

9. Go and recycle old printing technologies to print the stuff out yourself if old inks and parts could be salvaged. Most likely this would cost more.
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Bossy
Member

Posts: 29


« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2007, 08:20:09 AM »

3. What about gaming nightclubs? Imagine a bar and grill catering to gamers only. It would sell games too. A safe place to game without interuption. If WotC research is correct then about 9% of the population are gamers making this a fairly large crowd in bigger cities. Prices would span from high to low. It would need alot of square footage and alot of divied areas and or rooms. A place for gaming conventions Possibly a climate controled wharehouse?
It has already been stated that the nightclub and RPG moods are not quite the same. An RPG bar, definitely yeah. At least where I live, most of casual bars wouldn't mind if customers play, though usually very mainstream non-casino games: folk card games, dominos, chess, etc. Roleplaying in such environment would be awkward though. However there are already niche market bars where you can play board games, so why not RPGs. One just have to keep in mind that roleplaying requires more concentration than most boardgames, so it should be a loungy bar with non-intrusive music and non-intrusive bartenders...

Quote
4.Another novel idea is gamemasters for rent. Yes the gamemaster could and would charge people to play in his games. This combined with the gaming nightclub above could really work out. I have played with a few GMs that were truly artist in the greatest form. Now this GM would have to have all printed materials, multiple copies of the rulebooks, minatures and maps, and all other supplies as well as there being food supplied to the players.
Despite what Capulet says, I think it could be doable. However one of the reasons we love roleplaying is that we can build friendships  while playing(even affairs, so I heard). And nobody charges friends for playing with them.
 
Quote
5. This also gets into what is going on with online gaming. Imagine actual cash changing hands for in game magical items and spells for pen and paper RPGs. This of course in my eyes and many others immoral and I have very little respect for the worm player.

RPGs can get you through times without money better than money can get you through times without RPGs.

Deeply, we all know that in the worst case we can roleplay for nothing, so charging for magical items seems to me less immoral than impractical. The player base must be strong enough to compel more players to play and look for magical items. You get that through a reputation acquired either by marketing or the hard-way ("this game is good"). Both ways require heavy investment.
Also you will have to have a strict control over the magical item spawning process. Two ways:
1) materialize items with beautiful colored plastified cards (sounds familiar, uh)
2) keep an official log of current ownership for each item available on the internet

Oh... I just had an evil idea: combine that with absurdly obfuscated rules. In order to play, you have to hire an appointed GM who will only accept purchased magical items.

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Cheers.
cognis
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Posts: 15


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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2007, 11:06:27 AM »

I love this line of thought, and have been down it many times. I believe that RPG is a much too humble hobby, and has a lot of potentials not yet realized. For starters, imagine this game night(/day).

As in the story, I believe there are plenty of the ideas listed here that could work, and many more easy than one thinks.

Business Angles
I dislike #1, mainly because it smells like a pyramid scheme. I think something like it could work, but it needs a bit of fine-tuning. I think there should be some greater motivator involved; at the moment, it looks like it is mainly a "get a portion of the profit" angle, and that won't work, I fear. Influence over the game, or maybe even setting some goals for expansion, might. Not sure, but it definitely needs more thinking. The same is true for the 'buy magic items etc.' idea, but read below for something similar...

The Game Bar angle I really like! But one thing people seem to forget is that you do not need to make a game bar from scratch. Plenty of places with perfect facilities and daytime open hours are available, and would probably love the customers. I have played games in various overpriced cafes, with much attention (positive) from other guests. Making a place a game bar is more a matter of organization than anything else (okay, the Haven in the short story did have a strong focus on gaming). Of course, organizing stuff like that can be tough, too. I have a challenge just organizing regular gaming sometimes.

GMs for rent is not so far-fetched, either. People hire clowns for burthday parties, story-tellers for business outings, and all kinds of entertainers on a regular basis. The short story has an example, and I think if done right, a GM-for-hire could make it part of a bigger career, like adding teaching and writing to it, or even online video courses (reach hundreds at a time, no extra work). It's not  astand-alone business idea (unless you can get really rich people as clients, and are good enough to keep them), but it is a good angle for combination with other RPG business concepts.

New Media
The magazine idea is not only one I like, it's one I am getting ready to pursue. I am good at writing game material, and after having written for dozens of friends, I thought hey, why not submit the stuff to magazines. But current zines are hard to deal with, so now, I am launching my own PDF magazine, with 150 pages of game material per monthly issue and a $1.50/month subscription (I write extremely fast when I get player feedback, which is why that page count is possible). I think the magazine angle is a great idea for expanding a game, and wonder why it's still "oh, this and that magazine supports this and that game", rather than "this magazine IS that game. You can get sorted back issue articles as a subscriber, of course".

As noted in the story, I am also thinking how DVDs could be used. They are cheap to mass produce, and you can even put DVD 'images' up for download, for quick burning. Same with CDs. I am still a bit fuzzy on content details, but hey, it could even hold software extras (character builders, for example, or 'random adventure engines').

The poster idea is simply brilliant. The only drawback is, how the h*** am I going to find wall space for all the games I want? Perhaps a combo with the single-sheet idea, a kind of poster-on-a-roll, papyrus style?

As for unbound paper prints, that is not only a good idea, it is one that has already been used. Rolemaster had, IIRC, stuff published that way, and their books even had pre-punched holes so they fit into three-ring binders. I have been trying to figure out how I could use the idea myself, but have yet to find the Perfect Solution. An added idea, tapping the idea of buying individual magic items, etc., is to sell single monsters, spells, gadgets, etc. for printing. This is not "every Glove of Truth costs $1", but rather "the design and writeup of Glove of Truth can be bought seperately, rather than buying a whole book, and be put into your ringbinder, for $1. Use it in your games as you wish!". It would be like buying Magic: The Gathering cards individually; buy single pieces by themselves, rather than a full book.

I really hope people will support this thread with their ideas and feedback. I think this is a line of thought that can be truly important for the indie RPG field!
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cognis
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2007, 11:16:22 AM »

(I hate that I cannot edit my posts... grrrr....)

One thing I forgot about hired GMs: Prep-time is not nearly as bad as it looks. Different clients, same game, perhaps twist it if the scenario is a bit old. A good GM can revamp a scenario quickly, and if it is his/her business, that will become a skill in its own right.
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Eldrad
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2007, 05:23:33 PM »

Thanks for the comments cognis!

9. Go and recycle old printing technologies to print the stuff out yourself if old inks and parts could be salvaged. Most likely this would cost more.

I wonder how many old style printing presses were made obsolete by new technology? I bet there are a bunch of left over inks and presses siting around. Heck down the road from me is an abandoned printing press. The building is actually falling down on the machines inside though.


Here are a few more ideas

10. As characters get more powerful/higher level on idea #1 the player can gain status and fame. Whatever game was played would have to have very strict rules such as Living Greyhawk.

11. A living game based on actual geography. I have kinda started this with D&D in my area. I call it Odd Earth Eclectic Society. I have made a fantasy version of Lake Charles, La. I am currently in contact with Beaumont, Tx and Baton Rouge, La. gamers. It has not really went too far as of yet. The settings would be free but individuals could sell modules and such. Well not anymore I forgot the 4th edition D&D will no longer have the OGL. They will now charge you to publish a D20 4th edition compatible material.

12. Instead of LARPs create huge miniature games in large spaces on tables. I am talking about entire mini cities, dungeons, and wildernesses all lit up with special effects. All players would have rolling chairs. If you left one table you would enter the next table. HUGE gigantic RPGs with multiple DMs. Actual party vs. party. 
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cognis
Member

Posts: 15


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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2007, 02:56:32 AM »


11. A living game based on actual geography. I have kinda started this with D&D in my area. I call it Odd Earth Eclectic Society. I have made a fantasy version of Lake Charles, La. I am currently in contact with Beaumont, Tx and Baton Rouge, La. gamers. It has not really went too far as of yet.

Could you explain this a little more? You have people who can write fantasy versions of their real surroundings? I ran a GURPS Cyberpunk game based on a future version of my own home town once, quite amusing. One big fight was actually at the future equivalent of my home, and I could point to where grenades went through windows and people were firing at each other Smiley

Quote
The settings would be free but individuals could sell modules and such. Well not anymore I forgot the 4th edition D&D will no longer have the OGL. They will now charge you to publish a D20 4th edition compatible material.

Say what?? After all the fuzz, the OGL is going royalty-charge? Could you point me to the public announcement??
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MatrixGamer
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2007, 06:32:51 AM »

8. Complete RPGs on large poster sized paper instead of book form. It could be printed out, folded, and sold.


This is what I've done with folio Engle Matrix Games. They sold descently at Gen Con this year. I have beginner games and intermediate ones. Next year the intermediate ones will be boxed games. That way I can put in coins and counters.

Chris Engle
Hamster Press = Engle Matrix Games
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Chris Engle
Hamster Press = Engle Matrix Games
http://HamsterPress.net
GMSkarka
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Posts: 148


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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2007, 11:06:22 AM »

Well not anymore I forgot the 4th edition D&D will no longer have the OGL. They will now charge you to publish a D20 4th edition compatible material.

Not true in the slightest.    According to the meeting I was at with Bill Slavisek and Scott Rouse on the 17th, there absolutely will be an OGL, and the fee-based STL is no longer being considered, based on feedback from myself and others at the meeting.
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Gareth-Michael Skarka
Adamant Entertainment
gms@adamantentertainment.com
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2007, 07:49:23 PM »

Hey guys,

Take the discussion of D&D 4th edition to a new thread, please. If it's to proceed, include links, not impressions or what one heard.

Best, Ron
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