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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 54 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Avalanche] - Playtesting with BW for the first time  (Read 3429 times)
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2591


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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2010, 03:17:24 PM »

Isn't Avalanche going to be an Internet pay-site? Where's the problem in focusing on development for your own system and publishing the campaign essentially with one system? Then you can take your time finangling with potential BW-associated material, which you'll publish a year later, thus creating publicity and keeping the product in the minds of potential customers.

In other words: I'm not quite seeing the benefit to compromising your primary development work (whatever you consider that to be, note) for the sake of developing something that can easily be added at leisure later.
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Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
pells
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Posts: 192


« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2010, 05:17:44 PM »

A little reminder : in my working life, I'm a project manager, which means managing three things delay (time), perimeter (the stuff you do) and cost (see here money and effort).

Yes, Avalanche is meant to be a website. That's the plan. That said, doing the website is really a mess. I've been stuck with this for over two years. For almost ten years, I've been telling myself : I'm selling a website. It turns out I can sell something without the website : pdf. I won't go into details, as this is the purpose of an upcoming publishing thread, but we're going to sell a pdf on the basis of recurring income, thus preparing the ground for the website. Think magazine.

Now, about the systems. You might remember my coming to the forge in 2004, with a systemless campaign, turning it into a multi systems campaign. And now, we are turning it into an open multi systems campaign. But, as is it of today, Avalanche will be released as a systemless campaign ; only with guidelines for d20 (the OGL is a mess, I can talk about this later) and TSOY, knowing an upcoming system is on the way.

About effort. I'll just give you an example : maps. I've contracted a "master mapper" to "redo" the maps for Avalanche. This is a little money out of my pocket, but it turns out to be a lot of time (contract, introduction to the project, commenting ; you might know the drill). Is it worth it ? The hell yes !!!

About the open systems campaign : what does that mean ? I provide the campaign, and anyone (and I really mean it) can come up with a system and "attach" it to Avalanche (informative pages, characters sheet). What's the advantage ? People can contribute to my project and still own their IP and even make money out of it. Good way to build up a community. And a fair trade, or so I think.

About BW : compromising is not an option. But, hey, what can I say ? I bought the books, read them, played the game. I liked it. Now, maybe this is enough and I should be glad with it and address the issue later (which wouldn't be bad at all, remember the magazine ?). But, yeah, I've invested time already. Maybe, just maybe, I could do some little stuff that could help me. For instance, I could go on the BW forum and look out for playtesters, thus "having others work for the project" (remember the open project). I mean there is already a community there, no ? That would mean some efforts, but maybe it would be worth it.

But still, is this AP enough ? Are my conclusions right ? Going to the BW forum to get turned down is not the best communication plan I've come across.

And of course, doing this (buy, read, play, write AP) for another system wouldn't be a good idea for now. But BW ...
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Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2591


WWW
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2010, 01:15:40 PM »

Ah, yes, now I see. You're considering BW because BW players might be a good audience for your material, and you want to tap them early?

It seems to me that you're likely to get a pretty good response among BW players if you go into it in a dialogue mode, asking for feedback, playtest help and ideas. Instead of saying that your product will be great for Burning Wheel you might ask the people whether it is any good and how it could be made better - phrase your approach as questions, and you'll not only lessen your own burden of proof, but also engage people into considering your project together with you. Basically I think that the way you communicate with us here at the Forge would be fruitful on the Burning Wheel forums as well, assuming Luke's in favour of your continuing exploration of BW-Avalanche.

Selling periodicals is not a bad idea while you're getting the website up, by the by. Just be clear about your business plan in your marketing so that the audience knows what they're getting; roleplayers can be touchy about "having to pay more to keep up to date".
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Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
pells
Member

Posts: 192


« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2010, 05:15:47 AM »

Thanks for your advices Eero. Okay, I'll contact Luke and see what can be done. After all, letting a community decides for itself might seem like a good idea.

That said, I would like to ask some questions about handling out alpha testers. After some thoughts, I think it is best suited for another thread in publishing. I've got some ideas of my own, but I'm not sure this would work out. Anyway, this seems to me like prerequisites to beginning alpha and I need to wait a little ; I'll be receiving some new material (maps, and over fifty illustrations) that I'd like to incorporate into the alpha version.

As for selling periodical, I agree with you that this is a little "touchy". Good news : we have thought a lot about this and the plan seems to hold. Just remember two things about Avalanche :
- It is a very different product, thus I consider it could be sold very differently. Remember the notion of "add-on" ? Here is some parts of our answer.
- After all, Avalanche is pure fluff, some kind of illustrated novel. So far we only have the first part done (which is 400 pages and have 450 illustrations), if it's good enough there shouldn't be much problems selling out the continuing part as periodical.

Anyway, this won't be a pure periodical model, as we will throw in some bounty aspect. I do consider our strategy as a new publishing model (well suited for our product) and, as this is not the purpose of this thread, I'll stop talking about it. But I shall discuss it later on, when we're ready (just so much stuff to do at the moment).
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