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Author Topic: [just curious] How does one get a publisher forum here?  (Read 3569 times)
asdfff
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« on: July 29, 2007, 03:55:15 AM »

Just purely out of curiosity. How does one get a publisher forum here? (In the "Independent Game Forums" sub-group.) For instance, there are definitely more mid-to-high-profile authors writing small for-sale RPGs than listed at the Forge, some with more titles under their belt.
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2007, 06:26:34 AM »

You a) are an independent publisher and you b) ask for one. Then I create one for you, and there you go.

-Vincent
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2007, 07:13:24 AM »

Hello,

Vincent is right in logistic terms. There are actually a couple of other requirements as Clinton and I discovered through the long years.

1. The game really has to exist and be available. This is what Vincent means by (a) above. By "available," I mean a person can get it through any publicly accessible means. You can't just have a stack next to your door and give them to people you feel like giving it to. Format is wide open: it can be a computer file of any kind, a stapled pamphlet, a sheet of paper, a leather-bound book with gilt trim, or whatever.

2. You have to post about it, and others should be posting about it as well, preferably in Actual Play although any equivalent is OK, say at another forum. There should be what's called "buzz." That doesn't mean it has to be universally liked or eagerly anticipated or tearing up the popularity hit counts, but when someone says its name, at least someone else should know what it is.

This does not mean you spam threads with constant mention of your game for no reason. It means that you respect your own work enough to play it, and to present it interestingly enough for others to respect it too.

3. An unstated requirement, because I don't know what it is. In any number of cases, Clinton and I said to one another, "you know, we probably shouldn't include this," and we did anyway, and it was a really bad idea. As far as I can tell, it's a matter of our personal judgment whether you (the publisher) is on the level or is merely on some kind of ego trip. So he and I decided that we can also reserve the right to refuse because we don't trust the person. As it turns out, I don't think we've ever actually exercised that right.

All of these settled into place over the years 2000-2002, because we found that if we didn't follow them, the independent forum in question did no good for anyone and only became a source of embarassment and frustration for the publisher.

Anyway, nowadays, substitute "Vincent" for "Clinton" in all of the above, and that's the policy.

Best, Ron
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asdfff
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2007, 09:09:02 AM »

3. An unstated requirement, because I don't know what it is. In any number of cases, Clinton and I said to one another, "you know, we probably shouldn't include this," and we did anyway, and it was a really bad idea.

...only became a source of embarassment and frustration for the publisher.

What kind of situations would have been bad ideas? Don't name any actual games/publishers, of course, but would a 'bad idea' be something like a publisher that got too little buzz, leading to little or no traffic, or something far more overtly annoying to the Forge community entirely--like a specifically non-d20, non-forge-style anti-game?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2007, 01:46:41 AM »

Hiya,

I don't know what an anti-game might be, or anti-Forge, or anything like that, so I'm pretty sure that doesn't have anything to do with #3. The content of a given game is totally not the issue. As long as the game is independently published, the game content is eligible.

Side point: to date, we haven't hit any hard ethical limits like, oh, the Racist Manifesto RPG, as far as publishing fora are concerned. I don't know how far my "any content is eligible" statement would go in such a case, but I imagine I'd hit a hard limit sooner or later. This is an interesting topic and in fact, there is at least one case study in Indie Design to talk about, but I'm getting sidetracked.

To answer your question, #3 is probably best explained by Clinton's great thread from a few years ago: The five percent. Basically, he's laying down a foundational commitment which says, "At the Forge, you don't get a free ride just because you're alive. You have to share a core value." Although I do think #3 is probably best left undefined - and I stress that I mean undefined to me, not "kept secret" - I'm sure that this thread's content is included in it.

Best, Ron





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