Publishing "Perfect, Unrevised" - a story game
Publishing "Perfect, Unrevised" - a story game
Perfect is a story game about criminals in a steampunk dystopia, fighting for their beliefs. After 4 years, it's done. Time to finish and publish it!
Perfect is a story game about criminals in a steampunk dystopia, fighting for their beliefs. After 4 years, it's done. Time to finish and publish it! Read more
I design story games. Perfect is a project that I have been working on for over four years. It is a story game about criminals in a steampunk dystopia - a fictional setting named Cadence. The game follows protagonists as they commit crimes, contend with the law, and face the consequences of their actions. It creates stories that are intense and engaging.
Both the setting and the system have been tailor-made for this cause: to tell engaging, weird stories about crime and passion. Cadence is a gas-lit world, where colour and mirth are close to eradication. It's a world where black-clad inspectors loom from shadows, and bureaucracy has run amok, and it always seems to be the middle of November. The system is focused on the interplay between criminal and law, antagonistic and personal.
The game is a moving avenue for exploring big topics - the legitimacy of law, personal sacrifice, the importance of standing behind one's ethics. It's also a fun way to create stories that echo 1984, A Clockwork Orange, V for Vendetta, Equilibrium, Gotham By Gaslight and Brazil.
You can read more about the game at www.buriedwithoutceremony.com/perfect
The game was published briefly in 2006, but taken off the market when I realized it wasn't, well... perfect. It's almost ready, now.
Your money will go towards producing, printing and marketing the game. A rough breakdown of the expenses follows.
Also! Every reward is a different pre-order for the final game. I expect PDFs to ship on November 1st at the latest, and print copies to ship December 1st at the latest.
Artist: Andrew Gillis ($300) While I already have several pieces of art commissioned from the 2006 publication (2 from Johann de Venecia and 1 from Bradley Bleeker), I've also commissioned a cool young artist from Vancouver to complete an additional 5 illustrations. The cost of the new art for this edition is estimated at $300.
Editor: Josh Roby ($250) The text is something I've been fighting with for years. As such, it's wrought with assumptions and old data. Hiring a professional editor to make it beautiful again is essential. Josh Roby is familiar with Perfect, a steampunk story game author himself, and a professional editor with over 10 years of experience. The cost to hire him for development & line editing is estimated at $250.
Fonts: $100 I've settled upon the body fonts (Miller Roman, Miller Italic) and titling fonts (Kilkenny Regular) that I want to use when I lay the game out. The combined cost of these fonts is $100 ($40 for each of the Millers, and $20 for Kilkenny). It's important to me to pay the costs that good and period-accurate typography demand. For the typophiles in the house: Miller is based on scotch romans, a series of typefaces designed and used throughout the 1800's and 1900's. They're some of the only good body fonts to emerge from that period, in my opinion. The roman is simple, the italic is beautiful. Kilkenny is a crazy decorative Victorian font which echos the flourishes and motifs of playing card design, IMO.
Designer Stipend: $500 I've been working on this game for 4 years. It's seen over 100 playtesters, and over 100 playtests. I've gone through more major revisions that I care to count (or have fingers to). I've hit my capacity for freely given work. I need to know that no matter what, from this point forward, there's cash money in it for me. I will not feel rewarded as an artist and designer if I simply break even, after this much sweat and fervor poured into the project. This $500 is to pay me for all the writing, revising, design, playtesting, layout and discussion time I've put in, up to this point in time. It'll work out to about 50 cents an hour, at a high estimate.
Printing Costs: $5,000ish I plan to spend $5,000 on the initial print run. I am still deciding upon the printer and the final format details. The game will run roughly 100 pages, with about 25,000 words. It'll have 8 to 10 full-colour illustrations, detailing the world of Cadence. Paperback, and currently planning for it to be 6x9. $5,000 will be enough to print 500-1000 copies, depending on my final printing options.
Of that initial print run, 5% will be set aside as give-away copies: for reviewers, libraries, convention door prizes and other awesome causes. This'll help promote the game, give back to the gaming community, and just be nice to others. So, that's 25-50 giveaway copies, depending on the total size of the print run.
Convention Tour: 2010-2011: $850 I want to debut the game at Steamcon II, which takes place in Seattle on November 19-21 (print schedule permitting). I also want to take the game to a host of other conventions in 2011: Gamestorm, Go Play NW, Dreamation & Gencon. Traveling costs money, probably more money than I'll actually earn by selling story games during the trip. So! $850 goes towards getting me out to those five conventions to play & sell this fantastic game. $850 isn't enough to cover my expenses, but it'll make the remainder much more manageable!
- (33 days)