Hi everyone: My sincerest apologies, I let this project go for over 6 months without an update. That was inexcusable. I'll be posting updates every 60 days with progress and notes until this project is fulfilled going forward.
Also, a lot has been happening over the last few months, so I wanted to catch everyone up.
The Original Ryuutama (Japanese) is back in print, indefinitely!
So, one of the sad elements of producing a game with a publishing company, is that you can't control what happens to it. You've signed away the rights, and even if the game is wildly successful, if the original publisher says "Yeah, not interested in printing them again", then the game will effectively remain dead. This is what happened with the original Ryuutama. Around the time this Kickstarter campaign started, it was impossible to find even used copies of the game in stores, and on Amazon you could find used copies maybe once every few months for $80-120 as "collector's items" and the like.
Well, the rights to the original game were returned back to author Atsuhiro Okada, And thanks to the versatility of Amazon's CreateSpace Print on Demand service, the game is available as a POD product. Okada even went back to the original document, and added all the errata and fixes that were missing from the original Japanese edition (but were included in the English edition).
Long story short: If you are learning Japanese, and wanted to get a copy of the original Japanese Ryuutama in print format, it's available, and rather cheap, too! It's currently on sale for about 2100 yen, or around $20 USD (not including shipping overseas and all). You can get it here. I believe there's a link at Amazon to display the page in English (it should be a globe with the letters "JP" in it):
(that's it on the right side)
I don't know how much it costs to mail a copy to your location; but I do remember when ordering from back when I lived in the US, I would often gather some friends and order 2-5 copies of a game at once in order to save on shipping.
Note: The book still retains its original Japanese edition layout: It's black and white with a few color plates in the front, and not full-color.
Ryuutama will have an open license!
Now that the rights to the original game are back in Okada-san's hands, one of the elements that we've been talking about (for the benefit of both the Japanese and Western audiences) is adopting an open license of some sort, likely the same Creative Commons license that is used by games like Dungeon World.
The community has been so great with developing cool and original content, especially packs of art and replays (replays mostly in Japanese, but I hope to encourage more English replays as well). Up until now, the attitude about indie/fan products has been the usual, "Technically it's not allowed, but don't ask/don't tell; and thumbs up to those that go for it, we won't bother you at all" attitude that's regularly adopted in the indie/dojin manga and games community.
Well, soon (this year) we will take it a step forward, and allow the creation and sale of Ryuutama-inspired works! We're not sure which license we'll be using at this point, and we need to do a lot of careful planning on that element, but Okada-san is in and excited for this, and so are we! We'll update everyone once the license and the like has been decided.
Ryuutama is now officially out (or almost) in five languages!
Chinese (Mandarin) is the next language to step up and be recognized, with a campaign and release within the next 12 months. That makes Japanese, English, French and Spanish!
The company doing the Chinese edition is "Beijing Labyrinth Culture", the same people responsible for FIASCO and Pathfinder in Mandarin! We wish them success in their translation.
The Last of the First Ryuutama Supplement is coming together
This is another sore spot for us, and again we apologize for the delay on this one. A reminder, here's what was originally included in the original first supplement:
Wagon Travel Rules
Road Campaign Creation Rules
Ocean Travel Rules
New Class: Navigator
Random Events for Weather/Topography
Ad-Lib Style Scenario Hooks
New Air Travel rules and skyships
One bit that we've been considering, is adding further content to expand the first supplement: In discussions of Ryuutama on the internet, a few topics I've seen come up a few times are things like:
"I love this game, but my regular RPG group will never try this. What do I do?"
"How do I introduce people new to gaming, to Ryuutama? Any tips/tricks?"
"How do I make my sessions more "Ryuutama/Honobono-like"?"
"What makes a good convention/one-shot scenario?"
Monster creation guidanceMaking your own Classes/Class creation guidance
...Things like that. To that end, I'm putting together a small "essay section/author thoughts", where we go over the above. I've heard a lot of firsthand stories from you, from people who ran it for their families, or ran it for people who have never gamed before, or from people who have themselves never played OR GMed an RPG before and Ryuutama was their first! So obviously the game as written is ready for the hands of a novice player or GM. And yet, a little helpful advice, pointers, things that have worked for us before... we want to help bridge that gap between book and table that much faster. We'll be including that sort of advice in the first supplement as well.
We are going to limit things there, though: While most of the above content is done and ready to be laid out, I don't want to add "just one more thing; oh, just one more thing; etc": We're not aiming to kick it out the door, unfinished: And yet, we've got a lot of idea that need a bit of playtesting and development, that clearly will appear in a second supplement. So we'll be cutting off the content in the next two months so that we can get the supplement in your hands by Winter this year.
Again, my apologies for the delay with an update: I know I let some folks down who were waiting to hear the latest news as it happened, not piled up into one too-long update. :-) To that end, I'll be posting more regular updates every 60 days until the crowdfunding extras are finished and in your hands. We have some other interesting Ryuutama micro-projects on the horizon (after the supplement is complete), and we'll keep you up to date as we have news on these.