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Ryuutama is an original Japanese heartwarming tabletop RPG of travel and wonder, currently being translated for release in English!
Ryuutama is an original Japanese heartwarming tabletop RPG of travel and wonder, currently being translated for release in English!
2,056 backers pledged $97,960 to help bring this project to life.

We Did It!! And Very Important Notes!

Posted by Andy Kitkowski (Creator)

Thank you all so very much! Because of your enthusiasm and response, we are able to now make Ryuutama in English a reality. Not only a reality, but an awesome...ality. With extra stuff, stuff not even the original game had!

So, I have some super important announcements in regards to this project. Please give this a read, as it will help both you and us get the game to you faster!

#0 Message delays: Matt and I have day jobs, and tomorrow is Monday: We will absolutely respond to everyone as fast as we can, but it may take up to 24 hours. Sorry in advance!

#1 In regards to our Updates: TL;DR/Long story short: Please make sure that the emails that Kickstarter sends to you are getting through, and if you see an Update to this campaign, particularly one that says "IMPORTANT", please act on it! We will be sending out a few Google Surveys in order to collect things like "The name you want in the book", etc.

For those of you who have backed us since the beginning of the campaign, you're probably a little weirded out by the lack of daily "Hey guys! Here's more/Give us more/Tell your friends!" posts. Rather we released them infrequently, making sure that each one had some important thing of substance in them. That's the same way we're going to work going forward, too...

...but here's the thing, most projects get all the "important backer information" in that Survey that we can send (shipping addy, add-on confirmation, "How would you like your name to appear in the book?" etc). Unfortunately, you can only send One Single Survey out, which we are reserving for when it's time to deliver the printed book. But there is some information we'll have to get from you, stuff like:
* How many books you ordered
* If you ordered multiple books, what are the names and emails of those "gift/friend books"
* The name you want to appear in the book, in the credits section

We will be asking for that information in the form of Google Drive Surveys. So you won't get a "Kickstarter Survey" asking you for the name you want to appear in the book, you'll get it in the form of a message *through the Kickstarter messaging system* directing you to a survey. This will likely happen within the next 10-14 days. When we send out a survey, we'll post a public update, and if it's something that requires peoples' attention, we'll put "IMPORTANT" in the Update message title.

I'm warning everyone now, because we'll have a limited window to collect that information. And if you miss out on the survey, you'll of course get the books in the end, but you won't be able to get your name in them and the like.

Cool? Cool.

#2 Our Deadlines: So, as you recall early on when we went full color, that act alone pushed back all the Kickstarter deadlines for PDF and Book by one month (we have enough fluidity built in that we might not have a problem). But as you may be aware, once you set deadlines, we can't change them even when we get more money to make the books that much more awesome (additional content, etc). But just be aware of that.

#3 More Milestones: Did I say that milestones ended with the campaign ended? I didn't, because they don't! See, we now are going to carefully sort through the money raised, and see what more we can provide. There are also one or two things that we meant to reveal but didn't have the time (as we were too occupied on finishing the book), so stay tuned for more updates, namely (a teaser):
* Announcements on the "open-ness" of a Ryuutama license, for those people who want to make, publish and perhaps even sell their own Ryuutama supplemental material!
* A translation of the Japanese Second Ryuutama Supplement's material.

#4 Mizusaka-sensei's Art: If you backed at a level that got you a character sketch, "day in the life" picture, or Adventure, keep your eyes open in the next 10 days for initial contact from me in regards to those items. In the interim, feel free to download and play with the character generation document to get an idea of what kind of characters you want: Think about things like "race" (that is, world location/skin tone: Not everyone in Ryuutama, even in the original art in the book, is "Anime White-Asian"; there are clear Middle Eastern analogue characters, Far East/Southeast Asia analogue characters, and more in the original game, and the game is ripe for even more), gender, age, class/type, personal item, dress/appearance, and so on.

#5 Paypal Stuff: Later on everyone will get an opportunity to pay more for more add-ons. We'll have a secret store set up solely for Kickstarter backers, as a number of people expressed wanting a second copy but not being able to afford it now (or to later upgrade to a hardcover from the PDF, etc). 

Also, there were of course some people who KS/Amazon's payment system didn't work for, or caught the project hours after closing: This week, we'll post a public link to a store item in order to "buy into" the Kickstarter for a limited time through Paypal. Keep an eye out for that.

#6 The Game Draft: We said we'd provide a draft version of the game "Around the Holiday Season". That pretty much means... okay, about ten days from now (Christmas, followed by O-Shogatsu). So expect to see it ready around the 22nd-23rd (late next weekend/Monday). Again, it will be about as rough as the character creation draft, but you'll be able to fully play the game with it!

...I think that's it for now!

Again, thank you so much for all your contributions, your enthusiasm, your support, especially around the holiday season. We'll make sure that you get the best version of the game that it could possibly be!

-Andy and Matt


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    1. Jason Miller on

      I was a little surprised by the overall conversation Andy. You and Matt tend to run a tight ship and the two kickstarters you have been involved in have been some of the best I have backed,

      Jenny's comment came out of no where for me. I saw it and kind of had the same reaction your first response showed. It progressed and she was removed as a backer. The quickness of that being the answer shocked me a bit but I understood it considering just how venomous her attitude was, The fact that she was perfectly fine with the answer (?) lent the decision a lot of credibility as the correct choice.

      Anyway road bump cleared. Learn and lets continue our journey.

    2. Andy Kitkowski 3-time creator

      Hmmmm. It's been a few days, but I wanted to step in and apologize for my public response a few days ago. I had a few days to think on it, and realized I could have handled that better.

      Here's where I'm coming from: Crowdsourcing is a relationship: A relationship between backers and creators. Presumably that relationship should be positive: We're making something cool, we're opening it up to people who also think that's cool. Together, we make something cool real. You provide funding, we do what we set out to do, and provide a reward. This is more than a sales/order process where you are People-Units that exchange Money for Product in some kind of cold translation; where our relationship is all about money above all else.

      A cornerstone of that relationship is enthusiasm. You guys support us. We, in turn, bend over backwards to make sure that we listen to you and work with you. And we do! A lot of the rewards we offered were a product of getting feedback. Putting up the system of "after Kickstarter backing through Paypal" was something I planned to avoid, until so many people contacted us (some upset, even; but the thing is that they were genuinely interested and ultimately enthusiastic). We're steered by you in many ways, and personally I (and I know Matt does, too, re the video demonstrations and sessions and stuff he put together) try my hardest to make sure your needs, questions, and concerns are met.

      We were both kinda floored by the accusations of fraud, exclusion, bait-and-switching that came up. First, because they were completely un-researched and demonstrably untrue. Second, because they were so ruggedly antagonistic, accusatory, and public, given that we put our all every step of this campaign into running it Well, running it Right, and every day saying to ourselves, "Is this the right thing to do?" Third, because the accuser had backed the project only minutes before the project closed (I assumed by her vigor that she was a backer all along, following all the updates, to come to her conclusions; no it was a last-minute backing). Finally, that the backer has a history of backing other projects and leaving comments on them that are accusatory, aggressive/sarcastic, basically using money/support as an excuse to treat other creators like punching bags.

      All that added up to a recipe that just took me off guard, and thoroughly disgusted me. I mean, if I were half a year late on fulfillment, or if I suddenly said, "meh, color sucks, we're going to release a B&W softcover instead", or took back one of our milestones "just because", I could see that reaction coming. But not right out of the gate, for what amounted to self-spun lies.

      So, I wagered the best thing to do was to address it all in the open: My disgust at the behavior, the answers to the lies, and so on.

      Given a few days to cool off: I was wrong.

      Kickstarter as a relationship between us (me and Matt) and you (all 2000 of you) is an important one to me, and I wanted to make that clear. But I got a little passive-aggressive, and ugly. Had I a time machine, here's how I would have handled that:

      1) Addressed the accusations in a public post, assuring people of our intentions and how things will work. And stop there.

      2) Contact the accuser in private, confirm their intent/clarify our remarks, make apologies (apologizing is always important to me, no matter what the issue/offense was). This is the important part, the part that should have played out in private rather than with my "...what?" comment.

      3) And then ensured the backer was fully refunded, both removing them as a backer and ensuring that they received their funds. Even though we still get double-hit on the transaction from Amazon; it's important to us to make sure that we make a clean break in this manner.

      ...but item 3 was an inevitability. I don't accept a relationship where I receive money in order to be treated like a punching bag by someone with issues. At least, not until I show myself to have a proven record of bad behavior (lies, lateness, bait-and-switch, etc), in which case I'll absolutely take whatever people give me, because I at that point had earned their trust and then broken it. This isn't a cold , quick, cash-for-product relationship: that happens later at the retailer and webstores, which I would be glad if the accuser and others took part in. Therefore, it's very important to me to sever a problematic relationship quickly before things get worse (if it starts with aggression, lies, and false accusations, *worse* behavior is inevitable).

      ...and yet, I really should have taken that piece up in private. And for that, I apologize not only to Jenny (no longer a backer, but still), but to all of you for my weird outburst.

      This post here, too, may look like I'm just trying to paint a one-sided explanation to make things peachy. Truth is, I'm super passionate about crowdsourcing (which you can see by the number of projects I've backed here; much less IndieGoGo or Patreon), so I wanted to make my beliefs and feelings clear.

      But at the same time, offer an apology for my outburst. I should have handled that better, in private.

      I'm still learning! I hope that every mistake made along the road will lead to better projects in the future, both as creator and backer.

      Thank you all for your time.

      -Andy K

    3. Glenn Magus Harvey on


      Also, looking at that picture of "Ryuutama is ready for the town market", I can't help but imagine a picture of Ryuutama being ready for a foreign export market in the form of Ryuutama being sold in Pensee. Y'know, the setting of Recettear: an Item Shop's Tale.

      (Though I hear that there already is a French translation? And Pensee is technically JRPG-fantasy France...)

    4. Andy Kitkowski 3-time creator

      @Sean: Yep, that will be a possibility! I'll provide instructions on how to do that this week. For now, think of your character!

    5. Missing avatar

      Sean K.I.W. Steele on

      So in regards to a joint later add-ons/art thing, is possible to upgrade a character sketch up to color after the fact, or not? It's totally cool if it is too late, I just, well, noticed that option too late as well.

      I cannot wait to get this game.

    6. Erik Bernhardt on

      Congrats, guys! Best wishes, and can't wait to see the game draft!

    7. Arnold on

      Sweet. I somehow missed the promise of a "game draft" before, but I'm pleased to hear about it now. Woot! Ryuutama Get!

    8. Jenny Reed on

      That suits me just fine. I will thank you when the refund goes through.

    9. Andy Kitkowski 3-time creator

      @Jenny : Let me reiterate: "...what?"

      You *absolutely* do not require a google anything (account/email/etc) to access and fill out a Google survey. It's the same thing as a "Google Doc, shared publicly". For an example, see this:

      Anyone can fill it out without any Google access. You don't need to create any special account. We were looking at "Surveymonkey" and other free online survey tools, we just went with Google because there are no intrusive ads that spam you when you take the survey.

      We don't like the accusatory nature of these posts. You could have framed them a different way, asked them politely, or PMed us, but instead you assumed the worst of us, and continued to accuse us ("fraud", "exclusionary", "must...forfeit prize" etc) in public even without attempting to understand what we are doing, and how none of what you accuse us of is remotely true.

      Apologies, but it's not worth the engagement. We don't have enough spoons to deal with this kind of behavior. We'll immediately refund your full pledged money through Amazon Payments, so that you no longer have to participate in this campaign (refund begun/processed, please allow a few days).

      Our apologies for not being explicit about that earlier.

      For everyone else: As stated above,
      * You do not need to create a Google account or anything to participate in the survey.
      * You do not have to forfeit your reward if the survey doesn't work: If folks have problems connecting to the survey or whatnot, we can just collect folks' info via email or direct message.
      * We just want people to be aware that a survey is coming, so that they don't ignore three updates in a row then wonder what happened.
      * We will not be changing the terms of the agreement: Price, delivery, etc. In fact, we are planning on offering and delivering even more content than we have posted to date!

      But we are only interested in working with genuine patron backers, people who want to be involved with the projects we are working on: Backers who want to work with us, to echo the enthusiasm and love that we put into our projects; not fight against us or drain the enthusiasm/love we're putting into our work. To that end, we are happy to refund the full amount collected to anyone who is unhappy with *any* aspect of our campaign: No muss, no fuss. The game can always be purchased by anyone at your friendly local game store (or online) this time next year.

      Thanks, everyone!

    10. Jenny Reed on

      The problem with a Google Drive Survey is that only people who have Google accounts are eligible to fill out the survey. This is exclusionary. According to the statement above, you have declared that anyone who does not already own a Google account must get one or forfeit his/her prize. This is a condition which you added AFTER you received our money, not before. Adding conditions after the agreement was made and the money changed hands is a form of fraud. It is exactly the same as saying "I know we agreed on this price, but now that I have your money, I am changing the price - you can give me more payment or forfeit the payment you have already given me."

      And, no, it does not matter that a Google account costs no money. It is still a condition that I did not agree to when I pledged. And, it is a condition that I would not have accepted (and therefore, I would not have pledged) if I had known about it.

    11. Andy Kitkowski 3-time creator

      @Matias: Yeah, unfortunately things with Tenra are much more complicated. With Ryuutama, Okada owns most of the data (all of the rule book, the name, etc; just not some of the supplement stuff), but with Tenra many people own it, and they answer to very large publishing companies. We could never go full OGL there, but we are looking into allowances for fan materials.

      With Ryuutama, things will be a lot more fluid and malleable!

    12. Matías Nicolás Caruso

      As for the Google Drive Survey, I don't see any problem with it, it's a more efficient way to process information than the KS survey (since it allows publishers to send a second survey if they ever need to).

    13. Matías Nicolás Caruso

      Ryuutama open license? HELL YEAH! You also mentioned a while back that this could also be possible for Tenra Bansho Zero, I hope that possibility is still in the table as well.

      Have I told you how awesome you guys are? Because you are! :)

    14. Andy Kitkowski 3-time creator


    15. Jenny Reed on

      Oh, I see. You said nothing about a google requirement BEFORE the campaign closed. How very sneaky and underhanded of you. Cool? No, not in the least.

    16. Jason Hunt on

      Super happy to hear about a backer-store. I really really really wanted a hard copy of this, but the holiday season plus tax season really put a damper on "cool Kickstarter season".

    17. Scott on OGL for Ryuutama? Now that /is/ interesting. You guys keep surprising me. Thanks for the up-date.

    18. Missing avatar

      MaximumDisplay on

      Yeah! You guys should consider making a pay bump as one of the milestones. Lord knows this industry pays almost nothing for a lot of hard work.

    19. Aleix Grau Pons on

      Love to hear from you! I can't wait the draft release! Good job!

    20. maiki on

      Here's hoping for a CC-BY license! If that is the case, I would dedicate a substantial amount of any profit I make to Kickstarting more Ryuutama projects, more open RPG projects, or supporting Ryuutama creators. ^_^