My Quandary, and Turning Off the Lights
To find a new game we have to find an ad or hear folks talk. The talk is usually about the big sellers, the usual fare. We have to prowl to find new ideas, and carefully follow posts. The great game magazines of the past have vanished.
I support local game stores and the network that makes them possible. I concede that lower prices (barely, with shipping) are available online. But I can’t try the game online, and sometimes I can at the local store. (Not at the Big Store, of course, forget them.) If the price is just a little higher, please support your neighbor.
I love variety. You’ll find me playing and trying all sorts of games at most of the conventions I attend. I try to support and talk about the great variety that’s been around for 17 years (broad perspective, sorry) due to the OGL Open Game License of 2000, which produced Osric and Pathfinder and then ideas from a thousand other talents with a mutual love for tabletop gaming.
Over time I’ve come to support variety and options, for all of us, over specific game systems. My former support for narrow factions, be they new or old school, has ebbed. Thus, some hostility from related sites has also arisen… action/reaction imho. (They have what they want, and are hostile to change. I do suggest that we respect their choices, leave them be, and move on.)
Empyrea is a project to publish my campaign world for the category of Fantasy Role Playing (not just one faction). It must be realistically designed so that it can exist in the current environment. I assembled a team to handle the many parts of the project. Then we tried a crowdfunding platform, but that didn’t work. (I’ll address one recurrent objection in a bit).
It’s been a learning process, and we’ve decided to refocus on the unique and complex setting and restructure the funding. The work continues; just ask the team members. And I’m a hard-core hobby gamer and I’m going to get a Darlene map of my campaign one way or another. ;>
Here’s a promise. All of my team must be properly compensated, and everybody I work with should benefit in other ways (pages & links). Next: If I can add games and profits to the existing hobby shops, local game conventions, small game manufacturers, and the rest of the real world of our tabletop gaming community, that will be my #1 choice every time. I will not circumvent them to chase greater profits. Empowerment and team-building is the name of my game, not cut-throat old-school business.
Thus, I will not use crowdfunding to circumvent the hobby for my personal benefit.
Crowdfunding may still be an option in early creation stages, to muster those of like pioneering spirit. That’s why crowdfunding was first created. Naysayers have shouted down this attempt, but over 650 like-minded souls did step up. Thus, it’s doable here on a small scale, but not as a large project. And now we finally come to my ‘controversial’ stance on what crowdfunding become to some. You’ve been burned. Amateurs and money-hunters have taken your money and never delivered. Worse yet, some big names in the history of our hobby stumbled on the platform (crowdfunding itself). So you want more security, more safety. The sites won’t deliver that of course, they want profits, not liabilities. So you tighten up, only back sure things, with finished covers, mostly or fully written, preferably in full layout, and not less – even when the author has written dozens of published works.
In saying “I only back finished products” some are telling creators to sell out… to create corporations with investors, or go borrow large sums personally, and pre-fund everything before it goes public. The product doesn’t need your ideas or participation (just your money), will sell online via Kickstarter or otherwise, and those on top can keep all the profit for themselves and just use the community for advertising. But: I will not use crowdfunding to circumvent the hobby for my personal benefit.
I don’t expect you to change, I just fundamentally disagree. You get to make your own choices. So put it behind us, and let’s get back to gaming. :)
At Loxley our work continues, and the website will see changes soon. We’ll be around, one way or another, building a world for others to use.
And thus, this attempt must now be concluded. This Kickstarter project is over.
Keep on gaming, check in at our website, and stay in touch.
Sadly going back to work...