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Rogue Heroes PublishingBy Rogue Heroes Publishing
First created
Rogue Heroes PublishingBy Rogue Heroes Publishing
First created
$67,434
pledged of $100,000pledged of $100,000 goal
602
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 12 2017

More about me and this project

Posted by Rogue Heroes Publishing (Creator)
54 likes

Hi, Carmen here.

There have been a lot of questions and some concerns about my company, Rogue Heroes LLC and my relationship with Palladium Books. I’m happy to answer for the sake of clarity.

Why did I as the owner of Rogue Heroes choose the RIFTS® license for my first Kickstarter?

I am a gamer geek. I LOVE games! All kinds of games, but especially role-playing games, miniature games and board games! I have purchased and backed more Kickstarters than I can count off the top of my head, certainly more than me and my wife can find space for.

It turns out I also have a good mind for game design and I love doing it. As I got more involved in writing for RPGs and then creating miniatures games and board games, I found I was even better at designing those types of games. I began to design my own miniature games for fun, including a Robotech game that I ran at the 2012 Palladium Open House using the old Matchbox toys as the figures. Everyone had a blast. I have also been working on a number of other ideas for miniature games of my own. One has been optioned by Upper Deck and another one I’m keeping for myself. My meeting with Upper Deck led to me doing freelance work them. They have been keeping me very busy, but a non-disclosure agreement prevents me from talking about the games I’ve worked on. Sorry. I would love to tell you all about them, but I can’t at this time.

For me Rifts presents a HUGE opportunity for Rogue Heroes as a start-up company. Rifts was a smash hit in the RPG market, and still has an established fan base. Millions of people know about Rifts. That’s why Rogue Heroes is interested in Rifts, and why Disney, Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Nokia, and numerous other companies have sought various licensing deals or continue to seek to do work with the Rifts IP. There are a ton of cool things that I simply enjoy in Rifts that I know will be awesome as a miniatures game. And as a fan, it is a game world I know well and love to run games in. The board game starting in Chi-Town is just the beginning. A friendly intro-point for what I have in mind for the future.

So please understand:

- The Rifts® board game is all my idea. I was the one who came to Kevin about making this game back in 2015. Not the other way around.

- I am launching my own company, Rogue Heroes Publishing with this Kickstarter. Better to start with a well-known intellectual property (IP) that has an established fan base than one that doesn't. At least that is how I feel.

- I licensed the game rights for Rifts® from Palladium, just like any other company would do. Just like Pinnacle did for Savage Rifts. Just like Fantasy Flight Games did with Disney for Star Wars. I paid for the license. I am contracted with the license. I intend to use it.

- I am not Palladium Books. I am Carmen Bellaire, a gamer and fan boy who became a freelance writer and game designer. I now have 15 years of experience working in the gaming industry.

- I've invested my own hard earned money to get this game to the point where it is nearly ready to go into manufacturing. Around $40,000 dollars so far and I have been working on it for about 2 years now. The sculptors for about a year. I’m the guy who chose to make this game and this Kickstarter. It is my time, my vision and my effort, and that of my hardworking team. This is a shared dream with a number of people involved. And now we need your financial support to make it a reality. If you don't want to support it, then I can respect that. Don't support it and respectfully dismiss yourselves. Just please stop harassing the backers who choose to support this game. Everyone is entitled to their choice.

- Palladium Books is not my partner and does not own any part of my company.

- Rogue Heroes Publishing is a Canadian company, but I also have a Michigan-based LLC for the Kickstarter because the Canadian dollar is currently weak compared to the US dollar, and I do not want currency fluctuations to hurt the production of the Rifts Board Game. I live in Windsor. Michigan is across the river. Setting up an LLC in Michigan is the closest and most convenient location for me in the USA. A short trip to the bank. Livonia was just a convenient location for my USA address.

- My goal is to make an awesome, high-quality, miniatures games for Rifts. And more than what you currently see on the Kickstarter page. My hope is that the Kickstarter gets big enough to double the number of miniatures in the core game, so I can make a full miniatures game with 40 figures, more cards, more maps, more tiles and more dice. More of everything. And there are expansion packs too. A lot of expansions. I have always imagined Rifts as a miniatures game. My ultimate dream for the future is to make Rifts into a wargame, but I’m starting small and reasonable with this first game and plan to grow Rogue Heroes’ Rifts game line with expansion sets and additional games with new settings and adversaries.

- I’m doing a Rifts board game because I love the characters and the world. Love Kevin or hate him for whatever reason, it doesn’t change the fact that he created an awesome game world with Rifts. That’s my opinion and I know there are thousands and thousands of you who feel the same way, or I would not have wasted my time making this game. This is the game I want to see as a fan of Rifts and as a miniatures gamer.

What is your relationship with Palladium Books?

My relationship with Palladium Books is pretty simple and no secret. I have been playing numerous RPGs (including many produced by Palladium) long before I ever met anyone at Palladium Books. Back around 2002, I had a friend in my Heroes Unlimited campaign who convinced me that I should submit a bunch of the superpowers I had created for my own use in a game. A gamer and mutual friend introduced me to Kevin Siembieda, creator of Rifts and owner of Palladium Books. Long story short, Kevin liked my work so much that when I said I had ideas for a lot more, he had me write them up and turned my work into the Powers Unlimited sourcebook. The first of three books I would write for the Heroes Unlimited RPG series.

I went on to write more and contribute to a number of Palladium products, including creating the Splicers® RPG. As a freelance writer, I work from my home in Windsor, Canada. Over time, Kevin and I became good friends. Most freelancers who work for Palladium often become friends with Kevin. This is not just a "Palladium" thing, such friendships often happen in most businesses, especially when it is a hobby that you both share and love, and your boss creates a friendly atmosphere of cooperation. All my work for Palladium has been freelance, just like the 20+ other writers and artists that have done work for them over the years. I have never been an employee of Palladium Books. I also ran games at the Palladium Open Houses, have gamed a few times with Kevin, though always at conventions, and I’ve even been to a half dozen Christmas parties over the years.

The Kevin I know is not the guy some people would like to paint him as. He’s the guy who gave me my start and helped me to believe in myself. He has been a friend to me in every sense of the word. Kevin, Wayne and the guys at Palladium have been there for me, rooting me on for years, and especially now with this game. I may not agree with every decision that he has made, but what friend ever does? Palladium Books is Kevin's company and I have only worked as a freelancer (providing work for hire) for Palladium Books. I do not make policy or have any say on how Kevin runs his business.

As a businessman, myself, I have a licensing agreement with Palladium Books to use the Rifts intellectual property for the miniatures board game market. Like most companies that have entered into a license agreement, I have to be respectful with the IP. That’s easy because this is one of my favorite games and a dream opportunity. My representation of the IP has to be reviewed and approved by Palladium. This is nothing new in licensing. With that being said, this is a Rogue Heroes product, being designed, developed and produced by me. Rogue Heroes is the company that is liable for the Rifts board game creation and fulfillment. Not Palladium Books.

Will my Rifts board game make Palladium Books money? Of course it will, just like any license makes the Licensor money. Nobody gives you the right to make a game based on their intellectual property unless you pay them a royalty. If that bothers you, I don’t know what to tell you. I guess you will not support this game. Of course, that is your decision.

I would not have invested my hard earned money nor offered this Kickstarter if I was not confident that me and my team at Rogue Heroes could deliver it.

My Involvement with Robotech RPG Tactics

I got involved with Robotech RPG Tactics (RRT) in 2013, when Kevin asked me to help the Ninja guys develop the game's rules. I was paid a flat fee for that work, like the rest of the freelancers who worked on the game.

I understand why some people are angry about how Palladium has handled RRT and Wave Two, but go complain to them about RRT. Not on my Kickstarter page. I don’t mean to be rude about it, but Palladium is not my company. I have no control over what Palladium Books does, has done or will do with RRT. I’m friends with Kevin and grateful for this opportunity, but Rogue Heroes and Palladium are two completely different companies. Please do not bring the Palladium RRT issues and arguments here, they have no bearing on what I am trying to do. I don’t know everything that has transpired with RRT and Palladium, because I wasn’t around the office much. I had other obligations and I was working toward my career shift into designing miniature games.

Why the 2 year Delivery Date for this Kickstarter:

I listed the delivery date as two years from now because I didn’t want to over promise like other long overdue Kickstarters did (there are plenty of them out there). As a backer of many Kickstarters, I have tried to learn from their mistakes. I thought a two year lead time would be seen as transparent, reasonable and responsible. Better to come in six months or a year early than to be late was my philosophy. Maybe I was too worried about that. I am so far along on the game, that the release is most likely way under 2 years from now. I’m new to this, so I’m trying to be conservative and do right by Rogue Heroes' backers.

My Personal Life and Ordeal:

Early this year, I found myself in a bad place and I tried to commit suicide. My family and I live with that terrible choice every day. I am getting the professional help I need and am feeling more and more like my old self, every day. I’m learning how to better cope with stress, frustration, and matters beyond my control. The encouragement and support that I received from numerous family members, friends, gamers, backers, etc., really means a lot to me. My work on the Rifts® Board Game and preparations for this Kickstarter have been very therapeutic and is actually helping keep me inspired, motivated, grounded and in good spirits. Seeing the game and the miniatures come to life is part of my dream and the reason why I chose Rifts in the first place. So please respect that and leave my personal life and ordeal out of the Kickstarter discussions going forward. You may not agree with me or my choices, and some of you may not like who I have licensed my game from, but it’s my choice. And it is a choice that the Rogue Heroes backers want to see fulfilled. Please be respectful to them and to my company, Rogue Heroes Publishing.

I hope this answers a lot of questions. I will continue to post and be as transparent as possible. Thank you for your support and please spread the word about this Kickstarter.

Thank you,

Carmen

Triston, TAGS, and 52 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Jolly Blackburn on

      Very informative update. Good luck with the project.

    2. Missing avatar

      Jim Bateman on

      Thanks Carmen - I can't wait to see this game through to fruition ❤️

    3. Isaac Alexander
      Superbacker
      on

      Hey Carmen, I'm glad you're getting treatment and are feeling more like yourself again. Though they may not show it, everyone wishes you well.

    4. Glenn Rockelmann on

      I'm sorry to hear about your personal issues. I would suggest you cancel this kickstarter and focus on your mental health and well-being.

    5. Missing avatar

      David McLoughlin on

      I'm very sorry for all of your troubles Carmen, I've always enjoyed your work RIFTS-wise. Some people will always have opinions and make comments that you don't agree with and vice versa, but this is an exciting project and I hope the support out there drives you on and you're well in the future.

      Rache & Matt make some pertinent points, but I'm sure you'll share more soon when needed.

      There's a lot of negativity going about these days - could we possibly (for those who are gamers) just get excited about a new enterprise, the possibility of a guy enjoying what he's doing and a new game that might kicks ass?!

      If you haven't yet read 'Empire of Imagination' it shows how hard it is to get games close to done. That's why KS is profoundly valuable.

      Just thoughts from across the pond in the UK. Be happy all.

    6. David Simpson on

      Kopah, if you are looking for clips of Carmen, here's another one: https://youtu.be/avjg8Ugv-m8

    7. Missing avatar

      Claire Labus on

      and yet you use Palladium resources for staffing, artwork, and advertising........Sorry, but the degree of separation is still along the lines of the difference between North and South California. aka, the same thing.

    8. Kopah on

      We are already up to the "History of the Company" update? That was quick.
      Where are all of the answers to the questions about the game?

      You have basically just reiterated what what you have said to us previously about your relationship with Palladium. You haven't addressed the issues we have seen with that story.
      -Rogue Heroes using the same people that Palladium does.
      -Rogue Heroes' US address being the closest UPS mail box to the Palladium offices (Livonia is not "right across the river" as you claim).
      -This Kickstarter being used to move Palladium product.
      -Palladium offering additional Early Bird pledges not listed in this Kickstarter to it's customers.
      -Any contractual guarantee that this project will not be handled or taken over by Palladium once the Kickstarter ends (as was done with Ninja Division on RRT).

      Your involvement with the marketing of RRT also goes a bit further than you let on:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch…

    9. Joshua Gomez on

      Wow...you can really see who is actually concerned and who is hostile for its own sake in people's demeanor's. And good grief, I can't believe people are sincerely trying to peddle the "Carmen fired the first shot" nonsense. He didn't fire any shots, and the fact of the matter is the only reason he posted on the RRT comments was because people there were already talking about trolling this Kickstarter. Those, if any, would be the "first shots".

      Plus seriously, its not hard to see why people who create the IP being licensed would be listed. 20th Century Fox Studios isn't the same company as Marvel Comics, but I bet there's people from Marvel listed in the credits of all the movies Fox has made using Marvel's characters.

      Thanks for the update, Carmen! Well thought out and said, and can't wait to hear more about this game.

    10. salcor on

      Carmen,
      Thank you for the update. The interactions I have had with you and your team have all been positive. Your cander is appreciated. I believe that your project will be completed, of course you are going to have a hell of a ride between the start of your Kickstarter and the delivery. It is easy to let the negative comments get you down. Don't quit, keep pushing and keep your head up.

    11. Salamandros on

      @Erich I can appreciate that. The main difference is that Kevin broadcast that to over 5000 backers via a Kickstarter update (that was not even a Backers Only update for the sake of some sense of privacy).
      I get that Carmen doesn't want to talk about it, and maybe this is too soon, but shouldn't this issue be covered in the Risks and Challenges section? It's great that he says he is doing fine, But being that there was a suicide attempt less than 90 days ago, shouldn't there be a statement about if it were to happen again, who will carry on the project? Is there a plan in place?
      I was sad for Carmen when I read about how it was publicized, because I was not an RRT backer, but I heard about it online. That being said, I think it would be responsible to address this

    12. Rache Bartmoss on

      From todays update:

      "So please understand:

      - The Rifts® board game is all my idea. I was the one who came to Kevin about making this game back in 2015. Not the other way around."

      Back in 2012 Kevin had this to say:

      "● Rifts® (and Robotech®?) Miniatures. Carmen Bellaire and I also continue to discuss the feasibility of releasing a Rifts® and/or Robotech® miniatures game even if it’s on a limited basis to start. Let us know whether you might be interested in such products."

      http://www.palladiumbooks.com/index.php…

    13. Missing avatar

      Matthew Conn on

      Carmen,

      I've enjoyed your work, especially with Palladium Books. I'm happy to hear you're starting out on your own! You've got my support! I can't wait to get my hands on this game! Keep up the good work and don't let the bastards get to you.

      From one game maker to another,
      Matthew C.

    14. Erich Zann
      Superbacker
      on

      @Salamandros about 3 1/2 years ago I found my son dead from a suicide. I wasn't sure what to do and I just started calling people telling them. It wasn't until after I had called a half dozen or so people that I realized I shouldn't be doing that just yet. I've always attributed what Kevin did to this same feeling I had. I recently spoke with a friend of mine I've known since kindergarten and he did the exact same thing when his sister-in-law killed herself.

    15. Roberto on

      Sad to see an update like this, but was needful. Now... let's focus in the game :D

    16. Benjamin Barbre on

      Well said, Carmen! Keep up the good work!

    17. Talizvar on

      Your motivations were never unclear but does not hurt to say again.
      The staff and resources used unfortunately is so entangled it really is hard to differentiate your company from Palladium Books.
      I would suggest a similar introduction of your associates and roles would help.
      Then in broad strokes where the project is at and what is "the plan" as best you can reveal.

      Unfortunately RRT is a shared burden by association.
      I too loved Rifts and had many books that I gave to my younger brother.
      I bought the fairly recent TMNT box which used to be a PB licensed product and reminds me of what your product could be. If you have not seen it please look, it too is around $100.
      See what you can do to get those production values.

      I wish you personally good luck.
      Just please be careful of who you list as your "friends", I know something of your experience with my own past and you may have been maneuvered into this difficult situation.

    18. Red Duke Games on

      Well said Carmen.

    19. Andrew Ferguson on

      Clears things up for me. Looking forward to seeing how successful we can make this project. Hope I get to play this game fr years to come

    20. Tor Swanson on

      @Matt Saia. Thanks man, that was pretty well said. Carmen cleared up a lot of my questions, but gameplay uncertainty in particular is holding me back from fully diving in. I'm looking forward to some additional info.

    21. Brandon Aten
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for this, Carmen! You rock. Keep this going strong.

    22. Tor Swanson on

      Legit. Thanks for addressing my biggest questions.
      I don't normally do this next thing, but enough is enough. Rache- lay off man. Some of the things you are demanding are way out of the ordinary, some are mean-spirited, and dude, some are honestly ridiculous. As a complete outsider to all parties involved, I appreciate the heads up and reminder of buyer beware. None of my friends are touching this KS for similar reasons. But you did your thing. Let the people who are really excited by this have their enjoyment. If it funds, I wish for the best. If not, the main thing it appears to me is that Carmen is following the path of the entrepreneur, shit doesn't always work out, and you sometimes learn hard lessons, get back up, dust off and go again. Carmen, all the best chasing your dream, on either this project, or another.

    23. Graham Bailey
      Superbacker
      on

      @matt +1 to everything you've said.

    24. Missing avatar

      Cody Rhoades on

      Thank you for being so open and personal. The excitement I have for this project has only increased. Hopefully more good comments can be seen now and less from the same 10 voices spouting negativity.

    25. Matt Saia on

      Thanks for reaching out and attempting to clear things up a bit.

      However, while I can appreciate you not wanting RRT people here posting. Let’s be very clear about things. You came to the RRT comments section and fired the first shots a couple months back which brought you, your project and your motivations under scrutiny from a larger group of people from the RRT kickstarter than would normally have taken the time out to come here and make sure unsuspecting backers get a little information before potentially subjecting themselves to a similar fate as the RRT backers.

      Unlike products like Savage Rifts it’s very hard to tell where RH ends and PB begins. You have full time staff members of PB in the credits of your game in non-licensor/approval roles as well as listed as collaborators on this Kickstarter, including Kevin, the owner of PB, who is fundamentally responsible for the train wreck that RRT is. While I can see that might make sense because they are friends/associates who you’ve worked with, it makes it fairly clear they have a lot more influence over you personally and the project than an FFG/Star Wars style licensing agreement.

      You need to remember that all the RRT backers were once fans of PB, it’s why we trusted them with our money. You had to know that being so closely tied to all the individuals responsible for that mess would reflect badly on you, your new endeavor and this Kickstarter. The best choice would’ve been to get a license completely divorced from PB or to simply do your own game idea and universe to make the break away clean.

      Some of the less hostile protestors and other backers have some very pertinent questions such as the actual name of the manufacturer, the desire to see more details on the gameplay and to understand a bit more deeply what they are investing in. I’d also recommend sharing beta rules, it’s fairly common practice and allows for comments/corrections before you put stuff in stone. While it won’t silence everyone, it will show that you are more prepared than PB was regarding RRT and if you can’t because you don’t have that info prepared, then people are right to question how things are being handled and how this will play out post campaign.

      As to being a game designer and your personal issues I have a lot of empathy, life is a tough place. I hope you personally, regardless of the success or failure of this endeavor find a way through things and also a way to see some of your ideas and visions reach the gaming public.

    26. Missing avatar

      I need a handle too! on

      $1 troll here, thank you for answering some of the questions. There are still a lot more valid questions to be answered, but this is a good start.

    27. Robyn Jamie Stott on

      Thanks Carmen
      Looking forward to this kickstarter succeeding and the first of many more to come.

    28. Natan Press on

      Thank you, Carmen.

      I love your work with Palladium (and I hope you find time to write some more in the future). This board game and the miniatures are exciting. I'm very happy to have the chance to back this project, and I hope both it and you see a long and successful future.

    29. PanzerTC on

      Thanks for the update. I fell better about this now. Best wishes on the personal and professional fronts.

    30. Steve Kozlowski
      Superbacker
      on

      It's unreal how the man can post an honest and heartfelt message trying to explain and assuage the bad feelings and the soulless sharks swim out of the dark waters smelling blood.

      Some of you are actually worse than anything Simbedia has ever done to you.

    31. Salamandros on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    32. Elizabeth on

      "I have no control over what Palladium Books does, has done or will do with RRT. Please do not bring the Palladium RRT issues and arguments here...."

      Sorry guy, you opened that can of worms when you said this campaign being successful would mean you could "fix" RRT. You can't unring that bell.

    33. Steve Kozlowski
      Superbacker
      on

      You need to edit your copy and paste post spam Rache, he answered some of those points.

    34. Brooks Hough on

      Please answer Those questions in the KS proper and not in comments. I don't think they will stop unless you do.

    35. Steve A on

      Carmen, I honestly want your KS to be successful but there is way too much bullshit and a lack of honesty and integrity from your "front of shop" people. This can be sorted out but you need to accept and understand that your update didn't answer any questions.....it's better to say " I don't know" than to ignore and hope for the best. Good luck buddy.

    36. Salamandros on

      I'm curious if you wanted Kevin to post about your suicide attempt, because that came across as maybe the most counter-intuitive thing a person could do. You can't unring that bell in the public eye.

    37. Rache Bartmoss on

      At this time there are many unanswered questions about this game. Below are some of the concerns that have been voiced by various backers:

      1. There is very little information about the game itself available.

      2. Rogue Heroes will not release the manufacturer information.

      3. We have not seen a roadmap or any finacial planning.

      4. The value does not seem to be there for the price charged.

      5. Majority of add-ons are preexisting products from other companies.

      6. There are many connections and collaborators credited on this project from Palladium Books whom are responsible for a 1.4 million dollar kickstarter (Robotech RPG tactics) that has not fullfilled pledges four years later.

      7. Extremely rude behavior from Rogue Heroes reps towards $1 backers

      8. Repeated requests for answers to questions have been ignored.

      9. We are unaware of the actual dollar pledge required to have questions answered.

      10. The kickstarter is not being run by the actual Canadian Rogue Heroes company, instead it is run by a shell company that was set up in april in Michigan, very close to Palladium Books.

      11. The terms of service for this kickstarter project offer the company extreme freedom to do whatever they want and will leave you, the backer with very little to no recourse if things go wrong.

    38. Carl on

      Thank you Carmen