What He Posts Next Will Leave You Speechless

It’s been a strange month. But who cares about that? Let’s get into it…

I hope by now that people have a sense that I am no-nonsense and straight-forward. My writing style is concise, emulating my lack of patience for noise. People taking too long to say what they mean and obfuscating their true intentions behind pandering marketing and ‘perfect-timing’ posts is the worst. In fact, anything disingenuous irks me.

But the past two years of game designer have been an education in just how obvious the noise in marketing is more important than the product. Or at least, more important than I would like it to be.

Recently, I had a conversation of what it’s going to take for Post World Games to start being successful (that’s right kids, I really don’t make a passable living at the moment). I got a lot of amazing advice. Really. I’m not being sarcastic or anything. I listened. I fought it all. But I listened.

Over the past month, I really haven’t wanted to work. I’ve completed over 60 projects this year, so I’m due a break. But it’s more than that. The work continues and I love what I do. But I’m tired of the fight to “get more sales.” This isn’t the 1950s and I can’t just be a successful author without self-promotion.

But. I hate self-promotion. I hate it so much, I have probably mentioned it about 200 times in the last two years.

I could go on about it, but I won’t.

Asking someone to do something they don’t like or aren’t good at won’t net good results.

And generating ‘community interest’ in a disingenuous way doesn’t mean you’re going to be making good games.

I write what I want. And when I want to. It’s a horrible business model, but it’s honest. I’m not working on a zombie game because zombies are hip. I’m working on a zombie game because Anthony and I stumbled upon a genius idea that I’m sure rpg.net fans will hate. That’s an example. I’m not going to digress about zombies.

So. As the end of 2014 approaches, I continue to work on games, plan my kickstarters, and look toward a different philosophy in 2015. More posts. Less games. More community, I guess. But in a way that I am comfortable doing.

Which brings me to the present. There are about 50 to 200 people who are just amazing supporters of my work. The latest kickstarter made 2750 in its first day. Great for a company of my size. But apparently, it could have done more. Apparently, if I was on google+ and rpg.net and all these groups all over the net, community-building I would be doing better. I would have had a 10k day or something. I see other games on kickstarter generating a lot of buzz and I wonder if the quality ever matches the funding results. I don’t back them, so I don’t know.

I still believe in the artistry end of what we do. I don’t make Apocalypse World hacks because AW is popular. I make what I think is a good marriage of style and substance; function and form. So. I want to keep making good stuff. I don’t want to spend 6 hours a day talking about what I’m making.

An aside:

Yesterday was a slow day on the new Kickstater. After a 2750 dollar day, I saw $1 in backing on day 2. That’s a strange slowing down on backers. So instead of racing around making myself crazy, I used the day to finish up two of the new Protocol Games. I’m always going to focus on making better games for everyone. That’s something you can expect. If you know a better, smarter path to help me build more ‘community’ around the Protocol system — and I’m convinced it should be as popular as Fiasco — I’m all ears. I know there are dozens and dozens of designers in the same boat I am in — working hard and wondering why the results aren’t there. None of them put out 60 products this year (instead sarcastic grin), but we all share the same commonality of getting anyone to notice what we are doing.

Anyway. Before this becomes a soapbox/pity party, I should sign off. Once again, I need to thank all the people who are supporting my efforts. My inbox is always open to chatting about games. Also, there’s a comment box below. Use it.

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3 thoughts on “What He Posts Next Will Leave You Speechless

  1. I’m clueless on G+ to be honest, it seems less user-friendly than anything I’ve used since I bought my first 2400bps modem. Rpg.net seems like drinking from a fire house of chatter, not much actually catches my attention. Perhaps your fans, who use those outlets can pimp your games and get the word out.

    As for the $1.00 day, that’s interesting but I wouldn’t let you get it down, we DID have a huge push up front. More people will join as we go. You have built it, and continue to add. Remember, supporters CAN up their pledges along the way too. The spotlight today on one game should add interest. Keep doing those and people will branch out on what they buy. 🙂

  2. FYI, I have backed some other Kickstarter games, I learned about your first Protocol, Kickstarter via Kickstarter. And Kickstarter, for most products is the world of DELAYED gratification, or rather satisfaction, or rather blagh. Games that measure up in production quality are often the slowest to get out the gate. Others are so high priced that the risk, prevents me from throwing a chip into the hat as it were.

    You are funded, and that will help a lot of others jump in as time goes by, because they can see that a product will be produced.

    Your spotlights are great, as they flesh out your concepts for the games, someone no doubt will say “Hey I want to play that!”

    If you put together a photo ad, I could share on facebook, I would. Or a full page email and link to the Kickstarter, that I could forward to ALL my gamer friends I would do that with additional comments. Not that I could not do it on my own, but something that had your endorsement would be nice, each person forwarding it could always add personal comments. Perhaps a one page flyer I could put up at the local games store. Oh, and RPG free day, our local store always draws a crowd for that, and if you do a search on Ebay for free rpg day, it’s ridiculous how many are re-sold or collected for cash. That generates some buzz.

    Look at all the holiday buzz, perhaps a holiday themed game direct release with your own bend. So not to seem so much tag along as “Hey what do you think of this!”. Chistmas could be Santa’s Elves meet “The Hangover” complete with roofies or Soldiers casting lots at the feet of the cross. Lots of people gather for the holidays, why not play one of your games and laugh instead of fighting the crowds at the theater Thanksgiving night. And if you have not seen THAT I dare you to drive to the theater and watch that “Fiasco”.

    – Tim

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