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.
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.