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Old 04-13-2018, 03:14 PM   #761
JLV
 
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

I'd also like to see Steve Jackson Games leverage some of the very clever things they've done with GURPS over the decades in terms of organization.

For example, they organized the GURPS Bestiary by environment, with cross-references when one creature lives in more than one environment (e.g., Creature A is primarily a Forest creature, but also appears listed in the Mountains section, while Creature B lives primarily in Water, but can be found in Swamps and along Coastal areas too.

Those kinds of things make it really easy for a GM to figure out a "random encounters" table by environment (and building a random encounter table for each environment and including it in the Bestiary would make it even easier, hint, hint).

In fact, I could see an opportunity here to re-release any number of GURPS splat books in their new "print on demand" section. Simply by adding in TFT characteristics, they could make them brand "NEW" books, and I for one would probably pop for quite a few of them fairly rapidly just for that feature. Heck they could even avoid a major re-write if they simply included a couple of pages of instructions (if even that much is necessary) on how to convert the GURPS stats in the splat books to TFT, either as a separate handout ("Download for free at SJG!"), or as something they add to the print copies at the back of the book. In effect, a huge amount of their existing GURPS fantasy stuff would instantly become usable by TFT folks -- saving SJG time and money, and providing a huge depth of information and roleplaying to TFT, all with only a couple of pages of material.
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Old 04-13-2018, 03:45 PM   #762
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

I am never that good at expressing myself on forums

I don't believe sales of any SJGame product will be "hurt" by sales of TFT:ITL (Which I believe will be a Kickstarter project making the whole conversation about "Sales" a bit awkward

I meant to suggest that a company like SJGames has specific resources. Things like copy editing, review, product development, strategy for commercialization, product placement, advertising, production planning, project management, design review, design authorization, design modification and on and on

All these things (if they are real I suppose, I don't actually know, just did some research on game development) take people away from other projects. How much is put into one basket must mean less is put into other baskets

Games, hobbies, and the like, as business practices are risks. SJGames has demonstrated that over the course of thirty plus years they have been successful making the kinds of games they want to make and providing the kinds of services they want to provide. (I just finished reading the Designers and Dragons chapter on the history of SJG, fascinating actually)

Putting a great amount of effort into the classic Melee/Wizard games, and their derivatives, in my opinion, does not seem sound, unless the company intends to try and crack into the miniature battle game market, and maybe that is the plan, who knows. I just looked today at GW's Underworlds Shadespire box game, at 80 dollars, with eight or nine figures (I cant remember exactly) a card and dice, mod your figure during battle hex based arena game - it seemed too expensive for me to consider at this time

So, a boxed, arena style, hexed based, plastic figure, fixed attribute (with player options for custom figures and advancement) , dice only, battle game (with play time for two players under 45 minutes

at less than 45 dollars - would be right in my wheel house.

The kickstarter will be a go for me, no matter what I get out of the deal, simply for nostalgia, but the future of Melee and Wizard, in my opinion, seems a little hard to see right now.
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:50 PM   #763
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Well, all I can say is I'm glad you're not on SJG's team! ;-) That kind of negativity isn't what I want to hear at this stage of the production cycle. Fiscal realities may rear their ugly head as we go down this path, but what I'm trying to do is throw out ideas and what I perceive as opportunities. Put another way, the way I see it, we're still in the "brainstorming" part of this process, and not yet at the "good idea cut-off point." When we reach that, I expect Steve will let us know.

As for an Arena game, and that's the end of it, that's not what I want, or am hoping for AT ALL for TFT. I'm hoping it gets a snazzy update, some additional content, and that it looks the way Steve Jackson originally envisioned it looking when it was FIRST published, not some "battledroids" kind of thing... In other words, I'm hoping for a full-up, fleshed-out, jacked-up, fun and enjoyable fantasy roleplaying game.

While Melee and Wizard are arguably the kind of Arena games you want, I expect TFT:ITL to be a whole lot more -- just as I did back in 1980 when it was originally being talked up by Metagaming. What you seem to be suggesting here is actually a huge step backwards from what we already have...

Of course I may be completely misunderstanding your point here, and if so, I apologize...
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:53 AM   #764
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Default Re: TFT or Dungeon Fantasy. False dichotomy.

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
And I've heard that the sales for Dungeon Fantasy (boxed set) have been poor. That it won't be reprinted.
A bit of care is needed when reporting on the outcome of Dungeon Fantasy RPG. The game was comfortably within SJG's 10 best-selling products for the year. The Report to the Stakeholders clearly states that it would normally have been counted a success . . . but for cost issues, and a current market that's very harsh on new properties. From the report:

Quote:
We have now sold the majority of what we printed. This should instantly slide the game into the "highlights" category . . . and it would be there if not for being so very late, costing more to produce than is healthy, and requiring so much of our upper management team's time and sleep. . . . The current market doesn't leave room for a game like this to succeed . . .
In the end, it's true that the game isn't currently slated for reprinting, which is unfortunate given how great it turned out in terms of quality. I just wanted to point out that the actual outcome is more nuanced than suggested by common reports of "sales were poor" or "it failed".
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:03 AM   #765
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Default Re: TFT or Dungeon Fantasy. False dichotomy.

Erm, it seems you cut off part of that last sentence -- which maybe helps your argument, but fails to tell the whole story. To wit:

Quote:
The current market doesn't leave room for a game like this to succeed, and it's a great thing that we cut our planned print run by 30% or we would be stuck with copies for years to come.
...Which tells a slightly different tale than the one you're telling. What it tells me is that they anticipated a low level of sales, cut production accordingly, and have now just about sold the number they expected to sell; otherwise they would have had excess stock on hand "for years to come."

That sounds to me like a well-honed staff seeing what the situation is, and responding quickly to prevent losses to the company. Put another way, it didn't look like it was going to do well, and they cut their investment.

We have no way of knowing what the underlying problem is here -- there's insufficient data in the report to make meaningful comments as to the whys and wherefores; but, based on the FULL text of the quote, it seems to me that Rick actually summed the situation up quite accurately given the information provided.
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:45 PM   #766
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Default Re: TFT or Dungeon Fantasy. False dichotomy.

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A bit of care is needed when reporting on the outcome of Dungeon Fantasy RPG. The game was comfortably within SJG's 10 best-selling products for the year. The Report to the Stakeholders clearly states that it would normally have been counted a success . . . but for cost issues, and a current market that's very harsh on new properties. From the report:



In the end, it's true that the game isn't currently slated for reprinting, which is unfortunate given how great it turned out in terms of quality. I just wanted to point out that the actual outcome is more nuanced than suggested by common reports of "sales were poor" or "it failed".
I think TFT will certainly outsell Dungeon Fantasy for several reasons. There is already an existing fan base (rabid if smaller with several clones that have kept TFT alive), the rules set is already quite tight so it is easily learned and it fits a niche that currently is under served.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:00 PM   #767
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

One of the biggest issues I saw with Dungeon Fantasy was just that there really wasn't much buzz about it. And...I must also add that I'm guilty of not "buzzing" too -- mostly because it just happened to be a very busy time at my work during the Kickstarter, so I was basically scanning my e-mail and hitting the sack instead of staying up all night typing about it.

Plus, honestly, I'm not sure there were that many people interested in something that narrowed the GURPS paradigm -- the big GURPS fans would probably consider it less value for their money, and the folks that didn't like GURPS were probably going to be unlikely to invest anyway.

I think that the TFT trajectory is substantially different -- you'll start out with a couple of fast, fun, and easy to learn and play arena games (Melee and Wizard) this year, and finish up with a big EXPANSION of their systems late this year, or more probably next year (ITL, etc.). Plus, the likelihood is that Death Test will get dropped somewhere in the between time just to keep everyone's appetite whetted.

If SJG (and those of us who have been loyal TFT fans all along) can keep the puff going, we might even get some cool expansions shortly after ITL too -- after all, a new Dungeon Fantasy book just hit the stores recently (Caverntown -- an underground town with lots of adventure hooks), so they're still working the expansions even though the game is going out of print. Think how much more we can motivate them to do for TFT by continually talking this up every chance we get! ;-)
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:27 PM   #768
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLV View Post
...we might even get some cool expansions shortly after ITL too...
This is thing I am most excited about with the promise of a re-release of The Fantasy Trip.

Back in the day, it was so difficult to watch TFT starve-out over time in terms of diminishing new product support from Metagaming; while other companies game-systems flourished and expanded across the store shelves.

My personal vision is in wanting to see the same amount of quality expansions and useful supplements for the 2018 TFT line, as was offered for Car Wars back in the day. 1980s Car Wars was a product-line whose vast support products were actively and dynamically managed better than almost any other I can think of.

So here's hoping that same product management mojo is transferred to the re-release of TFT.

JK
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:05 AM   #769
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
This is thing I am most excited about with the promise of a re-release of The Fantasy Trip.

Back in the day, it was so difficult to watch TFT starve-out over time in terms of diminishing new product support from Metagaming; while other companies game-systems flourished and expanded across the store shelves.

My personal vision is in wanting to see the same amount of quality expansions and useful supplements for the 2018 TFT line, as was offered for Car Wars back in the day. 1980s Car Wars was a product-line whose vast support products were actively and dynamically managed better than almost any other I can think of.

So here's hoping that same product management mojo is transferred to the re-release of TFT.

JK
Car Wars WAS handled pretty darn well! It kept me interested and buying for years after I went into the USAF, even though my opportunities for play were few and far between (I always seemed to be working shift work, deployed to some Central American jungle village on the border of Nicaragua, or fighting in actual hot wars (JUST CAUSE, DESERT STORM), that by the time my life stabilized and I could actually play it again, it was over and no one was interested in playing it any more...)

I note that some attempt is being made to do that with Dungeon Fantasy too, though to be honest, I much prefer dead-tree versions versus PDFs when I can get them. One thing I hope SJG will do with the new TFT line is to get them over to the "Print on Demand" section ASAP after they go out of print at the warehouse, and keep them in the POD section!
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:56 PM   #770
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Default Re: TFT or Dungeon Fantasy. False dichotomy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLV View Post
We have no way of knowing what the underlying problem is here -- there's insufficient data in the report to make meaningful comments as to the whys and wherefores; but, based on the FULL text of the quote, it seems to me that Rick actually summed the situation up quite accurately given the information provided.
The way I'd summarize it (as an outsider/spectator, of course): DFRPG sales weren't all bad – but weren't good enough.

Here's hoping Melee/Wizard will fall firmly within "good enough" (to make $$$ and ensure reprinting). With its simpler rules and presentation, maybe it'll hit a sweet spot in the market...
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