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Old 04-11-2017, 06:37 PM   #1021
jcfiala
 
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

Time for GURPS Munchkin? :)

Each card is a valid Munchkin game card, but also includes stats for GURPS!
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:23 PM   #1022
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

Quote:
Originally Posted by philreed View Post
That wouldn't solve the issue. Printing the hardcover isn't the most expensive part of the process of creating a new GURPS book.
I hope Dungeon Fantasy does well because if it doesn't basic logic dictates that a company going through a rough patch will have a hard time keeping an under preforming line of product in production. Even if Dungeon Fantasy does well, will it be good enough to keep the line going? Where will SJ Games go with Gurps from there? Look at the stress on the line right now. That's with a big influx of Kickstarter funds too.

SJ Games has some high quality standards and maintaining those standards isn't cheap. Gurps has a lot of moving parts and making sure new parts fit in with the old ones isn't easy. While Gurps isn't dead, it appears to be on the ropes. This looks like make or break time for one of my favorite RPG's.

Of course I could be wrong and there is a huge DIY RPG market out there that I haven't seen hide nor hair from but I don't think there is.

I feel like I'm writing a requiem for Gurps here but things do look grim.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:47 PM   #1023
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

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That's clearly a failure on our part. We _thought_ we had spread word of the two books -- including during the Dungeon Fantasy Kickstarter project -- but something must have gone wrong.

Where do you most often learn of new games and expansions?
It depends on what sort of games/expansions we are talking about. Not an easy question to answer.

GURPS things I almost always find out about from Kromm's Livejournal page. That's embarrassing right? But that is where I learn about new GURPS things.

Where do I learn about other game things? Chaosium and Pelgrane have emails they send me where they tell me about new products and Kickstarters I might be interested in. I find out about things on Facebook or from friends. I see books in the FLGS. I learn about new games from some Twitch streaming game shows: specifically, I've learned about a bunch of games from Foreververse on Geek and Sundry and Weekly Affirmations on the HyperRPG. I learn about things from the Geek and Sundry Website. Sometimes from Wil Wheaton's Tabletop. I learned about some things at GenCon.

Here is a thing I do need to say. Phil Reed keeps saying that we need to post more on RPGNet and those sites...but I never go to those sorts of sites. I don't even know if I have a login at RPGNet. I visit more magazine style places on the internet, like io9 or Eurogamer. They don't normally talk much about RPGs, but they do sometimes and have introduced me to new gaming systems.

For some data, I've spent a *LOT* of money on RPG stuff the last couple of years. I may not hang out on RPGNet, but I am an active buyer of RPGs. I Kickstarted DFRPG, even though I'm not the biggest fan...because I buy everything GURPS.
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:05 AM   #1024
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There's a lot of diverse anecdotal evidence about where gamers find out about nw games stuff, and that's the problem; there are a lot of options these days, and no one dominant gateway like the old-time game shop system. Nobody is dumb or wrong for their choices, but this situation makes it very difficult for a company to ensure that their news reaches everybody.

It's thus unfair to criticise a company or creator for not hitting your own personal chosen news streams (and unreasonable for a company to expect their fans to fill in all the myriad gaps). All anyone can do is keep plugging away and hope to pass some critical threshold - but everyone has to do that.
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:56 AM   #1025
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

For the record, I wasn't criticizing anyone for not hitting my preferred information outlet, I was just putting out where I get info as a data point in case it might be useful.

I was also pushing back a bit on the idea that somehow I am deficient for not posting about GURPS on RPGnet that has been coming up a lot recently. I talk about GURPS in other contexts...RPGNet and forums like them is just not a place I like to hang out.
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:02 AM   #1026
Tom H.
 
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I'm glad the stakeholder report was released and that SJ Games is forthright and communicative with its community.

However, I would have appreciated a more positive tone even in the midst of the challenges.

I have been getting really excited about the upcoming release of Dungeon Fantasy, the extra effort being given to it, and the opportunity to re-inspire the GURPS line.

In fact, I want to contact the company with some ideas about contributing to what I had anticipated as a hopeful DF product ecosystem in the wake of the release.

But it's troublesome that the current mood in the report seems to eschew the same enthusiasm before the product even has a chance to redeem itself.

There is a lot of stress and finger-pointing in our current culture at large. It seems to be an unfortunate paradigm of running a business today.

Even if there are mistakes with estimates and projections with Dungeon Fantasy and other non-Munchkin projects, it would be better to avoid suggesting those efforts are unworthy with comments like these:

Quote:
[Dungeon Fantasy] is still clogging our pipeline and causing constant distractions.
Quote:
...Dungeon Fantasy's ongoing "Destroy all deadlines" crawl to the finish line...
I'm not going to give up my enthusiasm for GURPS.

I'm sure a lot of talented people are working very hard. I applaud them for trying to bring a creative vision to market in spite of the difficulties. They have my support.

Of course, nobody wants to lose money.

Though I don't understand the business, it seems to me that there is a need to separate concerns here.

Maybe the SJ Games cash cows (Munchkin) can have their dedicated resources, and more risky creative endeavors can have their own separate dedicated resources.

That way, blame doesn't have to cross categories, and a department like GURPS will have to survive or die based on its own resources and profitability.

As far as I can tell, there is still a healthy market for role-playing games, wargames, and involved strategy games. Companies still sell these in stores.

I guess SJ must decide if there is still room in their company for their roots. (I've been following you since the early '80s.)

I'll still find a way to support those products that I'm passionate about even if SJ Games abandons them.

Now, I'm hoping that won't be the case.

But it's probably better to drop a project that won't be profitable than to be miserable creating it. (And of course you wouldn't be alone in this, misery appears to have overtaken many businesses in our culture.)

If SJ Games ever decides that it really can't support GURPS, I would hope they could sell the property or open it up before it would be ended all together.

In fact, I reference you to a post much earlier in this thread in case it comes to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post
...
But now there is another way forward thanks to the example of Wizard's and the Dungeon Master's Guild. And unlike most companies in their position they own and maintain a robust storefront for digital sales. They could introduce a Powered by GURPS section and allow anybody who is a member of Warehouse 23 to publish a PDF in that section in return for some high percentage of the sales price. The DM's Guild sets it at 50% which seems fair to me considering you get to use all of the Fogotten Realms IP in exchange.

In doing this a couple of things could happen.
...
Anyway, I wish all you guys (not including core operations) could just take a week or two off for some downtime.

I know that sounds crazy with all the deadlines and commitments.

However, as a recovering software developer, I recall a story about a Microsoft manager called in to save a stressed-out, slipping Excel team who took a similar 'counterintuitive' approach.

It's from an old book from 1994 called Debugging the Development Process by Steve Maguire.

I hope you guys still have a good week.
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:39 AM   #1027
Owen Smith
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philreed View Post
That wouldn't solve the issue. Printing the hardcover isn't the most expensive part of the process of creating a new GURPS book.
What part is?
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:21 AM   #1028
philreed
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

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Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
Nobody is dumb or wrong for their choices, but this situation makes it very difficult for a company to ensure that their news reaches everybody.

Highly recommended: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paradox_of_Choice
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:24 AM   #1029
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Originally Posted by Tom H. View Post
I have been getting really excited about the upcoming release of Dungeon Fantasy, the extra effort being given to it, and the opportunity to re-inspire the GURPS line.
As are we. We wouldn't have sunk months of energy into the project -- before even telling the world -- if we weren't excited by the idea of a new GURPS box set. Tens of thousands of dollars were invested in the project before we went to Kickstarter. We put the effort into the game because we believed it would be a strong and profitable game that would serve as an introductory product for GURPS.

At the moment, we're focused on completing the game and sending it to print.
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:27 AM   #1030
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What part is?
Everything before the files go to print. Administrative work, proofing, editing, layout, artwork, prepress checks . . . all of those and more happen before a project goes to the printer. And each of those stages are necessary regardless of whether or not the final destination is print-on-demand -- like these: http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/ondemand/ -- or a hardcover.
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