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Old 11-24-2015, 10:49 PM   #691
Celti
 
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

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Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
Or could it be less that twenty-somethings are more fond of technology, and more that they have better eyesight?
I sincerely doubt it, given I have such a myopic prescription that has even high-index ultra-thin-and-light polycarbonate lenses falling off my face because the lenses are so unbalanced. I feel quite certain, given the example of my 60-year-old mother who also prefers PDFs (well, she actually plays AD&D 2e and has the old-school WinHelp files containing the entire rules compendium from the Core Rules program they shipped ages ago), that when I'm that age I'll interact with my phone or tablet or laptop much the same as I do now, just with a different pair of glasses.

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Originally Posted by Ţorkell View Post
[...]but if I'm comparing something on page 5 to something on page 20 I find that paper is much better (or I go halfway and print out one of the pages and look at the other on screen).
In SumatraPDF, I'd, say, be on page 20. It sends me back to page 5 for a cross-reference so I press 'g', type '5', and hit Enter, which takes me to page 5. I then use Alt-Right and Alt-Left to bounce back and forth between page 5 and page 20, comparing as I need to — and since I can arrange the point of scroll to be exactly the same point on the screen, I don't even have to move my eyes to compare them as I swap hither and yon, which I find makes for fewer errors and less time spent re-locating text to compare.

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Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
I find my latop, even with a 16.4 inch 1920 x 1080 screen, even worse for viewing PDFs than my iPad. Documents are a vertical portrait display experience, but modern screens had been infected with a landscape 16:9 video layout which gives very limited vertical space. I can see half a page at once on my laptop, I can see two pages at once in a book.
My laptop, my primary machine, is slightly larger with a 17.2” 1920×1080 screen. I generally fit a little over half a page at a readable zoom, plus room for the PDF bookmarks on the sidebar. I have never found myself needing more than that — I don't read an entire page at a time, few people do, and it's simple enough to just scroll — with the spacebar and Shift+Space for down and back up if my hands happen to be at homerow, PageUp/PageDown if I'm not, or the scroll wheel if my hand's on the mouse.
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Old 11-25-2015, 01:11 AM   #692
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

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Originally Posted by adm View Post
In the U.S. the Friendly Local Gaming Store is fading away in a lot of areas. Springfield Mo (Population 160,000) is a College town and is the third largest city in the state. The local gaming store has ~half a dozen D&D books, the rest is Euro-games, card games, and some miniatures stuff. Although they do still have a large selection of dice.
IMHO everything of this type (comic stores, bookstores) etc is fading away.

Even on a beach in GOA the owner told me five more years and his second hand book shop will be done due to low demand.

Its Amazon, PDFs, e-books etc
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:07 AM   #693
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

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Originally Posted by Kuroshima View Post
I know that Philreed and others have already pointed out that SJG is not purely based on the bottom line, but let me quote Steve himself from the Gaming Balistic Interview:
This makes respect the company even more.

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Originally Posted by Andrew Hackard View Post
We have TWO staff members devoted solely to Munchkin; we have FOUR dedicated to GURPS and Pyramid. It's simply not true that we aren't supporting GURPS.
This is surprising and comforting, and to me confirms that Steve does consider keeping GURPS alive important.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
A major issue with RPGs is that the price the market is willing to bear hasn't kept up with publication costs.
Understandable. Such is life.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
GURPS is a very expensive RPG to produce because we spend a lot of time perfecting each supplement.
Not a surprise. The quality of GURPS writing and editing is the best in industry that I have encountered. I remember sometime ago reading that Steve was very dedicated to quality. I think this attitude is reflected in the quality of the releases and the health of the company.

Reading this thread has been very educational. Such open communication is just amazing. Thank you Phil, Andrew and Sean :)
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:26 AM   #694
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Regarding print vs. PDFs: I much prefer print books for reading. PDFs are much better for reference and portability.

There is also a deeper meaning to me. I feel that physical items are more permanent and keep me more invested in the hobby. But that's just me being emotional.

Also, digital devices make me anxious and distracted. Just sitting down and reading a book is more comfortable and I am able to focus better. But then again, at the age of 35 I am already a dinosaur.
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:26 AM   #695
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

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Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
Munchkin existed ten years ago.
Indeed, but it wasn't dominating the company's output and there was a much better selection of new GURPS stuff coming out in print. So much in fact that at the time I couldn't afford to buy it all on initial release, which is how I ended up without GURPS Space (by the time I went to buy it, the hardback print run had sold out).
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:56 AM   #696
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The local gaming store has ~half a dozen D&D books, the rest is Euro-games, card games, and some miniatures stuff. Although they do still have a large selection of dice.
This reflects today's hobby game market. Roleplaying is a tiny slice of the current industry, and most stores adapt to meet the demands of gamers. Magic is still a strong brand, boardgames continue to do great, and impulse-priced games are growing (again).
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Old 11-25-2015, 03:04 AM   #697
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The irony there being that the switch to PDF-based support takes GURPS out of those very shops. The Basic Set alone doesn't occupy enough shelf space to command much attention from browsers, and shops with demo space are surely unlikely to be happy if a MiB goes in and says "hey, can I demo a cool new PDF product in here?"
It's certainly a challenge. Unfortunately, if we tried to bring the extremely niche PDF material to print it, those titles would have less of a chance at profitability than a title like Discworld. We talk with distributors, retailers, and other publishers daily, and until something in the market OR with the design/presentation of RPGs changes dramatically then RPGs will continue to struggle. The leaders -- D&D, Pathfinder -- will succeed at retail because of the volume they can move while smaller titles will thrive if the publisher can keep overhead low and survive on razor margins.
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Old 11-25-2015, 03:11 AM   #698
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Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
Indeed, but it wasn't dominating the company's output and there was a much better selection of new GURPS stuff coming out in print. So much in fact that at the time I couldn't afford to buy it all on initial release, which is how I ended up without GURPS Space (by the time I went to buy it, the hardback print run had sold out).
GURPS Fourth Edition was still basically new in 2005. Events over the past decade should make it clear which way the market has shifted. Look at:

* D&D has advanced two editions since 2005, and WotC is keeping support minimal today.

* The Pathfinder RPG didn't even exist a decade ago. Paizo made a smart move when they saw an opportunity, and they've now got a much larger company than they did in 2005.

* Games like Ticket to Ride, Catan, and Munchkin have all seen dramatic spikes in sales and reach since 2005, with all three of them breaking into a much larger market.

* Asmodee, through a combination of funding and brilliant business choices, has taken advantage of the surge in hobby gaming to merge with Fantasy Flight Games, purchase Days of Wonder, acquire L5R and Spot It, and become a powerful force in the industry.

Things in the hobby game market are wildly different today than they were a decade ago. With RPGs at $25 million in 2014 and minis/boardgames at $125 million during the same period (http://icv2.com/articles/markets/vie...bs-880-million) is it a surprise that publishers have taken steps to survive in the current environment?
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Old 11-25-2015, 03:35 AM   #699
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

There are many fronts open here. Obviously, Steve won't let GURPS die as long as it's not an unbearable loss making machine, but it needs to be economically viable, even if net profits per $ invested are lower than other SJG products. Phil is probably fighting the battle to keep it in place every day. FLGS are dying everywhere (here in Valencia, Spain, they still exist, but they're more often than not labors of love, as proved by the fact that the all eventually end up closing. The ones I grew with no longer exist, and the new ones are mainly comics/boardgames/MTG/Warhammer focused). I understand that SJG has a history of good retailer relationships that they don't wish to smear. It is certainly not a simple problem to solve.

Now, however, GURPS is mostly going digital. It's no longer on the store shelves anyway, because the physical product doesn't exist any more, for most of the word count. I have learnt to love digital formats (though I hate the PDF format, I understand why it's used*) because I can carry my entire library on my Nexus 7 everywhere. They're searchable, and

* PDF are unfit for purely digital consumption/distribution, and their only use should be as a temporary format for print, and as a stop-gap format for books normally scheduled for print but that you also want to release in digital form. Good digital formats are reflowable (and so discard the concept of page as an immutable thing), cross-linkable (PDFs can include internal links, but linking to other PDF files is still a mess of not very well supported implementations) and platform independent (PDFs are, for the most part, unless you happen to use some adobe specific features). They should let you process the text in any way you want (to enable use cases not originally though about by the original creator, such as turning them into alternate formats for editing), and accessible (meaning that they're easy to handle for those with disabilities. My eyesight is fine, but I understand that it's not the case for everyone. PDFs can be made accessible, by making them tagged pdfs, but AFAIK, they have their own issues [larger file sizes, slower to open, require extra work if the original source document wasn't created with accessibility in mind...]).
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Old 11-25-2015, 03:43 AM   #700
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Originally Posted by Kuroshima View Post
Obviously, Steve won't let GURPS die as long as it's not an unbearable loss making machine, but it needs to be economically viable, even if net profits per $ invested are lower than other SJG products.
Well said. Thanks!
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