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Old 05-03-2021, 10:04 AM   #41
Anders
 
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Me, too. The delusion that there are loads of realism- and simulation-oriented gamers out there, and that all GURPS needs for success is louder screaming to reach those people, has proven nearly impossible to dispel. Reality is that most gamers don't care about that stuff at all, so shouting that GURPS does that stuff well is actively repelling new blood. But those doing the shouting remain safely ensconced in echo chambers that agree with them and not with my previous two sentences.
So the prescription is "less talk about how GURPS lets you make realistic games and more talk about how it lets you make awesome games?"
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:30 AM   #42
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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So the prescription is "less talk about how GURPS lets you make realistic games and more talk about how it lets you make awesome games?"
Yes.

In an interview I've lost track of, I was asked why I spend so much time on GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game, which do what so many other games do – including the biggest kid on the block – when I have a background in math and science, manage a game with tons of rules options and reality checks, and am experienced enough as a writer and developer to work on almost anything.

The reason is because over-the-top fantasy with magic, monsters, fighting, and looting is what most gamers see as awesome. And by such a large margin that gaining even 1-2% of the biggest kid's market share would make our game at least 10-20 times more profitable. That makes every hour spent on hack 'n' slash fantasy vastly more worthwhile than an hour spent on literally anything else GURPS could do. We're a business, and my work on dungeon crawls gives the best ROI (the "investment" being my pay).

That's why.

If the game's players adopted the same time-use priorities in online discussions, the effect wouldn't be as dramatic, but it would surely help. The trick is convincing the majority of GURPS players who truly don't "get" this that they are in an odd minority, and that in online discussions, they would sell their favorite game more effectively by promoting dungeon crawls than through just about any other means.
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Old 05-03-2021, 01:26 PM   #43
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

Most gamers or most GURPS gamers ? There may be a difference. By the way people who visit conventions are not the majority of players, a lot of gamers I knew have, for different reasons, never visited one. While I agree that the people who shout loud may just be a loud minority, and therefore all the background noise has to be carefully weighted, I totally disagree with the rest of Dr. Kromms statement.

First GURPS is inherently deadly in combat, yes you can tweak it and add optional rules that allow cinematic fights. That flexibility is one of the great advantages of GURPS. But a lot of other RPG systems fill that niche nicely and are much better suited for cinematic or over the top playing.

Second a long time GURPS was nearly alone in the wide field of flexible semirealistic gaming, now there are other systems on the market, even if they are more story driven than GURPS. This means players have now the relistic choice to change the gaming system.

Each system has to fill it´s own market niche to be successful, wandering astray may cause the old player base to wander of if the changes go to far.

SJG still has made several tries to adapt GURPS more cinematic like DFRPG and other, not to mention with the reinvention of TFT to get it´s share from the OSR scene. Showing GURPS now too in this direction is homemade competition.

In fact the try to adapt GURPS for new player groups may end in the fact that the old base leaves GURPS. It is not so that I deny the necessary search to recruit new customers, but this is the wrong way.

If you want new customers, you better should make more languages available for GURPS lite / Ultra lite and add some more free stuff like solo / small group adventures to the program, or rewrite old ones to 4th Ed. GURPS is compared to other systems quite expensive, so you need a good bait if people should start new with it. In my country GURPS nearly died after there was no 4th Ed. version in german available, most play the old 3rd Ed which is still avaible at the net, sometimes to very premium prices.

Last edited by Willy; 05-03-2021 at 01:32 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:00 PM   #44
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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By the way people who visit conventions are not the majority of players
Please be aware that I am not talking about conventions. I am talking about real and estimated sales numbers, in both units and dollars, seen by the major players in the games industry. That is, I'm quite literally ignoring what gamers are saying and looking at the business picture.

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Each system has to fill it´s own market niche to be successful, wandering astray may cause the old player base to wander of if the changes go to far.
This is where most arguments and discussions go astray. "The old player base" of GURPS is not providing and has not for some time provided sufficient financial support to justify keeping the game the way it was. That pretty much forces a move away from what we were doing with the game, because that was clearly appealing to a dwindling audience, and toward finding a new player base.

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In fact the try to adapt GURPS for new player groups may end in the fact that the old base leaves GURPS.
Please try to understand that "the old base" isn't supporting GURPS anyway. It is, however, earning a reputation for being scary to newcomers who might want something a little different from what "the old base" wants.

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If you want new customers, you better should make more languages available for GURPS lite / Ultra lite and add some more free stuff like solo / small group adventures to the program, or rewrite old ones to 4th Ed.
Translations aren't something SJ Games can wish into existence. We are simply too small for that. Free stuff has the same problem. Ultimately, GURPS is on a shoestring budget because the old player base isn't spending enough money to justify better, so what little we have to spend has to go to products that earn money. If we divert it to freebies and chasing down translators, we'll have no new releases and the game will acquire a reputation as "dead."

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In my country GURPS nearly died after there was no 4th Ed. version in german available, most play the old 3rd Ed which is still avaible at the net, sometimes to very premium prices.
That's something to take up with Pegasus Spiele, not SJ Games. Nobody at SJ Games understands German or lives in Germany and understands the German games market; that's a job for a German company.
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:46 PM   #45
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

So then, which major virtual tabletop(s) has SJGames gone all-in on for GURPS?
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:50 PM   #46
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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over-the-top fantasy with magic, monsters, fighting, and looting is what most gamers see as awesome. And by such a large margin that gaining even 1-2% of the biggest kid's market share would make our game at least 10-20 times more profitable.
I agree, of course. And it's certainly been true of the players in the groups I've played with that fantasy is the most popular.

However, trying to get that market share by duplicating what the biggest kid is already offering means both coming from behind as well as having to pry that 1% directly out of the big kid's hands. One alternative is to expand the size of the RPG pie by 1%, claiming the new portion. That results in the same increase, if no decrease in the competition's share, and might be easier to actually accomplish.

I'm not objecting to DFRPG at all. It's one of my favorite genres, along with so many others. But there's already a dozen Big Kid Only Different games. Other spaces might not be as big, but they're less heavily contested.

The best way to get the loot isn't always to kick in the obvious front door and make a do-or-die charge.
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:01 PM   #47
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

There probably are some little tweaks, enhancements, and very nerdy, mathy things that would be healthy for GURPS on the whole...but all of them are completely marginal compared to chasing the new popular mainstream fanbases of the big established competitor.

And some of those things might even be about making the game more realistic or a better simulation...but they're probably outnumbered by streamlining and other simplifications. And none of them are going to pump new lifeblood into the game.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
It is, however, earning a reputation for being scary to newcomers who might want something a little different from what "the old base" wants.
I'm not disagreeing with you, but I am curious: is this from market data as well? Is this scariness (etc) happening on these forums? Reddit? Game stores?

Like, is this a call to action? Is there actually something that "the old base" can do to help, by changing behavior or attitudes?
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:20 PM   #48
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

We have been talking GURPS in our Spanish podcast. We refered It not as a system but as a tool box for building Up your game.

We tried to explain how It could be played in many different ways in order to fit different needs. We got positive feedback for the episode and we were asked for some practical examples.

And I think that is one of the main issues with the line: there are some GURPS games on YouTube but not many discussion on philosophycal / design theory / practical uses of GURPS online beyond this forum. And let's face It: forums (which I LOVE) are demodé.

A YouTube Channel would (hopefuly) atract younger audience.

For example: I recently I played AtE with Acctión 2 and Impulse buys with two PbtA fans and they liked the game a lot. They had not tried It before for they thought It was Maths & Dragons and not a tool for RPGing with a lot of drama Focus.

Just my two cents.
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:38 PM   #49
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

Something I think would be totally awesome, and that I (in my total ignorance of the RPG biz) suspect might draw in some new GURPS players: a GURPS DFRPG-style boxed set Star Frontiers rip-off, complete with space combat on a big black grid map. With a basic established setting. Including evil space lizards.

Star Frontiers was really simplistic, but it had a few original races and the most basic of storylines - and a consistent look, like DFRPG is going for.

I wonder if somebody at Gaming Ballistic is working on something like this right now? It seems that SJG has opened up to companies like Gaming Ballistic providing content....

I wonder what kind of magic would have to happen to get a simplified version of Daniel Dover's Psi-Wars into a shiny box? Is it just a pipe dream that I might someday see a thing like that on the shelf at my local Target?
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:45 PM   #50
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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I wonder if somebody at Gaming Ballistic is working on something like this right now?
While I don't think Doug is working on that just this minute, he has announced that he will be working on the long overdue GURPS-in-space game, apparently inspired heavily by Stargate and X-Com.
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