On App Pricing

There’s been quite a bit of conversation lately about the pricing of PDFs games across the RPG community lately. This is an ongoing discussion much as it has been in the realms of music, ebooks  and – increasingly – film and video. Lots of companies just don’t seem to ‘get it’, particularly those that are primarily print oriented, pricing their PDFs at barely under the price of their print material. There’s something to be said for this since print isn’t always available and it means you can sell your product in the long term without investing in new stock, but when it comes to actually selling PDFs it’s a boneheaded move.

Way back when we started we’d talk about the $10 barrier. Basically there seems to be a psychological ‘sweet spot’ where people aren’t so willing to part with money for a PDF that costs over $10 and unless you have something really hot or that you really have to charge that much for it can be pretty self defeating.

Adamant has lead much of the discussion on this though other examples such as Eclipse Phase being given away to promote sales of the print version and the supplements and 6d6 Fireball are seeing what they can manage with ‘pay what you want’.

I’m a believer in these experiments and the thought behind them as a concept. I have evidence for myself that piracy of my works has effectively been advertisement for me but a big factor in piracy is price. Cheaper items people are more willing to pay for and less likely to pirate. That’s why things like iTunes work and that’s why overpricing e-books isn’t going to work. The problem with RPG works is that the margins are already slim (e-selling helps this immensely) and because artwork is expected they cost more to produce than self published literary works (words only) with a slimmer potential audience.

I’m not sure if it’s going to work out for Adamant, I’m sure they’ll get an initial huge boost to sales but will they make money long term with it? I don’t know that they will once the novelty wears off. Is the Eclipse Phase model one that’ll work? Only if you have a high value, shiny physical product to push – which they do. They may have also lucked into a halfway phase between print and e-publishing worlds changing, a sweet spot. 6d6’s approach? I hope it works, but I’ve tried a donationware approach before and have gotten absolutely fuck all from anyone by following that model.

I can’t afford to take a big showy risk like Adamant and I’m not new, so can’t draw attention in the same way Eclipse Phase or 6d6 have. So I’m just going to try it modestly for now. Invaderz at $1.99 – the app price – and see how it goes. This is a ‘safe’ way to experiment since it’s a game I love and wish had more attention, I didn’t have to invest as much as I would in a new game and it’s the type of game that – in theory – should sell in this sort of price range as it’s a fun, disposable, ‘experiment’ for people to play.

We’ll see how it does and if it is a big success, I’ll probably try doing the same with my other products, but we’ll see.

There is also Kickstarter and ‘hostageware’, but that’s something to discuss and experiment with another time.

Why you should buy and play Invaderz

Invaderz is a great pick-up game when you’re up for a laugh and it’s based on the same sort of system as Urban Faerie, an ultra-light d6 + bonus system that, frankly, you could ignore entire if you wanted to. The dice do give you the randomness you need to make crazy things happen though, especially when people are using experimental equipment.If you want a vague idea what playing Invaderz is like, imagine a strange blend of Paranoia, Invader Zim and the promotion structure of the Unseen University from Discworld. The players take on the role of cloned aliens, the mailed fist of the emperor of the Jerkian Empire who sends them out on seemingly random missions as much for his own entertainment as to accomplish any sort of military objective. The aliens are as much out to bash each other in a desperate attempt to gain promotion as they are to complete their tasks but if they don’t complete their tasks they may well end up being rendered down into protein bars to feed their successors.

It’s a riotous, random, rib-tickling laugh. A cavalcade of comedic wrongness that makes for a great con game. Best served with alcohol.

You can get it HERE

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Robert Murphy, over on RPGNOW reviewed the original version and the new version is EVEN BETTERER!

INVADERZ is a silly and fun “beer and pretzels” game where Invaderz from the Jerkian Empire try to conquer Earth for the amusement of their leaders, or die trying which the leaders find just as entertaining.

Overall Impression: Having bought several other products from this author, I had uniformly high expectations which were easily met.

Artwork: Plentiful and suitable to the theme and tone, the 8-bit retro style artwork was a great choice.

Mechanics: Appropriate to a game about blowing stuff up for fun and profit of the Empire. Characters are not overly complex, and the mechanics support the silly gameplay style perfectly. Not hard to create characters or run the adventures part itself, and very approachably done. This game is not for rules-lawyers, since it encourages “just wing it” play style.

Writing: With tongue firmly in cheek, Grim sets the style from page 1 and doesn’t let up. Even the legal disclaimer is not left unscathed, and the dedication really gives you an idea of how to GM this game. I laughed out loud several times just on my initial read-through, and was immediately able to scheme up several fun adventures.

Setting: Today. Earth invaded by wacky and occasionally-malfunctioning alien high technology. Easy to design adventures and add-ons for.

Summary: just buy this already. If the writers of the movie SPACED INVADERS had played this first, that would have been a much more fun movie. Fans of alien invasion cartoons will read this and have flashbacks to quotes and scenes from those cartoons. Wish I could rate this higher.

Score: 5

Invaderz Pocket Edition released!

This is the new, revised, updated and spruced up edition of Invaderz in a convenient, smaller page format. Inside you’ll find some extra adventure seeds, a planet guide, the Jerkian Imperial Anthem, new art, rules for playing Jerkian slave races and a generally better presented and more awesome version of Invaderz.

Treat yourself, buy something awesome.

Greetings Jerkian warrior elite!

Know this, that your very existence is down to the orders of our Portly Potentate and that without him, you would not exist. Your very conception, in the clone tanks of Clonius, is ordained by his Obese Omnipotence and from very that moment you owe him your life, your servitude and your loyalty.

To be a soldier in the glorious army of the Jerkian Empire is perhaps the best fate that can befall lowly matter in this universe. The Jerkian Empire is all-conquering, all powerful, has the best uniforms, the most advanced weaponry and the greatest leader the galaxy has ever known. Nothing can stand in our way and you, even as lowly as you are, can die knowing you are serving a far greater cause and a far superior people to any other in the universe!

A ‘beer and crisps’ game of comedic alien misadventure, Invaderz is a good fill in game when you’re in the mood for a break from your regular campaigns. The rules and style should be familiar to those who have played Urban Faerie and Invaderz follows in the spirit of that game.

We’re experimenting with ‘app’ pricing and, if successful, our old and new games will be priced similarly so, if you like that idea, you should buy!

Invaderz will soon be available at Paizo and e23 webstores as well, but in the meantime you can buy it at RPGNOW or in hardcopy at LULU.
There is a Facebook fanpage HERE