#AprilTTRPGmaker Top tips and advice?

kill-bill-kung-fu-masterI’m going to assume this is advice for people who want to make their own games, rather than advice for players or games masters.

The best advice I can give is ‘don’t’. There’s a reason so many games get dubbed ‘fantasy heartbreakers’. Also I don’t want the competition!

The market IS flooded with a lot of material from a lot of very small companies.

More seriously though…

  • Do it for you, not with the expectation of making money.
  • Have a new idea that you love.
  • Keep in mind that people will second guess everything that you do.
  • Remember that once you release a game, it’s no longer yours. People will do things to it and with it. Unspeakable things.
  • You’re almost bound to be criticised for some sort of *ism, whatever your motivation or intent.
  • The future is digital and online.
  • Get good advice (hint, I consult for a reasonable fee and you can get a lot of good advice in a relatively short period of time).
  • A lot of what makes success in any industry is networking.
  • You are your brand.
  • Social Media is all important.
  • Video > Text

#AprilTTRPGmaker Your community?

b72a27f74a6da9794b87085c37582927--the-devils-rejects-rob-zombieWhat constitutes my community? Is it my audience? The people I talk to most regularly? My usual gaming group? My patrons on Patreon?

I don’t really even know what would constitute ‘my community’! I have pages for my company and for me on Facebook. I’ve got communities on G+ but nothing is hugely active. So I guess to talk about my community I have to talk about who my audience is.

  • My community has a sense of humour, frequently a dark sense of humour.
  • My community cares more about fun than about politics, even though my material is frequently political (just it tends to be implicitly so, rather than explicitly so).
  • My community is neither wedded to the ‘new school’ Indie style, nor traditional roleplaying.
  • My community likes trying new and different things.
  • My community is less squeamish about sex and violence than most.
  • My community is interested in transgression and controversial topics.
  • My community appreciates that my work has ‘layers’.
  • My community cares passionately about the hobby, protecting and improving it.

#AprilTTRPGmaker Favourite interview?

Probably this one. Years back, but it’s showing what I’ve consistently tried to do ever since. To reach across this ‘SJW’ divide and create understanding. No progress has, however, been made. The divisions remain, there’s nobody on the other side really willing to listen – whether it’s in tabletop, video games, fiction writing or anything else.

#AprilTTRPGmaker Feature a TTRPG designer

tumblr_m7q21tXbvq1qzb1rlo1_500I admire, and am envious of, the success of James Raggi. His Lamentations of the Flame Princess is ‘just’ a D&D retro-clone, but he has made it phenomenally successful, purely on the basis of presentation, creativity, thematics, mood, marketing and investing in the art.

The fixation on a single game is also something I find amazing. I always flit from one idea and one game to another. To devote so much time and effort to a single game, and support for it, is an ‘outside context problem’.

Raggi also has the same ‘fuck you’ attitude to people who have issues with what he does, seemingly giving even less of a shit than I do that anyone’s offended or upset. He’s also unafraid to work with people who feel the same. The criticism at least seems to affect him less as well.

All of this, at least to me, is admirable. Even if I’ve never been a particular D&D fan.

#AprilTTRPGmaker Blogs? Streams? Podcasts?

imageAll the information you might need is found in the sidebars of this blog.

This is my main blog/news channel for information about what I’m up to, but you can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vero, Snapchat, Minds, Gab and just about anything else you care to think of.

My Youtube isn’t just gaming stuff, but commentary, computer games, current events, some skits and whatever takes my fancy.

I have a steemit blog, which at the moment is ‘classic’ posts from this blog, but will have new material in good time.

I have Patreon and Makersupport for those who want to financially support me and get access to some discounts and – in the near future – exclusive material and access.

There’s possible, potential streams and other things coming up, but everything is – obviously – contingent on my health.

#AprilTTRPGmaker Most notable achievement?

650x650_ffe407df6a0fcc141ac32dba951b067f24ee132033993dd422da68bdThere are two kinds of achievement I suppose. The ones that are publicly acknowledged and the ones you regard as personal achievements. Public acknowledgement in any industry is tricky. You have to hold the right positions, know the right people, work for the right companies, have the right reputation and so on. The Hugo Awards have been mired in controversy over this point for some time.

Publicly then, I can only really point to winning an Origins Award for The Munchkin’s Guide to Powergaming – which wasn’t bad for the first thing I ever produced professionally and has had such a profound, broad impact on gaming and gaming culture. My ‘bad’ reputation is also something of an achievement I suppose, it demonstrated to me who my real friends were and acts as a useful filter for finding people who think for themselves gor_slavegirl_alphaor go with the herd. I got it by sticking to my principles and beliefs, which is more of a personal achievement.

In terms of personal achievements, there’s that first professional break, writing for Wizards of the Coast, starting my own company with £500 and multiplying that money many, many times over. Several small-scale hits are under my belt and I’ve negotiated rights to old games, and to producing gaming material for Gor. All things of which I’m proud to one degree or another.

#AprilTTRPGmaker How do you document ideas?

QSIUF1523029281I keep ideas everywhere, on scratch paper, in computer text documents, on my phone, in videos or audio files I’ve made where I’m rambling about game design. I set them as reminders in my phone for days and weeks to come to make sure my memory is jolted semi-randomly by them.

I get more ideas than I know what to do with, which can become rather frustrating. I’ve probably forgotten more game ideas than I’ve produced to completion.