#RPG – Postmortem Studios Update June 2016

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Here’s a quick monthly update on the current state of affairs here at Postmortem Studios.

Personal
I’m a lot healthier than I have been and am working full time again for the first time in about three years. It’s taking a bit of adjustment  but so far I’m keeping it up. I’m using this energy and effort to try and keep up a regular schedule of small releases and freelancing and to build up to regaining the financial independence and self reliance I had before depression slapped me around like a ruler meeting a Catholic schoolboy’s hands.

So far this has only been going on for half of last month but I still treat that as something of a victory especially since I’ve been able to raise my monthly income by about 50% just within that period. It feels good – but exhausting – to be back on the horse.

If you want to support my work and help me out, you can donate to my Patreon, and I’m looking for ideas as to what I can offer as Patreon rewards, but at the moment all I can offer are warm fuzzies.

Work Update
At the moment I’m primarily focussed on finishing off and putting out older material that wasn’t completed. This is primarily because I need to put out material quickly at the moment, meaning it’s all going to be more support material for existing games and odd little interesting notions and side projects. I also have a few people working for me – sadly pseudonomysly – on projects that I’m ‘not allowed’ to look at.

Gor is still very nearly there. There is another slight delay which, again, isn’t anyone’s fault. This project has, I swear, been cursed. Everything that could get in the way for me or the artist has done. Still, we should hopefully be on course for the end of the month. Fingers, fucking, crossed.

Services
I am a 15+ year veteran of the tabletop game publishing world with experience in freelancing and self publishing. I’ve worked for Wizards of the Coast, Steve Jackson Games, Nightfall, Cubicle Seven Entertainment and more. I have also written fiction and worked on social media computer games, packing a lot of meaning into short pieces of text. As a self-publisher I have overseen every step of the publication process from concept through to publications including writing, editing, layout and modification.

Here’s some of the services I can offer, and the minimum prices offered – though anything is negotiable up or down depending on the client.

  • New writing (raw text) $0.03c/word.
  • Proofreading/Light Editing/Commentary $0.01c/word (second and third deeper passes are possible).
  • ePublishing/RPG Publishing consultation Skype/Hangout/Call $20/hour.
  • Consultation on your game project $20/hour.
  • Layout (InDesign) $10 an hour.
  • Stock Art Shopfront: Postmortem studios has a huge stock art catalogue from multiple artists and we’d love to add you to that storefront. If you’re an artist who wants to sell your stock art but doesn’t want to deal with the accounts and uploads etc with your own storefront (which would be my first recommendation) then I can do that for you for 50% (I round up your payouts though).

Recent Products
Clipart Critters MEGABUNDLE:
A once in a lifetime offer (at least until September the first) this is ALL of Brad McDevitt’s stock art – up to number 400 – at a HUGE discount. This is basically a company start-up resource which will provide you with plenty of fantasy, horror, science fiction and modern images to kickstart your company into progress with low initial overheads for art. It’s also a fantastic resource for existing companies.

Diversity Dungeons: Despite claims to the contrary from all sides involved this is intended as a fairly serious examination of diversity issues in gaming from a world-building/game design and publishing perspective. It outlines the obstacles and methods to overcome including (or not including) diversity in your games and some material – from bitter experience – on the current febrile atmosphere around games publishing.

The Cathedral of Misogyny: An affectionate pisstake of 4chan, internet culture wars and hyperbole via the medium of a comedic 5th Edition D&D adventure, based upon a scenario I wrote as an introduction for a new player coming in from computer games. Part of the scenario was played online and there’s a Youtube video of it here.

Fistful of Horror 3: A collection of horror scenario ideas in the theme of my 100 seeds. System neutral but geared towards modern horror.

Fifth Fantasy – The Chancer: A new 5e D&D character class, based around the gambler archetypes found in Japanese RPG computer games. This will become a series and, perhaps, a setting if there are a few more sales.

Our entire catalogue (other than the newer items) – easier to browse than the online sites can be downloaded for free HERE.

Social Media & Contact
I’m always open to contact, discussion, ideas and more. If you have questions, queries, suggestions or feedback – good or bad – please do get in touch.

You can comment here on the blog.

You can find me on Twitter @grimachu

You can find me on Facebook 

You can find me on Youtube

If you want to ask questions (or troll me) anonymously I have an Ask.fm

#RPG – Consultancy Services Available

Locksmith03

As you should already know I have recently expanded my business to offer editing, writing, layout and other assistance to other RPG publishers. These services include consultancy in which I can offer my experience and knowledge, good and bad, of RPG publishing over 15 years to help businesses new and old cope better and maximise their opportunities.

Today I completed a consultancy session with Paul Fields of Evil Robot Games and he had this to say:

I spoke with Jim across a wide range of topics related to RPG publishing. His insights were valuable to me, it would have cost me much more to figure out the publishing, marketing and product selection issues on my own. In marketing he explained to me the marketing options of a major market maker and which ones worked best, which ones weren’t worth your time. I could easily go to the site’s page to see what their offerings are, but they wouldn’t necessarily lead me to the most cost effective options with the better conversion rates. I could use the tools on the site to analyze the sales and conversion rates after paying for ads, but that’s the long way around. We talked about the kinds of RPG products I would like to create, the pricepoints associated with digital products and which products tended to sell better than others. We talked about how product bundling creates a higher perceived value, even if the discounts on individual items weren’t significant. I will be focussing several new RPG projects specifically based on the conversation we had today. All in all a good value for my money.

If you’d like to employ any of my services, I’m sure I can provide you with some value for money. Please do get in touch via social media or email (grim AT postmort DOT demon DOT co DOT uk) and be sure to check out Evil Robot while you’re at it.

 

Don’t Fuck it up for the Rest of Us

how-to-write-a-horror-story.WidePlayerAs an indie writer, game publisher and all-round amazing person I spend a lot of time talking to new writers and artists and – unfortunately – that means I run into a lot of horror stories. There are a lot, a LOT of budding artists, layout people and other freelancers upon whom us indie producers rely who are being put off from ever, ever, ever working with indie producers again. Needless to say, this is a bit of a problem for everyone.

This makes my job a lot harder, it makes forming a trust relationship with other freelancers hard and it reflects very poorly on indie/self publishing as a whole.

You want to publish? GREAT! The bar has never been lower which has its pluses and minuses, but if you’re going to invest money you should first invest a little time.

  • Images come in different resolutions, 72 dpi is typical screen/web while 300 dpi is the minimum for print. Make sure you know what you need and send the right files!
  • At LEAST read the help documents for the POD and other outlets you plan to use, and the software you use. That’ll give you a basic grounding and there’s plenty of free tutorials for just about anything online. Go look.
  • Paying someone to edit? Make sure their English is native to where you consider your main market or style to be. American, English and International English are NOT IDENTICAL! Even grammar varies surprisingly.
  • Don’t try and cop work for free. You want money out of this don’t you? Something is better than nothing. Publicity isn’t. The only people who might justifiably work for you for free are students needing to learn how briefs and projects work and they need money more than most!
  • Pay early, pay often. Cough up the dough, don’t sit on it. You don’t want people riding you for their bar all the time, it’s stressful as hell. Paying on time is also worth about the same money again in terms of reputation and goodwill. If you’re in a pinch later on, these people are more likely to help you out.
  • Be – fuckin’ – communicative. The moment that email pings you need to be ON IT! Even if it’s just to say ‘OK’. Artists and writers can’t get on until they know they’re on the right track and that you’re happy.
  • Do you have a deadline? DON’T FUCKING LIE! Yes you do! If you say ‘there’s no rush’ you’d better goddamn mean it because people are going to take you at your word and your project is sliding down the priority list. Make one up even if you don’t really have one! Nothing motivates freelancers like a deadline (other than horsewhips).