thread: 2012-06-11 : Ask a Frequent Question

On 2012-06-21, Vincent wrote:

Marhault: Ooh, good question.

So when you design a game, write its text, and produce it as a product, you make a million decisions that, in sum, ultimately place it in its place in the grand marketplace of RPGs. Who will find your game? Who will act to own it, and how much time, bandwidth, money, effort will they spend? Who will then read it, play it, write about it, play it again, share it with their friends?

You don't get to make your decisions with foreknowledge, of course. You can make guesses and predictions, take gambles, experiment, judge and misjudge. You also have to make tradeoffs! You can't prioritize everything.

For Dogs in the Vineyard and Apocalypse World, reaching my audience was one of my highest priorities. I was willing to sacrifice other things I love, like short books and weirdo production, to give the game its best shot at achieving it.

For In a Wicked Age and Poison'd, I was content to let the audience choose itself, so I could prioritize short books and weirdo production.

Why the difference? It's kind of hard to explain. All I can say is, if I'd set myself the task of writing In a Wicked Age as generously as I wrote Dogs in the Vineyard, I would never have published it (or probably any of my games since - I'd probably still be stuck trying to follow Dogs in the Vineyard). And the thought of Poison'd in the "indie standard" 120-page digest softcover turns my heart to lead.


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