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My first self published Tabletop RPG: I'm in over my head.

Minivera

Registered User
Validated User
Just passing through to give a really big +1 for Thorya's post

He really nailed how to ask and wait for feedback. I myself have been here for almost a year and I had thread with lots of feedback and other with not so much feedback. It all depends on the ability to present your game in a short and evocative way, to make it interesting and catch the eye so we look at your linked document. I still have a hard time doing that and his posts will clearly help me an many other in that regard.

A thing I want to add, if feedback is scarce or hard to get, don't get depressed, see it as another thing your need to work on. If you can't pitch your game to a bunch of stranger on the internet, how will you be able to pitch it to kickstarter, in convention or in stores? If you are loving your project, show it to us, I think its far easier to pitch a project you already are excited for. I'm not really in a position to give advice to anyone when you look at my thread history, so I'll keep it at that.
 

kenco

Registered User
Validated User
Just wanted to say that this post is great, thanks a lot for sharing this CardinalXimenes, so much wisdom I feel this should be stickied somewhere.

Regards,
Vicente
I agree. A very generous and sincere post from CardinalXimenes, full of information and experience.
 

Octiron

Pariah
Validated User
My thoughts after publishing Clown Helsing - sort of a small game to see how things worked but it has heart. Unfortunately no one likes Clowns, whatever! Anyway, here are my observations:

  • Judged by It's Cover: I made a mock cover early on for Clown Helsing and thought it was good. The more I looked at it though, the worse I realized it was. Later, I went and made a cover I am pretty happy with but I don't think anyone saw it. Your cover will only be up on the front page of the sites for a day at best, so make sure it is exquisite.
  • Pay What You Want: This is what I did, and no surprise, people don't want to pay anything, which I am ok with. I'm a published author now who would be hard pressed to buy a can of soda with my proceeds. :D I wonder though that if you put that as your price your audience may also dismiss your game as worthless. I don't have anything to compare it to, but I doubt it even helped for exposure. Time will tell.
  • Playtest, but Know When to Stop: There is a fine line here between testing your game so much that you never publish it, and publishing a game before you have playtested it enough. Neither extreme will do you any good.
  • Make Connections, give Credit: Ray, if someone asks if you are a god, you say "yes." If someone offers to review your game, say yes. If they give you good feedback, incorporate it and credit them. You lose nothing by this act.
Above all, remember that unless you are at small press levels or higher, this is a labor of love. You probably won't make much money off of it, if any. On the other hand this grants you the artistic freedom to make what you want without worrying about your fickle audience. I don't regret it one bit.
 
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)!5)’ugh

Formerly 'Jeff Slater'
Validated User
Start with the "check" and know everything about how your dice work.

The basics of how your dice work, how you bonuses and penalties work, will define EVERYTHING. Will it be a "linear" distribution like d20 is supposed to be (which it loses when the roll is opposed) with a ton of +2s? or is it going to be dice pools like Shadowrun or World of Darkness? or rolling two different dice of differing sizes based on attributes and skills like Where Æternity Stands? Sounds like you already know what you're wanting to do, but make certain you understand EXACTLY what it is doing. http://anydice.com will help you tremendously to understand what the odds actually do in many situations. The dice dictate the world in its entirety, from how combat functions to what makes a character "tough" or "fast." Gravity does not exist because things fall, things fall because of gravity. The dice are not so because the character, the character is so because of the dice.
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So I'm going to pretty much disagree with this. You should think about what you want your game to be and how it is going to accomplish what you want it to be and do before worrying about dice mechanics. Dice mechanics are one of the last things you will be deciding on. That does not mean you won't be thinking about mechanics, but you will be thinking about them in different terms: do I want my game to be narrativist, simulationist, gameist or a combo; what is my game tying to accomplish; what type of authority distribution do I want between the HM and players; do I even want a GM; how much cruch and how much swinginess? All these questions will be answered basset on the goals you have for your game. Dice are easy, by the time you get all the other stuff figured out you'll understand that and you will choose the dice mechanic that fits best. How much luck vs skill? How much swing etc. Check out Vincent Bakers blog and other RPG designers blogs for good advice. And not to be rude, but other people are right: nobody is going to steal your ideas and I promise you that if you check out the indie RPG scene, your ideas arnt as original as you think. Finally, do this because you love it; you arnt going to get rich off of it. Even the best designers can hardly make a living off of it. Good luck on your endeavor:) I wish you well :)
 

FoxKit

Amateur Savant
Validated User
So I'm going to pretty much disagree with this. You should think about what you want your game to be and how it is going to accomplish what you want it to be and do before worrying about dice mechanics. Dice mechanics are one of the last things you will be deciding on. That does not mean you won't be thinking about mechanics, but you will be thinking about them in different terms: do I want my game to be narrativist, simulationist, gameist or a combo; what is my game tying to accomplish; what type of authority distribution do I want between the HM and players; do I even want a GM; how much cruch and how much swinginess? All these questions will be answered basset on the goals you have for your game. Dice are easy, by the time you get all the other stuff figured out you'll understand that and you will choose the dice mechanic that fits best. How much luck vs skill? How much swing etc. Check out Vincent Bakers blog and other RPG designers blogs for good advice. And not to be rude, but other people are right: nobody is going to steal your ideas and I promise you that if you check out the indie RPG scene, your ideas arnt as original as you think. Finally, do this because you love it; you arnt going to get rich off of it. Even the best designers can hardly make a living off of it. Good luck on your endeavor:) I wish you well :)
That's a pretty insightful first post. Welcome to RPG.net. :3
I agree, I think determining the themes of your game is most important. Think about the type of experience you want to convey to your players and GMs out there, then check every decision you make against those experiences. "Does this rule facilitate the kinds of experiences I want players to have?" "Does this dice mechanic convey the themes I want to explore?" Things like that.
And yes, get your game out there early, let people rip it apart, and learn from every bit of feedback you get. Believe me, you'll be begging for people to look at your game very soon, so no reason to be stingy about getting your stuff out there now.
 

)!5)’ugh

Formerly 'Jeff Slater'
Validated User
That's a pretty insightful first post. Welcome to RPG.net. :3
I agree, I think determining the themes of your game is most important. Think about the type of experience you want to convey to your players and GMs out there, then check every decision you make against those experiences. "Does this rule facilitate the kinds of experiences I want players to have?" "Does this dice mechanic convey the themes I want to explore?" Things like that.
And yes, get your game out there early, let people rip it apart, and learn from every bit of feedback you get. Believe me, you'll be begging for people to look at your game very soon, so no reason to be stingy about getting your stuff out there now.
Thankyou very much; I think you post was also on the mark. I wrote my post in a hurry and actually thought that I didn't phase it as best I could. If the OP wants me to go into further detail I can. Most people's comments, with very few exceptions, have been helpful to the OP but they really haven't covered enough detail; for example, the formatted the OP should be using for his/her print version vs. PDF. Really their are a ton of things he needs to be educated on, and this is not to be dismissive or condescending, we all went through this process. By certain statements made by the OP I really think he/she needs to read and play a lot more RPGs before starting to design. Anyway, thanks for your kind comment:)

@OP
OP, if you have any questions feel free to hit me up. I can provide a list of suggestions in this regard if you are interested. Also, I can provide a list of designers you should be following and communicating with. Story-games.com are where all the designers hang out and talk; it is a great place to discuss design in detail. Also, designers pages on Google+. Thanks so much :) I hope your RPG is a thing of beauty:)
 

)!5)’ugh

Formerly 'Jeff Slater'
Validated User
Wow, I think I sound really arrogant in the two posts above and I'm embarrassed by them. I apologize that I wasn't more thoughtful with my responses. I want to stress that I have never published a RPG; although, I have researched the process a lot because I am working on one. Everything I know about the process, I have learned from the generous people over at Story Games and I am still learning myself. I really hate it when I come off I a way that is elitist and careless. Still, I would love to offer my help in any way you think it may be useful, OP :) Sorry again for my tone :)
 

GarryUK

New member
Hi Mrdenom - first of all, congratualtions on putting your ideas into action and deciding to make your own game. I've always thought that was part of the whole roleplaying thing - coming up with your own ideas and being creative. Whether someone makes a game just for fun, playing with friends or does so with the intention of publishing is beside the point. I agree with a lot of what others have already posted - I'd only add that its important to be really clear what the purpose of the game is and also why you're doing it. For me the mechanics can often be the least interesting bit - like a story - a game needs to inspire its players (and the GM) to want to pick it up in the first place. And you don't have to right it all on your own - maybe you can team up with a friend or someone else if there are aspects of game design you feel less confident with. The first game I created was done in partnership with a friend who basically acted like an editor. Having a spare set of eyes is good. And as others have said - keep testing and revise - and the paly testing should be fun! Anyway - best of luck.
 

LizardQuizzard

Registered User
Validated User
Hi Mrdenom - first of all, congratualtions on putting your ideas into action and deciding to make your own game. I've always thought that was part of the whole roleplaying thing - coming up with your own ideas and being creative. Whether someone makes a game just for fun, playing with friends or does so with the intention of publishing is beside the point. I agree with a lot of what others have already posted - I'd only add that its important to be really clear what the purpose of the game is and also why you're doing it. For me the mechanics can often be the least interesting bit - like a story - a game needs to inspire its players (and the GM) to want to pick it up in the first place. And you don't have to right it all on your own - maybe you can team up with a friend or someone else if there are aspects of game design you feel less confident with. The first game I created was done in partnership with a friend who basically acted like an editor. Having a spare set of eyes is good. And as others have said - keep testing and revise - and the paly testing should be fun! Anyway - best of luck.
Absolutely agree with this! Creating your own game should be 5% work 95% fun, and you should never expect for it to actually take off. Enjoy it yourself and share it with your friends! At least, that's how my brother did it ;)
 
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