What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
Castles & Crusades Players Handbook - 7th Print Edition

Sunday, November 24, 2013

State of Arcana Creations - 4th Quarter, 2013

It feels like the month of November, much like the weeks that preceded it, is just zipping by.  This means busy times and if I was solely working on Arcana Creations projects, this would be great.  Unfortunately, like pretty much everybody else, I have a regular 9-5 gig that keeps me busy as well as pay for the bills.  It is what it is.  But there have been a few significant goals I set at the start of this quarter that I have been meeting.

Towards the end of September, Arcana Creations created it's own storefront on RPG Now.  The older Castles & Crusades releases published through Brave Halfling Publishing have a new home as a result and an effort has been done to slowly build up and expand our catalog.

Of particular note is the efforts to bring out more Swords & Wizardry material.  When I first set up the store front at RPG Now, one of the first products was 'The Vile Worm' for S&W.  It was a bit of conversion work that was done and offered for free way back during S&W Appreciation Day.  I never bothered keeping track how many copies were downloaded when I hosted off my own space but I kept it free and available during all that time.  With the migration to RPG Now, I decided to make it freely available for while longer up to mid-October.  That would mean that it would have been free for 6 months with the last of those months being hosted up on the new storefront.  Naturally I let people know that this was happening, and fellow readers and bloggers spread the word.  Thanks to those nifty reports that are available when one has a store through any of the One Book Shelf services, I now have some numbers.  While it was free, there were over 500 downloads in those 4 weeks it was hosted on RPG Now.

Now, before any of you get any ideas and start churning out your own product thinking 'easy money', the reality that the actual purchases with the price increase to a single dollar have been less than 2% in the four weeks that followed and I'm cool with that.  For me it confirms something I have known all along: Swords & Wizardry has a decent fan base.  Since then, I have released two other S&W titles which were conversions based on previously released Castles & Crusades titles.  These were, 'A Trick on the Tain' and 'The Ruins of Ramat'.  Sales for these seem to be a constant though slow trickle as far as numbers are concerned but it seems that some people are taking notice.

Is there any love remaining for Castles & Crusades?  I hate to say it but, it does seem to be a greater love for S&W than there is for C&C based on my past experiences but I think there is still plenty to go around.  With that in mind, I will be taking the time to do a C&C conversion of 'The Vile Worm' to be released towards the end of the month.  At that point, it will be really interesting to compare some of the sales figures between the two.

As to other projects and previous announcements... I mentioned the release of four things in particular this quarter and early 2014.  The good news is that we are more or less on track with some of the work involving these things.  When I made that series of announcements, I was unsure of exactly how I was going about these things as I was still working out some details.  I have made decisions since then and I have pretty much decided how I am proceeding.  I have already have made the initial inquires with the artist I have in mind for the products and after doing a lot of number crunching, I have decided to go with some sort of crowd-funding option.

The decision to go with something like Kickstarter or Indiegogo was not taken lightly.  A lot of us have seen problems with Kickstarters and as someone who has backed MANY projects, I have been disappointed with more than a couple of them.  I know that others have been soured by various experiences as well.  In this case, the projects in question are nearing completion and the art is one of the last steps.  The layout is something I'm toying around with because I intend to change things up a bit in order to be more intuitive and useful for in-game use.  Lastly, the Ballista Fast Play rules I mentioned also factors into my plans.  Once what I refer to as my 'proof of concept' is done, I will be launching the funding campaign but not before.

The wait is deliberate though because, when it does launch, rewards will be delivered quickly upon the completion of the funding drive.  The goal would be to deliver digital copies within a couple of weeks of the end of the campaign and hard copies 6-8 weeks after the campaign end.  More on that later.  The other reason for the delay is the holidays.  As it stands, the campaign will be starting soon enough but that would put the end of the campaign dangerously close to the holidays.  The solution to this issue is either to start it later or simply make the campaign longer than a month.  What will likely happen is do a bit of both.

The one thing I didn't really talk about is how the project fits in to my support of C&C and S&W.  The answer is that I will continue to support both of these games in one fashion or another going forward.  I love Swords & Wizardry and I enjoy and primarily play Castles & Crusades with an increasing amount of 'tweaks'.  There is no reason why I wouldn't show my love for both.

Beyond that, I'm still looking towards the future and I have a couple more projects that will be tackled in the new year for productions during the 2014 year.


To visit the store front for any of the PDFs, you can do so HERE.

M