Question for Joseph and the crew

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frank5471uk
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Question for Joseph and the crew

Post by frank5471uk » Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:29 pm

Joseph

just a quick post to ask why you are dropping 3.5ed like a hot potato ? I would have thought that throughout 2008 at least there will still be loads of gamers still playing 3.5ed (either concurrently with 4e or - like me - waiting to see if 4e works or not).

Surely there is still a pretty healthy market for 3.5 ed adventures in this period ? I am really surprised by the "DCC #52 is the end" announcement. After all, you still produce the odd 1st ed dungeon 15+ years since it was discontinued, so why stop publishing 3.5ed adventures before it is discontinued (4e does not really become playable till the release of all 3 core books in mid 2008) .

I'm just curious really. It seems a strange business decision to me. Are there WoTC factors coming into play that we don't know about ?

Thanks for listening.

Frank
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Warduke
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Post by Warduke » Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:35 pm

i'd pose the same question ...............

.... except that wizards will be on 6e before we're done w/ castle whiterock.......that will cover my groups to "infinity and beyond!"

not being in publishing i'd guess that the costs of producing an adventure module are fairly fixed, the pool of folks willing to buy a 3.5 module are dying off like aged flies.

adds up to diminishing returns the closer we get to may.

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Post by Treebore » Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:57 pm

Warduke wrote:i'd pose the same question ...............

.... except that wizards will be on 6e before we're done w/ castle whiterock.......that will cover my groups to "infinity and beyond!"

not being in publishing i'd guess that the costs of producing an adventure module are fairly fixed, the pool of folks willing to buy a 3.5 module are dying off like aged flies.

adds up to diminishing returns the closer we get to may.
I would bet your right Warduke. If Joe was a "Seer" and could know he would maintain profitability until after MAy, he would keep going. Joe is smart enough to stay in business and be considered successful because he knows how to make hard decisions.
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Post by goodmangames » Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:04 pm

As a general rule I try to avoid public discussions of my business plans (the whole "poker cards" thing), but I will say this... Newness is the reason people go to game stores, and newness is the reason any form of entertainment remains interesting. I would like to have a company that remains willing to try new things, and continues to bring novel, interesting products to life. 4E is a fun opportunity to try some new things.

If you study the way various game companies have built themselves, they often follow a pattern. When the company is young, they cast about to find products that will prove popular. Eventually something catches on, and the company really starts pushing that product. Within a couple years, the company is totally dependent on that product line. Three to five years later, the fans get bored and stop responding so well to new releases on that product line. The core fan base remains while less dedicated fans slowly peel off, and in many examples the company settles into a routine of selling revised editions to a slowly dwindling fan base. The company flounders, unsure of what direction to take, and starts to slowly fade from view, eventually resorting to pushing online sales over brick-and-mortar sales, becoming heavily dependent on discounting, and so on.

Breaking out of this mold requires a couple things.

First, it requires a willingness to continue trying new things even when presented with a predictable moneymaker. As one product life cycle matures, you should have another one entering adolescence.

Second, it requires an understanding of how retail game stores work, on a couple levels. You can't succeed in this industry without having the game stores on your side, and the best way to get game stores on your side is to publish a regular stream of new, interesting products that will draw people into stores. If I know that I don't like Brand X Game Product, I'm not going to visit my local game store to check out the latest release... but if I have no opinion on New Game Line from Goodman Games, I might visit the local store to check it out when I hear it's released.

There is a market for 3.5 products, and always will be. When the time is right, I may offer to continue serving that market. Due to the simple fact that 3.5 will by that point be an unsupported system, publishing products for it will have to be in a manner that doesn't involve trying new things or supporting retail stores. So it can't be a core mission of the business.

All that said, I wish I could give you guys some details on what's in the works for 4E, but aside from noting that Harley, Adrian, Chris, and some of the other guys are hard at work, there is nothing more I can say. In the coming weeks we'll be posting details on some of the products to be released in the interregnum, which will include...

* The tournament edition of DCC #30: Vault of the Dragon Kings. This is a huge boxed set complete with the module, 12 miniatures, a new sequel adventure, and a stack of player and DM packs. It's everything you need to recreate the Gen Con tournament experience at home. It will be produced in limited supply on a preorder basis.

* A new role playing system (not Dungeoneer). This is an all-new RPG system built around an extremely flexible character generation system.

* A systems-neutral book of game master tips and inspiration material, produced by a team of experienced writers and GMs.

* One of Brad McDevitt's devious creations. Most of you know him as an artist on the DCC line and other products. Brad is also a writer and game designer, and he's come up with some fun little RPG's (not to mention having been responsible for some old classics like NightLife).

* And of course the things we've already talked about: some C&C modules, another 1E module, and a couple other things...

Don't worry... it will all make sense in retrospect. :)
Joseph Goodman
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Post by frank5471uk » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:30 am

Joseph

Thanks for such a balanced, considered and thoughtful response. I am really grateful. Let me say here and now that I FULLY support your push into 4e and I expect that I will continue to pick up some of your 4e products regardless of whether or not I and my gaming group switch.

The best bit of news in your excellent response though is the following:-

"There is a market for 3.5 products, and always will be. When the time is right, I may offer to continue serving that market"

I find this really heartening. After all, it must be economically viable to publish your 1st Ed adventures and I am sure that for the next couple of years at least there will be a much bigger 3.5ed market than 1st ed.

Given the WoTC push into 4e, I think that the road you are taking is the right one. The only aspect of your business policy I was questioning was the apparent cancellation of a mature product line in favour of an untried adolescent line. Why not run the two in parallel for a while with the throughput on the mature line turned down some way. I don't want to put pressure on you and a busy team, but one 3.5 ed module per quarter plus one 4e module per month would be great as far as I am concerned.

Anyway, once gain thanks for the response - and good luck with the push into 4e.

Frank

P.S. Interesting news on the Dragon Kings tournament pack. I ordered my standard copy of the module from Amazon just two days ago !!!!!!!!
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Post by PeelSeel2 » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:27 am

goodmangames wrote:...* The tournament edition of DCC #30: Vault of the Dragon Kings. This is a huge boxed set complete with the module, 12 miniatures, a new sequel adventure, and a stack of player and DM packs. It's everything you need to recreate the Gen Con tournament experience at home. It will be produced in limited supply on a preorder basis....
You got my pre-order!

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Post by GnomeBoy » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:48 am

goodmangames wrote:* A systems-neutral book of game master tips and inspiration material, produced by a team of experienced writers and GMs.
Well, that's me dropping my plan for a 'Complete Guide to Fluff' proposal. I'll be waiting to buy the team's version instead. :D

As for 4e DCCs, I can imagine possible '3e conversion documents' in the free downloads section, in at least some cases... it would mainly be stat blocks and maybe changes in number of foes(?), wouldn't it?

Anyway, glad to hear that there is much afoot for continuing having GG books at hand!
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CharlieRock
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Post by CharlieRock » Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:19 am

Man, I ain't got caught up to the DCC that are out now. If I'm lucky I might by May. But I ain't been lucky since the doc slapped me on my birthday.

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Post by Ogrepuppy » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:21 pm

goodmangames wrote: * A new role playing system (not Dungeoneer). This is an all-new RPG system built around an extremely flexible character generation system.

* A systems-neutral book of game master tips and inspiration material, produced by a team of experienced writers and GMs.
You have my complete attention...! (...and very likely my credit card number...sigh)

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CharlieRock
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Post by CharlieRock » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:26 pm

Ogrepuppy wrote:
goodmangames wrote: * A new role playing system (not Dungeoneer). This is an all-new RPG system built around an extremely flexible character generation system.

* A systems-neutral book of game master tips and inspiration material, produced by a team of experienced writers and GMs.
You have my complete attention...! (...and very likely my credit card number...sigh)
Not Dungeoneer? Interestink ...

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Ogrepuppy
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Post by Ogrepuppy » Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:39 pm

CharlieRock wrote: Not Dungeoneer? Interestink ...
Ahh, who am I kidding? I'll prolly get that too. ;)

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Post by DaveMage » Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:34 pm

goodmangames wrote:As a general rule I try to avoid public discussions of my business plans (the whole "poker cards" thing), but I will say this... Newness is the reason people go to game stores, and newness is the reason any form of entertainment remains interesting. I would like to have a company that remains willing to try new things, and continues to bring novel, interesting products to life. 4E is a fun opportunity to try some new things.

(more)
Thank you for posting this!

It's a great read and helped me put a couple of things in perspective.

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