Each year (if you've been reading our news blog you know), we gather together over lunch and decide what products we are going to release and when. It's tough, because Aaron has so many ideas, and Stephanie usually has a good reality check on production time and resources. As always, we try to have 3 products a year at minimum with a stretch goal or two. In 2012, we're going to try to take it easy since 2011 threw us so many curve balls. So, without further adieu, here are the 2012 A'n'SR -entertainments goals:
So, there it is, 6 gotta-do's and 3 optional goals for the next year. As we move closer to the end of 2011, we'll reveal more about the mystery game for 2012 and our long-term supplement plans for both it and WyshMaykers.
Every October, we go off and plan what we want to do for the next year. It's a fun meeting, usually over a long lunch at a local restaurant. This year is no different. As it stands, here's what is on the list of considerations (in no particular order):
For A'n'SR -entertainments, we usually stop putting games out by October so we can plan for the next year and play a whole lot of games ourselves. As such, we like to take stock of how we did each year around that time.
2011 has been a great year of A'n'SR -entertainments. We have finally got our footing under us and are doing better than we had hoped. So that you can appreciate our success as much as we do, here's a look at what we set out to do, what we did, and what that means for us. It's kind of like the Steve Jackson Games Annual Report (which we greatly admire), but not as cool.
When we began 2011, we set out with the following goals:
***How We Did***
As of right now, here is where we stand:
***Other Accomplishments and Incidents***
In addition to publishing 2 more -U- Options books than planned, we also we forced to make some updates to other things that were totally not on the schedule.
Overall, 2011 was a really good year for A'n'SR. We accomplished all of our golas for the year, which is a clear win. Sales wise, it was our best year to date (2009 being 2nd runner-up and 2010 being the lowest yet) with September and August being our 2nd and 3rd best months ever in our history. Product wise, it was the fullfilment of a lot of dreams and work began on the dream that really started it all, our game about [redacted].
In WyshMaykers, characters can make anything they can imagine come true with a wysh. When building the game a few things that we tried just didn't feel right, and no amount of Wyshing could make them work for the game we wanted to create. Here a few of the things that ended up cut out or re-worked for the game.
***Wyshing as a Stat or Ability***
WyshMaykers uses -U- the Game of Stories for its mechanical game base. In -U- anything that is not an attribute, a Study, or an Item is an Ability. When we first began, we made the power of wyshing an Ability. Since dots in an Ability could be used and added to an attribute when attempting that Ability, it gave players 2 chances (at minimum) to make a successful wysh (X + Wyshing Ability). When going through the game with that, it made wyshing feel a little cheap and the math of X + Wyshing + Studies or Items was more cumbersome than we liked. So... we nixed the idea of characters having that Ability. Less math, the better.
Our next though was to have Wyshing as its own attribute along with Action, Thought, and X. We quickly found that X just wasn't getting used all that much as a lot of the social aspects of the game that X usually covers was being done by the players and not die rolls (guess we had very social players, huh.).
Finally, we opted to use the core rule of -U- the Game of Stories that the X attribute stood for anything not Action and Thought... including wyshing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Wyshing is a pretty broad ability. It lets a person do anything they can imagine. One of the ideas we toyed around with was a list of subjects people could wysh about. Players would then have to buy a study in a certain area of knowledge and could only make wyshes about that part of knowledge. For instance, a character could have Water Wyshing as a Study; this would allow them to make wyshes only about water and things involving water. This, however, led to a lot of game-world questions and answers we didn't like. Who taught them how to wysh about that area of knowledge? Why did they get so limited? How in the world do you limit that? The questions got worse as we started coming up with the colleges of knowledge. In the end, we decided to allow characters to be able to wysh about whatever it is that they knew about. Much easier to jump in playing and a whole lot less questions to answer. Don't worry though, we will probably still use the idea in a later game.
***The Human Factor***
One of the things that we personally find intriguing is the normal people vs not-so-normal people conflict in games and fiction. The idea goes something like this: Super-powered individuals can do things that normal folks can't. So what happens when the super-powered people decide that normal folks are wrong? How does the normal folks protect themselves and regain control of their own destinies?
Because we liked that idea, we played with an anti-Society of non-WyshMaykers hunting down those with the power of wyshing. The idea, however quickly fell apart, and the Setting did not really support the idea beyond a single campaign. Instead, we decided to just concentrate on the struggles within the WyshMaykers.
To see what worked in the game, feel free to pick up your own copy of WyshMaykers ( http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=94202&affiliate_id=229603 )
When we plan our year, we try to make sure that we space out product releases give you all a constant flow of stuff to enjoy from January to September (we take the last 3 months off to plot and plan for the next year). In doing that, we sometimes can peg which months will be big months and which won't. We knew that Late August/ Early September would be a good time, but we had no clue as to how good.
Thanks to your support, August 2011 and September 2011 have been our 3rd and 2nd best months in sales ever. In fact, September came less than a dollar away from taking the top spot (set in January 2009 when we released our first product) in our little organization's history. That is just amazing.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Right here, right now, we will make you all this promise. If we ever have a month that takes a new top spot on our sales charts, everyone that supported us in that month will get a free product (or two) from us for their support.
We are humbled and amazed at your support. Thank you, again.