Every year in October/November, A'n'SR -entertainments tries to come up with our overall plans and goals for the next year. Since our fiscal year is ending, it is time to see how we did on this year's goals. In short, we did pretty well, though some things moved around a bit.
Goal 1: Release 4 Angels – Michael's War expansions by the end of the year.
Result: Successful. We launched all of the expansions we had in the 2014 KickStarter live on TheGameCrafter, and even got Angels - Michael's War on DriveThruCards. We're not as impressed with the sales on DriveThruCards yet, but then again, we have not added all the expansions.
Goal 2: Complete work on the Angels Dice game, and possibly (optional) release it.
Result: Meh. This game has been worked on, worked over, and re-worked a lot. There are some confusing bits and some parts, but the game is not gelling like we want. We are hoping to get it back on track sooner than later, but RPGs have taken over our brains again.
Goal 3: Complete work on a solo-play Angels game.
Result: Mixed. Did I mention our brains switched to RPGs again this year? The bad news is, the solo Angels game did not get worked on. The good news is, we are retooling it for a new game line we are alpha-testing that mixes cards, dice, and RPG-elements together. So, this may see the light of day after all.
Goal 4: Get our full line of Angels card games and expansions on DriveThruCards.com.
Result: Not Successful. We had a lot of technical issues getting the base game on the site, to be quite honest. I believe the base game still shows a $30 price tag for the Print'n'Play version. As such, we are trying to get our personal process down before doing any more. We did, however, get Pyramids of Mars on the site. More on that later.
Goal 5: Get our full line of RPGs on TheGameCrafter.com.
Result: Not Successful. In the middle of the year, we began working on a 2nd edition of -U- the Game of Stories. We reasoned that if we did a 2nd edition, then the first edition would be depreciated or compete with the new one. So, we paused on this. Now, though, there is no -U- 2nd edition. There is roll5s RPG, which does not compete as much. We will put it back on for 2016, since there is not a conflict anymore.
Goal 6: Work on at least 1 new RPG game or supplement.
Result: Very Successful. This is were we spent our time and treasure this year. See, there was a contest at TheGameCrafter.com, and we wanted to enter it. What started as a refresh of -U- 2nd edition became roll5s RPG. And what started as a contest entry became a finalist in the contest. We really like roll5s RPG, and have some fun plans for it.
Goal 7: (Optional) Get all our RPG games in Print On Demand at various sites.
Result: Not Successful. Again, we really paused any RPG plans we had made in order to get an RPG ready for the contest at TheGameCrafter.com. This will likely be picked up next year.
(Optional) Make a new/deluxe version of DiColumns
Result: Not Successful (again). At some point this really will get done. It is a fun, light single-player game that non-gamers like playing. Who knows maybe a card version will sprout up. Either way, this is an optional goal this year and, because it has become a tradition, it will likely be an optional goal next year.
Other than the things we had set out to do, we also made some other achievements we had not planned.
Pyramids of Mars Re-released
The one that took the most time was re-doing our game Pyramids of Mars. It is a bluffing, betting, die-rolling game about Ancient Martians building pyramids in the capitol city. The main reason for the re-release (and reworking of the rules) was DriveThruCards. As we were working on putting Angels – Michael's War on DriveThruCards.com, we decided to try another game as a test. We picked Pyramids of Mars for that test. Problem was, it was not friendly to card-only play. It required blocks and dice. So, we reworked it to not need the cubes, and re-released it. It is a much better game, and now has the chance to be expanded. An unexpected win. Who knows, maybe Emperor of the World will get the same treatment.
RPG Designer Diary
While working on the new RPG, we decided to do an RPG Designer Diary o the website. So far it is 11 parts in and includes things like cover designs, what dice to use and random thoughts. We will continue the diary to explain some of the fun bits of roll5s RPG which was the final result of all the work done. This more-or-less-monthly endeavor has been fun.
Overall Score: C
The things left undone this year really hurt our score. Some of the end results were great (new RPG, a re-working of a game, a Designer Diary, etc.,) but they were off-script. As a side note, because we got derailed on things, sales were down a bit from last year. As we go into our planning for 2016, we will take all of this and the lessons learned to heart and work on a tighter plan for the future.
We are making a new role-playing game. At first we thought it was going to be a new version of -U- the Game of Stories. But now, it is something new altogether. So, what made us change it? Read on.
What Happened to -U- 2nd Edition?
We were in love with it. We were going to make a more complex version of our role-playing game -U- the Game of Stories. It was playing really well. Then... we had a chat. We wanted to make a game that anyone could pick up and play. Not just people familiar with RPGs or people with creative urges. But people who want to have a different kind of experience with friends. It actually dovetailed into our conversation about classes and races in RPGs. Why did other RPGs have this? How could we make this game easier to "get into" for non-gamers and non-creatives?
So,we changed it all. It was rash, and fast, and a complete honing down of what we were doing. And it worked. So... what were the changes? Let's compare.
The End Result
These were major changes, honestly. it was like a whole new game. And it really worked for us. It was fun coming up with the lists of things a character could be and what Strengths they would get from them. It was great being able to write an adventure idea down and all the encounters in less than an hour. Most of all, though, it felt so smooth when a player said, "I use my Miraculous Healing to help calm down the old shopkeeper", rolled some dice, and the story continued on without as much as a hiccup in the story narrative. All-in-all, the game did exactly what we wanted to do and did it faster than we were doing it. So... this is the new game: roll5s RPG.
The first roll5s RPG book is a finalist in a contest right now. Once we hear some of the great judge feedback on it, we will tweak it a little, release the official game on RPGNow.com, DriveThruRPG.com, and TheGameCrafter.com for sale. Until then, we'll start sharing our thoughts about the mechanics and decisions in our upcoming Designer Diaries.