Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Walls of Jericho

My other paper miniatures product, Dark Corridors, went on sale over the weekend. This is a milestone because it also allows me to sell all of my products as a bundle called The Complete Imperium (saving customers 30%). I’m also selling just the paper miniatures in a bundle called The Imperium Papers (33% savings). I’m not sure how well either bundle will sell, but at least it gives customers more options and a way to save some money.

Before selling Dark Corridors, I tested it out quite a bit to make sure the walls would work properly. As you can see, the Cat was very helpful:

Although his methods of QA are somewhat extreme:

As mentioned in the comments of my previous post, Matthew over at The Dwarf and the Basilisk has written a very good review of my game. I found it very fair and balanced (not a fanboi article by any means), which is all I could’ve asked for. He also went into great depth, clearly reading through the entire rule book. He was one of the bloggers who I sent complimentary copies to, so it was certainly time well spent. Many thanks to Matthew for taking the time to write his review. I very much appreciate it.

Last but not least, my wife and I celebrated our anniversary yesterday. I gave her chocolate covered strawberries, but those pale in comparison to what she bought me, proving she’s the best wife EVER. Bow to your Robot Overlords!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Do you love me now, Daddy??

Believe it or not, but not everybody loves my new game. I’ve read two reviews that basically complained that the game wasn’t very original and even derivative. After reading these, I spent the next few hours under my desk in a fetal position. This raises the question: how well do I take criticism? The answer: not so well. ;-)

On the other hand, several people in forums have said nice things about the game and, in fact, it’s sold decently as far as I can tell. Basically, no matter what you do, somebody’s going to not like it for various reasons. After Michelangelo finished the Sistine Chapel, for example, the Pope reportedly said the masterpiece looked “kinda gay.” This is not to say my work is on that level (although I did try to include some homoerotica). I tried to create something that I could be proud of and I think I succeeded in that, at least from my narcissistic point of view. I wanted to create a universe of my own making that other people could roam around in, and I’ll be happy if even one person takes that journey.

Anyway, to that end, I’ve been sending out more complimentary copies to various RPG bloggers, so we’ll see what they say about it. Hopefully they’ll like it, otherwise the Cat will get pissed if I keep taking his spot under my desk.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where are you, Vicodin?

I’ve reached that time in my life that I can become severely injured by sleeping. I woke up yesterday morning with an agonizing pain in my neck, apparently just sleeping at a bad angle. Last night it was even worse because it hurt every time I moved my head. Where are you, Vicodin, when I need you??

Yesterday I posted “ads” for my game on several pen & paper forums. On one of them, it was my first posting so somebody on the forum suggested I was a “bot.” I replied that I was actually not a robot, but that it would probably improve my personality if I was. On another forum someone said he had sent a link to his friends about the game, so that was encouraging.

Last night I worked on Dark Corridors. I had originally planned on two styles for the walls (basically, two different ways to construct them). However, after putting together examples of both styles, it looks like only one of them really works properly. After conferring with the Wife (she has a vote in this), I’ve decided to just do the one style. Unfortunately, I decided to use the one that doesn’t work, just because I’m a bastard. Noooo, not really (at least about the first part).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Out of the Gates

Last Thursday (9/18), my game (and the paper miniatures) officially went on sale! Since then I’ve been very happy with how they’ve been selling. Mind you, the sales aren’t “huge”, but the numbers so far have certainly surprised my wife. ;-) Since last week, I’ve been trying to drum up interest in the game by posting on some sites and sending out copies to some people who will hopefully review the rules.

Friday I got the print version of the game in the mail and I was really pleased. Previously, I thought I’d only sell the game as a downloadable PDF, but since getting the print version, I decided to sell that also. It’s not priced much more than the downloaded version so I think it’s pretty reasonable. Plus, a lot of people prefer to have something tangible to hold or don’t want to bother with printing out a big PDF. On the other hand, the printed rules are not in color (except for the cover), since the cost would have been very high (>$50 per copy). By keeping the inside pages in black and white, the cost is under 20 bucks.

This weekend I was also busy with the next supplement, paper walls and floors I’m calling Dark Corridors. I was worried because I had printed off a page last week and noticed that the measurements of the walls were off. After doing some testing with a different printer, however, I found that the PDF was correct and there must’ve been something wrong with the first printer I tried. This means I can proceed with the renders I had already done. I don’t know how long before I’ll release Dark Corridors, but since most of the work is done, it shouldn’t be more than a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Imperium Chronicles RPG is Done!

After over two years, the Imperium Chronicles RPG is finally done! Of course, done is a relative word. The rules are ready to sell, but there’s plenty of other content, including the paper miniatures that I plan to sell also. Not to mention the first expansion coming in the next few months. However, getting the rules to this point is a major accomplishment for me and I’m excited about seeing how well it’s received (hopefully without anyone throwing cabbages at me).

Over the weekend, I was feverishly getting the website redesign completed. It’s not ready yet, but by the end of Monday I was in a lot better shape than Sunday night. I was getting so frustrated with the pages I had done that I had to just quit for the day and go at it again later. My poor wife had to listen to me ranting at my computer in what I figuratively call my “process.” This involves a) working calmly, followed shortly thereafter by b) getting aggravated and cursing at the computer, c) taking a nap, and d) finding the solution to the problem. At that point, I move on to the next issue and repeat the process.

The good news is that I’m almost done with the site redesign, which means I should be ready to sell the game no later than this weekend. The next step will then be advertising and seeing if anyone actually likes the game. I’m trying not to hold my breath, but that hasn’t stopped me from turning blue.

Friday, September 05, 2008


It’s been my belief that the world would be a lot better if it were ruled by robots. Granted, they would undoubtedly enslave the Human race, but I have to ask “Would that be so bad?” Needless to say, robots have a soft spot in my cold heart, so yesterday I found great pleasure making the renders for the Robot chapter of my game (see below for one example).

I’ve made great progress with the artwork over all and now I only have chapters 9 and 10 left to do. Next I’ll tackle the arduous task of making the index and then the rules will be largely done. I did notice something strange in the most recent PDF I made, however. Some of the table headers have shifted to left justification instead of centered. I thought maybe the original document was wrong, but it was still centered. I’m not sure what to do about this since I need the doc to be a PDF. I’ve done a little research on the web, but so far haven’t come up with anything.

Once I get all that done, I’ll need to finish the website redesign work and then get the rules up on some of the PnP websites around. There are only a handful of those, but there are literally thousands of different PnP-related products on them, so I’m not sure how well my stuff will stand out. I’m just hoping the price of the game and the quality will help it sell. I also plan to advertise somewhat, so we’ll see how that goes.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Wanderers

The Labor Day weekend was a wash: I got nothing done on Saturday and only the newsletter done on Sunday. I DID get stuff accomplished on Monday, including several renders and some new rules. As for the latter, I realized I hadn’t really explained the whole DNA snapshot idea very well, so I corrected that. Basically, your character can have a DNA snapshot done so when he dies, a clone can be made. It’s an idea taken from MMORPGs so players won’t lose everything when their character bites the dust.

I put out the newsletter on Sunday, and included some renders for people to look at. I felt bad that I couldn’t announce that the rules were ready to be published, but they’re simply not done yet. With all the artwork that needs to be added, it’s taking me longer than I wanted. As I’ve said before, however, the latter chapters already have a lot of art in them, so they should go pretty fast.

When I did the paper miniatures, I named some of them nomads since they looked like rugged outsiders to me. That got me thinking about nomadic groups, especially the gypsies (or Roma), so yesterday I did some research and came up with the draft below. I’m thinking about adding them as a faction in the upcoming supplement Destination: Rochan. I included the reference links too:


The Wanderers (also called the Gitan) are groups of nomads who travel from system to system, usually in a freighter packed with their belongings. The entire extended family is included in such groups, including several generations. After arriving on a new planet, the Wanderers will take up temporary residence in tenements or other low-income housing. From there, the family will trade with locals and do odd jobs. They are also known as talented fixers and are sometimes referred to as "tinks." Under most circumstances, the Wanderers only stay on a planet long enough to earn enough money to pay for their next jump.

Most societies in the Imperium (and elsewhere) view the Wanderers with suspicion. In fact, although some Wanderers are known for committing petty larceny and other minor crimes, there is little evidence that this is a common practice. However, perhaps due to this sense of alienation, Wanderers are often secretive, speaking in a language called Sheldru, to prevent outsiders from understanding them. Nevertheless, due to their travels, the Wanderers are often very well informed about rumors and other news. Most will gladly share what they know -- for a price.