Episode 80 – Game Distribution

Game Distribution
RPG Design Panelcast sml

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Brian Dalrymple and Darren Watts

An overview of the 3-tier system (Publisher to Distributor to Retailer), following the course of a game after production (solicitation to wholesalers, trade shows and open houses, discount structures, buying patterns and reorder cycles, the preorder system, flooring, and more…), and covering how stores discover, order, stock, and merchandise, as they try to put them in customers’ hands. Viable alternatives to the 3-tier system are also discussed.

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Fort McMurray Wildfire Relief Initiative

As many of you are likely aware, there is currently a massive wildfire that is devastating the city of Fort McMurray, in Northern Alberta, Canada. The first fire advisories went out on Sunday, and by Wednesday it had incinerated most of the city.


It’s a complex situation, but it boils down to “Uncontrolled fire is terrible”.  They have successfully evacuated the entire city and many hamlets that surrounded it, with approximately 88,000 people fleeing the disaster.  Many of the residents of the city have lost their homes and everything they owned.

RCMP AlbertaRCMP Alberta officer walking the ruins

Genesis of Legend Publishing wants to help, as much as we can.  I want to help those working to keep these people safe in this difficult time. To that end, Genesis of Legend Publishing will be donating all proceeds from sales between May 4th and May 11th to the Canadian Red Cross. This donation will be matched by the Province of Alberta and the Canadian Federal Government, so every dollar we give yields three dollars on the ground.

Do you want to support those people escaping the wildlfire?  Buy a game for yourself or a friend, and we can make that happen. Everything in our catalog qualifies. This includes digital sales (DrivethruRPG), and sales of physical products from our website. This also includes any direct sales to retail stores, if they occur. I am absolutely aware of the irony of selling copies of my game “Spark” to comfort people recover from wildfires.

Please spread the word, because uncontrolled wildfires are terrible.

My physical catalog is over at http://www.genesisoflegend.com/shop/

DriveThruRPG also sells electronic version of my games at http://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/5573/Genesis-of-Legend-Publishing


Note: Not interested in discussing climate change, oil extraction, criticism of the Red Cross, or perceived failure to support more worthy causes. Right now, I’m only worrying about helping suffering humans.

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Episode 79 – Agile Design and Publishing

Agile Design and Publishing
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Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Rob Donoghue and Emily Dresner

Join our panelists for a discussion of how nerdy business concepts such as Agile software development to can be applied to your gaming experience. Key concepts of agile software design include rapid and flexible response to change – let’s talk about how to apply them to running games.

More about Agile from Rob over on his site, at this blog post!

Yes You Kan(ban)


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RPG Design Overview Sheet

I have a tradition of running RPG design workshops in my local community, either at local gaming conventions or as part of Game Chef. It’s always a great time, but I often feel a need for more robust tools to help new game designers. That’s why I prepared the RPG Design Overview Sheet

The basic principle underlying this little tool is the idea of limited resources. Designers need to account for the amount of complexity associated with their designs, and to prioritize the elements they find most important for the desired play experience. Certain focused games in the story games tradition may be quite streamlined, emphasizing very specific kinds of play experiences.  Other, more traditional game may be structured for versatility and diverse play experiences instead. In all these cases, the designers has made intentional choices which this sheet can capture.

Game Design Sheet - Spark



In terms of the overall purpose of the exercise, it’s two-fold. Firstly, the intent was to establish a foundational document at the start of a game design project. This foundational document would fill the same general role as the old power 19, allowing designers to both examine their design and discuss it fruitful with others.

The second purpose of the sheet is the potential of using those as snapshots of different game designs. I could foresee a reference document full of the things so that someone could cross-reference designer intent with mechanics/experiences in play. It would be a fascinating to use this tool to document a single game from a variety of different perspectives.

Game Design Sheet - D&D 4E

What do you think? Where this could be adjusted to be a more useful tool for designers young and old?


Where Credit is Due

A similar idea has already emerged independently in the Larpwright community, and would be worth your attention. https://nordiclarp.org/wiki/The_Mixing_Desk_of_Larp

The Big Three questions (at the top the sheet) were created by Jared Sorensen of Memento Mori Theatrix.

The types of engagement are derived from Marc “MAHK” LeBlanc (http://8kindsoffun.com/)

Posted in Blog of Legend, Indie Gems, The Process of Design | 1 Comment

Episode 78 – Creativity In Business

Creativity In Business: Pixar’s Success and Lessons For Tabletop Publishing
RPG Design Panelcast sml

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Jeff TidballCam Banks

Managing a company of creative people can be challenging. New ideas are always being introduced into structured spaces that resist change and fear innovation and imagination. Tabletop game publishers and managers can learn from the success of Pixar, Inc, who have mastered the art of ushering in and protecting the new, releasing their employees from common limits on creativity, and not being afraid to try things in often radically different ways to create bigger and better projects

As a fine example of creativity in business, the kickstarter for Unknown Armies 3rd Edition is currently up. Dig into the occult weirdness from Atlas Games!

Unknown Armies Kickstarter Image

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