Thursday, May 5, 2016

RM Update #10: Like Mad Men, but With Much Cheaper Drinks

A couple of weeks ago, that was me back there,
sending up a flare for proofreaders
Ad copy...

So. Much. Ad copy...

If you aren't aware, ad copy is all the writing for the game that has no demonstrable benefit the quality of the game. In order to sell the product, you have to describe the product. And in order to do that, you have to both include enough information that the customer actually knows what they're getting, while simultaneously condensing ideas down into the shortest of possible statements to compensate for the human attention span.

This means you end up writing the same damned thing, over-and-over, bouncing back and forth across a spectrum of drafts that can range from Russian-novel long to something that is no more than screaming the name of the game (RED MARKETS! how many can I put you down for?). And you never know where it needs to be cut or where it needs to be expanded...ugh.

Anyway, that's how I'd describe the last few weeks of writing: ugh. I'm very glad I don't have to do advertising every day for a living. It's awful. Combine the impossible task with my tragically Midwestern allergy to self-promotion and makes for a rough month.

But it's over!

The ad copy is done, or as done as it is going to get. I'd rather give Medusa an eye exam than look at those paragraphs again. The trailer has been scripted and recorded. I've got all the art over to Ross, who is kind enough to be making the trailer. As of now, I'm just waiting on the video and some art assets for the text (stretch goal banners, fancier heading, etc). The press list is assembled, and the whole campaign is built. If I didn't mind going up without some fancy visuals, I could launch the campaign today.

Not that I'm eager to get started or anything...
I'm so far along on my end that, aside from building a Facebook page for the game, all that's really left to do is to wait for the calendar to hit May 23rd. So this week I finally got around doing my complete rewrite of the Negotiation rules. What started out being my most dreaded revision from the beta playtest has quickly turned into welcome relief. I forgot how much more enjoyable it was to make a thing instead of describing how you plan to make that thing.

I'm not fooling myself here. I know keeping the word circulating about the Kickstarter will be no easy task, and I know I'll be trading financial anxiety for fulfillment hell if we're lucky enough to fund. But even acknowledging how long the road ahead is going to be, it's a relief to think about a time in the near future when there is nothing to focus on save getting the book done. No more constantly promoting it. No more waiting long, quiet months for more feedback to roll in. No more seeing how much money I can skim off my paycheck next month to pay for art. I might soon have a bank account dedicated to Red Markets, with the funds ready to hire out whatever work I need. All my time not spent on staying alive or on the day job can be solely dedicated to getting the game done.

God, that sounds nice.

So, to sum up, the last few weeks have been all about promotion, but I've finally hacked away enough at it that I can get back to the real task at hand. The pre-KS hasn't been all bad though. I've done a lot really fun podcast interviews lately: Misdirected Mark, Insert Quest Here, and Legends of Tabletop, to name a few. I look forward to the many more I have scheduled.

But talking on a microphone isn't words on the page, and that's the only metric that ultimately matters. I better get back to it then.

Thanks for following along with the updates. I hope to see you on Kickstarter May 23rd!


  1. Man, those little para-creative tasks sure add up. Sounds like good news, though! We're getting close!

  2. Can't wait for the 23rd! What reward tiers do you plan on having?

    1. We have quite a few. There's typical tickets to game things and art commission levels. There's preview APs at the lower level. The core levels are for PDF, softcover, and hardcover copies. Each has add-on options for dice and a ebook/audiobook of in-game fiction.

  3. I need to know two things:

    - What is the "Have your enclave included in the game" tier and how much will it be?
    - What can folks do with their local gaming stores to help promote the game/Kickstarter? If I can't afford for the aforementioned tier, I'm considering offering to buy a hard copy from my LGS if they support at the retail tier (which I assume will exist) and/or advertise the KS somehow.

    1. --The enclave level is $500
      --The retailer tier gets you coupons for four copies of the hardcover book for $100, plus print costs and shipping through DTRPG. The MSRP for four copies is $200, so after the DTRPG cost it works out to about the standard retail discount of 40%. We will have sell sheets ready by the time the campaign goes live that can be distributed to brick-and-mortar shops.

  4. "All my time not spent on staying alive or on the day job can be solely dedicated to getting the game done."

    Sounds like you've hit a Red Markets milestone, doesn't it? :D

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