Well, I did it. I asked someone to form a game publishing enterprise with me. Tentatively, they said yes. I know I’ve done this once before, with disastrous results due to a number of factors. So what’s different this time around?
First, I’m in a better space mentally and with life in general. Before, I tried to do this at a time when my marriage and (eventually) my mental health were tenuous at best. It’s been a while, and I’ve finally sorted out my priorities; husband, father, friend, prep cook, game designer in that rough order. In fact, most of those involved this time around have other things in their lives that take precedence over our endeavor. This, in my opinion, is a good thing.
Second, the mix of people is little different than before. None of the folks involved are thinking that running a game company will make us rich. It won’t. To be honest, the best it’ll do for the first five years or so is net us a bit of pocket money with which to buy more games. Seems fair to me. Use my hobby to fund my hobby. =)
Third, I no longer have the urge to reinvent the wheel. With my previous endeavor, I was all fired up into creating the “next big thing” system-wise. I need to face facts. The wheel has been done to death. The best I can hope for is maybe to present a shiny new set of rims for the game world to ride on, but why bother? There are many open and cheap to license systems out there just waiting to be used. I should take advantage of that instead of snubbing my nose at them.
Forth, this time we’re going a different route. Before, everything was geared to have a product to be printed; to have a physical thing that a gamer could hold in their hands. Admirable, but costly, and requires a fair number of hoops to jump through. Now, like many others before us, this new and as-yet-unnamed collective is traipsing down the path of electronic publishing. PDFs are cheaper to produce, with almost zero printing hassles on the creative end of things. Neat!
Lastly, as a group, our focus is different. With my first foray, I wanted to give a gamer a huge tome with which he/she could do anything. Now, we’re aiming a touch smaller than that. Small little adventures, collections of foes and traps, perhaps some treatments of generic locations (banks, taverns, warehouses, etc.), and other little projects like that are our aim. Quick bang for not a lot of dough.
Overall, I’m pleased with myself. I have a good feeling that this can work. I hope that the others involved do to.