As a follow-up to yesterday’s wonderful breakdown of the corebook Archetypes, Darren G. Miller offers up another round of TV and movie-based inspiration for the Archetypes from the Bunch of SoBs line.
Derek Stoelting gives a glowing review of Streets of Bedlam over at his blog:
All in all, this is the best Savage Worlds game I’ve seen in a long time and another feather in the cap for Jason L Blair and FunSizedGames’ hats.
Thank you, Derek!
My hope is that, by now, almost all of you have received your physical rewards (books and dice). If you pledged $60 or less and have not received your reward, please let me know!
Most of the $100 and $200 backers should have their goods as well though I did just discover that ten international orders didn’t make it out due to being hidden in the spreadsheet. *sigh* But I’m fixing that immediately. I have a stack of packages ready to go out tomorrow morning.
Latest word from Ed Lima is that the soundtrack is coming along well and should be wrapping up soon. I’m very excited to get the rest of the soundtrack out to you folks.
For those who have been wanted to pick up Five-Story Drop, I will have the book added to the online store tomorrow.
Last major bit to wrap up are the backer-influenced scenarios. If you’re one of those backers, expect an email next week to get the ball rolling.
Streets of Bedlam has had multiple bumps in the road since the Kickstarter launch. I fumbled some major aspects and I sincerely apologize to everyone. I will endeavor to wrap up these last few bits in the coming months.
Early next year, expect word on the next book in the series. I have the writer contracted and will be moving forward with that soon. Stay tuned.
The folks over at DriveThruRPG have a double whammy of goodness for us Savages. First off, five major Savage Worlds settings, such as Interface Zero and Thrilling Tales, are on sale for just $4.99! In addition, pick up a slew of other settings at reduced cost over at their Drunken Gobline sale!
Streets of Bedlam is among the offerings at 25% off but you’ll also find RunePunk, The Day after Ragnarok, and more. Head over to DriveThruRPG and get your Savage on!
I want to make Streets of Bedlam one of the best Savage Worlds lines out there. But I can’t do it without your help. Over at the official Pinnacle forums, I ask:
If you have any thoughts, please head over to the thread and make your voice heard. Be honest. I can take it.
All Pre-Orders Out the Door!
Every single pre-order is in the mail as I type. That includes both international and domestic.
All Other Orders
Now for the not-so-great news. I originally said I was going to ship out the corebooks and the overdue Five-Story Drop separately to get the corebook in your hands. Problem is, after running the numbers, I can’t front paying what is essentially double the initially-projected shipping.
I would need to pay for this double-shipping out of my personal pocket, since I don’t have earmarked Kickstarter funds to cover it, and that’s just not something I can do right now. So, instead, I’ve decided to ship the corebook and supplement (and dice and Little Fears books, as appropriate) together as originally planned. To buffer this, I’m directing as much energy as I can toward finishing Five-Story Drop in the next couple weeks so I can have hardcopies ASAP.
Still though, I feel like I’m punishing those who supported at a higher level but holding off on sending out their books. I will endeavor to come up with some way to make this right. I’m noodling options currently and have some ideas I think you’ll dig.
Again, I am very sorry for the delay. I’m doubling down on getting Five-Story Drop out the door though and will post regular updates letting you know its status.
I should have posted this much earlier but fulfilling the other hardcopy orders has slipped. I will dedicate hours this weekend to packing up the pre-orders and the $45 backer books for shipment on Monday. If I can do them all, excellent! But those two alone are a bunch of orders and I already flubbed one over-commitment and would rather not flub another.
I’ll update on Monday after the orders have shipped. My sincerest apologies to all.
It’s traditional in video games for the developers to write post-mortems after a game has shipped. These briefs provide folks with a way to talk about what went right and what went wrong during the development cycle. Usually, they call out unexpected surprises (such as “synergies”) but also shine a light on bumps in the road, flaws in the process, and areas to be reexamined and/or revised.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Streets of Bedlam, Kickstarter, and the good and bad of this whole process which gave me the idea to do my own post-mortem, a coroner’s report, on the SoB KS.
Now, overall, I feel the Kickstarter was overwhelmingly positive. It allowed me to create a setting I’d been brewing for years, gave gamers some (hopefully) fun and useful tools for telling their own blood-soaked crime operas, and helped some creatives financially in the process. But it wasn’t without its hiccups. As parts of the Kickstarter are winding down and I’m able to focus more and more on the last remaining bits (looking at, Five-Story Drop), I thought I’d take a moment to talk about what went right and what went wrong from my perspective.
What I Did Right
I minimized my own additional work. Especially in regards to Stretch Goals. I’ve seen other projects where the main contributor gives herself more work with each Stretch Goal. I already felt like I was taking on a lot with just the main project so I looked for ways to give backers new, cool things without putting big projects on my plate. Now, I added a fifth episode to Five-Story Drop (originally Four-Story Drop) and put together some exclusive Archetypes but these are rather minor additions in the grand scheme. I didn’t promise a third book, another chapter in the corebook, or anything like that. As each Stretch Goal was smashed, I brainstormed ideas for a big finish, something to reward backers for being far more awesome than I anticipated. This led to commissioning a soundtrack from Ed Lima. Not only is this a huge thing for Bedlam to have but it’s something I could not have done without the support of KS backers.
I gave some unexpected perks. Originally, I was going to buy some generic bulk dice from Chessex for those backing at the 60+ level or higher. But after asking some industry friends, I learned custom dice are actually quite affordable. So I commissioned a run of custom d6s, bundled them with some black, white, red dice, and packaged them inside a sow’s ear. Nice. I try to overdeliver whenever I can and I feel that a custom set of dice in its own bag is a huge plus.
I hired Shawn Gaston. I think we can all agree on that, yeah? I honestly had no clue who I was going to get to illustrate the book. I knew I wanted a distinct and gritty illustrative style—nothing photorealistic, nothing epic—to convey the characters and areas of Bedlam. I knew I wanted the illustrations to use key characters that I would build up throughout the book and the supplements. Beyond that, I was at a loss. The two artists I thought of first were both too busy (one with a new day job; one with personal stuff), leaving me clueless. And then Shawn sent that fateful tweet back in December and away we went.
What I’d Do Differently
I would pad the delivery date. The April date was realistic, y’know, if I lived in a world where I had no distractions, no sudden health problems, no amazing day job opportunities crop up, no sudden out-of-state move. But I did have all those things and each one pushed Streets of Bedlam further and further out. As of this posting, over half the folks who pledged should have everything coming to them, and the rest should have the bulk of what’s due to them within a couple weeks. But that’s ten months-plus out from when the Kickstarter ended back in mid-January. You all have been amazingly gracious—but you shouldn’t have had to be. To that end:
I would have the writing done beforehand. I didn’t feel I could do that back in November last year as I was considering my project for 2012. I was working as a full-time freelancer and any time not spent writing for other people was spent on short, immediate-sale projects (such as the Campfire Tales for Little Fears Nightmare Edition). Launching a new line would require setting aside a large chunk of time that was unpaid. At the very least, I decided, I couldn’t launch SoB in the red. That meant I needed to have the art and publishing costs covered even if my own time wasn’t. The initial goal on the Bedlam Kickstarter, $3000, was to cover those two things. Once that goal was hit, the game would launch in the black. The extra money went towards the stretch goals and covering my contribution to the household budget. This time though, I’m not dependent on freelancing to cover my bills. If I did launch a second Kickstarter, and I’d like to, I would have the writing done. That way, it would only be a matter of accounting for art, editing, and layout time.
That’s the list I have, off the top of my head, so now I’m looking to you. What are your thoughts? Where did I fall short? Where did I succeed? Do you regret backing the Kickstarter? If so, why? I’d love to hear your thoughts, warts and all, so that I can learn for next time—and maybe some folks launching new projects can learn from these lessons as well.
I blundered sending out the first batch of SoB orders. The envelopes I bought seemed like they were solid, had a nice sticky strip of self-adhesive, and I saw no problem shipping them as is.
Stupid me. Seems a handful of these envelopes reached their destinations with nothing inside. *sigh*
If this happened to you, please let me know. By “first batch” I mean the test batch I sent out early last week. The two big orders were all reinforced with tape. If any of those arrive empty, I’ll be busy banging my head against brick if you need me.
Now that the Kickstarter copies have all gone out, I turn my attention to those of you who pre-ordered. I plan to pack all of them up tonight and get out in tomorrow’s mail, ideally, though some may slip to Thursday. I’ll update when they’ve gone out.
I was too busy sorting through the stacks of Kickstarter and pre-order books that needed fulfilled to add even more to my to-do list, but I finally got the Purchase Page up. You can order both the corebook and the dice set from there. When Five-Story Drop launches, I’ll add that as well.
This has all been far from an ideal launch but I’m getting my feet back under me. Thank you all for your (continued) patience.
Good news, Kickstarter backers! I have begun the long (and awesome) task of signing, packing, labeling, and shipping books. Most of the orders are signed, packed, and labeled (I ran out of labels last night and need to pick up some more) and are now ready to fly toward their final destinations.
If you’re an international Kickstarter backer, odds are good your order went out this morning. All others will go out this week. For those of you in the States, you’ll probably get your orders by next Monday at the latest. For my international friends, you should get yours by the end of the month. (I hope sooner but I don’t control the boats.)
I will update again once all the orders have gone out.
If you have the corebook and Five-Story Drop coming to you, I’m waiting until 5SD is done to ship your order. On that front, I am working hard to get the file done!
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