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FASA Games, Inc. • EDR Planned Products? - Page 5
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Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:36 pm
by brother
Zayven, Initially, I was reluctant to agree with you that the game needs a rule set overhaul. I guess that would mean emptying my bank account again to re-buy the game, again. I just don't want to do that. As you aptly point out, the majority of the ED community is made up of people that started with First Edition. I am one of those. I own every book originally published. I even have a copy of the intro adventure to be used at Cons. I then purchased ED3, I only lack the Cara Fahd and Crystal Raiders sourcebooks because they were sold out when I ordered. Then EDR was announced and I was like "What The Fruit! Not again!" but EDR is compatible with ED3, so I was content. However, if a complete rule set overhaul is what is required to push the game forward then so be it! I want Earthdawn to flourish just like anyone else.

Crusader points out that the game has become a niche product and that hurts to admit. Galafrone has given up hope of seeing anything new. Sadly, I am coming to that same conclusion. Nahor makes the assertion that the connection to the ED community is "crap". There has never been much of an effort to cultivate a rapport with ED gamers as money spending customers that I am aware. And the fact that FASA is not telling us anything in this revived thread is very....telling.

I whole-heartedly agree with Crusader's statement, "FASA is out to make money". I am just less and less inclined to believe they wish to make that money selling Earthdawn.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:50 pm
by Nahor
brother, to your point about community cultivation, rather a lack of, I think this is a major point and a dropped ball by FASA. There used to be much more interaction and not just rules clarifications. State of the Brick was always good, humorous banter between designers and people on the boards was fairly regular, etc. It was more like play and less like work and it kept people coming to the boards that weren't the same 5 folks.

With regards to community cultivation, look at what Catalyst does, look at what other gaming companies, video and P&P do: twitter, facebook, blogs, site updates, etc. Regular interaction keeps existing folk interested, may prompt word of mouth spread, which will lead to new blood. All of that results in a confident community, IMO. And this has nothing to do with the immediate gratification mentality spawned by these mediums either. We're all at fingertips reach now. I don't expect to hear how eating a bowl of wheaties inspired arma to create wheat fields of horrors that die from milk immersion, but hell just something would be great. "Cleared another chapter in X book, now come the revisions." At least that let's someone know there are breathing people. At this point it's more and more like LRG lights out all over again. Boards were alive, just no one was home. Obviously that's not the case b/c I see Andrew Ragland's updates on how he's doing with 1879 every so often, so the company is alive. Whether or not ED is . . . who knows. Bleh. I'm a worry wart.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 5:38 pm
by brother
Nahor, when you refer to a time when there was a vibrant relationship between the game designers and game buyers, I presume those people were moved on? Hence, the breakdown of relationship?

Which leads me back to the last sentence of my last post...

"I whole-heartedly agree with Crusader's statement, "FASA is out to make money". I am just less and less inclined to believe they wish to make that money selling Earthdawn."

When FASA came back into the business they didn't say "We're Back! Check out this great new Earthdawn book and Blue Planet book and Fading Suns book to herald our return!" It was "Give us money to start our new game, 1879. We are FASA Games now."

I see nothing to convince me there is interest in putting money and effort into elevating existing lines. But seemingly, all attention is being placed elsewhere. Disappointing.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:49 pm
by zayven
It's interesting that they also grabbed the licenses for Blue Planet and Fading Suns, two other niche games that have been existing in a state of limbo for a lot of years. I remember that Redbrick had the license for Fading Suns; did it have Blue Planet as well? I can't recall; that game has had a lot of publishers over the years.

At the risk of straining my nerd credibility, I'd never even heard of Demonworld before FASA Games announced that it scooped up the license. It's hard to shake the feeling that FASA Games simply grabbed what was available in the efforts to build up a catalog of properties. The fact that ED is the only actual FASA Corp property in the stable is probably telling.

It would have been nice to see more classic FASA games resurrected. I know that Mike Nielson tried (alas, unsuccessfully) to do a Kickstarter for a new version of VOR: The Maelstrom; I wonder if anyone contacted him about working with the new FASA? Since FASA Games has ties with Ral Partha, you would think that this would be a slam dunk solution. Ral Partha has to still have the molds for those minis somewhere, right? I'm presuming, of course, that Nielson wasn't on bad terms with the company when it closed up shop. Does anyone know who has the rights to Crucible? Did they revert to the creator like the VOR rights went to Nielson?

A lot of people here have mentioned 1879. How far along is that game anyway? I haven't been following its status because it seemed way too far off to bother getting excited about at this point. It sounded sort of like the steampunk/pulp space British Empire game that Contested Ground Studios was going to do several years back (Everlasting Empire; had to dig a bit to find that name!) before the head of the company decided to ditch the rpg business to pursue a PhD (not sure which one is the harder job market...). Glancing over at the forum boards for 1879, it doesn't look like there's been much in the way of news or traffic in the last year and a half. If I'm reading this right, it sounds like it's going to lean heavily on miniatures. Not to sound like a pessimist, but the chances of a new property getting a foothold in that market seem to be rougher than the rpg market. A part of me is still convinced that the acquisition of Ral Partha and the scrapping of rpgs like Earthdawn for miniatures games like VOR, Crucible, and Crimson Skies played no small role in FASA's demise. That's not a criticism of those games, by the way, all of which I really like; I'm just questioning the wisdom of dumping so much development costs into those games at the same time. At least resurrecting VOR or Crucible would help to defray some of those development costs. Since a lot of people never had the games to begin with, they could get away with reprinting that material more easily than recycling ED for the third time.

By the way, speaking of Contested Ground Studios, that's a great example of a small company that managed to deliver quality products while cultivating a great community of players. The head developer was really good about communicating with people on the boards and even giving them glimpses of the development process. Really cool games, too. I miss that company a lot.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 7:38 pm
by galafrone
i really hope they come out with something
no matter what, at least it will be a sign that the game is still alive, albeit in a zombie-like status..
fact is that we dont see anything "new" since the launch of Ed3r, path and SW editions, all now basically dead aswell

in my mind there is only a torpor status for the game, behind it there can be a million causes, good and bad

from now on, the game is technically in my hands, i can create more and better stuff they had done in the last 4 years for sure..

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 10:47 pm
by zayven
Torpor? I didn't see anyone wandering around with an oaken stake! Where is my bag of d10s when I need it!

Whoa, sorry! Seeing that word just gave me a Vampire: The Masquerade flashback.

Man, that's another game line that suffered a cruel fate. Remember back in the day when White Wolf was one of THE players in the rpg market? They don't really even exist anymore after the CCP merger (the EVE Online developer, not the Chinese Communist Party). Talk about how the mighty have fallen. There's a spin off company that is licensed to publish World of Darkness material, but they're a shadow of what White Wolf was ten years ago. They've done 20th anniversary editions of the "old" WOD books, which isn't all that different from what Redbrick did with ED.

I guess White Wolf is a cautionary tale about the risks involved with changing your game lines. The "new" WOD never really caught on like they'd hoped and it killed them. It was kind of tragic, really, because most of the "new" WOD books were great. The spin off books like Changeling the Lost, Promethean the Created, and Geist the Sin-Eaters were all very imaginative and interesting concepts wrapped up in beautiful hardcover books. And I thought Vampire the Requiem was really good too. Unfortunately, there were people who never forgave them for changing things up. To be fair, though, they didn't just change the rules for the games; they COMPLETELY rebooted the setting with a different mythos and metaplot. That was the thing that really pissed people off.

Sorry for getting sidetracked, but I think that any company pondering big changes is always going to have the disastrous examples of the "new" WOD and 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons in the back of their mind. It just goes to show you that this is a risky business. Sometimes it doesn't matter how good of a product you put out or how well you support it. Granted, there was a lot more going on with those examples that contributed to their failures, such as deteriorating relationships with a player community already exhausted from buying so many splatbooks under the previous editions, overly ambitious business models that failed to account for a changing market, and, in D&D's case, legal oversights that put their new product in direct competition with their old one (3rd edition's indefinite Open Game License), but the risk is still high.

Considering all this, I've probably been overly harsh in my criticisms about the relative lack of progress with ED and the call for a new edition. That doesn't rule out new sourcebook material for this edition, though.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:14 pm
by zayven
Actually, if it's a matter of resources, FASA should just resort to the "open call" approach that Redbrick used a couple of times. They did that for the ED Classic denizens books and the unreleased ED Codex.

Man, did anybody else here submit stuff for the Codex? I spent an inordinate amount of time building and fleshing out a discipline called the Slavemaster. It was awesome; kind of a combination demagogue and bounty hunter that could dominate people socially and confine them physically. I thought it was a cool counterpoint to the Liberator and even wrote up a lengthy "Adept's Way" style description that spouted off some armchair philosophy nonsense about freedom being a lie and the hierarchy of servitude being the natural order of things. Not sure about how well it would have actually worked in practice, but I was really proud of it at the time.

I remember prowling the Redbrick forums every day waiting for news about the Codex and being crushed when they finally announced that it was being shelved prior to the release of 3rd edition. Not sure why they never tried to do it again. Maybe the volume of submissions was just too high or there weren't enough quality ones.

Maybe we're all getting hung up on the idea of producing traditional sourcebooks. Think about it this way: would you pay $5 for a 50 page pdf on the Landis region? More? Less? I feel like an active community might support this kind of approach. That's pretty much the primary model that Steve Jackson Games is doing with e23. They really don't even produce physical GURPS books anymore, or at least not at the rate they once did. The overhead on doing small pdfs can't possibly be that prohibitive unless the licensing rights for ED complicate things.

I'm just thinking out loud at this point. Maybe I'm missing some very important business element or something. If so, perhaps someone could explain to me why this is a bad idea. After all, I'm a writer, not a businessman.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:31 am
by Mountainshadow
Would I buy a 50 page pdf with Information on Landis for 5$ - hell yeah! I'd even pay a few bucks more - and if this was the way to go just to make sure ED survived I would gladly tread it. As of the last real Information we got on upcomming ED-products we will have to wait till GenCon. I really hope there will be more than just the release of the ED3R Gamemaster's Guide. Something really new is needed to blow back some life and hope into the community - still hoping for Andrew Ragland's adventure based in Landis, hopefully with lots of Information on that Region.
Concerning the "open calls"-Approach of RedBrick, I really liked it even though I never got around to participate. It gave the community the Chance to actively contribute to our beloved game and was a source for new ideas and concepts. I actually miss the lively communication between developers and community back in the RB days. It gave us the Feeling of involvement - of being part of ED. I fervently hope that it won't be the LRG-disaster again and that the Folks at FASA keep ED alive for years to come - there are some people in the company truly dedicated to the game - so I'll for now be content with waiting till August.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 12:03 pm
by brother
Does anyone have any experience with the Savage Worlds system? Curious how it plays. :ugeek:

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:56 pm
by zayven
Never tried it. Heard good things, though. People that like it seem to swear by it.

But lots of people also love Pathfinder to death and I find the OGL d20 system about as interesting as a sack of rocks, so your mileage on liking similar "universal" systems like Savage Worlds may vary.