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One Year in Business
Plus a Free Roll and Write Game - Photon Bikes
RV Games has spent a year in business now. I originally started writing something up for Mothership with the hopes of making some beer money at the encouragement of David Wilkie. Tuesday Knight Games then encouraged me to print and sell physical copies to them, something that I never thought I would do. From there, things snowballed, I ran the Rampant Kickstarter on a lark and from there I published my first set of pamphlets for Chris Airiau in the form of the Cerdo Cycle and The Great Crossing Heresies KS. I’m finishing distributing Graveyard of the Gods for Hammer City Games, and we’re about to get the physical copies of Mitosis ordered with our manufacturer. My business infrastructure exists to the point that I have publishing and royalty agreements for working with people, I have artists and editors that I trust to work with, and I can distribute a straightforward zine or pamphlet really easily with my printing and logistics suppliers and pipeline. I’ve worked with and am able to move forward with multiple manufacturers for more complex boxed products as well.
I’m super excited to be branching out beyond Mothership too. We have our full line of Microgames and the Micro Sub subscription offered through this newsletter, I have a three game deal lined up with Joshua Justice for distribution and publication, I’m going to be conducting distribution for Hammer City Games next big project, and I continue to plug away at my large module, Orgy of the Blood Leeches. I’m figuring out what to do with Cinderella Smile from Richard Kelly at Sprinting Owl Designs, and I’m very interested to see how it pans out, working from an existing manuscript, rather than writing or commissioning for myself or publishing/distributing a complete game for someone else. It’s an odd tear down and rebuild process because I’m editing it for my taste, not as a publisher/editor trying to fulfill the creator’s vision, this is instead directing a screenplay written by another writer.
It’s been a crazy year, ramping up to where we are now, but I feel like the real work gets started now. With a publishing and development pipeline, I now have pressure to fill it with my own work or the work of others, which is a very different era for the business compared to getting things off the ground. We’re still sinking all of the money from the business back into the business (except for some emergency home expenses, ugh), and I see that continuing for at least the next year. I’m working on a five year plan to turn this company into my full-time employment, and I need to keep reminding myself to be patient while I continue announcing and releasing a seemingly ridiculous number of projects.
The Thrust! Crowd Sale on The Game Crafter starts tomorrow. If you’re looking to get a boxed version of Thrust! beyond the print & play version available to paid subscribers or the box of counters available on The Game Crafter, this is the sale for you. Thrust! is a strategic game of space combat played on secret boards with random pieces combining the vibes of Battleship and Very Bad Chess.
Left at Home
One of our Microgames in development is Left at Home. It is a Home Alone inspired game about kids left at home during Christmas. This started as a simple kids vs bandits idea; however, it has progressed beyond that as I’ve worked with curiousfriend (Mitosis art) on developing the visual language of the game. As they started drawing, they felt like the bandits were actually ghosts/spirits. We’ve taken this idea and run with it as I write the manuscript.
This is what I love about collaborating with artists early in development rather than waiting to commission pieces at the end, you’re able to springboard on their creativity to make something even better. curiousfriend actually co-owns this game with us via a royalty agreement, so this is a full collaboration, not just a hired artist. We save on commissions upfront because they are receiving pay entirely through royalties. curiousfriend is one of my partners, one of my tattoo artists, and someone who I plan to have an ongoing creative relationship with as well, so this works for us. I wouldn’t suggest this kind of partnership unless you’ve built a strong relationship with an artist and are able to make sure everything is in a contract on paper.
So now, through collaboration, this game has taken on a Home Alone + Evil Dead + Ghostbusters + Haunting Starring Poulterguy + Zombies Ate My Neighbors vibe. It’s really unique in its combination of wargame, boardgame, and ttrpg design, and I’m excited to talk about that more at a later date. For now, I’m just sharing some concept art from curiousfriend.
This is a reminder that we have our own Shopify store where you can buy products from us directly. We support all of our retail and wholesale partners, but this is absolutely the best way to purchase products from us if you want to support us monetarily (paying for a subscription here or backing a projects are also great ways to support us).
Birthday Gift - Photon Bikes
River and I came up with this idea for a demake of Tron while lying in bed trying to go to sleep. We wanted it to match the vibe of something that you would find on the back cover of a magazine from the OSR era of the late 1970s/early 1980s. We also wanted it to be a game that you could play with virtually no supplies like playing tic-tac-toe or dots and boxes in the back of the classroom. We put this together in four days from idea to finished game, and we’ll be definitely be experimenting more in the roll and write genre. This is free here and will also be placed in the archive of free things for paid subscribers.
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