Friday, July 30, 2010

The Crossover - Moving from RPGs to Comics…


Anyone who reads this blog knows I am a HUGE fan of comics and the comic industry. I think the comic industry is the “other side” of the coin when you think of niche products or services. While it is a niche industry, comics have evolved to tap into the animation, video games and Hollywood movie industry. RPGs should and could do this same thing, on average don’t. The really sad part is that RPG publishers are built perfect for the video game industry (RPG publishers build game setting and build encounters/adventures as the status quo to make a successful line) to come to us and license our ideas. If people could play Tomb of Horrors as a video game how many people would become fans of it? My guess, A LOT!!!! While getting to the video game market is the successful end goal, the first easy step to move in that direction is comic books or even a better choice, webcomics.
After reading How to make Webcomics, I made an initial attempt to do a webcomic based on my fantasy setting, NeoExodus: A House Divided with Grand Theft Exodus. While Grand Theft Exodus didn’t do as I expected, I did see how it could be used to help grow my RPG business and create a whole new business where I could use the webcomic artwork in my RPG products. A webcomic can save you money over the long run, but it does have high start up cost. And that is the thing that will kill most RPG publishers, due to money being always tight as a RPG publisher. A full comic page will on average cost you about $100 buck a page (Look at the Atland or The Guns of Shadow Valley webcomic from an example of what I mean). So you release one page a week it will cost you $5,200 a year. You just need to generate $15 a day to pay for this artwork over a year. When you place your site up for the webcomic you will use Project Wonderful to help generate money for you to offset the cost. Now you have access to new customers is a different business medium (Transmedia anyone?) while at the same time introducing those people to your other related products, like a RPG.

Find a way to develop and create a crossover and you find a way to make more money for you, Green Ronin’s DC Adventures is a great example of a crossover product for DC Comics. Best of all someone had to pay DC Comics for the license. I am going back to doing Grand Theft Exodus sometime in the future. I just have to make sure it works well to grow my business. Just something to think about. Talk to you later…