Saturday, July 3, 2010

Obsidian Twilight-A Place Beyond Hell Patron Project Write-Up for Kickstarter.com


Since we are finishing up the last little bits before we send Obsidian Twilight to Lulu for POD, I thought I might inform you on the process with Obsidian Twilight: A Place Beyond Hell Patron Project and give you a look at the write-up that is going up on Kickstarter.com when we officially start this off.  This is just the mock up cover, so no there will be no Khaynites in the setting. Enjoy. Talk to you later...

Obsidian Twilight: A Place Beyond Hell Patron Project

About this project
The Obsidian Twilight: A Place Beyond Hell sourcebook project has the goal of designing a sourcebook supplement add-on for the highly successful RPG campaign setting, Obsidian Twilight; for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system from Paizo Publishing.  The Obsidian Twilight: A Place Beyond Hell sourcebook is adding the genre inspired and influenced work of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos to this post-apocalypse survival horror fantasy setting.

The project's main designer, Louis Porter Jr., has been involved in the RPG industry for the last decade starting with the creation and development of Haven: City of Violence campaign setting, which is the only RPG to receive a movie option by Radical Comics owner, Barry Levine, before the setting was released.  Louis Porter Jr over the last decade has release over 500 RPG related products in both the traditional brick and mortar retail store and the online PDF market.   In addition, James “Grim” Desborough of Postmortem Studios; who also wrote on the Obsidian Twilight campaign setting will be the head writer on this project.  Porter and Desborough hope the Obsidian Twilight: A Place Beyond Hell sourcebook can emulate the excitement and interest in this product as they did with the first campaign setting book. 

Concept
At its most basic level, this project is about adding another level of fear to the playability of Obsidian Twilight.  Unlike most game design projects, the Obsidian Twilight: A Place Beyond Hell sourcebook project will have the direct input of fans from the very beginning. If you choose to back this project, you will have not only behind-the-scenes looks at the development process but also the opportunity to shape the final product through playtesting rules to provide direct feedback, and even contributing content for the game.
Why is it necessary to involve fans into the creation and development at such an early stage? This will only help strengthen the quality of the final delivery of this project. With the involvement of the internet, it makes it possible to move development and design from a central location with a small group to an “open  arena” where may different voice and opinions can be voiced and commented on. Best of all the monsters and rules for the setting can be playtested in various styles and conditions, which only helps make the project better and better.

Background
Since 2000, the d20 System gaming license and the Open Game License (OGL) have allowed publishers to share a common framework for creating roleplaying games using the System Reference Document (SRD), which contains the same core mechanics as those found in Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition. Under the OGL, third-party publishers use the SRD as the basis of many different games. Eventually, Wizards of the Coast abandons the OGL entirely with Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, and the new game is even more focused on heroic fantasy at the expense of other genres. Paizo Publishing expanded the concept of the OGL with their creation and development of the Pathfinder Resource Document (PRD) and in turn made a successful open gaming system.  Paizo’s openness to third-party publishers has made it possible for us to develop other genres and setting related to the PRD, of which Louis Porter Jr. Design creation and development of Obsidian Twilight is one of these success stories.

Objective
The goal of the Obsidian Twilight: A Place Beyond Hell sourcebook project is to create new group of monsters and villains that supports the Obsidian Twilight setting with a horror and psionics base to them.  The Obsidian Twilight: A Place Beyond Hell sourcebook will be able to easily be inserted into your local Obsidian Twilight home game, or place in to whatever setting you might want to use it in. The Choice is yours.
The Obsidian Twilight: A Place Beyond Hell sourcebook will be a large softcover book (at least 48 pages) with a full color cover and interior artwork (for the PDF version) and illustrated black-and-white interior art work (for the Print-On-Demand version), and a target retail price of $14.95. In addition, the Obsidian Twilight: A Place Beyond Hell sourcebook will be available for download, most likely as a PDF for $9.95. (Additional formats, such as that used by Amazon's Kindle, are also being considered.) The target date for publication is late October  or early November of 2010, allowing the game to be available for purchase in time for the holiday season.

Patronage and Funding
I like many who have used kickstarter.com, have decided to follow the example of Wolfgang Baur and use a "patronage model" for this project. Basically put, those who are interested in the project can "buy in" at the beginning, giving them admittance to (and influence on) the design process at all stages and once an adequate number of patrons have pledged their support, the project moves forward. The funding goal is to raise $3,000 in 8 weeks.

The fundraising goal $3,000 is the bare minimum that I believe can move the project forward; ultimately, I hope the project will raise several times this amount, primarily through book sales after publication. The amount by which I exceed the $3,000 goal will help to determine how large a print run I can afford as well as how much work I can afford to farm out to freelancers who want to contribute to the project’s  design.

Process
To provide a starting framework of how this project will perform, I am drawing on my years of experience in the game design process, particularly the time spent developing, editing, and providing rules support for  the over 500 RPG products I have done over the last decade.  We will provide the patrons with a basic outline we are looking to create from. From there, the patrons provide input and guidance on what changes work, what changes don't, and (most importantly) what changes I haven't yet thought of. Senior patrons will have particularly substantial influence, and we will experiment with different collaboration tools to find what works best for this project. Becoming a patron on this project is a great way to gain a design credit on the book, which in turn is a great way to gain experience and build a resume for those interested in pursuing a career in game publishing!

Project location: Cooper City, FL