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Q1 Update

Now that we are a few weeks into Quarter 2 of 2015, I wanted to go over what Encoded has been doing, and how things are going. Overall, things have been busy and focused for the team. We are still in the building phase, with most of our projects still in development, some approaching publication. I have a certain anxiety of wanting to get things published to prove that we are doing things, but we are not going to short-circuit our process just put something out for the sake of publication credits.

I broke this update down into five areas, and I will try to be succinct in my updates:

Publications

Dangerous Space Jail

DSJ continues to sell on DriveThruRPG. Sales at the end of 2014 were more robust, likely from our holiday sale. We liked the response we got enough that I lowered the cost of DSJ to the holiday sale price. Sales did slow down in Q1, indicating it might be time for another sale.

DSJ sales q1 2015

Active Projects

Part-Time Gods of Fate

This has been the team’s major focus this past quarter. We have been play testing the Alpha rules, and refining them into a Beta form. We had distributed copies out to interested playtesters, but did not get a lot of feedback. We did generate a good amount of feedback from our own in-house playtesting, and we used that to drive changes for the Beta rules.

We expect to have the Beta version of the rules complete and in a simple layout by the end of April. We are working with Third Eye Games about an upcoming Kickstarter.

Plunder Dice

This past quarter we also sent out our first sets of Plunder Dice for external play testing. We sent out five sets, to some targeted playtesters, and received a lot of positive feedback and some constructive critique of the game. I have been sitting on that feedback, until the team gets the Part-Time Gods of Fate Beta out the door. Then we will switch gears and get back into tinkering with Plunder Dice.

Our goal for Plunder Dice remains the same: sell this to a publisher. Our plan is to refine the game based on the playtest feedback, and then shop it to some publishers.

Upcoming Projects

Misdirected Mark Does The Pulps

This is a fiction anthology written by the cast and friends of the Misdirected Mark Network. This was originally going to be a Q1 project, but Chris and I realized that the success of this project was tied to the success of the Misdirected Mark show. We made some changes to the show’s format, and doubled our efforts into community building, and that has been a success in terms of our listener numbers, the quality of the show, and the fun Chris and I are having making the show.

We think that this will be ready for us to launch in the Summer. It will come out as a Kickstarter in order to raise money for some artwork, and to pay the contributors.

Keeping Time

This is a D&D 5e adventure that Shawn Merwin has been designing. This was also slotted for Q1, but we have held this back as we are waiting to see what Wizards of the Coast will release for licensing. Unlike some other publishers who are moving ahead and making 5e material, rolling the dice when licensing eventually comes out, we are too small to run into any issues with WoTC. We are going to just wait and see how licensing comes out, before we invest in moving this project forward.

Airy Peaks

The Airy Peaks is Chris’ Dungeon World setting. This is not scheduled to be worked on until Q3. In the meantime, Chris has been working on a Story Bible for the Peaks, collating all his notes into a document that can be used for future writing. Chris will also be running the Airy Peaks at various game days and conventions.

Elhal

The Fate of Elhal, the roleplaying game, is scheduled to go into production in 2016. In the meantime, I have been working on the Story Bible for Elhal, curating material from a number of sources and past campaigns. I have also been writing weekly for Tyriv’s Teachings, bringing out the history and culture of Elhal. I estimate by this time I have about 30,000 words written, and I have plenty of future material on which Professor Tyriv will speak. I have also been ordering more artwork, working with Matt Morrow to create some landscapes of important locations in Elhal. I will be releasing those to social media as they come together.

Finally, Chris and I are writing a new Elhal adventure for this convention season. This will star the Hobsons from last year’s convention game, The Harvest. We will be running two sessions at Gen Con, and we plan to run it at other conventions and game days this year.

Website & Podcasting

While we are working on bringing our projects to publication, we are also producing content on a weekly basis. On the website we have:

  • Tyriv’s Teachings – detailing the history and culture of Elhal.
  • Mastering Dungeons – Shawn talks about RPG’s and the industry.
  • New To The Game – Chris talks about what it is like to break into the industry

I am trying to find a little time to do some design journals for Elhal, and I am considering doing those as video clips, just to bring a third form of media to our collection.

On the Podcasting front, Chris and I are recording the Misdirected Mark podcast weekly, and Chris and Shawn are on the weekly show Down With D&D.

Convention Plans

Encoded plans on being at a few conventions this year. We are always looking for other places to go, and we are aspiring to eventually be guests at a convention. So far this year we plan on attending:

  • Gen Con – We will be running sessions for both Elhal and Part-Time Gods of Fate.
  • Queen City Conquest – This is our hometown convention and we will have our own round table where we will be running our games throughout the convention. Expect there to be sessions of Dangerous Space Jail, Airy Peaks, Elhal, Plunder Dice, and a few more surprises.
  • Con on The Cob – we are big fans of this convention and plan on being there either for the whole convention or the weekend. Once we know how long we are going to be there, we will plan to run some games.

Moving Forward

This past quarter has been busy, but it’s only going to get busier as our plans come together. We are excited to show everyone what we have been working on, and the things to come.

Game Well.

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Phil Vecchione

Game Designer, Project Manager, Writer, Podcaster, and Blogger — As a man of many hats, Phil has been working in the roleplaying game industry since 2009 working with Engine Publishing, Evil Beagle Games, Third Eye Games, and Pelgrane Games. His work has won or been nominated for a number of awards, including the ENnie, Golden Geek, and Origins Award. Phil is also a trained Project Manager and applies his mad Gantt Charting skills to all of Encoded’s work.

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