We are now a few weeks into Quarter 3 of 2015, and I wanted to updated everyone on what Encoded has been doing and how things are going. While we are still building our team and our products, this past Quarter marks our first major project going out the door.
The most exciting news we have this Quarter is the addition of a new member to the Encoded Team, Tim Jones. Tim is a graphic artist and brings skills with graphic design and layout to Encoded, relieving both Chris (layout) and Phil (graphic design), and allowing them to focus on writing and design. There will be a bigger announcement about Tim coming in the future.
As with the last update I have broken this update into the same five areas, and I will do my best to be as brief as possible.
Part-Time Gods of Fate
This quarter we completed the Part-Time Gods of Fate manuscript and turned that over to Third Eye Games. 3EG launched a Kickstarter to fund the publication of the book, with an initial ask of $2,000 and a four-week campaign. The Kickstarter made its initial goal in 12 hours, then funded two stretch goals (see below) and ended just over $9000. We are considering that a resounding success!
The PTGoF PDF went out to all backers in July, and is for sale on DriveThruRPG. The book will soon be available, and if all goes well, there will be copies available at Gen Con.
Dangerous Space Jail
Our beloved DSJ continues to have a few sales through DriveThruRPG. Sales have trickled off since the end-of-year sale in 2014. I am considering another sale to see if I can spur some additional sales.
Part-Time Gods of Fate: The Stretch Goals
As part of the Part-Time Gods of Fate Kickstarter, Encoded Designs will perform the Fate conversion of PTG’s major supplements: Divine Instruments and Minions of the Source.
We are planning to start with the Divine Instruments conversion in August and are estimating it to be about two months worth of work, followed directly by Minions of the Source which will take another two months. Our goal is to have both manuscripts handed over to Third Eye Games before the end of the year.
We are excited to be doing these conversions, as both supplements add more depth to the world of Part-Time Gods, as well as present some interesting design challenges.
We sent out our Alpha playtest sets in Q1 to a number of external testers. We received great feedback and after looking over all the surveys as well as the more detailed emails that the playtesters sent us, we decided to make some significant changes in the design of the game.
The changes simplify the math, which was thought to be complex, and we added some player to player interaction which was lacking in the original design. We are actively playtesting the new version in-house, and plan to have some demo sets to bring to Gen Con to show around.
Once we are satisfied that the revised rules (now called 3.0) are solid, we will solicit another round of playtesters and start external testing once again.
Misdirected Mark Does The Pulps
This project remains on hold, and we have not determined when we want to put this back into production. Most of the writing for this is done, but we have not started editing.
Initially, our reason for holding off on the Kickstarter to fund this project was that we wanted to solidify the Misdirected Mark audience. (I will talk more about that below.) Now, we are holding off for a bit longer, because we did not want to have two Kickstarters too close together, and fatigue the community. Also our highest priorities for the rest of the year are to complete the Part-Time Gods of Fate supplements.
This is a project that also went on hold after things with Part-Time Gods of Fate got so busy. Shawn is still interested in getting this off the ground, but we do have the next two Part-Time God of Fate books to do this year. We are working on where this best fits in our 12-month plan.
We are getting close to the time for Chris to start writing his Dungeon World setting. Right now we have Chris slotted to start writing this at the same time we are doing Divine Instruments. Depending on how intensive DI is to design, we may have to push Airy Peaks back by a few months, but my hope is that we will get this underway shortly.
What started out as a passing thought on an episode of Misdirected Mark has developed into a new game. Cybertek is a Fate Core toolkit for playing Cyberpunk games. It is in development right now, and we are using a Scrum methodology to develop the rules. Currently in the Misdirected Mark G+ community you can find the latest sprint of the rules.
Our goal is to complete development of the rules, and then determine if the rules are large enough to be developed into a full rule book, or some kind of supplement. I don’t have an idea yet how long Cybertek will take to develop, but I could see it going into Q1 of 2016.
Garret Crowe from the Threat Detected podcast, another member of the Misdirected Mark network, produced a number of plots for the Paranoia RPG. We are working with Garret and Mongoose publishing to see if we can produce a small PDF and bring these plots to market.
At this time we don’t have a timeline for this project, as it requires a few more details to be worked out.
Elhal is still on the list for going into development in 2016. In the meantime, the Tyriv’s Teachings have begun to create a large number of words about the history and culture of the world. In addition, work on Part-Time Gods of Fate and Cybertek are strengthening our Fate skills, and I feel like we are more prepared to create the game that I imagine for Elhal.
Website & Podcasting
We are still keeping busy on this front as well. In the last few weeks, with the start of summer and the deadlines for Part-Time Gods of Fate, our blog posts to the website have been on the decline. I expect that those will pick up in August, after the team recovers from Gen Con.
We are still running the same series:
- 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.
From the Podcasting side, things are better than ever. Chris and I have made some adjustments to the Misdirected Mark podcast. We are also recording the show live via Hangouts, and using that to release a video version of the show on YouTube. We have also been growing the podcast community, primarily through G+, and that has continued to grow week-to-week.
Shawn and Chris are recording Down With D&D as well, and that show is also doing excellent, covering the exciting world of the latest version of D&D and the people working on the game.
Encoded will be at several conventions this year. We will be running Elhal, Part-Time Gods of Fate, and Airy Peaks. Here are the cons we are attending:
- Gen Con – we will be running Elhal and Part-Time Gods of Fate over the four days.
- Queen City Conquest – we are running Elhal, Part-Time Gods of Fate, Airy Peaks, and Dangerous Space Jail. We may, informally, be running some Cybertek there as well.
- Tacticon – Phil will be a guest at one of the biggest cons in Denver. He will be running Elhal and Part-Time Gods of Fate.
- Con on the Cob – we have not formalized our plans yet, but we love this convention and if we can’t be there the entire con, we are planning to get there for the weekend.
Encoded is moving forward at full impulse and is getting closer to jumping to warp speed. We are excited for the release of our first RPG, and what the rest of the year holds.