Q3 2015 Update
Wow…three months goes by quickly. It’s time again to look at how Encoded is doing, what we are up to, and things that are coming in the near future.
In terms of the team we have not grown, nor are we planning any future growth at this time. With the current team, we have all the skills we need to design, write, and create books and other publications. When I started Encoded, I never thought that it would become a publisher, but that is the weird thing about growing a business, it sometimes grows in ways you did not expect. Now our planning is including Kickstarters and publications, things I originally thought were out of scope for us.
So here is a run down of what we have going on:
At the end of September we launched our first Pateron campaign, the Character Cache. The campaign is growing, and it has met its first milestone. We have set up a back-end process for making sure that we efficiently put out the Cache each month. With the operations in place, our main focus is two-fold: deliver a great character each month, and continue to grow the fan base. To the second point, I am working to market the Cache in different social media venues, as well as to ask fellow podcasters to spread the word. The Cache is not making enough money at this time to justify any paid advertising, but as it grows, that may become necessary to get over certain plateaus.
Part-Time Gods of Fate
Released at the end of last Quarter, Part-Time Gods of Fate is available in all the places you like to get your RPGs. We are quite proud of the game, and we have been running sessions of PTGoF at a number of conventions: Gen Con, Tacticon, and the Queen City Conquest.
Dangerous Space Jail
Dangerous Space Jail continues to sell a few copies a month. Here are the latest sales numbers:
I have not run any new sales, but with the holidays approaching, it might be time to do a Black Friday sale.
Divine Instruments and Minions of the Source
We are through the design and writing of Divine Instruments and have moved into the editing phase. Shawn is editing the manuscript now, fixing things up, and making sure things are clear. Chris did the lion’s share of design, and I designed a few smaller sections, but did more development. Divine Instruments introduces a number of new options for your gods, and along with that two new playable character types: the Champion and the God Killer.
After we get through the editing of Divine Instruments, we will begin design on Minions of the Source. I expect the work for that will take us into December. Minions is a less mechanically challenging book than Divine Instruments, but it has its own unique features that will make designing it for Fate exciting.
We have completed our re-design of Plunder Dice and have been playtesting the game with friends and family. We had the opportunity to play Plunder Dice with Curt Covert from Smirk & Dagger, and we got some excellent feedback from him resulting in a few minor modifications to the game. Our plans are to continue to develop Plunder Dice with the goal of selling the game to a publisher in the future.
Writing has begun on the Airy Peaks. Chris is the lead designer, and I will be developing this manuscript. We are also in talks with Drew Smith, who did some of the illustrations in Dangerous Space Jail, to provide some “explorer’s maps” of the Airy Peaks. Writing for this will continue into 2016, and our goal will be to take this to Kickstarter some time mid-to-late 2016.
This is my cyber-love-child, and I continue to work away on this design. Right now I am doing the lead design, with Chris developing. We have been playtesting the game internally for a bit, but are putting things on hold while I finish up the next major block of the game. My goal is to have a public Alpha of this game released in early 2016 to collect feedback, and then work to further develop the game in 2016.
This is a small project that we have in the hopper. It was written by Garrett Crowe, and Chris is developing the manuscript. We are currently talking to Mongoose Games about how to publish this product, and if all goes well with Mongoose, we will move to put this out as a PDF in 2016.
With everything going on right now, Elhal is pushed back a bit in terms of priority. I am still writing articles on the setting, but I have not worked on mechanics in some time. I have been using Cybertek as a way to further sharpen my design skills before I work on Elhal. In the meantime, we are continuing to support Elhal with some update artwork and articles. We have also run Elhal adventures at both Gen Con and Queen City Conquest.
Website & Podcasting
Of the many talents that John Arcadian brings to Encoded, one of them is web design. John has been working on a new design for the Encoded Website. When Encoded started, I had enough money to buy a commercial Word Press theme for the site, but not the expertise to do any customization. John, on the other hand, can do just that. The new site will have a more modern theme, and it will be customized to fit us perfectly. I don’t have a release date for that yet, but it could come before the end of 2015, or early 2016.
In terms of Podcasting, we are going strong with the Misdirected Mark podcast. We have added Bob to the cast, managing our live chatroom. The show is recorded live at 8:45 pm Eastern every Tuesday, and is available in its recorded format everywhere you get your podcasts. The only changes we are looking to make for the show is to shorten the show to 80-90 minutes, which amounts to shortening or moving around a few of the smaller show segments.
We have also started to form a small podcast confederation between ourselves, Gaming & BS, and She’s A Super Geek. We have incorporated into our show a small segment to talk about those shows, and each show is talking about us in return. What we have seen is a growing overlap in our collective audiences, with listeners of one show starting to listen to the others. It has been a lot of fun creating synergies between the shows, and we are looking forward to doing more with our Podcast Brothers and Sisters.
The convention season is winding down for us, and we have just a few left to go before the year is done. The two left are:
- Con on the Cob – We are still working on our plans for attending, but for sure John Arcadian will be there.
- Aether Con – Encoded is participating in a number of events for AetherCon, the online gaming convention. A future post on our social media will announce the panels and games we are running.
Before 2015 is over, the Encoded Team will have one more face-to-face meeting, and we will layout our plans for 2016. The details of that I will share at the end of the year, when I do the Q4 report.
Game well and game often.