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Q4 2015 Update

Another three months have passed, and 2015 has drawn to a close. We are getting close to our 2nd anniversary, next month. This quarter has been a busy one for the Encoded team, as the past several have been. With the transformation from writers and designers to publishers, our planning for 2016 looks to make it a big year for us.

Before we look forward, let’s look back at Q4.

Publications

Character Cache

The Character Cache is going well. We have cleared three of our milestones, which now allows us to produce the Cache in Color Line Art as well as releasing two stat blocks each month. This quarter we obtained a Savage Worlds license, allowing us to create Savage stat blocks as well now. We will be working to keep marketing the Character Cache to grow into some of our other milestones. One thought we have had, but have not yet researched, is the idea of having some guest writers come and do a Cache contribution (we will get to work on that).

Another thing that we are working on is obtaining licenses/permission to produce stat blocks in other systems. The team is quite anxious for the release of a D&D SRD so that we can also start offering our Patrons a D&D 5e Stat Block.

Divine Instruments

As part of the Part-Time Gods of Fate Kickstarter, we have completed the conversion of the first supplement, Divine Instruments of Fate. This book adds depth to some of the most interesting features of the game. In order to make it work, we re-designed how Milestones work, to create more opportunities for players to use all the features in the book. Much like Part-Time Gods of Fate, this book is available from Third Eye Games.

Dangerous Space Jail

The little supplement that could, Dangerous Space Jail continues to make a few sales each month. It is edging towards its break even point, and should cross that line sometime in Q1 2016. The current sales can be seen below:
DSJ sales q4 2015

One thing that will propel Dangerous Space Jail into the black is its recent inclusion in the Dungeon World +2 Bundle of Holding. The Bundles of Holding have been a very successful campaign, and the first Dungeon Word bundle was quite popular, so we expect DSJ to be in the black before the end of Jan.

Active Projects

Minions of the Source

The final supplement for the Part-Time Gods of Fate Kickstarter, Minions of the Source looks at the nature of the Source and a host of new minions. The manuscript has been written and edited, and we are doing the final read-thru before we turn this over to Third Eye Games. From there, Eloy will lay it out and release it. I would not be surprised to see this book available in Q1 2016 (though I have no confirmation of that, just going on Eloy’s blazing layout speed).

Airy Peaks

This is our Dungeon World setting, and is the big one for 2016. Chris is nearly done with the manuscript, and I have started development. Our goal for this book is to get the manuscript done by late spring, acquire some art, and by early summer go to Kickstarter to publish it ourselves.. With successful funding we will be publishing this book by the end of 2016.

Relic Hunters

We have re-skinned Plunder Dice into a Pulp / Treasure Hunters theme and have renamed the game Relic Hunters. The core of the game has been nailed down, but we are looking to do some final development on the game and then return it to playtesting (internal and external). We are looking to have a version that we can shop around to publishers by Summer of 2016.

Cybertek

After some discussion we decided that Cybertek is a Fate toolbox that can be used to create Cyberpunk games, and not really a full game on its own. While a toolbox is interesting in its own right, we think that actually producing a game using Cybertek would be better. After some discussion, we have a setting that we are developing that is focused on the Great Lakes Sprawl. We plan to have a playable version of the game ready for the Summer, and will be running it at conventions.

Upcoming Projects

Paranoia Plots

Our discussions with the owners of Paranoia are nearly complete, and we expect to be moving forward in Q1 developing Paranoia Plots, a collection of plots and adventures that can be used in your Paranoia game. We will be producing this as a PDF.

D&D

Shawn and Chris are working away on outlines for some D&D adventures. We are just waiting on WotC to release an SRD, so that we understand the rules regarding releasing adventures. They will keep working behind the scenes, and as soon as the SRD comes out, we can more clearly state what we are doing in this area.

Clothing

In Q3 we made some Encoded T-shirts for the team, and we have some ideas for some other T-shirts and clothing we would like to produce. We are working on setting up an eStore for this purpose. This will allow us to not only create Encoded shirts, but also other merchandise for our developing products and lines as well.

Website & Podcasting

This past Quarter, John completed a re-design of the Encoded website. I hacked together the first website using my meager skills, but John, on the other hand, is a professional web-designer. When he came on board in the summer, one of his first questions to me was “Would you be interested in an upgrade to the website?” The answer was “Yes!”, and after some initial work on selecting a theme, John converted the contents of the old site to this one. I think the results are quite stunning.

As for Misdirected Mark Productions, things are going quite well. The Misdirected Mark show is going strong, with Chris, Bob, and I hosting. The show continues to evolve, moving away from generic GMing advice and taking deeper dives into mechanics, game design, and the interface between game play and mechanics. Shawn and Chris continue to host Down With D&D, focusing in on Dungeons & Dragons. Both shows are going strong,  are experiencing positive listener growth, and both will continue into 2016.

This year we made the decision that Misdirected Mark Productions is the main content source for Encoded Designs. We will be working on making that integration tighter in 2016, by posting episodes of the shows up here on our website as well as on each show’s respective page at Misdirected Mark Productions.

Convention Plans

The team has been looking over the convention calendar, and we are lining up where we would like to be this coming year. Here is a list conventions we are planning to have a presence at in 2016:

  • Running GAGG
  • CRAGGNAROK
  • UB Con
  • Marcon
  • Origins
  • Gen Con
  • Queen City Conquest
  • Con on the Cob

Moving Forward

2015 was focused on Part-Time Gods of Fate, our first full RPG. The success of the Kickstarter gave us additional work that will carry us into the start of this year. 2016 will be the year that we mature a number of our in-house designs and publish them. If all goes according to plan, we will run our first Kickstarter, publish our first printed book on our own, release more PDF-only publications, and have some snappy new shirts and other merchandise available for purchse.

We are pretty excited here at Encoded as we approach our 2nd anniversary. I will be back in April to let you know how the next three months have gone.

In the meantime, Happy New Year.

Game well…Game often.

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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