Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fantasci: philosophical blatherings

Someone recently asked me why I was planning on releasing Fantasci for free when it was done. He basically wanted to know what folks who contributed and helped make the book happen "got" that folks who just downloaded the free PDF didn't "get".

First, let me say that it never occurred to me not to release it.

But after being asked, I thought about whether or not it made sense, beyond just my impulse that it's the "right thing to do".

First, I think being the right thing is a great reason.

But I also happen to think, if you're someone who wants to see this game made and see it flourish, that it's the smart thing.

First, if you wanted to run a game, you're going to end up sending copies of the rules to folks anyway. So having it up for free on RPGNow means you can use their bandwidth rather than your own.

Not a "make or break" reason but it is more convenient.

But most importantly, I think having the game out there makes it much more likely to flourish. Someone you've never met might download the game and run a play-by-post that you could then play in.

Supplements and adventures for the game also become much more viable as well, since I could release an adventure and then say "want to see the rules this was written for? they're here and they're free!"

So I guess I can see the appeal of having something that only you have, like that unknown van Gogh in a vault somewhere, but I think it's better, all around, for things like this (that depend on social networks if I can go all Ryan Dancey on you) have a better chance to take root and thrive, the more exposure they get.

End philosophical blathering


Daniel M. Perez said...

My suggestion, offer an original add-on for the game available only to funders. Your reasoning is good, and it is nice to do something for the greater good, yadda yadda yadda, but that extra perk can mean a world of difference. Ask Wolfgang. ;-)

Chuck said...

I'm sure Wolfgang has some totally slick system I never even imagined.

I'm sort of fumbling around in the dark at this sort of thing.

I was under the impression Wolfgang's stuff was only available to contributors though?

Chuck said...

Actually, one other thing I wanted to touch on, my primary reason for offering the book for free when it's done is NOT for a warm fuzzy reason, that's actually a secondary reason.

My main reason is that I think it will make the game more viable going forward, by enlarging the player base exponentially beyond those who contribute.

That's a very selfish benefit to folks who want to see the game continue for a long time, including me!

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