In 2016 at the Diefenbunker Museum outside of Ottawa, a thumb drive was discovered behind a men’s room toilet. On it were recording from a group of Ottawa area game designers: Fraser Ronald, Jason Pitre, Mark Richardson, Joshua Kitz, and Todd Crapper. These recordings have never been heard… until now.
This is the Ottawa Game Publishers Podcast.
Yep, I do a podcast too with them guys mentioned above. It’s a great opportunity for us to get together and talk shop in a format that can help other designers/publishers entering the field, but it’s also an excuse to have a few drinks. And talk shop. Currently hosted on the Accidental Survivors feed, we’re currently in a “demo season” with the first 8 episodes and looking for feedback. Have a listen and let us know what you think on your podcast downloaders-do of choice.
Here goes, the first crack at a new podcast. After talking about it for a few weeks, myself, Fraser Ronald, Jason Pitre and Mark Richardson sit down and knock out eight topics covering a wide range of discussions regarding the tabletop RPG design and publishing industry from a Canadian perspective.
Our inaugural episode introduces the show and dives right into the biggest issue facing anyone getting a new project up and going: what is your goal?
Rubbing elbows with industry professional and other hopefuls is key to making larger strides in the industry, but what is the smart way of doing it? Do you have to go to GenCon and what are the actual benefits of networking?
It’s our best friend and worst enemy, the abusive relationship of game design. Getting the crucial feedback to test your game is tricky when you’re small potatoes and each of us has our own take and experience for getting eyeballs on your latest creation.
Where is that magic line between any product and the one that will catapult you to the stars? Needless to say, it’s not a topic that can be answered in half-an-hour but we sure can throw out our theories on what makes a good game a great product.
Are our games stumbling over their own feet by building foundations on success and failure when we’re trying to emulate heroes and genres where failure is tightly controlled by the story?
Tired Cuba Gooding Jr. references aside, acquiring the right amount of money, spending it wisely, paying your people on time and so many other financial responsibilities have destroyed so many aspiring publishers in the past so we do our best to lay down some warning signs and suggestions for making the most of your funds.
The Gamemaster is either an all-powerful creator of worlds with the heroes’ fate in her hands or part of a team of storytellers charged with the NPCs of the world. In true Canadian fashion, we take a crack at defining the role of GM mechanics driving gameplay and compare its effects and the role of the Gamemaster to refs in hockey.
What is your expectation when you create a new game and publish it? Fame and fortune? Recognition? Confirmation that you’re not insane? There’s no right or wrong answer and that’s a good thing because each of us has our own reason for doing what we do in the finale episode of our first season.
Holy crap, we decided to do another round of topics and this season will get heavier than the first one. Except now we’re joined by Joshua Kitz from Composed Dream Games to bring the host count to five.
How do you juggle the fine details of game design, publishing, a day job, family, friends, conventions, playing games and everything else possibly on our plates? Everyone has their own way of tackling them all and that’s exactly what this episode is about.
There’s attending a convention and then there’s working a convention. The temptation to run non-stop games, network, conduct deals, run a booth, and everything else in between suddenly crashes to a halt when you factor in sleep, food, even just time to go to the bathroom for crying out loud. So here’s some tips to working the cons.
RPGs have really branched out into a few sub-genres recently and one of those involves heavy social/political/emotional content, such as slavery and gender roles. Yet there’s an audience for them and it was a topic Jason couldn’t wait to discuss as a group.
You can’t talk about playing heavy topics in your RPGs without bringing up the role of the social contract, the previously unspoken agreement of “don’t be a dick” at the table. That agreement is now an active part of gameplay (take the X-card, for example) but what role does it play in game design and publishing?
Let’s face it, part of publishing is promoting and we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t plug our own games from time to time. And since Jason and myself were knee deep in plugging our own upcoming RPGs – Sig: The Manual of the Primes and High Plains Samurai – we thought it best to take some time to discuss said games and how the crowdfunding process shapes their creation.
After an extended break between seasons due to Kickstarter’s, product launches, vacations and more, we’re back to tackle the soft and heavy issues of indie design and publishing.
Using social media to promote your work is not as easy as it seems. With so many “tried and true” best practises out there, we talk about the more organic approaches to using social media in an age where the market is flooded with ads.