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OldHarrytheDrifter

Chaosium Inc. is in a contest to win a $250,000 grant

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Chaosium Incorporated has entered a contest to win a grant for up to $250,000. The contest is called Mission: Small Business and Chaosium Inc. has entered to be considered as a recipient, but they need our help. Please vote for Chaosium Inc. before the deadline on June 30th. It would be great for one of the oldest and smallest gaming companies to have a chance to win $250,000, we all know it could go a long way with Chaosium Inc.

The information that voters need is:

Name of Business: Chaosium Inc.

State: California

City: Hayward

They already have 7 votes, another 243 and they will be eligible for consideration.

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Add another vote. BTW, we need to talk about what license they should get with the money, or other things they could do. :)

I'd like to see a return of the boxed set RPGs. A revamped Worlds of Wonder with 64 page world books and folded maps/counters. In fact, a series of WoW boxes. Volume one is Magic World/Superworld/Futureworld. Volume two is Hellenic Greece (aka 'Warlords of Alexander')/Post Apocalypse/Western. Finally, volume three is where serious coin is spent to license Jorune/Flashing Blades/Doctor Who. Okay, so the last three would work better as stand alone boxed sets. Might as well bring back Ringworld too, right? :)

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Add another vote. BTW, we need to talk about what license they should get with the money, or other things they could do. :)

I'd like to see a return of the boxed set RPGs. A revamped Worlds of Wonder with 64 page world books and folded maps/counters. In fact, a series of WoW boxes. Volume one is Magic World/Superworld/Futureworld. Volume two is Hellenic Greece (aka 'Warlords of Alexander')/Post Apocalypse/Western. Finally, volume three is where serious coin is spent to license Jorune/Flashing Blades/Doctor Who. Okay, so the last three would work better as stand alone boxed sets. Might as well bring back Ringworld too, right? :)

Honestly. If they get a grant like this, they should bank it against a rainy day, after paying off all their outstanding bills. Then they could return to pumping out great product, knowing that if something doesn't do well that they have a cushion.

SDLeary

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Add another vote. BTW, we need to talk about what license they should get with the money, or other things they could do. :)

I'd like to see a return of the boxed set RPGs. A revamped Worlds of Wonder with 64 page world books and folded maps/counters. In fact, a series of WoW boxes. Volume one is Magic World/Superworld/Futureworld. Volume two is Hellenic Greece (aka 'Warlords of Alexander')/Post Apocalypse/Western. Finally, volume three is where serious coin is spent to license Jorune/Flashing Blades/Doctor Who. Okay, so the last three would work better as stand alone boxed sets. Might as well bring back Ringworld too, right? :)

Boxed sets are just too costly to produce nowadays. Licences are often priced beyond what a company can justify based on revenue. The demand for many of these long out of print games/backgrounds just isn't there any more except in people's imagination.

It never ceases to amaze me that so many people have no grasp of the economics of media production. A 250 page book costs about in the region of USD10-12,000 if the publisher uses professional writing, editing, proofing, indexing and layout people. Add in the cost of producing a printed version which is in the region of say USD7.50 for a softbound book (unit cost is roughly the same for 1000 to 3500 copies). Multiply these costs by say 1.5 to allow for sales by retailers plus a bit for distribution and profit and you're hitting USD45-50 without even a box or map included. A printed box is likely to _cost_ something approaching USD10. So a boxed set with a map and a couple of supplement books could easily be USD100+ retail. Check out what RQIII cost and update it for current prices and factor in their use of in-house printing facilities to that price.

Anyway as I understand it the grant that is involved in this has a sizeable training and assistance package that is not actually cash so it might only be of assistance in providing business help in areas like marketing, process simplification and intangibles like that.

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Boxed sets are just too costly to produce nowadays. Licences are often priced beyond what a company can justify based on revenue. The demand for many of these long out of print games/backgrounds just isn't there any more except in people's imagination.

It never ceases to amaze me that so many people have no grasp of the economics of media production. A 250 page book costs about in the region of USD10-12,000 if the publisher uses professional writing, editing, proofing, indexing and layout people. Add in the cost of producing a printed version which is in the region of say USD7.50 for a softbound book (unit cost is roughly the same for 1000 to 3500 copies). Multiply these costs by say 1.5 to allow for sales by retailers plus a bit for distribution and profit and you're hitting USD45-50 without even a box or map included. A printed box is likely to _cost_ something approaching USD10. So a boxed set with a map and a couple of supplement books could easily be USD100+ retail. Check out what RQIII cost and update it for current prices and factor in their use of in-house printing facilities to that price.

Anyway as I understand it the grant that is involved in this has a sizeable training and assistance package that is not actually cash so it might only be of assistance in providing business help in areas like marketing, process simplification and intangibles like that.

I was fairly certain that two smileys would convey the idea that I was just having fun with the idea of Chaosium blowing money on products I'd like to see produced for my own gratification. Then a lecture broke out.... ;D

You should just go the extra half-step though nclarke and point out that producing RPG products is a losing game, that only a handful of companies have any realistic shot at making money. You might want to chat with all those artists and musicians who are wasting valuable time trying to "make it" and help them understand they should only be involved in gainful employment. ;D

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You may have been 'having fun' but there are loads of posters on other forums who spout exactly the same type of longing for cheap RPG's and reminisce over how things were so much better back in the day. They seem to forget that they are wearing pink spectacles.

The only way a company can sell an RPG and make any sort of reasonable profit is by eschewing the professional part of the production process and rely on free or low paid non-professional assistance. If someone writes their own material and uses someone paid UK minimum wage (UKP6.08) for all the rest they can probably produce an RPG for something like UKP750.00 and publish it electronically. They'd need to sell probably 1500 copies through RPGNow or somewhere similar to break even. Even many well known games don't sell that many in a year. If you want to make money don't start up an RPG company unless you have money to burn and love pot noodles.

I hear most graphic artists need a second, 'real', paying job to avoid a diet of pot noodles and many would-be musicians would do well to learn to like pot noodles as well if they want to be full time.

Edited by nclarke

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Is there a way to vote without logging in via facebook and giving them my e-mail address?

That would be good. That's why I use a sacrificial email address for FB, though, so it stands at 163 now. Less than 90 to go!

Edited by Vile

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Add another vote. BTW, we need to talk about what license they should get with the money, or other things they could do. :)

No licenses - the history of RPG licenses is chequered and I'm really not sure Chaosium in it's current form is up to the challenges of managing a modern IP license. It's possible they could find one that would work, but I think their efforts would be better directed elsewhere.

I'd like to see a return of the boxed set RPGs. A revamped Worlds of Wonder with 64 page world books and folded maps/counters. In fact, a series of WoW boxes. Volume one is Magic World/Superworld/Futureworld. Volume two is Hellenic Greece (aka 'Warlords of Alexander')/Post Apocalypse/Western. Finally, volume three is where serious coin is spent to license Jorune/Flashing Blades/Doctor Who. Okay, so the last three would work better as stand alone boxed sets. Might as well bring back Ringworld too, right? :)

If there are going to be boxed sets they need to have lots of nice "bits" - look at the Pathfinder Beginner's Box for example. So I'd do a BRP intro set with stand ups, dice, the quickstart and scenarios etc. I'd then do "genre books" based off of Ben Monroe's announced Magic World - definitely a Future World and then maybe smaller more compact supplements for CowboyWorld; SpyWorld; plus an aggressive program of scenarios in PDF with print anthologies to follow.

Note that boxed sets can work in the modern market (e.g. Dragon Age tabletop RPG, the aforementioned Beginner's Box for Pathfinder) - they just have to be focused and have the broadest possible appeal. So I think specific settings would have to be books, as would supplements.

Cheers,

Nick

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No licenses

Right... Those only make rich the owners of the licences... They are the ones who should come begging at us for writing games set in their licence :)

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