Random RPG Thoughts #1: The Long Tail
Is that worth all the hard work writing game stuff? Apart from that it might be fun to do?
There aren't many professionals out there who can make a living writing stuff for games. There is Pathfinder allright, but personally I think that's not the market I belong to. To play Pathfinder to me it seems you must be a human calculator with little else to do than amassing Paizo products. Sorry. There's a lot of good Pathfinder stuff I'm sure. But I'm past that sort of game - I just envy their very good artwork.
Theatrix or Amber? I never played them, but was always intrigued by the idea that you could go for story without dice or dungeon. Traveller I loved as an idea, Call of Cthulhu I play with my own ruleset now and then. And yes I play my own Dark Dungeon 2nd ed, for about twenty years now.
I'm also not yearning to play Hackmaster, for example, which is way to voluminous to me, like an Encyclopedia. There's many games like that. OSR? Yes, I appreciate the movement. Much so. But I'm not intending to get back to the mindless dungeon. Doodling maps, okay. Grinning at new monsters, yes. But playing a search and loot straight out? It has become like playing World of Warcraft without computer.
Which brings me back to my point. D&D sure hit a nerve when it first came out. But eventually the computer took over for this kind of game. With EQ, WoW, and so on. No live game master necessary. These computer games have the market now, once belonging to TSR.
But... there are other types of game. Ones you cannot play on computer. Ones you do need face to face vibes for. Ones with intelligent storylines. Ones with personal creativity and imagination - instead of just mindless blasting and marveling at impressive CGI. Ones closer to acting perhaps, or historic simulation. Or just games to play in your own head.
My question is, is there any real market for these games to be found? Apart from the dwindling number of gamers who once knew what it was like to play D&D? Is there a way to entice the huge group of Harry Potter fans to enjoy what we are enjoying?
Or are we forever confined to producing a plethora of products for a group of nostalgic men (and a few women) who live far away and apart? A group we can only reach through the long tail of the internet?
PS Because I'm doing the september short adventure challenge, I decided to postpone Ammersfurt adventures for a month. So you'll see the rest of the Ammersfurt series resuming in october, probably running until december.
PPS I decided that Saturday would be my day of for the september challenge. Next adventure will be tomorrow.