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If You Want to Get Paid, Make Stuff People Want

March 9, 2010

James Mishler expresses incredulity that a $12.00 book ($14+ with shipping & handling) about street vendors (?!?!??!?!), designed for Castles & Crusades no less, didn’t sell for shit.  Then he busts a cap in his company.

Number one, Castles & Crusades is the hind teat on the rump end of a red-headed stepchild – you couldn’t find a smaller market if you went to Smurf Village.  Number two, a supplement filled with, “stats for the vendor, NPC details, description of the vendor’s wagon or cart, price list of goods and services, cash box contents, NPC disposition, and one or more rumors,” is about as compelling a gaming product as a handful of pages torn from a telephone book.  It wouldn’t have sold at $0.25 a copy, much less $14+, and is the kind of thing that should have been parceled out for free (in much reduced form) on his blog in order to promote sales of something more worthwhile.

No one in his life stepped up to say, “Hey James – $14 for a book of fishmongers, keyed to a dead game system?  Have you thought this through?”  This is just more evidence of the kindergarten mentality that rules the indie/OSR scene, in which every hare-brained idea and pie-in-the-sky daydream is lauded and ‘atta-boyed simply based on participation.

The burnout rate among the creative elite from postmortem reality checks like this one is going to absolutely gutshot this community.

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