[JBE] We Are Moving Forward with Traveller Plans

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dmccoy1693
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[JBE] We Are Moving Forward with Traveller Plans

Postby dmccoy1693 » Tue May 03, 2016 2:53 pm

Incase you had not heard, there has been considerable discussion online about the new licenses that DriveThruRPG put up last week Friday. At first glance these licenses are pretty good: you get to publish whatever you want for the system with an easy path to becoming a publisher. However, for reasons I will not go into here, the license has some down sides. All of them are in the "iTunes User Agreement"-size license that you must agree to before publishing material for it.

We at JBE spent the weekend discussing what to do. After careful consideration, we came to a decision: we are moving forward with Traveller plans for the Original Traveller Universe only, at this time. Adventures, settings books, and ships that are designed for the Third Imperium, we will be continuing as planned. We had considered ideas for Traveller 2e that were for settings beyond this, but we will not be pursuing those under the current agreement. We will reconsider those ideas should the agreement change.

So what does this mean for you, Traveller fans? It means that if you are a fan of our Foreven Worlds setting, you should expect to see more of it. And by "more" I mean beyond the subsectors. Now that we have a quadrant developed, we are going to spend some time working on adventures. We want the area to be your home for some daring campaigns. And that is what we are going to give you. Expect some freaking awesome adventures coming soon.
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Re: [JBE] We Are Moving Forward with Traveller Plans

Postby Nerhesi » Wed May 04, 2016 12:39 pm

That's awesome Dale - I've purchased all your foreven stuff and look fwd to you folks completing the sector. I'm using it as my canon-otu foreven sector :)
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Re: [JBE] We Are Moving Forward with Traveller Plans

Postby fusor » Wed May 04, 2016 4:25 pm

I would be curious to know what these "down sides" are. Is this the TAS Community Content license, explained at http://support.drivethrurpg.com/hc/en-u ... t-Programs ?
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Re: [JBE] We Are Moving Forward with Traveller Plans

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Wed May 04, 2016 4:32 pm

The "Gotchas" seem to be that when you publish via TAS you give up your Intellectual Property rights to what you wrote and that DTRPG (and Mongoose) take an additional 25% of the sale price - you get 50% instead of the usual 75%.

The IP thing isn't a big deal if you just publish an adventure or a one-off, but if you want to develop a setting, by giving up the IP others can write stuff in your setting and you can't control it; also you are limited to only publishing via DTRPG, so if you wanted to do a print version, you can't; except through DTRPG and their Print on Demand. So no store copies.

Also, no Crowdsourcing or giving away free copies - it is all controlled by DTRPG.

As I said, for some things, it is fine, but for SETTINGS other than the OTU, it is not such a good deal. Unfortunately, that means that settings will be using the OGL rules (1st Edition Mongoose) and don't get to take advantage of the new rules and "balanced" weapons systems.

SO good and bad depending on what you want to publish. OTU stuff is now available to publish, so if you want to write that epic campaign where the Chamax invade the Spinward Marches and fight it out with VIRUS, you can - through DTRPG.
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Re: [JBE] We Are Moving Forward with Traveller Plans

Postby fusor » Wed May 04, 2016 4:38 pm

Giving up IP rights is a definite turn-off for me. The 1e OGL sounds like a better way to go.
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Re: [JBE] We Are Moving Forward with Traveller Plans

Postby dmccoy1693 » Wed May 04, 2016 5:10 pm

fusor wrote:I would be curious to know what these "down sides" are.
Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:The "Gotchas" seem to be that when you publish via TAS you give up your Intellectual Property rights to what you wrote and that DTRPG (and Mongoose) take an additional 25% of the sale price - you get 50% instead of the usual 75%.
I knew about the money going in so that is not an issue for me. I didn't have near-term plans for my own setting so that isn't an issue for me (at the moment).

Mine are:
Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:if you wanted to do a print version, you can't; except through DTRPG and their Print on Demand. So no store copies.
At current I can't find any way to set up print files using this, so I don't expect to even see print books available at DriveThru. Which is a real downside for me. That might change in the future, but I am not holding my breath.

Also there are a number of other back end stuff that I just don't have access to when using this. For example, DriveThru lets us see what is bought at the same time. So I can say that the most common book at the same time as the original d66 Compendium was Gypsy Knight's 21 Plots. As such, I started a book of patrons a while ago and that should be coming out for Foreven Worlds ... eventually. Earlier today, I sent out an email to those that bought the d66 Compendium, letting them know about the D66 Compendium 2. I can't do the same to those that bought the D66 Compendium 2 letting them know about future books. And there are a number of other things like that that really make a difference in terms of future planning, marketing, suggestive sales, and more that kept me pointing customers to DriveThru over Paizo and the OpenGamingStore, even though they paid the worst of the three. For the D66 Compendium 2 and all future Traveller books, I don't have those abilities and that data. So I will be flying blinder than I ever had with DriveThruRPG. Ultimately, I decided that losing that was just another cost of doing business, much that the 15% difference in the MSRP.
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Re: [JBE] We Are Moving Forward with Traveller Plans

Postby dmccoy1693 » Thu May 05, 2016 4:27 pm

I don't know how I forgot this, but this is the one that sent my wheels spinning when I first discovered it: books produced through TAS do not appear on the front page of DriveThruRPG and the publisher has no way of putting it out on the front page as a feature product. This means that it is substantially harder to just run across my book by accident and discover it. Being on the front page is a real driver of initial sales, a driver that anything in the TAS does not have access. Will that mean that those initial sale will be spread out of weeks and months as those customers go looking in Mongoose's and/or Traveller's categories, or are those sales simply gone? I cannot say for certain, but i am willing to bet that it is going to be somewhere between those extremes.

But one scenario leaves the publisher with a lower initial return, which is generally used to pay writers, artists, etc. The other scenario just leaves the publisher was an overall lower return. Either way, the budget I use to produce all my Traveller books has just gone down.
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Re: [JBE] We Are Moving Forward with Traveller Plans

Postby Golan2072 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:57 pm

dmccoy1693 wrote:Also there are a number of other back end stuff that I just don't have access to when using this. For example, DriveThru lets us see what is bought at the same time. So I can say that the most common book at the same time as the original d66 Compendium was Gypsy Knight's 21 Plots. As such, I started a book of patrons a while ago and that should be coming out for Foreven Worlds ... eventually. Earlier today, I sent out an email to those that bought the d66 Compendium, letting them know about the D66 Compendium 2. I can't do the same to those that bought the D66 Compendium 2 letting them know about future books. And there are a number of other things like that that really make a difference in terms of future planning, marketing, suggestive sales, and more that kept me pointing customers to DriveThru over Paizo and the OpenGamingStore, even though they paid the worst of the three. For the D66 Compendium 2 and all future Traveller books, I don't have those abilities and that data. So I will be flying blinder than I ever had with DriveThruRPG. Ultimately, I decided that losing that was just another cost of doing business, much that the 15% difference in the MSRP.
I have the same experience from publishing through TAS, as a partner in Stellagama Publishing - where we published The Bronze Case adventure.

The feeling I got when trying to manage this adventure's sales through TAS is that of blindness - I lacked the access to the information and tools I can use for "regular" DTRPG products. This information, as well as these marketing tools, are crucial for a product's success. For example, under TAS, I cannot perform "product analysis" to see how many people have it in their shopping carts and wishlists; I cannot create special deals for these people, or for anyone for that matter; I cannot use banners or "featured product" options to promote our product; and I cannot analyse from where my sales are coming. I can only get general sales reports.

I think that this is the main issue with TAS. As long as Stellagama Publishing can protect its IP, as well as get access to PoD options for its products, we can live with a 50% cut. But we really need these marketing tools, as without them we are dead in the water. Especially when we need more sales than usual to cover our production costs when we get only 50% of the sale revenues rather than 75%.
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Re: [JBE] We Are Moving Forward with Traveller Plans

Postby legozhodani » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:33 pm

Interesting to hear the publishers view on this. Thanks.

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