High Guard - On The Way

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
simonh
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1527
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:56 pm

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby simonh » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:14 am

fusor wrote: What about people who buy the PDF - rightfully assuming that it's a finished, proofread product - and then print it out themselves to discover that it's full of errors?
For what it's worth I agree if you are buying a commercial product sold as final, but I have no problem with publishers releasing material early in the development and editing process as long as they are up front and clear that this is what they are doing. As long as the customer is making an informed decision it's all good.

Simon Hibbs
Check out StarBase, the open source science fiction campaign mapping application.
Jeff Hopper
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 305
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:30 am
Location: Knoxville, TN

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby Jeff Hopper » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:33 pm

simonh wrote:
fusor wrote: What about people who buy the PDF - rightfully assuming that it's a finished, proofread product - and then print it out themselves to discover that it's full of errors?
For what it's worth I agree if you are buying a commercial product sold as final, but I have no problem with publishers releasing material early in the development and editing process as long as they are up front and clear that this is what they are doing. As long as the customer is making an informed decision it's all good.

Simon Hibbs
For what its worth, this product is about 10 months overdue, has had plenty of input from potential customers during the playtest, and is a shoddy excuse for a game resource when the paying customer purchases an error riddled piece of crippleware instead of a well crafted and professionally edited rulebook. Matt's rather cavalier attitude that this is a Beta version, which is not at all what the book has been advertised as, is on a par with the antics of Ken "Whit" Whitman.
msprange
Site Admin
Posts: 14436
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 4:25 pm

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby msprange » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:57 pm

Jeff Hopper wrote: For what its worth, this product is about 10 months overdue, has had plenty of input from potential customers during the playtest, and is a shoddy excuse for a game resource when the paying customer purchases an error riddled piece of crippleware instead of a well crafted and professionally edited rulebook.
Except... it is not ten months overdue, and it is not error-ridden... I just said you might find the odd thing here and there, and so we would just give it a few days before sending the files to print. Given the opportunity, it is what any responsible publisher might do...
Jeff Hopper wrote:on a par with the antics of Ken "Whit" Whitman.
How dare you, Sir.
Matthew Sprange

Mongoose Publishing
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
Sigtrygg
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 909
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:17 pm

As I posted earlier - I think the pdf release first then wait a week or two before sending the final book to the printer is an incredibly sensible way to do it.

A lot of people are noticing typos and formatting issues that were not in the last playtest version because guess what - at some point the playtest has to stop.

Now I understand the criticism that it should then be proof read etc before being released as a pay for pdf but unfortunately stuff gets through any amount of professional proofreading and editing.

I know I will get free updates to the pdf via drivethru - ok I may have to drop subtle hints on these forums to remind about an update - and I will also be able to buy a much more error free final print product.
dmccoy1693
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1242
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 3:23 am
Location: South Jersey
Contact:

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby dmccoy1693 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:38 pm

msprange wrote:resolved by the ever able Amy
Go Amy!
dmccoy1693
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1242
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 3:23 am
Location: South Jersey
Contact:

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby dmccoy1693 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:52 pm

Jeff Hopper wrote:on a par with the antics of Ken "Whit" Whitman.
That's more than a tad unnecessarily harsh. This book isn't 3 years late (like the current release date for Spinward Traveller is) and Matt hasn't attacked his critics. Sure, there are some errors in it, but this is far from a craptastic slap job that He Whom I Wish I Could Forget His Name would do. On the whole, the Mongoose team deserves a nod of a job well done. Is it a model of perfection, no. But this is far, far from F.A.T.A.L
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1551
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby wbnc » Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:08 pm

Personal attacks and insults seldom result in improved response to a complaint...especially on a public forum.....just an observation.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4239
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby phavoc » Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:30 pm

Here's my take on all this. First, it's disingenious to say no other game has the complexity of this one, and to use that as an excuse for poor editing. The internet has changed many a paradigm, and one of those paradigms is that with electronic documents it is possible to crowd-source your editing and proofing (and ideally to provide an updated document after the iterations are completed). It's a smart business move because you can't economically match it, not to mention crowdsourcing will typically do a better job of not only looking for errors, but for looking at the material in more ways than an editing team can ever hope to imagine. The biggest thing I think any publisher could do would be to a) acknowledge the truth of this, and b) potentially incentivize your early adopters who are doing your work for you (and paying for the privilege). This was already done in the playtest documents, and it's evident not all of the feedback and corrections made it into the first version. However, getting back to the excuse of complexity, I can pull out my original hardback AD&D books and prove that it's entirely possible to do an excellent editing and proofing job prior to releasing a product to the market. Or I could show you any number of other supplements (even my original Traveller Adventure hardback seems to have done a better job).

The issue with errors is something that has plagued MGT. That's been pointed out time and again. However, at least insofar as I can tell, Matt and MGT have stood behind their more egregious errors (remember the Mercenary debacle?) and made things right. Few games get out the door without errata being needed later on. The surge in electronic publishing means that it's more tempting to get the product out the door because you can (again, hopefully) fix these errors and re-release. Something you cannot do with a hardback. The fact that the publisher has admitted mea culpa and attempted to fix it means a lot in this business.

Fusor, as a customer who pays for the game, has every right to complain (though the Whitman thing... ouch). As a paying customer you purchase that right when you buy the product. If a publisher doesn't want anyone to provide negative feedback or opinions, then they need to provide a click-thru for every purchase notifying the customer that they are agreeing to not disparage or malign the product or the publisher in public. Since that hasn't happened, Fusor can complain all he wants - at least insofar as they are legitimate complaints. He hasn't gone all TT on this and tried to change the dice or whatever. He's just pointing out a very valid point, and he's upset with the quality of the goods.

None of us need to justify why we are complaining, or even our purchase history behind things. I could go back to my original LBB from CT, or my large MGT 1e release library. Or I could tell anyone who questions me to piss off because it's none of their damn business on why I need to justify it to them. This is a public BBS created by the publisher specifically for players and gamers to come together and kibbitz, complain, provide adulation or whatever. That's what public forums are all about.

Hopefully tempers will die down a bit, the errors will get fixed and we will get an updated pdf (and for those who get a printed version, they will be getting a much better product due to the bug hunts that the first flight buyers did for them and everyone behind them).
msprange
Site Admin
Posts: 14436
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 4:25 pm

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby msprange » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:18 pm

fusor wrote: I would like Matt to at least admit that the process is flawed (which it obviously is) and tell us how he's going to improve it (and actually improve the process for the next book and beyond). And also I would like Mongoose to stop expecting their customers to pay to edit and playtest their "final" releases. Or is that just too much to ask?
Well, I fundamentally disagree with your assessment.

No RPG publisher on the planet is going to put a book out like this and make it completely error-free. None. Something will always slip by.

This is normally handled by online errata and, eventually, a new print run. This results in players having to worry about whether they have the 'right' version and, if they bought the printed edition, knowing that they haven't. And keeping errata sheets handy is just a pain overall.

Releasing the PDF first avoids that. This results in a better book, whichever way you look at it, and that is something I will go for every time - doing it any other way would be ego-driven, and I just cannot court that. That is the first point to make. The final book is better and, given that it will be around for years to come, that just makes sense.

In short, I am happy to accept your criticisms if it means ten years down the road that we still have a solid book that has been enjoyed by thousands.

The second is that releasing the PDF first so it could be commented on is exactly what players have been asking for on these forums for a few years now. With our removal of strict deadlines we can now accommodate this, and have absolutely no reason not to comply with their wishes. From that point of view, not releasing the PDF in this way could be seen as arrogant.

Now, the concerns you raise about quality issues on day one releases are valid. But, to one extent or another, they are also unavoidable. I will say this though: High Guard, as it stands right now, before any players got their hands on it, is a solid book. Concerns about the likes of holographic hull projectors will be met, but they are not going to cripple the book or spoil anyone's gaming experience.

In other words, you can build every ship in 3I canon and you will not hit an issue of mechanics. on the other hand, you think holographic projectors are drawing too much current, well, we can look at that.
Matthew Sprange

Mongoose Publishing
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
msprange
Site Admin
Posts: 14436
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 4:25 pm

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby msprange » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:19 pm

fusor wrote: I would like Matt to at least admit that the process is flawed (which it obviously is) and tell us how he's going to improve it (and actually improve the process for the next book and beyond). And also I would like Mongoose to stop expecting their customers to pay to edit and playtest their "final" releases. Or is that just too much to ask?
Well, I fundamentally disagree with your assessment.

No RPG publisher on the planet is going to put a book out like this and make it completely error-free. None. Something will always slip by.

This is normally handled by online errata and, eventually, a new print run. This results in players having to worry about whether they have the 'right' version and, if they bought the printed edition, knowing that they haven't. And keeping errata sheets handy is just a pain overall.

Releasing the PDF first avoids that. This results in a better book, whichever way you look at it, and that is something I will go for every time - doing it any other way would be ego-driven, and I just cannot court that. That is the first point to make. The final book is better and, given that it will be around for years to come, that just makes sense.

In short, I am happy to accept your criticisms if it means ten years down the road that we still have a solid book that has been enjoyed by thousands.

The second is that releasing the PDF first so it could be commented on is exactly what players have been asking for on these forums for a few years now. With our removal of strict deadlines we can now accommodate this, and have absolutely no reason not to comply with their wishes. From that point of view, not releasing the PDF in this way could be seen as arrogant.

Now, the concerns you raise about quality issues on day one releases are valid. But, to one extent or another, they are also unavoidable. I will say this though: High Guard, as it stands right now, before any players got their hands on it, is a solid book. Concerns about the likes of holographic hull projectors will be met, but they are not going to cripple the book or spoil anyone's gaming experience.

In other words, you can build every ship in 3I canon and you will not hit an issue of mechanics. on the other hand, you think holographic projectors are drawing too much current, well, we can look at that.

I'll put it yet another way. High Guard, right now is a good (great?) book. With just a dash of player input (the guys who will end up using it for years to come), it will be even better.

This really is win-win for everyone.
Matthew Sprange

Mongoose Publishing
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1551
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby wbnc » Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:00 pm

Just a comment here. then i'll duck back under my rock and turn on loud music for a while....

One issue that often hit me was that when I wrote something up. I KNEW what I meant and what it was supposed to say. Unfortunately Dick Dirkin, gamer at large does not so he sees a confusing bit of rules, r somesuch and goes.."WTF".

What makes sense to Matt, what makes sense to me, what makes sense to a small group of playtesters, what makes sense to a seasoned gamer, will NOT make sense to others.

when a human look at a rule, or a chart, or a paragraph the human mind tends to rewrite it based on what it already knows. That's why people can read L33t,or Typonese. Matt and crew or any other publishing group can look at the same page a thousand times and it will make perfect sense to them..because they already know what's there. The fact a layout, wording or page setup has a "flaw" in it will be magically edited out by what they already know.

that's where playtester and proofreader comes in...but then you get a similar issue...a proofreader won't catch mathematical errors or rules that are out of whack..they just look for speiling and gramaticalogical errors.

Playtesters won't spot grammar and spelling errors because that is not what they are looking for. they are looking for game-breaking rule errors, concepts that don't work, or potential abuse problems.

Now yes they have run the product through a battery of playtests, and proofreadings but no system is perfect, No first print is perfect, It can not be the human brain is not capable of perfection. So they took the path open to them y electronic publishing, a first run, then a period of gathering errata, then a second print concluding with a dead tree version. Its how publishing is adapting to new options.

if that is a problem for anyone I suggest they simply wait for the revised edition, stomach it and deal with the annoyance, suggest alternative processes to the publisher, ...or raise a few hundred thousand dollars,get a licence from Mister Miller, hire a writing staff, spend ten months writing a book, and publish a masterpiece of your own crafting to put Mongoose out of business.

constant sniping, bringing the same subject up in every thread, or making vaguely, or blatantly insulting comments is not how you deal with an issue. I'm not aiming that statement at anyone in particular, we all do it sometimes.intentionally or not.

We are all adults, we are all reasonably educated, and intelligent individuals, we all have strong opinions and ideas on how things should be done. Let us strive to behave in such a manner that does not result in hard feelings, clenched teeth, and red letters from Mods....those ruin a perfectly good day.
rust2
Mongoose
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 1:35 pm
Location: Sonthofen, Germany

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby rust2 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:27 pm

fusor wrote: I just think that releasing it as the final product and expecting people to pay full price to fix it is what stinks here.
While you are at it, could you please tell Microsoft the same ? :)

More seriously, whether we like it or not, publishing not-really-final versions of whatever (software, games, PDFs, etc.) has become normal, and once one begins to use a computer one has to begin to live with it. The only positive side effect of this trend is that the really-final-versions, which would require more internal testing, would therefore also become more expensive.
"Mind like parachute, functions only when open"
-Daniel-
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:20 pm
Location: Burbank, CA

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby -Daniel- » Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:49 pm

rust2 wrote: More seriously, whether we like it or not, publishing not-really-final versions of whatever (software, games, PDFs, etc.) has become normal, and once one begins to use a computer one has to begin to live with it.
Funny, just this week I saw this. My son wanted to buy a game that had just released. We bought it and once it was done downloading it kicked into an update and downloaded the first update patch. A patch on the first week of release. Of course he was frustrated. But once the update was done he had fun beginning his new adventures. :lol:
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1551
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby wbnc » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:07 pm

I understand your complaint, I understand your reservations, I can see your side of things. I am not saying you do not have a right to voice concerns or objection..I am merely suggesting that everyone take a deep breath, give the guys in the office the benefit of the doubt and see how this plays out. THEN We can get out the pitchforks torches tar and feathers if needed. I have a supplier for such things on retainer...and woe unto thee who makes me whistle up the howling mob, for their day is going to be long and sorrowful.

Let's let this run its course if it works out and a better product is produced then we win. If it turns into a TANGO CHARLEY FOXTROT then we politely and firmly and as tactfully as possible express our deep dissatisfaction and disappointment in an adult manner.

IF they prove to be playing us for suckers..then we politely hand them their backside on a platter....figuratively.I'm not buying a ticket to London to do it literally..I'm too old too tired and I don't fancy a stay in a British prison...besides, Matt and crew are good guys no need to go medieval on them.

Trust me I have written more than one letter to more than one editor/manufacturer/supplier..I got paid to light fires under asses on occasion. If You ever see me in righteous indignation mode get the popcorn, some long sticks and a packet of hotdogs...I'm about to set someone's ears on fire.
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1551
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby wbnc » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:24 pm

fusor wrote:
wbnc wrote:I understand your complaint, I understand your reservations, I can see your side of things. I am not saying you do not have a right to voice concerns or objection..I am merely suggesting that everyone take a deep breath, give the guys in the office the benefit of the doubt and see how this plays out. THEN We can get out the pitchforks torches tar and feathers if needed. I have a supplier for such things on retainer...and woe unto thee who makes me whistle up the howling mob, for their day is going to be long and sorrowful.
How many times do we need to give them the benefit of the doubt? Mongoose has had a long history of screwing up releases like this, whether through bad choice of artwork or layout or poor playtesting. I think the time for "benefit of the doubt" has long passed.

Let's let this run its course if it works out and a better product is produced then we win. If it turns into a TANGO CHARLEY FOXTROT then we politely and firmly and as tactfully as possible express our deep dissatisfaction and disappointment in an adult manner.
We don't "win" though. Paying customers have still be forced to use a broken product that could have been fixed when it was actually released the first time around. And if Mongoose won't even accept that there's a problem with the way they produce these books then it's certain that nothing will change. Even when there's several threads pointing out flawed and unclear rules here, Matt still claims it's "a solid book" when clearly it isn't.

And the reason I'm being particularly critical here is that High Guard isn't just an RPG book - it's a design system, and instruction set. People can, do, and should rightfully expect it to make sense and work. If you make a model kit you expect the pieces to be right and the instructions to work, right? You don't want to glue it all together and then find that something doesn't fit because they were wrong or have to interpret something because it was unclear about it. Mongoose's attitude here is like the model maker saying "yeah, we think it's good enough but it may not be, so if your models don't fit properly then tell us and we'll update it for people who buy it later". That's no use to you, is it? Nobody would be happy with that in any other field, so why should people accept it here?

And what about the people who aren't on the forums? There's what, 50 or so regulars here who may be aware that Mongoose has a policy of releasing PDFs that still need more work, but what about the hundreds of other people who aren't here and who aren't aware of that and who buy the "final" PDF expecting the design system to have been fully checked and playtested and without fundamental flaws? What are they supposed to do?
If the situation unfolds as you fear, then I will join you in the mo, matter of fact I'll by the pitch and feathers.

?". bvcxsd4312
9uy I
IanBruntlett
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1012
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:18 pm
Location: Northumberland, England

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby IanBruntlett » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:31 pm

fusor wrote: And what about the people who aren't on the forums? There's what, 50 or so regulars here who may be aware that Mongoose has a policy of releasing PDFs that still need more work, but what about the hundreds of other people who aren't here and who aren't aware of that and who buy the "final" PDF expecting the design system to have been fully checked and playtested and without fundamental flaws? What are they supposed to do?
Well I buy the paper versions and, through the Bits and Mortar scheme, get the accompanying PDF for free from the DriveThruRPG website. Every so often I get a message from DriveThruRPG about updated files - last time I noticed anything was when I was being notified about 2nd Edition playtester files being made available.

Not sure if you are familiar with DriveThruRPG but when you have an account with them, your paid for / given free PDFs are in a library and you can download PDFs again which is useful if your hard drive dies (I perform backups regularly so that facility should hopefully never be needed by me).
-- My writings : https://sites.google.com/site/ianbruntlett
-- ACCU - Professionalism in programming - http://accu.org
-- Free Software Page : https://sites.google.com/site/ianbruntl ... e-software
-Daniel-
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:20 pm
Location: Burbank, CA

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby -Daniel- » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:57 pm

fusor wrote:
IanBruntlett wrote:Not sure if you are familiar with DriveThruRPG but when you have an account with them, your paid for / given free PDFs are in a library and you can download PDFs again which is useful if your hard drive dies (I perform backups regularly so that facility should hopefully never be needed by me).
Yes, which is why I said that the PDFs can be updated there. But Mongoose would actually have to do that in a timely manner, and their track record is poor on that front (they apparently don't even update the PDFs when a corrected print version is released, and given the time lag between PDF release and print release I'd expect Mongoose to update the PDFs much sooner than that too).
Just curious, other that the one 2300 PDF you have used as your example of them not updating PDFs, what are some others?
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3085
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby Reynard » Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:07 pm

"I've seen products produced by far smaller publishers - even one person - that have nowhere near as many errors as the stuff that Mongoose releases, because they have a playtesting system does its job and Mongoose doesn't."

You must be very lucky finding these perfect publishers. I'm on forums for a lot of RPGS and other games since the early Nineties and they all have these groups that do nothing but point out how horrible [fill in the game] is and is the worst and most error ridden product that never gets fixed. This includes some of the big names that have been around forever.

Seriously fusor, you know how a product should be designed and produced so it would be perfect. Why aren't you out there making this game, blowing Mongoose away and making money hand over fist?
rust2
Mongoose
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 1:35 pm
Location: Sonthofen, Germany

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby rust2 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:09 pm

-Daniel- wrote: Just curious, other that the one 2300 PDF you have used as your example of them not updating PDFs, what are some others?
The core books of the new Traveller do not seem to be the problem. The Core Rulebook PDF was published on January 21 and updated on June 27, the Central Supply Catalogue PDF was published on May 27 and updated on June 09.
"Mind like parachute, functions only when open"
captainjack23
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2269
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:22 pm

Re: High Guard - On The Way

Postby captainjack23 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:31 pm

Wow, just wow......

Ok, saw the pdf on drivethrough, but no sign of a hardback. Decided to check here ( been a long while) and...wtf ?

Ok, so, not having the time or spinal fortitude to work thru all the discussions, could someone clear up a few things ?

1. Is the pdf a pre release playtest document , or just an electronic early release to allow last minute sprucing up of the print version ? Because its really not clear if its a worm infested mass of errors and typos, or a final version released for public QA ?

2. When will the print be available ?

3. Ken whitman ? Are you freaking kidding me ? Ken is under actual investigation by real attourneys general and has tons of pages written by the gaming industry regarding his excessive clains and trivial delivery, as well as his use or misuse of funds. That compares to a pdf release that you dont like ? As an argument to get mongoose to pay attention to a complaint ?

This is why we cant have nice things, because we cant ask nicely, politely or even reasonably.

Ok the last wasn't a question. But, come on. Is it the influence of an election year ?
Captainjack23, KOD
Marquis d'Remulak, Sol 1833
My blog of obsessive rules writing & Design
http://docgrognard.blogspot.com/

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests