Saturday, November 26, 2011

Truth

Apropos of our recent discussions about the terms "hobbyist" and "professional," Zak has some excellent advice over at his blog. Do take the time to read what he has to say.

13 comments:

  1. This feels like a "Lincoln Shot!" newsflash to me and I don't get what all the excitement's about.

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  2. @Chainsaw

    I really don't either. It reminds me of all the people I know who have spent hours arguing over who is an "authentic" punk/grunge/goth/locavore/insert-your-subculture-here and who's a poseur.

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  3. I'll have what the last two fellas are having.

    This really feels like one of those Oprah "making the audience nod to see them nod" moments. Not everybody who is a gamer has dreams of publishing three-dollar wandering monster charts and having meltdowns on public forums when somebody has a critique of it.

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  4. This really feels like one of those Oprah "making the audience nod to see them nod" moments. Not everybody who is a gamer has dreams of publishing three-dollar wandering monster charts and having meltdowns on public forums when somebody has a critique of it.

    Fortunately, the option of being a wet blanket in the comments is always available.

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  5. oops, sorry JM, what I meant to say was "keep 'em coming, guys!"

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  6. What I took from it was Zak pointing out the fact that self-publishing RPG materials is not a financially stupid move. A solo creator can deal himself better cards than he'd get as a freelancer working for an existing shop. Everybody likes to talk about how there isn't any money in RPGs, and compared to technical writing that's entirely the case. But compared to the other ways you could spend those leisure hours? Not so much. If you really do have an engaging and interesting idea to share, there'll be a market for it.

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  7. What I took from it was Zak pointing out the fact that self-publishing RPG materials is not a financially stupid move. A solo creator can deal himself better cards than he'd get as a freelancer working for an existing shop. Everybody likes to talk about how there isn't any money in RPGs, and compared to technical writing that's entirely the case. But compared to the other ways you could spend those leisure hours? Not so much. If you really do have an engaging and interesting idea to share, there'll be a market for it.

    Quoted for Truth.

    Relatedly, per the recent hobby/pro discussion:

    James McButtercup Quentin Hogsfarthing Rock'n'Ruthless Stabfamily Raggi XII continues to put out idiosyncratic-but-useful D&D stuff that (1) would have a hard time finding purchase at a big gaming company but (2) does fine financially for him, and now for his growing stable of collaborators. He's able to stay closer to 'hobbyist' style than he would were he freelancing for XYZ Corp, but - impressively, inspiringly, in fits'n'starts - he's also building up a repertoire of skills and contacts which will serve him well in any future publishing venture.

    Among other things, Zak is making (suggesting?) the point that out on the OSR fringe, the hobby is the industry, or vice versa. Or the word 'industry' doesn't much matter out there (here). If you don't think you can work for/with a big company but you think your work has worth, it's easy now to get it into the hands of, say, blog-contacts and turn them into customers.

    So to @brunomac I'd say that Zak's post is relevant to you not because you should be publishing Yet Another Random Wilderness Encouter Table PDF - please for Christ's sake don't - but rather because if more wannabe writer/designers did what he's suggesting, you'd get more good RPG stuff, better designed and more usefully edited, than you otherwise woulda. And you would be able to take part in a more meritocratic, less corporate-abstract mini-market of idiosyncratic work. Which feels good.

    OR!!!! MORE BRIEFLY!!!!

    You can make better-than-pro money doing hobbyist work. Guys like Raggi will help. Why wait?

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  8. Who is really writing games and supplements for the money only? Every "professional" must be a "hobbyist." People write because they want to, not because they have to. The money is just a little validation that your ideas are worth something to other enthusiasts. The money certainly can't compensate you adequately for all of the time and effort that goes into creation.

    (It's likely, though, that I'm missing the point of the discussion)

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  9. hi james! this may or may not help te discussion, but anyway, i think its something to think:

    http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=35588&start=1590#p1154153

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  10. Out here on the perimeter there are no stars.

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