Jan 20, 2014

The State of Mini Six & AntiPaladin Games 2014

Hi, everyone.

It amazes me that this site still sees traffic, that folks still download the PDF of Mini Six, they still purchase the print version, that there's still interest.

Thank you.

Background

Over the last year, Mini Six hasn't seen much in the way of active development. When Phil and I pulled it together using the OpenD6 license that West End Games / Purgatory Games graciously gifted to the gaming world, it wasn't because we were trying to "put our thumbprint" on OpenD6, it was simply because at the time we initially released it, the OpenD6 Trademark License didn't exist.

We wanted to share OpenD6 with friends on the internet, and the lack of the trademark license hampered what we wanted to do with it. We made Mini Six so that we didn't have to wait any longer. It grew from there because we found that people liked it. Folks who hadn't ever seen the original D6 system got to see it, and that's what our real goal was.

That's one of the reasons Mini Six became Mini Six. We didn't feel like we needed the full gamut of bells and whistles that OpenD6 offered to work as an introduction to gamers new to the system.

It took on a life of its own, and I'm humbled by that, because I really hate to do anything related to publicity. I'm too shy for that. You won't find me out there too much around the web advertising and promoting it. All of the successes of Mini Six are due to the passion of its fans and boosters.

Again, thank you.

Digital

Mini Six has slowed down. Over 2013 it was downloaded about 15,000 times. I don't have any way of knowing how many of those downloads were by the same people. I assume that most of them were. My guess is that out of 15,000 downloads, 1,000 to 1,500 were first-time downloaders. This means Mini Six gets about 3 or 4 new readers per day, though I assume that out of those, most don't ever play it. I read more games than I play. I assume everyone does.

Print

In 2013, Mini Six sold through its original print run and the sequel print run, which added up to a little over 500 print sales in theory. Unfortunately, we used the US Post Office for shipping and we had the bad fortune of losing many more books in shipping than what was acceptable. Many books had to be reshipped. We never recovered even a single undelivered copy, so out of those 500-ish, only about 400 ended up in customers hands. (Don't worry, everyone who ordered one got one. Eventually.) It was frustrating for those who were waiting for their books, and it was frustrating for us. When we mailed out the last of the print copies (I still have a small number for sentimental reasons), it was a relief to take Mini Six "out of print."

We always sold Mini Six at cost. We got OpenD6 for free and it never felt like we were due to make a profit. It was fun to make a booklet and put our names on it. We weren't out to be a "real" publisher, although we've tried to be professional. This doesn't mean that I'll never try to turn any profit.

Transition to Lulu

Mini Six going out of print wasn't popular, but Phil and I hated dealing with shipping. We lacked the digital files we needed to make a Lulu print, but I knuckled down and got the files set up for Lulu. Mini Six was back in print, and should remain in print indefinitely. Lulu gets the fun of dealing with fulfilment.

Mini Six is selling there. It's not catching the world on fire, but it's a steady twenty or so books a month so far. Not bad for a booklet that you can download for free and that's been out for about four years.

Phil and Me

Right after that, Phil left AntiPaladin Games. It wasn't anything personal to do with the project or me, he just needed to move on. I wish him well. I've left the door open in case he decides to stop by and visit.
In 2013, the company I work for faced hard times. I was let go in the second round of layoffs, and now my full-time job is finding a full-time job, which means that AntiPaladin Games is still a back burner project for me.

I became the GM of our game group, but we're not currently playing Mini Six. We needed a break. Even a chef eats at other restaurants. That doesn't mean I'm done with Mini Six, just doing something else for a bit.

Others


  • Other folks have picked up the torch, such as the folks behind Mighty Six, which is so fantastic.
  • I've been in contact with a fellow who is writing a supplement for Mini Six that I'm excited about, because his rules are so much better than anything I could come up with. This project doesn't have a release date yet, and it wouldn't be right for me to tease details, since they're not mine to talk about.
  • Another fellow loved the mini setting "Farnsley's Phantasms" that he asked about licensing it, so that is a thing as well. He has no release dates to announce at this time. In the future, except for what's printed in Mini Six currently, Farnsley's will be his to do with as he pleases.

The Future for APG

I'm working on a new game, which is basically a Mini Six version of OpenD6 Legend. I don't expect that it will be a big deal to release it in some form, but lets put it this way: my full time job right now is getting a full time job.

My plan at the moment is to release it digital-only, at least at first. I don't know about getting it illustrated. Right now my budget is literally $0. I've considered Kickstarter, but I hate self-promotion. However shy you think I am, it's that much plus half again. Successful Kickstarters need promotion to thrive.

I much prefer making something, wrapping it up and putting a bow on it and saying "I made this," then walking away from it.

That's all that's "in the pipeline" at the moment.

Looking forward to the rest of 2014,

Ray Nolan

5 comments:

  1. Ray, thanks for the update. I use Mini-Six in my games and it is a blast. IMHO Mini-Six knocks some of the rough edges off D6. I purchased Mighty Six, beware evil doers. I've played alot of games for a long time but I come back to D6, in particular Mini-Six. It's the right mixture of crunchy and lite.
    I know the real world can get in the way. I hope when you have the time you can do more with Mini_Six.

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  2. Hey Ray,

    Thanks so much for the openness and honesty. Mini Six is the system I used to cut my teeth on GMing with last year, and that campaign is still going strong. I sing the praises of Mini Six every chance I get, and try really hard to get others interested.

    I can understand the pressure of getting the job situation squared away. I've been in that unenviable position before, and I'm really hoping that it works out for you. Please keep us updated, and please let us know if there's anything we can do to help as a community.

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  3. I want to join the others in thanking you so much for this contribution. I love Mini Six. It has been my go to system since I discovered it. I have shared links to this site with many other gamers over the years and I have also (freely) distributed a few hardcopies that I printed and bound myself (using standard plastic coversheets and comb binds; this is actually a friendlier format during play than the official printed version because I can easily leave it open to a particular page.)

    I am happy to learn that there are more products in the works and that interest continues.

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  4. An awesome development in the land of Mini Six!
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/161801557/breachworld-rpg
    I've been waiting for someone to just run with this great system, so I'm really excited!

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