eclipsephase

Eclipse Phase is Origins Award RPG of the Year

Eclipse Phase was just voted the Best RPG of the Year at the Origins Awards. To say that I am pleased, after all the hard work that went into this game, after all the business kerfuffles over the last few months, and considering the competition —well, I am very pleased.

Eclipse Phase

Eclipse Phase is a complete game with a detailed science-fiction setting. It’s published under a Creative Commons license; because we have to build the future we want to live in, and sharing is an integral part of gaming culture. I’m thrilled to sanction and encourage that kind of sharing in a formal way. We sell the electronic version for $15 because we want to get it into your hands; after you’ve bought it, give a copy to your gaming group so they can fall in love with it, too. The print version is a gorgeous, 400-page full-color hardcover book, and it should be available in stores everywhere.

Eclipse Phase is a base for experiments, also. If you buy the Gamemaster Screen Hack Pack, not only do you get PDFs of the GM Screen and the Glory adventure, but you get the InDesign files we used to build the GM Screen, to let you hack your own custom GM screen. And when you’ve built your screen, you can share it with everyone. We’ll have more experiments soon.

But for now, we have our game back in sales channels, there are two print releases coming soon (the Gamemaster Pack and the glorious sexy space whale-filled Sunward), it’s thrilling to be working with Rob and Brian on future stuff, and we won an Origins Award for Best RPG. That all feels pretty damned good.

I’d Rather be Working than Spinning

I wrote this post over on Dumpshock in response to praise on how Posthuman Studios is handling the ceasing of our business dealings with Catalyst Game Labs, and I’m echoing it here:

Y’know what’s work? Spin.

Y’know what I’d rather do than spin something? Other work.

Some crappy stuff happened, so we’ll do what we can do to fix it and continue Eclipse Phase with as little interruption as possible. The important thing isn’t what lousy things happened (and at this point, who knows if anyone’s “scorecard” is accurate…) but that Eclipse Phase will have a bright future.

And now, to repost something from the BattleTech boards, to demonstrate in part why I feel the future is so bright:

One of the things that Posthuman Studios is going to do is be very upfront about sales figures, expenses, etc. So I’ll start with this: we wanted Catalyst to sell EP at $10-15 for the PDF. They argued against it, and basically said “You’ll need to sell twice as many copies in order to make the same amount of money.” We said “Okay. If we don’t sell twice as many copies of the PDF as (ASpecificCatalystCoreBook) did in PDF in 18 months, you can take the difference in dollars out of our royalties.”

Less than six weeks after the PDF was available (and this was after we seeded the PDF to bittorrent ourselves — anyone could have it for free, legally), we broke that mark. This meant that we had made the same amount of money, and we had the PDF in the hands of at least twice as many people!

A few months after that, Catalyst lowered their prices on all core books, and announced that Leviathans would be Creative Commons-licensed as well. And the first print run of Eclipse Phase sold out, also.

So, there will be a quick resleeve for Eclipse Phase, and on with the future!

(Edit: I should offer a hat tip to Fred Hicks at Evil Hat Productions, creators of the available-for-pre-order Dresden Files RPG, who are transparent to a very admirable degree and are a big part of the influence towards Posthuman’s transparency!)

Eclipse Phase and Seattle 2072 nominated for Origins Awards

I wrote about these two titles that I worked on last year in the post My Work in 2009, so check it out if you want to read a little about them—the news today is they’ve both been nominated for Origins Awards; Eclipse Phase (Rob Boyle, Brian Cross, John Snead, and more!) in the Best RPG category and Seattle 2072 (written by Steve Kenson with a bunch of authors contributing short fiction) in the Best Sourcebook category.

I’m really damned proud of these books and the teams that worked on them—thanks to all of the contributors!

By the way, Eclipse Phase is Creative Commons-licensed, so if you want to grab the PDF for free, not only will I not stop you, but I’ll outright encourage you to do so!

My Work in 2009

I’m not going to fib: 2009 was a rough year, work-wise. Catalyst experienced turnovers and hardships and growing pains, and we also did a lot of awesome things, but we also didn’t get all of the awesome things finished that we wanted to. That leaves us with plenty of things to do in 2010, of course!

One particular thing I found troubling about 2009 was developing the design and layout for Eclipse Phase and the 20th Anniversary Edition of Shadowrun at the same time: it was a lot of work, and I would have liked to have seen how one book [either one!] fared in the eyes of gamers before I turned my attention to another book. I used my gut a lot when designing both books; in the end, I think my gut was right more often than not.

My highlights of 2009 are easy:

Eclipse Phase

Not only am I very pleased with how Eclipse Phase ended up looking and working as a book and game artifact, but our gang at Posthuman Studios pushed Catalyst hard for things we wanted: Creative Commons licensing & inexpensive PDF pricing being the prime two. Those decisions have so far turned out to be wise, and Catalyst will be be publishing at least one more game—Leviathans—using a Creative Commons license. The development team’s work on Eclipse Phase—game, setting, book—fills me with pride.

Shadowrun, 4th Ed. 20th Anniversary Core Rulebook

What can I say? It was a thrill to work on this book, and aside from minor nitpicks it’s been enthusiastically received by new and returning Shadowrun fans alike. Highlights: the huge color-coded master index, the streamlining of character generation, and the revised skills chapter. Each time I pick up this book to use is better than any time picking up the previous Fourth Edition book.

Seattle 2072

Through weird twists of fate, I actually ended up being the developer on this project. My goal was simple: meld the best of Seattle Sourcebook’s “bite-sized” design with the best of New Seattle’s, throw in a major shakeup, and set up some future plots so people can keep ‘running in the Sixth World’s signature city. Steve Kenson rocked the main writing tasks and we pulled in a bunch of others to write short fiction pieces.