Richt Remarks on the 2011 Rollercoaster

2011 was one wild ride! In January, Eddy and I started up CCP Transmedia as he and I wanted to devote more time to all the other possible ways that CCP’s properties could get out to the fans beyond sitting in front of  the computer immersed in EVE (or waiting for news on WoD). Of course, a large part of our efforts were a renewed push for our paper RPG projects, and a large part of that were our combined efforts on Vampire the Twentieth Anniversary Edition. These were great projects to work on, particularly when it was clear that finally, at last, DriveThruRPG was ready for our PDF books to become actual books through the miracle of Now in Print- which is DTRPG’s term for Print on Demand. This was the culmination of plans I’d put into play eight years earlier in terms of making our books, both new and our huge back library, eternally accessible and which Eddy had been valiantly trying to make a reality since he joined WW, so we were pretty excited.

We spent the winter setting up books for the spring- Mage Noir was one near and dear to both our pulpy-noir hearts- and the spring and summer getting those out and moving into full steam ahead with V20. There’s no way to underline how amazing it was to work on V20 in the way we did. Early on, Justin was tapped as the developer (with Eddy as back-up and Russell Bailey and Matt McFarland as writers) and one of Justin’s key points was that he wanted the development process to be out there in the open where we could get immediate fan input, and where any changes would be seen immediately as well. The response to that Open Dev Process combined with a general tidal wave of support and love for VtM from the fans made V20 a true paradigm shifter on multiple levels, not the least of which was how engaged the oWoD fans still were after so many years without any new books. It is said that our Grinchy hearts grew three sizes that day. Of course, then Justin caused trouble, as is his wont, and left CCP and unfortunately V20 part-way through due to contractual obligations, but Eddy girded his loins and took up the huge task of bringing the book home. Considering that our team was one sixth the size we would have put on this kind of project in the old days at WW, doing the largest full-color book we’d ever done for one of our own settings, it was an exhausting effort. But we were continually energized by the responses we heard from all around. Even after the WW blogs and site crashed, we still had folks talking via Twitter and Facebook and regular old emails.

Summer was convention season where Eddy and I talked and talked and talked. It was great to actually be able to present a strong schedule that encompassed a revving of the motor for nWoD and Exalted, but that also included cWoD (as I just wanted “classic” instead of “old” as our differentiator). It was a leap of faith from CCP that cWoD projects would be viable- but we pushed hard to get them OK’d: the Onyx Path and Werewolf 20th Edition were added the night before we left for GenCon. And of course, from there on until September it was Grand Masquerade 24/7, culminating in another fantastic GM, but this time with the added wonder and thrill of V20 releasing there. Sitting there with the guys, the models, Tim Bradstreet- it was like we could just swap stories and hear great things from fans from all over the world all day.

Of course, for all that goodness, there must be rottenness and October delivered that. CCP needed to refocus on EVE, their flagship MMO, and the extremely difficult decision was made to cut positions throughout the company; unfortunately a significant amount were in the Atlanta office as most of the folks there were not directly working on EVE. Frankly, Eddy and I are still dealing with the fallout from so many of our closest friends and co-workers losing their jobs, but for the two to three weeks after the decision was implemented we were both stunned ourselves and scrambling to find the words to console our friends. It threw our schedule off track (although we’re catching up) and resulted in some major decisions on my part, at least.

I’ll talk about that next time, where we look at the incredibly promising projects we’re looking at doing in 2012, most of which are familiar- but there are some awesome additions, some of what lies in store for 2013 if I can get OKs from above to reveal things, and I answer the question : “What is the Onyx Path”.

Thanks to all of you who made 2011 so amazing-

–richt

  13 comments for “Richt Remarks on the 2011 Rollercoaster

  1. January 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    “Of course, for all that goodness, there must be rottenness and October delivered that.”

    Wait! So that was your fault?! ;P

    j/k

    • richt
      January 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      My bad. Totally.

      Oh no, wait- what’s the opposite of that? That’s right- not my call and hate that it happened.

      –rt

  2. Pedro
    January 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    “…some of what lies in store for 2013 if I can get OKs from above to reveal things, and I answer the question : “What is the Onyx Path”.”

    I hope that includes the long overdue reboot of Vampire Dark Ages and Demon (a guy can dream, right?)

    • richt
      January 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      Long overdue? :)

      So what would you want to see covered in a new Demon book- a whole new core book or specific supplements?

  3. ThomasM
    January 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    I can’t say for Demon (never got into it) but Mummy: the Resurrection definitely needed more supplements. Why? because it was awesome! I loved communicating with CA Suleiman on the old forums and I’m excited to know that he is developing the nWoD Mummy as well. It would please my little heart to no end if the two games were thematically (or even intrinsically!) linked.

  4. Pedro
    January 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    “Long overdue?

    So what would you want to see covered in a new Demon book- a whole new core book or specific supplements?”

    1) Long overdue as in “I really loved that line, tons of fans would like a new take on it, and good sales are garanteed, so you guys are sitting on gold and must do it” ;)
    A one shot book along the lines of Requiem for Rome would be enough for me, maybe some extra supplements if you guys/gals would feel like it. I think it has a lot of sales potential and you’d make a lot of people happy in the process. It’s a win-win situation. Quite honestly, I don’t think the argument “been there, done that, time to move on” holds much water.

    2) As for a new Demon, I’d like a whole new core book. I don’t think it needs permanent support, it could more along the lines of a limited line along the veins of what you did with Promethean – basically a core book and a few supplements to add extra depth and leave it at that.

  5. Pedro
    January 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Forgot to say this: the reason why I’m not interest in new supplements for the old Demon line is because, even though I liked much of what the line had to offer, I really disliked the connection to the WoD general metaplot. Plus, the idea that Demons broke free of hell in modern days didn’t really click with me. So a new core book, that takes the best concepts of the original but reboots the whole thing is what I’d like to see. Maybe even have two general factions this time, the fallen angels and the, well, the ones that didn’t fall and still work for the Big Boss. This would give it some of the vibe of games like In Nomine, which show that angels, fallen or not, can all be pretty monstrous and brutal. A good fitting for WoD. Call it Celestials: the Jyhad, or something. :)

  6. Neall
    January 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    “2) As for a new Demon, I’d like a whole new core book. I don’t think it needs permanent support, it could more along the lines of a limited line along the veins of what you did with Promethean – basically a core book and a few supplements to add extra depth and leave it at that.”

    Demon needs the mechanics brought out of hock and streamlined more than anything else.

    Actually, the comparison to Promethean is a pretty apt one, and Demon could stand to learn a lot more from the latter game than just the limited series structure.

    Demons organized themselves according to how they saw humanity and God, but then they formed these ridiculously precise factions out of them (my favorite was the Cryptics, I think? The ones who had this intricate system devised around two books with True Names? That they cooked up in the month or so since getting out of Hell?)

    The idea that demons would organize themselves into factions based on how they view humanity and God isn’t a bad idea; the idea that demons are dealing with the piecemeal hierarchy slowly restoring itself (and the subsequent jockeying within and redefinition of said hierarchy) is excellent. The idea that it all springs to life within like a month is kind of ludicrous. Don’t even get me started on Bejovis.

  7. January 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Nice overview of 2011.

    My favorite WW pick ups from 2011: The Danse Macabre-just an awesome sexy book; Mirrors Infinate Macabre-taking WOD into sci fi was a long time wish of mine; Glimpes of the Unknown-I think one of the most useful WOD books ever.

    Most looking forward in 2012: Changeling Victorian and the new Mummy.

    Wishes for WW in 2012 and beyond:
    1. Continue to release quality material for table top RPG’s, especially my favorite, Vampire the Requiem (that’s a obvious wish)

    2. For Drive Thru RPG to make new and old White Wolf books available for game stores to sell. I still believe in game stores as important to the hobby.

    3. For the WOD MMO to rock so much, that it creates “coat tails” for the WOD table top games to bring new people into the WOD table top RPG hobby (long term wish)

    4. With the Grand Masqueade as it’s focal point, it seems that White Wolf/CCP was making a big effort to generate excitement among and interface with the varied fan community, I hope that continues.

    5. The long overdue return of Racer Knights of Falconus (just being silly, but I really liked that little game)

    Best of luck to all at White Wolf in the next year.

    • richt
      January 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm

      Louis- thanks for the comments, here are some right back atcha:
      1- That’s the plan: Strange, Dead Love and the Blood Sorcery book this year and we’re working on more for 2013.
      2- Not sure how the link can be established between DriveThru and brick & mortar stores, but I know DTRPG is looking into several ways. I’m wondering if any stores bought V20 in bulk to sell, and why more didn’t try to get a bulk deal. Maybe you folks out there can ask your FLGS to reach out to us if they’d be interested in something like that for W20.
      3- Dunno if the MMO team will have something to rock on in 2012, but I sure hope so.
      4- We’re certainly still committed to communicating with and, most importantly, listening to our varied fan base. GM2012 is still up in the air, but Eddy and I are still talking daily to fans via our FB page, tweets, the WW forums and blogs like this one, and lots and lots of emails.
      5- So you were the guy! Thanks!

    • Mathieu
      February 8, 2012 at 6:27 am

      Wait, wait, wait.

      “Changeling Victorian” — is that a wish or an actual scheduled book?

      • February 8, 2012 at 10:33 am

        I just got the edits in my inbox this morning. It’s a real book.

  8. Josh D
    February 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    So glad you guys are still up and running, and the re-printed cWoD stuff has been fantastic. Got my first V20 game starting this weekend!

    Would love to see some more Dark Ages stuff. I heard rumors of a potential Wraith: Dark Ages book, and I would just about crap myself for something that awesome, or any other great Dark Ages stuff really.

    In the end, keep doing what you’re doing. nWoD never hooked me like cWoD did, and any possibility of more cWoD stuff is just fantastic.

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