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 Post subject: Guardians of Order Bites the Dust
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:58 am 
Dangerously Sane
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After countless months in silence, Guardians of Order has finally confirmed what many have speculated: They are going out of business.

http://www.guardiansorder.com/

Every time an established RPG company dies, I can't help but feel that a piece of the gaming industry's "soul" dies with it. Competition or not, I am really sad to see GoO go, and I don't think it really bodes well for me or any other anime RPG to see such an influential giant leave.

Here's to the little game that could, that largely inspired me (even if it was in an "I can do better!" fashion) to create OVA. Hopefully a good company will pick up the reins and Big Eyes, Small Mouth will have a fruitful future yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Guardians of Order Bites the Dust
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:23 pm 
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Clay wrote:
After countless months in silence, Guardians of Order has finally confirmed what many have speculated: They are going out of business.

http://www.guardiansorder.com/

Every time an established RPG company dies, I can't help but feel that a piece of the gaming industry's "soul" dies with it. Competition or not, I am really sad to see GoO go, and I don't think it really bodes well for me or any other anime RPG to see such an influential giant leave.

Here's to the little game that could, that largely inspired me (even if it was in an "I can do better!" fashion) to create OVA. Hopefully a good company will pick up the reins and Big Eyes, Small Mouth will have a fruitful future yet.


I, too, am sad to see GoO leave. I have been a faithful BESM gamer for many years, and even was a playtester for the upcoming Third Edition. It does pain me to see them leave, but reading Mark's statement, it seems to be the best thing to do. I commend him on making the hard choice, and sticking with it.

In any event, at least we know that BESM will continue--even if 3e is the last BESM book ever published. The gaming community mourns yet another death...R.I.P. GoO.

TBP


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:49 pm 
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Pretty much agreed on all counts. :cry:

I've played BESM since the 1st Edition was published, and have tried to help support GoO as best as I could... But sometimes this is the fate of gaming companies, small or large. In my *mumble-mumble* years of gaming, I've seen a number of companies come and go, and it is always sad to see one of my favorites go by the wayside.

On the other hand, my support goes with Clay, since he's in a good position to 'take up the torch', as it were, in the arena of anime RPGs.

Long live the king... so to speak.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:44 am 
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Gah, very very sad thing - I am glad his status is well and his future is looking bright, even though he is leaving the gaming industry...well..

Long live OVA and long live BESM! ^_^


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:52 am 
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Yeah, I understand too. I dident like the fact that GOO detracted from what made them popular the most in the industry with THRONES. I was angry with them and was hoping that they could rectify their previous errors with 3rd edition. I feel bad for those who also had high hopes.

That being said, I hope we can generate more buzz for OVA.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:10 pm 
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Yeah GoO has made some questional game-line decisions. I never understood the need for yet another super-hero game (Silver Age Sentinels) and books like Big Ears, Small Mouse and Cold Hands, Dark Heart just left me scratching my head.

In a little tidbit of news, Wolfson has enlightened me to the fact that several distributors seem to be [i]sold out[i/] of OVA. That certainly took me by surprise. Hopefully I'll have them restocked, soon.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:54 am 
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Clay wrote:
Yeah GoO has made some questional game-line decisions. I never understood the need for yet another super-hero game (Silver Age Sentinels) and books like Big Ears, Small Mouse and Cold Hands, Dark Heart just left me scratching my head.

In a little tidbit of news, Wolfson has enlightened me to the fact that several distributors seem to be [i]sold out[i/] of OVA. That certainly took me by surprise. Hopefully I'll have them restocked, soon.


The only thing I found really questionable about Big Ears is the fact that for a game where mice and shrews are normal sized people, they didn't treat humans as gigantic plot devices and cats and dogs as giant monsters, at least not enough. That should have been handwaved more, cause in a silly series (inspired by Disney say) you don't try to attack the cat headon, and in a gritty series they are the equivalent of tanks and the mice infantrymen.

As far as your distributors go, well done. Now go make more. I'm trying to convert my old BESM campaign group little by little. Most of them live 90 miles away so it's not going fast but I'm trying.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:37 am 
Worthy Tortoise

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BESM did have its problems as a system I must agree, IMO its because it was a very simple game which had more and more stuff tacked onto it as time went by. It lacked a solid vision from the get go (or the vision changed, I'm not sure which.) I'm still gonna buy 3e when it comes out because I'm pretty sure alot will have improved.
It was alot of fun if you house ruled out the various issues, and I'm sad to see yet another small publisher bite the dust. It seems like the major problem these small press companies have is on a business level. You can have the best, most innovative, product in the world but it just won't sell if you can't get the word out.
Here in Auckland, New Zealand there are 3 FLGS(Friendly Local Game Stores.) I haven't bought an RPG product from any of them for over 2 years because all they stock is D&D. I discussed this with a manager at one of these stores and he basically said that businesswise he could not afford to fill shelf space with a small press game that might sell when he can just put D&D there and it will definately sell. He has a family to feed so I can't really argue with his logic. On the other hand, I've spent about $10 there in 2 years and that was on dice. Why should I eat a 2 day old soggy Big Mac when I know there is fresh steak out there?
Now don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with D&D - its where the hobby started - and for many, including myself, it was our introduction to role playing. A monopoly, on the other hand, is never a good thing and that seems to be what WotC have, here in Auckland at least.
The challenge as I see it, moving forward, is to persuade more people to stop eating soggy burgers. Not only to stop eating but to voice their concerns with their FLGS as I have. If enough people come into your store and say "I'm not buying any more soggy burgers, get some steak on your shelf" maybe the FLGS will wake up and realise just how big a market share they are really missing out on. People like those I know who are reduced to paying exorbant freight costs to have steaks shipped over here in ones and twos.
Sorry about the long post but this is something that really irks me. I'm gonna close with a link to another great post on amazon about the matter. http://www.amazon.com/gp/discussionboard/discussion.html/ref=cm_cd_td_t/104-6815503-0779122?ie=UTF8&cdForum=&cdPage=1&cdItems=3&asin=1894525450&store=books&cdThread=Tx3D35XGNK7EQ2U

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:34 pm 
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Although the network of FLGS locations have treated OVA really well so far -- it's selling much better than I would have ever hoped -- I've always been suspicious that for indie gaming markets to thrive, they need to target a very different fanbase. Almost all of OVA's sales so far have been to RPG fans who dabble in anime. What I would like to see is OVA get in the hands of true-blue anime fans. People raised on Record of Lodoss War instead of D&D. I think it's an untapped market, and it was who OVA was really made for.

One of these days I might make a crunchy RPG system though...for all the dice-chuckers out there that have supported the gaming niche I love. ^_^


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:10 pm 
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Now, now... don't discount all of us hard-core gamers too quickly :)

After all, we're the compulsive junkies who will buy two or three copies for the gaming group...

Clay wrote:
People raised on Record of Lodoss War instead of D&D. I think it's an untapped market, and it was who OVA was really made for.


Oh, I don't know... I consider myself pretty heavy into anime - that's the biggest reason I dropped most other RPG systems in favor of BESM, and then OVA (I'm actually considering making OVA the 'official' RPG system of my Omake World stories.

The two problems I can see in targeting anime fans specifically are 1) many of the fans who aren't already into roleplaying have no real interest in doing so, and (more importantly) 2) the distributors that OVA is going to tend to target gaming stores.

Both of the stores that I've seen OVA in were gaming stores that have a small anime section... although one of them has a respectable manga section. However, the book itself was located nowhere near the anime stuff in either case. The only way you can possibly target anime fans in particular is to get OVA in front of them.

Still... Sales can't be all that bad, and as long as you avoid some of the major pitfalls, you can stick it out. I think GoO actually made some unsound business decisions (I'm not talking about publishing material that some fans may not like - I'm talking about financial decisions)... If you've got some business acumen, you'll do fine.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:28 pm 
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Wolfson wrote:
The two problems I can see in targeting anime fans specifically are 1) many of the fans who aren't already into roleplaying have no real interest in doing so, and (more importantly) 2) the distributors that OVA is going to tend to target gaming stores.

Both of the stores that I've seen OVA in were gaming stores that have a small anime section... although one of them has a respectable manga section. However, the book itself was located nowhere near the anime stuff in either case. The only way you can possibly target anime fans in particular is to get OVA in front of them.

Still... Sales can't be all that bad, and as long as you avoid some of the major pitfalls, you can stick it out. I think GoO actually made some unsound business decisions (I'm not talking about publishing material that some fans may not like - I'm talking about financial decisions)... If you've got some business acumen, you'll do fine.


You've nailed my point, actually. I cannot target the anime audience with the way OVA is being distributed right now. Though anime may have been closely tied to niche gaming groups in its early days, nowadays, the vast majority of anime and manga fans buy their stuff at chain stores like Barnes & Noble and Suncoast. I was really referencing breaking into one of these markets. (Perhaps going so far as to have OVA shelved with regular manga titles. After all...those learn kana books with manga pictures are put there...)

But anyway, I wasn't implying that OVA couldn't be enjoyed by gamers. I crafted the game based on what I'd want to play, after all. I was just saying it's structured as an entry level game, and so far, it's been picked up by veteran gamers. Though one of the artists did play with all her RPG newbie friends. *laughs* I think that turned out okay.

As for business acumen, I don't know. I just try to create a good product and make careful decisions. In the end, I'm not trying to make a living out of it...just put out a product people like. ^_^ It's worked so far.


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 Post subject: I like to make an entrance...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:42 pm 
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First off, new here... hello all.

I remember reading the article on GoO's webpage not long after it went up. That was a sad day... some of the most fun I've had RP'ing was with BESM d20. That said some of the biggest arguements I've gotten into in repsect to RPGs was over that same system. I agree wholeheartedly when people say GoO died over financial mishaps more than anything else. Still, it was sad to see them go.

I saw an add for BESM 3rd Edition in The Previews just yesterday. I hope it does well and personally believe every gaming shelf has room for two anime systems, OVA being the other.

As of for tapping that anime fan market, that will be a tough one. Most roleplayers who enjoy anime are just that. Getting the anime fan with an interest in roleplaying via a system will be tough to say the least.

Many anime fans tend to take issue with power level restrictions on their characters as few anime characters have any real limitations on their 'power level'. Anime is, more or less, the realm of 'overpowered' characters. Even Spike, a normal human with a gun and some martial arts training, was something dangerous in the anime (heck, in the movie his piloting skill was god-like, beating state of the art military fighters in a dogfight in, for all intensive purposes, a relic).

OVA is not big on heavy restriction I'll grant you, but when I read descriptions of people's personally-made characters that pertain to anime (most of the time action-adventure oriented anime that's big on combat) they all have a lot in common: Very Powerful. Usually more powerful than a character can be 'out of the gate' in most any system (especially d20). In OVA this is not such an issue with how many defects you can have, but then again these same characters usually aren't very defected.

The trick I suppose is to get these anime fans to learn that, unless stated by the GM, their characters do not start off in their prime. When you play a 'traditonal' game you start at 'level one', ie at the begining of the characters career as a real adventurer. If you were to play Spike it would be in his early Syndicate days when he was first getting his feet wet, not Spike in 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' with his piloting skills that would make Rickenbacker and the Red Baron drool.

Which I suppose brings me back to square one... getting anime fans to try roleplaying out withing the realm of a system. Anything d20 just didn't seem to work for this and BESM Tri-Stat, while good, was still lacking. Not being familiar with other anime-based systems I can't say more outside those, except OVA. I believe OVA is the single most accessible anime-based system for these players. It leans much more towards the traditional creative system of backstory-writing and power-fleshing most anime fans use for their characters. When I first saw the system I was impressed with just how straight-forward it is. I think it will appeal to anime fans with a little interest into roleplaying more than we know.

The trick, I suppose, is getting it into their hands. Anime conventions, to me, is one good way. If you could get it carried by vendors at conventions who could explain it at decent depth how it works to the hardcore otakus present these anime lovers would, probably more out of compulsion but also out of genuine interest, buy the core rulebook and squirl it off to their buddies.

From here, I speculate. These hardcore fans would try OVA out and fall in love with it rather quickly due to the freedom inherient in the system. Word would spread, as otakus' love to talk with their buddies about anything anime they think is cool. More hardcore fans would look into it as a result and the base would grow from there.

Anime conventions are ideal, but (as previously stated) getting it on the manga shelf alone would be a great stride as it would put it cover to face with the auidience you wish to reach. At $20 OVA would be tough to turn down, especially if someone flips through and sees all the pretty artwork (or reads it and sees the genius of the system). Probelm is, if you put OVA in a Barnes & Noble I can tell you where it will end up: In the same section as the D&D books and Fantasy novels. Bad place to be if the aim is to get the hardcore anime fan into the system as most don't go here (some do, but mostly the potential customers here are people who grew up on fantasy and/or D&D that also have an interest in anime... the group you are mostly reaching now).

Then there is me, who grew up on action movies from the age of 3 (from when I recall seeing Lethal Weapon for the first time). Later in life I branched into both D&D and gun-action anime, and from there anime at large. I digress...

I know any advice that might be gleaned from the mass of text above (my aologies, I'm long winded) would be tough to impliment, but I do think conventions are one of the biggest outlets you could utilize. I leave the how up to you and wish you luck. Hardcore anime fans with even token interest in roleplaying need to see OVA. I know as well as you do that they will love it.


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