Ok, you’re almost up-to-date and then we’ll go back to our regularly scheduled programming – talking about the upcoming Cosmothea Blended-Genre RPG.
I had mentioned some bad news already and there’s a bit more of it, but there’s been some good news mixed in there too and more to come!
Now, it wasn’t all a bed of roses with our new team, but the team, as large as it was, was working. I lost a couple over the next couple months, due to sickness and a couple others who’s jobs were starting to demand they work extra hours and they stopped all design work, even on their own projects. And not everyone who is talented is capable of working on a team, for some struggle to overcome their own egos (or are perfectly happy with them), and still others think they are too smart to work on a team when they can “do it themselves.” The fact is, we can all, “do it ourselves”, but oh what we can accomplish if we allow ourselves to team up with others who can share a vision and stand side by side!
I had formed a team of 11 designers and artists, and was paying each of them, not a lot mind you, but as much as I could afford and more than some of the small game companies today are paying, and my team (dropping to around 7 regulars, which was more manageable) had a heart for what they were doing, and we were getting things done – making progress.
The game was improving just as I knew it would. Then a couple more months passed and the economy crashed and money was being sucked out of my wallet for reasons that had nothing to do with me or Cosmothea. I shut the game down, rather than incur debt. One of the designers offered to keep going, working for potential royalties only, but something told me that we should stop and take a break, and even before I could tell him this, he contacted me and said he just got a new job and would be working too many hours to help.
I thought I was on the right track – I still think I was, but the timing was wrong. With all my money gone thanks to the economy, and as the months rolled by and then 2 years, I could have given up, and nearly did. it would have been a very reasonable decision. But sometimes out of the worst circumstances, great things can happen, and that was the case here.
About a year after closing our doors, I decided to revisit the game and see if I could salvage the situation on my own. I looked at the game as a stranger would, with no emotional attachment, ignoring 30+ years of wonderful memories (I was in just the right mood), and started to brainstorm. I was in the right state of mind. The game was all but dead despite prayer and all my hard efforts. I didn’t toss out the vision, but I looked harder at it, and took a very hard look at the game and setting.
It was challenging, both emotionally and professionally, but after about a year of just brainstorming, I realized it was actually a blessing that the game had been shut down. for even though I was pleased with its direction, I realized it had a lot more potential that had yet to be tapped, and hitting the wall helped me to realize what I needed to do. I had looked at what worked and what could work better, what didn’t work and why and sorted out how to replace it.
I also found ways of pulling even more excitement out of an already lush setting and how I could put more muscle into the mechanics and make it a smarter game that’s much more robust. I didn’t understand then why everything seemed to be plummeting toward its death after such a glorious start with a full team and budget, but now it all makes sense. I’ve learned a lot in that roller coaster ride and we are stronger than ever.
Of course it still needs a lot of work and I’m still building the new team as we work toward a Kickstarter campaign. And the break allowed me to spend literally hundreds of hours scouring the internet for information about the industry, those that were in it (both success stories and failures), what hundreds of people were saying on dozens of forums about the industry, about what they liked and disliked in RPG’s.
And thus began my 5th major overhaul of a game that’s been around nearly as long as D&D, but is a virtual unknown in the industry.
In 2011, after brainstorming on RPG.net with many of the gamers and designers there, I began working with a small team of game designers and we formed the RPG Design Alliance, a place for industry enthusiasts and professionals to work and network in a safe, friendly environment. The RPGDA is a very slowly growing alliance of creators who are willing to set aside ego and come together to make outstanding games and to make a difference in the industry.
My major financial crisis had not vanished over the past 2, difficult years, but neither had my vision for QT Games and for Cosmothea. And then to top it all off, I was laid off a few weeks ago! One might think that all hope was lost; that setting aside my dream now would be the prudent thing to do. The obvious thing to do. The human thing to do, but I refuse to give up.
It is not out of stupidity or foolish optimism that I remain standing today after all of my difficulties. There are those who have come from a harder background and have accomplished wonders. I’m still standing because I have faith in something that’s bigger than myself. Something that can stand even when I can’t. And I believe in both the vision, in the now solid foundation the Cosmothea 5.0 has; and I see how everything that’s happened has resulted in a better game, with more potential than ever before; and I believe in the people I work with; and know that I’ll have the team I need to see this thing through at the proper time. I’m looking forward to the days ahead. Life is good, and it’s time to get busy!
If you would like to be a part of something meaningful, contact me, and let’s get you plugged in where you will shine! If you would like to hear more about the Cosmothea Roleplaying game and campaign setting, about teaming up or about our future product line and goals, please comment below or contact me directly at: Info @ QTGames.com. You are also more than welcome to join the QT Games forum, and/or the RPGDA! You cannot fail as long as you don’t give up. (Told you I was a positive person!)
Join a team that’s committed to excellence and let’s make 2013 our best year ever, despite our circumstances. If you have the guts to stand when others would sit down or leave the room, you have the potential for greatness. Contact me. Cheers!