I’ve made some updates to the site. First and foremost, I updated the listings of Eclipse Phase PDFs that are available under our Creative Commons licensing:
- Eclipse Phase Core Rulebook (updated for 4th printing)
- Rimward: The Outer System
- Transhuman player’s guide
- The Devotees scenario
- The Stars Our Destination mini-sourcebook on a notorious scum swarm (also in landscape format for tablets)
- Ego Hunter scenario (also in landscape format for tablets)
- NPC File 1: Prime
- A collection of EP fiction in epub and mobi formats
I also did some updating to my Publication List and cut the Posthuman Studios page (it’s redundant with our website).
In other news, our Transhuman book has been nominated for an Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Supplement.
I have been criminally negligent in updating this blog. Since Posthuman Studios went independent, we’ve all been rather busy. There’s a lot to report on over the past year, however, so here’s one massive catch-up post in bulletpoint format:
- We released several Eclipse Phase supplements: Gatecrashing, a sourcebook on exoplanet exploration; Continuity, a PDF-exclusive adventure with audio components; and Ego Hunter, a PDF-exclusive adventure I wrote where everyone plays a fork of the same character. These can all be found on our Releases page.
- In 2010, Eclipse Phase won a Gold ENnie Award for Best Writing and Silver Awards for Best Cover and Product of the Year.
- The 2010 End-of-Year Report for Posthuman Studios provides a break down of how our first year went, offers some transparent numbers about sales and other biz, and explains some of our philosophy behind Creative Commons licensing.
- Our Sunward sourcebook for EP was nominated for an Origins Award this year for Best Sourcebook, but sadly did not win.
- Fellow Posthuman Adam Jury posted up his Ignite presentation on our publishing efforts and philosophy.
- We took Eclipse Phase in for a third reprint. This one has some new art (all Creative Commons-licensed now), is updated with all of the errata, and features a better paper stock and two bookmarks.
- Posthuman Studios recently went independent from our previous publishing partner, Sandstorm Productions.
- Eclipse Phase received 6 ENnie nominations this year. Gatecrashing is up for Best Writing, Best Supplement, Best Production Values, and Product of the Year; the Continuity adventure is up for Best Electronic Book; and the EP Gamemaster Pack is nominated for Best Aid/Accessory. Voting is already over, we hear the results at the Gen Con ENnie ceremony on Friday August 5th.
- Our next sourcebook, Panopticon, is shipping now from the printers — we’ll have it at Gen Con!
The polls for this year’s ENNies Awards are now open, you have until July 25th (this coming Sunday!) to cast your vote! Eclipse Phase is nominated in four categories, and we’d appreciate the love. Posthuman Studios is also up for the fan award for Best Publisher.
If you’re not familiar with Eclipse Phase yet, go download and check it out now. Some thoughts on our nominations:
Best Cover Art: Stephan Martiniere, who illustrated the Eclipse Phase cover for us, is a phenomenal and well-known sci-fi artist (you’ve probably seen some of his novel cover work). The piece he did for us shows a transhuman fleeing into space from a derelict space station (in orbit over a devastated Earth) while a mechanical tentacle grabs them and pulls them back. We were aiming for a sense of bleakness and loneliness here, and he nailed it spot on. I’ve actually seen a couple of reviewers comments exactly on that point, so I’m glad it was conveyed. Note that the cover wraps around front to back (some pics of the book only show the front cover half). You can see the full piece on the front page of our website.
Best Writing: The team that did the writing for Eclipse Phase is likely the best group of writers I’ve ever worked with on a book. They all know transhumanism well, have intriguing ideas, and are fantastic wordsmiths. While Brian and I came up with the original concepts, Jack Graham and John Snead ran with those ideas and really succeeded in capturing the setting. Lars Blumenstein knocked out the groundwork for the psi and mesh rules, helping us do something different and keeping it functional. The opening fiction piece, “Lack,” written by myself and Davidson Cole, did a solid job of introducing the setting and what players will do and go through in game. We also had help from other talented folks like Tobias Wolter, Randall Bills, and Bruce Baugh.
Best Production Values: Adam Jury rocked the graphic design of this book. I cannot emphasize that enough. He took some of my initial ideas, some of which were fleshed out and most of which were nebulous to the point that they were probably frustrating (we went through a lot of early concept prototypes) and invented a look for the book that just kicks ass. It looks amazing, it’s visually distinctive, and he threw lots of little elements in that really succeed in making it user-friendly. To go along with his masterpiece, the cabal of color artists that art directors Mike Vaillancourt and Brent Evans pulled together did an out-of-this-world job and delivered the visual sense for the setting that we hoped to achieve.
Game of the Year: We have a well-rounded game that’s innovative and pushes sci-fi gaming in a new direction. The setting is detailed yet accessible, the artwork is amazing, the game is easy to learn and play, and the book looks great. We also made some leaps forward with the Creative Commons licensing approach we took, and our success with it is already inspiring others. So, yeah, we think we deserve this award.
We have some heavyweight competition, so every vote will count. I’ve seen some people note that some of our main competitors are re-packaged versions of previously-released games, but I think each book deserves to be considered on its own merits. I’m sure a lot of work went into redesigning and updating those projects–possibly more than people realize. That said, I’m looking forward to seeing how these votes play out. There are a lot of deserving people and titles on the nominee roster. Good luck everyone!
Oh yeah — if you’re going to be at GenCon, Posthuman Studios is also up for an ENnies Dream Date auction. The winner gets to hang out with me, Adam, and Brian during the awards, gets a signed copy of our upcoming Sunward sourcebook, and gets their name or a character’s name used in an upcoming book! We promise to make your night interesting!
It’s been a busy summer so far. After divorcing ourselves from Catalyst, we have successfully gotten Posthuman Studios on its feet and partnered with Sandstorm Productions, who handle our sales & fulfillment. We managed to get the Eclipse Phase Core Rulebook back in stock and launched an amnesty program for people who had bought the PDF via the BattleShop. We had a modest but notable presence at the Origins Game Fair, selling shiny new copies of our EP Gamemaster Pack and running demo games, and while we were there we happened to pick up a nice little thing called the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Game! It’s nice to get the new company launched in style.
Right after we were back from Origins, we passed our first Eclipse Phase sourcebook, Sunward: The Inner System, off to press (check out our first art preview). It should debut at GenCon, where will we be hanging with our Sandstorm peeps at Booth #2009 and engaging in various sundry activities, from biz to games to mayhem. One thing we hope to do there is pick up one or more of the four ENnie Awards for which Eclipse Phase has been nominated (in the categories of Best Cover Art, Best Writing, Best Production Values, and Game of the Year). We have some stiff competition (Pathfinder is the behemoth in the room), and are even running against ourselves in some respect (we are up against the 20th Anniversary version of Shadowrun, Fourth Edition, a full-color update of a game on which I was lead developer, in two categories).
We’ve also taken the opportunity to experiment with some new digital releases. Two fiction pieces I authored, “Lack” (from the EP Core Rulebook) and “Melt” (from the upcoming Sunward book) are now available in ePub and MOBI (Amazon Kindle) formats, in addition to PDF. We’ve also released the sample characters from the EP Core Rulebook in iPad format. Adam notes some lessons we’ve learned from these experiments so far.
I’ve been neglecting this blog for too long, and now I have a pile of news and updates to catch up on.
- Catalyst Woes: In March some unfortunate news came to light at Catalyst Game Labs concerning, as they put it, the improper “co-mingling” of company funds. I’m not going to comment on the situation here, but you can read what CGL has to say in the press releases on their website and there are numerous threads full of rumor and speculation on various RPG forums. Due to what was going on, however, both Adam Jury and myself decided to part ways with CGL. We also immediately went about severing the license between Posthuman Studios and CGL for Eclipse Phase, so now that game is entirely back in our hands. Many of our friends and former colleagues have also distanced themselves from CGL, and WildFire also severed their license and reclaimed their Cthulhutech line. It remains to be seen how the CGL situation will play out, but I’m very sad that many of my friends have had their livelihoods disrupted by this turn of events.
- Posthuman Futures: On the positive side, Adam, Brian, and myself are making progress on taking Posthuman Studios up a few notches. We plan to continue publishing Eclipse Phase (and also some other games) in the future and are arranging our business so that Posthuman will handle all EP production itself. We are making an arrangement with a new publishing partner who will handle our printing, warehousing, and fulfillment. We’re doing our best to turn misfortune into opportunity, and we have some exciting plans in the works, so expect to hear much more from us soon.
- EP Gamemaster Pack: The EP Gamemaster Pack is now available in PDF format. You can see what it’s like here. There are two versions, the regular one and a Hack Pack that provides the construction files so that fans may take advantage of the Creative Commons license and make their own. The hardcopy EP Gamemaster Packs will be arriving at the warehouse soon. Posthuman Studios is currently negotiating to buy these away from CGL, along with the core book reprint. There will be a small delay as we re-sticker these, but we hope to have them out into stores as soon as possible.
- EP Award Nominations: Eclipse Phase has been nominated for the Best Roleplaying Game for this year’s Origins Awards. We’re in good company, so the competition is tight. We were also nominated for this year’s Grog d’Or, though Cubicle 7’s Dr. Who claimed that win today — congrats guys!
- EP FTW: Eclipse Phase has done amazingly well so far. Our first print run sold out in 4-5 months and there’s a significant demand for the second printing. Our PDF sales have been phenomenal, despite the fact that the game is freely available for download. We attribute a big part of this to going for the low price point of $15. As Adam noted, this was a decision we had to struggle with CGL over, and in the end we placed our royalties on the line to prove it would work. Our risk paid off. The original requirement with CGL was that we had to double the sales of an equivalent core game PDF that was priced at $30 within an 18 month period. We exceeded that goal approximately one month after the PDF was released! This success prompted CGL to not only lower the price point on all of their core rulebook PDFs, but also to license their next game line, Leviathins, under a Creative Commons license.
- PDF Updates and Amnesty Program: We recently issued an update to the EP Core Rulebook and EP Gamemaster Pack PDFs. We also set up an amnesty program for customers who had purchased our PDFs on CGL’s Battleshop online store, so that they can receive PDF updates from One Bookshelf (DriveThruRPG/RPGNow).
- Site Updates: I recently added some new material to my Work Samples page, and I updated the EP Core Rulebook PDF link to the most recent version. I’ve also set up an Eclipse Phase PDFs page for easy access to the latest PDF versions of EP products.
I’ve participated in a bunch of interviews (what is the plural grouping of interviews, anyway? a roundtable? an interrogation? a questionnaire?) about Eclipse Phase in the past few months. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Interview with Blue Alien
- Audio Interview with Kevin Zero/Grinding.Be
- Interview with Humanity Plus Magazine
- Audio Interview with the Hebrew Gaming Podcast
- Audio Interview with All Games Considered
- Video Interview with Fear the Boot
I’m sure there will be more in the future. I’ll archive the links here.