Awards and New Releases

July 15, 2010

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.


Many Updates and Changes

May 10, 2010

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.

Interviews About Eclipse Phase

November 13, 2009

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:

I’m sure there will be more in the future. I’ll archive the links here.

EP - 03 - 055 - Planetary Consortium

Artwork credit: Posthuman Studios, piece by Daniel Stultz for Eclipse Phase RPG. Some rights reserved.


Eclipse Phase Release

November 13, 2009

The Eclipse Phase Core Rulebook has now been in stores for a month, and the PDF has been out for over two. The reception so far has been overwhelmingly positive. While I don’t have any exact sales figures to report yet, Catalyst tells me it’s doing very well. The PDF was ranked #1 on DriveThruRPG for a month, and remains in the top six after more than two — and this is despite it being available as a free download. Releasing it under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa license has had exactly the effect we hoped it would (I’ll go more into our reasoning and philosophy behind this in a later post). In fact, Catalyst is already looking at releasing future titles under the same license.

Eclipse Phase’s themes, politics, and transhuman outlook seem to have hit a chord in the gaming community. We have unexpectedly become a bit of a favorite on rpg.net forums and elsewhere. We had hoped that EP might be the forerunner in a new genre of transhuman RPGs, much like Shadowrun did for cyberpunk, and so far that prospect is looking positive.

The core rulebook will be followed up with additional releases in the near future, including an EP GM Screen with adventure (going to print soon); Sunward, a sourcebook on the inner system (in layout); and Gatecrashing, a sourcebook for the Pandora Gates and exoplanet exploration (in editing). We’re also looking into doing a number of PDF-only releases. (More info here.)

It’s exciting to have a game that we designed from start to finish be released to such positive acclaim. I’d like to give a major thanks to everyone who’s contributed to the Eclipse Phase project so far and also all of the fans who have embraced it so energetically. I’m really looking forward to moving this game forward!


Eclipse Phase Film Option!

July 8, 2009

Check this — our game isn’t even published yet and we scored an option! And I’m working on the script with my compadre Davidson! We’ve actually been working on the script for a few weeks already — it’s a very fun endeavor.

8 July 2009

More Nachos Entertainment has acquired the rights to the highly anticipated role-playing game Eclipse Phase .  Game veterans Rob Boyle and Davidson Cole are actively developing the feature film script.

Eclipse Phase is set in the future, but in a time that is closer than we want to believe.  Earth has been destroyed and humanity stands on the cusp of a new age where humankind has merged with technology.  This new transhumanity has colonized Mars and the solar system, though it remains divided between repressive hypercorp-backed regimes and techno-anarchist strongholds.  Biotechnology allows humans to repair or replace their bodies, while artificial intelligence has grown to staggering levels with cognitive science and nanotechnology, making uploading the human mind possible.  Transferring the mind digitally across great distances is now the preferred means of travel.

What horrors await us in the deep empty chill of space?  What choices will we make in order to survive?

Rob Boyle has been actively working as a game designer, editor, writer, developer, and art director in the tabletop role-playing game industry since 1997, contributing to over 60 published products. For 6 years he served as lead developer for the Shadowrun role-playing game, culminating in the co-design and creation of the award-winning Shadowrun, Fourth Edition. He is currently lead developer for the Eclipse Phase role-playing game, which he co-created with Brian Cross.

Davidson Cole is developing the boardgame/video game hybrid, Verminopolis.  Additionally, Cole has worked extensively on character and story contributions with video game developer Day 1 Studios and role-playing games such as Shadowrun and VOR: The Maelstrom.  Cole also wrote and directed Design, which was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and the documentary, The 95th: The Iron Men of Metz.  In addition to the Eclipse Phase script, he is currently in development on his second feature film, Angels.

More Nachos Entertainment (MNE) officially launched in June of 2009 with its acquisition of Eclipse Phase.  MNE was founded by Stephen Marinaccio, film maker and gamer who has worked on over 45 feature film and television projects.  MNE aims to bring great films to the screen, engaging video games to the masses and well-told stories to the Los Angeles stage.

Posthuman Studios and Catalyst Game Labs developed the Eclipse Phase role-playing game, due to be released in the autumn of 2009.

Posthuman Studios is a creator-owned game design studio project founded by Rob Boyle, Brian Cross, and Adam Jury in 2008. Several new titles are currently in development, including the Eclipse Phase role-playing game and the Paparazzi! card game.

Catalyst Game Labs is comprised of game-industry veterans publishing the BattleTech wargame and Shadowrun fantasy-cyberpunk role-playing game.  Catalyst is a division of InMediaRes Productions, creators of the BattleCorps BattleTech subscription site.

More Nachos Entertainment is based in Los Angeles, California.  For more information visit morenachos.com

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Stephen Marinaccio II, President & Founder
More Nachos Entertainment
310 293-8673    |    310 494 5949 Fax
twitter:  morenachos

Eclipse Phase Off to Press

July 7, 2009

ep_promoIt’s been a long journey, but Eclipse Phase, the project that has consumed much of my life over the past year, went to press a bit over a week ago. This is the game co-created by myself and Brian Cross, so it’s really sweet to finally send it off. I’m itching to get my hands on the print proofs. Looking over the almost-final PDF, I have to say it’s a very nice-looking book. Adam Jury did a fantastic job with the look and layout, and we had help from some kickass artists. The book is full color, hardcover, and weighs in at 400 pages. A major chunk of that is setting and explaining the effects of transhuman technologies of course. We had help from some great writers like John Snead, Jack Graham, and Lars Blumenstein–thanks guys! Scum Enforcer Fury

We don’t have an explicit street release date yet, but it’s still a couple of months off, as we’re printing it overseas. We will be previewing and demoing the game at GenCon of course, and the PDF and Quick Start Rules of the book will be released by then as well. We’ll be posting more artwork and preview material to the website too, so stay tuned.

(Artwork by Ben Newman, Creative Commons licensed)


Shadowrun 20th Anniversary Book

March 11, 2009

I actually had nothing to do with producing this version of the book, being pre-occupied with Eclipse Phase, but it’s very nice to see a project I invested so much time in come out in an updated full-color format: