I'd like to (finally) do Mini Six Revised. Like lots of other folks working in the industry, I'm a one man publisher. I need help making this dream a reality. I'd love your feedback.
I've tried to learn to do layout myself, but I've come to accept that I just don't have layout chops. I'd like to bring in a professional to handle layout for both print and digital files because I want to deliver a high-quality project. I need help selecting a final format. There are some ideas below.
Although I love the art in the current version of Mini Six, I'd like to refresh that while I'm working on everything else.
The rules have already been underway for a long while though there are still improvements to make. The final product would be clearly recognizable to any fans of Mini Six, but special effort would be made to clear them up.
The biggest changes I intend to make include:1. Make the "static combat" option the default rule in the revised edition*2. Completely overhaul the magic system3. Design a vehicle customization system4. Include more tools and advice for the GM on campaign design and management5. Expand the Precinct '77 mini setting (8-10 pages total)6. Include many more mini settings (2-4 pages each)*Traditional D6 combat would still be presented as an option in a later chapter
About Kickstarter: I know that plenty of folks never use Kickstarter. That's cool! I don't expect that everyone who might eventually be interested in Mini Six Revised to support me on Kickstarter. What I'm really going to be looking for on this is to see if support for Mini Six is great enough to justify this plan.
Why Kickstarter? I know that lots of folks see Kickstarter as a store for products which haven't been made yet, but that's not why I'm considering it. I need help from the fans to make this happen the right way. Kickstarter is the right tool for the job in this case.
1. I haven't released anything significant since Mini Six, back in 2012. Back then I had a publishing partner. This time I'm on my own. On the other hand, lots of things have become easier since then. With the rise of self-publishing and print on demand, it's easier than ever to find the specialists (artists and layout folks) to complete a project.
2. There's still some writing to do. I have the revised rules 80% "complete," but I don't have a handle on fixing the magic system or customizing vehicles yet. Vehicles are just an idea at this point but I don't know what I'm going to do with magic yet.
3. I don't have the new mini settings written yet. The mini settings are what I'm the most excited about doing - they're actually the reason I put Mini Six together years ago.
4. I don't have experience managing customer expectations. When you run a Kickstarter campaign it is very important to remain in contact with backers. The model I aspire to is to run a program as well as Kevin Crawford of Sine Nomine Games (Stars Without Number, Silent Legions, Godbound.)
This means to have a working manuscript ready on the day the Kickstarter campaign launches, to have artists ready to work and rates already arranged, and a tight plan in place (including optional fix-it time) to manage expectations. Kevin does a monthly audit for his backers and never promises more than he can deliver.
So that's my plan.
A manuscript for backers available on day one of the campaign. It would be an incomplete and living work which serves as a proof of concept. Unlike Kevin's work, mine would be a raw text file without layout.
To only offer what I can definitely deliver, even though that means not enticing some backer who may have reasonable expectations. Achievable goals over risky dreams.
I need to create a budget plan for art and layout. Kickstarter takes a cut, and there are taxes on top of that. If I find enough interest in this plan, then I'll need to commission some art before the campaign even begins.
Video. I dread doing this, but the reality is that it's part of planning for a successful campaign.
No crazy stretch goals! NO PHYSICAL REWARD STRETCH GOALS or unplanned stretch goals. If I offer stretch goals, they will be for extra work on the main product: additional content or special formats.
No shipping. Long ago, we offered Mini Six as a direct mail product. That experience nearly killed Mini Six. Too many packages were lost in shipping, and I really hated being involved in that side of the business. What I'd prefer to do is to offer at-cost codes for ordering through DriveThruRPG. DriveThruRPG uses Lightning Source as their printer, and they have facilities in the US and Europe. This make it easier for customers in both the US and Europe. Customers outside of those areas will have to deal with traditional international shipping.
Digital only will be an option, of course.
About your feedback:
The information I gather isn't intended to democratically decide the fate of Mini Six Revised. I'm trying to gauge interest. If I gather five hundred "not interested" responses and three hundred "go for it" responses, the takeaway for me will be that there are three hundred folks interested in the project! That's a win in my book.
On art and layout:
I'm not looking for collaborators on the manuscript of Mini Six Revised, but I am interested in artists and a layout designer for this project. I don't have a budget set yet and won't be hiring anyone until I'm sure that I will proceed. For the bulk of the art and the layout person, this means that I'm likely to discuss costs immediately before starting a Kickstarter, but everything would be contingent on reaching the monetary goal. If you want to submit a gallery or sample for consideration that's great! Even better if you have some guidelines on your costs.
To only offer what I can definitely deliver and what is directly relevant to the project, even though that means not enticing some backer who may have reasonable expectations. Achievable goals over risky dreams. This means no special logo dice, no limited edition leatherette covers, no additional books, no tee shirts, no vinyl soundtracks, no documentary about the making of the book.
Monthly audit updates. Sharing the latest version of the manuscript. (Some sections might be explicitly reserved for the final version.) How much art is delivered? How is layout going? When should the final product be expected?
So this means that I want the reward tiers to look like something along the following lines:
Digital Reward Tier: DRM-free PDF from DriveThruRPG, and thanks in the final book.
Digital + Print Reward Tier: : As above + "At cost print code" through DriveThruRPG. You would get a digital coupon for one "at cost" printing of the book through DriveThruRPG when it is ready. Shipping is around an additional $5 in the US and Europe, and more elsewhere.
Tentative Stretch Goals: (Included at all reward levels, but the order is subject to change.)
Additional Mini Settings. (Number to be determined.) I would make pitches for each of these before the campaign started, so the backers could have an idea of what they're getting before committing.
.mobi and .epub no-art versions of Mini Six Revised
Mini Six Revised SRD online.
If you have additional comments, I can be found on reddit.com/r/rpg as mrzoink, and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org