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Impending C6 empires in Federation Commander
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:31 pm    Post subject: Impending C6 empires in Federation Commander Reply with quote

Someone mentioned in the Early Years discussion about being much more interested in seeing the Carnivons and Paravians presented as they will be in C6, rather than in the Early Years. That is probably quite likely. In fact, I can't see how it won't be done at some point, unless sales of C6 die on the vine. Assuming any kind of even remotely reasonable sales, I fully expect the two empires to be brought into Federation Commander. But, I also expect it to be later, not immediately.

The reason is because ADB will likely want to wait a bit to see how C6 does and what is found out about it. Also, the product pipeline is pretty full at the moment, and they will need to work through it first. Maybe it could be considered next year. Maybe later. Right now no one knows. But I do expect to see something done at some point.
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Sllarr
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for opening this topic. I would simply love this see this idea moving ahead.

Talking about the timeframes, what is the expected released date for C6 ?

I do agree with your statement that the product pipeline overall seems full at the moment, but I am not sure it would apply to FC specific products. As far as I know there is no obvious candidate for an attack module for next year.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pipeline affects everything. Everything in ADB has to run through Steve. As such, whether items are Federation Commander or not, they still have to run through Steve.

Yes, I am very sure there will be a Federation Commander product next year. However, doing something like Dead Empires Attack* is hard and takes a lot of time as those ship cards must be created entirely from scratch, and there are new rules that must be created and tested. On the other hand, something like Flagships Attack or Reinforcements Attack 2 would be much, much easier, and "easier" may be necessary, if other items being done are taking too much time.

So, there are a lot of things happening, and we have no idea what is in store next year. Again, I am sure that Dead Empires Attack* will be done at some point. But when that point is, no one can current say.

[*] NOT the real name. Just having fun with it.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest, I don't think that the rules needed for the Carnivons or Paravians (or Borak, for that matter) would be all that much of a challenge, whatever we end up with once C6 enters publication; at least not in comparison to the way the Andromedans were (or how some of the more exotic empires in Omega, such as the Branthodons or Souldra, would be).

Not least since provisional rules for the (Early Years) weapons used by the Carnivons and Paravians are available in playtest form in FC already.


By and large, the four "Forgotten Empires" (to include the Peladine, who don't need any new rules at all) are still fairly "normal" as Star Fleet Universe empires go; so while each would no doubt raise specific issues that might need to be addressed, they might still count as relatively easier projects for conversion to FC (or to A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, for that matter).
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jeffery smith
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nerroth: i have already converted several peladine ships to ACTA:SF and made the suggestion that mongoose might want to submit mini design ideas for the Carnivon and the Paravians since i do not believe matt will pass on including them in ACTA.
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Carthaginian
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If support is the issue, perhaps a Kickstarter format for the launch?
I, for one, would be willing to throw my money out in advance to see something like this happen for FC. Even if the wait from pledge to product was in the neighborhood of a year, I could see myself going all-in for a Forgotten Empires set.
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Sllarr
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second the Kickstarter suggestion. ADB is always using the argument that sales in a given product are uncertain and the investment may not be justified. Well, Kickstarter solves that since you only execute the project if the minimum pre-sales and funding are achieved.
And it is a very addictive format. I get myself checking the projects I pledged foron a daily basis and a good portion of my gaming budget this year is going into Kickstarter.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing people don't grasp about Kickstarter is that it can raise money but cannot create calendar days.

The "one product a year" thing is a function of available time, not available money.

I for one have NO problem AT ALL believing that FC: Forgotten Empires would sell well enough to do without Kickstarter. It would take more work than some of the other choices, but it would be manageable. The problem is going to be picking which one to do next year. Borders of Madness, Forgotten Empires, Flagships Attack, Follow Up Attack (Reinforcements Attack II), or Somebody Attacks (War & Peace II), or X-Ships Attack. AND THIS IS NOT THE TOPIC TO DEBATE WHICH. We'll do a survey next year.

We can now do products with 40 ships (19 in the product and 3x7 in boosters) but that only applies to ships you only want one of. Thus, it's great for Flagships Attacked and lousy for Forgotten Empires, where you need 3xDW and 3xCW and CC+2xCA. We could at most do three empires, and two might be better.

But yes, Forgotten Empires is certainly a valid choice for next year. It could include the Paravians and Carnivons and --maybe-- the Borak or Peladine.
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Carthaginian
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*a nurse puts his 'business thinking cap' on*
Steve Cole wrote:
The thing people don't grasp about Kickstarter is that it can raise money but cannot create calendar days.


The reason I suggested it was to show the degree of support, not so much as a 'funding' issue but as an indicator of a product worth the development time.

Sure FC: Forgotten Empires will be a good seller right out of the box... but what of the things that are also in the works? Would they sell as well themselves? Star Fleet Marines is kind of the unicorn of the SFU, so it shouldn't be bumped for anything. SFB: C6 would be a stablemate and in more or less concurrent development. Some of the other products, however, might not have the same sales potential.
SFU fans are already among the most well-informed of gamers regarding what we may/may not see developed in a given year (and sometimes 2-5 years down the road). We have a company that listens to us like no other (*points at the survey comment*). Kickstarter could provide another way to gauge the market for a product prior to starting development. ADB is possibly 'the biggest little gaming company' out there; my question is basically 'could using a Kickstarter format help predict products that would sell well, and provide a new tool to focus development time'- functioning as a survey with some solid, committed dollar signs attached.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kickstarter is much more than a survey; it is a commitment to produce something. And before you commit to producing something, you really need to have basically already designed and costed that "something". For high-cost, low-Steve-time products, Kickstarter makes a lot of sense. (Things like Tribbles vs Klingons, or Jay Waschak's Merchants of the Federation, or card game, or something else which has expensive components but relatively simple rules.) It also means that if there is no general demand amongst gamers for a Tribbles game, or whatever, it won't be produced. That's important, because those games are made for the mass market.

Most SFB/FC/F&E products are really different to that. C6 for example, we know that's going to be the next SFB module, but there's still discussion on what the GW Carnivons and Paravians should look like, particularly in anti-drone and anti-fighter defenses. ADB's been selling to that market for 25+ years, so they really know what their customers want.
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Carthaginian
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
Kickstarter is much more than a survey; it is a commitment to produce something. And before you commit to producing something, you really need to have basically already designed and costed that "something". For high-cost, low-Steve-time products, Kickstarter makes a lot of sense. (Things like Tribbles vs Klingons, or Jay Waschak's Merchants of the Federation, or card game, or something else which has expensive components but relatively simple rules.) It also means that if there is no general demand amongst gamers for a Tribbles game, or whatever, it won't be produced. That's important, because those games are made for the mass market.

Most SFB/FC/F&E products are really different to that. C6 for example, we know that's going to be the next SFB module, but there's still discussion on what the GW Carnivons and Paravians should look like, particularly in anti-drone and anti-fighter defenses. ADB's been selling to that market for 25+ years, so they really know what their customers want.


For us (ADB supporters), Kickstarter would function a bit differently in principle:
We understand the 'rules' that ADB is working under and are willing to commit to a product that we want before development is complete (indeed, for some things, before they even start). We already know basically what the product will look like, and we all know that there is a good deal of development to go. And, obviously, any Kickstarter product comes with the assumption that there is going to be a wait.

Some Kickstarter projects are not 'designed already' when they begin funding. Several video games start there without anything but concept and teams looking for funding. If they don't get funded, then they don't start work and the money is returned. If they do get funded, they proceed with the development. Two Shadowrun-based projects were recently funded that way.

I would be willing to put money down to finance the creation of an SFB or FC module, and I know many others would. ADB makes these modules regularly, so though cost is variable it is not a totally unknown quantity like with some Kickstarter projects. ADB could provide a decent goal figure by using the cost figures from a similar project from last cycle and add in an estimate on increases. Thus, they have a leg up on people that are doing a 'first-time' development in that they basically know what it will cost.

And if the funding failed, there would be no 'commitment' on the part of the designer or the customer. No money ever actually changes hands, and no one is out anything- though you might have to budget $30 short one month, you will get that money 'back' if the project fails (meaning that it just won't come out of your bank account, no that it ever moved in the first place).
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kickstarter might or might not be a good way to predict or guage any given thing, but it's hard to use and actually very expensive to use (in terms of time).

In theory we could do a kickstarter for FC Early Years or FC Omega, but would that really produce any more information than a survey conducted here?

After all...

Kickstarter is expensive to use in terms of time. It consumes almost a fulltime employee in managing a campaign. I don't have any full time employees not doing anything. Kickstarter also takes a healthy slice of the money, something ill affordable on a marginal product like FC Omega. If I can only barely afford to do it as it is (and I don't think I can at all anyway) then giving up a big chunk of money destroys any profit to be made.

Kickstarter works for things like tribbles where theoretically anybody could buy and play it. FC Early Years is ONLY going to interest FC players and they are already HERE, so why go THERE where it consumes a lot of employee time and costs a ton of money?

The way Kickstarter works, we cannot really put FC Early Years on Kickstarter without havng arleady designed it. That takes just as much time as any other product, and I cannot invest the time in a product I haven't already decided to print, so Kickstarter wouldn't really tell me anything.

In the end, I could do my own "kickstarter" on my own shopping cart just as easily (which is to say, not really easily at all). The practical way is to create a topic where people promise by name to buy it when it ships. When those promises reach some number (I don't know what that number would be, maybe 200 or more) we could print it.

The BIG problem is counters, since the minimum print run is 1000 and there is no chance in @#$% of selling that many, and every sheet I throw away destroys the profit on a sold game. [Meaning you have to sell 500 just to break even, and why would I do something designed to break even?] So could it be done with no counters and tell you to go buy the SFB half-inch countersheet (which would work just as well but you'd never have one inch ones).

Now, what COULD be done for FCEY or FCOmega is to do one booster of 7 ships. If IT makes money, do another. No counters (ever, go buy the SFB ones).
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the moment, one of the discussions for Reinforcements Attack is about what to do with the spare space on the upcoming module's half-inch countersheet. (For my part, I'm hoping that the current crop of playtest Omega ships can find a home there; but we'll have to see how things pan out, of course.)

But in the longer term, if a certain project (such as Early Years, Omega, or the LMC) were to get some sort of future development (of a type which falls short of a full module for any of the above), perhaps the units included in such a file could then be considered as options to help fill any space that might end up being made available on future "main line" FC countersheets?

Of course, that would depend on how many half-inch counters each "main" module would need to carve out of the overall sheet to function; and also on how many new ships the side project would generate to try and compete for space on a future countersheet.

In the specific case of Omega, any counters that make it onto the Reinforcements Attack sheet this time around would mean that, if those ships were to be formally published at some point, they would already have their counters in print; so any spare space that may open up on a future countersheet could then be saved for any new ships that might one day be brought over to FC.

(Ditto for any of the sample Early Years Ship Cards, for that matter; each of those would only need to be covered once.)
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, now that SFB Module C6 has finally been committed to print, are there any regulars on the FC side of the equation that are planning on keeping an eye out for the new book, and/or what it might someday mean for this game system?
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have already said I plan on getting it and then converting the rules to Federation Commander. My primary responsibility is still Traveller Prime Directive right now, but this will get attention and work.

I have to get the module first, though, as I was completely out of the development process.
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