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Question- publisher #s vs. fans

Started by Denise, August 16, 2006, 09:11:43 PM

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I was just wondering, how many people are there here who do not have some sort of affiliation with a publisher? 
An ENnie vote has as much meaning as a dollar bill - that is, it's worth what you choose to value it at. -clash

The Annual Gen Con EN World RPG Awards ("The ENnies")

David Artman

I am not. Unless you count myself as a publisher. Then I am.
Designer - GLASS, Icehouse Games
Editor - Perfect, Passages

Andrew Cooper


The question is a little vague to me.  Are you asking how many people here haven't actually published their own game?  Is just knowing one of the publishers (ie Ron or Luke) an affiliation? I'm really not trying to be obtuse.  I just want to answer the right question.

Also, is there a reason for the question?  I'm really curious about that.

Eric Provost

Well, depending on how you look at it, the answer is either "almost none", "quite a few", or "almost everyone".

There's quite a few peeps here now who've published their own games, and there's no short number of people who are somehow affiliated with them.  If you're only including people who post here who have been on the payroll for a game company with it's own tax ID, then I'm guessing that there's not too many of those people.

Remembering that polls aren't a proper thread here, then all we can do is guess at the numbers.



Here's one guess: we could consider any of the fine folks with a forum here a "publisher", and include anyone else (who might not have a forum) a publisher if they're of a comparable size and output. (So I'm saying that I can compare the scope of my own work / output / efforts to those of, say, Bully Pulpit Press to decide if I'd be included as a "publisher" for the sake of this figure.)

IME, most of the publishers (using this definition) have between 0-2 affiliates on the board with them, at most. This would mean the majority of posters here are not affiliated with a publisher.


This thread is going no where fast, perhaps some direction is in order.

The Forge considers anyone who has ever put a game together in a format where it can be viewed and played by people other than your own immediate group to be a publisher.  Throw up a free game on your website, you're a publisher.  Participate in the Iron Game Chef, the Ronnies, 24 hour're a publisher.  Post a set of rules complete enough to be playable in a forum're a publisher.

Which by the way is entirely consistant with the U.S. copyright law's definition of publishing.

So to ask "who here is a publisher" won't actually reveal very much (as this thread has demonstrated).  Better would be "who here has charged and received money in exchange for a game they've designed".  But without some context behind it, I'm not sure the answer is all that useful or important.


The reason I was asking was that the ENnie Awards are contemplating asking other boards to consider submitting judges.  One of the criteria for judgehood is not having any professional affiliation with any publisher, whether it's being self-published, or having a formal relationship with a publisher for the past two years, nor any reasonable expectation of doing work within the following year.  So I was wondering how many people here could actually qualify to run for the position (let alone, how many would be interested). 

This isn't a done deal by far, I was hoping to hear from Ron before going any further, but thought an initial fact-finding mission couldn't go too far awry.
An ENnie vote has as much meaning as a dollar bill - that is, it's worth what you choose to value it at. -clash

The Annual Gen Con EN World RPG Awards ("The ENnies")


The "Can gaurantee not doing business for the next year" clause is a pickle. Look at John Harper, his game AGON took 2 months from inception to finish. Look at Push, it had been in the works for long, the contributors didn't know when it'd be published.

Considering the schedule of indie games, I think it'd be problematic to find such judges here.
Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010


Just to clarify, we don't discriminate about size, we just can't accept a judge evaluating products that are essentially their competition.

So it would appear that the majority (possibly all) of the participants on The Forge are publishers.  So rather than inviting The Forge to submit an individual for consideration as a judge, I guess my best bet would be
-to continue to solicit submissions of indie products
-encourage Forgites to vote for their choice of judges (we're opening the voting to all online gamers now, just like the products)
-encourage Forgites to vote for the nominated products
An ENnie vote has as much meaning as a dollar bill - that is, it's worth what you choose to value it at. -clash

The Annual Gen Con EN World RPG Awards ("The ENnies")


In terms of philosphical differences between enworld and the Forge...I think THIS

Quoteproducts that are essentially their competition.

speaks volumes.

There is no other game designer out there...on the Forge, on Enworld, independent, or WotC itself that is my competition...nor am I theirs.  The very concept of thinking of fellow game designers as competitors is, bluntly put, pointless.

"Competition" suggests that money spent on their books is money not being spent on mine.  One thing the Forge has demonstrated, in spades, is that this is simply not true.  Every book another designer sells is another potential future customer for me, and vice-versa.  At the Forge booth, we yet again showed that game design is a mutualistic and synergistic endeavor. 

Which I guess is a long winded way of saying that a rule that prevents publishers from judging other publishers work on the grounds of being "competitors" seems essentially unnecessary.

BTW:  Would you mind clearing the images from your sig file...its pretty distracting.


While you have faith, Valamir, in some peoples' abilities to see past their own nose, I have less, unfortunately.  A book may not technically be "competition", but let's rearrange time and assume Judge X was judging at the same time that Capes, Truth & Justice, and Mutants and Masterminds 2E came out, and Judge X had just released a supers game.  Could you honestly expect Judge X to judge each book on its own merit?

Also, we have to worry about the perception of fair play.  Perhaps Judge X would somehow manage to put aside personal biases towards his/her own product, but everyone else might not have that faith, and would assume they voted in favour of their own product, or at least knocked down the "competing" supers books' scores.  The ENnies have a well-earned reputation of integrity, and I wouldn't want to interfere with that.

Finally, the ENnies are a fan award.  We can't have industry people on the panel, it would defeat the purpose of the Awards.  We may get slammed by a vocal minority for being a popularity contest, but that's what a fan award is about.  (At least we have the fan judges jury the products first, so excellence no matter how deep the market penetration or large the fanbase can be recognized).

Anyhoo, over the next few weeks we'll be announcing the nomination and voting process for the judge selection.  I encourage those interested in the process to watch EN World and the ENnies web site for more details, or to email me to get on our list.
An ENnie vote has as much meaning as a dollar bill - that is, it's worth what you choose to value it at. -clash

The Annual Gen Con EN World RPG Awards ("The ENnies")