When To Fold.

March 22, 2012

It’s never easy admitting it when you’re wrong.  That’s the basis of the ‘sunk costs fallacy’ where you keep throwing good money after bad, right?  Trying to pull out of the loss by investing more time and effort?  Whereas the smart gambler folds on most hands.

This is a roundabout way of saying that I’m cutting my losses on HORIZON.  As of right now, I’ve invested thought, time and effort.  All of those are currencies where I’m well supplied.  My hope was that my interest in HORIZON would spur similar interest, which would (eventually) turn into cash.  It worked with REIGN, right?

But if you’re reading this, you’re the exception, not the rule.  I’m sorry if this seemed like a tease: You wanted it to work, so did I, but it never really reached critical mass and became self-sustaining.  I put out the rules and got back no great surge of enthusiasm.  I reached out to an artist and we went back and forth, but he never really made this a priority either.  The breaking point, however, was Gameday 31 where I showed up willing to test the rules for the first time and had one guy ready to play.

It would be easy to blame this on the guys at Gameday, but 100% wrong.  I didn’t push that playtest, I didn’t pursue testers for it, I didn’t nag the organizers to make sure everyone knew I’d replaced a withdrawn morning game, I didn’t do a lot of things I could have to ensure that I’d be running the rules instead of sitting around. 

Moreover, the scenario I set up for that playtest?  Pretty half-assed, to be frank.  So what’s it say about my commitment to the project if I can’t be bothered to set this up?  Nothing good.

This is a bit dispiriting, to be sure, but in the long run, I have to chalk this up as a win.  Or at least a draw.  Did I get a brilliant, fun, profitable game out of it?  No.  Did I sink in months of effort and tons of my own cash to produce a game that flamed out in the marketplace and left hundreds of unsold copies mocking me from my damp basement?  Also no.

There it is.  Time to walk away.



8 Responses to “When To Fold.”

  1. Reading this, I felt like you were talking about me. We creative types often let our muse get the better of us, only to run out of steam after a while. Fair play to you for noticing this about Horizon before it went too far.

    I’m sure it’ll show up again in a way or another in the future. No work is ever wasted. At least it’s what I keep telling myself 😉

  2. kbrodzky Says:

    I’m sorry to hear it. Honestly, a lot of the setting info seemed great, and I’d still love to see more. The system itself never really clicked with me, unfortunately.

    Regardless, I can see the wisdom in not wanting to try to strain yourself.

    Maybe try to repackage the setting as a REIGN thing on Kickstarter?

  3. Eclecticon Says:

    Vale, Horizon! I’m also in the ‘cool setting, kinda meh about the rules’ camp, but I’d chip in some Kickstarter money for a REIGN release.

  4. Hroppa Says:

    Yep. As with all of your settings, this looked fantastically innovative. System didn’t grab me either, though (unusual and complex).

  5. I am going to assume that you find working on RPGs to be fun, so then you had fun, and it’s all good.

    I had fun reading about it, and I am totally using some of those composure skills and moods in something that I write. But maybe elves don’t get Love and Hate. Maybe, as the eldest of races, they get Pride and Shame, and if you want to learn elven magic, you need to get in their headspace, and learn about their emotions.

  6. justinwoo Says:

    Sorry to hear that, Greg. I was looking forward to reading more about this.

  7. This is a shame Horizon is being folded but I don’t think the material will be wasted. I can see Moods being ported through into REIGN and other projects.

  8. childrenoverboard Says:

    Was interesting to read along while it lasted! The world sounded weird and cool. Maybe it’ll be revamped for a future book? Or a ORE offshoot like Nain and Ardwin?

    Any idea of what you’ll be working on next? A new RPG? More ORE stuff?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: