After the War

Created by Jason Pitre

A tabletop science-fiction roleplaying game of memetic horror.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Recordings from Earth - Under Way
16 days ago – Sun, Feb 02, 2020 at 04:46:27 PM

Hey folks! 

I just wanted to touch base and let you know that we have had some progress on the final stretch goal for "recordings from earth" stretch goal. This will be a narrated introduction to the game which will teach you how to make characters and play.  I have written the script and sent it off to Alasdair, who has extensive audio narration experience. We will then use that to prepare a video presentation (for youtube) as well as sharing the MP3. You will be able to play this for your group during your first session so that we can teach you how to get stated. 


Missions on the Way

We are also currently developing a handful of standard adventure missions with pregenerated characters as a helpful tool for folks to get started. We have most of the first mission complete (Black Hole Sun) and have outlined two others. 


Palanquin on Kickstarter

Palanquin on Kickstarter

While I am at it, I also wanted to let you know that I have just  launched my kickstarter for Zinequest and I am super excited about it.  It's a game about a teenage princess who is fleeing a palace coup with  the aid of unlikely companions. It's inspired by games such as Dream  Apart / Dream Askew, Kagematsu, Archepelago, and Witch: Road to  Lindisfarne. If that strikes your fancy, I would invite you to take a  look at this small (and affordable) game.  Link is here! 


Thank you for your time, and happy gaming! 

Jason Pitre for Genesis of Legend Publishing

After the War - Budget Breakdown and Critical Analysis
about 2 months ago – Sun, Dec 29, 2019 at 11:26:23 PM

As the end of 2019 approaches and most backers have received their copies of After the War, it’s time for a retrospective of the project from a publishing perspective. This isn’t an easy update to prepare, and I appreciate that you are taking the time to read it.

During every kickstarter campaign, we make a habit of doing a full budget breakdown so that our backers can see where all of their hard-won pledges were spent. This campaign is no different, and it’s a treat to dig into the campaign results. All values are in Canadian dollars and rounded up, for consistency’s sake. As a reminder, the campaign had 457 backers who pledged $15,823 (Canadian Dollars) to help bring this project to life.


 Executive Summary (TLDR)

The project was an artistic success, but a combination of scope creep and a lower backer count than forecast led to a significant budget shortfall. I am working hard to recover by encouraging post-campaign sales to individuals and retail stores.


Kickstarter Overview

The campaign had a total of 467 backers and raised a total of $15,823. More than half of backers supported the campaign at one of the two digital tiers (Proud Belter or Industrious Martian). The remaining kind backers have acquired 195 physical copies of the book. Those fine freelance contributors who wrote, illustrated for, or edited the book were also owed complimentary copies of the book, which came to another 20 copies.

Our campaign included some efforts to specifically support retail backers, which was very helpful. We sent out 61 additional physical copies of the book to retailers, raising an approximately an additional $1200.

We also used Backerkit for some additional pledges after the campaign ended, which sold an additional 11 hardcopies and 13 digital copies, along with some extra PDF sales. This raised a total of $1,655.

When all of these are combined, we raised a total of $18,678 and sent out 287 copies of the book into the world. In addition to the base goal, we reached the following stretch goals.

  • Strange Gifts (a section in the book describing psionics, magic, cybernetics, songcraft and mutations)
  • AI Song Archives (a human-curated and artificially generated soundtrack)
  • The Covenant Yard Adventure by  Jacqueline Bryk (Chapter 11)
  • The Precursors Expansion (a  section in the book describing ancient alien archeology )
  • Recordings from Earth (recorded tutorial/instructions, in development_
  • Polvan Cartographer (a series of  illustrated, isometric settlement maps)
  • Offworld Setttlements (three additional settlements)

Total Project Income($17,130)

The income was respectable for the project overall, but it’s on the lower end of my forecasts. I had expected to raise closer to $20,000 on the project, but had not factored issues such as the disappearance of Google Plus (as a marketing platform) or other disruptive events.

  •  Net Kickstarter: $14,365 after kickstarter and payment processor fees.
  •  Net Backerkit: $1,285
  •  Net Retail: $1,200
  •  After the war PDF Sales: $280

Total External Development Costs ($12,250)

This is the largest project that we have produced to date, with over 25 unique contributors. We have also made it a priority to pay our freelancers above average rates, with a minimum per-word rate of 6 cents USD/word for the bulk of the writing and higher rates (20 cents USD/word) for the small Survivor Stories in Chapter 2.

The stretch goals also increased the total budget requirements in an incremental fashion by requiring additional art, editing, and commissioned writing. These factors led to some significant development costs for the project.

The total editing budget appears relatively low due to the fact that I bartered my layout services with John Adamus for his project “Noir World” in exchange for his editing for “After the War.” Any internal development costs in terms of labour by Jason are excluded from these numbers, which we discuss later.

  •  Total Writing Budget: $5,109
  •  Total Editing Budget: $719
  •  Total Illustration: $6,422
  •  Total Layout: $0 (Jason’s Sweat Equity)

Total Production & Fulfillment Costs ($15,364)

There was significant scope creep on the project, which was made evident when we went through the layout process. Our original estimates for print quotes were based on a 240-page book which ballooned to 356 pages at the end of the day. Because of that expansion, we changed to a domestic Canadian printer and bindery. This allowed me to rent a cargo van to pick up the books, then manually export 450 of them into the USA for domestic mailing costs. This involved learning the ins and outs of brokerage, but saved a significant amount on total fulfillment costs.

While we could have worked with a printer overseas, we were concerned about the potential tariff implications and the significant risk to our timelines. We were happy to have gotten competitive quotes from our Canadian book printer and bindery.

  •  Book Printing Costs: $7,472
  •  Book Binding Costs: $3,724
  •  Brokerage & Customs: $860
  •  Van Rental: $250
  •  Shipping Costs: $3,058
  •  Total Production and Fulfillment Costs: $15,364

Inventory Value ($14k-$39k)

Due to the economics associated with printing, I was obliged to print a minimum of 1000 copies of the book, which increased to 1075 after the “overages” that standard parts of the printing process.

Each unit has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $50 CAD, so we can put a dollar value associated with each unit. If we sell a copy directly, we receive the value of the MSRP. If we sell directly into retail, we receive 50% of MSRP, and via distribution we receive 36%.

  •  Originally Printed: 1075 Units
  •  Kickstarter Copies Sent: 287 Units
  •  Remaining Inventory: 788 Units
  •  Remaining Inventory Value: Between $14k and $39k depending on sales channels.

Net Kickstarter Income

As you have probably determined already, the project is currently in the red. While the campaign has resulted in a significant value worth of inventory, those books have yet to be sold. Genesis of Legend Publishing has invested revenues from our earlier publications along with some personal contributions by Jason.

  •  Income: $17,130
  •  External Development: -$12,250
  •  Production and Fulfillment: -$15,364
  •  Net Income: -$10,484
  •  Inventory Value: Between $14k and $39k

Critical Analysis

Now it’s time to unpack this. Every project that we release needs to reach three objectives in order to be deemed a success internally.

Did we deliver a quality product to backers?  This is an unqualified success in our views. The book is beautiful, substantive, and gives a wealth of useful resources for games. We are confident that you fine folks have gotten value for your money, and hope that the book enables compelling stories in the years to come.

Did we compensate the workers fairly? Despite the rather dismal financial picture, we still managed to pay our contributors equal to or exceeding the market rate. We were proud to pay the writers of the survivor’s story at a rate of 20 cents/word for their small pieces. The only failing on this criterion is that, due to budget shortfalls, I have been unable to take compensation for my writing, editing, game design, or layout work. I hope that some form of compensation will be possible after some of the inventory has been sold.

Did we behave in a sustainable fashion? No, we did not do so. Our significant cost overruns on this project required us to invest much of the company’s revenues towards patching the hole, and Jason also invested some of his personal funds into fulfilling these obligations.

The key concern on this factor is that this kind of unsustainable product development is only available to those with financial privilege. Jason’s day-job is stable and well compensated, which means that he was able to share his art in the form of this book. Creatives from more marginalized backgrounds or who suffer from poverty could not subsidize their own works to the same extent. Our projects should be at least self-funding and should ideally require no subsidization by the creator.

Ruins of the Future

Next Steps

We are incredibly proud of our work on After the War, and feel that the game was a critical success. We have sent copies off to our distributors (Indie Press Revolution and ACD Distribution), and look forward to seeing out book in many friendly local game stores.

We are restructuring our approach for future games to be more sustainable. We are obliged to have a much stronger control over the scope of our project. Our next Kickstarter project, Palanquin, will be a small game in zine-format in February with trivial production costs by comparison.


You can Help!

I would like to ask for your help in raising awareness of the game so we can sell come of those copies and break even on the project. If you folks are anything like me, you probably have a stack of games on your to-read pile. If you would be willing to take fifteen minutes to read Chapter 1 about the book and talk about your first impressions online, you could make an incredible impact.


Thank you for your time and attention . If you have any comments or questions, Please let me know in the comments, and I will be happy to share more information!

Jason Pitre, Genesis of Legend Publishing

After the War - December 2019 Update
2 months ago – Sun, Dec 15, 2019 at 01:39:47 AM

Status Update

It’s been a bit over a month and I wanted to send folks another backer update for After the War. At this point, almost everyone should have received their books with the exception of a handful of retail backers. If there are any issues, please get in touch with me at genesisoflegend@gmail.com and I will be happy to help resolve them.

In addition to the core goal, we have also completed the following stretch goals.

  • Strange Gifts (Included in the book)
  • AI Song Archives (Music available in update 8)
  • The Covenant Yard Adventure (Included in the book)
  • The Precursors Expansion (Included in the book)
  • Polvan Cartographer (Included in the book)
  • Offworld Setttlements (included in the book)

We now only have a single outstanding stretch goal; the Recordings from Earth. This will be a narrated introduction to the game as if we were teaching it to your group. We are slowly working on it and look forward to the release.

Adam Koebel’s First Look

I am also happy to report that the excellent twitch streamer & vlogger, Adam Koebel, has done a “first look” review of the game. He did a nice, long review and analysis of the game which I suspect many of you folks would enjoy. Here it is!

Available for Sale!

Now that backers have their copies, the game is available for sale. We have gone slightly over budget at this point and we would appreciate your help to boost the signal.

Our next update will include our budget breakdown in favour of financial transparency. Hopefully you will hear from me again in January!

Jason Pitre, Genesis of Legend Publishing

After the War – November Shipping Updates
3 months ago – Wed, Nov 06, 2019 at 01:48:50 AM

I have fresh updates from the world of publishing.

I am very proud to announce that the vast majority of the books have been sent out to backers. I manually imported 400 books into the United States on November 1st and put them into the mail system, which means that books have started appearing in people’s mailboxes in the USA.

For those of you who have indicated an interest in picking up your copies from Jim Likes Games, they will be available at Metatopia 2019 this weekend or subsequent shows.

There are a lot of shipments going out, and some mistakes are inevitable.  If you don’t receive your rewards by the following dates or if there are problems with what you received, please contact me so I can make things right.

  • USA & Canada: November 29th
  • Europe: December 14th
  • Other Destinations: February 22nd

Now I will be off to finish up my Metatopia preparations, and I will wish you all swift delivery of your books.

Regards,

Jason Pitre, Genesis of Legend Publishing

October Shipping Update
4 months ago – Sun, Oct 20, 2019 at 08:32:30 PM

Things have been busy here at Genesis of Legend Publishing. We have been working on shipping out the rewards to as many folks as possible.  To date, we have shipped out or hand-delivered 65 copies of the book to contributors and backers.  The first wave of packages were sent to international backers (whose shipments will take a while) and Canadian ones (because they were fast). We hope to get all of the international, retail, and higher tier shipments out soon in wave 2. 

The lion's share of kickstarter backers are in the United States, while the books are in Canada. In order to facilitate the shipment process, I am working with a brokerage company so that I can transport those across the border with all of the appropriate paperwork and ship domestically. It's a bit of a learning process but I hope to get the books in the US mail system within a couple weeks. 

As soon as you get your books, I would love if you would share some pictures online. Spread the love!

Jason Pitre, Genesis of Legend Publishing