(This has been a thing with me for years, so it isn't prompted by Pac Rim, though I'm sure it'll happen even more, and to more peeps, once that flick hits theaters.)
It's really tempting to see something like Fate get out there and open licensed and think that it should be super easy to throw a setting on top of it, a few rules hacks, and you're ready to publish the results.
You absolutely can do that. It'll work a fair amount of the time.
But really excellent work comes from slowing down rather than rushing to the release. Take your time. Be generous with your schedule allotments. Playtest extensively, too—things that seem like simple harmless changes to a system can sometimes radically alter the feel and flow and quality of play.
And also consider doing something small and free first. Publishing has a lot of moving parts and Kickstarter and other things at play in today's landscape can make it seem like it's a real simple thing to get into. The barriers to entry are certainly lower than they've ever been. But that also means there are fewer controls in place to keep yourself from tripping over the challenges.
Evil Hat got to where it is today (and, mind you, it still has a lot of room to grow, a lot yet to get done) by slowly, incrementally trying one or two new things with each step—not ten. Publishing is a time investment. The sort of thing you can research the hell out of and still not be ready for. So go easy on yourself. Take steps, not leaps. You'll get where you're going, and every one of those steps you take slowly and surely will give you the fuel and fire and hard-won experience necessary to arrive at your destination in good health.
Give it a listen. We think you'll enjoy it.
- Crafty GamesWriter / Editor / Game Designer, 2005 - present
- Alderac Entertainment GroupBrand Manager / Staff Writer, 1998 - 2005
Patrick Kapera is a published writer and game developer with extensive
experience in every stage of the professional creative process, from
concept to production to delivery. He's shipped over 20 titles in
brands of his own creation and twice that many as a staff and freelance
Patrick created the award-winning Spycraft brand and has worked on many high-profile properties, including Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, 7th Sea, Legend of the Five Rings (as the Lead Writer and Lead World Developer for Legend of the Burning Sands), Deadlands (as the Lead Writer for Doomtown), and When Darkness Comes.
In 2007, Patrick was nominated for the Diana Jones Award for Gaming Excellence. He's also been honored with multiple Origin Award and ENnie Award nods, as well as the Out of the Box and Inquest Fan Awards for Best Roleplaying Game.
Patrick has worked with some of the most innovative teams in the business, including Alderac Entertainment Group, Twilight Creations, Margaret Weis Productions, and his own masthead, Crafty Games.
Patrick's greatest strength is his diverse range of skills, which offers him a keen understanding of how best to serve employers in every position. Among his many specialties: world building, character development, dialog and content creation, game design, layout, project management, license wrangling, branding, marketing, troubleshooting, and most importantly, fun.