Bellow I have some recommendation to Osprey based upon my experience with their games, and what I would do to delivery better products to potential clients. This is not meant as disrespect to Osprey, they do a great job of delivery new and interesting games to gamers. This article is meant as recommendation based upon my observations and my need for the best :-)
1. Do betatest which does matter. Bettatesters have to be encouraged to find issues, discrepancies, not even in gameplay but also RAW versus actual gaming. They have to be encourage to discuss how the rules are written and even discuss possible changes in the rules. Please avoid authors own betatesting with his friends. Guys playing the game for three years of systém evolution are not betatesters but co-autors and thinks more about RAI than RAW. Betatester do not play RAI but RAW (so Frostgrave Movement Failure will not be repeated).
2. Proof reading. Again not only against english grammar and spelling but also rules discrepancy and omissions. Proof Reader has to recalculate any points buy, have to be able to found twofold or threefold explanation of rule. Have to be able to point out badly written rules. He has to be able to recognise if the rules are easily understandable even for non-native speaker. Also he has to be encouraged to open and discuss possible rule changes. He has to have eyes for details.
3. Clients don’t want to buy rabbits in the box. They want to know what exactly they will recieve. Therefore information embargo before release is weird. I am not saying you have to tell us, what exactly are the rules, but previews are good. See the Frostgrave release, where you create hype before actual release of the game, which succesfully blocks the fact that they are very badly written. But the game is more or less cool good.
4. Slow Down – I believe that yout potential buyers will prefer to get 4 perfect games per year, then 7 bad DIY houseruled sets. See how TSR ended back in late nineties. Do not be Games Workshop… Looking at the number of games and addendums released this year, the publishing rate is truly amazing. Success with Nicstarters and other sales channels is probably against me, but are you sure you want to do it this way? And how long could the buyer to keep with you?
5. Quality Product - Arcane Locations, srsly for 3GBP? And then resell it in Compendium? My bro said it was worst spent 100CZK ever. Same with me with Into the Brooding pits. In my POW buyers expects quality product and they do not want to be fooled by the publisher. Looking on Into the Breeding Pits it looks like author was ordered to write down text with certain amount of words. That’s the reason for very strange wording of some rules, I think, because he needed to prolong the text to fill the task requirements. So the writing is heavy, where streamlined is needed. So in about two pages about dungeon building the only important thing is that you can’t move through or climb over walls. So we are fooled to get thick rules, with texts cooked from the water, with zero to none amount of notice. What was really important could fill two – four pages of text…
Anyway thank you for what are you doing without you I will not have my most favourite game ever – Lion/Dragon Rampant.
Dalibor “Dalcor” Zeman