Monday, June 25, 2012

Guy Fullerton on Publishing

If you have any interest in publishing your own game material, then you need to read this series of articles on how to do it right, by Guy Fullerton of Chaotic Henchmen Productions. Others have tackled this subject before, but few have done it this well. I wish that such a series had existed in 1981, when I started working at TSR as an editor. We figured it all out by trial and error, too, the same as Guy and countless other publishers between then and now.

With a few notable exceptions, the RPG business is an amateur playground. Thanks to the magical combination of the internet, desktop publishing, print on demand, and the lingua franca of PDFs, roleplayers are enjoying a bounty of unfettered publishing. If you have dreams of jumping into the pool, too, read Guy's advice first. It won't push you away with discouraging anecdotes; that's not the point at all. It's a straightforward primer on how to avoid the common, painful mistakes everyone makes during the transition from amateur to professional. Even if you have no desire to publish anything, you'll gain a better appreciation for the tremendous effort behind those third-party gaming products that folk devour so blithely.


  1. Thanks for the mention! I need to finish the next article...

  2. This is an excellent article on self-publishing RPG games. I learned most of this stuff through trial and error. Thanks so much Mr. Winter and Mr. Fullerton!

    I think all new game designers should check out the article. It has some great advice.

    I particularly like the part that says, "There aren't money bags waiting at the end of the self publishing rainbow so you might as well put out a superior product."

    Writing your own RPG game systems is very much a labor of love, but it's well worth it. I must be on my 14th revision of Challenger now. Getting outside opinions and reviews (and acting on them!) is very important! I know for a fact Challenger is ten times better than what it was thanks to people pointing out problem areas and my revising of the book almost from the ground up over and over again. I know it's still a mess, but I'm working on it. :)

    Sadly, most new game designers go into it expecting to be instantly rich and popular and they rarely make major revisions on a product after release. I'm heading into a third print edition, multiple e-book revisions, and so many rewrites on my hard drive that I can't count them.

    If you can find good people who will honestly tell you just how crappy your book is and how to fix it 'Hold Onto Them!'

    Thanks to some very fine people all around the world, Challenger is what it is today. You wouldn't even want to know what it looked like before they helped me out. Thanks so much guys. I very much appreciate it.

    Also, thanks to Mr. Winter for downloading my book. Every download increases my reputation as an author and game designer (I write comic fantasy novels) so it's highly appreciated. The big name publishing industry is a tough nut to crack. :)

    Thanks again for the great articles and blog posts!

    Best Regards,

    David L. Dostaler