Monday, January 13, 2014

Reflections on 2013, and Announcements for 2014

It's now two weeks into 2014, and Arcana Rising has been on the market for just about two months. So how did BWP do in 2013, what's next in 2014, and what about all that 'no negativity' stuff? Let's talk about that.

For starters, let's talk about 2013. Thanks to the fans who bought the book, those who backed AR more or less sight unseen during the Kickstarter campaign, and a crapload of hard work, I'm pleased to say that Arcana Rising has proved to be a pretty decent success. Proceeds in total so far just about edge out Hulks and Horrors in fact, and while reviews are still few, they've all been great so far. Thanks to AR and the continuing sales of H&H, BWP is starting to resemble a respectable bit of extra income for me, and I believe if I keep working I can keep it going.

That's fantastic. I am eternally grateful to all of you for your support and your willingness to spend your hard earned cash on the idea that I can make something you will love. One fan actually wrote a blog post in which he vowed not to buy any new RPG books this year, except for anything with 'John Berry' on the cover.

You can't buy that. You can only work at it. That is not something a marketing budget will buy, that is not something a focus group will tell you how to make, that is something that comes because you put your heart into something and gave it your all. I am both proud and humbled that I've made the progress I have in just a year and a half's time.

That all said? Holy Erebus was it also stressful as all hell. And the thing is, did you catch what I just said up there? About AR just about edging out H&H? While I can't discount the impact that the original failed IGG campaign had on Hulks and Horrors' visibility, the fact of the matter is that game is still selling, and the simple fact of the matter is that it's awesome. And I wrote it in half the time I wrote AR, and to be honest, I think I had a lot more fun doing it. Realistically speaking, I simply can't afford to pull another AR, the time-per-dollar isn't there and as a one-man show it means neglecting my other releases while the latest huge project barrels forward.

With that in mind, it's time to step up my game and start supporting H&H. It's what I want, it's what you want, everybody wins, right?

Accordingly, I am announcing today a line of companion volumes to H&H. Each Companion will provide a range of optional rules, new classes, monsters, and other toys, all centered around a general theme. Since the day I put down the pen on the H&H corebook, I've continued to have dozens of new ideas and cool stuff I wanted to add to it, and now I can do all of them. Through the Companion format, these can also come in a steady wave, meaning smaller projects, more releases, and thus more fun in your hands on a schedule that won't drive me to drink and divorce.

The first Companion book is in the writing stages as we speak, and will bring some fun new material to play with, and I've an outline already developed for at least two more to follow. I'll have a fuller announcement for  Companion I very soon, once I can get a better handle on how big it's going to be and how long it's going to take, but the goal is to have Companion I-III out by the end of this year.

2014 is going to be the year of Hulks and Horrors, and I am delighted to be returning to what is still my favorite project so far.

Finally, some of you may remember that late last year I pledged to disavow online negativity until the end of 2013. I would like to say I was successful in that, but in truth I did slip up on IRC a time or two, for which I apologized to those present. A promise is a promise though, and so I must confess that in the end, the experiment was kind of a failure. What I learned is that real life is not as simple as just trying to 'turn off' the negativity, and that shutting down the valve when the tank is already at pressure is not the best idea. Mostly what I've felt since I realized my self-imposed ban was over was relief. I've learned that expressing negative emotion is as important as expressing positive emotion, it's just a question of how, when, and to whom. So perhaps the real lesson is just learning a bit of self-control and understanding context, and the difference between healthy release and just meanness. Hopefully I know that a little better now. Time will tell.

Thanks for reading, everyone, and thanks for making 2013 a very interesting year.


  1. WHOOT!
    More Hulks and Horror's goodness!

  2. Will 2014 see an illustrated version of Hulks & Horrors come about?

  3. Hulks and Horrors is just about my favorite, too.
    I really am enjoying AR, but I think I would rather play or run H&H by far. I am going to be putting a lot of spaceship maps together now, too. I will be very happy to see the companion series!

  4. This is really good news. I enjoy H&H very much and was sad to see it was not further supported in the last few month. I would also love for you to try and do another kickstarter for an extended edition with art. Good luck for 2014!