Designer Diary: DTRPG categories revisited

This is a kind of ‘put your money where your mouth is’ video. It felt like I was being a bit dismissive of the sheer amount of work I was suggesting. Particularly for a new creator, who may never have created an adventure, and there am I saying create a load of them and stock pile them.

I set out to do what I suggested. I have very little presence in the Swords & Wizardry category, and that is a sub-category of Old School Revival, and I would love to be a named publisher in that major category. So this little experiment not only gives me actual cash dollars (I am a big fan of dollars) but also helps build up my presence in two or more categories. I am also gaining contacts on my mailing list, and they represent potential future sales. If they like what I am doing, then they could be potential repeat customers.

I started this 17 days ago. That means I have released three titles so far. One 17 days ago, one 10 days ago and one 3 days ago. There will be one next Monday, and then I will create a bundle of them.

This pretty much marks the mid point in the experiment.

What I would normally expect from an adventure is a peak of sales on day 1 or 2, then a trailing off as it drops down the newest lists and drops off the DTRPG homepage.

What you get with repeat releases into the same category is continued exposure in these newest lists, and you get mentions in lists like “Customers who bought this title also purchased.”

After I released the third adventure I also set up my footer, and added it to each title. This was just 3 days ago, so it has had little effect yet.

The total numbers sold are small. I accept that, Eldritch Tales is not a popular game. But, what you are seeing is the original decaying curve of the first release, then a second spike with next release and then a third bigger spike with the third release. The goal is to turn a falling off of sales into a sawtooth pattern, with hopefully growing amplitude as sales volumes increase.

They should increase as the number of Eldritch Tales fans on my mailing list should be increasing week on week.

The next time you see these graphs, there should be five teeth to the saw, one for each adventure and one for the first bundle.

So far, these have taken about 7hrs of work and earned me a net of $39. That may not sound like a good return but those titles will continue to earn for years to come.

If I had picked a more popular system, the returns would probably have been higher.

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