Beware the Terror of… Dial M for Monster

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Cover by Jason Moser.

What terror will be unleashed? Who will survive the night? How will you save the museum?

Something haunts one of the city’s biggest museums in the dead of night. It leaves more bodies than clues and the staff will only be able to keep this story under wraps for so long before something truly gruesome happens. Whatever this creature is, it must be stopped and only the dedicated members of the museum’s inner circle can stop it.

Rather than actually make you wait to play for another two weeks, we’ve pulled the trigger on the PDF version of Dial M for Monster. Now available on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow (and soon releasing on the Open Gaming Store and Composed Dreams – coming soon!). Everything you need to play, including the full rules, allows you and friends to gather around for a Hallowe’en game of monster hunting in a 1950s black-and-white B-movie monster movie. A print-on-demand version should be only a couple of weeks away and will keep everyone posted on our Facebook page.

Measuring Success (or How Well ScreenPlay Sold)

(This is the second draft of this post written from scratch. Something about the chart above is really throwing off WordPress and anytime I attempt to select more than one word, it scrolls straight down to the bottom. Therefore, to keep it simple and avoid a third attempt, all links are provided at the bottom of this post.)

Another fiscal year has come and gone and this one is extra special. As detailed in my personal blog, Broken Ruler Games is now an actual business. Licence and everything. Which means apologies must be made for any ruse or hand waving magician-ry of the past four years. Yet what made the goal of starting BRG remains and fuels the engine of this next step.

It meant creating a clean and accurate slate as a business rather than part of freelancing. Only a month ahead of schedule, it was time to see how well ScreenPlay has fared and discover the aftermath of 2015’s Bundle of Holding.

Let’s See Some Numbers

Yes, let’s start with that. Below are the sales/downloads for everything in the BRG catalogue from October 2015 to August 2016.

Product Total Sold Gross Sales Earnings
Killshot: The Director’s Cut 36 $259.21 $140.08
  PDF 25
  Hardcover B&W 4
  Hardcover B&W + PDF 7
Killshot: An Assassin’s Journal 6 $10.17 $5.95
  PDF 6
  Softcover B&W 0
Killshot: Direction 2 $7.15 $4.18
  PDF 2
  Softcover B&W 0
Killshot Files #0 42 $9.78 $3.98
  PDF (Free) 42
Killshot Files #1 16 $19.94 $11.67
  PDF 16
Killshot Files #2 16 $57.22 $33.47
  PDF 16
ScreenPlay: The Rehearsal Edition 645 $0.00 $0.00
  PDF (Free) 645
Ironbound 444 $64.46 $37.72
  PWYW 231
  Softcover POD 5
  Blessed and the Damned 208
ScreenPlay: The Rehearsal Edition 92 $444.44 $260.01
  PDF 75
  Softcover POD 5
  Softcover POD + PDF 12
  Hardcover POD (playtesters exclusive) 11
TOTAL 1315 $872.37 $497.06

Starting with highlights, the numbers for both ScreenPlay: The Rehearsal Edition (not including additional downloads during ENnies voting, which were provided on Google Drive instead of RPGNow – the original provider) and Ironbound are impressive. Those are loads of opportunities for people to discover ScreenPlay with little to zero cost (and risk). Did it translate into the desired number of ScreenPlay core book sales? No. Based on the initial launch, core book sales have dropped nearly 70% in August compared to May 2016. Even the Christmas In July sale did not improve sales. There are still sales taking place with 11 PDFs in August and a couple POD sales.

There was also no carry-over from the ENnies nomination. A couple hundred more downloads, yes, but there doesn’t appear to be any impact on core rulebook sales.

The true test will be the October release of Dial M for Monster (slated for layout this weekend). At the very least, it will make for a geiger counter of a specific concept over a universal system. And whether or not people like to play old drive-in movies for Hallowe’en as emphatically as they did in playtesting.

Overall sales were down 50% from the previous year. Killshot sales dropped significantly, down by more than 90% from 2014-15 and the main cause is the Bundle of Holding. Oh, how could you, sweetest moment of BRG’s short life. The BoH was an amazing opportunity and it was also a swan song for this edition of the game. At this point, it seems to be cooling down to a slow trickle… but this is after three years in the spotlight. For my first original design, this is truly amazing and I’m happy to report over 1,000 copies of Killshot: The Director’s Cut are resting on bookshelves and tablets all over the world.

Perhaps this means it is time to take another crack at Killshot Reloaded in the near future…

Um, Great Time to Start a Business, Huh?

It does seem like going +1 forward on BRG after a year like this may not have been the smartest move but it’s all skewed on one major factor: the Bundle of Holding. For a small indie publisher such as BRG, gaining access was fundamental to last year’s success. Yet such a thing cannot be expected as a regular feature. When I look at the total earnings BRG has accumulated in four years, 2015-16 was on par. 25% of its total earnings were made in the last 11 months and that means we held our heads above the water as the cruise ship took off without us. Thumbs up!

There’s also the price points between Killshot and ScreenPlay, with the latter priced at half that of its violent older brother. While ScreenPlay’s numbers were not what I hoped, those for Ironbound are very promising and I am considering a possible Ironbound sequel once it reaches 300 downloads.

Here’s what this teaches me. For the past four years, Broken Ruler Games has been a development studio with help from Mystical Throne Entertainment and operated on soft launches and zero marketing. Promoting, yes, but promoting is when you connect with an existing audience (Twitter followers, email subscribers) and marketing is reaching a population outside of that. Plus it’s only been available on OneBookShelf sites – that’s going to change. A lot is. It has been a learning experience these past four years and there’s a very good indication this could grow into something more, something with a bit more muscle going into the bigger picture. I’ve been having fun with BRG and creating games for people to play; now it’s time to take it seriously.

Are you ready?

Un-Broken Links

To read my personal blog post on turning BRG into a legit business (that sounds kind of mafia, doesn’t it?), click here.

You can read more about ScreenPlay, Ironbound and Killshot by clicking on them words.

Discover all about the Bundle of Holding and pick up some sweet bundle on their website.


Todd Crapper is the Owner/Lead Designer/Jack of All Trades for Broken Ruler Games. Basically, anything you see written with that blue target and snapped ruler on it was written by him. Including this. He’s writing about himself in the third person. Weirdo.

Save 25% on ScreenPlay and Killshot This Week

Normally, there’d be a witty remarks to start off this post that may or may not play up on Santa’s workshop being taken over by rogue elves when the big man and his dear wife go away on holidays… but this sale is so big there’s no time to waste joking around.

The annual tradition that is Christmas In July is going on now at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow where pretty much everything they have is 25%, including the ENnie nominated ScreenPlay and Killshot roleplaying games. If you’ve had any of our products sitting in your wish list or if you’ve downloaded ScreenPlay: The Rehearsal Edition and have yet to take it to the next level, you only have 4 days left.

ChristmasInJulyNewAd-DTRPG

 

What are you still doing here? Didn’t you read there’s only four days left to save 25%? Start clicking, start saving!

Vote ScreenPlay: The Rehearsal Edition for ENnies 2016 Best Free Game

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Voting is now open for this year’s ENnie awards and that means you can vote for ScreenPlay: The Rehearsal Edition as 2016’s Best Free Game. Sure, there’s plenty of other great games in every other category and you could probably go ahead and vote in those categories too but everyone here at BRG is concerned with only one game in one category. #totalhonesty

If you haven’t done so yet, you can learn more about ScreenPlay: The Rehearsal Edition on the official page and download your free copy of the game too.

ScreenPlay’s Rehearsal Edition Honoured with a 2016 ENnie Nomination

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ScreenPlay_Rehearsal_cover_7x10_1p1The 2016 ENnie Award nominations are out and we are honoured to share space with some damn fine products. Earlier today, ScreenPlay: The Rehearsal Edition (a public playtest draft of the completed and now available ScreenPlay core rules) received a nomination for Best Free Game. And that means polls will be open from July 11th to the 21st.

To mark this occasion and allow everyone an opportunity to discover ScreenPlay: The Rehearsal Edition for the first time, you can download it for free (though the playtest remains closed seeing as… well, you know, it’s finished) and learn more about the playtesting process right here on brokenrulergames.net

Huge thanks to the judges for this nomination and we look forward to figuring out how we’re going to be at the ENnies this year.

Become One of the Blessed or the Damned with a New Free Supplement for Ironbound

Ironbound_BlessedDamned_700x1000_June2016Character creation can be intimidating when you’re starting out on a new game and sometimes you need to simply open up a book and use pre-generated friends and enemies to keep the story going. Not to fear, ScreenPlayers, as we’ve just released a free bonus supplement for Ironbound called The Blessed and the Damned.

A collection of 19 pre-generated characters, including five lead characters of the Penitents, the very Ironbound unit featured in our play-by-post playtest tale featured on the ScreenPlayers Guild community on Google+. Witches, warlocks, allies, soldiers, undead, and more can be found quick and ready for your own tale. Available now on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. 

It’s Not Real Until It’s In Print! ScreenPlay Softcover POD Only $9.99

Hey, ScreenPlayers. Warden here. I mean, Todd. Sheesh, still takes getting used to not using that name anymore. Anywho, I wanted to make this announcement extra personal because as someone who used to work as a press operator I’m very fond on physical books. Call them old-fashioned relics slowly going the way of the dodo, but there’s nothing like holding paper in hand and flipping through with the greatest of ease.

That’s why I’m very happy to announce ScreenPlay is now available in print through DriveThruRPG’s print on demand program. And the best part is the cost: only $9.99 US for 92 pages of full colour, full bleed, full ScreenPlay sweetness. This also covers a free PDF of the game if you’ve been sitting on the fence to keep you busy until that beautiful softcover addition to your gaming shelf arrives.

Click here to buy your copy from DriveThruRPG or here to get it from RPGNow. There’s more big news for the future of ScreenPlay on the way – stay tuned! Check out these preview photos in the meantime (and let’s give a big round of applause to my publisher, Aaron Huss, for the fantastic hand modelling).