Measuring Success: The First Quarter of 2018

What the…?!! We’re already one quarter of the way through 2018? Wow, that was fast. Which means it’s time for the quarterly update on BRG sales for the first 25% of the year.

Let’s start by offering up the actual sales numbers, with 99% of them coming from OneBookShelf sites (DriveThruRPG and RPGNow) and the rest from BreakoutCon this past month.

Product Total Sold Gross Sales Earnings
Killshot: The Director’s Cut 8 $20.90 $13.59
PDF 8    
Hardcover B&W 0    
Hardcover B&W + PDF 0    
Killshot: An Assassin’s Journal 2 $0.00 $0.00
PDF 2    
Softcover B&W 0    
Killshot: Direction 0 $0.00 $0.00
PDF 0    
Softcover B&W 0    
Killshot Files #0 11 $0.00 $0.00
PDF (Free) 11    
Killshot Files #1 4 $5.96 $3.87
PDF 4    
Killshot Files #2 3 $6.82 $4.43
PDF 3    
Ironbound 38 $1.40 $0.91
PWYW 17    
Blessed and the Damned 21    
ScreenPlay 4 $56.52 $47.31
PDF 3    
Softcover POD 3    
Softcover POD + PDF 0    
Dial M for Monster 1 $0.00 $0.00
PDF 1    
Softcover POD 0    
Fragments 402 $0.00 $0.00
Duel (PDF) 402    
High Plains Samurai: Legends 472 $90.00 $62.55
PDF 470    
Softcover B&W + PDF 3    
Softcover CMYK + PDF 1    
TOTAL 952 $181.60 $132.66
Killshot Directors Kit (Bundle) 2  

Launching T-Shirts Into The Crowd…

HPS_Legends_cover_web_850x1200_Jan2018There’s a vast difference between the total number of sales and the money we earned as a result of those downloads. It’s a difference I expected for one reason: freebies. There were two new releases launched this quarter, HPS Legends and Duel. Both of them are free PDFs (with Legends available in paid softcover copies through a variety of sites). While Duel was always intended to be a free PDF (it’s only 8 pages long), there was some internal debate on Legends‘ price. The deciding factor was building an audience. Because BRG used to be part of the Mystical Throne Entertainment family, those sales were part of MTE’s data and were not guaranteed to port over to ours. As a result, the decision was made to make Legends free to help build up an audience for BRG (as well as HPS) and because it was created as a kind of stretch goal from the Kickstarter. That’s why this section is called “Launching T-shirts…” because that’s exactly what this first quarter was all about. Just without the t-shirts. Or the canons that killed Ned Flanders’ wife.

The numbers for both new products are very encouraging as both earned over 400 downloads a piece, primarily in the month of March. There were even a couple of softcover sales for Legends online. As both products were the central focus of this first quarter, mission accomplished. The true measurement of their success will reveal itself by next quarter.

Screenshot 2018-03-20 07.25.11

Speaking of free stuff, this quarter also saw the release of the official High Plains Samurai website (highplainssamurai.com). Beyond your typical setting-based website with basic rules, setting overview, and purchase links, the site features a weekly blog post called the Atlas of the One Land. If you haven’t checked it out yet, have a peak and learn about new locations, characters, even gargantuan monsters that wander across the Wastes. Data on the first two weeks of operation have been right on cue. To quote the Gauntlet podcast, this site is giving me life right now.

Add on the few sales for our older products, especially Killshot, and these numbers were very much what I was expecting. Q2 will be light with the launch of our second Fragments mini-game, By The General’s Hand, before the latter half of 2018 brings the full glory of HPS to the masses. Expect something about it on the site soon or you can learn more by signing up for the Broken Newsletter to the right side of this page (or on the bottom if you’re on a mobile). So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a core rulebook to finish.

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It’s Time To Duel

234151Perhaps there’s no better way to relax after a long weekend than grabbing a sharp blade rusted by the blood of your enemies, slinging a cracked shield over your arm, and defeating a fellow warrior in hand-to-hand combat. Perhaps you will face a giant centaur or the gods will be pleased with your fight and award you with the wings of your fallen opponent. Either way, it’s time to Duel.

We’re pleased to announce the first of our ongoing series of mini-games, Duel, is now available for free at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. Played with Fate/Fudge dice, both players in a contest to the death will randomly build their warriors and the arena in which they fight before laying out a path of attacks, blocks, and complications to win the battle and fight for the favour of the gods. It’s easy enough to check out… because it’s FREE. Download it, play it, and let us know how it went. Did you have to call on a favour to earn your victory or can you dish out more harm than you receive to win the day? There’s only one way to find out.

What Are Fragments?

Every now and then, an idea for a mini-game comes along. It’s not large enough to design a full game and charge full price. There’s just enough to package it and send it out into the world. Fragments is a new line of free PDFs from Broken Ruler Games showcasing what we can do and we’re planning to release a new game in the series every quarter. We’re working on the next game, By The General’s Hand, a letter-writing game about two generals corresponding to their loved ones back home about their ongoing war. Each letter contains an update on the conflict between both players with dice rolls encoded in the handwritten details until a truce is declared or an army falls. Keep your eyes posted here for more updates on General as the game progress and sign up for our Broken Newsletter for sneak peaks.

Measuring Success: Q4 2017 + The Year That Was

Greetings once again, oh curious one. The end of another quarter means it’s time for another instalment of How Much Money Did We Make? Also known as Measuring Success. And yes, this one comes at the end of a quarter. Right on time and there’s a reason for that which I’ll dive into momentarily.

Below are the numbers of products moved and gross sales amount for both the last quarter of 2017 (October to December) along with the overall numbers for 2017. This is the first year I’ve collected a calendar year’s sales, not just a fiscal year (as mine runs from September to August). There’s a few new things I’m trying out with my accounting and this is one of them. These numbers include sales from DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, convention & direct sales (including to groups such as Ottawa Story Games and GenCon), Indie Press Revolution, and the Open Gaming Store.

Product Q4 Sales Q4 Gross 2017 Sales 2017 Gross
Killshot: The Director’s Cut 5 $18.30 34 $162.20
PDF 5   31  
Hardcover B&W 0   2  
Hardcover B&W + PDF 0   1  
Killshot: An Assassin’s Journal 0 $0.00 9 $0.00
PDF 0   9  
Softcover B&W 0   0  
Killshot: Direction 0 $0.00 0 $0.00
PDF 0   0  
Softcover B&W 0   0  
Killshot Files #0 8 $0.00 34 $4.95
PDF (Free) 8   34  
Killshot Files #1 0 $0.00 9 $12.00
PDF 0   9  
Killshot Files #2 0 $0.00 10 $27.97
PDF 0   10  
Ironbound 35 $1.50 290 $10.34
PWYW 15   120  
Blessed and the Damned 20   170  
ScreenPlay 720 $53.28 761 $243.73
PDF 718   755  
Softcover POD 0   2  
Softcover POD + PDF 2   4  
Dial M for Monster 3 $18.44 21 $86.94
PDF 2   18  
Softcover POD 1   3  
         
TOTAL 774 $91.52 1199 $548.13
         
Killshot Directors Kit (Bundle) 0   9

As stated in the last instalment of this series, 2017 was a lean year because so much effort was put into getting ready for this year (ahem, High Plains Samurai). There was also our donation of ScreenPlay‘s PDF into the Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Bundle that has skewed some of the numbers (I’m a sucker for placing products into charity bundles once they’ve been out in distribution for a year). This amount is very acceptable because it’s enough to keep paying the bills, which are quite reasonable this time of year. Plus, these numbers do not include the Kickstarter funds raised in May-June 2017.

The last quarter of 2017 was… disappointing. It is possible the Bundle took out a lot of thunder for other sales, but I’ve spoken to a couple other publishers who have noticed a similar result in their Q4 sales. Even the uber massive Christmas sales were meh. To me, it’s a sign that new releases are in order as the pressure in this pipe is starting to fizzle out. This means there isn’t much more to cover with regards to sales and 2017 products that hasn’t been discussed already, so let’s move on.

A Few Extra Hours In The Day

HPS_Legends_cover_Dec2017_preview1Yes, the reason why I was able to actually produce quarterly results this time. BRG keeps me very busy and when combined with having a regular daytime job and some freelance work in between, my time is tightly managed to maintain my production schedule. If one of those things were to suddenly fade away, more time becomes available. And that’s exactly what happened.

As of the end of 2017, I am currently working full-time from home on BRG and my freelance graphic design. Doing so has allowed me to take the time to get things right and get back on track with HPS production after the expansion of High Plains Samurai: Legends, playtesting, and more. Along with some additional mini-games in the works (see Duel for a sample of our first product in the upcoming Fragments line). While the numbers you see above certainly do not come close to providing a solid income, this new year is going to be a game changer. Combine that with my freelance work and there’s only one way to find out, right?

Sign up for the Broken Newsletter & get a free PDF of Dial M For Monster.We’re already moving forward with this expanded workflow, as shown by last year’s announcement of HPS Legends and Duel. Plus with more surprises along the way, we’ve set up a monthly newsletter to help our fans keep track of what’s going on. (Psst, you’ll receive a free PDF copy of Dial M For Monster if you do. Just sayin’.) These are exciting and terrifying times. We’ll see how it all pans out in three months’ time.

Upcoming Releases: HPS Legends and Duel

Happy New Year to everyone in the world! Our world, at least. While we may tell our stories on worlds not our own, this one is ours and my iCal doesn’t know how to accept extra-dimensional holidays. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about…

DUEL_cover_preview1

Broken Ruler Games will be releasing two new products in the first quarter of 2018 and both have been added to this site. It begins with a short 2-player combat game called Duel, the first in a quarterly series of mini-games operating under our Fragments product line (more to come on that another day). Using Fudge/Fate dice to build your Arena and warriors as well as conduct your duels to the death, this upcoming PDF release is scheduled for February 2018.

HPS_Legends_cover_Dec2017_preview1

The following month will see the first official product for the High Plains Samurai Roleplaying Game make the journey from the One Land to our realm. High Plains Samurai: Legends (or HPS Legends) provides a one-shot version of our storytelling RPG that’s perfect for convention play or introducing the game to your friends. This PDF/POD release will be available in March 2018 (and our Kickstarter backers will receive their PDFs later this month).

You can stay up-to-date on both of these products and everything else we have on the go by signing up for our Broken Newsletter. In fact, we’re willing to bribe you into subscribing by offering you a free PDF copy of Dial M For Monster when you do. Just click here to sign up now. Or not. No pressure. We just thought we had a connection, you and us. Not to worry, we’ll be fine. It’s just heartbreaking when this happens each and every time.