The Con Is On! BRG Games Available at Breakout & Cangames 2017

cx2cdmy2     cangames-17

With High Plains Samurai: The Rehearsal Edition only days away from cracking open your hard drive, Broken Ruler Games will be running HPS as well as Ironbound and Killshot at two of Canada’s biggest conventions of the year. There are some spaces remaining (but not many) for Breakout in Toronto and registration launches on Saturday for Cangames so if you’re planning to attend either and want to play any of these games with their creator (that’s me!), do the thing that needs doing to make it happen.

Breakout (Toronto, ON)

Friday, March 10th
High Plains Samurai (10:00pm to 1:00am)

Saturday, March 11th
High Plains Samurai (10:00am to 1:00pm) – only one space remains!
ScreenPlay Presents: Ironbound (3:00pm to 6:00pm)
Killshot (7:00pm to 10:00pm)

Cangames (Ottawa, ON)

Saturday, May 20th
High Plains Samurai (2:00pm to 6:00pm)

Sunday, May 21st
High Plains Samurai (2:00pm to 6:00pm)

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.

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. 

ScreenPlay On Sale Now!

ScreenPlay_cover_7x10_finalYour story begins… NOW!

Broken Ruler Games is proud to present the PDF release of the ScreenPlay core rulebook. This original storytelling RPG provides everything you need to begin telling your own stories with friends both old and new. Placing narrative control on the players (known as the Writers) working with the Director to create engaging stories combined with the action-packed options of a traditional roleplaying game, ScreenPlay allows everyone to pit their lead characters against the challenges of any genre you can imagine.

Available through DriveThruRPG and RPGNow as a PDF for only $5 US, you can also preview the first chapter from here and experience Ironbound, a dark fantasy preview of ScreenPlay, right here. You can also learn more about the game from our ScreenPlay page. 

Learn How To ScreenPlay From Lead Designer, Todd Crapper

A new addition completed this weekend, this 12 minute “how to play” video provides a breakdown of how it helps players create a shared narrative experience. Take a look and enjoy the ride.

Preview: The Oath of the Ironbound

Ironbound_cover_7x10_March2016_preview3Your chance to tell the legend of the Ironbound is just a week away as Phase 1 of the ScreenPlay launch is underway. That means it’s time to start offering a preview for this special preview of our new co-operative storytelling RPG.

Click here to download an 11-page PDF preview of Ironbound‘s second chapter, The Oath of the Ironbound. Containing full details of the five lead roles, secondary roles, guidelines of using spells and rituals, and two supporting characters, this free preview offers up a glimpse of the finished product. Not enough for you to start playing yet, of course. You’ll need to pick up Ironbound starting May 16th to do that. Sneaky, isn’t it?

You can learn more about this product by visiting our Ironbound page and you can learn more about ScreenPlay (releasing May 30th) here.

Get Ready To Play: Release Dates For ScreenPlay and Ironbound

This past weekend, layout wrapped up for both the ScreenPlay core rulebook and the preview treatment/adventure, Ironbound, making it time to make our announcement official. So official they’re going up in big, BIG fonts.

Ironbound_cover_7x10_March2016_preview3

Ironbound goes on sale as a Pay-What-You-Want PDF release from DriveThruRPG/RPGNow on Monday, May 16th.

ScreenPlay_cover_7x10_final

The ScreenPlay core rulebook PDF goes on sale for $5 USD from DriveThruRPG/RPGNow on Monday, May 31st.

We’re also working on getting Print On Demand version of the ScreenPlay core rules ready for a projected launch in June 2016 and the wheels are in motion for the continuation of this new sage for BRG. Throughout the coming month, Broken Ruler Games and Mystical Throne Entertainment will begin the marketing campaign for both products and expect to see your copy of either or both PDFs later this month if you were a part of our Rehearsal Edition playtest.

To learn more about ScreenPlay and what you can expect, click here. Learn more about Ironbound and their fight against slingers of magick spells and invokers of summoning rituals here.

Coming Attractions: ScreenPlay’s Print On Demand Cover Preview

What the…?!! Has it really been a month since the last hint of life from BRG? Rest assured, everything is moving full steam ahead on both ScreenPlay and Ironbound with layout now complete and off for proofing with the former and layout beginning on the latter. Stay tuned for page previews in the near future. Speaking of previews, how about a look at the working file for the ScreenPlay POD cover?

ScreenPlay_POD_coverpreview_April2016
A working file screenshot of the ScreenPlay core rulebook print-on-demand cover. Artwork by Jeff Brown, Storn Cook, and Shaman’s Stockart.

The wheels continue to spin and this co-op storytelling game is currently on track for release in May 2016. What the…?!! That’s next month. Well, gotta run. These games don’t just make themselves, ya know.

Update (Monday, April 25th): Layout’s never done until the printer gets the file and seeing as that hasn’t happened yet, here’s an updatier version of the POD cover.

Screenshot 2016-04-25 06.19.01
This one converts the three full-colour images on the back cover and places them inside a strip of film (to match the interior pages) plus the text has been shortened and space left at the top for a review quote from either one of the Rehearsal Edition playtesters or a new review (if one arrives in a timely fashion).