Saturday, June 25, 2022

Target Audience - when making something that is not going to be popular.

Target audience for my book:

  1. people who want to make a solar system, not just a world. Chapter 12 features mostly a Key world  
  2. they dont want to read a number of books without having to go through the analysis "Which book should I follow"
    1. GURPS Space
    2. Traveller ISW world generation
    3. Wikipedia
    4. Traveller World Generations 
    5. (I don't know the tables behind this and if I want to disagree, you can edit the Spreadsheets tables so you can change the outcomes)
  3. They want to make a solar system with a few Clicks. Only has one click - create a solar system all others has to co through a 30-60 step process - It may be "FAST" but Total Cost of Ownership - includes LEARNING TIME and improvement time. 
    1. the people who naturally are smart and figure things out are OUTLIERS, they're not most gamers. Writing gaming material for OUTLIERS is not the goal. I like writing game material for PEOPLE LIKE ME: people who are just average but LOVE learning and want education and science to be accessible (Like the Vlog brothers hank and john green, and many other science communicators that have become very critical in our society to fight misinformation and anti-science views). 
    2. Making INACCESSIBLE material is part of a LARGER problem - especially where I come from where there is active historical revisionism going on.  
  4. They want to KNOW the limits of the game mechanics vs the real science so they can know what to ignore, workaround, and change.  
    1. I walked through it when I made a Space Ship Generator Spreadsheet back in 2013 when youtube was not yet catching on, now I will go through the documents and allow people to make make their own decisions or work with the compromises I made. There is more of an audience that don't mind someone explaining a Spreadsheet to them and how the code works NOW than almost 10 years ago.
  5.  If you want to Commission the Artists and Students that made it for Additional material - specific for your game - they can use the work and the audience goes like "I can have a more detailed world generator". 
  6. My writing - where I took creative liberties tries to Answer the Questions: 
    1. I WANT TO USE DELTA V budgets, the Rocket Formula (in a spreadsheet), etc... I can only use this in a Solar System with ORBITS, gravity, and FEATURES (like disks and zone). I want the PCs to decide where to go in the solar system based on the features and their resource budgets. 
    2. I want a more sophisticated INHABITANT generation tool that factors some of the same tools my favorite writers already use: power structure, power source, cultural aspects and lenses, conflict, etc... From someone who Travelled and Studied other cultures in the real world - someone who is from a 3rd World country but grew up with an Western Education and media consumption. Someone who works with different nationalities regularly. So the Cultures feel different and some of the Gray Areas are pretty much can be attributed to the forces of Market, Environment, Culture, and Politics. I can't travel so much (Budget and Health wise, but I want to feel like I visited the countries I want to visit - and no not Comfy Developed Countries where many Rights and Privilages are a given - but working with people where these are scarce). 
    3. Figuring out How to make a Hex Map for people who need some 2d Refences for travel. 
    4. (later on) showing how to use the Delta-V budget map and a simple Spreadsheet subsheet in the provided Spreadsheet. (A Kingdom for Want of a Nail, - the ability of reality and the ref to RAISE the stakes of the game with anything - and the players working with the uncertainty that anything can raise the stakes of the game). 
    5. I WANT pictures of my Planets but I'm not a 3d graphics person. I want many of them cheaply, as well as the option to easily commission them. I want someone to make a 3d Model of my solar system so that I can WORLD BUILD to my hearts content. Later on Take Pictures of my starship making orbit etc... 
My audience is probably

1) my age or older 40s at the very youngest. The audience is much younger, most of them like something more artistically sophisticated - I dont have that budget and I am Definitely TOO OLD with obsolete tastes - even if I am trained in aesthetics. I'm weak with colors and Typography - the new works are more mastery of kerning, use of space and Color theory - the priming of emotions through color. I'm very weak at that - my aesthetic was always on the Technical and Practical - I grew up trying to imagine the internals of spaceships and Mecha - and working on construction and manufacturing - I like working with biomechanics of motion and human behavior. Whenever its Color Theory - I've worked with too many projects when I was a graphic designer to stop caring about aesthetic because the client's is the only thing that matters and my aesthetic taste should only mirror the client and never my own. Be in a profession where it requires A LOT OF TRAINING only to be ignored and blamed if something goes wrong. As well as one of the WORSE paid professions in the Philippines, relative to the cost of education and Practice. 

2) their TRPG hobbies overlap with their Science and History and Politics interests 

3) they want accessible stuff, not the stuff that requires someone who is more sophisticated to understand. They'd rather watch youtube video of people explaining it step by step - where they can scrub the timeline or get to the parts they want than have to go through the whole thing. 

4) Probably highly skeptical of authority (not going to sell among my fellow Filipinos. specially now that the Tiktok algorithm is being used in the most FB embedded population in the world with 96% usage
5) DIYer and is a NOVICE in many things, and completely comfortable with it and celebrates it.   

6) Small social groups, tiny and shrinking (see Age). 

Somoene will go - hey for 10usd this is not bad and has so much stuff. Hey I can write a novel with this. I can make more believable cultures and peoples with this. At the same time: I only want 20-40mins prep - click click click DONE!!! I made a solar system and my Players can do what ever they want, and I dont care if they "Break" the world. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Its ALMOST DONE! gave the second milestone payment.

Almost DONE, by done:
1) Nicco is Wrapping up the Book 
2) the Ojts (Lloyd, Ranz, and Michael) are on the last milestone of the Google Sheet. The harder part is the Planetary System. When the system generates additional planets and samples. It can be tedious but otherwise its the same core mechanics as the Star and Main World. 

Then when fully wrapped up - 
1) Publish. 
2) youtube Video of me and Nicco going through how to use it. 
3) If I'm handling customer complaints then I guess the project is "alive" lolz. indifference is the killer. 

Will it reach people who will like it? I doubt it, I'm a 43 year old man - I'm as uncool as people get in TRPGs, so many of my fellow gamers are unhappy with the state of the gaming community. Someone who did all this work so that a slightly better world-building system that incorporates harder scifi. 

With the trend for Super Simple games - my gamble of a Complicated System simplified with a spreadsheet has long odds. 

anyway my open source advocacy keeps me busy - like my Multip Media Project with the Philippine 1861 - I tried and learned. I don't have the finances to gamble again or more, but at least I can say when It came to spending money on a Hobby I tried to write a book. And to think of how bad I write and how much correction It took to get what I have - small miracles. 

Things I learned:
1) Enough Javascript to make my OWN character building spreadsheet. 

2) Enough about Blender to make Ships and a Kitbash kit for Ship Making. 

3) Enough about Spreadsheets to make a Ship Building Spreadsheet. 

FUTURE projects. 
1) IF I'm going to build ships I better do it in GODOT. A ship builder in GODOT that can EXPORT the ship and its stats would be best. 
2) GM tools in GODOT. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

World Generator Update: First Milestone Star and Companion Stars and Transpose.

This is how the World Generator looked based on "Learn Google Spreadsheets" Tutorials by John Karol. John had other matters to attend to so I enlisted the IT Ojts as a recommendation by the ReactJS developer.   This was around April ( a month or so earlier). 

We tried first to simply have a Function then Index Match the Results. Feeling our way around. 

Then I realized to Color CODE what is a ROLL and what is a REFERENCE (index match). 

The OJTS made it much nicer. 
A lot of Corners were cut because we were all learning Javascript and was supplemented by my knowledge of Google Sheets. Last time the OJTs had Javascript use was 1st year college, 3+ years ago. 

  • The End Users Can DUPLICATE the sheet to save the information because the JAVASCRIPT/APPSCRIPT only targets a particular sheet. so once they roll an entire system they can duplicate the sheet and possibly export it. 
  • We have a Transpose command which will happen AFTER I use an elaborate Joint Text function in Google sheet. There will be an IF function to say if the LINE will be exported to the RIght most area, the system generates a lot of extra Worlds and because its easier to cut and paste lines of code then to create a VARIABLE row. We can always GROUP the rows to make it more human readable. 
    • Jupiter has about a hundred moons, the system doesn't generate that many - after a certain size it leaves it to the GM's Fiat. It would make the document TOO unmanageable with too many variables if it generates the thousands of Minor Planets in OUR solar system. 
  • Once this is DONE, which means I can generate sample solar systems - Nicco can wrap it up and I can relax. I'm already around the 800usd mark of this project and I doubt there will be  160 people who will find this that interesting Based on what is already Free Hard Scifi stuff in Drivethru RPG. 

I just want this out there to hopefully fuel the inspiration that - Hey our solar system is Freaking Awesome and Adventure worthy and even the many smaller K-M class Stars nearby and Brown dwarfs are probably as well. By the Time we can travel in Light years of our star the level of Technology and Materiality will bend our concepts of economics. 

In Hindsight - I can do Project Management for Book + Software and Games, after work. Its just that the INCH pace of it leaves me looking for another source of Wins and Validation. I was able to get published last year, and hopefully this year with a more complex product. 

My skill set in organization and problem solving - as a Project Manager - is pretty much realized as now I have software project on top of projects like Migration, Construction, and Implementation.  

As I learn more about the new wave of RPGs, I realize the niche of simulation/case study may get smaller or bigger. Both want Simpler RPGs, less crunchy are somethings all want. 

As for RPGs that try to structure Hard Scifi in an OPEN manner that can be easily updated so that we GAMIFY many new Science Concepts for accessibility like DeltaV budget, Orbital Mechanics, Economic and Demographic Data etc... that is going to be definitely be RARE, but as Games become more accessible - as the PIE gets bigger the tiny slice is going to be a bit bigger. 

if 0.0001% of gamers are hankering for a way to SLOWLY ease themselves to harder and harder scifi as they realize "Wouldnt it be cool if I understood how this work?" "Wouldnt it be Cool? That the scifi caught up to what we NOW KNOW"

you can measure them by the people who bought the similar DriveThru RPG books and those who admit that "I'm not really smart but I want to learn." I'm not the smartest of my class or the nerdiest but I like it and I don't know where I'm allowed to be regular intelligence and understand this. 

The days where my friends could read 600+ words per minute and I had a dismal 100 words per minute. That they finished novels every week and I struggled for 1 month with one novel. I liked it - but I had a hard time reading. That people would be in forums lording their understanding over others and turning off (tens of ) THOUSANDS if not more people to Scifi and Historical games. One of these thousands of people don't mind the trolling or too naive to notice got to learn and like the harder scifi. 

its the super clueless and naive people who like it despite the people who ruin it for all 😅. 

While misinformation and degeneration is so powerful that it can subvert nations and democracy - it is interesting when people can still science this shit out and come to conclusions despite dis-mis-information. 

Definitely like Micro-plastics, radiation, viruses - misinformation and the crippling of science education will rewrite our entire idea of the future  - that it will be filled with the forces we underestimated that scar the civilization - creating so many wounds that will take forever to heal and limit its progress. Even with crash courses lowering the barrier for education and so many other Social Progress efforts and remarkable movements come in to play - us being human - being fragile and easily misinformed - primed and manipulated by powerful well funded forces - will create a future where gaming with this will be a die roll where critical failure exists. that in the spectrum of possibility the hobby can be untenable - despite the WIN-WIN of the hobby. 

Saturday, June 4, 2022

project Update: weighted milestone

Project update.
So teaching the Ojts who have basic scripting skills to script the World Generator in Google Sheets.

The challenge is scripting the many human processes in the rules and the limits of my budget because of the recent household emergencies.

I'll use weighted milestone method and align payment schemes for each step.

0) the basic roll to check what the stars stats is the easiest at 1. Includes the script that transposes. As well as a script that will trigger all the rolls. 

1) how to plan the major structures visually. The coders , and the Biz Analysts (BA). So basically we will take Nicco Salonga  workflow and go into how the spreadsheet will output.

Thanks for Rollkeep script made by Christine Melody Taa.

Specifically visualizing taking each step of the rpg system and producing the output.

2) One of the more complicated systems is the Companion Star. I'll set it as a milestone to pay as well. The mechanic means rolling a lesser mass star depending on the stellar type and on a 12 our of a 2D6 roll another companion star. 6 score. 

Roll for companion star, roll for mass of companion star, and if the roll is a 12 roll for another companion star.

2.1) distance is the next but we will limit it to distance band instead of specific distance. 1 Score. 

3) After the Star, the Main world generation. This has a complicated habitability set up which is basically planetary attributes that increase the Human carrying capacity. Another milestone which. 3 score. 

3.1) is th artificial habitats. This is important becuase some stars are cannot produce planet's that will age >1B years before gravitational forces rip them apart back into accretion disks. Some stars, OBA stars, when compared to ours and more stable stars just have huge accretion disks and a gravity well that captures material from the galaxy. As well as produce a solar foundry with power scale that would produce special materials. 2 score. 

4) Inhabitants mechanics. A very simple mechanic of adding values from tables rolled to produce a culture and inhabitants and the state of their organization. 2 score. 

5) planetary systems. More complicated where it's possible to Loop this because it can create a ton of planets and disks. And these disks and planet's have their own minor worlds and minor disks. And fractals all the way down. Example is jupiter with 140 minor planet's  and our own earth system having Trojans and Greeks (very few though as compared to jupiter).  4 score.

6) The Jointext Google sheet function that will order all the data in a row. With words that break the string like Star, Main World/Habitat, inhabitants, Planetary Systems. Score 1.

20 total score. When the 20 is achieved the sheet can produce worlds at a click. 

Score / total to get the weight.

I'll create a payment schedule with the Ojts. 30%, 20%,20%,20%,10%

After this is done and the Script is fine tuned to make the world's. I tell nicco to prepare and assemble the book and all its components for publish.

1) world builder that allows people to click and get their world. A link to the Google Sheets they can just copy and share. 

2) the mechanics and the terms to talk about solar systems.

3) 2D art of our solar system and delta-v budgets.

4) hex map of our solar system. 

5) blender file for procedural world generation.

6) method of exporting this to a 2D map.

7) d66*6 culture table

8) the rules itself.

I guess I'll have to make a dicscord for Mneme as a form of customer support. And base the milestone bonuses on feedback. 

Majority preferential vote based decision making, a poll of recommending improvements - and of course I'll budget what I can afford. ( pretty much all the profit from the copper level for everyone to see) and what I can get from my network.

I'll just defer my returns on investment (break even) at platinum. Platinum for a world generation mechanic, I could imagine even smaller sales than mneme combat system. 

I'll summaries my total cost to produce it all here. The only thing I won't get compensated for is my hours. It's really how investment works our hours is really sunk cost and a gamble.