Thursday, October 20, 2022

The dynamics of Nicco and our work. Who does what. Migrating to Libreoffice

Typically I get the project off the ground: writing Mneme Variant Combat rules and the World Generation Book. After that Nicco does most of the content writing and art. Of course I design the structure - typically strategy what information is first presented and what I need Nicco's Visuals need to achieve. 

I set the criteria: This has to convey the SCALE of space, the Zones and their relationship to the Star, that People have to visualize and think of swirling gas that form planets and material as they clump together - a crucial mental model to make sense (for me) star system formation and when we start thinking in Stellar Mass and Luminosity - its impact on formations - as well that this swirling disk of gas travels the galaxy's own swirling disk of material. 

Other than that I'm doing the peddling and marketing, and the Videos. The videos are really me doing Quality Inspection and Correcting our notions as we produce the output. Nicco and I have similar skills back in the day and we can check each other work and people mistake our drawing styles (back in the day). 

I'm more inclined to be the one to make the selling spiel as well as record walking through the product and why it was designed the way it is. 

Most products in TRPGs don't have a designer walk-through - gurps had some Designer's Notes because of paper printing limitations (now we have RAM limitations of Doc/Gdoc). I like talking about the Design - because if someone listens and tells me its a bad idea and why - it allows me to correct. I don't like getting thought as SMART - I'm just a working schmuck trying to write games - I'm as fallible as the next guy and I need help seeing my mistakes (when average intelligence do ambitious tasks - the lack of working memory shows in our work). 

Reading manuals and using a product as designed is rare - more often people jump in and use it. We designed it for the latter - people jumping in to use it. TLDR spiels up front, Bullets, Flowcharts of Structures and LONG paragraph narratives pushed to the back with hyperlinks to make it optional and easily findable (Which has problems because MS word is not as good as Gdrive in these matters). 

Migrating to LibreOffice


Around 2014 I had a reject booklet in SJGames. It was for GURPS Low Tech Lite - a series of Lite Low Tech Books set in SPECIFIC eras. I thought it would be a great money making thing for SJ Games because 
  1. it allowed SJGames to reuse a lot of material. no cost to them. 
  2. the changes were SPECIFIC to eras to be played - a challenging amount of Preparation for GMS who did historical or Setting specific which I did and GURPS mostly did. For Every setting GURPS had in Low Tech, High Tech, Ultra Tech they could have made a GURPS LITE just for that setting - that allowed the GM to BUY it and hand it out to NEW players. 
    1. It helped put a DENT on GURPS very difficult learning CURVE. 
    2. GMS can COLLECT it
    3. They can use it to Probe popular settings and quickly revive their older material. Nothing like Version 3 of Roman Republic set in the 4C BC or Imperial - or an Imperial Rome, or A book for Each Dynasty of China, or each Middle Kingdom era of India, or medieval Vietnam etc... 

Mouse Over to see Chapters.

This project taught me do layouting, indexing, page referencing, hyperlinking, etc... all in Libreoffice (don't save as .doc, always stay ODT). 


  1. We will Migrate all the Books: Combat and World Generation into LibreOffice. This will cost money - but will bring down our technical debt. If Nicco is the only one who can edit it - then when he gets sick or busy I can't sub for him. Being in Libreoffice makes GITB scalable - other freelancers can be trained in Libreoffice and help us with the work. 
    1. note that Blender, ShotCUT, OBS and various other tools are open source and easy to train others to use it. 
  2. We will INCLUDE the LibreOffice ODT files of the works in the DTRPG Downloads. (we will upload it regularly as well. We are continuously using it and discovering our mistakes and improvements)
    1. This will allow GMS print out specific sections for their use. 
  3. Templating - We will Do what I planned for GURPS - using a similar template - all the rules you need to run Cepheus Engine for various settings. The GURPS lite taught me what content is the minimum needed.  
    1. The templating I planned in GURPS is not just for GITB. with the LibreOffice Files included people can make their own setting Specific Cepheus Engine game by only changing the Setting Elements (I recommend changing the Page or Section Theme and Colors when in the Setting Specific Areas for VISUAL Cue that this part changes per setting)
    2. The thing about these Ideas is that with Open Source I can try and fail. the ability to Try given the kinds of audiences that can give the product a chance and feedback means a better chance Ideas improve and discover their full potential (instead of being in my Folder since 2014). 
  4. Tutorial Marketing. I will make Videos of Using Libreoffice for Book production. How we made the Page references, Internal and External Hyperlinking. Change Controls and Document Comparisons. So that anyone can also build their own Open Source TRPG with cepheus engine and quickly output the files. 
    1. Demonstrating Products and processes through Tutorials is an interesting kind of marketing. Instead of Spiels and Talking about the product at length - just Demonstrating is so effective. Show vs Tell. has now become Try vs Show
  5. We will add on the main books and create these small projects as advertising. It seems that New material instead of improving the current material is the best way to get people to check out your product. So we will have the our Key products have the really nice add ons, spin off the add-ons as their own products (it cant beat the value of the main packages), and create free stuff. 

Why keep adding value to the Main Products? Theory and I can be wrong - so that people who like the tertiary product will buy the main product. They wont buy the other add ons with price and that's ok. Getting more EYES on our product is the goal - if we sell MVC or MWG to lets say 70 each - then 70 people discovered us to want to pay money. I need a larger sample size to know what I need to do to get more. Scattering them with my different add ons doesn't create a path for me to figure out - what works. 

Thats just me. Like the Hard Scifi I like - the puzzle of Game in the Brain marketing is FUN! I get to play with it and look for patterns and trends. I read enough marketing and sales books to know how the smartest minds know their limits in marketing but Id like to experience to understand solving it. Marketing, science, project management, design, freecad, erps etc... engineering, etc.. so much stuff to learn and check out and they follow some key principles that re-occur. 

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