Sunday, 9 August 2020

Assorted common questions

We've done this before, but there are certain questions I get frequently. 

As such, we're going to round them up and answer them. 

Note that questions have been paraphrased from original emails, messages etc. 

Who are you exactly?

My name is Ivan, I'm 40 years old, I'm from Denmark though at this point I have lived half my life in Denmark and half in the United States. 

What is your day job?

Writing games. Before that, I spent a decade and a half in middle management. 

Are you / do you believe in / do you support X ?

I've mostly retreated from discussing politics online except with close friends and my views on marginal tax policy is probably not something that would interest you.

If you need some sort of label, how about free trade leftist? 

What is your opinion on X ?

I don't tend to comment on on-going gaming drama in regards to personalities or companies. You can assume that the sort of product I make is also the sort of product I wish others would make. 

What do you play personally?

For wargaming, a bit of everything when I get a chance. 

Stargrunt II, Crossfire and 2nd edition 40K rank high currently.

For RPG's, my passion is anything BRP or BRP derived: 

Runequest, Stormbringer, Pendragon, Eon, Hjältarnas Tid, Drakar och Demoner.

Is it true you write for 15mm first? 

I try to avoid being specific to a scale, but in general I do write with distances and movements that fit well in 15mm first and foremost.

From my experience, slightly smaller figures (10mm skirmish being a thing that keeps interesting me) will look fine with more realistic distances while 28mm gamers are used to those measurements to begin with. 

What happened to X product?

I sometimes get questions whether this or that game is "abandoned". I try as much as possible to write complete games that don't need a ton of extra stuff. Starting out I never intended to write much in the way of supplements, since I figured people would prefer a bigger main book instead.

Experience taught me pretty quickly that people prefer to have new content updates. 

The big challenge of course is that there's one of me. So I have to pick and choose (and occasionally draw in outside help) where to put my efforts and that tends to mean focusing where the sales and the market is. 

That being said, nothing sleeps forever. We recently did updates to Five Men in Normandy after all and no NWG game is older than that.

In regards to Trench Storm and Fast And Dirty, I have sold off the rights to both. 

Why do you often charge for beta tests?

I try everything at least once. I've offered beta tests for free, pay what you want and for money up front.

I find that the best feedback (and the best chance of getting feedback) is when I've charged a dollar or three up front. You can speculate as to why that is, but it broadly holds true. 

Why do some betas not get a full release?

Generally because there wasn't enough interest or because in hindsight the system was too fiddly or not sufficiently unique.

Why aren't you doing X obvious thing?

Likewise because I am not interested, because I am mostly a one-person operation or because I am risk-averse. 

Will you crowd fund more projects? 

In my own way yes.

I have found that indiegogo/kickstarter tends to result in very limited feedback, making them not very valuable for the development process.

Simply asking for people to fund a project directly through paypal has worked well for upgrades, and I will likely continue to do so. For regular releases, I find that writing a game and then selling it is the most satisfying process for everyone involved. 

Is there some secret logic behind what projects you do?

It has to be something I am interested in personally and something I feel isn't overdone or can find a unique angle to do. 

How do you decide new projects?

As above but I also think there's people who might want to pay money for it. 

Is it FiveCore or 5Core?

You do you but personally, I've always viewed writing it out as correct. 

I want to write games, what advice do you have? 

Write a lot. Build up a back catalogue. Every project will encounter "The Suck": Learn to power through it. Stay out of internet drama. Treat every person with kindness. Don't pursue internet trends. 

What things will you never do, so we should stop asking?

Any OSR or D&D product. 

Probably anything involving ships. 

Edgelord stuff. 


  1. I have a particularly feckless question that should be in here.

    I want to get some low fantasy historical miniatures (Foundry) for my general RPG/Fantasy usage but mostly to play 5Leagues. What time period should I go with: Normans, chainmail feudal, Hundred Years, or War of The Roses. Earlier period minis could be used with Harnmaster, later period can be used with Oldhammer. I am torn.

    I really like your game, thanks for the ruleset.

    1. Cheers mate.
      That IS a conumdrum. In my minds eye, the world of 5 Leagues looks closer to the War of the Roses era, but I must admit my favorite fantasy look is closer to the Harnic style. Mail coats and cone helmets.

      The answer is obviously to buy both :)

  2. Bwah ha ha!
    My poor wallet!
    Thanks Weasel for countenancing my request. I think I will get a bit of both. Will send pictures of results.
    Take care.