Posted on September 16, 2009 by jasonlblair
Welcome to the ninth of the 13 Doors: an exclusive look behind the door at the upcoming Little Fears Nightmare Edition – The Game of Childhood Terror.
Door #9: Light of Day
It’s strange to be this close to the release of Little Fears Nightmare Edition.
I’ve been talking about it for years and thinking about it for even longer. And now it’s just a little over a month away.
It’s at the point now where the things left are mostly business- or marketing-related. (This article for example.) Pre-orders for the book and PDF open today and that’s nerve-wracking. This is the moment where I find out if Little Fears Nightmare Edition has been worth all the work, whether this path makes sense. This is the official entry of the book onto the market. After pre-orders come orders and after a while it’ll simply be another product for sale.
All the work, the rushing, the headaches, the heartbreaks, the late nights, and it all comes down to a stock code, a price tag, and the hope that the book takes off. I’ll move to other projects (some of which will be Little Fears Nightmare Edition-related). Every once in a while, I’ll come across the cover image, a review, or see a sale come in and I’ll have a wistful memory of times like this.
I’ll probably have forgotten about just how crazy weeks like these past two have been.
A lot of work has been done lately to get some legs under not only the book but the underlying company, FunSizedGames (which is the name under which I’m publishing it). I’ve been going over different printing deals, reviewing PDF distribution contracts, putting together logos and paperwork, compiling shipping information, and talking to select retail outlets about carrying the book. Somewhere in there, I attended the wedding of the only matchmaking attempt I’ve ever made.
I’m planning promotion, the release party, and how to sustain and vivify sales after the honeymoon phase.
As a one-man band, I have to be really smart about money, production, and how I spend my time. I’ve been in the game industry for eight years. I’ve been lauded, burned, and let down. I’ve worked my ass off on projects that will never see the light of day, dropped the ball on others, and made a lot of friends. I’ve given a lot of pitches, shaken a lot of hands, and demoed ’til my throat was raw. I’ve talked to gamers, game designers, and game store owners for hours on end, getting their side of the business. I didn’t take notes but I like to think the salient points stuck with me. I gained a lot of experience, good and bad, and I thought long and hard about all of that when drafting how I would move forward with Little Fears Nightmare Edition and FunSizedGames today.
I decided I’d release the game in expanding phases. Each phase would open more and more sales avenues. I’m starting simple in the beginning. For the physical books, you can get them from me or one of a few select retail partners. For the PDF, you can get it through DriveThruRPG.com.
Leisure Games is sponsoring a version specific to the UK and Europe (and I’m directing all the international customers to them). I’m working to get retail support in key areas of the US. I have a few signed up already. These are stores run by friends, folks I trust, or that come highly recommended. I’ll add more and more as they come. I don’t think I’m selling gold or precious diamonds but I do want to support those retail shops that have been good to me and that are contributing something unique to the industry.
(Of course, I don’t know every shop in the US. If you have a local store that you think might be interested, use the Contact form on littlefears.com to clue me in.)
As stated, you can always order directly from me. If you do, I might just scribble something in the book. You never know. I hope you don’t mind.
With time, I’ll add more and more sales avenues—there are some big ones that spring instantly to mind—but the present is all about sustainability, caution, and control. I’m trying some new things (new to me at least) with this venture. I took some dumb risks with the original Little Fears and while most of them paid off, I’m not in a position to take that same level of risk.
Too much of my life, sweat, and blood has been poured into Little Fears Nightmare Edition to be cavalier at this point. I’ve worked hard on the concept, the system, and the writing to not take that same level of consideration with the production and sale of the book. I wouldn’t say I’m being cautious but that’s not too far from the mark.
I care a lot for this book. I care a lot for the fans, both those old—who supported the original and kept on my case about the Nightmare Edition—and the ones I’ve yet to make. I care about the industry. It’s been good to me. It welcomed me warmly when I was a 24-year old with a weird little book about kids fighting monsters. I’m humbled that it still remembers me.
This wasn’t the article I intended to write. I went off-script with this one. It’s late and I’m tired and I’m standing next to Mr. Frost in the middle of that winding road. I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep. That’s one of the best lines ever written right there.
Pre-orders will open today, probably around 10a or so at LittleFears.com. They’ll run until October 12th. I hope you’ll consider putting your faith in me and the game. It’s a good one. For a long time, I thought Normal, Texas might be the best game I’ll ever design. Now I’m not so sure about that. I think this one might be a contender. I look forward to hearing your opinion on that.
About Little Fears
Little Fears is a pen and paper roleplaying game that was released in 2001. In it, players portrayed children aged 6-12 who fought monsters that came to our world from a place called Closetland. A completely overhauled version, Little Fears Nightmare Edition, is currently in development. Partnered with Flames Rising, Jason L Blair (the author of Little Fears and Little Fears Nightmare Edition) will provide 13 exclusive looks beyond the door at the new edition including fiction, art previews, and more.
For more information, visit www.littlefears.com.
List of Previews for Little Fears: Nightmare Edition
Thank you to everyone who has entered through the thirteen doors leading up to the release of Little Fears: Nightmare Edition. If you’re just starting your journey, here is a full list of previews for you to explore:
- Closing The Door: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 13
- Turning the Pages: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 12
- Hiding Under the Covers: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 11
- Show Me Something: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 10
- Light of Day: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 9
- Cover Me: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 8
- Picture Day: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 7
- Keys to the World: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 6
- Rebuilding Closetland: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 5
- Creatures in the Library: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 4
- Monster Factory: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 3
- Kids These Days: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 2
- Little Fears Grows Up: Little Fears Nightmare Edition Door 1