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SF Here's the cover of INCIDENT AT ABSALOM STATION, the first adventure in Starfinder's DEAD SUNS AP!

The first Starfinder adventure path, launching in August along with the core rules, is the Dead Suns AP. Following the same model as Paizo's Pathfinder adventure paths, it's a 6-module series. The first adventure is called Incident at Absalom Station, and here's a look at the cover by David Alvarez, depicting the leader of a notorious street gang on Absalom Station! The Dead Suns AP will be released every other month (taking 12 months in total), and each adventure contains a new planet, a new starship, and new monsters.

 
Russ Morrissey

Comments


Kramodlog

Naked and living in a barrel
Switching to this format for both SF and PF, wouldn't be a bad business move. Two APs a year, one traditional, one in space.
 


Huh. Every other month.


Between that and limiting the line to the Core Book and the monster book (plus the very necessary pawns) seems like a good idea.
Monthly product is nice, but from experience it's super hard to play through an entire AP volume in a month. I ran two and they both took a hair over a year, and we went at rocket pace through a lot of the content. Being forced to slow down wouldn't have been bad. And when you can only play every other AP, there quickly ends up being competition for what to play next, with the new product having to fight for attention with every product previously printed.
Staff is likely also a factor as it takes eight months for the standard team to do an AP, so they need two staff overlapping development schedules. Slowing down the releases will help.
Oh, and with more time, there might even be the chance for playtesting to occur, leading to a better product.
 

TBSamophlange

First Post
I really want to like this line, but I am NOT a fan of Parhfinder at all. The setting, the look (especially the minis) are all great.. but the pathfinder mechanics are not for me.
 

Louis Brenton

Explorer
Huh. Every other month.
Between that and limiting the line to the Core Book and the monster book (plus the very necessary pawns) seems like a good idea.

Oh, and with more time, there might even be the chance for playtesting to occur, leading to a better product.
I very much agree with David. Dialing back the release schedule seems like a wise move.

I'd be very curious to hear about feedback they've been getting regarding the earlier release schedule. What % of Pathfinder players were completing each adventure in one month & were ready for the next one?
 

ddaley

Explorer
I hope they release other adventures for Starfinder in addition to the APs. Keep in mind, that a slower schedule is probably fine for Pathfinder, as there is already tons of material available. However, Starfinder is brand new. There is no other content at the moment. What if the first AP isn't to your liking? Are you going to wait a year until the begin the next one?

I haven't played Pathfinder in a while. Some of their APs were appealing to me while others didn't interest me at all. It would be a shame if their first AP didn't appeal to a wide audience.

I very much agree with David. Dialing back the release schedule seems like a wise move.

I'd be very curious to hear about feedback they've been getting regarding the earlier release schedule. What % of Pathfinder players were completing each adventure in one month & were ready for the next one?
 

I hope they release other adventures for Starfinder in addition to the APs. Keep in mind, that a slower schedule is probably fine for Pathfinder, as there is already tons of material available. However, Starfinder is brand new. There is no other content at the moment.
That's the catch-22 of gaming releases, being it accessories/ splatbooks or adventures.

You want a lot right at the start, because there's nothing. So you want a fast release schedule. But, once you get the initial offerings out, you don't need as much (or anything), so the release schedule has to ramp waaaay down or you bloat the game.
Alternatively, you start slow and maintain a slower release schedule for the lifetime of the game. It's harder to start, but it's healthier in the long run.

What if the first AP isn't to your liking? Are you going to wait a year until the begin the next one?
That's going to be a problem regardless. Either you wait six months or you wait a year. Either way, you're waiting.
But I imagine most people will just make their own adventure. The APs are played by a minority anyway.
Plus, they'll have the Starfinder Society modules as well.
Or 3rd Parties. Paizo has always had a good relationship with their 3PP.
 



Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
.
You want a lot right at the start, because there's nothing. So you want a fast release schedule. But, once you get the initial offerings out, you don't need as much (or anything), so the release schedule has to ramp waaaay down or you bloat the game.
Except that your sole reason for existing is to sell products as opposed to not selling products.
 

Except that your sole reason for existing is to sell products as opposed to not selling products.
Which is the catch. If you start with a fast release schedule you want to keep that schedule. And that's what you have the staff to support. If you ramp down, people get upset st the change and you need to risk letting staff go.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Which is the catch. If you start with a fast release schedule you want to keep that schedule. And that's what you have the staff to support. If you ramp down, people get upset st the change and you need to risk letting staff go.
It's not really a catch. That implies there's a second option. You sell the amount of product you need to sell to stay profitable and sustain any planned growth. You don't worry about people complaining you're selling too many things. If people are buying the things you make, you continue to make them. This applies to RPG companies, teapot manufacturers, and ice cream vendors. The thing you don't do is stop selling products, given that's the one thing you exist to do.

All the business advice in this thread to sell less product than customers are buying is the diametric opposite to business advice. :)
 
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It's not really a catch. That implies there's a second option. You sell the amount of product you need to sell to stay profitable and sustain any planned growth. You don't worry about people complaining you're selling too many things. If people are buying the things you make, you continue to make them. This applies to RPG companies, teapot manufacturers, and ice cream vendors. The thing you don't do is stop selling products, given that's the one thing you exist to do.

All the business advice in this thread to sell less product than customers are buying is the diametric opposite to business advice. :)
Customers complaining that you're selling too many things quickly becomes customers buying fewer things. If you're releasing a product faster than it can be consumed, you'll eventually go out of business.

You need to find a balance between not releasing any product, releasing too little product, and releasing too much product. Again, one ways is to vary the amount of product with a heavy initial release schedule and then a slower schedule.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Customers complaining that you're selling too many things quickly becomes customers buying fewer things.
Does it?

You produce the amount stuff that's selling. You don't worry about people on the internet complaining you are selling too many things. I mean, I think Ford sells too many cars*, but they're just going to produce the number of cars which sell.

If you are lucky enough to have an awesome subscription, which people appear to be not cancelling, you continue with it.

*I don't really. it was a stupid example.
 
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Does it?

You produce the amount stuff that's selling. You don't worry about people on the internet complaining you are selling too many things. I mean, I think Ford sells too many cars*, but they're just going to produce the number of cars which sell.

*I don't really. it was a stupid example.
Funny thing, in the 1950s car sales slumped. Because everyone who wanted a car and could afford one pretty much had one. The solution: new models of cars. Regular redesigns of cars every years to encourage people to upgrade. The rise of car culture.
Car makers do make more cars than necessary. Because they've managed to create the market.

In the case of adventures, if you're releasing 1 every six months but they take a year to play, after a year everyone has to choose between the current adventure (that's about to start) or the one they missed. After two years you have a choice between the current and the two you missed. After five years you have to choose between the current and five other adventures. Each successive years, the odds of a customer passing on the current adventure increase.
It's not sustainable.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Funny thing, in the 1950s car sales slumped. Because everyone who wanted a car and could afford one pretty much had one. The solution: new models of cars. Regular redesigns of cars every years to encourage people to upgrade. The rise of car culture.
Car makers do make more cars than necessary. Because they've managed to create the market.

In the case of adventures, if you're releasing 1 every six months but they take a year to play, after a year everyone has to choose between the current adventure (that's about to start) or the one they missed. After two years you have a choice between the current and the two you missed. After five years you have to choose between the current and five other adventures. Each successive years, the odds of a customer passing on the current adventure increase.
It's not sustainable.
It's worked for 8 years. I'm sure Paizo will adjust their output to match demand. For now, it appears they're still selling APs just fine. They have a big inherited subscriber base.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Ask TSR how over-production worked for them.
The snide comment is delightfully charming, charismatic, and dismissive, which is utterly lovely of you, but "over-production" (if it *has* a definition) means "producing more than demand" which is completely not what's happening here. Paizo is producing to demand, partly by virtue of a useful subscription model. Claiming (by inference) that you know Paizo is currently "over-producing" is an extraordinary claim, and it requires some pretty solid evidence. "I personally don't want the latest Pathfinder adventure path" isn't evidence.

There will come a point where people cancel their subscription to the APs and stuff, sure. And I'm sure Paizo will adjust accordingly. They're not looking at message boards to see if armchair generals recommend they produce less stuff while people buy the stuff.

Though I'm sure they're giggling at us internet idiots throwing our expert advice into the ether and pretending we know better than them what their spreadsheets say. :)
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