Is The Expanse RPG becoming vaporware?

The announcement was made in January 2018, it started with a release date of GenCon. Without any real explanation that date was quietly forgotten and a late 2018 date (I believe November correct me if I am wrong) was given.

Now I do some digging and we have this:

"We are pleased to find The Expanse RPG listed among ENWorld’s 10 Most Anticipated Tabletop RPGs of 2019. The game appears in some fine company on that list. The Expanse RPG core rulebook and Game Master’s Kit are on schedule for early 2019 release."

https://greenronin.com/blog/2018/12/17/the-expanse-rpg-in-enworlds-10-most-anticipated-tabletop-rpgs-of-2019/


Call me a stickler for details but I am not sure how the heck you can say "on schedule" when you have missed two release dates and cannot give us anything more definitive than early 2019 which technically up to June 30, 2019.

Makes me happy I decided against backing this games Kickstarter.

Does any one have any more news since Green Ronin has not given any real reason and just seems to be employing Newspeak when announcing the products release date.
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
Makes me happy I decided against backing this games Kickstarter.
Myself, i've been super happy that I did. He updates the Kickstarters more often than a couple of others I've backed.

Does any one have any more news ....
He updates us regularly in the Kickstarter comments/etc. Basically, it's at this stage:

1) Game Master's Kit is printed
2) finishing the layout
3) working on the BackerKit.

Pramas reports that they will both be ready in January and PDFs of the core game will be distributed at that time.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I'm registered to play it at Con of the North in February.

Anyway, the Expanse is no where near as delayed as many of the Kickstarters I've backed. It is normal for even well organized Kickstarters to be off by several months. Only well-established publishers who already have networks and processes set up, and many publications under their belt, regularly meet their deadlines. Frog God Games and Kobold Press both come to mind as exceptionally reliable. But they are using Kickstarter more as a pre-order system. They are not new creators trying to start something new.

One would think Green Ronin should be in the same group, but most of the Kickstarters were over 6 months late and a couple have been over a year late. Even established companies run into delays. I would rather a company be focused on quality than slavishly adhere to an estimated delivery date.

Mutants & Masterminds 10 Year Anniversary Edition was about 11 months late.
Freeport: The City of Adventure for the Pathfinder RPG was about 14 months late.
Advanced Bestiary for the Pathfinder RPG was about 4 months late.
Love 2 Hate: A Party Game for Inappropriate People was about 9 months late.
Book of the Righteous for Fifth Edition was about 4 months late.
Sentinels of Earth-Prime looks like it will be 14-16 months late.

That said, they eventually delivered on all their Kickstarters and enough people seem to be happy with their products that they continue to fund new Kickstarters.

So, no, not vaporware.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Here's the thing: Game designers are generally not, by training or inclination, project managers. And humans are very, very bad at estimating how long things take, or how many things might go wrong.

One kickstarter I backed recently you can see is plagued by standard project slowdown stuff. The kickstarter was successful beyond their wildest dreams. So, now they have to handle more orders than expected, by maybe an order of magnitude. So, they're moving to a new workshop. Then they are getting new equipment. Then, they are finding that the new equipment (which is like, industrial-grade printers that literally weigh a ton) cannot be safely put in the new workshop until some major work is done to make the workshop floor level. It is like a comedy of errors.

I can understand a desire to know *why* things are delayed - but do note that the reasons are usually highly embarrassing and make it look like they don't know what you're doing, so you are unlikely to get the reasons spelled out, especially if you are not a customer. If we, as consumers, weren't going to be so critical of failing to hit deadlines for our 100% luxury entertainment items, maybe they'd talk more. But, we aren't, so, they usually don't.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I backed the Kickstarter. The estimated delivery date for my reward is listed as Jan 2019. I'm really not worried. It's still 2018, and any time in early 2019 will be "on time" in my book.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
This is the update I received this month from a kickstarter that was supposed to deliver December of 2013.

Dear Backers,

It’s been a long time since our last contact with you, but it wasn’t without a serious reason. In June, despite a quite positive feedback which we’ve received from game industry companies at Digital Dragons, we’ve lost our investor and a big part of our team. Since then, production of our game is halted, and we’ve been trying to keep project “M.O.R.E.” alive. Unfortunately, after many talks and meetings, we didn’t manage to find in Central Europe a new investor who would be interested to invest in such big and niche game as “M.O.R.E”. It turns out that unfortunately there aren’t many fans of 4x space strategies among investors…

We know that you have plenty of questions - what happened? why? what next? There are no simple answers for any of those, but someday we will try to answer them all. For now, the most important thing is that we need to find a new investor to keep this project alive. We still believe in it, we still want to finish this game, as we still don’t see any 4x space strategy game which would make us addicted to it. So far, we’ve created a solid professional background - game code with networking, most of 2D and 3D graphic assets, VFX, animations, etc., and we’ve gained much experience. Now we need to make last step to finish this project with success.

To do it, we still need you – support of people who still wait for a game like this. Despite total investment of over $1 000 000 in M.O.R.E., we still need $500 000 and at least a year of work. Yes, creating a game is long and expensive task (especially a 4x TBS game), but we still believe that our project can finish profitably for all of us. Maybe among our backers are people who know any investor, business angel or other way that we’ll be able to create what we’ve always dreamt of? If so – please let us know. We really want to lead this project to a happy ending.

Team.
Not even signed with a name.

Luckily, I've also had pretty much every other kickstarter come through. Even if some were a bit late.
 

practicalm

Explorer
This is the update I received this month from a kickstarter that was supposed to deliver December of 2013.



Not even signed with a name.

Luckily, I've also had pretty much every other kickstarter come through. Even if some were a bit late.
This is why I pretty much avoid Kickstarter software projects. Too many things can go wrong.
 

Bagpuss

Adventurer
The announcement was made in January 2018, it started with a release date of GenCon. Without any real explanation that date was quietly forgotten and a late 2018 date (I believe November correct me if I am wrong) was given.
Kickstarter had a release date of Jan 2019, from the beginning. However yes it was announced they had the license GenCon 2017 and the original plan at that was to release for the next GenCon, I expect by the time the kickstarter went live they had a better idea of how long it was all going to take.

RPG kickstarters on the whole are generally more successful than others from what I've heard, although you get use to them overrunning.

Of the kickstarters I've backed only computer game ones have ever seemed like they just weren't going to happen, even Wurm RPG which over ran by two years, originally June 2016, finally June 2018, was completed.
 
So did people receive their rewards? It is less than a week from May so by my book we are definitely no longer in "early 2019" and everything on Green Ronin still says "Coming Soon".

I know everyone talks about how long game design takes, how people estimate time bad, etc etc. But this is not three part time gamers and their pet turtle that started a Kickstarter for their homebrew that they are doing on the side. This was an announcement from a legit gaming company that should be able to manage things like this.

Bagpuss, just saw your post. How can you say they had a release date of Jan 2019 from the start when their website and your very post states that they were aiming for a release of Gencon 2018?
 

Mistwell

Hero
Kickstarter had a release date of Jan 2019, from the beginning.
So did people receive their rewards? It is less than a week from May so by my book we are definitely no longer in "early 2019" and everything on Green Ronin still says "Coming Soon".

I know everyone talks about how long game design takes, how people estimate time bad, etc etc. But this is not three part time gamers and their pet turtle that started a Kickstarter for their homebrew that they are doing on the side. This was an announcement from a legit gaming company that should be able to manage things like this.

Bagpuss, just saw your post. How can you say they had a release date of Jan 2019 from the start when their website and your very post states that they were aiming for a release of Gencon 2018?

The Kickstarter PDFs had a release date of November 2018 and hardcopies of January 2019. The PDFs have delivered, I believe as of last month. It's now apparently gone to print.
 
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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I received the PDF and am happy to wait a few months to get the hard cover. Would rather they get it right than meet deadlines.

If getting something by a specific date, or being assured of getting it at all, is important to you, don't do Kickstarter.
 

Bagpuss

Adventurer
Yeah, it has gone to print after a last round of errata following the updated PDF a little while ago. No matter how much they check them when you release the PDF there are so many more fresh eyes on it there are always a few extra errata so it is worth holding off before going to print. I'm pretty use to delays on RPG releases, although I believe on average RPG kickstarters tend to be more successfully complete than boardgames, and considerably more than computer game kickstarters.

Nothing on kickstarter is a safe bet, but I've not had a RPG fail to deliver (or have one be on time for that matter).
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Question: during the Kickstarter, was there ever any plans for a campaign.

Just yet another ruleset with a light Expanse skin doesn't do it for me.

If I'm going to invest in a new RPG I'm going to do it for the stories. The stories I can purchase as ready-made published campaigns, that is.

(Far too many licensors just write a rulebook, maybe a couple of campaign world supplements, and that's basically it.

Me, I've got a dozen perfectly serviceable rules engines already, and far too many sourcebooks I haven't even read.

What I'm after is quality adventures. Stories that give my players a similar look and feel as reading the source material.)
 
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Question: during the Kickstarter, was there ever any plans for a campaign.

Just yet another ruleset with a light Expanse skin doesn't do it for me.

If I'm going to invest in a new RPG I'm going to do it for the stories. The stories I can purchase as ready-made published campaigns, that is.

(Far too many licensors just write a rulebook, maybe a couple of campaign world supplements, and that's basically it.

Me, I've got a dozen perfectly serviceable rules engines already, and far too many sourcebooks I haven't even read.

What I'm after is quality adventures. Stories that give my players a similar look and feel as reading the source material.)
My GUESS and this is purely a GUESS is that you will be disappointed if for no other reason than 99% of products like this are a sourcebook maybe one or two followup books and that is it. The numbers game just says you are not going to get what you want no matter how cool it would be.
 
The Kickstarter PDFs had a release date of November 2018 and hardcopies of January 2019. The PDFs have delivered, I believe as of last month. It's now apparently gone to print.
I wish people would stop saying this it is not accurate. The ORIGINAL release by Green Ronin in January 2018 stated a full release date of Gencon 2018. They have since changed the press release but retconning their press release does not make it fact. They stated that a limited run of hardcovers would be available at Gencon and that did not come anywhere near to happening.

So Kickstarters slip, maybe this is a normal amount, but Green Ronin is supposed to be a grownup company and I expect that they do better communication and better than missing release dates by an entire year.

FYI. Just checked the PDF of the rules still states coming soon on their website, so anyone that says it is available right now, that is not true.
 

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