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Sean K. Reynolds talks RPG salaries, puts his on record.

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
Good LORD!!! Where do you live???
I thought he was full of crap as well and did a quick google of "Where can I buy a house for 50k." What I found was several websites that list up to 10+ cities where you can do this. Some are not places I'd want to live (e.g., Akron, Ohio); others are (e.g., Wichita Falls, Texas), but they're there. Which surprised me as well.

There are several condos listed here in San Antonio for $70,000 which look fairly nice... if you're into condos.

Frankly, I think it's my own prejudices that kept me from noticing these things. I should be more open.

Also, I tend not to look at my own circumstances when these subjects come up because I know I'm an outlier. My income over my working life has increased 28.3x. But a few things contributed to that: Luck and Hard Work. I wouldn't have gotten this far without BOTH. Lots of people tend to have one or the other and they don't shoot up as much.

Which lead to my blindness on the fact that you can get homes for much less than I thought because, due to my income, I'd never dream of looking for something that price. Heck, I never set the search engine below 300k when I was looking for the home I'm in now. Probably should have. Kinda stuck up on my end. Bleh.
 

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Do most backers of print kickstarters also get the PDF version as a freebie? I know that I always check that, though I don't know to what degree it really influences my decision to back. I just wonder if there's a difference between kickstarters that offer "PDF only, or Print+PDF" options, versus those offering "PDF only, or Print only" options. (Do those latter even exist?).

In any event, I do know that I typically back for the print books; but also that the PDFs i receive with those books do get a lot of use if/when I decide to actually use (rather than just read) the product. Copy-pasting statblocks, building out a player's guide, screencapping imagery, for example, are all far more easily done from a PDF than the hardcopy.
I've never backed an rpg kickstarter that didn't offer the PDF as a freebie with the paper edition, and that's not just confirmation bias, cos I actually much prefer reading a hardcopy book so getting the pdf isn't a selling point for me. I don't case if I don't get it - it normally just rots in my inbox while i wait for the physical book to arrive.

Where there might be a confirmation bias, however, is that kickstarter tends to attract the sort of project suited to a physical book, simply because it offers a tried and tested way of paying for that. Smaller digital projects, that require less art etc and don't need to raise upfront $ for printing costs, will likely bypass the whole KS ecosystem completely. Rather than give kickstarter a cut, they'll eat the art costs etc upfront and just go straight to drivethrurpg or DMsguild.
 


MGibster

Legend
No: just a website.
Is the US Census a good enough source? In 2010, the percentage of the US population living in urban areas, defined as 50,000+ people, was 80% of the population. Another 9.5% of the population lived in urban clusters which were areas with a population of 2,500-49,999 people. A hair under 20% of the US population lived in rural areas in 2010.

More Americans have lived in urban areas than rural since the 1920 census.

My lakefront house is 14 minutes' drive from the city where I worked before I retired. In that city, you can buy a 2-1.5-1 starter home on a quarter acre lot in a nice neighborhood for around $45,000.
And, guys, he's right. There are places in the United States where you can get a dirt cheap house that's not so bad. We have a lot of California retirees here in the Ozarks precisely because it's much more economical for them to live in Arkansas or Missouri than it is to stay in California. My company hired a VP from California and he was absolutely floored at how much larger a house he could buy here for what he'd pay back home. That said, houses are often cheaper because there's less of a demand for them for whatever reason.

Which lead to my blindness on the fact that you can get homes for much less than I thought because, due to my income, I'd never dream of looking for something that price. Heck, I never set the search engine below 300k when I was looking for the home I'm in now. Probably should have. Kinda stuck up on my end. Bleh.
My grandfather's home in Sacramento, CA sold for nearly $270,000 in 2011. My grandparents bought the house new in the 1950s and nothing had been updated. There was no air conditioning, the kitchen counters and cabinets were original, and there was extensive termite damage. I can't imagine paying $270k for that dump but someone bought it and turned it into a rental unit.
 

Myrdin Potter

Adventurer
It is a matter of where you draw the line at what a “city” is.

Even so, there are only a few areas where housing is especially expensive (I live in the greater San Francisco area which is one of them). Outside those areas, prices are way more reasonable.

Obviously, a few toy and game company employees make very good money (Hasbro CEO and executives are a good example). But I see little sign that smaller companies not only make enough but that they pay enough as well.
 


Zaukrie

New Publisher
Are you kidding? There are thousands of cities across the USA where housing are very reasonable. Its just the big sprawls where you have to fork over insanely inflated prices.

My lakefront house is 14 minutes' drive from the city where I worked before I retired. In that city, you can buy a 2-1.5-1 starter home on a quarter acre lot in a nice neighborhood for around $45,000.

This is why Cost of living indexes are more important than actual salaries. I worked in the Austin area before I moved to my current location, and housing there was already soaring. My baby brother stayed, but he was in the tech field, so his salary increased faster than housing costs. Had I stayed in Austin, I would still be working. And paying off a mortgage.

It's a big country. Trying to apply statistics to it as a whole is unwise.

But it is more interesting to say 'salaries are shrinking' rather than, 'jamming ever more people into the same restricted space artificially drives up the value of property, and huge numbers of people are being suckered into paying far more for housing than they would need to'.
Sorry. The data is out there. Salaries are shrinking compared to costs. Like, all over the internet. Find data that refutes what I posted. I'm interested in facts.
 

Myrdin Potter

Adventurer

In the USA, they have treaded water, not shrank.

You can make this better or worse depending on what your starting year is.

I never pay attention to minimum wages or similar entry level statistics, I look at average wages as early career and less skilled workers are not a good barometer for affordability.

House ownership as a percentage in the USA shows decent trends as well.

This ties back to RPG industry wages/earning.

If this needs to support a US person in an average urban area, the wages discussed are obviously too low if the person is the sole earner.
 


Is the US Census a good enough source? In 2010, the percentage of the US population living in urban areas, defined as 50,000+ people, was 80% of the population. Another 9.5% of the population lived in urban clusters which were areas with a population of 2,500-49,999 people. A hair under 20% of the US population lived in rural areas in 2010.

More Americans have lived in urban areas than rural since the 1920 census.

No, not really. I spent over a third of my career with the additional duty of overseeing my department's contribution to several Federal databases, databases which are regularly quoted in the minutes of Congress and virtually every state Legislature. I attended regional and national seminars for persons assigned to the same duty in departments large and small.

And the numbers were, are, and will continue to be, largely BS. We submitted the information that served the needs of our political masters. Who ensured that despite being supposedly vital government statistics, said data was not bound to any enforcement standard whatsoever.

So the US census? Not credible in any grand level, unless the truth happens to meet the standard desired.

As Disraeli noted: There are three types of falsehood: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
 

Serious question (not just pushing buttons here), why do you not believe this data? Statista is generally considered a reliable source. It matches the data from U Michigan. What information would be needed for you to find this believable?
Considered by whom?

Not by anyone who understands data collection. And a university? Please; the days when US academia had actual credibility are barely at the cusp of living memory.
 

Sorry. The data is out there. Salaries are shrinking compared to costs. Like, all over the internet. Find data that refutes what I posted. I'm interested in facts.
I don't believe you are. I think you're interested in statistics, which is far, far from the same thing.

I don't believe in Santa Claus, nor in unbiased data collection for public dissemination.
 


Except statistics are pretty good, pithy as the quote may be. Statistics are data.
Only if the data they are based upon is factual.

There's a lovely example I like to use: When Ann Richards, the last Democrat governor of Texas, ran for office, she promised a substantial reduction in violent crime. When she took office for what would be her single term, the State re-defined sexual assaults from violent crime to crimes against persons. At that time, sexual assaults made up roughly 20% of the violent crime in Texas.

So when the annual tabulation came around, violent crime statistics were roughly 20% lower than they had been the previous year.

The nature and scope of crime never changed. But the statistics did.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Only if the data they are based upon is factual.

There's a lovely example I like to use: When Ann Richards, the last Democrat governor of Texas, ran for office, she promised a substantial reduction in violent crime. When she took office for what would be her single term, the State re-defined sexual assaults from violent crime to crimes against persons. At that time, sexual assaults made up roughly 20% of the violent crime in Texas.

So when the annual tabulation came around, violent crime statistics were roughly 20% lower than they had been the previous year.

The nature and scope of crime never changed. But the statistics did.
Keep the local politics off this site, please.
 

Considered by whom?

Not by anyone who understands data collection. And a university? Please; the days when US academia had actual credibility are barely at the cusp of living memory.

This doesn't answer either of my questions. We can try another way if you like: if someone asked you what percentage of people live in urban environments, how would you answer the question? How would you get data to provide a quantified and qualified answer?
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
This doesn't answer either of my questions. We can try another way if you like: if someone asked you what percentage of people live in urban environments, how would you answer the question? How would you get data to provide a quantified and qualified answer?
If someone is unwilling to accept accredited numbers from multiple sources over their own gut feel and anecdotal evidence, I am unsure if there is worth in continuing to debate with them as they can and have refuted anything that does not match their confirmation bias. At this point instead of letting this thread devolve into everyone with facts trying to fit that one person's requirements, let's get back to the original discussion.
 

This doesn't answer either of my questions. We can try another way if you like: if someone asked you what percentage of people live in urban environments, how would you answer the question? How would you get data to provide a quantified and qualified answer?
I wouldn't.

I don't know of any source that could be considered unbiased.
 

If someone is unwilling to accept accredited numbers from multiple sources over their own gut feel and anecdotal evidence, I am unsure if there is worth in continuing to debate with them as they can and have refuted anything that does not match their confirmation bias. At this point instead of letting this thread devolve into everyone with facts trying to fit that one person's requirements, let's get back to the original discussion.
Except no 'accredited' sources have been provided, and my statements are based upon factual knowledge gained from working with databases of the type in question. Nor am I unique in regards to my opinion.

The issue presented is is very simple: do you believe that government and for-profit organizations will provide unbiased databases which are then used to support their budgetary allocations, justify their existence/expansion, and/or secure favorable attention?

Keeping in mind that on this very day Congress is locked in a bitter, on-going, and lengthy struggle over the definition and viability of several bills based on database information.

But yes, I agree it is time to move back to discussing RPG writer salaries.
 


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