Dennis Detwiller

Why We Create

In Art, Gaming, Video Games, Writing on March 27, 2012 at 8:07 am

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I thought I’d take a minute to speak about why I do this. All of this. Role playing games.

I am lucky enough to make video games for a living. This is wonderful, rewarding work. The people I work with are great, the projects are fantastic. To be in control of such a thing as a game franchise is humbling and awesome and amazingly fun. However…

…it just can’t hold a candle to the world I found in pen and paper RPGs and board games, in the properties I made for myself and with others. Delta Green, GODLIKE, Wild Talents. The fun and amazing feeling of creation I’ve experienced there dwarfs anything that has come after it.

RPGs are amazing: there is so much contained within so little. So many ideas per square inch that in a good RPG product, I find myself jotting down notes every page. I have never had that experience with a video game, a book or a movie. RPGs are like a work out for my imagination. Video games and books by comparison are like a meal. Playing and thinking about RPGs has made my mind what it is today.

But RPG gaming is fragmented, difficult to monetize, hard to get a handle on in both timing or stability. The market which might have once existed is a shadow of its former self, and the world has shifted. I was lucky enough to know a guy named Greg Stolze who showed me you could go straight to your fans. So far, his method hasn’t failed me. I plan to continue this way.

So, we’re working away on the Ransoms now. Thanks to some feedback, there will be four. 

  1. Delta Green: Scenario Book
  2. Delta Green: Fiction Book
  3. Delta Green: Video Game
  4. The Sense of the Sleight of Hand Man

Now it’s time to talk about goals. Long ago, I set a bunch of goals for myself. Some have fallen by the wayside for good reason (TV proved too soulless and strange for me to be involved in), others have become old hat (being able to draw and write at a professional level). Others still have been fulfilled (create a lasting video game franchise). I noticed the other day, I didn’t really have any clear goal except the creation of another product. This isn’t enough — I mean, of course I want to make new books and games — but I need a bigger goal.

So, here it is.

My goal is nothing less than getting enough support to move full time over to RPG development (I count the DG video game among this work). This will not happen overnight (and maybe not at all), but it’s about time I found something bigger to shoot for. This will be a tough one to achieve, but with your help, it might be possible.

Drop a line and let me know what you think.

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  1. Good luck. I’ve always enjoyed your work, and I hope you surpass this new goal.

  2. Good luck with that! I always have a spare wallet for your projects so you can count on that.

    What’s wrong with drawing/writing at a professional level though? Do you mean you don’t see yourself doing it exclusively? (because, well, from where I’m standing, you’re *already* drawing and writing a professional level…).

    • Well, what’s wrong with it is, if it’s done, it’s not much of a goal to shoot for, is it? I mean, I can draw and write to reasonably professional level, it’s no longer something to strive for.

      I’m looking for a bigger goal to shoot for, I guess.

      • Oh I see. “old hat” got lost in translation between english and french 🙂

        Still, I’d love to see a Godlike or WildTalent comicbook illustrated by you (the couple pages of Godlike comicbook you did a few years ago were pretty cool).

  3. Two Things:
    1. I’m assuming you aren’t planning on putting all of these up for ransom simultaneously? Otherwise your projects will be competing against each other for our budgets.

    2. As a person who has 0 interest in an iPhone/iPad/anything by Apple game, but a high interest in a PC game, will there be any recourse besides sitting it out and seeing if it gets anywhere near the required goal?

    Be Seeing You,

    • “I’m assuming you aren’t planning on putting all of these up for ransom simultaneously? Otherwise your projects will be competing against each other for our budgets.”

      We have experience in this. The idea of Ransoms competing proves to be false in actuality. People seem to either contribute or not, the number of projects has little or no effect on the percentage of people that contribute. In any case, either it works or it doesn’t. I’m fine with something failing. So it goes. In any case, staggering them out does not have the effect you might imagine.

      “2. As a person who has 0 interest in an iPhone/iPad/anything by Apple game, but a high interest in a PC game, will there be any recourse besides sitting it out and seeing if it gets anywhere near the required goal?”

      The only recourse I can imagine is coming up with enough money to fund a PC build. 🙂 I’d love to do a PC build, but unlike other, shall we say “bright eyed and bushy tailed” Kickstarters, I know how much these things cost (because I’ve built them). Without the money (or not enough money) attempting to make a PC version would be folly.

      Cheers,
      Dennis Detwiller

  4. Great goal to strive for! I really hope the RPG market is big enough to support something like that though.

  5. Well, you certainly have my support!

  6. I think the ‘greg stolze’ link might be wonky — I’m getting it as the last element of a detwiller.wordpress.com URL…

    I too would love to see more Godlike/Wild Talents/World Gone Mad content there, but I look forward to whatever you produce, honestly. Pagan, Arc Dream, and all the other products I’ve gotten that you’ve worked on (Unseen Armies, frex) have all been well worth my money and time.

  7. If you moved all publishing operations to the helicarrier you could cut down on overhead whilst simultaneously unleashing forces of destruction upon an unsuspecting world that would never see a giant helicarrier coming to destroy them.

  8. I wish you luck. Let me know if you need an editor / proofreader.

  9. I’m ruthless in the editing / second reader category, too . . .

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