Announcement Good news from G.A.M.A !!!

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    • Good news from G.A.M.A !!!

      Having recently attended the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, I can honestly say that what I was originally trepidatious about turned out to be an incredible experience that really opened my eyes concerning the tabletop gaming industry, and was an amazing help in allowing me to plan for the eventual ship of this product.

      GAMA is a show dedicated to the convergence of all the various factors of the tabletop gaming industry, from creators, to producers, to distributors, to publishers, to retailers, and even (for the seriously diehard and curious) to consumers. However,..the focus here seemed to be getting the attention of the retailers, those who own the game stores that will eventually be stocking and selling the product, as well as a venue for the creators and producers of the games, who are drawn to potential publishers and others who can help their game become a reality. For me,..this trip was all about the latter...

      Please allow me to mention at this point, that I owe the very idea of going on this trip to David Wheeler, owner of Dragon's Lair. He not only suggested it be a good idea for me,..but also strongly supported the product itself and, when he discovered I had decided to go after all, did me the amazing favor of taking me under his wing and personally introducing me to many key people there with whom I could discuss and hype the Dárdünah game. Additionally, David was incredibly enthusiastic about the product, and always had great things to say about it as he introduced me to the many people in the biz who seemed able to help me out.

      Of the many things he did for me at the show,..one of the most useful to me was to help me get set up to have a Focus Group of retailers from across the country individually scrutinize and critique Dárdünah to determine what issues it may have that could impede potential popularity and sales. At first I was really scared that Dárdünah would hold up well to such scrutiny, especially considering that this was really such a home-brewed project. I waited my turn and watched as the group of about 8 people critiqued the fellow before me who had created a card game. To me,..it looked pretty slick... To their more critical eyes,..there were many issues with that fellow's game,..and their were pretty sparse on the compliments. This scared me a bit,..and I thought "Oh GOD,..what have I signed myself up for? Am I about to have a new orifice torn into me?"

      Instead, I was delighted to discover that the retailers had really GREAT things to say about Dárdünah. They loved the art. They thought the use of animal people as characters was a GREAT idea. They loved the fact that it was NOT European-based fantasy. They were excited that it seemed to be able to appeal to both male AND female gamers. The rich and garish colors were a refreshing change of pace to the somewhat gothic color schemes of other games. They had some really great ideas concerning certain things to focus on for a potential booth, as well as potential packaging and sale’s themes. They enjoyed the fact that it was not a "level-based" game like D&D, and that you actually spent points to purchase the attributes of your character. And they enjoyed the very alien setting and richness implied in the world's cultures and backdrop. Finally, they praised the layout of the books, the beauty of their interiors, and the production quality in general, amazed that these books were prototypical.

      The ONLY problem they had, each and every one, was the name of the game itself. They worried that the name would be too alien for most potential buyers, and didn't give a sense of the world itself. It was hard to read, hard to pronounce, and created no initial response except confusion, which is bad. I told them that Aaron and I, long ago, had discussed changing the name of the game (not the world) for these very reasons, and that we had originally considered naming it "Shard", not only to give reference to the shattered nature of the world itself (unknown to most of the world's inhabitants) but to also be evocative of the fact that crystals are so important to the theme of the world's cultures. There were initially suggestions pertaining to adding another word to it (such as Feral Shard, or perhaps Primal Shard), but in the end, after discussing it with Aaron and my own gaming group,...I decided to keep it simple. "SHARD" it is... (see attachment download to view the new logo design as if it were on the Welcome Booklet cover)...

      With this small change,..requiring a new logo and a little bit of added writing to back it up, I think we are well on our way to finishing a fantastic game,..if the reactions of the retailers are any indication. And they weren't the only ones who seemed impressed. Four other publishers seemed willing to take Dárdünah and help get it on the shelves WITHOUT requiring ownership of the property, whereas before I had been worried that I was going to have to self publish. PSI Publisher Services (who distributes the Whitewolf, Palladium, and Steve Jackson products), AEG, Studio 2, and Mongoose Publishing all expressed interest and willingness to publish, with Studio 2 being the most helpful and enthusiastic, and Mongoose (who handle products such as RuneQuest) a close second.

      All in all this was a fantastic trip. The only slight change in plans is the nearly universal urging by all to NOT attempt to publish this year, and to wait till next by bringing it out and introducing it officially at next year's GAMA. Doing this will help me AND the retailers position Dárdünah (now SHARD) so that it can make the best market splash as possible, and will certainly give me more time to give it the polish and refinement it deserves.

      Thanks all for your continued support and playtesting...

      Scottie ^^
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      • New Logo Test Flattened.jpg

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    • This is great news, Scottie! Very great news. I am quite pleased to hear that the critics went over your game as well as they did. However, I must disagree with one point that they have made and also your (and Aaron's) decision to change the name of the game.

      The word Shard speaks too little of what this game has to offer. Primal Shard, Feral Shard, etc also seems to lack the eye catching pull of certain other words. In fact, adding those two words (Primal /Feral with Shard) seems to water down and possibly even stereotype the game a bit. So, I guess it's good that you at least stuck with Shard.

      Now, I can understand if the word Dárdünah seems a bit intimidating, but watering it down to 'Shard' just seems to take part of the mystery and intrigue out of the game. I beg you to seek out your fellow testers to find another alternate name that will suit the world of Dárdünah better than Shard.

      Now personally, I would like to say as a 'casual' gamer who generally just idly looks through games: I would not personally find Dárdünah intimidating at all. Putting bias aside (meaning I personally like the name Dárdünah), the only problem I can come up with concerning the word Dárdünah is the fact that it SOUNDS Eastern and not typical European. But where (really) is the problem in that? That's (almost) exactly what this game explains in near minute detail in the book itself.

      Ah, I thought I was done! The word Shard:

      Shard seems to give off the feeling that the shard the initial books are based off of is the only one inhabited by any sentient life. It gives off a sense of rigidness instead of flexibility when thinking of gaming options for the future of Dárdünah (Shard). I've read elsewhere that people (I believe mainly Eric?) have expressed their desire to come up with campaigns involving other shards on the planet. Why then call it Shard and not Shards?

      To put it bluntly: Shard seems too bland for a game such as this. Kinda like calling Dungeon and Dragons 'Swords' or Vampire the Masquerade 'Night'.
    • Yeah,..I understand your feelings concerning this,..and, believe me,..I have a special spot in my heart for the name Dárdünah,.....BUT,...I have to agree with the retailers (the people who sell RPGs for a living) that most games that are able to come out with exotic names are games who already have the luxury of being produced by companies who have made a reputation for themselves with an existing franchise or property. It would be different if White Wolf or Wizards of the coast announced and expensively advertised some new product with a name like Dárdünah. People would be interested in it merely because of who was putting it out. But in my case,..what I discovered was that even though the retailers and publishers seemed excited about Dárdünah, when they tried to talk about it later (something I got to see whithout them realizing I was listening in) none of them could remember what it was called. This is a bad thing. Without product name memory and recognition, there's much less of a chance of the game getting ordered, or of a potential customer recalling it when asking about it in a store.

      "Shard" was a name that I and the I.P.s creator Aaron had talked about changing it to long ago. We took, as inspiration, the fact that Frank Herbert used as a title for his books "DUNE" instead of "Arrakis" which was the actual name of the world. If the books had been called Arrakis,..I doubt that they would have ever hit the pulse of the market as they did. Is "SHARD" the best possible name? I'm not sure... Could another name,..a recognizable name that is similarly iconic and simultaneously says something about the world be created? Possibly... I'm certainly open to suggestions... Assume "SHARD" is the working name right now till something else is suggested that really "sings" to me and Aaron...

      Any suggestions?

      I'll open this up as another thread for Forum discussion...

      Scottie ^^
    • As a retailer, the biggest problem I have with the name Dárdünah is that I can't easily sell it or remember it. If I had a customer in my store, and I wanted to point them at the game, I would probably be saying soimething like, "Oh, you want that Dardu...dardi...that 'D' game." The name is too obscure and 'alien' to be easily remembered. As we told Scottie, keep Dárdünah the name of the world, but give the game a name that is easier to remember and pronounce. I personally suggested 'Feral Shard' - evoking a sense of the animal and the crystal natures of the game. 'Shard' works, but I feel something needs added or adjusted to give the name more feeling - more mystery or a sense of danger. You want a name that draws you to the game and makes you not only want to pick it up and look at it, but also remember the game long after you leave the store. I am not sure what that perfect name IS, but hopefully we can find it.
      "Oh bother," said the Borg, "we've assimilated Pooh."
    • RE: Good news from G.A.M.A !!!

      That certainly sounded like a productive trip. The things the retailers found refreshing about Dardunah were the very things I found refreshing about it. The name never seemed bad to me. It has a sound that helps conjure up an exotic feel. Its not a harsh name.

      Shard...I like it. I like it the more I think about it. It feels harsh but seems to work well with the font you chose/created.

      Shards...That could work to. The shattered world is a whole load of chunks and the idea of there being more than one land...the idea of there being things yet unseen is appealing. *ponder* Shard is a very English word. From old English, meaning to cut. Did you know that the word "shard" can also also refer to the shell of a beetle? Kinda fits, doens't it?
    • RE: Good news from G.A.M.A !!!

      Originally posted by Mulefoot
      That certainly sounded like a productive trip. The things the retailers found refreshing about Dardunah were the very things I found refreshing about it. The name never seemed bad to me. It has a sound that helps conjure up an exotic feel. Its not a harsh name.

      Shard...I like it. I like it the more I think about it. It feels harsh but seems to work well with the font you chose/created.


      Thanks! That font was fun to create... I'll be playing further with it as I experiment with other ideas...

      Originally posted by Mulefoot
      Shards...That could work to. The shattered world is a whole load of chunks and the idea of there being more than one land...the idea of there being things yet unseen is appealing. *ponder* Shard is a very English word. From old English, meaning to cut. Did you know that the word "shard" can also also refer to the shell of a beetle? Kinda fits, doens't it?


      Oooh! Really?!? I'd never heard of "shard" used to refer to a beetle's carapace,..that's pretty cool! I actually hadn't taken the chance to look up it's various sources and reference... I should probably do that. Just in case,..I DID buy the domain name shardrpg.com I wonder if that'll be the name I go with..? Hopefully I'll see some other suggestions that call to me...

      Thanks for the input, my friend!

      Scottie ^^
    • First of all, thanks for having us as guests at your house last week. We had lots of fun and want to come back soon. But, as for a different name, Shard ( or Shards) is the best name that comes to mind. I will be reading more of the books and trying to find a name that suits it better, but if I can't find a better name, Shard(s) would be more than ok with me.


      Kyle
    • Originally posted by Kyle
      First of all, thanks for having us as guests at your house last week. We had lots of fun and want to come back soon. But, as for a different name, Shard ( or Shards) is the best name that comes to mind. I will be reading more of the books and trying to find a name that suits it better, but if I can't find a better name, Shard(s) would be more than ok with me.


      Kyle


      Thanks for this input! Do me a favor, if you would, and re-post your last comment about the name along with the thread pertaining to this in the post talking about the name change. I'm trying to accumulate all opinions concerning this,..their pros and their cons, and all opinioned factors,..so that i can make an informed judgement...

      Scottie ^^