Category Archives: Cellar Games

Two for Two

I attended the ENnie awards this year because the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game was nominated for three categories. I’m the art director for the Marvel line and responsible for the layout and art selection of the book. So I was sitting nervously in the audience because Cam Banks threatened to make me give one of the speeches if we won.

I was not expecting what happened just after the intermission. Somebody with a microphone said “Technoir.” I practically jumped out of my seat. That somebody was Jody Kline, one of the ENnie judges. He selected Technoir for his Judge’s Spotlight Award. The other judges selected Designers & Dragons, Edge RPG, Honor + Intrigue, and Shelter In Place. What a great group of games to be mentioned among. Read more »

Gencon 2011 Games on Demand

Hey friends,

In two days I leave for Gencon Indy 2011! Can’t wait to see everyone who’s going out there. Technoir won’t be there in print, unfortunately, but I will have a few special Transmissions to hand out.

I’ll be spending a good chunk of my time at Games on Demand. This is your one-stop location to try out new and not-so-new indie and small-press games. It’s going on Thursday to Saturday from 10am to 10pm and Sunday from 10am to 2pm. You can find it at the Pennsylvania Station C Meeting Room in the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Slots start every 2 hours. Be sure to bring some generic tickets. Read more »

Technoir is now on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow!

If you didn’t have a chance to pick up Technoir through the Kickstarter, you can now find the PDF available at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow!

Conventional

It’s actually been nice out the last couple days. There was snow falling as recently as Sunday and now there’s sunshine and I can walk around the lake in a t-shirt. And so I am reminded that summer convention season approaches.

It looks like I’ll be at both Origins and Gen Con this year.
Read more »

Bits & Mortar

Bits & Mortar has launched today! This is a program that allows your local game store to provide customers with free PDF versions of the hard-copy games they buy. Participating publishers include Arc Dream, Cubicle 7, Evil Hat Productions, Pelgrane Press, Rogue Games, and yours-truly, Cellar Games.

Click here for the official press release.

The CreateSpace Issue

I have alluded to this around the internet before, but I wanted to tell the whole story about an issue I had with the POD printer I use for Chronica Feudalis: CreateSpace. If nothing else, this will be a place I can point people at when I allude to this issue again. Hopefully, small publishers like myself can learn from this experience.

Read more »

Domesday 2: The Reckoning

A while back I told the story of how Cellar Games was started and Chronica Feudalis was published. This was in the tradition of several indie games publishers who are forthcoming and transparent with their business. I know that for myself, Evil Hat’s quarterly sales reports were an amazing help when starting to get into this to help set my expectations for what kind of numbers I could expect to sell. Not that I ever expected Chronica to sell like Spirit of the Century but, you know, it’s a point of reference.

So here is another point of reference. Cellar Games’ sales for Q4 of 2009:

IPR Sales Q4
Print (Retail) 42
Print (Direct) 16
PDF 18
OBS Sales Q4
PDF 19
Lifetime Sales
Print 160
PDF 154
Total Sales 314

When we last talked about this, I was around $300 shy of Chronica Feudalis being a profitable endeavor. I am happy to say that it has now certainly made more money than I have put into it.

Along those lines I wanted to comment on something I said in that post. I said something off-the-cuff like “But if you ever expect this hobby industry to pay for your time, you’ll be sorely disappointed.” While I think it’s completely necessary to manage your expectations when getting into something like this, what I said was false. There’s some truth in there but it’s one of those things that people say without really thinking about it. There are plenty of independent game designers and self-publishers that do in fact pay themselves for their time. Vincent Baker said over at Story-Games that he gets “about $20/hour.

Now I might be more accurate in saying that we can’t all be Vincent Baker, but there are examples of people making money doing this. Whatever, you know all of this. Point is, I said something wrong and, fuck, I’m going to own up to it.

The good news is that Chronica Feudalis continues to sell. From the reports I’ve heard, people are enjoying the game. As a new publisher and a hobbyist game designer, this has been a project I have been tremendously proud of. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible.

My Personal Domesday

As easy as it has become to self-publish your RPG, it’s still a fairly daunting prospect. There’s a lot you have to learn and, for the most part, you’re going to have to teach yourself. Sometimes it’s difficult to see what things really cost and how much money you can reasonably expect to make. Fortunately there are many publishers who are willing to share what they’ve learned along the way, helping those of us who are new to the industry with the first steps. Fred Hicks is practically famous for this: regularly revealing Evil Hat’s quarterly sales figures, and providing spreadsheet breakdowns of cost comparisons between print-on-demand vendors. The transparency of small-press and self-published outfits is a boon to anyone looking to join those ranks.

So, in that spirit, I want to share the story of the publication of Chronica Feudalis, my first RPG published in print, and Cellar Games, LLC, the company I started to publish it. I am not claiming to be an expert at this – I don’t know that I’ve fumbled through this process better than anyone else has – but having freshly traversed this ground and by revealing the real numbers behind the process, I hope to provide a solid reference for those who find themselves where I was only a few months ago.

I start a lot of things. Not counting the novels, screenplays, and video game designs, I’ve started writing at least 6 different role-playing games with unique and fairly fleshed-out systems. Chronica Feudalis was begun – practically on a dare by my girlfriend – as an exercise in trying to finish something. My first notes (a skill list and a rough outline) were sketched out in late September of 2008. My plan even then was to bring it to Gen Con Indy in August of 2009.
Read more »

Cellar Games, LLC Partners with RPGNow

Minneapolis, MN – Out of the cellar and onto your digital shelf! Cellar Games, LLC has partnered with RPGNow.com to make Chronica Feudalis and future role-playing products available via digital distribution. Through this partnership customers gain access to Cellar Games’ electronic products, starting with their flagship game Chronica Feudalis, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Jeremy Keller, the author of Chronica Feudalis and owner of Cellar Games, says “I’m excited to bring my products to RPGNow, the leading source for indie RPGs.”

Sean Patrick Fannon, Marketing and Publisher Relations Manager for RPGNow, added “We are constantly amazed at the talent and imagination brought to products like those of Cellar Games, and we’re proud to carry these products on our site.”

To learn more about Cellar Games, LLC, please visit http://cellar-games.com.

To learn more about RPGNow, please visit http://www.rpgnow.com

For further information, please contact Jeremy Keller at jeremy@cellar-games.com or Sean Patrick Fannon at sean@onebookshelf.com