Perfect is up on Kickstarter! Fundraise and pre-order now!

edited July 2010 in Directed Promotion
Hey y'all!

The true love of my life is a story game named Perfect. I've been working on it since 2006. It was published once, in 2006, but I felt like it wasn't really fully-baked so took it back to the drawing room for another three years. And now, it is done. complete. Perfect.

Perfect is a game about passionate criminals in a steampunk dystopia. If you're looking for a game where anarchist lovers steal away in the middle of the night, and then inspectors clad in black arrest them and then attempt to "fix" them and eradicate those "needless emotions" - Perfect is the game you are looking for. If you're looking to echo 1984, A Clockwork Orange, V for Vendetta, Gotham By Gaslight, Equilibrium or Quills... Perfect is the game you are looking for.

I'm raising funds & managing pre-orders through Kickstarter, right now. I've decided to shoot for a really lofty, scary goal: $7,000. The site breaks down where that money is going, but basically: art, editing, purchasing fonts, paying myself, printing a thousand books, and attending cons to promote the game.

You can pre-order the game & participate in my endeavor! Check this link!

image
«1

Comments

  • Whoa man, you got balls. A thousand books? Mind, I'm not saying Perfect isn't worth it, or can't do those numbers: I love the game. Just sayin', you're right, that's scary.

    But man, it's good to see you doing this. I would love to see Perfect get the production treatment it deserves. Best of luck!
  • That's a lot of cash to get in 30 days. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Sadly I don't have any cash, and there's Dresden Files and Eclipse Phase in the queue ahead of anything else.

    -Ash
  • good luck! i will be sure to kick in eventually at least for the pdf.
  • That's exciting news Joe! Good luck on reaching your goal. It seems to be off to a good start; $450 raised at the time of writing this (including the $50 I've pledged).
  • Posted By: hans ottersonWhoa man, you got balls. A thousand books? Mind, I'm not sayingPerfectisn't worth it, or can't do those numbers: I love the game. Just sayin', you're right, that's scary.
    The thing is, if I don't raise the target, no sweat.
    No money ever changes hands.
    Kickstarter is a perfect way to test out a risky idea, because the only risk is that it doesn't happen.

    What happens then, if we fail on this goal, is that I rethink how I want to publish the game, and probably do something much simpler and safer.
  • I've been thinking for a couple of months about doing a Kickstarter project of my own to up the production value of my publications. Let me know how it goes.

  • Joe, good luck!

    Will $850 be enough to cover your convention expenses? Or are many of those conventions local?

    Would Steampunk conventions be of interest?
    http://steampunkworldsfair.com/
    http://www.steamcon.org/
    http://wildwildwestcon.com/

    My friends have been to http://steampunkworldsfair.com/ and I can ask them how it went and what the attendance / exhibit rooms were like.
  • Are you doing offset litho, or do you have another reason to commit to such a large print run? What are your printing specs?
  • Hey Joe,

    Will the physical book be hardcover or paperback?

    Paul
  • $7000 in a month. Phew. Good luck.

    I've never pre-ordered a game before. I've always waited for the actual release date. But I like your stuff, and your plan is big, so why the hell not.

    But I do echo Paul's question. Could you provide some additional details on the final book? Should I be thinking of this as a donation to help your cause plus a book, or just a pre-order?
  • Posted By: jenskotWill $850 be enough to cover your convention expenses?
    Nope, it won't be.
    It'll be enough to make those trips affordable to me.
    I'll sell some books there and make a bit more that way.
    And finally, I'll be mixing business with pleasure, so eating some of those costs to attend those events makes tons of sense!
    Posted By: jenskotWould Steampunk conventions be of interest?
    http://steampunkworldsfair.com/
    http://www.steamcon.org/
    http://wildwildwestcon.com/
    Totally! Please check with your friends about the Steampunk Worlds Fair scene!

    Steamcon is the only steampunk convention I've been to so far, and I had a riot - the gaming was enthusiastic and fresh, the costumes were amazing, and the tone was fun and exciting. Last year I ran Shock: Social Steampunk Fiction, Lady Blackbird, Perfect and Perfect again. This year, I'm running Lady Blackbird, Perfect, Heart of Ashes and one or two others.

    I do plan/hope to attend additional steampunk cons over the next year, it's just that I wasn't willing to commit to them absolutely at this stage. Make sense?
  • Just out of curiosity, are you talking this up on Steampunk (non-roleplaying) websites? (Do those even exist? I'm sure they do right.)
  • Preordered!
  • Posted By: Simon RogersAre you doing offset litho, or do you have another reason to commit to such a large print run? What are your printing specs?
    Hey Simon,

    1000 copies is a working number, and I might be wise to instead just have the Kickstarter page say "$5000 for printing books."

    I am still collecting quotes from printers, and making decisions about how I am going to print. A thousand copies doesn't limit my decisions. As someone who is going to be shipping across international borders, a big print run also saves me from expensive shipping & customs problems.

    Depending on the printer I use (and whether I go offset or digital POD), there might not be any significant per-unit price difference between 250 copies and 1000 copies. If that turns out to be the case, I might do an initial print run of 250, and reserve that additional funding for future runs.

    Finally, $5000 for printing is enough so that if I decide to do a full-colour-on-every-page interior for the book (the only option that'd allow me to work with Lightning Source on this project), that's funding for a print run of 500 instead (as I've currently been quoted at around $10 for a full-colour, 100 page book).

    So, in short: I'm still working out these details, and wanted to put this fund building into motion, as the decision will ultimately look like the funds I have to work with.
  • Posted By: Tim C Koppang$7000 in a month. Phew. Good luck.
    Totally. We're over 10% of the goal already, in under 10 hours. So: I believe!
  • Posted By: Paul CzegeWill the physical book be hardcover or paperback?
    Paperback.
    Hardcovers increase the cost of the game and the shipping, making the game less accessible as a result.

    It will either be 6x9, or slightly larger, depending on the printer I settle on and the options they provide.

    The text is being sent to an editor next week, so I'm not sure on the final word count, but it'll range around 23k words.
    I'm estimating 100 pages for the final book, but it might range from 80-120.

    As mentioned, 8 or more full-colour interior pictures.

    As an update on the Kickstarter page, in the next few days, I'll break down the chapters & their word counts, and talk more about the book's content.
  • So it's a full colour 100-page book? What size format?

    I'd say your print run and amount sought are very ambitious. Maybe the current news over at the Dresden Files site is a useful reference point: about 5000 sold so far, with a nice licensed property, serious long-term customer warm-up, and a very nice final product.
  • Awesome title, joe.

    Totally Orwellian, totally great!
    & this is really ambitious and exciting - i can't wait!

    Does Andrew have any sketches that you can show us?
  • Posted By: jackson teguAwesome title, joe
    yes, I do dig the ", Unrevised" on there.
  • Posted By: Tim GraySo it's a full colour 100-page book? What size format?
    Tim,

    Each page with art will be printed in colour.

    With some printers, you can print the majority of the book in b&w and then insert colour pages in before binding.
    With some printers, it's all one way or the other.

    As mentioned in my reply to Paul: 6x9, or slightly larger, depending on the options provided by the printer I settle upon.
  • Posted By: Tim C KoppangJust out of curiosity, are you talking this up on Steampunk (non-roleplaying) websites? (Do those even exist? I'm sure they do right.)
    Not yet. I hit "launch" just past midnight last night, and subsequently went to sleep. And I'm jumping into this thread from work, at three minute stints whenever no one is looking. Because I'm just so excited.

    But it's my plan to over the next few days, talk this project up in various places, including steampunk-y places. Though, I am only toe-deep in the steampunk community, so I'll be doing some serious sleuthing. I'm part of an LJ group called DarkVictorian. I'm going to get ahold of the guy who runs Victorian Adventure Enthusiast, which I follow. Other than that, there's some mystery involved for me.
    Posted By: Tim GrayMaybe the current news over at the Dresden Files site is a useful reference point: about 5000 sold so far
    Oh, hey, that reminds me! (why that in particular reminded me, I don't know)

    I completely omitted from my plans that 5% of my print run (so, 50 copies, if I print 1000) is going to be set aside for donations & review copies. I'll probably send out 5-7 review copies, donate 3-5 to the library, and then have a bunch to give away to conventions & events/fundraisers/cool causes. I'm specifically planning to send them to conventions where they'll wind up in the hands of not-already-indie-gamers, like a steampunk con or a literary con or whatever.

    The specifics on that aren't hammered out yet, but go: 5% of my initial print run will be give-away copies, that'll go to reviewers, libraries, convention door prizes and neat causes.

    I'm going to edit that into my Kickstarter thing.
  • If you're mixing colour and B&W, be aware that one page of colour is actually two, in different parts of the book. With a saddle stitched (read 'stapled through the middle of all pages') book, they'd be on opposite sides of the spine. In a perfect bound book, they could be anywhere. Consult closely with your printer when designing the layout of the book and, with a bit of luck, you may be able to get the illustrations to match up so that no colour is wasted.

    -Ash
  • Posted By: DestriarchIf you're mixing colour and B&W, be aware that one page of colour is actually two, in different parts of the book. With a saddle stitched (read 'stapled through the middle of all pages') book, they'd be on opposite sides of the spine. In a perfect bound book, they could be anywhere. Consult closely with your printer when designing the layout of the book and, with a bit of luck, you may be able to get the illustrations to match up so that no colour is wasted.

    -Ash
    *mind boggles*

    That makes total sense, but is something I would have never thought of on my own.
    Thanks, Ash!
  • edited July 2010
    Posted By: Mcdaldno I'm going to get ahold of the guy who runs Victorian Adventure Enthusiast, which I follow. Other than that, there's some mystery involved for me.
    I was totally going to suggest this. Jordan is an awesome dude, and he had nothing but good things to say about Perfect after playing it at Gamestorm 2009. I'm sure he would love to help you spread the word.
  • If you're willing to dedicate $5000 to printing costs, you should do a traditional run either in-country or overseas. You'll get a much cheaper per-unit cost -- including hard backs -- and you'll get a much better quality than what you'll get at at POD printer.

    I printed 2000 copies of a faux-cloth-wrapped, foil-stamped, digest-sized, full-color, 144-page book last year and it cost me about $7000.

    So I think $5000 is very reasonable for producing 1000 hard cover, full-color books. And with a production cost of $5 per unit, you could even drop your retail cost.
  • Agreed with Luke, his numbers match mine.

    Also, that's a ballsy number to shoot for. I don't believe that you can get it, but if you can - damn, I've gotta get me some of that Kickstarter action, because apparently it makes people loosen their purse strings impressively well.
  • edited July 2010
    Eero,

    The sheer audacity of this project makes me want to kick in. Here's what I'm hoping for on behalf of Joe. Lots of people sign up to donate thinking something like: "Hey, who cares. It'll never fund anyway." And then it does.

    But I'm sure the effect would wear off if every other publisher jumped on the bandwagon.
  • Joe is nothing if not enthusiastic and brave about shit he really cares about. I applaud his gusto and hell, even if he doesn't hit the mark, it's definitely going to be an interesting month for all of us as we watch the progress of this project.
  • Posted By: Eero Tuovinen
    Also, that's a ballsy number to shoot for. I don't believe that you can get it, but if you can - damn, I've gotta get me some of that Kickstarter action, because apparently it makes people loosen their purse strings impressively well.
    So far, more people have backed me at $100 than any of the smaller pledge points, which is super interesting data to me.
    Super interesting and super exciting.

    As you can see on the Kickstarter page, the pledges so far are...

    $5 (PDFs): 1 backer
    $35 (PDFs + book + shipping): 4 backers
    $50 (that, plus some handmade character sheets/props): 4 backers
    $100 (all that, plus a wall sized poster): 5 backers

    So, like... I'm pretty enthusiastic and optimistic so far. $845 raised on day one!

    The deciding crunch is going to be how it's received when I put the word out at various steampunk community sites, I think.
  • I'm really impressed that there were 5 $100 backers on day one. That's unexpected, no?
  • Hey, Joe! Sooo... I've already got the old edition (the ununrevised?) and I even though I never played it, I love the concept so hard I've pretty much got to throw in on this... but still pretend I'm not.

    Can you tell me some about what's sweeter and tastier about this new edition? Game-wise, I mean.
  • Point of Order: editions of the Perfect role-playing game besides the Unrevised edition shall be called henceforth by their proper name:

    Contradictory.

    If you find yourself in possession of an unfortunate Contradictory edition of Perfect, simply place it, unaddressed, in any mailbox where you might place a regular letter, and it will be returned to Joe Mcdaldno at no cost to you.

    Thank you!
  • Posted By: skinnyghostI'm really impressed that there were 5 $100 backers on day one. That's unexpected, no?
    It's funny. I went to bed, and then woke up all giddy like it was Christmas morning. I had this impulse to immediately race to my computer and check the account. But, I convinced myself, there's no way that people would have put money down already. After all, it wasn't even breakfast-time. So I spent a few minutes talking myself back down, convincing myself that there wouldn't be anything yet, before getting up.

    Lo! My inbox made clear that five people had contributed a total of four hundred fifty already. Sheer ecstasy!
  • Posted By: fnord3125(the ununrevised?)
    (the contaminated false-text, disseminated via anarchists, insurgents & marginals)
    (or, for short, the blacklisted edition)
  • Joe and Jackson, you guys are funny and all, but I still have the same question.
  • Posted By: fnord3125Joe and Jackson, you guys are funny and all, but I still have the same question.
    I'm working on it!

    Rather than handwaving an answer, I'm giving myself the time to craft an overview of two changes I've made to the mechanics, what the implications are, and why they rock.
    Expect it soon, but not that soon.
  • Posted By: McdaldnoI'm working on it!

    Rather than handwaving an answer, I'm giving myself the time to craft an overview of two changes I've made to the mechanics, what the implications are, and why they rock.
    Expect it soon, but notthatsoon.
    Ha ha! That's cool. :) When I see a post that acknowledges the question but in no way addresses it, I tend to wonder if I'm just being blown off. But now that I know you do plan to answer it, I'm cool. I look forward to hearing about it whenever you've got the time.
  • Posted By: fnord3125Hey, Joe! Sooo... I've already got the old edition (the ununrevised?) and I even though I never played it, I love the concept so hard I've pretty much got to throw in on this... but still pretend I'm not.

    Can you tell me some about what's sweeter and tastier about this new edition? Game-wise, I mean.
    Hey Brian, I'd love to talk about the new stuff.
    I've chosen to focus on two specific mechanical changes, and how they've affected the game in major ways.

    I posted the same thing on my blog and the kickstarter updates page.

    Is that the kind of stuff you're looking to hear about?
    Anyone else want me to unpack some stuff?
  • Joe,

    Holds are a pretty major change to the game, but they sound awesome (in a creepy 1984 sort of way). Can I ask a question, though. Is there any mechanical trade-off to holding instead of capturing? Are holds an unstoppable force (if you can save up enough of them), or does the "criminal" still have a chance? I'm just curious. Either way sounds cool.
  • Posted By: McdaldnoHey Brian, I'd love to talk about the new stuff.
    I've chosen to focus on two specific mechanical changes, and how they've affected the game in major ways.

    Is that the kind of stuff you're looking to hear about?
    Yes, that's the kind of stuff I wanted to hear about. :) Very cool, thanks!

    (as an aside, it might be because i just got done rewatching a season of it, but almost all the aspects you gave as examples there reminded me of Dexter)

    The thing that really hooked me on Perfect originally was the Freedoms. Have those changed at all?
  • Posted By: Tim C KoppangJoe,

    Holds are a pretty major change to the game, but they sound awesome (in a creepy 1984 sort of way). Can I ask a question, though. Is there any mechanical trade-off to holding instead of capturing? Are holds an unstoppable force (if you can save up enough of them), or does the "criminal" still have a chance? I'm just curious. Either way sounds cool.
    Hey, Tim. In a given crime cycle, you have a choice: establish a hold, or attempt a capture. Establishing a Hold is a sure thing, but whether it’s a Minor or Major Hold is contested by the dice.

    So, Holds set you back a cycle, as the antagonist, but they give you powerful tools so that you can come back with a vengeance.

    Holds can be cashed in for an extra d6 on a test. That’s big. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll win (as the antagonist), but it swings things really far in your favour. Major Holds have this other benefit, that if you spend them during a Retribution Scene, you pick a second mechanical stake for the test – doubling the pain that you bring down on the criminal if you win.

    So: Instead of constantly clipping at the heels of the criminal, you have the power to ebb and flow and still be effective.
  • Posted By: fnord3125(as an aside, it might be because i just got done rewatching a season of it, but almost all the aspects you gave as examples there reminded me of Dexter)
    Yeah, My Father Taught Me a Code is definitely a bone I'm throwing to Dexter.
    Dexter is a modern day example of Perfect.

    So, an example of a Hold from Dexter, by the way: An underwater ravine, full of dead bodies.
    An example of a Major Hold: Migel knows Dexter's secret.
    Posted By: fnord3125The thing that really hooked me on Perfect originally was the Freedoms. Have those changed at all?
    They've gotten tighter.
    Some used to have mechanical impact, like affecting the cycle order, but now they don't.

    The game now actually includes advice on what to do with Freedoms.
    Which is: exploit them. For both protagonists and antagonists.

    There are a couple new ones.
    Freedom of Self Defense is absolutely the most amazing one.
    If someone assaults you, you have the (very special) right to defend yourself from attack.
    Of course, this brand of vigilante justice does require additional security measures held against you.
    Obviously.

    So: Freedoms are almost unchanged, are surrounded by better advice on how to use them, and there are 1 or 2 new ones.
  • Ha! So normal people aren't allowed to fight back if they're attacked? (of course they aren't) That's great.

    But none of them have mechanical impact? Ah well, they're definitely interesting enough narratively that it doesn't matter.
  • Posted By: fnord3125Ha! So normal people aren't allowed to fight back if they're attacked? (of course they aren't) That'sgreat
    (Normally,) If you are assaulted or in some way jeopardized by another citizen, it is expected that you will alert the inspectors and allow the law enforcement professionals to deal with the problem. They request that you refrain from excessive commotion or volume when raising the alert.

    After all, it isn't your job to protect the public.
    Posted By: fnord3125But none of them have mechanical impact? Ah well, they're definitely interesting enough narratively that it doesn't matter.
    I playtested a few different versions where they did have mechanical impact. It felt contrived, or it felt so abstract as to not matter. Now, they are lenses for zooming in on different kinds of antagonism and push-and-pull. They say, "I'm going to lord this over you, but the moment I slip up, descend on me like vultures."

    And it's much better that way.
  • Joe,

    You keep releasing stuff at a time when I'm trying to conserve money.

    I wish I had the $1500 on hand to kick in because (a) Perfect deserves it and (b) we need to get more of "you" far away Story Game/Forge frequenters out here to the West Coast con scene.

    Jesse
  • Joe, awesome concept, all the luck in the world with making it happen :) Will keep an eye on it.
  • Over $1100 pledged in only two days; that's awesome! Let's hope that momentum keeps up; if it does, then $7k will get pledged in no time.
  • Posted By: 14thWarriorOver $1100 pledged in only two days; that's awesome! Let's hope that momentum keeps up; if it does, then $7k will get pledged in no time.
    My guess is that it's going to slow to a crawl. How can you help me reach this goal?

    The Kickstarter page lists some good sharing tools - easy buttons to email, twitter and facebook the news.
    It also lets you easily grab that same widget I used in my first post, and drop it anywhere that you can use HTML.

    So!
    Tweet and Facebook the cause.
    Make a blog post about the game, or the project, and how you're excited.
    Put the word out in other roleplaying communities.

    The more promotion comes from a community instead of a single person, the more immediately others get on board.
  • Posted By: McdaldnoAfter all, it isn'tyourjob to protect the public.
    Even when you are the public. The society of Cadence is evil in the very best ways. Shit, I can't not be in. I just wish I had the cash that would allow for one of the badass backer levels.
  • edited July 2010
    Posted By: fnord3125The society of Cadence is evil in the very best ways.
    A gleeful thank you, good sir!

    I think Cadence really shines because it wasn't designed to be an evil society.
    Just a perverse one.

    A society which took some new ideas and mishandled them in a crushing and horrendous way.
Sign In or Register to comment.