Thursday, May 10, 2018

Start of the Summer Update 2018

Hey everyone!
We hope you're having a great month of May(King of Months). We wanted to get you an update on all parts of the project.

1. We're gonna start with the big one. We know the project is running 4 years behind. We aren't upset about reminders from you, but please don't believe for a second that we are somehow able to forget about this. It is a constant weight on our mind. There is rarely a week we aren't planning scheduling and working. I wanted to make sure we started with that because we know its on your mind. Please don't think we're ever able to push this to the side and stop working as hard as we possibly can on it.

2. With Anne waylayed the team has been helping me with getting the Call to Adventure out. Its going to have pregenerated characters, a short digestible version of the rules, and a prepared one game Saga. We have a complete draft of everything at the moment. Royce is currently working on mock-ups of one shot character sheets and I'm finishing up the final draft of the Saga. Its been looking fantastic so far, but I'd be hesitant to talk about a timeline of completion(even though it seems soon). Both royce and I have some business travel at the end of May, and I'll be able to talk to you specifically about our timetable for that in June.

3. For those of you who don't keep up with the blog on our website, we've been concurrently running three playtest games. They each have about 20 games under them and I have two notebooks full of playtest notes. Its been exhausting, but I've gotten a lot of great feedback and fixed some problem areas in the game(and gotten some good ideas about where additional fixes are needed). They're all winding down soon so that I can use that weekly time on making the changes. As our playtests wind down the Call to Adventure should be out. And I'm sure many of you will have feedback for me from your games.

4. When is the game done? I wish I had any real answer for you. We're working as hard as we can, but I'm just terrible at reasonable estimates. If I were you, I'd probably take any estimate given with a HUGE grain of salt anyway. Everything feels a lot closer. I've been having a blast playing this game so far. I want so badly for it to be done and for others to have fun with it.

5. Anne's Health: Without getting too specific, Anne's health is something we'll be dealing with for the foreseeable future. We're doing the best we can with it. Our move to Miami last year was partly because they offered her AMAZING health insurance. She's in for tests every month and she's an absolute trooper. Its not something that is curable, but hopefully with the right treatment she can be back to a fairly normal life. For now though, the amount of time she can work on things is very limited, but she writes and works on HJ whenever she can. We're always hoping that will change soon, but we don't know when.


That's all for the update. Feel free to hit me with any questions you have. I'll do my best to answer them.

If you would like more frequent updates on how the project is going, please follow us over at our blog. http://herosjourneyrpg.blogspot.com/
If you need a quicker or more direct answer to a question, please feel free to email me John@herosjourneyrpg.com

Thank you,
John

27 comments:

  1. Sending good thoughts your way John, please give Anne our best.

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  2. Will the Call to Adventure quick-start be available to only the Kickstarter supporters, or to everyone, and will it be free?

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  3. I reiterate a question I asked long ago: Can I get my money back?

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  4. And once again, John updates us, then the site goes silent. Wow - haven't seen THAT before.

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  5. I guess I have a few thoughts [as usual], though I'm not sure if anyone really cares at this point. There's so much bad blood here that I don't think anyone is really surprised by anything anymore.

    1) What is important to repeat, is that 213 of us pledged $21,0003 to this project, and so far, we haven't seen anything for our investment in over four years. We aren't just fans of your work who want to see a game one day; we're people who dug deep to support you, and have received zero of substance for our money.
    2)When you say that you have binders full of note from the playtest games that are still ongoing, that makes me think that the game is STILL being re-written, that it may never be in a final form because you are still changing things, and that we may never actually get any of the product we paid for. This has been mentioned before - at some point, you have to finish it, release it, and say "done - until second edition comes out."
    3) Once again, as was pointed out, you gave us a "Summer Update", and went radio-silent. The site still isn't working properly, nothing new has been added except the twitter feed, and there are only a couple of days left in June for you to give us the update you said we would get. Broken promises are becoming a mainstay of this project, and are the reason why many have simply given up.

    I understand chronic illness [my wife suffers from one], and how life gets in the way. But there really needs to be a concrete plan in place here to get the final game and other items to the backers before ANOTHER year goes by, or this really is going to look like fraud and/or incompetence on a grand scale. Either that, or say "Sorry, we had plans, life wrecked them, here's your money back to all who pledged', and move on. Vague statements of "I'm bad at giving time estimates" or "We're working as hard as we possibly can" just aren't doing it anymore: you have our money - we need a commitment from you that we will get what we paid for in some form of timetable, not just "we know it's been four years, we're trying, honest."

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  6. A cute Twitter pic of sleeping kittens is not helpful either. That just comes off, to me at least, as mockery. A picture of frazzled office workers, rushing to meet a deadline, that's amusing. Sleeping kittens just says that you're in no hurry at all and everyone can just wait until you feel like waking up.

    If you're not going to deliver any updates or content, at least have the courtesy of considering how your sporadic updates are going to be taken by people who are waiting on you.

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  7. And as predicted by people here before, Scion 2nd edition is due to go to backers this week, while Hero's Journey is still a myth, 4 years on.

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  8. I bet they don't have the money any more. Probably spent it on medical bills.

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  9. The question box is broken, the forums are down, the twitter feed is out of date, and the updates have stopped again. Anyone else feel like the place has been abandoned? At some point, we have to just give up on this. There obviously isn't going to ever be a game unless you were a playtester friend of the writers.

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    1. Yeah, at this point, I'm pretty much just putting my full faith and trust in Scion 2E.

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    2. Sadly, it's just looking like a repeat of 2016, when we got a "everything's moving forward" update, and then nothing for months. There really isn't any excuse for the state of this project. I'm sorry that Anne is ill, chronic diseases suck - but that doesn't excuse taking the money and not giving a product in four+ years. If it truly is still in the "I'm using play-test notes to fix stuff" stage after this long, that's inexcusable, and means that it will probably never be finished because the designers will always be tinkering on things, looking for "perfection" that is impossible to attain. There was no update on the "Call to Adventure" in June; the website is falling apart, so no-one is doing any maintenance; the Twitter feed stopped at the infuriating "kitten post"; and there is no sign that any of these posts are being read. There have been so many empty promises and assurances with this thing. What would be nice right now, is some honesty regarding the money pledged, the future of the project, and the likelihood that we're EVER seeing "Hero's Journey"; the usual "we don't know when it's ready, but it feels like soon-ish" crap needs to stop.

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  10. I don't know that there's much to the 'They took our money and ran off with it.' argument. Mostly I think they didn't realise how hard it was to put an entire game, with an entirely new system, together with just a couple of people. It got away from them, not at all helped by Anne's illness, and now they know that when they get back from another long hiatus they're gonna get yelled at. So they stall and stall, which makes it worse and worse and makes it harder to come back and face the music.

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  11. There is still people here caring about the game, probably people like me who spend a lot of money on this project. If they want to abandon the project, at least have the decency to say it.

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  12. I remember when I started to ask for my money back in 2016 and basically got called out by most of the community. Good times.

    Now, I still want my money back.

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  13. Isn't there an official way to request a refund on the Kickstarter page?

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  14. Well, actually, forget it. I'm done. I have watched. I have waited. And for a while, I lost hope. Then the team came back. And I regained hope. And now I lost it again. And this time, it is for good.
    Now, the reason I can say this with such certainty is that I just played my first round of Scion: Origins. A system that was announced a good while after Hero's Journey, but is already finished. And it is, safe for a few minor drawbacks, exactly what I hoped for in Hero's Journey. And so I do not need it anymore.
    I asked for my money back countless times, but it has become more of a ritual to express my dissatisfaction than anything else a long time ago. And I'm done expressing that dissatisfaction, seeing as the people it is aimed at obviously don't care.
    I enjoyed the ride while it lasted, but I have moved on now. Thanks to those in the Forum who made this journey a fun one. Maybe we'll meet again. But for what it's worth, I won't be around here any more. It's just not worth it. No matter how good or balanced the game will be, in the end, it won't be enough. Not anymore.

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    1. I admit, I feel the same way. I just hang on in the faint hope that perhaps, one day, I might get at least SOME of what I paid for all those years ago. But I honestly doubt it now.

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  15. Um. Despite the many misgivings from the people posting here, and the ill will, is there seriously a new developmental tweet with not so much as a word to address anyone's concerns in this thread?

    Not cool.

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    1. Yes. Yes, there is.

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    2. Damn. This is, honestly, starting to verge on the childish. Like sticking your fingers in your ear and going "Lalalalala! I can't hear you!" and the similar childish assumption that if they can get the book out to everyone then no one will be mad at them any more.

      It's a little distressing. I can only imagine how the people who dug really deep to invest must feel.

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    3. There are times that I feel very much the victim of trolling, honestly. And regardless of how much you invested, we aren't being treated with one iota of respect.

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    4. I dunno. I gave a lot of money to Hero's Journey and there was definitely a time in this development where I thought John and Anne had abandoned the project for good due to health/life reasons and were planning to just fade into the background and never be heard from again, and I was pretty pissed about that because it's pretty deplorable to take $20,000+ and run, especially when that money was mostly given in good faith by friends and fans of their work who truly wanted to give back to them for years of their free Scion house rules and for building a great community.

      But I really don't think they ever intended to cut and run, and I still don't think they are planning to cut and run. It's pretty clear now that the old JSR/early HJ community has kind of scattered to the wind, with most playing Scion 2.0 or other games. The idea of John and Anne actually building a freestanding -business- on top of this core book is very unlikely because they've lost a lot of good will. But I think they know that. If they even read some of these posts, they know that. "It seemed like a good idea at the time" probably sums up this whole project. Obviously it didn't work out as intended.

      But the clear path forward is this - they are going to work on the project, at their own pace, fiddling with things here and there, until they are finally ready to release it. Given that the community has mostly vanished to the winds, these blog posts are kind of pointless. What's the point of doing 'Cool Goddess Tuesdays' when all the fans that used to be there are either no longer reading, or just angry that the project isn't done yet and aren't willing to chat and talk myths anymore? And they aren't going to just hurry up and release something. They are going to release it when they are good and ready. And they are going to ignore the anger and yelling and likely the words of comfort as well, and just do what they are doing.

      Because in the end, Kickstarter backers are not shareholders. We are just a collective of friends, fans, and unrelated roleplayers who decided to pitch in on a project we thought was cool, knowing the possible risk of getting duped. The price you pay for that sort of thing, is not getting anymore support for any future projects you do. And I think they know that.

      anyway tl;dr I gave the second most amount of money to this project and I think it will actually be released one day and I support J&A even if it's super frustrating and w/e it will come out when it does, play another game in the meantime

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    5. now the guy I DO feel bad for is the one who paid $1500 to determine what the "next Hero's Journey project" would be.

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    6. I don't think they ever intended to cut and run. I just don't think they realised how much work it was all going to be. It's hard to blame them for that. Most game companies have plenty of people working together, and the budgets to fund them, to get a game out and even they can take a while to deliver the finished product.

      I have to disagree with your thoughts on what Kickstarter backers are, though. Certainly they're not shareholders, but they *are* paying customers who have shelled out money on the understanding that the product they backed will be delivered in as timely a manner as possible. Now that 'timely manner' may well blow out when the job was so much bigger than you expected. That happens. But going dark, especially when people are asking questions or looking for some kind of response, is not OK. It doesn't matter that they may be working as hard as they can to deliver the product. The people who backed them may not be shareholders, but they're the ones who said 'We believe in you. We'll help you with your dream.'. You don't repay that kindness and generosity with silence. The backers certainly are owed something. Not just the product but, at the very least, acknowledgement that there is even someone still there, and, yes, the odd apology that it's taking so long. They deserve that too. In the same way that John and Anne deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and not be the target of personal attacks by impatient backers who have waited so long.

      It takes ten minutes just once a week to log in, say hi, acknowledge any concerns, answer any questions, and to let their backers know that they're still working to deliver a product.

      By all means support John and Anne. They're living a dream many of us have in designing and publishing their own RPG and a lot of people (myself included) are keen to see how it turns out. But J&A could also remember that the backers also deserve support for their belief, for funding that dream, and for their patience.

      On both sides, it's about courtesy. Many of the backers have extended it. It wouldn't hurt to get a little back. That's all.

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  16. Hey! Look! Spam in the twitter feed! Dead forums! No answers! What a surprise!

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  17. Sooo...did anyone else notice the tweets discussing "a new system" up in the feed? Has anyone actually tried emailing John at the address given above to find out WTF is going on? Are we all just being jerked around at this point?

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