The 2013 ENnies nominations have been announced and voting is now open. I caught up with Jonathan G. Nelson of Adventure-A-Week about the site’s recent ENnie nomination. Adventure-A-Week.com has been nominated for Best Web Site ENnie. Voting begins on Monday, July 22 and runs to Wednesday, July 31. The ceremony itself will be on Friday, August 16, in the Union Station Grand Hall at 8 pm with the cocktail reception beginning at 6:30 pm.
Michael Tresca (MT): Tell us about your company.
Jonathan G. Nelson (JGN): Adventure-A-Week was launched in March 2012 by Todd Gamble (WotC, Green Ronin, Kobold Press) and I (Rise of the Drow, Snow White, Alagoran’s Gem) Todd has worked in the RPG industry for many years and received three ENnie Awards for his work. He provides professional jaw-dropping cartography within each and every adventure we release. I manage day to day operations as well as the website itself. I also enjoy writing adventures alongside Will Myers and UK author Stephen Yeardley (talented 5 star author). Joshua Gullion is our PDF guru providing gorgeous, professional layouts. Joshua also works with other publishers to build strong relationships and share our creative vision with the world.
Our adventures are built to be played right off our website using a tablet or laptop. Alternatively you may download the PDF version for offline use or even purchase our print products if you prefer that format.
Our website features more than just adventures, we have a RPG audio soundboard, original campaign setting, new monsters and magic items, and much, much more!
MT: Have you had any other products nominated for ENnies in the past?
JGN: No, but we’re also the new kid on the block. We launched our site in March of 2012 so we’re stoked that we were nominated after being open just a little over a year.
MT: Why should voters vote for your product/site? What sets it apart?
JGN: We have pioneered a new way to obtain and run your adventures making everything much easier on the GM. On top of this, we provide a steady stream of 5 star adventures to our subscribers which keeps them happy and their players asking for more. What sets us apart from other sites is our ability to deliver quality products on a regular basis while also providing extremely fast and top notch customer service (seriously, I’m online every single day!)
MT: How do you feel about the state of the gaming industry today?
JGN: We are in the awkward middle school years of transformation. We now propel ourselves into the digital age whilst still craving our old school paper products that bring about tears of nostalgia. It’s tough for us old school RPG veterans, but ultimately we must embrace all forms of publishing as each person prefers a different way to consume their content. The future will likely be completely digital delivery which we’re already doing, but many may resist. This is normal, as chaos and a period of uncertainty generally precede all great change.
MT: How hard is it for a game publisher in this economy?
JGN: It is very difficult for third party/independent publishers in any type of economy. I’m sure from the outside it seems 3PP companies rake in the dough. For example our recent Rise of the Drow Kickstarter netted us 45k! Well, after all the fees from Kickstarter, Amazon Payments, management fees, and taxes, a HUGE chunk of that money was instantly gone. Add in art costs, writing, editing, layouts, printing, and shipping, and we’re actually a wee bit in the red. That’s before any of the staff at AaW get paid which means, you guessed it: we made negative money! Sounds crazy, but it’s true and even so for bigger 3PP. I think the big boys like WotC and Paizo are the only folks making real money, the rest of us do this simply because we love it! We’re honestly just happy to get this massive tome (Rise of the Drow) in everyone’s hands (including our own!)
MT: How has Kickstarter influenced your business model?
JGN: It has completely revolutionized the creative process and cut out the middleman, well most of the middlemen anyway (see above). I love that I can personally endorse and back something then wait a year and receive an awesome product in the mail. It gives me something to look forward to! As a publisher it gives us the chance to get our work into the mainstream without dealing with advertisers and all that nonsense.
MT: What’s next for your company?
JGN: We plan on running a Kickstarter for Snow White (hardbound version) then a board game. Yep, you heard right, a board game.
MT: Will you be at Gen Con? Where?
JGN: Yes, Todd, Joshua and I will be wandering the convention as random encounters wearing AaW T-Shirts! Watch for us, stop us, talk to us!
MT: Where can we find out more about your company online?
MT: Anything else you’d like to share?
- I play in the Left Coast Gypsies (band) and run NERD TREK (blog)!
- Todd Gamble builds scenery for model railroads and does all kinds of various artwork! Check out his awesome blog!
- Joshua Gullion reviews 3PP products on Paizo.com as KTFISH7!
- Stephen Yeardley runs Woof & Purr in the London area, a business that provides help with all matters dog, cat, horse, and other!
- Will Myers is a DJ on a local radio station!
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