The 2013 ENnies nominations have been announced and voting is now open. I spoke with Mario Barbati of 0one games about his Best Cartography ENnie nomination, The Nautilus. 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.
Mario Barbati (MB): 0one Games is most likely one of the oldest PDF companies out there. It was founded in 2000 along with a handful of other companies and was the very first company to ever sell a D20 PDF module, namely: The Legend of the Steel General.
Furthermore 0one Games is very strong on the cartography side thanks to the many technology innovations I introduced, now widely adopted from other publishers for their cartography products. For example, in 2004 we presented Customizable Battlemaps Vol.I, a product which used the interactive properties of the PDF to customize your dungeon room. In 2005 we used the Quicktime Virtual Reality engine to let you explore a dungeon room. In 2004 we launched our best-selling line the widely popular Øone’s Blueprints, which boosted customization of rpg maps while borrowing the design of the dear blue hued maps appearing in early Dungeon & Dragons modules, merging old style and new technology. In 2006 we achieved another hit with Dungeon Tile Designer, a fast tool to draw your own dungeon and print only the tiles you need, always within the bounds of a PDF document.
On the RPG side our flagship product is without a doubt the Urban Adventures line, a innovative vaguely steampunk line of products set in the Great City, a large and (of course) mapped out fantasy city born from the imagination of Tim Hitchock and a handful of very talented people (I can’t obviously nominate all). After The Road to Revolution, a critically acclaimed six-modules campaign, The Sinking is being published; a TV-show-like formatted campaign where you choose the adventures to play with.
Also The Basic Paths line deserves a mention. These are GM wise beginning Pathfinder adventures featuring great writers and artists like Tito Leati, Tim Hitchcock and Roberto Pitturru.
Also, this year we published the physical edition of Venture, a board game we designed and produced in PDF form. more info here and here.
MT: Have you had any other products nominated for ENnies in the past?
MB: You bet! we had seven nominations for Best Cartography out of ten total nominations and one Gold Winner for Best Electronic Book in 2010 with The Great City Player’s Guide. You can peruse our past nominations here.
MT: Why should voters vote for The Nautilus?
MB: The Nautilus is simply amazing, we shaped it based on a true nautilus, and added steampunk tech and look. Every map we produce is a meaningful one, so you will find a virtually functioning submarine. It features state-of-the-art line drawing with a tremendous look, furthermore it is highly affordable costing only few bucks.
MT: How do you feel about the state of the gaming industry today?
MB: I spot a new wave of creativity and possibilities, mostly thanks to the Kickstarter platform (which is too bad we can’t use it, since in Europe it doesn’t work yet). New, innovative RPGs like 13th Age or Monte Cook’s Numenera opened new market areas for us third-party publishers. My only hope is that D&D Next will embrace the OGL standard in order to allow us to produce third parts material without trouble, it would expand our market tremendously like happened back in 2000 with D20. In my opinion it would be a total fumble for WOTC to not do this.
MT: How hard is it for a game publisher in this economy?
MB: It is hard, very hard. You must rely on your skills and market perception to push forward your company.
MT: How has Kickstarter changed or influenced your business model, if at all?
MB: It hasn’t, since, as I said before, it isn’t available in Europe yet. However 0one Games made gorgeous maps for a one-day-funded sci-fi board game called Galaxy Defenders published by Gremlin Project and Ares Games (publishers of War of the Ring board game). You can check my maps here.
MT: What’s next for your company?
MB: If it hasn’t been published when you read this, it will be soon: Deep Blues – 221B Baker Street. It’s our take on the home of the most famous detective of them all Mr. Sherlock Holmes! This blueprint presents a level of detail never before seen in a blueprint product, you will love it.
In September we will publish the Wild West Virtual Boxed Set; the name says it all. It features buildings and areas typical of Western Movies (with a glance to my favourite Sergio Leone’s movies).
In October the Sinking will come to an end, and what end! If you loved Pacific Rim, you’ll love this:
The PCs delve back into the Dungeon under the Mountain into the fabled Panopticon. There they uncover one of the Malchort’s most deadly secrets, a colossal biomechanical death-machine in the shape of a great prehistoric beast known as a Doom Golem. The PCs must figure out how to reactivate the machine and return to the surface through the Sink. Emerging in the center of the Great City, they face off against the Trypus Academy’s own mecha-kaiju death-machine in an epic battle that threatens to smash the city to rubble.
MT: Where can we find out more about your company online?
MB: Our official website and shop http://0onegames.com/catalog/
Our facebook group http://www.facebook.com/groups/60917649918/
MT: Anything else you’d like to share?
MB: Thanks for the opportunity to talk about my company and best luck to all nominees!
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