The 2013 ENnies nominations have been announced and voting is now open. I recently spoke with Adam Koebel of Sage Kobold, an imprint of RNDM Games. Sage Kobold will eventually be home to all sorts of collaborations between Adam and Sage LaTorra. Right now, that means Dungeon World, which was recently nominated for a Best Rules 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): Have you had any other products nominated for ENnies in the past?
Adam Koebel (AK): We are totally new to the publishing scene, so no, this is our very first ENnie nomination.
MT: Why should voters vote for Dungeon World?
AK Dungeon World does an old thing in a new way. It takes the whole “you’re adventurers, you seek gold and glory, you fight monsters and overcome danger” and uses modern game design to do it. It’s all about pushing the players ever forward from the frying pan into the fire. The system itself is engineered to give GMs and Players the tools they need to play a game that is full of action and adventure. The rules step in when you need them and stay out of the way when you don’t.
MT: How do you feel about the state of the gaming industry today?
AK: What a huge question! Without a doubt, we’re in the middle of some very interesting times for roleplaying games. More and more folks are trying their hand at game design and so we’re looking at more options than we’ve ever had. Kickstarter is a big part of this, but so is the expanding support structure that exists for folks who want to make that game they’ve always wanted – communities of game designers, playtesters and RPG fans are all coming together in some very cool new ways.
MT: How hard is it for a game publisher in this economy?
AK: In some ways, it’s as hard as it ever was. You’re not going to be able to quit your day job and become an RPG publisher unless you’re part of something much larger than yourself. That said, for the little guy, this is the best time to start. There’s money and interest out there, enough to give folks the push they need to get started and publish their first game. Dungeon World is a great example of how that can work, given time and dedication.
MT: How has Kickstarter changed or influenced your business model, if at all?
AK: For a while, Kickstarter was our business model. Dungeon World (and loads of other awesome games) wouldn’t exist without it. It’s not necessarily the only future of RPG publishing, but it’s a future. One we were happy to harness to get the game into print.
MT: What’s next for your company?
AK: Sage Kobold is hard at work readying our first supplement, as yet untitled, for Dungeon World. That’s taking up lots of our time, but like any designers, we’ve got a hundred-and-one things on the burner at once. We’re both working on new games, new content for Dungeon World and who knows what else. What ends up living long enough to see the light of day will, of course, be a matter for the history books.
MT: Will you be at Gen Con? Where?
AK: Definitely. We’re going to have a presence at the IGDN booth with some good friends of ours, courtesy of the organizational magic of Magpie Games. Fans can come say hi and pick up a copy of the game there. On top of that, we’ll be spending loads of time at Games on Demand, which is the best place to try out new RPGs at GenCon.
MT: Where can we find out more about your company online?
AK: Folks can read the entire text of Dungeon World for free online at the fan-site http://book.dwgazetteer.com/ and if they want to join in the conversation, our G+ group is the place to be. We just broke the 2000 member mark, making us one of the largest small-press communities in that space. https://plus.google.com/communities/100084733231320276299
Of course, our website is http://www.dungeon-world.com and we’re on twitter as @dungeon_world
MT: Anything else you’d like to share?
AK: Engaging with our fans is why we do this. Anyone who has played the game, is interested in playing it or just wants to chat, we’d love to hear from you!
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