June 18, 2009

Questing with J. Matthew Kubisz of Alluria Publishing Part 2

We interrupt the weekly posting of {Quest Log} for a very special post.

This is the second and final part of the interview with the director of Alluria Publishing, J. Matthew Kubisz. If you missed the first one where he talks about his company, his design ideas and their products, you can catch up here.

In this second part of the interview, we move from the design board to talk about RPG Bloggers and what does Alluria Publishing have installed for the future.

What do you think about bloggers in the gaming community in general? Are there any benefit they can do for independent gaming publishers like yourself?

Bloggers are the backbone of the modern gaming community. They are, essentially, today’s equivalent of “word of mouth” advertisement. Independent companies, such as Alluria Publishing, often have very tiny budgets, and any amount of advertising is welcomed.

Not only that, but bloggers serve as a global playtesting circuit---we constantly scour the internet for blogs that mention our product as we are always looking for feedback.

Your products were torn apart by bloggers (namely by Wyatt from Spirits of Eden with these posts, 1,2). How did you handle the criticism and did you think he had some valid points?

Like many new companies, despite our research and experience, we floundered a bit in the beginning. 4e was a brand new system for everyone, and while many of us were experts at 3rd edition and game design for 3rd edition, we had little experience with 4e. So, we made a lot of mistakes.

Consequently, we started with some abysmal reviews. How did we respond? Well, we talked with our critics. We even hired a few on as rules consultants. We hired more editors and layout specialists as well.

We overhauled our entire first set, and offered revised copies of the races for free to our customers who already bought the product. I even talked with Wyatt, and although he is not yet a fan of many of the concepts, he has expressed that he liked the direction we were heading. We continue to work with our critics and are always looking for ways to improve.

Sure, we won’t be able to please everyone, but we won’t stop trying.

Any future plans for Alluria Publishing?

Alluria Publishing thus far has been entirely electronic publishing. The Remarkable Races line is currently being re-edited, reformatted, and compiled into a single 200-page tome that we hope will help to launch us into the realm of paper books.

As many know, this itself is a daunting project. We are still considering our options, though we will likely partner with another publisher to carry out this endeavor.

Currently we are in the negotiation phase, and will announce more when we can!

Can you give us a sneak peek at any new and upcoming products from your company?

Well, in the next few weeks, the Remarkable Races expansion sets will be released. With the addition of the Players Handbook 2, the game has seen a few new staples to the player character race ensemble. Among these, the racial paragon paths and racial backgrounds have been especially well received.

To update the Remarkable Races, we decided to put out our own updates. These updates will be released in three expansions, one for each set of Remarkable Races. Included are five racial paragons, one for each race in the set. Each race will also have the option of several suggested character backgrounds. In addition, by popular demand, we have included racial and paragon power cards that can be printed on cardstock and used in the game.

In August, the Clever Classes line will begin with the Explorer class. This will be sort of a medieval Indiana Jones type, something quite different than many of the other classes in the core books, but just as playable and exciting.

You have done races and you are now heading to do classes. Is there any time when we'll see monster products or adventures coming out from your company?

We have both swimming around in the primordial soup of our projects box. Currently we are collecting monsters for a large compendium that will likely be released early next year. Our resources tend to limit our focus, for the moment.

Just a quick thought. Are there any vacanies at Alluria Publishing at the moment?

Alluria is always looking for talented writers, and perhaps even a few more artists. If interested, please send an email to requesting more information.

Just a heads up, we expect our talent to meet some pretty tight deadlines. This has been an issue in the past, with supplemental art, play testing, and editing, these projects can easily take longer than we want them to.

Everyone has to get things done on time or the whole project might get seriously delayed or scrapped entirely.

Look out for Alluria Publishing's new product line, Clever Classes, starting with the Explorer in July. In the meantime, Alluria Publishing is currently hosting Monsters in the Mist where they are looking for monster designs with an Allurian flair (Hints are in the first part of the interview).

It's been fun doing this with Matthew and I would like to thank Alluria Publishing again for taking in the questions. Hopefully, we will see more interviews with other publishers in the future.

If you enjoyed this interview or have anything to say, please drop a comment.

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