Executive Board Blog 1

Articles Tagged with “the ninth age”

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  • In view of the release of Version 1.0 and questions that some of our members have run into in discussing T9A with potential members, we decided to provide some input on a few areas relating to sustainability of the project and questions relating to T9A being "official" or not.

    How does The 9th Age (T9A) plan to be sustainable seeing as there is no “company” running the project?

    This is a question that comes up quite often. Many, at least initially, have a view that a game cannot be sustainable over the long run without a company backing it up. The idea being that people will not donate their time in the long run.

    From an organizational standpoint, The Ninth Age does have a functioning Operating Agreement and is set up a nonprofit association. The Operating Agreement allows T9A to function in a very real sense as a legal entity, for example, to enter into contracts for events, or advertising, or even promotional products, etc. However, T9A is and will remain a nonprofit association that uses unpaid volunteers.

    From a strictly work flow perspective, yes, there is a ton of work up front to put the game together: balancing the ABs, writing the fluff, creating the illustrations, etc. However, once the game is put together, the ABs are out with stabilized rules and the B&A Team have put out the new stories and illustrations, the work load will tail off significantly. It is a lot of work, but there is a very dedicated group of individuals who are putting in the time and energy to get the job done. It's also interesting that, as the work load ramps upward and new members continue to join the project, members are being added to the staff and management positions to handle the increased work load. We have also set up the project in such a way that we rely on teams rather than on single members. So, frankly, this has just not been a problem for the project.

    With respect to there being no “company” running T9A, we see this as an advantage rather than as a problem. The rules that are made are not dictated by which models the project wants to sell. T9A does not sell models. Rather, the whole focus is on achieving the best balanced game possible. Multiple model companies have already approached T9A (we have a hidden forum on the site for collaborating companies to discuss and plan their product releases) and have indicated to us that they want to support T9A. Some, in fact, are actively advertising T9A on their websites (e.g., shieldwolfminatures.com). This is great because we don't have all our eggs in one basket. Likewise, we are in the process of updating the Wiki with different manufacturers so people building new armies can just click on the unit and be navigated to a company's website where they can buy a model that is a good representation of the unit.

    But T9A is not “Official”, how can a community driven project ever be viewed as an officially supported game system?

    It’s difficult to determine what “official” means in this context. Is a game put out by a company more “official” than one put out by the community? Just because a company puts out a game does not mean they will actively support it continually (I think you all know where I'm going with that). Likewise, because a community puts out a game does not mean it is unsupported (T9A will continue to work on and improve the system). In any event, we can say definitively that T9A is the “Official” game system for ETC 2016. Of course, ETC is a community project too, but who cares? The real question should be: is T9A a really good game? If so, people will play it for a long time. Keep in mind, just because a company "supports" something does not mean it will last. To illustrate the changing landscape of company supported products versus community supported products, think of Wikipedia versus Encyclopedia Britannica. If you recall at first there was quite a bit of resistance to use of Wikipedia. Why? Mainly because it was not viewed as an "official" encyclopedic resource. But that opposition has faded away over time. Where are all the "official" encyclopedia companies now? They are pretty much gone while the community project remains and is thriving. This is similar to what we are seeing in the table top gaming industry. The industry is adapting to the Internet community and companies that follow the old business models are struggling. Better to let the community make the game system and for the companies make the pieces for the game.

    T9A will continue to be a nonprofit organization. It will maintain its independence and high standards. While T9A will not sell or distribute models, T9A will cheer on the many companies that are stepping into areas vacated by other companies. In fact, our hope is to revitalize the table top gaming industry to create higher demand for high quality models.

    How will T9A attract new players seeing as there is no marketing division like you would see in a company?

    The answer lies with the community itself. The more each of us… [Read More]