Until now, I have been releasing the Echelon Reference Series books as and when each is complete. I am thinking of changing that. I’m a programmer by trade, and staged releases are a common thing in my world. First make it go, then make it go good, then make it gold. For the Echelon Reference Series, I see three stages:
- Make It Go: Game content is collected, organized, and consistently formatted. This is the ‘minimum working version’.
- All the game content to be included in this release is present, presentable, and organized.
- Make It Go Good: Game content is polished and made easier to use.
- Certain game information broken out and linked. For instance, class subfeature prerequisites present in the original text (“must be a 8th level and have the inspiring rant rage power”) are presented more clearly (separate line, “Prerequisites: inspiring rant rage power, barbarian level 8″) and hyperlinked.
- ‘Useful redundancy’ added: apply archetypes to base classes to make the resulting ‘archetype classes’, apply variant class subfeatures to base class subfeatures (such as subdomains to domains) to get the resulting domain, class feature catalogue created with normalized text and how each class and archetype using it changes it.
- Make it Gold: Diagrams and other finishing touches.
Of course, it’s not really reasonable to charge full price for something that is not yet finished. As such, I expect I would offer a discount on the price to those who buy early. Those who buy early get the upgrades when they are available, at no additional cost.
|Make It Go
|50% discount, half price. The game content is here, but better is to come.
|Make It Go Good
|25% discount. The content is here and more polished, but we’re not quite done.
|Make it Gold
|No discount. The book is done.
Right now each book is a large, monolithic endeavor. Staging the releases in this way gives me smaller work units, gets the primary content to players sooner, and reduces the up-front cost to those who buy in early for the primary content.