How do I price my game?

What is Mythic Mortals worth? Or, the better question: What should the price of MM be on the store page? This is a tough question, and isn’t as simple as it seems to be, for a few reasons:

Reason 1

It isn’t very long or complex, but it is original (I’d like to think).
Barring additional adventures, monsters, or classes, the game is essentially complete. And I doubt it will ever top 20 pages, putting MM a far step away from the $60 400 page gaming tome that seems to be the standard in our industry.

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A percentage drop seems reasonable. So if $60 = 400 pages, then my 20 page game should sell for….$3? That doesn’t seem like a bad price at all. Let’s look at some other reasons.

Reason 2

I don’t really care about the money.
What I care more about it making a name for myself, and getting my game into as many hands as possible. It seems like the best option is to simply give it away for free! After all, people like free stuff, right?

Wrong, people like valuable stuff. One of the big barriers that Linux, and other free Open Source stuff is trying to overcome is the idea that “No Cost = No Value”. How people value an object is heavily influenced by how OTHER people value that same object. A gucci purse is not 100x better constructed than a normal purse (as far as I know), but it is priced much higher because that is the value many people assign to it.

Applying this to Mythic Mortals, I don’t know how people value it. That is really hard to ascertain.

Reason 3

It’s not done.
I hope to sell it before it’s done, and use the money to add more artwork, editing, professional layout, and to get it into people’s hands. I’ll be updating it over the next year or so, adding new enemies, monsters, adventures, and more.

It just feels weird to sell an unfinished project.

WM-Sketch-1

Like I do for all my current games….

 

Kickstarter seems like the obvious choice, but I don’t like Kickstarter. It creates a very business-like contract with my supporters, which is not what I want. Maybe that’s immature, but my life is very full right now, and I don’t have the time to devote to a kickstarter. If something comes up, and I need to take a month off from game-writing, I don’t want my Kickstarter agreement stressing me out.

So what I’d like, ideally, is to have dedicated fans support the work I’m doing, while others can just get their hands on it and play for fun! I’d like to accomplish all of this without entering a contract, either written or understood.

So what do I do? Let’s look at how some other people have handled this:

John Harper

John Harper is an excellent game designer who gets to do this kind of stuff for a living! I don’t know when his games fall within his professional timeline, but as it stands now, he’s got a bunch of microgames up for free on his site.

An excellent 1-page space adventure from John Harper

They range in page count, but his work is the closest thing to mine, in length and scope that I could find. And he just gives most of them away for free, and counts on his many other games and fame to bring them to people.

Monte Cook

Monte Cook is one of the biggest names in RPGs right now, and he’s been publishing his baby: Numenera. While the main corebook is a huge $60 tome, he releases 10-20 page “glimmers” and supplements every few weeks. I really like this, since the occasional, smaller updates only cost $2-$3, and can expand his games in many interesting and helpful ways.

Andreas Walters

Andreas publishes some Numenera supplements, and is currently running a kickstarter for a new game that he’s publishing. However, the interesting strategy that he used was what he termed a “Pre-Order”, which in practice ended up more like an Early Access.

While the scope of his was really just a pre-order, I’m tempted to do something similar, where people who purchase early get future updates for free.

Me

Thus far, all of my games have been freely available here on my site, in the hopes that someone, somewhere will enjoy playing them.

What I’d like to do is sell the game online for $3, and anyone who purchases it gets future updates for free, and the final game for free. So kinda like an Early Access for Tabletop Games. I don’t know when MM will be complete enough for me to put it up for sale…but it’s going to be soon!

Until that happens, Mythic Mortals is free to checkout and download!