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cparadis10

Spooky's Novel

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Has there been any word on whether this is going forward? I can see pros and cons to it. Personally, I'd love it if they went forward with it and got it out in 2016 (the dark times) just to give us something.

But, I can also see that FFGs fiction attempts may not have been very successful, and I can't remember the last time they announced a new fiction book. Also, of they haven't decided what they want to do with the timeline and story, they could end up releasing the book and then retconning everything.

Like I said, I hope they do go forward with it, and maybe this is answered elsewhere, but some information on the novel would be good. Obviously, a decision on this may not have been made yet, which is understandable.

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Fingers crossed on this seeing print.

 

truthfully, i'm skeptical. unless it was sitting finished and just waiting to be published, they'd have to continue to pay spooky to finish working on it. given that its pretty likely that even they don't know what they're going to do with the story going forward, theres a pretty good chance they aren't going to want to pay to put out a novel advancing a storyline they aren't sure of. if it were sitting around, and they could just release it for us to have, that might be one thing, but investing in it? i dunno. 

 

i think its more likely to hope that they hang on to what he's written so far, and once they know what they're doing they bring him back to finish it and integrate it into their plans for the story, then release it. 

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I really see this as a interesting new form that can be used in the future to get possible story prizes into fiction and make money at the same time for FF.

You mean that Fantasy flight should give us novels instead of weekly fictions?

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I would really like to know what's in Spooky's contract with AEG. I know the short form story team worked for free cards, but I really hope he got at least an advance on his work that he gets to keep.

 

I don't know what his actual contract looks like, but a significant number of contracts in the game industry are pay-on-publish, including AEG when I freelanced for them, IIRC. But that was long ago, and it's possible I may not, in fact, RC, or that their business practices may have changed.

 

Given how much they rely on volunteers these days, I'd be a little surprised.

 

I, too, hope he gets something more than cards for his trouble.

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I certainly hope he is able to finish it, for whoever is paying him or will. I also hope that FFG keeps some kind of Story Team for the game (it's after all the main interest of L5R) and that Robert Denton a.k.a. Spooky is in that team (or better, leads it).

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I have emailed FFG on this very subject and recommend others do as well. I know FFG staff typically does not post in their forums and I am uncertain how much of it they follow especially in the case of L5R which has forum content that has grown at such a rapid pace. Whether or not that makes a difference who can say, but if enough people show a desire for the publishing of this novel it has a better chance of it happening.

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Emailing sounds like a great idea. Should we address our concerns to somebody in particular.

One additional thought, was the story team imform regarding the sale of the brand? If so, then I guess the book was part of the deal, and should be produce as per schedule.

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Emailing sounds like a great idea. Should we address our concerns to somebody in particular.

One additional thought, was the story team imform regarding the sale of the brand? If so, then I guess the book was part of the deal, and should be produce as per schedule.

 

The story team heard about it pretty much when we did, give or take a few days. They had no advance notice.

 

Or so I understand.

 

I would assume nothing re: the state of the book. AEG would be under no obligation to publish, even if the author turned in a completed draft that met expectations. Likewise, FFG is under no obligation to publish, even though the right to do so likely came with the purchase of the IP. it's very unlikely that FFG inherited financial obligations insofar as paying the author for the work -- that probably still falls on AEG, and publication by FFG probably won't meet the contractual obligation for AEG to pay the author.

 

Which is not to say they won't, of course. I'm just saying that whole deal probably got a lot more complicated with the transfer of the IP. And from what I understand about the contents of the book, FFG's probably going to want to go their own way with the setting and story anyway. And they should, IMO.

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It seems pretty low to make somebody literally work for cardboard and then get themselves into a legal situation that doesn't allow them to publish. I can only assume that the contract (if anything was even put in writing) puts no obligation on AEG to publish or pay, otherwise they'd open themselves up to a lawsuit, wouldn't they? Not that I have any idea how that works.

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I can only assume that the contract (if anything was even put in writing) puts no obligation on AEG to publish or pay, otherwise they'd open themselves up to a lawsuit, wouldn't they? Not that I have any idea how that works.

 

Regardless of the details and speculation (which I'm going to step back from, because it feels a bit gross), it's complicated. It's unfortunate the author got caught in the middle of all this, and if he actually wasn't given a heads up as seems to be the case, it's shameful.

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Cynthia Hornbeck (chornbeck@fantasyflightgames.com) is the email given over on the l5r.com page as a point of contact. She is FFGs Marketing Content Coordinator so she is not the decision maker, but an avenue to voice concerns. So keep that in mind and please be civil. My email got a reply to it in which she pointed out (expectedly) that they are still in the earliest stages of integrating this property, but that they are very open to the possibility of working with Shawn Carmen, but that is all she can say at this time. The concerns over the novel were not even addressed, but that is likely because they were not particularly aware of it's progress (which I pointed out was somewhere about 60,000 words). Obviously she did not want to promise anything in writing, but that they are open to working with Shawn Carmen in some fashion is at the very least an opening as I have no doubt Shawn will try to get Spooky's novel printed in some form if possible. Do send your own emails though as the more who do will highlight a demand for this product and what company doesn't like earning a profit off of a product in demand?

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They were given a few days advance notice, I believe, but that's it. And that's understandable. You don't want rumors floating around out there. And even if you manage to get every single part-time employee or freelancer to keep mum, that sort of uncertainty will likely mess with their work product - it's hard to focus and push yourself on a task when you know that you might find out tomorrow that it's irrelevant.

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They were given a few days advance notice, I believe, but that's it. And that's understandable. You don't want rumors floating around out there. And even if you manage to get every single part-time employee or freelancer to keep mum, that sort of uncertainty will likely mess with their work product - it's hard to focus and push yourself on a task when you know that you might find out tomorrow that it's irrelevant.

 

I don't even think how they handled it with the customers / fans was right. 

 

There's years of discussion, links, and ideas on those shuttered forums that, as of right now, we're never going to be able to dig up.  Other participants that some people might want to keep in touch with, that might be hard for some to find without looking up the threads they were in together.  etc. 

 

Companies love to talk up community and communication and customer involvement, and make a big deal out of it, right up until the moment that the pennies don't pinch quite right, and then *poof*. 

 

 

I know that when I see "AEG" or "Alderac" on a product going forward, the way this was handled is going to be foremost in my mind -- especially if those forums are never re-opened (even if they're all locked and unpostable, just being able to read archives would be a huge thing). 

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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Haven't they already said that the forums will be re-opened more fully as time goes on? I thought their decision to temporarily shutter the forums was a good one. If nothing else, it probably saved some folks from embarrassing themselves by penning bile-filled rants.

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Haven't they already said that the forums will be re-opened more fully as time goes on? I thought their decision to temporarily shutter the forums was a good one. If nothing else, it probably saved some folks from embarrassing themselves by penning bile-filled rants.

 

Last I knew they were thinking about reopening the forums, had some "ownership of IP" issues, and had opened just a few of the subforums up. 

 

 

At the very least, the same "cooling off" period could have been achieved by locking the L5R forums, as opposed to "vanishing" them.

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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Haven't they already said that the forums will be re-opened more fully as time goes on? I thought their decision to temporarily shutter the forums was a good one. If nothing else, it probably saved some folks from embarrassing themselves by penning bile-filled rants.

 

Daramere... whose embarrassment is being saved here?  Not sure I agree with your brand of logic.  More specifically, there are a lot of organizers that are (to my mind) justifiably upset about the rug being pulled out of their "major tournaments"... even worse, I imagine that some will end up footing some pretty hefty venue rental bills when their "fall kotei" do not manage sufficient attendance to pay the event costs.  

 

I understand that some will rant for the sake of ranting... but I feel that you are implying that, at this point, every complaint to AEG would be unjustified.

 

... please feel free to correct me if I am mistaken.

 

 

Thaddok

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You are correct on the tournament forums (and also on the Doomtown Reloaded rules forum). I do not think they should have shut down the forums entirely. Or if they shut them down entirely, they should have ASAP partially re-opened the tournament sections.

 

As for whose embarrassment - I did mean those who posted. Nobody was going to post anything that was going to embarrass AEG. Granted, the ranting posters probably would not feel embarrassed by their posts (because, hello, internet). But they probably should. As an additional practical matter, some volunteer forum mod would then have had to spend a lot of time warning and banning people for being idiots.

 

I'm not sure how much constructive complaining there is to do at this point. There's some justified complaining about this or that AEG action (although I'm not sure if there are any related to the sale of the brand). Indeed, in our podcast episode reacting to the sale you can hear me voice at least a couple. But I don't see why AEG would be under some sort of obligation to subject itself and its forum mods to abuse just for the sake of allowing customers to make now-moot complaints (however legitimate) about AEG's handling of a product line it has now sold. It's not like we don't have other outlets to make those complaints/observations (I know most of us don't have a podcast to soapbox from, but there are these forums, other fan forums, and the Facebook group).

 

As for the fall kotei thing, that's a separate issue. I'm not sure what AEG is supposed to do there. They don't have the brand anymore. It seems odd to have the support end so abruptly. But even if they said they were in some way still supporting the Kotei beyond what they are, I am not sure what substantive form that support could take. They can't bind FFG to do anything, so it isn't like they can declare that the results will count. And it does not seem like a viable business decision to spend the next few months pretending that the sale had not happen, just to let Kotei season play out - especially since people (and stores) would then complain that AEG had been trying to hide the announcement to sell as much Evil Portents as possible before pulling the plug. I'm not saying I wouldn't be mad if I was a fall kotei TO, I'm just not sure what else AEG could reasonably have done.

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AEG could have followed up with anything they were officially involved in for which arragements were already made, as a goodwill farewell gesture, instead of cutting anyone off at the knees.  Not sure where things stood with details there, but that's what I'd have suggested in general. 

 

You know, be honest, and after the announcement of the sale say something like "we're running these already-scheduled events to say thank you and farewell, we can't guarantee that any result of this will ever affect what FFG does, but we can do our best to make the events enjoyable."

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But AEG doesn't run the events. Individual TOs run the events. AEG provides prize support in the form of subsidized booster boxes, things like playmats and foils, and the story results. I am not aware of AEG doing anything like, having already collected payment, not sending out the physical prize support (if they did, that would be horrible, but I'm not aware of them doing that). They said in the sale announcement that the events will go ahead as scheduled. They've said that that they will track the results and hand them on to FFG so that FFG can use them if it so chooses. They probably could have had a better turn of phrase, because it felt like the support was ending (and I notice that I even said that in my prior post), but (other than having the forums down so that people couldn't check them for tournament information) I'm not sure what support AEG actually ended.

 

I'd agree that well-phrased communication has been a weakness of AEG this year. But I don't think that the company not striking precisely the right tone in the sale announcement is something to castigate them over.

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