Stages of Midgard development

In this dark time, new heroes must arise to claim the crowns of Midgard, and restore the jewels to her scattered thrones...

Stages of Midgard development

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:48 pm

I know that Midgard used to be developed via something called Open Design and that later there were at least two Kickstarters to fund expansion of the product line.

Does anyone know of a page that shows what stages of growth the campaign setting has gone through?

Failing that, could someone give me a quick overview of the evolution of the product line.

BTW: Was Open Design some sort of in-house crowd funding system or was it an earlier name for Kobold Press?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Newsflash!: The Piazza is moving!
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.
User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
 
Posts: 22151
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Location: London UK

Re: Stages of Midgard development

Postby thorr-kan » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:57 pm

A lot of this history is available from the Wolfgang Baur and Kobold Press Wikipedia pages:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Baur
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobold_Press

I can provide a listing of the first 27 Open Design/Kobold Press crowd sourced projects. It's not pretty, but it goes:
Order, Title, Game System, Month/Year (for the last 10 entries)


Open Design was Mr. Baur's title for his patron sponsored Livejournal blog. Kobold Quarterly was Mr. Baur's title of the quarterly print magazine published by Open Design. They got combined into Kobold Press to unite the brand and prevent confusion.

Open Design functioned on a patronage version of funding, very much like Renaissance artists. It was crowdfunding before crowdfunding was cool. Mr. Baur would poll several possible subjects, solicit donations, design it with patron feedback, and release the finished product to just the patrons.

Yes, snob appeal and exclusivity were selling points. It was *awesome.* In a lot of ways, I miss it. The change to Kickstarter allows a much broader audience, more depth for funding, and better pay. And a lot of the earlier projects were rereleased to the public. But I still miss it.
thorr-kan
Bugbear
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:40 pm

Re: Stages of Midgard development

Postby Tim Baker » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:32 am

I can't add much to what thorr-kan said. I would just mention that there are many Kobold Press products that weren't crowdfunded, and therefore aren't listed on the table.
Image My Google+ RPG-related posts. | Image Escalation! fanzine for 13th Age.
User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
 
Posts: 940
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:51 am
Location: United States

Re: Stages of Midgard development

Postby Big Mac » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:16 am

thorr-kan wrote:A lot of this history is available from the Wolfgang Baur and Kobold Press Wikipedia pages:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Baur
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobold_Press

I can provide a listing of the first 27 Open Design/Kobold Press crowd sourced projects.


Thanks Thorr-Kan. :)

The interesting thing from your list is that Zobeck doesn't appear until the 6th project. I don't know if the earlier (and later) products were all intended to be part of the setting that evolved into Midgard, or if some of them have been retconned into Midgard. (Dark Deeds in Freeport is definitely a Freeport product.) I guess that, when Open Design started Wolfgang Baur could have gone in a number of different directions and that the response of the Open Design backers must have had some level of influence.

thorr-kan wrote:Open Design was Mr. Baur's title for his patron sponsored Livejournal blog. Kobold Quarterly was Mr. Baur's title of the quarterly print magazine published by Open Design. They got combined into Kobold Press to unite the brand and prevent confusion.


I actually prefer the name "Kobold Press" to "Open Design" but I think that "Open Design" was probably a better name for the concept of Wolfgang Baur writing stuff on a blog and collaborating with fans.

thorr-kan wrote:Open Design functioned on a patronage version of funding, very much like Renaissance artists. It was crowdfunding before crowdfunding was cool. Mr. Baur would poll several possible subjects, solicit donations, design it with patron feedback, and release the finished product to just the patrons.


I've seen a couple of the old posts about Open Design, while searching for things. But I don't really think I understand the context as much as someone who was there at the time. I certainly don't know what the vibe of the Open Design fan community was like. It's easier to see that with current Kickstarter projects (as Kickstarter encourages fans of anything being Kickstarted to spam their friends to death, in an attempt to unlock cool stretch goals). Open Design sounds like it would have been a lot more subtle and slow and immediate, creating a constant move forward rather than explosions of funding for large numbers of things that don't happen until several months later.

thorr-kan wrote:Yes, snob appeal and exclusivity were selling points. It was *awesome.* In a lot of ways, I miss it. The change to Kickstarter allows a much broader audience, more depth for funding, and better pay. And a lot of the earlier projects were rereleased to the public. But I still miss it.


I'm not sure that Open Design looked like snobbery to me, but it did look something that I didn't "get" because I didn't know anyone who could talk to me about what was being done. I think that Kobold Press has broken through some sort of "surface tension" that has allowed it to connect to people who are not yet customers.

The thing I think I've missed, by not being an Open Design backer, is the time period where there was no Midgard and people saw Midgard start to appear and then got a name for it and saw details being fleshed out. Looking back, you can see the entire product line, so any speculation on what Wolfgang Baur might do is probably all gone.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Newsflash!: The Piazza is moving!
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.
User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
 
Posts: 22151
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Location: London UK

Re: Stages of Midgard development

Postby Tim Baker » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:13 am

It's my understanding that the old Open Design projects were always set in Wolfgang Baur's home setting. If this wasn't explicitly the case at the time, they've been retconned in since then. I say this because most of the old Open Design products have been published for different systems and made available to the general public. This has been done under the Kobold Press name, and in several cases, the products were included in Midgard Kickstarters. Castle Shadowcrag was just included in the revised Midgard Campaign Setting Kickstarter. Empire of the Ghouls' setting content was used in the Imperial Gazetteer, and is clearly the same empire found in the Midgard Campaign Setting. Six Arabian Nights was expanded to Eleven Arabian Nights and included in the Southlands Kickstarter. Halls of the Mountain King was published for Pathfinder as a Midgard product.
Image My Google+ RPG-related posts. | Image Escalation! fanzine for 13th Age.
User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
 
Posts: 940
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:51 am
Location: United States

Re: Stages of Midgard development

Postby Old Man » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:35 pm

Hi all. Huge fan of the old Patronage projects though I was late to the concept, only joining toward the end of Dark Deed and Midgard. I had a lot of fun during the Journeys to the West development. The old forums were full of back and forth on story, site and theme development. I miss that as the Kickstart have less crowd interaction in that style.

Regards,
Old Man
Last edited by Old Man on Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Old Man
Orc
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:10 am

Re: Stages of Midgard development

Postby thorr-kan » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:52 pm

Big Mac, no time now, but I'll address two points:

Steam & Brass was set in Zobeck; Castle Shadowcrag was set outside Zobeck. So it's been there since 8AM, Day One. Zobeck was based in Mr. Baur's home campaign.

Midgard is based on Mr. Baur's home campaign, but is not the same. When Midgard got published, a lot of other writers were part of the process. The two were similar but not the same.

Go on over to the Kobold Press Google Group and ask away.
thorr-kan
Bugbear
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:40 pm

Re: Stages of Midgard development

Postby Tim Baker » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:53 am

Old Man wrote:Hi all. Huge fan of the old Patronage projects though I was late to the concept, only joining toward the end of Dark Deed and Midgard. I had a lot of fun during the Journeys to the West development. The old forums were full of back and forth on story, site and theme development. I miss that as the Kickstart have less crowd interaction in that style.

Are you familiar with RPG Design Camp? They've had two successful Kickstarters in the past year, and run the project in a collaborative way with their backers. It's intended to be similar to the Open Design process, and features some of the former Open Design patrons/designers.
Image My Google+ RPG-related posts. | Image Escalation! fanzine for 13th Age.
User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
 
Posts: 940
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:51 am
Location: United States

Re: Stages of Midgard development

Postby Old Man » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:58 am

Tim Baker wrote:
Old Man wrote:Hi all. Huge fan of the old Patronage projects though I was late to the concept, only joining toward the end of Dark Deed and Midgard. I had a lot of fun during the Journeys to the West development. The old forums were full of back and forth on story, site and theme development. I miss that as the Kickstart have less crowd interaction in that style.

Are you familiar with RPG Design Camp? They've had two successful Kickstarters in the past year, and run the project in a collaborative way with their backers. It's intended to be similar to the Open Design process, and features some of the former Open Design patrons/designers.


Yes I am. I backed the first and passed on the second. I was not interested in the subject of the 2nd. Am looking for another campaign supplement/setting/adventures style of development.

Regards,
Old Man
User avatar
Old Man
Orc
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:10 am


Return to Midgard

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest