So, there are now two copies of each of the Dresden Files RPG books in my house. They are, not to put to fine a point on it, freaking gorgeous.
It's somewhat unreal to look at them and consider how long it took to get here. Five Years. In that time, Fred and I have both had kids and changed careers. We've faced accusations of the game being vaporware, as well as every other fan driven complaint you can imagine. We've also had more kind words, expressions of enthusiasm and support, and general good-human-contact than I would have even thought possible, once upon a time.
I am pretty sure that, five years ago, neither of us even imagined books like these. We were simply not this ambitious, and the costs and business decisions involved in making a product like this would have been something we'd have absolutely balked. It was so far beyond anything we could accomplish that the very idea would have merited a laugh. Yet here we are. In a little over a week we're getting on the road to Origins and are going to start selling this to people.
It's crazy, but I hope there are some useful lessons in it.
See, here's the thing - for all that Dresden's going to be decently big (by RPG standards) we're still a pretty small shop. We can do most of what we do because Fred is a dedicated, driven guy who has chosen to make this his focus, not because of any magical excess of talent or brilliance. And being a small shop is a big deal because it means we can take forever bringing a product to market because we're crazily picky, and we don't have the kind of deadlines and schedules that come from this being the source of our paycheck. We are incredibly fortunate in this regard.
It's still not entirely real yet. I feel some accomplishment looking at the physical books, and I think we've done well by Jim. These are important things. But I think I need to get through Origins to really convince myself that it's done. That from that point forward it's all fan support and inventory management.
And at that point, I may finally be able to let the next thing out of the box in a my head, and see what it wants to do.
1 - Ok, we cheat a little because Fred's got some solid layout chops; I've watched him earn those over the years. But that is genuinely only a sideshow to the sheer amount of talent, focus and dedication Fred brings to the table. Somewhere down the line I need to talk up exactly how awesome the whole DFRPG team is, but at this moment I want to point to Fred and say, "Damn, man, that's how it's done." I have watched him grow into this role with passion and intensity much as I am watching him do the same with fatherhood, and I could not be prouder (or luckier) to call this man my friend.
2 - Or we can rush something out if we're excited. Freedom, baby!