Thursday, July 12, 2012

Killing my project Ydin

Now it is a time to say good bye to Ydin. Ydin was supposed to be my own rpg system I would create material for. I like to write stuff a lot! And I thought I'd need one solid system to write stuff for. I decided I need to write this system to use as a basic for my stuff I write. Thus I started writing Ydin. I was planning to create also guidelines to convert Ydin material to other roleplaying games systems...

But then I realized it is not worth my time.

Here are reasons why I won't continue with Ydin:

- My time is limited and making rules that cover basically everything and work is lots of work to do.
- Instead of spending time to write yet another set of rules I could spend my time to write different kinds of material.
- I found d20/OSR and I like it. I think that d20/OSR is most universal and easy to adapt system out there. Particularly the most basic systems are really easy to use and quite simple to convert to other systems.
- I liked the idea of Ydin but today I like more simple systems. I don't say that Ydin was too hard but it was yet another rpg system to learn (and of course write!). It wasn't simple enough and I thought making it more simple but what's the point? Just take LotFP, Dungeonslayers or other rpg and use it. Additional rules if necessary are easy to come up with.
- If I finished Ydin core rules to be used with my Ydin stuff (for example monster stats, adventures, campaign settings and what-not) who would actually download it and use it?
- In general there are three types roleplaying people. Those who like OSR/d20 and those who like other games and those who use universal systems. D20/OSR people prefer different retros and clones and those who like other games I think buy games for the setting or something. Those who use universal rules stick to the one they like (either commercial or homebrew) and adapt it to other games. GURPS, Savage Worlds... there are tons of them so where would Ydin stand?
- If I have a good idea I want to publish it would be easier to publish it on system easily available and free to use (OGL or CC for example). People know that already. There are haters for OGL/retro/d20 stuff but I bet it would still be better option to use some of those instead of using one unknown system.

I think today in roleplaying games the material is more important than a system. Of course there are dozens if not hundreds of different OSR systems (LotFP, Labyrinth Lord, OSRIC only few to mention) people can choose what they like the most and easily convert stuff to use with it. I also bet that people who play universal systems or homebrew systems are already used to convert material to their games.

I also started writing Fallout 3 inspired RPG based on retro-clones and heavily influenced by Dungeonslayers but what the heck! Then I found Gamma World and Mutant Future (print from Lulu, free PDF from and thought what the heck! Instead of writing OSR/retro rules to fit in post-apocalyptic modern world science fiction I could just use rules already existing for post-apocalyptic modern world science fiction and spend my time to write material (new equipment if needed, adventures, npcs etc.)

My dream was to publish my own rpg. Only to print few copies and hopefully to sell a couple. But my main point was to hold in my hands in print something I created myself. But now it feels just a waste of time... Now my dream is to write material that I could publish (PDF) and maybe print few (printer in the name of oldschool for the win!).

So maybe some day instead of writing my own system I will write something people can actually use in their games. A setting or compilation of stuffz to use or something similar.

My advice is from personal experience: Don't waste your time creating something that has been done 1000 times over 30 years but spend your time creating something new. Writing new rules is waste of time as people probably won't use them or will house-rule the shit out of them anyways to suit their taste.


x said...

You hit it right on the head. I shelved what I was working on for most of the same reasons. I figure I have a better chance getting Swords & Wizardry players to pick up my setting or adventures than having to spend anymore time building a rule set that I would have to give away and then know it would just be stripped for parts anyway.

I just wish I hadn't wasted nearly 3 years and a lot of resources on it. You live and you learn...

Unknown said...

It is really helpful if the designer likes OSR and retro-clones as there are lots of players and both OSR and retro cover different kinds of systems from fantasy to scifi! And the best part is that many of the rules are available for free. And in top of that there are great conversation guides all over the internet. So if you make stats specific for one OSR game people can easily convert the stats for their game they use.

And today I like retro clones a lot! LotFP is great for fantasy gaming and easy to modify and I think that Mutant Future (I just finished reading - love it) covers rules you need in science fiction (mostly modern armor, firearms, robots and technology).

So if a writer likes retro clones he has infinite resources to use in his projects!

Unknown said...

Oh, and it is easy to include special rules in the adventure, campaign or other source material if needed and you don't have to build whole set of rules just because you need one or few special rules for your stuff.

Sami Koponen said...

Still, don't consider your stillborn game as a failure. While you worked with it, you learned a lot about game design, the amount of work it takes and overall project management. You can use all this when designing scenarios, studing different rule systems, tinkering existing games and applying different rules as the gamemaster.

Unknown said...

That's true. Thanks.