Friday, February 1, 2008

My problem with Palladium

I have a real love hate thing going on with Palladium games. Not so much Palladium, as I do Kevin Siembieda. I love the settings, games, and fluff he comes up with. I hate his micro managing, and total control freakness. What do I mean by this? Here let me show you an example.

I will post my comments in blue.
Palladium Books® – Press Release – February 1, 2008

UPDATE!
Robotech® The Shadow Chronicles® RPG

We are working hard to get the Robotech® The Shadow Chronicles® role-playing game done and to the printer by next Friday. Really? Cause it was supposed to release in the beginning of December just in time for Christmas. Then it was supposed to be released for the beginning of the new year, in January. Then the end of Jan. Now the end of February.

We know a lot of you are wondering how different these books will be from the original ones. How much new art? How much new writing?

Well, here are some answers.

* We are giving the entire new Robotech® RPG series the Rifts® Ultimate treatment by approaching it very much as if it were the first book in a completely, brand new Robotech® RPG series – which it is! Like Ultimate Rifts eh? So you'll change the order the book is layed out in. Then make rule changes so minute that its hard to tell what they are? Yeah you wouldnt want to tweek the standard pally rules to make it more fast paced like the anime.

* We estimate 70% of the artwork is ALL NEW and it looks fantastic! Good Palladium has always had good art. Except for Kent Burles. O' how I hate his stuff. Its horrible. I would rather Kirby came back from the dead as a zombie and did the art, instead of him. And I hate to break it to some of you comic people. I hate Kirby too. So if I prefer his crap over Burles that should really tell you some thing.

* The writing is close to completion and many sections are undergoing final editing. That means we are also still shooting for an end of February release, though it could slip into the first week of March (we hope not). Gee this sounds familiar. Oh yeah I heard it last November too.

* All the text is new, updated and brought in line with the official timeline, data, stats and info of Harmony Gold, plus additional details, info and gaming data. This makes Robotech® The Shadow Chronicles® RPG not only a fun role-playing game but an excellent and accurate guide and sourcebook to Robotech fans who have no intention of playing the game. Of this I have no doubt. I think they did a good job with the original Robotech RPG books. So I would expect no less from them now.

* Stats have been adjusted to reflect the official Robotech data and satisfy a new generation of gamers. And yes, that means the M.D.C. of mecha and the Mega-Damage inflicted by weapons have been powered up. Which also makes the Robotech® mecha and gear more readily compatible to Rifts® and other Mega-Damage settings. Power Creep oh, boy! (Thats sarcasm if you cant tell)

* The game rules are simple and direct. Which is code for the same rules with no revision since the early 80's. Again why not spruce it up. For a faster paced anime style combat.

* O.C.C.s use an M.O.S. structure and should be reasonably fast to roll-up. Fast for pally any ways. Not that I'm bitching about it. It is what it is.

* The Apollo Okamura cover looks great, 95% of the new black and white artwork is completed, and much of it has been approved or is awaiting final approval. Apollo Okamura's stuff is fantastic. That I'm really excited about.

* Working with Tommy and Steve Yune has been a joy, and we’ve been working close with Harmony Gold to make the Robotech® The Shadow Chronicles® RPG as accurate a reflection of the DVD movie and TV series as possible. You are going to love it.

* And remember, this is just the beginning! The first book in the new Robotech® RPG series and we’ve already been making notes for the New Generation and Shadow Chronicles® sourcebooks as well as notes for Southern Cross and Macross. Wow been late for three months already. Cant wait for the other books to come out in the next 6 years. Maybe they'll print it with Mechanoid Space. Oh wait.... (More sarcasm)

Then lets look at some of the non-sense from the Latest Rifter. First up Robotech. And I quote "Robotech the Shadow Chronicles RPG, the first book in the new roleplaying series, will be available in February. We are excited about doing Robotech again, and have big plans for the return of Robotech, including four or more sourcebooks released throughout the year, plus deluxe edition."
Again let take a look at few things. Kevins aready back pedaled and said it may not be released till March. You know in time for Christmas, March its all the same. Then four more books this year? You cant do a book in three-four months. You expect me to believe your going to put out four more in the next year. Never mind all the other books (non-Robotech) promised to us this year. You sir are on drugs.

More than one dozen books are in the pipeline. That's 12+ manuscripts actually sitting on my shelf in my office. They all need editing and some rewriting and artwork to be assigned, and some need more work than others, but they are done and waiting. Which is control freak Kevins way of saying their done. He just needs to take what some one else wrote and completely rewrite it.
Rifts Delta Blues This was written by one of the posters on the Pally boards. I know its been written for like two years now. Whats the hold up? If its not good enough to stand on its own. Then you dont really have a manuscript do you? Just an outline. But no, its not is it? Just more micro managing.
Atorian Empire Whats the hold up with this one? The moderator "Mr. Deific NMI" got a copy of the "Manuscript" used stuff from it for his game he ran at the Open House. Whats the hold up?
These are just a few that are listed. These are the ones that really burn me.

More books are in development. The above are finished manuscripts. Really? Finished means ready to publish. Oh, wait their not. Any one else getting sick of the micro managing crap?
The following are just some of the other projects in development.
Heros of the Megaverse Hey look theirs an ad for this book. In this very Rifter. And look it shows a tentative release of March 2008. So you got 12+ finished manuscripts. But this book thats just in "development" will be released in March? Again are you sure your not on drugs?
Dead Reign Hey now dont get me wrong I like zombies just as much as the next gamer. But it seems a little late to be jumping on the zombie bandwagon.
Warpath: Urban Jungle Now this has been in "the pipeline" for like a year and a half two years. Seems like we were talking about this at the first open house. Now this really buggs me. Because I really want this book.
Triax 2 Agian one of the few Rifts books I really want. Will I see it? Who friggin knows.

In conclusion. I really love many Palladium Games. I know it really doesnt sound like it. But I have had many, many years of fun, with palladiums games. I'm just growing very frustrated with Kevins micro managing. Get some help. If you cant afford help. Or cant trust them with "Your vision". Then quit promising so damn much. Not to mention if you cant trust people with your vision. Then quit excepting their manuscripts. Either someone hands you a finished manuscript or they dont. If you have to rewrite it. Then its not worth screwing with in the first place.

End Rant

2 comments:

ChattyDM said...

I haven't touched a Palladium book since the 1st edition of Rifts but I would guess that KS is now very paranoid after having nealry lost his company.

But I agree that announcing release dates and not meeting them is pure customer annoyance.

Pith Helmet said...

That reminds me of when Rob Liefeld committed career suicide back in the nineties by chronically missing deadlines and then trying to cover his tracks by slapdashing something together or hiring his stuff out to hacks.