* Turns out I had almost an hour of usable material from the Norwescon Game Publishing Goes Digital panel, so I did release that as Green Ronin Podcast, Episode 9. You can find that here: http://greenronin.com/2009/04/green_ronin_podcast_episode_9.php
* I got a wicked flu last week that knocked me on my ass for four days. I went back to work today but am still not feeling 100%. I don’t know what that was, but I don’t want it again.
* While up in the middle of the night Friday, I ran across Starship Troopers 3 on TV. I had no idea they made a part 3, and weirdly it starred the Vulcan chick from Enterprise and Amanda Donohoe from Lair of the White Worm. The writer tried to emulate the satire of the original movie and it was funny in spots. The leader of Earth is a cross between Bush and John Ashcroft, who sings super cheesy songs about patriotism and sacrifice. Overall though, it was pretty terrible and thus eminently suitable for late night TV.
* GAMA Trade Show was last week. Nicole, Hal, and Bill repped for GR and it sounds like it went well. There were not as many retailers as previous years, but also far fewer swag hounds who were only there for collectible give-aways. Nicole said she got a lot more face time with retailers and had a real chance to engage with them. I’ll take that over crowds of frantic people with giant, bulging shopping bags yelling, “What’s free?” at me any day. I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to hang in Vegas with GR peeps and old friends, but I just can’t do every show anymore.
* I finally got a copy of the Trafalgar minis game from Warhammer Historical. With the recent layoff of Rob Broom and the moving of Warhammer Historical under Forge World, the future of games like Trafalgar and the Great War is uncertain. I wanted to make sure I got a copy in case it went out of print forever. If you dig the Age of Sail, it’s a lovely book. I don’t want to rush out and buy ship minis, but I do have a bunch of Pirates of the Spanish Main pocket model ships from WizKids and while they are from a slightly earlier period they would probably work.
I listened to the podcast this afternoon and enjoyed hearing the different perspectives of the participants (and the planes and sneezing weren't really bad enough to detract from the content.)
I am a big proponent of PDFs, so I was pretty stunned by WOTC's decision. As you said, this only serves to keep the dedicated pirate about two hours behind the "street date" of whatever the newest book is. So it does nothing but frustrate the actual customer.
I have to wonder how difficult it would be to include a discount code or coupon in books that would allow the purchaser to download a PDF version either for free, or at a substantial discount after purchasing the paper copy.
It could even be something as simple as the old video game installation tricks, where you had to turn to page x in the manual and type in the 5th word or some such.
Perhaps a user would have to login with a valid e-mail address to receive the PDF. Thus even if someone "pirated" the password, you would still get the value from harvesting their e-mail address for future offerings/marketing.
Alternately, I actually purchased several Hero Games books on PDF back in 1998 or 1999 in my not-so-local game store. They came on floppy discs and were hanging on the wall just like miniatures or dice. A game shop with a computer, CD drive, 500 gb hard drive and a stack of prelabeled discs could pretty easily burn and sell any game PDF, right there in the store.
Or a store could even sell PDFs and copy them directly to an "official" USB jump drive with a company logo on it. I still have several 64 mb flash drives sitting around with the D&D; logo on them from Gen Con two years back. WOTC was giving them out like candy after the announcement of 4e.
I'd pay good money for Green Ronin jump drive loaded with a bunch of True 20 or M&M; books.