About a week ago I wrote an article talking about gaming with tablets where I explored some of the options and avenues available to bring technology to the pen and paper rpg. I cited Rogue Games as being a pioneer in the RPG industry in this regard in that they offer not only print and PDF versions of their products, but also ePub and Mobi formats as well for ebook readers/tablets. Richard Iorio of Rogue Games was kind enough to give me his thoughts and experience on this new direction for the industry.
Alfred: Richard, first off let me thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. Rogue Games has a diverse and growing catalog of titles available in both digital and print versions. What sparked the interest in diversifying your digital offerings by adding Kindle and epub versions of your books?
Alfred: What has been the reaction from the gamer community to the additional selections available?
Richard: Reaction has fallen into two camps: pro and con. Regardless where they fall into the community — publisher, retailer and gamer — the two camps have been the same.
Alfred: Has it been difficult to transition your work from pdf to the e-book formats?
Richard: At first it was hard. the ePub and Mobi (the format that Kindle uses) are growing standards. There are limits to what the formats can do. They also take time. All the automated offerings out there, that promise to convert your PDF or Word file into a usable .Mobi, .ePub, or .Lit (Sony eReader) are more trouble than they are worth. I had to learn how to build these files from the ground up, and learn for myself what you can do and not do with the format. The eBooks I am creating now are better because of this. I joked with a friend the other day that all our eBooks are handcrafted, and I meant it. I do the programing, from XML to the package file that compiles them. It takes a little time, but the more you do, the faster you get.
Alfred: What venues are you currently using to sell your digital offerings?
Richard: We started with Amazon.com with the Kindle. Since then we have moved to BN.com, Smashwords, iBooks, and a few other places. Amazon and BN are the more active sales channels for these titles. iBooks is growing, but not as fast. We recently started selling the files ourselves from the website, and that has slowly found its legs.
Alfred: Are there any plans for Rogue Games to offer Android/iOS apps relating to the established product lines, such as character generators, player/gm tools, etc?
Richard: I’ve thought about it, and if I would go this route, I would go to iOS first. The Android platform still is not stable, and the hardware you have to factor in is a nightmare. Our games are so easy, however, I am not sure what tools would be necessary. Now if someone came me with a good idea, I might listen, but Apps are not on the short term list.Again Richard, thank you so much for your time and assistance with this.
Alfred: Again Richard, thank you so much for your time and assistance with this. I look forward to seeing more of what the Rogues have in store for us in the future.
Who We Are
Founded in 2007, Rogue Games is the partnership of two long time game designers, taking the jump into self publishing.
Rogue Games motto is simple: Games so good they sneak up on you.TM
The Rogue’s Rules
- Rule 1: Have fun!
- Rule 2: The setting defines the rules, the rules do not define the setting.
That is what it is all about.
For as long as they can remember Richard Iorio II and James Maliszewski have enjoyed not only playing, but designing games. Rogue Games is their company, and with it they design and produce games.