Tab Update: First Quarter 2018

Tab Update: First Quarter 2018

It's a new year, and here at Tab Creations this is when we usually take a few moments to review the successes and failures of the past year, as well as take a look at what we have coming up in the year ahead. So without further introduction, let's go ahead and take a look back!

The first half of 2017 was largely dominated by the release of Dime Adventures, our pulp alternate history roleplaying game. We released the Quick-Start in January, followed by the Kickstarter campaign ,which ended in February. After that was a whirlwind of development, which resulted in the release of the Dime Adventures core rulebook PDF in April and the print copy in May. Numerous supplements unlocked by the Kickstarter were then released throughout May, June and July. Everything was put out ahead of schedule and all of the possible supplements were unlocked. All-in-all, it was a success!

That said, there are a few things we could have done better. As usual, we continue to struggle with marketing and our ability to otherwise get the word out. We also could stand to improve our regular channels of communication with fans. We're usually so focused on getting our games completed, released on time and in a way that meets our quality standards, that regular communication and marketing efforts frequently fall by the wayside. And if we're being honest with ourselves, marketing simply isn't something that any of us are particularly skilled at.

The second half of 2017, on the other hand, was dominated by the development of Siren's Call, the major upcoming expansion for Shadows Over Sol, our science fiction horror roleplaying game. Once released, it will be a combined sourcebook and campaign, and is expected to stand a bit shy of 200 pages once fully written. It focuses on the story of the ARC Project, humanity’s first ever attempt to colonize a world beyond the Sol system. Those familiar with the Shadows Over Sol core rulebook will remember it being mentioned there.

As of this post, the book is about two-thirds written and in its final phase of playtests. The promotional art has been completed. Three of the eight chapters are finished, and three more are expected to be completed by the end of the month. Preparation for the Siren's Call Kickstarter has also begun, and we are currently aiming for a launch sometime in March. All things considered, development is going well. Expect to see more previews as the Kickstarter approaches.

Meanwhile, all throughout 2017, our Patreon kept trucking along. We made four Patreon releases in 2017, counting the freebie Dime Adventures: Quick-Start in January. Two of these were Shadows Over Sol releases, the others were for Dime Adventures. Later this month, through the Patreon, we will be releasing Against the Dark Yogi: The Serpent's Brood, our first release for that game line in over a year. We plan to follow it up another Shadows Over Sol release in April.

Finally, although some progress was made in the second half of the year in preparing for a relaunch of our comedy horror card game, We're All Going to Die Here, this is where we most dropped the ball. We had originally planned to finalize the new revision of the game by December, but that didn't happen, as the work on Siren's Call took up most of our energy. We did, however, get some really great art comissioned for the game, and we look forward to showing it off once the game revision is further along.

Financially, Tab Creations is in good shape at the moment. We have money in the bank and no outstanding debts. Our revenue was down slightly from 2016, which we attribute to Dime Adventures not selling as well our two previous games, Shadows Over Sol and Against the Dark Yogi. On the other hand, Shadows Over Sol sales remain unexpectedly strong and our revenue remains significantly higher than it was in 2015 or any year before it. We are also very happy with the major overhaul of our website, which was released in the middle of the year, and which includes our new online store. Meanwhile, we have almost sold out of our remaining stock of Ganjifa cards and we continue to release additional Shadows Over Sol supplements to traditional distribution channels through our partners at Studio 2.

Looking ahead to the upcoming year, our early efforts are likely to be focused on finishing Siren's Call and launching its subsequent Kickstarter. We have some plans to shake up how we structure our Kickstarters with this one, testing out some alternative options for stretch goals and product delivery. Assuming a successful funding effort, the supplement is likely to continue to consume our attention through the middle of the year, as it goes through editing, art direction, layout and finally fulfillment.

As we move towards the middle of 2018 and on to the second half of the year, we plan to give our full attention to finishing up the new development on We're All Going to Die Here, ahead of its relaunch. We also plan to continue our quarterly Patreon releases, with The Serpent's Brood in January, a Shadows Over Sol release in April and a release in both July and October. These latter two releases are still undetermined, pending the results of this year's Patreon backer survey.

And that's our plans for the year as they stand now! I'm sure that we will continue to refine things as the year goes on. In the meantime, Happy New Year! Until next time, and thank you for being a part of the Tab Creations community!


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