Tab Update: First Quarter 2024

Tab Update: First Quarter 2024

Hello, friends, fans and gaming family! Welcome to 2024. Here at Tab Creations big things are brewing, but first let's take a look at this past year in review.

To start, we had a variety of Age of Ambition releases in 2023. This includes the public release of What Lies Beneath and its unlocked extras, The Forslin Job, Heights of Power and The Honey Trap one-sheet scenario. For Shadows Over Sol we released The Violet Strain, and for Dime Adventures we released Peril of the Amazon. We also launched and released seven playtest packets for Saga Machine Unified, our largest and most ambitious playtest to date.

Business-wise, 2023 was an odd year for us. We ran two Kickstarters and experimented with a new release model. At the beginning of the year we funded The Forslin Job, which was released under the "Quickstarter" model we used throughout 2021 and 2022. That is, we first released the supplement on Patreon, then shortly thereafter ran a quick, two-week, no frills Kickstarter campaign.

While it did fund, we had (and still have) concerns that a quarterly quickstarter isn't sustainable -- that our fans are getting crowdfunding fatigue. So in the later part of the year we decided to try a "3-pack" model: Three supplements were released as usual to our Patreon, then we Kickstarted them together shortly after the third release. This model also had the side effect that our Patreon fans got access to some of the releases months ahead of the general public.

On final analysis, we have now concluded that the 3-pack model is not a significant improvement over doing quarterly quickstarters. While it did fund, the levels were not much better than three quickstarers in aggregate. Plus, it also had the side effect of slowing down our release cadence on DriveThruRPG throughout 2023, which we believe negatively impacted our sales.

For 2024 we are still formulating our full release strategy, but two Shadows Over Sol scenarios are likely to be crowdfunded in the spring.

Speaking of which, we've already made a number of public releases this quarter. This includes: the Game Master's Toolkit, The Chemist's Gambit and Melanoc Adventures for Age of Ambition. It also includes The Lotus-Eaters for Shadows Over Sol. Furthermore, in the coming month, we plan to release Ballgame Diplomacy for Dime Adventures and the next playtest packet for Saga Machine Unified.

As you can see, we've been busy. So let's talk about the road ahead.

We currently have four scenarios written and queued up for either editing or release. Three of these are for Shadows Over Sol, one is for Age of Ambition. In fact, one of them, The Cytherean Malignancy, is being released to Patreon backers tonight. Another, Mercurial Ruin, is set for a Patreon release in April. These are the two scenarios due for some form of crowdfunding in the spring. The final two scenarios (order not yet determined) are likely to see release in the summer and coming winter.

In the fall we have plans to release a major Age of Ambition campaign focusing on high-powered play and domain management. It can either serve as a sequel campaign to What Lies Beneath, or stand on its own as a story politics, peril and power. What happens when the player characters are the ones who rule?

We also have plans for two more Saga Machine Unified playtest packets: one in February and one in the late spring. After that, Saga Machine Unified leaves system development behind and enters the next stage of its evolution. Oh, and did we mention that it already has Foundry VTT support? Development of Saga Machine's Foundry integration is ongoing and has come a long way since its inception. Expect a public announcement when it reaches its first stable release.

Looking further to the future, there are major things in the pipeline that we can't talk about quite yet. None of those are likely to materialize in 2024, but they appear to be on target for 2025. Expect to hear more about them near the end of the year.

That's where everything stands right now. Have a brilliant year and good gaming, everyone!

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