Crafty Christmas Day 1: State of the Company and Upcoming Products

Happy holidays, loyal Crafty-ites! Another year is nearly behind us and as usual around this time, we find ourselves reflecting on past months and looking to the future. If we had to describe 2007 in a single word, it would be “educational.” It was a year of growth and setbacks, lessons and mistakes, challenges and triumphs, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

While 2006 schooled us on the craft of business, 2007 taught us the art. It was a year of fantastic growth for Crafty Games, both in sales and as a business. In May, we launched a new and vastly-improved website, and readership and forum participation are at an all-time high. In August, we welcomed a new partner, the tremendously talented Steve Hough, as our permanent art director and graphic designer, and he’s worked wonders on our production schedule (as evidenced in the wave of best-selling PDFs we’ve released over the last 3 months). This fall, Crafty joined the top-15 best-selling publishers on DriveThruRPG, rubbing elbows with such industry leaders as Wizards of the Coast, AEG, and White Wolf. And, of course, this week — in fact, this very moment — both the second printing of Spycraft 2.0 and World on Fire, Crafty’s first two print releases, are appearing on store shelves around the world (with PDFs very soon to follow).

There have also been some lessons at the school of hard knocks. Spycraft 2.0 and World on Fire suffered a number of delays as we worked through many technical issues with the products. Our PDF schedule has been spotty. Our capacity to dream ourstripped our resources to get things done and real life conspired mightily against the big dream of making Crafty into the glittering gaming giant we all want it to be. Mistakes were made, and for that we are sorry — but we’ve learned from them, and from you, our valued customers.

Looking forward to 2008, Crafty is a stronger, smarter, and more grounded company. If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that we’re just four guys (talented, handsome, and brilliant, sure, but still only four guys), and this has shaped our plans moving forward. We’ve been slowly building a core of very talented freelancers to help fill out our product schedule and keep releases more consistent. We’ve reassessed our product schedule with a more experienced eye towards what we can realistically get out in a timely fashion, and and we’ve heard what you’ve asked for in terms of product.

So what’s next for Crafty Games? Our next major print release is our vision of high adventure gaming: Fantasy Craft! This monstrous tome will not only be a complete toolkit for powering the fantasy genre with the award-winning Spycraft 2.0 game system, but also a collection of exiting settings showcasing how to adapt the rules to your needs. Whether you’re looking for traditional fantasy or sword and sorcery, epic play or something a little more exotic, Fantasy Craft is the perfect vehicle. Teasers from the book will arrive throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas, but the fun starts today with a detailed product overview and the world premier of Ben McSweeney’s amazing cover art, which you can find here.

Once Fantasy Craft is off to Mongoose, we’ll be diving into Spycraft 2.0 Henchman Edition, a streamlined spin on the game you know and love! Not so much a rules rewrite as a low-impact, fast-play version of the Spycraft 2.0 system, Henchman will bring you all the versatile power of the full game in a tight, easy-to-learn and just as easy-to-use 160-page package. Best of all, it’ll be fully compatible with all other Spycraft 2.0 products, allowing groups to choose their own license to improvise without missing out on any of their favorite supplements.

Last but definitely not least on our short-list of works in progress is the long-awaited Ten Thousand Bullets, the complete Spycraft toolkit for the crime noir genre! This labor of love has been in development for three editions, five publishers, and seven years, but we’re now seeing some real progress toward its landmark release. Soon you’ll be able to join valiant cops, daring thieves, and vicious gangsters fighting over the fate of a city in crisis! Are you ready to build the ultimate street legacy?

Crafty’s PDF lines also push full steam ahead in 2008, with two new products already in the hopper and many more in active development. Origin of the Species: Classic Fantasy Races and The Big Score (an alternate gear systems toolkit) are pencils down and should enter edits shortly, and the seven-part World on Fire PDF series is racing toward the finish line. There’s more, of course, but we’ve learned our lesson and won’t be talking much about products that aren’t right in front of us. :)

It’s been two years to the day since we first announced the Crafty Games partnership and dove headlong into the occasionally baffling but uniquely fulfilling world of running our own company, and over that time the one constant we could always count on was your support. This holiday season we thank you for that, wish you a happy New Year, and hope you’ll join us for a great 2008.

In addition to this message, and the new product information, we'd originally planned to get the Christmas ball rolling with the release of the final print edition of Spycraft 2.0 in PDF, but sadly, we're having some technical difficulties making that happen. We've contacted DriveThruRPG about the issue and we'll continue to try. Hopefully we can get that little stocking stuffer out to you with as little delay as possible, and we'll update this message's comments section when it's live. Previous purchasers should, in theory, get an update email as well.

Happy holidays to you and yours,

Pat, Scott, Steve, and Alex
Crafty Games