I don't have a lot of faith in the future of this game now.
I'm not quite at that point yet, but I do feel that DWAITAS has been slipping way down in C7's priorities. They've announced they'll be releasing over 100 titles this year, and yet for DWAITAS there's stuff which has now been delayed by a year (Defending the Earth, The Time Travellers Companion). They just don't seem to be resourced for that scale of output if they can't cope with stuff that should have been out last year.
And I don't buy into the theories that delays are down to the BBC. Look at Panini, who manage to get DWM out on time every four weeks, plus 2-3 specials a year. Or Big Finish, who release a minimum of 2, usually 3, and sometimes 4 Doctor Who related audios every month, all of which require BBC approval and very few of which are delayed. I know C7 are having to rebrand for the 11th Doctor, but the BBC announced the rebranding back in 2009 and it's been live since early 2010.
I'm sure that other Forum members will be along to post in C7's defence, but even setting aside whether or not the delays are justified, where is the communication to tell us what is happening? Their store still lists the 11th Doctor Edition for an April release and yet we KNOW that's not happening. Worse still, they show it as In Stock - misleading at best. Zero out of ten for communications, Cubicle 7!
The lack of communication from C7 is by far the most frustrating thing.
I understand the issues they've got to deal with, being a small company. I realize that the BBC approval process is probably horrendous, and that they either flat out aren't allowed to come out and say that, or at least they're justifiably hesitant to publicly say anything that might be taken the wrong way.
But here's the thing. For most of us, there's a limited amount of time and also money that we can commit to gaming. If a supplement we're looking to use in our game is delayed, maybe we'll just wing it ourselves (or borrow from the write-ups, plot seeds, etc that are posted on this and other forums), spend that $30 or $50 we'd set aside for the Time Traveller's Companion or Defending the Earth on another game that catches our eye...and when C7 is finally able to release the supplements, some of us who would have bought them...won't.
Not out of spite, but because we spent our gaming budget on something else, and because we're already running our game and we've come up with our own material and we don't need the supplement.
The almost total lack of communication and any kind of updates makes that a lot more likely outcome, at least for me. And that's a shame, because I was really looking forward to the Time Traveller's Companion, and especially to the previous Doctor box sets that are also planned.
Please, C7, TALK TO US! You're smart people, surely you can figure out some way to give us information about when products might realistically be coming out, without upsetting the BBC or the license terms. Can't you?
Mmmh... this sure doesn't look very promising. I hope that the new edition and, above all, the supplements will make it to the shelves this year - otherwise I fear the game will die a quiet death, before it got the chance to fulfill its amazing potential (well, at least as far as commercial products are concerned - if FASA's RPG and Virgin's Timelord managed to retain a dedicated fan-base, then DWAITAS will probably do so... but it would really be sad to see it become a short-lived cult game.
Handling such a big license surely involves many difficulties and restrictions (editorially, commercially and "communicationally" speaking)... but, from a strictly "customer / gamer" point of view, the situation feels a bit as if C7 was deliberately ignoring its REAL customer-base, gamers who already know what RPGs are all about and who really, really want to play a good, simple, story-oriented Doctor Who RPG, as opposed to, say, DW fans who've never played a RPG, would discover the wonders of gaming through DWAITAS - provided it has the latest logo on it. If the idea really was to make a major commercial success aimed at non-gamers, then the project was flawed from the beginning, since the DWAITAS rules are obviously NOT geared toward the complete neophytes - at least as far as GMing is concerned; while they are extremely simple and work well in play, they also require a good deal of GMing experience and "sagacity" to work as intended - as examplified by the VERY flexible and open-to-interpretation rules on Story points. This mechanic alone, which plays a crucial part in DWAITAS, makes this a "gamer's game".
I think that part of the problem comes from the fact that this game is obviously aimed at gamers (a good thing, don't get me wrong) - and gamers are fans at heart- especially those interested in licensed RPGs.
Yet, despite being written for fans, DWAITAS seems to follow a PR/communication plan (or lack thereof) more consistent with a "mass audience" product aimed at customers who don't need to be informed about the advancement of the project or to feel "part" of the whole thing and will buy the stuff when it comes out.
So let's hope we'll see some new products before the end of the Summer! Or at least get some news - even if it's bad news.
I guess where NeilFord sees 'incivility' I see robust (but still relatively polite, trust me I've seen a lot worse) criticism of Cubicle 7 and their behaviour when it comes to their communication (or lack thereof) with their customers. And, quite frankly, they deserve that criticism.
He had time to communicate that the thread was being shut down, but apparently not enough time to answer a simple question that I had raised back on March 26th, or to answer a simple Yes/No question (has the boxset been sent to the printer yet?) or to communicate the results of the telephone call he said he was going to make back on April 18th (ten days ago), or to explain why a product was still being advertised in their online store as being available in April when it was blindingly obvious, as of April 28th, that no such product was available...
Good move on the part of the Community Manager, there, C7. Way to inspire.
Good move on the part of the Community Manager, there, C7. Way to inspire.
Well, so far, they've pretty much failed on all levels Community-wise. I really couldn't see any justification for locking that thread beyond just not wanting to answer the questions you asked though.
To be honest, I gave up on C7's forums ages ago - they've never hit a release date and they never want to talk about it when they're pulled up about it. I cancelled all of my pre-orders with C7 a while back (and to be fair, they didn't quibble, I got all the money back without a problem.)
For the Doctor Who rpg, you're best off just posting here. (I've been reading these forums for a while, but only just joined, since I'm about to get my own Dr Who campaign off the ground, and this seems like a cool place to exchange ideas ....)
I imagine everyone involved with that thread (and the delays one) has been feeling frustrated, both on the no-communication and too-much-communication side. Frustration can lead to unwise decisions.
Try to remember the days when the first we heard of a game's release was when it was released, and don't be so demanding.
Ah, yes. The pre-internet days when companies didn't try to build 'communities' around their products with such wacky things as forums, newsletters, twitter feeds, facebook pages ...
Oops. C7 do all that. I guess in the case of Doctor Who they must just want a community that has the good taste to kindly keep quiet until C7 deign to offer you a product. Then you can talk about it on another forum somewhere, but then kindly shut up and wait for the next product to arrive six or seven months (or more) after we told you it was going to arrive.
Frankly, although I can see where it would be frustrating for C7, they should consider themselves damn lucky that, after three years filled with almost nothing but waits, some of their customers still care enough to be 'demanding'.
If they haven't actually taken your money yet, you've lost nothing but time.
You're mistaken. I've lost something else:
I've almost completely lost interest.
When the game was launched I was mega-enthusiastic about it. Indeed, I bought one of the first copies at the charity auction at Dragonmeet. I eagerly grabbed more copies of the game when it was on the shelves finally so that when I was able to run a game at my local game club everyone had a copy of the Players guide. When I saw at my local mini-convention that nobody was running a game, and I realized I hadn't brought a copy with me I bought another copy just so I could quickly offer to run one of the adventures in the book ...
When I offered a game at the local game club and was unsuccessful due to other games being more interesting, trendier, hipper or just more adult ('Doctor Who? That's for kids!', 'Doctor Who? I like the series, but from the reviews I've seen the system's too simple for my liking', 'I like Doctor Who, but I'd rather play D&D this month, thanks', 'Doctor Who? That's a bit trad. I prefer Hot War, thanks', and so on - limited resources and rooms mean we can only offer three or four games at a time) I offered the game again and again and again and again and again ...
That's how enthusiastic I was.
After seeing delay after delay after delay, and having to push and push C7 to even bother to offer any kind of explanation for delay after delay, I just ... almost don't care anymore. My interest in the line is hanging on by a thread and that's how they treat their customers? Frankly, there are other game systems out there that I'm interested in where, if there are delays, at least you don't get given the silent treatment for months at a time then told you're not being civil when you dare speak up and ask questions like 'Hey, how come it's the end of the month and your online store STILL says it's coming out this month. What gives?'
If you want to keep quiet and just wait until the nice Cubicle 7 people send you a nice (but severely delayed) product that's your prerogative. Good luck with that. Me? I'm going to remember that saying about squeaky wheels getting the oil.
And then, the way C7 are going, all the money I would have spent with them is going on Eclipse Phase, Duty & Honour, Earthdawn, Fading Suns, Pathfinder, Wild Talents, Star Trek (LUG), Dresden Files, Full Light Full Steam, and so on ...
Me, I'm done. Done with C7 completely. Just picked up my copy of Atomic Highway and I'm going to mod that to play Who with instead. No matter what they produce now, not one more penny of my gaming cash is going their way.
Just remember who’s standing in your way, remember every black day I ever stopped you and then—AND THEN—do the smart thing: let somebody else try first.
While new product is always nice, my interest and that of my players is not based on new product coming out. The game I probably played the most in the last 2 decades is Dream Park, based on the Niven, Barnes & Pournelle novel, and that had very few products come out, and none since the early 90s. And yet, we played well into the 2000s. I could play Doctor Who this summer or in 10 years, or FOR 10 years regardless of new product coming out.
It would be nice, because I'm a fan of both the game and the show, but by no means is it affecting my role-playing habits.
I could play Doctor Who this summer or in 10 years, or FOR 10 years regardless of new product coming out.
I wish I could. Right now the guys I game with are showing no interest in Who, and that's after 18 months. I'm still trying, and hope spring eternal ... I was kinda hoping that a rebadged set, along with the new series, might generate even a little spark of interest I could try to build on ...
Of course, that's rather predicated on having a rebadget set while the new series is out, and that rather depended on a timely* release.
And that, as with every DWAITAS release so far, is looking less and less and less likely ...
Sooner or later I'm just gonna go 'F#ck it, who's for (insert new game here)?'
And it's looking increasingly like it's gonna be sooner rather than later. I think I'm more or less done with Cubicle 7.
* well, I say timely ... you guys remember when this was gonna be a November release, right?