Saturday, April 19, 2008

GSL = Ugh

While not officially released as of this moment (or even finished yet, for all I know), the OGL replacement--GSL (Game System License)--looks to be about as appealing as a trip to the proctologist. If you haven't yet read the newest gossip (including comments from WotC folk), please see the front page of ENWorld...all done? Okay, good.

So, why do you suppose WotC wants to put the genie back in the bottle? And by the genie I mean the third party support started and nurtured by the OGL back in 2000. Is it to keep some of their market share from splintering into 3rd party pockets? Perhaps, but Hasbro is a juggernaut and I doubt the loss of a few bucks would prompt the horrendous way they're handling the GSL's formation and release. And I mean horrendous in every sense of the word--from the early $5K fee to jerking those truly interested companies around who would have plunked down that outrageous fee, to delaying, to backtracking on what was said before, to now, 49 days before 4e's release, still not knowing what the hell they're doing.

Oh, what's that Scott Rouse, you're still listening to what people are saying on the messageboards so you can continue to nudge the GSL's language appropriately. Dear Lord, people, make a fucking decision. You're not going to please everyone so stop trying. Of course, pleasing people isn't apparently a goal considering today's revelation that not only will the former d20 logo have to be filed off all third-party products by year's end but also that a company will not be able to release 3e products and 4e products--choose the fate of your company!

Do you know what all this is telling me? That the decision makers at WotC are scared. Scared that their precious new golden game cannot stand on its own two feet. Scared that fans who are willing to buy the core books will then flee in terror back to 3e supporters after they see what the company has wrought. Why else force third-parties to make the choice (again, nothing is set in stone but this looks like the way it's headed)?

For the record, I'm very glad that I had Tricky Owlbear produce products only under the OGL umbrella. Before 4e's announcement, I knew the logo might cause a problem down the road and thought it best to leave it off our stuff. We can sell the pdfs just fine without it, thank you very much. Consumers are savvy enough to know what "v3.5/OGL compatible" means.

In any case, it'll be very interesting to see what eventually shakes out of WotC with the GSL but I won't be surprised to hear more fan and company disapproval before it's all said and done. Viva la 3.5!


Blogger Greg said...

Well, heck. This whole 4e thing is spelling sucks with a capital F.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

Yeah, this mess was probably the final thing I needed to decide that I've got no interest in 4th edition.

The launch has been a train wreck, a lot of the game itself seems to an arbitrary way to balance the game with no thought to actually making sense and now Wizards is trying to strong arm publishers in to abandoning 3rd edition.

They can't even give a straight answer to most of the questions about the GSL after a delay of months.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Bret said...

Yup, there's no question that 3e has its bumps in terms of game play (grapple anyone?) but the game itself involved so much playtesting and a real plan by people who wanted to pull it out of the slump of the latter TSR period. 4e is building on a game that, to my mind, could have continued on for many more years. They can try out their "cool" new stuff on the next generation of D&D players into the whole MMORPG thing but that isn't for me.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Louis Porter Jr. said...

[LPJDesign] OGL 3.5 logo created to replace D20 Logo for 3rd Party Publishers

With all the recent changes due to the release of 4e, the GSL and the OGL, we here at Louis Porter Jr. Design have decided to create an all new OGL 3.5 logo which can be used by any and all 3rd party publisher, completely and absolutely free of charge, with any of their products that initial had the d20 logo or was OGL created material.

The reason for this new OGL 3.5 logo; beyond the obvious loss of the use of the d20 logo; is to unify those companies who still wish to support the 3.5 OGL rule set. This logo easily brands and makes d20 and OGL material easy to identify with this logo so people can tell on sight what gaming system they are supporting. The initial concept of the OGL was to make the gaming industry stronger by making it possible for more people to create and make products to support the concepts of the OGL. With the changes in 4e and the GSL, and the recent comments by Linae Foster and Scott Rouse of that you can only make products for either the OGL or the new GSL, this is no longer the case. And with those actions have caused the creation of this new OGL 3.5 logo.

This logo has bee created in several graphic formats including Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Illustrator EPS, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop JPEG and TIFF. Each of these formats comes with three different versions: color, Grayscale and Black and White. A complete zip file containing all these logos can be downloaded directly from this link.

We hope that any and all 3rd party publishers who stick with OGL 3.5 will use and support this initiative. A lot of customers gave us their hard earned money and supported us; I think it is only fair that we return the favor to them. This isn’t the first time David has gone after Goliath and attempted something amazing. Thank you for this support!

2:44 PM  

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