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Livestreaming Your Way to a Better Game

Andrew’s article about livestreaming games during development is now live on Gamasutra!

Here’s an excerpt:

For years we developers had it drummed into our heads to never allow public scrutiny of a game until it was ready for prime time. The (warranted) fear is that negative previews can haunt a game long after it launches, no matter how good it becomes.

Livestreaming has a similar dictum – if you want to build an audience, play the best games, not buggy piles of cow flop. Most game livestreamers are fans of the products we develop. They want to livestream because they enjoy playing these games and want to share the fun with their friends. Why would anyone want to livestream an unfinished game, much less one that might be horribly broken?

We should want this thankless role. By we, I mean the ones making the game – the developers and testers who have to hunt down all those wonderful bugs about which people like to make snarky YouTube videos. After fans began livestreaming their games, developers followed suit, finding this an excellent way to build a community and spread the word. We also began finding other advantages to livestreaming.

One of the newest, and still least recognized, plusses to livestreaming is the role it can have in quality assurance. For those of you who don’t know, quality assurance is the fancy term for hunting down and squashing software bugs. Most developers and playtesters work in quiet environments, focusing on gameplay, creating hypotheses of what should and shouldn’t work, testing these hypotheses, and screaming in frustration when the game refuses to cooperate. Okay, we only rarely scream then. More often, we scramble to pick up pad and pen, jot down some notes, and begin detailing the bugs in our spiffy bug database.

Wait — there’s more! Read the full article.

Noble Armada Needs Your Vote!

Fading Suns: Noble Armada, HDI’s digital version of its Noble Armada starship combat game, is now looking to get Greenlit on Steam, and we need your vote! 

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=220478303

This real-time strategy game allows you to command ships for one of the five royal houses of the Fading Suns as you battle barbarians, heretics and, worst of all, other nobles! Recreate classic battles, recover lost worlds and reunite humanity. Take part in unique campaigns, set your own battles in skirmish mode, and experience the Fading Suns in a whole new way. Vote for it now, and get ready to experience it this Fall!

FADING SUNS to Shine with New Publisher

ATLANTA – NOVEMBER 1, 2016 – Holistic Design Inc. (HDI) announced today that German game company Ulisses Spiele GmbH has taken over publishing the award-winning Fading Suns roleplaying game. Fading Suns, first published by HDI in 1996, has gone through numerous editions and been translated into 6 languages.

“We at HDI are excited to announce that the 20-year-old wonder that is Fading Suns is about to be re-born! Ulisses Spiele will now be creating a brand new direction for the product line,” said HDI President Chris Wiese. “It is a tremendous business relationship opportunity. HDI will continue to own and develop the Noble Armada miniature and software games in conjunction with Ulisses Spiele’s new Fading Suns line.”

Andrew Greenberg, HDI’s Chief Creative Officer, said, “Fading Suns fans deserve the game getting more attention and resources than HDI has recently been able to provide. All of us at HDI look forward to seeing what Ulisses does with this classic game.”

Ross Babcock, Chairman and CFO of FASA Games Inc. said, “While it is sad that FASA Games will no longer continue as a Fading Suns licensee, we know that the property is going to a great company that will do great things for Fading Suns.” Babcock also said, “FASA Games will continue to produce products and miniatures for Noble Armada under license with Holistic Design Inc., and we look forward to working with Ulisses Spiele in the telling of the Fading Suns story.  Look for the release of the new edition of Noble Armada, previewed at this year’s Gen Con, in the coming months.”

ABOUT HOLISTIC DESIGN INC.

Holistic Design is an Atlanta-based game design company. Since 1995, Holistic Design has developed, produced, licensed and sold IP related to roleplaying game products such as Fading Suns and Real Life Roleplaying; tabletop miniature games such as Noble Armada and Carnage; computer games such as Emperor of the Fading Suns, Mall Tycoon and Warhammer 40K Final Liberation; and is currently developing cross-platform video games. Holistic Design was originally founded as Several Dudes Holistic Gaming in 1992.

ABOUT ULISES SPIELE GmbH.

Ulisses Medien & Spiel Distribution GmbH is based in Waldems (Germany) and was founded in 1997. Originally a distributor in the Hobby Games market, Ulisses started with its own publishing department in 2005 and acquired the rights for Germanys biggest RPG IP “Das Schwarze Auge” in 2010. Since then the company established itself as the premiere publisher of RPGs in the German market. 2016 saw the release of the English version of “The Dark Eye” and with TORG in 2017, more English RPG lines are about follow.

FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM HOLISTIC DESIGN INC. CONTACT:

Chris Wiese, president, Holistic Design Inc., hdi@holistic-design.com, 770-592-1718

FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM ULISSES SPIELE GmbH. CONTACT:

Markus Plotz, General Manager, Ulisses Spiele GmbH, feed@ulisses-spiele.de, 0049 (0) 60 87 / 9 88 70 0

FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM FASA GAMES INC. CONTACT:

Ross Babcock, Chairman and CFO of FASA Games Inc. ross@fasagames.com, 503-593-6458

Dragon Con 2016

Members of HDI will once again be at our local convention, Dragon Con, this Labor Day weekend.

Bill & Andrew together in one room:

Bill and Andrew will be chatting about the old, early days of White Wolf, along with James A. Moore. Come see us Saturday night!

Title: World of Darkness: 25th Anniversary
Description: Vampire: The Masquerade changed the face of horror and dark fantasy debuted in 1991. This hour will be a discussion of the early years of the World of Darkness and the industry it spawned.
Time: Sat 08:30 pm Location: Peachtree 1-2 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Bill Bridges, James A. Moore, Andrew Greenberg)

Bill’s other panel about evil gaming — and how to do it!

Title: Demons, Devils, and the Occult
Description: How do you portray “pure” evil in a game? How can you add that touch of the sinister in your game? Can darkness and flames be portrayed without losing its mystique?
Time: Sun 08:30 pm Location: Augusta 1-2 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R Cordell, Bill Bridges, Erik Mona)

Andrew’s other panels:

Title: Activism 101 and State Level Activism
Description: How do you change the world when there are such an overwhelming number of problems today? Does activism mean having to get arrested or does it require civil disobedience? We’ll explore the tenets of our democracy and ways to work within the system to make the world a better place.
Time: Fri 11:30 am Location: 208-209 – Hilton (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Amie Stepanovich, David Maass, Hayden Barnes, Andrew Greenberg)

——————-
Title: Niche Markets in eBooks and Print (for Writers)
Description: What are niche markets for writers, and what are the special considerations that writers face when writing for them? Are there truly financial opportunities to be had in writing for niche markets? What makes the most business sense?
Time: Sun 04:00 pm Location: 208-209 – Hilton (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Sascha Illyvich, Gail Z. Martin, Andrew Greenberg)

——————-
Title: 10 Rules for Dealing with Police Encounters [a must!]
Description: Knowing and asserting your rights along with common sense can greatly improve the outcome of any police encounter. Documentary by flexyourrights.org. A question and answer session will follow the film.
Time: Sun 08:30 pm Location: 208-209 – Hilton (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel
(Tentative Panelists: Andrew Greenberg)

Town Criers Guild Announces Fading Suns Portuguese Translation

ATLANTA – August 5, 2016 – Holistic Design Inc. and Canivete Films announce a licensing agreement for a Fading Suns roleplaying game Portuguese translation. After many years, and much growing support for the system, the gaming community in Brazil can look forward to an opportunity to travel amongst the stars to worlds of wonder and intrigue in the Fading Suns universe.

“We are very happy to have the talented team at Canivete Films translating and publishing Fading Suns in Brazil,” said Holistic Design President Chris Wiese. “There are so many new titles coming out for Fading Suns and the related Noble Armada miniature game system worldwide this year. All of these elements will enhance the opportunity for a Portuguese translation of Fading Suns.”

“For us it is a dream that came true. To bring to Brazil, a sci-fi roleplaying game, with the weight and notoriety of Fading Suns, and making it accessible in Portuguese is a true achievement for us”, said Canivete Films Vice President Marco Loureiro.

“What to say about Fading Suns? Imagine yourself in a scenery where the lost interstellar races of Erik Von Däniken meet with the Space Opera of Frank Herbert’s Dune, in a noble house ruler system seeking galactic control. Now add the threat of a repeating history of the Foundation of Asimov, with humans exploring the universe with the jumpgates. Fading Suns is a: Sci-Fi RPG where everything can be epic, all stories could become a saga. And your character may conquer the universe.” said XXXX CEO Leandro L. C. e Rodrigues, Director of Content of Crônicas da Magia, Director of Quickblade RPG and Director Editor of the Ed Greenwood Group Brazil.

“Fading Suns is the RPG that cannot be missing on the shelf of your game store. Being a rich and broad universe, the only thing that will be the threshold for your adventure, is the moment your imagination depletes. Nothing like a good medieval adventure in space to involve your friends.” Said Mandy Penido, manager at Terramédia store.

ABOUT HOLISTIC DESIGN INC.

Holistic Design is an Atlanta-based game design company. Holistic Design develops roleplaying game products such as Fading Suns and Real Life Roleplaying, tabletop miniature games such as Noble Armada and Carnage, computer games such as Emperor of the Fading Suns, Mall Tycoon and Warhammer 40K Final Liberation and is currently developing App games for multiple platforms. Holistic Design was founded in 1992.

ABOUT CANIVETE FILMS

Canivete Films is a video production company that believes and creates inspiring ideas to work on, with experience on audio-visual, photography, social media and motion graphics.
They worked with several companies of diverse segments and out of late, with RPG publishers. Currently involved in creating events, through the Dungeon Geek, a franchise focused on the nerd/geek universe, mainly on roleplaying games. Canivete Films is based in Sao Paulo and was founded in 2012.

FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM HOLISTIC DESIGN INC. CONTACT:

Chris Wiese, President, Holistic Design Inc., hdi@holistic-design.com, 770-592-1718

FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM CANIVETE FILMS CONTACT:

Marco Loureiro, Vice President, Canivete Films., contato@canivetefilms.com.br, 55-11-4115-4166