Have you ever wondered if there's any money in indie RPGs?
Have you considered making a break into the industry, or just want to earn a little extra cash on the side?
This article about my first year giving it a shot might provide some answers. I will break down how I spent my year, what I published, things I learned, and get into concrete financial realities.
I started 2020 with 0 published works and no following, and I'm kicking 2021 off with an RPG Kickstarter on the brink of crossing 5 figures. With this post I seek to chronicle what happened in between.
Last year I worked on RPGs part time for most of the year, then closer to full time at the very end as I was gearing up for a Zine Quest project on Kickstarter. I self-published 6 small projects on my own, most of them for the popular (in the indie world) sci-fi horror RPG Mothership. I also did a spattering of contract work, including writing and editing, and I participated in a couple RPG community charity projects.
I'll first dive into the financial breakdowns and juicy takeaways, then go through my entire year month by month, highlighting my publications and other major events. If you're interested in the human element of RPG design, you might benefit from reading my monthly reports first then diving into the takeaways at the top. If you just want some useful advice and data and don't have time for all that, then read on.