All right, we are about ready to begin our Editorial Simulation game. But first, I need to properly lay out how this is all going to work so that we’ve all got an understanding as to what we are doing and how it will all play out.
So, in the past iterations of this game, we played daily for a period of two weeks. But this isn’t going to be tenable given my other commitments. So this incarnation will be played weekly for ten weeks. It’s possible that I may choose to stretch things for an additional week or two in there depending on how things are going.
Each week, I will post a move, which relates the results of the players’ actions on the previous turn; the initial move will set the state of play and establish the parameters for everybody. Within the game, our five players will all be assuming the role of editors and will have titles that they are responsible for. One of the things that is going to make this incarnation of the game different from the two that I did years ago is that, in this instance, three will be playing as Marvel editors, each with a flight of Marvel titles to manage. One will be playing as a DC editor, with an assortment of DC books to manage. And finally, one will be playing as an Image editor, again with a raft of titles to oversee and run. Victory conditions will be different for the Marvel, DC and Image players–and only the DC and Image players will have an understanding of their particular victory conditions. This is to simulate the fact that the people at all of the different companies, while they are all in the same line of business, that of making comic books, actually have different goals and objectives as publishers.
Each player will have a week to make their move. This move will take the form of a recitation of what actions they would like to take in their role as an editor. Every week, I will tell you all the results of their decisions and attempted actions, and thereafter the players will get the opportunity to make another move. Each player’s move should be posted within the comments section of that week’s SIMULATION move post, and must be posted by midnight on Friday of that week. Any late-posted move will be considered not to have taken place. But really, this is a lot easier to deal with than the original games, where the players had to make their moves every single day. You get a week to figure out what you’d like to do and then do it.
Every two moves the editors will be given an update on the sales performance of their titles within the industry based on the decisions they have made along the way. There will be additional benchmarks build into the game relating to fiscal requirements and so forth. And ultimately, the game will end when the ten weeks of moves are concluded, unless I decide to extend things further for whatever reason.
This is a work of fiction, so everything that gets laid out in terms of people and events will be entirely made up. That said, it will all be based in some manner on reality, so it will simulate to the best of my ability what it is actually like to oversee and run a set of titles. Hopefully, you will find this fun and instructive. If not, sorry about that–but remember, you volunteered for this.
The players are free to make any changes to the books that they want–or at least to propose them. So they can say that they want to bring on a certain writer or artist, or they want to guest-star the X-Men, or they’ve got a specific story idea in mind–pretty much whatever they can come up with. Each week, I’ll evaluate the players’ moves, and tell you what the result of those moves was–I’ll be operating as everyone else–the EIC, the publisher, all of your other fellow editors, the marketing and sales departments, and even the readers. And along the way, I’ll be throwing in certain specific events–the kind of events that editors deal with every day.
Based upon the amount of time this game took the last time we played it, I’m limiting each player to 500 words per move –so you need to make them all count!
Remember, the goal is to do good, quality comics that sell well and that people like. Within that, you can try anything you like.
Also: IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Because of the nature of this simulation, we’re going to have to use the names of actual creators and actual titles. Everything that I toss back to you about what happens on these books and with these creators is not at all based on them specifically–so, for example, if I tell you that, in the simulation, Donny Cates hates the artist you’ve put on THOR with him, that doesn’t mean he actually has any hatred for that actual individual. And so forth.
Anybody else is still free to post their reactions and responses in the reply thread as usual. But please try not to drive the contestants batty–they’re going to have enough trouble as it is.
Finally, this should in no way be construed as a fair or democratic challenge. I control the simulation, so what I declare is what happens. Just like in real life, you’ve always got the option to quit if you think I’m being unfair–but I certainly hope it won’t come to that. In any case, ALL JUDGE’S DECISIONS ARE FINAL. There is nothing at stake here, remember that, so there’s nothing to gain and nothing to lose except perhaps a little bit of insight.
Okay, that’s it for the set-up. In a short while I will post the announcement of the players and the opening move, and we can get things underway.