Eric Gibson, the guy in charge of WEG in it's final days, all but disappeared from the gaming scene after the problems with Bill Coffin's Septimus D6 game. He's not been around for a while... but recently he cropped up on www.d6online.com with a long post about where he's been, and some of the realisations he's had. It's a very honest post, and makes for interesting reading.
Hello, Folks. Long Time No Speak
Hello all. It's been a while -- a long while -- since I've been around here. I just thought I'd stop in a say "hi." It's been about three years or so since I started moving towards a vacation from game publishing and began WEG's transition to a hiatus. It's good to see other folks have really taken up the cross of creating D6 and D6 variant material under OpenD6.
Since putting down the pen, I've finished some schooling and gone to work in the 'real world' again. In my time away I've also managed, in reflection, to learn more about myself and where I went wrong with WEG. Though I think I already knew it back when, I really realize the immense number of mistakes I made. The company and the game(s) really fell victim to my many faults: laziness, arrogance, ignorance, fear, anxiety, problem avoidance created by years of depression. I've had a chance to look back, see that I have been my own worst enemy and to accept that fact that, in campaigning for a fan base for our games, I became responsible to those fans in ways that I had not previously acknowledged. I'm not suggesting that simply being a fan meant you were really owed anything beyond what you paid for, but you do have an honest expectation to have your trust rewarded with honesty and integrity. I appointed myself Captain of this ship and forgot that, as Captain, I had work harder and smarter than everyone else. Simply put, I didn't do anywhere close to enough. I made lofty plans and failed to do what I knew needed to be done to make those plans a success and rather than be proactive with inevitable issues, I did almost nothing and took a reactive roll at best. I came to expect so many problems that I spent most of my time as damage controlman, and failed to acknowledge that I willingly steered into the path of so many torpedoes. For that, I'm deeply sorry -- to you all, and to myself.
WEG was a labor of love, to be certain. It represented a dream and it was a dream that I let wilt and die all by myself. This may come off as a mea culpa; an insincere apology to seek sympathy or favor. Though I have certainly done that in the past, it's definitely not what this is. I kind of think of it more as an alcoholic or drug addict who has finally committed to quit, and must seek out his or her loved ones to apologize for hurting them. This is for me, so that I'm able to forget the mistakes of the past and focus on moving forward into the future.
So, some of you might be a little confused and wondering what this means. Well, it means nothing more than I wish to be done with dirty, oily memory of mistakes I've made. That is all. This doesn't mean that I'm leaving the tabletop game world behind, nor does it necessarily mean WEG or myself are moving out of hiatus. Being completely honest now, I do have a strong desire to come back and create games again. I've had several ideas that I wanted to explore for many years now, both in RPGs as well as Boardgames. That is the reason I've completely resisted releasing the West End Games brand to other people. But, if I am to ever "come back" I need to do it right. Basically, I need to rebuild WEG nearly from scratch -- new business plan, proper financial planning and analysis, and a much tighter running ship. It also means that I will never again make promises to fans that I do not know I can deliver, as promised and on time.
So, I guess if you are any good at extrapolation, you can probably figure out that I've basically (90%) made up my mind to return to creating and publishing games and that I intend to, very soon, start the initial ground work to possibly make that happen. But, I have a long road ahead and there are numerous very real issues that can put further delays, or possible permanent stops, on those plans. I'm making no promises and no formal public announcements. I'm telling you all because you all are the foundation of OpenD6 and the WEG fanbase and you deserve to know, if only informally -- and this is kind of a diary entry, to help me work out what is in my head and my heart.
As usual, I'm too verbose, so I'll stop here. I've got stuff to do anyway.