[Alternity] Alternity Licenses & Third Party Publishers (TPPs)

Other RPGs

Alternity Licenses & Third Party Publishers (TPPs)
Revised: 5/24/2017

On the topic of licenses and Third Party Publisher (TPPs) support for the new Alternity game, given the information below, what TPPs would you like to see produce additional content for this game?

To clarify, Sasquatch Game Studios is producing their own new Alternity SF Settings (Protostar & an unnamed 2nd setting) as they don’t hold the licenses to the previous Alternity (1998) settings of Star*Drive, Dark*Matter, Gamma World, StarCraft Adventures, or Star Frontier as these are held by WOTC.

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Sasquatch Game Studio Alternity

SGS Facebook page

Kickstarter Comments tab

Reddit AMA

GMshoe Q&A

Do you guys have the necessary rights to make this game?
We do, but it’s worth a bit of explanation about what those rights are. Sasquatch Game Studio has registered the trademark to the Alternity game (the old trademark has been abandoned for many years). Any copyrighted material associated with the 1990s version of the game still belongs to the previous publisher. However, the beauty of making a science fiction roleplaying game is that there’s a natural instinct to create anew rather than look to the past, and we intend to fully indulge that instinct. We have exciting new worlds to share with our new version of the Alternity game.

Sasquatch Game Studio This Kickstarter is for a completely new and stand-alone Alternity. We have original Alternity designers Rich Baker and Bill Slavicsek on board, and we take inspiration from the old game, so some elements may seem familiar, but this is a new endeavor.
· April 4 at 1:36pm

Richard Baker George Velez In discussion we just call the version we're working on Alternity. When we refer to the 1998 version we say things like "the original game" or "the old Alternity."
· January 19 at 11:41am

Richard Baker Collaborator on April 4
Hi, Christopher -- Thanks for the kind words! The short answer to your question is that the races from the 1997 game are still under copyright, and we'll need to create a new assortment of interesting aliens for our new game. We can certainly present sasquatches, grays, cyborgs, etc., but we want to respect other folks' property, so we can't just pick up and use the older stuff.

Richard Baker Collaborator on April 4
@Troy -- No, not directly. You'd need to do a little conversion work. That's pretty much the nature of the beast: The only folks who can keep publishing old Alternity material are the folks who haven't published any since 2001. We want to take this opportunity to make exciting new material for a game with updated mechanics inspired by the scope, vision, and play of the original. To put it another way, if we're not doing new material, there's not much reason to do it at all. But we'll certainly look for ways to offer good conversion advice and help you update any of the older stuff you want to.

Richard Baker Collaborator on April 5
@ Trentin -- Yes, we plan to investigate some options for 3rd party use of our system. There are a couple of ways we could go -- but first things first, we want to put together the best game we can before we invite folks to publish their own stuff with it.

Richard Baker Collaborator on April 16
@ Sean -- We certainly won't make Alternity into a OGL-based d20 game; we've got different things we want to do with this system.
Now, one thing we *have* been hearing is that people are interested in the question of whether or how we'd support third-party publication of Alternity material. We might make an open license of our own available, or we might follow Pinnacle's model with Savage Worlds and make a non-open license available to folks who ask and play nice.

Sasquatch Game Studio LLC 5-time creator on April 21
@David - the copyright to the old settings remains with the previous publisher, so they won't make a direct return. We are instead creating our new Protostar setting (and maybe more settings depending on our stretch goals), and with a couple of the minds behind the original settings on board, we'd like to think that if you were a fan of those settings, you'll be a fan of the new stuff, too.

[–]SeattlePhanSasquatch Game Studio
The short answer is that we're staying away from anything that ought to trouble Wizards; they allowed the trademark registration to lapse a long time ago, and we're steering clear of anything that's their copyright. The longer answer is that we still have friends and former colleagues inside the "ivory tower." I've talked to a few who are excited for us and are happy to see Alternity return, but I couldn't really say that represents an official stance. Wizards isn't endorsing us, but I wouldn't expect them to. That make sense?

[–]dmshoeSasquatch Game Studio
We'll be engaging many artists to get Alternity illustrated. Can't speak for RK post directly, but some you'll recognize, some will be new. We've got a good working relationship with many artists that we've known since our WotC days.
Also - copyright of earlier Alternity works (novels, settings) remains with its owner, we assume in this case Wizards.

[–]SeattlePhanSasquatch Game Studio
And, for the second part of your question . . . a few years ago I kicked the tires (so to speak) on what a straight-up license might look like. It would take a pretty sincere royalty or guarantee structure and a business plan that would push Sasquatch into trying to be something we might not be ready to be. Plus, we think that we can build some compelling new content of our own. So, I would certainly be happy to entertain the notion if it fell into our lap, but for now I'm excited about building new worlds!
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This is my list of TPPs and licenses I would like to see work something out with SGS and their new Alternity game.

Third Party Publishers (TPPs)
Ronin Arts: d20 future
Dreamscarred Press: Ultimate Psionics
Kobold Press: Just because I like the company. :)
Louis Porter Jr. Design: d20 Modern/Future
Paizo: Pawns

Licensed IP Wishlist:
Bioware: Mass Effect
FASA: Crimson Skies
Mongoose Publishing: Babylon 5
WOTC: Star Frontier

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