Site notes: on the simplification of things

We like to buy into the notion that there’s no limit to what we can achieve, but the truth that we run into more often is that there are limits – very finite limits – to how much time we have to pour into achieving the amazing. Things have come up recently that made me realize… I simply don’t have all the time that I thought I had to pour awesomesauce all over the universe. Projects that I had hoped to start and finish… I’m going to have to let them stew for a good long while, or watch as someone else finishes them. Other things already in progress will need to be simplified out of necessity. Time is really my biggest obstacle here.

Phosphor Dot FossilsThis summer, the Phosphor Dot Fossils DVD set will be going out of print. The reasons for this are numerous, but it basically boils down to “too many problems in trying to move inventory of physical things out the door”, whether it’s Paypal payment notifications winding up spamqueued (and then me being contacted by buyers wanting to know, quite rightly, where their stuff is), to making it to the post office in a timely manner (the recent heap of ice storms certainly hasn’t helped in that regard), and the gut feeling that, quite honestly, DVD has had its day (it’s like continuing to sell cassettes in a compact disc world, though I still maintain that the imminent arrival of 4K makes Blu-Ray little more than DAT by that analogy). I don’t have the time or resources to re-create the entire project in HD (as much as I’d like to fix some stuff with regards to video and sound quality).

In the place of the physical DVDs, I will be instituting a download service very soon, which I am beta testing right now. It will allow those still interested in acquiring the material on the Phosphor Dot Fossils DVDs to obtain either MP4 video files or a downloadable DVD .ISO file so they can burn their own disc if they absolutely have to have a physical copy. The physical copies remaining in inventory will become “convention exclusives” or something that can only be obtained by special arrangement. Once those physical copies are gone, even the “special arrangement” goes away: I won’t be burning any more of them.

As of 2014, it’s been ten years since the earliest versions of a PDF video project were edited together (much of which was revised for the first PDF DVD); it was originally a running, looping display-only DVD which appeared in OVGE’s second year, featuring music by 8-Bit Weapon, with the agreement that it would never be sold in that form. That’s really not a bad run. And I’m still very proud of what I was able to do with the Phosphor Dot Fossils DVDs. In terms of what most people probably think of as a documentary, the format may be a little strange (and current and upcoming projects, such as Game Play and The Video Craze, will fulfill the more traditional documentary niche for most folks), but I’m very fond of both volumes, especially the second one.

After Phosphor Dot Fossils relaunches in this format, Best Of CGE ’03 and Best Of CGE ’05 will go digital-only. With those, I have a very specific game plan – you’ll be able to buy the entire contents as a bundle of MP4s or a VWORP!1burnable DVD .ISO file, or you’ll be able to just download the panels you want to see without having to pay for those in which you have no interest. These are already more or less out of print – I have tiny number of them on hand for conventions (2 copies of each) and otherwise they’re burn-on-demand as orders come in.

The same infrastructure will also be used to sell ebooks of VWORP!1, VWORP!2 and my other books. I’m still planning to have physical copies available through Amazon/Createspace and at convention appearances (probably in more limited numbers than in the past).

I’m a dad with a lot of stuff on my plate, and it’s time for me to let this other stuff that I’ve already done make a bit of money for me with less ongoing effort. Think of this as the nephew of the decision to stop hand-coding my pages and switch to WordPress several years ago: it’s a move to spend more time creating and promoting, and less time on back-end grunt work.

So is anything falling by the wayside? Yes, sadly. I’ve made little secret, in recent years, of the work I was doing on getting a video-based webseries up and running. What’s rapidly becoming apparent is that I’ve run out of the kind of time it takes to throw my entire life at a project like that. Much of the material I’d already written for that will be transferred to an upcoming book/ebook; as for the basic outline of doing it for TV or web video, I think it’s still sound. I might get back to it in that form, or I might let someone I trust run with it. Time will tell.

That’s where things stand at the moment. Consider this the shout of “last call!” for Phosphor Dot Fossils in its DVD incarnation. Make way for the future.

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