Sad! They had a good game but could not put the time and money into it. Only hope is someone on Etsy makes figures and vehicles that could be used for the original game. Glad Scott Washburn is still putting out excellent books.
Fellow AQMF’ers: Before I go any further, let me make it clear that I have NO financial interest in AQMF, its related products nor any of its competitors. Neither do I have any real interest in killing the franchise. What follows is my assessment of the situation, as it stands now, based on my observations over several years.
Bottom line up front: I believe that there is little or no likelihood that a new AQMF will ever be produced commercially. Rationale for this statement is as follows:
The exceedingly slow pace of “development” or “play testing” has resulted in a continuing series of missed opportunities for generating sales and revenue from them. The patient waiting of the existing body of potential customers will gradually dwindle as other games and activities eat into this body of AQMF purchasers. This is inevitable as other activities and games compete for their attention and dollars.
Why the long delay? Simply stated: funds (probably). Any business must balance the cost of producing and distributing a product with the revenue stream that the product will generate. Although the AQMF community is vocal, it is relatively small compared to other games. If there are not enough potential buyers to create the level of sales needed, there will be no product introduced.
This also leads to a bit of a “chicken or egg” situation. The current population of AQMF gamers can form a nucleus, but the absence of product on the shelf causes a loss of “impulse buyers” who might have bought it on sight. If unseen or unknown, there is no possibility of sales outside the population of existing enthusiasts.
The other factor that bears strongly on the product availability issue is the cost of production and distribution. Producing cards or booklets is relatively inexpensive compared with metal or plastic miniatures. Once the story or game design artwork is completed, all that is needed are printing presses, ink and cardstock. No inventory of metal or plastic, nor the molding and casting equipment is needed. Fleshing out the design of components and molds in 3D is expensive. The printing and binding equipment can be used for other products and are not unique to the AQMF products, but molds are specific to the product. These features together make miniatures more expensive than cards and paper and this, in turn, cuts the profit margin attainable at a reasonable selling price.
The overall effect is to increase the size of the required potential market to create enough revenue to cover costs of materials, production, packaging, and distribution at a reasonable selling price. I suspect that the AQMF potential buyer pool is just too small.
Any business will face this choice on launch of a new product. Their funds are not unlimited and they are not running a charity operation. If the product will not sell enough, then they cannot afford to produce it.
They could try kick starter just to see if it is feasible for them. They would need to set a workable min. $ raised. Trouble with that is too many people got burned on the first kick starter. Yes I know it was not the current owner.
This reminds me of Spartan Games. They had a kickstarter just as they went under. I got about 60% due from the kickstarter. Wayland games bought the Dystopian line and took a good 5 or 6 years to put out a product. I don't care for the new rules or models. I might have if it only was 1 or 2 years wait.
As far as the new owner last stated they are planning a Kickstarter to launch it. But they have been saying this for so long now I doubt they have the actual resources to produce the game. What we really need is someone producing tripods that scale with the game and updated rules.
In addition to cost for new molds, that old devil, Intellectual Property (IP), is lurking out there accompanied by plenty of lawyers. Trademarks, patents, licenses and copyrights, for all the protection they give to authors, can suppress any attempt to produce a successor product. No responsible corporation would risk getting into a legal fight over the IP.
Any "new" tripods would need to be different enough from the AQMF units to avoid the appearance of infringing. The buyers would need to be flexible and willing to accept these different tripods and purchase enough of them to make the venture viable. (Will they?) For example, thick cardboard standup pieces might be different enough to preclude problems.
No one has rights to Tripods. Just don't use the words AQMF. The trick is to make the correct dated Tripod. The 1950's version looks different then the turn of century one.
What we need is a plastic or 3D printed Tripod with weapon options. For versatility a good example is Wargames Atlantic Lizardmen, the box comes with weapons for fantasy, black powder, and sci-f.
The game my go like Warmaster fantasy game. Dropped by Gamesworkshop in the early 2000's it now thrives as Warmaster Evolution developed and supported by fans. 3D printed armies are plentiful and reasonably priced.
You are correct that the word "Tripod" cannot be copyrighted or patented. It is a long-used term and has become much like "aspirin" or "radar."
What CAN be protected is the specific design for the tripods used in AQMF. If it is too close a copy it can be challenged as an infringement. A protest could trigger a lawsuit and a long (= expensive) legal fight. Why do you think that models of the Nautilus" don't look much like the classic Disney movie? Even the plastic model Nautilus (from Pegasus) or the small game piece for NEMO'S WAR (Victory Point Games) were radically different to preclude a challenge. This has spawned many different versions of the Natilus.
More to the point, Google "Martian tripod" images to see the variety of designs put forward to avoid any infringement issues. About the only things that they have in common are three legs.