This update will be quick, because I’ve got writing to do today. Plus, you know: day job.
Hall of Judgment: We passed $10K this weekend, passed the total number of backers and pre-order backers from Dragon Heresy, and that’s amazing. Keep it up! In terms of forward progress, I can say that I’m basically down to writing the encounter descriptions for the last half of the ruins, and filling out encounter details for the two bonus mini-dungeons. Glynn and I had an actual video call last night to chat about doing something cool with the mini-dungeon maps but respecting the boundaries of scope. Scope creep makes for unhappy artists, and I like my artists happy. I have two finished maps in hand, one in progress, and I need to provide sketches for the final two. After the encounter descriptions are done, it’s all mechanical conversion work: stat blocks and difficulty tests and skill level penalties. The most difficult part here will likely be doing a visually interesting but still fairly simple presentation for monsters and characters from a layout perspective; I have ideas and sketches, but I’m not an Illustrator or InDesign professional and that will be, mostly likely, a full day of pain for me. Once it’s done, though: lather, rinse, repeat. Then some final playtesting, comments, etc. I’m talking to printers and fulfillment services in the UK; I think I can manage to get “not the USA” shipping down to a flat $15 or so. That’s not spectacular, but it’s not horrible. Still working it. I don’t like $15 shipping for a $25 book, though. UK shipping from the UK would still be about $8. It’s all very complicated.
Dragon Heresy Introductory Set: I pushed the very truly final PDF to backers and the 300dpi/200MB PDF-X/1a file to the printer. I received “wet proofs” of the cover (gorgeous!) and digital proofs of specified pages (mostly outstanding; two key images were too dark for my taste and I asked them to adjust). They forgot to send me wet proofs of the color end sheets, and are rectifying that. I suspect we’ll be out of proof phase by next Monday, which means into print phase. From there, it would be a few weeks to print and validate the books. Once I finalize what is to be printed, I will need to lock down addresses and make arrangements to split the order for international backers. That’s on me, though, and I have a plan.
Venture Beyond: No link for this one (yet), but David and I had a few exciting conversations about Venture Beyond, and things are moving again. That’s good news.
Other Product: I will probably take a short breather when I get DH and HoJ finished. There are things I’ve been putting off a bit that need to happen at home. But after that, I have at least two Dragon Heresy/Etera (and maybe Norðlond?) modules to write, and one of those, The Citadel at Northwatch, has enough done on it already that it should be a fairly quick writing job. The pattern I’m using for Hall of Judgment – details about a town or towns for expanding the background, local color, and important personalities, followed by the adventure, and then a bestiary if needed, is a good outline and I intend to repeat it. I had a conversation with an old friend who reminded me of a campaign I ran a while back, and how it would be amazing as a stand-alone RPG. So it would. I’ve got at least five (including Venture Beyond) concepts or projects on the “let’s consider this” burner that are written by not-me.
Gaming Ballistic: I have to say it: with revenue from Dragon Heresy and the HoJ Kickstarters looking to be something on the order of $25,000 between the two of them, it would appear that on a single-year basis, we’re steaming towards being profitable in 2018. If DH and/or HoJ (especially DH, since I will have over 1,000 books in my basement) moves successfully into distribution, Amazon, and other vectors, that could get even better, perhaps erasing the net-negative total cash flow since GB was started. It usually takes 4-5 years for this transition, and I’m looking good for doing that on schedule. Knock on wood and all that, but 2018 feels like an inflection point. We shall see.