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Here’s a bit of a hodge-podge of updates for Gaming Ballistic. Sorry I’ve been content light for a bit; all of my efforts are going to the Nordlond Sagas writing and editing and layout.

Books Arriving!

I’m starting to get reports that the books are arriving in the USA. Excellent; that sounds about right. Some Media Mail is super fast, others can take up to 10 business days. So stay alert.

Errors? Can fix.

Also, make sure you get what you paid for; with a big delivery, fulfillment errors can take place. This includes everything from “oops, you’re missing X” to “the USPS crushed my books into something unrecognizable.”

I’ve got LOTS of spare copies of books. If your card decks or counter sheets are damaged . . . that’s going to be more of an issue. But let’s hope that the really high price I pay for each box (I mean, really?) means they’re quality stuff and protect the goods well. That being said, I’ve sent out two replacement sets of adventures to our “not the USA” friends due to mis-handling, and I’ve got lots and lots of copies in the USA that can be used for that purpose…so if your stuff is broke, email me directly with a photo of the damage and we’ll sort it out.

Feedback Wanted

As always: the thing that creators probably get the least of is post-campaign feedback. “I liked it,” or even better, “I played it” and “here’s what I liked and what I didn’t” is super-valuable. Especially since I’m going to be turning my efforts to “More Perilous Journeys” in 2020.

More Perilous Journeys?

Yep. That’s going to be the new title of the Kickstarter. I may try and take a page from the Car Wars concept and rack up as many pre-orders as possible…but I’m going to be trying a few different things in 2020 with my crowdfunding direction, so we’ll have to see. Kickstarter is popular but a bit confusing; Backerkit is nice, but really labor intensive. Both lack tools that I’d like to see and make things harder than they should. I may try something else, but I want to test it first with a smaller project.

First: let’s take care of “when.” I expect/hope to have all five manuscripts in my hands by Feb 14, 2020. Three are already done, though not edited or laid out. The TFT layout is very clean, so I don’t anticipate any issues there. I’m going to do my best to have all of the text layout ready to go on these by the time crowdfunding launches; I also need a bit of a break after the Nordlond Sagas campaign due to behind-the-scenes stuff. So figure late Feb/early March for a launch date on these.

You’ll be seeing three more adventures that are sequels to Crown of Eternity and Curse of the Pirate King; these are GM’d adventures written by the same team of Christopher R. Rice and J. Edward Tremlett.

You’ll also be getting two 32-page solos from David Pulver; he’s writing those now. They will be very, very different than Vampire Hunter Belladonna in subject matter.

I’ll see if folks want more counters and card decks. As before, these will only be offered as one-time specials for the Kickstarter, but I will certainly have the older counter sheets and card decks from “Four/Five Perilous Journeys” as an add-on, a dedicated print run for those.

Smaller and Bigger 2020

That’s what I’ve got on tap for you for TFT in 2020 thus far. I’ve got other things in mind that year, of course. One is a giant Dungeon Fantasy RPG book, the Norðlondr Ovinabokin, the “Nordlond Enemies Book,” which is planned as a huge bestiary, in hardcover, full color. We’ll see if “A full-length monster manual for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG” has the legs folks say it will! Also, maybe-possibly a brand new RPG from a name you know well (not mine) that is neither TFT nor GURPSy, but I’m very excited about. That one would come late in the year.

So “smaller” number of major releases; each one will be “bigger” though, in terms of how much content will come with the project. I’ve also got a number of projects in mind that will pop up when they’re ready to go, and if my alternate vector for crowdfunding works out, can pop up at any time. I’m already working a really neat DFRPG concept for a 16 or 32-page book with the author of Nordlondr Folk and Hand of Asgard…and more besides. Anything like this will show up as shorter works, though.

By Special Request

A comment in the TFT Discord channel boiled down to “I’d really like a set of cards for the Nordlond monsters.”

I’ll tell you what I told him: after the Nordlondr Ovinabokin is done, I’ll have prose and art for likely over 200 creatures. Turning those into the much-simpler TFT critters should be straight-forward.

So consider it under consideration. Obviously something like this requires permission and discussion with SJG . . . but if they say yes, I’ll see what I can do to slot something like it in for 2020.

It’s another GURPSDay, and here’s the last few weeks of posts! Scroll all the way down (the random order is, well, random). Catch up and get some repeat views and if you missed some. They’re in reverse chronological order, so if you’re up-to-date, just skim off the top!

News for Gaming Ballistic:

  • The Nordlond Sagas kickstarter keeps plugging away in production. Backerkit phase – and thus pre-orders and a chance to get in on the stuff if you missed, or chose to skip, the actual campaign term – will begin this coming week.
  • Four Perilous Journeys is arriving for international backers, and they seem quite pleased. The books will make landfall on Nov 1 in the USA, and hopefully travel to Studio 2 in time to start shipping those out for US folks such that they arrive before Turkey Day. Canadian backers with card decks and counter sheets? You guys get taken care of with the US folks.

GURPSDay is in its sixth – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic. Things have slowed down a bit, and I’ll be considering how to revitalize this weekly activity. I’d like to see an average of 100 posts here per week – one per blog, ish – so we’ll see what we can do to get creative juiced flowing.If you just started a GURPS blog – and I know that some of you have – email me and get on the list! With the advent of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS, there’s even more reason to write.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “GURPSDay! Oct 3 to Oct 26, 2019”

I’ll start with the obvious: content has been thin on the ground here for a while in terms of stuff that’s not just updates to my production process/crowdfunding efforts. This one won’t be much different, but it’s a bit of a download on what’s going on.

A Bit of Chaos

First thing, the last few months – maybe since April – have been very hectic. My family decided to move. Not far, still in MN, but we started the process. Found a house we liked. Bought it. And moved.

But we still hadn’t sold the old place yet. We’d put a lot of work into it, so we figured it would sell quickly. That didn’t happen. In fact, it still hasn’t happened. So things have been tight around here, and there’s been a lot of time and angst spent on the process. This past week, a buyer’s financing fell through, and so what we thought was a done deal was not. Exhausting, mentally.

The disassembly of my workshop also meant I stopped crafting for a while. That meant shields and promised goods for the Citadel at Nordvorn kickstarter were on the “to-do” list until my shop got set up again.

I also re-started training in Hwa Rang Do, so to spend more time with my wife, who’s an instructor. So my schedule changed quite a bit; again with less time.

This isn’t going to end with “so bad things for Gaming Ballistic, boo hoo.” It just has taken a bit to recover.

All the shields and swords are now done. My workshop is set up. Nordvorn is completely delivered, the physical copies from Four Perilous Journeys are due to arrive at Studio 2 before mid-November. And the Nordlond Sagas campaign . . . well, we’ll get to that in a moment.

GURPSDay

The first thing GB was known for, other than all the gun stuff and occasional forays into grappling rules, was GURPSDay. Before I got heavily into publishing, that was every week, like clockwork.

Now, with my schedule on Thursday being “get kids up for school early, and then get back from martial arts late,” it’s become irregular. I mostly get one out weekly, but not always. The 100 blogs (or so) that are part of the list are a bit more irregular too, and readership seems to have fallen off a bit. The giant spike in stats that I used to get isn’t nearly as impressive as it was.

I’ll still do it, but it needs a shot in the arm somehow.

Crowdfunding

Not any campaign in particular, but in general. Phil Reed has been (correctly) lamenting the state of the gaming industry for some time now. Too many projects, with too short a shelf life in folks’ minds. The usual timetable for how Kickstarter was “supposed” to work was

  • A roughly 30-day campaign, ideally suited to cover five weekends, so that there are at least two, maybe three, pay periods in there
  • Two weeks of “waiting for all the money”
  • Ten to 14 days for the primary Backerkit survey, which is there because one usually doesn’t know what shipping will look like until the thing is done

So that’s two full months of administrative time just getting the orders, sweating marketing, and hoping that folks will be using the power of social media networking to talk up your stuff. That doesn’t usually happen for the big guys, much less me.

Even if you’re completely on the ball and the entire project is done when Backerkit closes, the best you can usually do is send the PDFs out that day. You still have these steps to take, if you intend to go to print, which I like to do.

  • Have your backers check the PDFs for errors. They usually find some. That’s a nice 2 weeks minimum.
  • Assemble the final files, spool them out, and wait for art to be done. Again, that could be basically one day, could be more.
  • Send them to print. That’s a month. There’s a lot of surprisingly inactive time here.
  • Then move them around the world. I do a thing where my international books go to the UK, and ship out. That’s a week from Latvia to the UK, and then 1-6 weeks to arrive, depending on the quality of the post. For the USA, it’s supposed to be about a month more, but in reality seems to take more like six weeks, because things are always delayed. Always. Then it’s 2 more weeks for Media Mail to deliver stuff.

That’s another 14 weeks – three full months – before all stuff is in hand. Once the books go to print, though, the “I have so much stuff to do on Project X” period is really over. Starting a new project is not crazy at this point, but you will be paying lots of money for print, ship, and fulfillment during this period. So while the workload is lower, the financial drain is maximum. The biggest individual checks one writes are for printing and shipping. The total project cost is higher for art, but that’s almost always spent on many artists.

Best case, you can do a project every 2.5 months; worst case if you wait for everyone to get their stuff before you start the next one? Two projects a year.

I can’t really turn Gaming Ballistic into a self-sustaining main job at two projects a year. Even five per year isn’t awesome unless each of those gets roughly 2.5-5x as large as they are now. Doing MORE requires something else. I can parallel process more books at once than Kickstarter will allow me to do, since my project management skills are up to the task.

What to do? Well, I’ve got two options here.

One is to explore alternate options. GameOnTabletop is intriguing. One thing is that all the add-ons and whatnot are available right away, in addition to pledging. You know exactly what folks are getting, they’re just set up as items. So the “add a new thing in the middle” that happened with both Four Perilous Journeys and Nordlond Sagas is much easier to handle. I’m getting a better feel for shipping, too. I mean, it still sucks, and costs too much, but I can probably guess what it’ll be in advance of the projects these days, since I now can calculate the weight of books easily due to experience in actually getting them. So it’s a bit of a one-stop shop for that. Cards are charged right away, too, and the fees are lower. Cash flow should be superior to Kickstarter, and you need money to pay writers and artists right away when the work has already begun.

The other possibility is to bring it all in house. There’s a crowdfunding app on WooCommerce. No rules but the ones I make for myself. If I have an idea, I can put it on there and say “pre-order it, and it gets made if we hit the goal.” This provides a powerful market tool, in that if I’ve got several books I want to make, the backers will vote with their dollars on which ones they like, and which ones they don’t. It means I can have rolling funding drives, too. It’s sort of the bastard child of Kickstarter and Patreon. All the IT burden falls on me, but there are real advantages to this method. I may try it out with a single small project to work the bugs out.

Even so, the actual process of crowdfunding is a bit of a slog, since you’re bound to the rules of the other systems you use (KS, Backerkit, GameOnTabletop), and they take their cut. It may only be 5%, but that’s 5% that doesn’t go into developing new cool stuff. A few thousand bucks goes a long way at my scale.

Nordlond Sagas

Still working away at this. The block-and-tackle of Kickstarter and Backerkit should be done. The two small books – Nordlondr Folk and Hand of Asgard – are looking really good. Layout is finished, art is underway. Now it’s time to turn the effort to full-on editing the adventures, which is a big job. Writing tight, technical, entertaining prose takes work, and so the authors and I are in constant contact helping that out.

I’ve got about five weeks to edit and lay out the two adventures. That will get them in a state to have art done, I hope, by the end of December. I’ll admit it . . . that’s starting to look optimistic. Even so . . . time to get to it.

Next Year

The current project will run through the end of the year at least, and I suspect that I will slow down a bit on the back-to-back sprints that has been this year. Even so, there’s at least two major things happening next year, and maybe more than two.

More Perilous Journeys

The first up in 2020 will be the sequel to 2019s very successful effort. The logistics pathways and needs for counter sheets, card decks, and of course the adventures themselves are now well known. Shipping and production time scales and costs are known. I anticipate a much better planned effort this time. Hopefully with content that folks want. I hope that with a few more hoped-for solos, and lots more time to plan and execute the cards and counters, that this will be even more successful than the last one.

The Nordlond Bestiary

This is the big dog of the coming year. I wrote a huge amount of text for the Dragon Heresy RPG back in 2015 and 2016, taking most of the SRD and writing fluff text and stats accordingly for the Norse-inspired world. Well, those efforts have turned to the Dungeon Fantasy RPG…and the words are still there. This is going to be the bestiary folks in the GURPS sphere have been waiting for. A giant book of monsters, thematically unified by the Nordlond setting . . . but any GM worth their salt can port the critters to their own needs. It’s going to take a lot of work to do right, but I’ve got a great team.

Dragon Heresy

Speaking of Dragon Heresy, I do have plans next year of taking some of the existing work – Lost Hall, Nordvorn, Rosgarth, and Forest’s End and pulling them apart to turn them into two different books. One with lots of setting and flavor information, and one with the adventure content. I’m likely to crowdfund these to see if they can garner up enough interest for a profitable print run as well.

DriveThruRPG

I’ve avoided putting my stuff on DriveThru for a while; the bite they take out of revenue is large, and in most cases the print quality of their POD offerings is simply lower than the books I print in Latvia. But in 2020, all my PDFs will go up on DriveThru as well as through other channels. We’ll see what happens there.

Conventions

I’ll be at two conventions early in 2020. The first is Con of the North, here in Minneapolis Feb 14-16. So Happy Valentine’s Day. The second is FnordCon, down in Austin TX. That’s April 3-5.

Shields and Swords

I’ve refined my techniques on these, but they’re only going to be available by special order, through the website. I love making them, and have gotten much, much better at it. But they’re not really on point for the publishing business. Even so, if you’re interested, reach out. They’re not cheap, but the shields in particular are going to be closer to what you might have seen historically (based on certain finds) than most of what you see made of plywood online. Some of those plywood guys cost more than my planked, accurate ones!

Parting Shot

So that’s the recap for Gaming Ballistic. I’m not sure if the work above will be what folks want – I hope so – but it seems like a good plan for 2020. There might be one surprise – and it would be a big, cool one – that could show up later in the year.

It’s a full schedule, but less than I would be able to do if I could get the reach and interest to make my hobby job my day job. That, of course, is on me . . . and we’ll see how that goes. Maybe I’ll win the lottery.

 

The Four Perilous Journeys Kickstarter for SJG’s The Fantasy Trip was my best campaign ever. It was also the first one where I made a mass-offer of not-books that was widely accepted. I’d done shields and swords before, but only a few at a time and only to the USA. This was my first “stuff” shipment.

Well, Chris Rice (not Christopher R. Rice, who co-wrote two of the perilous journeys) in the UK got his stuff, and posted images. The UK is in the best situation to get things quickly. I drop copies to Kixto in the UK for my international shipping, as Royal Mail is really inexpensive to the Rest of World.

In any case, he’s one of the first to get the stuff, and he got it all.

I think they turned out well. Ironically, he saw the final counter sheets and the card deck before I did.

Nordlond Sagas: Last Day!

A big day today, I hope.

We’re in the last half-day of the Nordlond Sagas campaign. Gaming Ballistic’s efforts were mentioned in both the Frog God Games newsletter, as well as an update to the Dungeon Fantasy RPG main Kickstarter page. Hopefully it’ll help push us to the stretch goals. We’re maybe 75 backers short of an offset print run, and perhaps $6,325 from the “more content” stretch goal. That’s only about 125 people, so the difference between the two is not large. We also have sufficient “following but not yet pledged” mass to easily hit both goals and more. So time will tell.

These books – two adventures and two character supplements, including what is basically clerical domains, but for GURPS/Dungeon Fantasy RPG in the “Hand of Asgard” supplement – are going to be very,  very fun. I won’t lie: I’m particularly enthusiastic about Hand of Asgard. Clocking in at only 16 pages, Kevin Smyth has managed to get a lot of flavor in the book, and I’m having a lot of fun with layout.

TFT Advance Copies arrive

I also got copies of the final product for the TFT Kickstarter I ran earlier this year. They’re really pretty and I think the backers will be pleased. I know I am. I’ll be getting the international fulfillment started this weekend, and I know that the remaining print quantity, probably 850-900 copies each, will be on the water soon (a bit of paperwork to do).

It’s another GURPSDay, and here’s the last few weeks of posts! The big news right now in the GURPS-o-Sphere is the Dungeon Fantasy RPG Magic Items 2 “Quickstarter.” This four day campaign funded quickly, and is going to end Friday, 5:30pm Central Time. Right now it’s past $10K, and so is less than $5,000 (about 215 people) away from the only stretch goal, which is to push the book from 48 to 64 pages.

It’s already written, laid out, and art inserted. Get it now at a discounted price (seriously: check the price of DFRPG Monsters 2 on Warehouse 23, compare to its backer-level price during its own Kickstarter, and you’ll see similar discounting. It’s a good deal right now. 

In any case, we’re here for GURPSDay, so scroll all the way down (the random order is, well, random). Catch up and get some repeat views and if you missed some. They’re in reverse chronological order, so if you’re up-to-date, just skim off the top!

News for Gaming Ballistic:

  • Fulfillment is complete on Citadel at Nordvorn. If you like it, please say something in a public place. A Tweet, a blog post, a review, a Forum post.
  • My second print proof on Dungeon Grappling is on its way to me. The entire book was lightened up by 10-15%, which hopefully will restore the details to the artwork. If so, I’ll confirm the 100-copy order, get the 15 or so books I owe folks from various projects under way, and then we’ll be back in stock.
  • Ship approval and print approval for Four Perilous Journeys is done for all products. All PDFs have been delivered. I will be ordering the physical goods (counter tiles and card decks) this week.
  • I anticipate launching another Dungeon Fantasy RPG Kickstarter on September 10, which should go until October 12. There will be three books in it: two adventures and one short supplement. Look for it, and please spread the word.

GURPSDay is in its sixth – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic. Things have slowed down a bit, and I’ll be considering how to revitalize this weekly activity. I’d like to see an average of 100 posts here per week – one per blog, ish – so we’ll see what we can do to get creative juiced flowing.If you just started a GURPS blog – and I know that some of you have – email me and get on the list! With the advent of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS, there’s even more reason to write.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “GURPSDay! Aug 16 to Sept 5, 2019”

All PDF Rewards Delivered

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This morning, I received final ship approval for the NPC and Creature cards, and sent the PDF file to all backers who selected to receive it.

This means it’s time to procure all of the physical rewards. I will be ordering the color counter tiles and also the actual card decks today, and having them shipped to their destinations – Studio 2 for US orders, and Kixto in the UK for international ones.

The printer files of the adventures were downloaded a day or so ago, and I’m still waiting for notification that they’ve passed pre-press. That’s not behind schedule, so to speak, it’s part of the four week printing process.

So, here’s where I think we are:

  • September: Printing of books, counters and cards
  • October: International shipments commence and many will arrive during the month of October. The usual happenstance is a month on the water getting the books to the USA, so October will see all required goods arrive at Studio 2.
  • November: US Shipping. In many cases I cannot use media mail; this is expensive, but (good for you) faster.

If things go perfectly to plan (ha ha ha), deliveries of all products will be on time for international backers, and maybe two weeks behind the October schedule for the USA.

I hope you enjoy your card decks. I think they’re fun.

It’s another GURPSDay, and here’s the last few weeks of posts! I made major progress on Four Perilous Journeys, and for the first time in months I can hit the garage and work on shields and crafting.

Scroll all the way down (the random order is, well, random). Catch up and get some repeat views and if you missed some. They’re in reverse chronological order, so if you’re up-to-date, just skim off the top!

News for Gaming Ballistic:

  • Fulfillment is complete on Citadel at Nordvorn, in that all books were sent out. I presume nearly everyone has received them, and if not, they have tracking numbers and my email address.
  • I’m still working to get a reprint from PubGraphics on Dungeon Grappling. They literally changed their print equipment, and in the last year or so reshuffled staff; I’m not wild about the timeliness of the interactions as of this point, and my need another local POD source. Once the new proof copy arrives, I’ll get the 14 owed books out.
  • Ship approval and print approval for Four Perilous Journeys is done. The counters/chits ready for print. I finished up the first draft of the NPC reference cards and they look pretty good, and I’ve sent them out to about 50 folks for proofing. As these are a licensed product, I also need ship approval from SJG on these as well. They’ll be fully finished by the end of the weekend. Then I can start ordering stuff.
  • I anticipate launching another Dungeon Fantasy RPG Kickstarter on September 10, which should go until October 12. There will be three books in it: two adventures and one short supplement. Look for it, and please spread the word.

GURPSDay is in its sixth – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic. Things have slowed down a bit, and I’ll be considering how to revitalize this weekly activity. I’d like to see an average of 100 posts here per week – one per blog, ish – so we’ll see what we can do to get creative juiced flowing.If you just started a GURPS blog – and I know that some of you have – email me and get on the list! With the advent of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS, there’s even more reason to write.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “GURPSDay! Aug 9 to Aug 31, 2019”

Today is once again GURPSDay, and here’s the last four weeks of posts! Things are starting to wind down on Four Perilous Journeys, so hopefully a bit calmer around here.

Scroll all the way down (the random order is, well, random). Catch up and get some repeat views and if you missed some. They’re in reverse chronological order, so if you’re up-to-date, just skim off the top!

News for Gaming Ballistic:

  • The Citadel at Nordvorn, Hall of Judgment 2nd Edition, and Fantastic Dungeon Grappling print books are in the process of being fulfilled. They may even be done. Folks are getting their books
  • If you ordered a physical copy of Dungeon Grappling, I’m working to get a reprint. The first trial from PubGraphics was too dark; a second proof should be arriving shortly that’s 10% lighter.
    • Lost Hall of Tyr 2nd Edition got replenished at Studio 2; these will fulfill normally.
    • For nearly everyone else, if you don’t have your stuff by September 1, contact me immediately.
  • I’m only waiting for ship approval on the last two books for Four Perilous Journeys. The other three have been distributed. Once I get ship approval, I’ll get the five books to the printer and then reformat the printable counter PDF as well as assemble the NPC card deck.

GURPSDay is in its sixth – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic. Things have slowed down a bit, and I’ll be considering how to revitalize this weekly activity. I’d like to see an average of 100 posts here per week – one per blog, ish – so we’ll see what we can do to get creative juiced flowing.If you just started a GURPS blog – and I know that some of you have – email me and get on the list! With the advent of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS, there’s even more reason to write.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “GURPSDay! July 26 to Aug 23, 2019”

Today was a long day, but a good one. Obviously I pushed out the PDF of the counter art, but the last y’all heard from me, I’d just received Vampire Hunter Belladonna.

There’s been significant progress since then.

All Books

One note: I do need to go through all the books and put in active hyperlinks. These are not required to get the book to print, so I tend to do this last, even AFTER the files are sent to the printer. For most of the books, this isn’t a big deal. For Vampire Hunter Belladonna, this will be rather more challenging, as I suspect that there will be well over 500 hyperlinks.

Castle Ironskull

As far as I can tell, this one’s done and ready to export as both the cover and the interior pages. SJG has received a PDF file with what I call a u-code, which is a title followed by u20190811 or something like that, which is the date of the last revision. It means it’s retail ready.

Crown of Eternity

There are two tweaks to the maps that have been suggested but not yet implemented. One (marking a secret door that got dropped from one of the maps) is required. The other is optional but I’ll probably do it anyway. Even so: this one’s got all art and is ready to go as well, pending final read-through and checks.

Citadel of Ice

All errata, art, and changes in place. Ready for retail.

Curse of the Pirate King

This got the errata and some final checks as well, and other than VHB was the one with the most yet to do. But over the last few days, it got done, and this too is ready to go pending hyperlinks and a final formatting check.

Vampire Hunter Belladonna

I sent the preliminary file, with Glynn’s maps, and one piece of interior art by new-to-me artist Teresa Guido, to 50 people for testing and comments. This is even beyond the 10 or so folks at the Master and Commander/League and Legion levels that saw it first of all. Some feedback has come in already, and I expect more over the next few days.

The artists are starting to contact me for reviewing final drawings, and the WIP I’ve seen thus far is a whole lot of fun.

Beyond that, we got a very full weekend of fixes and tweaks done, and the file seems pretty close to ready. Well, other than 500 or so hyperlinks and the pending internal art. That’s supposed to come in by Aug 15, in time for spooling the printer-worthy files in time to send them to Latvia on Sunday night, August 18.

Die-Cut Counters and PDF File of Same

As noted in the previous update, these are ready to print, with file art uploaded. The PDF is out in your hands, if you ordered it.

Decks of Destiny PDF and Cards

This was very deliberately left for last. There are 210 individual counters from the five adventures, and from those I will pick 63 hopefully-unique samples and fill out Wizard- or Creature-style cards for all: 3.5×5″, and using the layout from DoD which was provided by SJG. They’re cool that way.

I have no-background greyscale art ready for import into the cards, and I purchased the required stock art so that I can properly make use of the layout. Now I just need to pick my victims and get crackin’ from a stats transfer perspective.

This is a boring sample (and the art is old art, and the color tag is wrong) of the DoD styel cards, complete with the GB logo making up the final hit on the hit point tracker.

Spooling the PDF and prepping the cards is basically the same task, so these two will also finish together. It is, however, the major item not done, and I’ll be turning my effort to completing this one this week.

Parting Shot

Right now, and I really should not say this out loud, the momentum to having everything in hand August 15 is very strong. The VHB art is the only true thing that isn’t done for the books, and I informed my printer of the intent to order 1,000 each of the print copies of five adventures today via email. That’s about double what I need . . . but I have a good feeling about these.

So I see me sending printable files to Livonia on Aug 18. Figure a month to get ’em printed, a week or two to ship to the UK and get the international copies distributed, a month to get to the fulfillment center, a week to get stuff straight, and then another 2 weeks for mailing them out. So 13-14 weeks until it’s all in hand…that’s mid October.

And THAT means we’re currently steaming to an on-time delivery, with a week or two of slack time in there for good measure.