Hey, everybody! John here, HJ's lead dev, to take over for Cameron this week. We told him he could go back to answering questions and being tantalizing next time.
The reason I'm here this time is because March is closing in on us, and with it our hoped-for deadline. The first thing to let you know is that, unfortunately, the book will not be shipped by the end of February, as we'd hoped. The core book itself is still in its final polishing phase and has not gone to the printer yet, and the novel is still at the printer as we speak. Dice, sketches, and prints are all completed and just waiting to go - it's all on us to get things to their final printing destination now.
For those of you who don't know us in real life (so, most of you), we want to reiterate for you that finishing HJ, and getting it out to all of you, has been our number-one priority these past several months and still is right now. It's obviously taken a lot longer than we anticipated, and we're sorry about that - obviously, part of being rookie game designers is that we didn't have the experience to accurately guess how long things would take, and we know it's been a long wait for all of you. We're at the almost absolute end, but even working our butts off, with 70 hour weeks and complete failure to have any life outside of finishing this project, we're still not quite there. Some things beyond our control have interfered: Anne's day job has been forcing her to work eleven-hour days on top of finishing her Masters, so she hasn't been able to do nearly as much final polish as we'd anticipated, and I write like garbage so I'm not allowed to pick up her slack. We've kept at it, and definitely gotten some things done (as Cameron keeps telling you), but February has sort of been a bust compared to what we wanted it to be.
So, to give you all full disclosure: since we anticipated we would be finished by March 1st (in fact, well beyond finished), Anne and I planned a vacation/rest period back in September, because we knew we'd need the downtime after we were done. Because we're super cliche, we decided to go to Disney World in Florida to celebrate (this was right after Anne got her yearly bonus and we were like food is stupid, let's have fun), and we booked a hotel and plane tickets.
...so here we are, March about to punch us in the face, and we have tickets to go to Disney World. We already paid for everything, so we're still going to go, but we thought you all ought to know - both because you should know why we took a few days off from finishing the core book's release, and why, if you follow us on social media, we might mention that we're eating ice cream and sleeping in instead of shouting at each other and collecting shipping boxes. We are very sad and depressed that we aren't finished (not that we'll let it stop us but it's still depressing), and we'll be doing what we can from afar to make sure things to grind to a halt while we're gone.
I can promise you from experience that Anne is like the fastest writer ever when she isn't trying to do it on 11 hours work + 3 hours class + 4 hours homework, so as soon as we get back she'll be kicking everything in the teeth and the art department will be waving all their fanciness in your direction. Look for some updates of page spoilers on the Kickstarter tonight also.
Again, we humbly apologize. We promise to do better and to have only about 65% actual fun at Disney World because we'll be emailing the art team from the hotel room and constantly talking through the last outstanding problems.