Friday, April 29, 2016

Monthly(ish) Update 4.29

Hello Everyone!

So I will start with an apology, last month was a rough for John, Anne, and myself. Without dwelling on it both John and I had deaths in our respective family's, so our focus has not been on updates. Anne has picked up our slack and been sending out updates, but she is now in the final stretch of finishing her Masters. So I am back with the updates, and with a graphic (provided by Alex) showing the current progress.

Not a huge leap from last month, the only change is that Leader is now all set. The goal was to finish the XP system tweaks last night, but Anne's last paper got in the way, so that is close, but not quite there yet.

Also being actively worked on is the Hero's Journey Structure and the Hunter Augments. The Hero's Journey Structure is a GM resource for adapting Joseph Campbell's steps of the hero's journey to your games. The Hunter Augments are just being the Hunter Augments, which is to say they're being difficult. But the wrestling match with them continues.

But those are your quick updates for the end of April / beginning of May. I'll be back in another month to update you on the continued progress.

Have a great May!


  1. From Anne's post, April 29, 2014: "The game is currently in the final stages of development and not quite ready for the public eye". I think this was a pretty misleading statement, as two years later we don't even have the beta PDF on the visible horizon. Lesson learned - don't support kickstarter projects from untested start-ups...

    1. Hey, there, anon - you're totally right. We didn't intentionally mislead anyone, but obviously that estimate was so absolutely not accurate that we understand the feeling. The reply to Purple Snit below goes more into detail, but you're right: this is our first big project of this scale, and estimating the time needed (and when to ask for community support) was definitely something that did not end up optimally. Our apologies, and we hope that when the project does come around, you'll enjoy it in spite of the wait.

  2. I don't want to be "that guy" - buthis got me reading the old posts on Kickstarter and the forums here, and now I wonder - how did we get from "final stages of development" two years ago, and "production begins...we're nearing the end of the project" on February 2, 2015, to seeing that the preview PDF can't go out now because you guys don't even have the XP systems and Character Creation finalized? I understand personal tragedy, and production hiccups, and all that - but how did we get the disconnect from "it's nearly ready" two years back, to "one day, we promise!" now?

    1. No worries, that's a totally reasonable question. The answer is: as first-time developers/publishers, we grossly underestimated the time needed for the project. We didn't intentionally mislead anybody - trust me, we are just as uncomfortably surprised to be here in 2016 as y'all are - but even though we did as much research as we could in the beginning into things like time commitment and production, simply put, our estimates were wrong. So wrong. Greatly wrong. As we can all obviously see.

      Some things are issues of us not recognizing the amount of time needed for the volume of work there was to do; this is the case for things like Blessings, which took forever+, and for playtesting kinks that needed to be ironed out. We'd definitely done things like that before, as fan creators and so on, but without nearly the same level of complexity (managing an entire full-scale game system design) or the need for the same levels of quality assurance (you know we loved working on other games' fanstuff, but "oh yeah good point, change that" is a lot easier as fans on a blog than it is with a whole book people would have to pay money for). Other things were issues of things being "done" and then realizing, a thousand leagues deep into a different area's development, that they weren't as done as we'd thought. A good example is the XP system you just mentioned - we realized it could use a tweak after a year of playtesting it with different groups, so we just did that (just finished the writeup on it, in fact!), but we didn't know that when we called it done well before that time.

      (Also, while we have done some pro game design stuff, it's always been as a small part of a larger production, where other departments handled other things so our picture of the overall was probably pretty rose-colored.)

      Essentially, it really doesn't have much to do with things like personal tragedy - yeah, we've had some of those, but they're more things we mention to be like "this is why this week was slow", not in a larger "this is why this project is taking so long" kind of way. The real reason is honestly just that our expectations and projections turned out not to be realistic. Which sucks. The process, as backers/supporters, of hearing a constant "okay, here's our best estimate NOW" when that's different from what it was before, is not an exciting one.

      Obviously, if we were doing this again, we would not have started a Kickstarter when we did; we would have done all this nonsense first, and then nobody would have had to care that it was taking way longer than we thought except for us. We didn't have the direct experience to realize that at the time, though, back in the beautiful summer when we thought we were mere hairs away, so in our enthusiasm, we took all of you folks along with us.

      We're still on it, and we're still struggling to get done as quickly as possible, but we know it sucks to be stuck in limbo thanks to our bad estimates. So that's how we got from there to here, and you all have our sincere apologies for that.

    2. Thanks for the quick reply. I'm not giving up on the game, because the reason I supported it in the first place was because it sounded cool, and I enjoyed the hell out of your work on the JSR site. I'm just really frustrated that it's taking so long, and even more so because of the "It's nearly ready!" that then becomes "Dammit, no, it's not". I've never designed a game, so I can't fairly judge how much work goes in to this [I'm sure it's a lot!], and I know even companies like Onyx Path have problems, so I try to be patient and understanding. I just feel the need to vent from time to time. Sorry if it adds to the stress level you guys are already under.