As I'm writing this, it's the first day back to the day job after my holiday break. I haven't updated this blog in almost a month! I thought it may help you to see what's been going on behind the scenes as we work towards getting Home by Dark out the door.
As my friends will attest to, I tend to be very detail-oriented in my planning. This isn't because I'm a natural planner; It's actually the opposite. If I don't write down everything around what I'm doing, I'll forget things.
As such, I tend to break things down into tasks that I can tackle one by one. I'm a software developer by day, so I tend to break out my tasks in a similar fashion to Agile development. This makes it easier to tackle things by making the work more manageable and estimable.
By the time I started the Kickstarter, the book was almost completely written. This meant that I needed to break up the steps needed to get Home by Dark from edited manuscript to actual book. I broke down what I personally needed to do in Todoist. I use it for keeping track of personal and Protagonist Industries stuff. As a matter of fact, writing blog posts is a recurring item on my Todoist page. As you may guess, it's waaaay overdue and in angry red text on the "Today" tab. Sorry for slacking! Here's where my current list stands:
Man, that doesn't look too far along, does it? It's a little deceptive. The Kickstarter credits are as up to date as they can be. A few people haven't finished their credit surveys, so I'm keeping this one open as long as I can to give them a chance.
Art is about 80% completed. Our layout genius Dani is done with her in-book illustrations and our interior artist Maxx is working on finishing his pieces so they can be added. As a matter of fact, all of the external art done by them is on a shared Trello page that we use to track each piece of art that they're working on for the project. It's super helpful to leave notes and see current status on everything. It's gonna look sooo good!
After all of that, there's some final work I need to do before the book is ready. After art, layout and page count will be locked. I can then update page numbers in the index and finalize our cover size. At that point, we'll have the digital book ready to send and, not too long after that, the files for the physical book which will be used to print our first sample of the book!
While that's all in progress, there are other fun things I'm working on.
While the book art is being finalized, I'm ordering all of the items we'll be shipping for our Kickstarter backers and preparing the Fulfillment process to speed up our shipping once we're ready.
There's a lot of prep work on the fulfillment site in terms of what products they'll be expecting and where they're going. It's been very educational, to say the least. I've learned quite a bit about getting stuff "out the door" through this Kickstarter. :)
When I reach a point where I'm waiting for the responses on fulfillment and have nothing outstanding in the art requirements, I'm also starting work on those playsets. At this point, I'm writing skeleton concepts for each one. This allows me to have a detailed idea for what I planned to do when I get a chance to detail them later in the year.
I'm also putting the finishing touches on the first playtest that will be released soon after the book release. I don't want to spoil the first playset's story, but I think it'll be a great starting companion to the book upon release.
In addition to all of this, I'm preparing for OrcaCon 2017. I'll be running five sessions of Home by Dark, which is the second most sessions at a single con that I've run. The only one that I've run more is PAX West 2016, which was also the testing grounds for the game. Every player will also get one of our special Home by Dark sodas by Jones Soda Co.
If you're interested in playing in a session at OrcaCon, please visit our schedule page to see when and how to join us!
That's it for now! I hope you found this educational. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to answer any questions that I can and help pay the community forward.
Happy New Year!