IGS State of the Realm: Q2 2021
12 days ago
– Thu, Jul 15, 2021 at 08:26:03 AM
Hi, all! Hope you're enjoying your summer for those who are in that season.
I apologize at the delay in providing a quarterly update several weeks into the actual quarter.
Challenges in 2021
I'll just say it: we sold our house, and my wife was diagnosed with cancer. It's been a hell of a past few months. I'm writing this literally the day after she started chemotherapy.
There's a good chance that you, as a kickstarter backer who doesn't know me or my wife personally, might see this as too much information to share. But I've always tried to err on the side of transparency, and this sort of thing has a notable impact to my spare time, so I wanted to be clear.
There's also, sadly, a high probability that you know someone who has helped a loved one deal with cancer. For that subset of people reading this, you know what's involved, and how big a disruption it can be.
Key Q2 Accomplishments
Despite the chaos and vileness of the past few months, I've still managed to steal some time for IGS. Here's a quick summary of what's been achieved:
Solo Adventuring Toolkit writing: About 80% complete the book now. This is my entire hands-on, heads-down focus until I finish it, hopefully very soon!
Cover art commissions completed: Gauntlets & Gaslight, Husks, Echoes of Time Forgotten, and Library Vitae
Cover art commissions completed for several planned FTEG SAT related products: Thiefesque (a rules-light solo-play homage to the Roguelike genre) and Crucible (a rules-light solo-play homage to the Gauntlet video games). These will be free to SAT backers.
I waited to post this update, and the State of the Realm Q2 update, until we had gotten the first chemo infusion completed. To be honest I still don't know what the impact is going to be, either financially or logistically. But it's a great scenario in terms of survivability and that's what matters in the long run.
As you know by now, I'm an optimist to a fault, so I'm still very excited about what I'll yet be able to accomplish this year.
My goal at the start of the year had been to finish all major pieces of my backlog by the first of next year. That may not be entirely possible any more, but I'll still get close, I feel.
Please find the detailed State of the Realm update on the IGS website here.
I'm not exactly sure what else to say. I'm not where I wanted to be, and there are grim undertones to that statement that haven't been there before. But I'm still dedicated, and optimistic, and excited, and still getting stuff done. Just not quite as quickly as I would have wanted.
Working on IGS stuff has quite literally kept me sane, especially recently, I cannot imagine not doing it as a major part of my life, and I see no reason why that would ever change.
Stick with me. I've got a lot more to do, and it's only going to get more awesome. Thank you for your understanding and support.
Onward. Now, more than ever.
IGS State of the Realm Update: Q1 2021
4 months ago
– Mon, Mar 22, 2021 at 09:23:27 AM
(you can find the complete State of the Realm Q1 2021 update on the IGS website, here.)
- We’re sliiiightly behind our targets, but still making massive progress.
- We continue to produce output at our highest rate ever.
- 2020 saw a record amount of content completed and published.
- Still on target to see the completion of the entire backlog / pipeline of current work by the end of 2021.
- My current plan is to place all future kickstarters on hold until I successfully complete and deliver on the outstanding kickstarters.
- Two of our products have become Gold bestsellers; many others have become Electrum and Silver sellers.
- Thanks again to everyone who has helped make our one-person, fledgeling, indie RPG shop an actual thing these past 6 years!
Detailed Project Status
Things are actually in really solid shape. I have a clear vision of the future, and what upcoming work is reasonable to achieve, when.
ABRE Hardcovers [in process]
The content and cover files were submitted and approved around the winter holidays, and hardcopy proofs ordered. Still no shipment as of yet; I’ve reached out to DTRPG to see what has happened. With COVID and other issues, they regularly report 30-45 day delays in printing, but this is beyond even that at this point.
Once the hardcovers have been reviewed and approved, I’ll commence with fulfilling hardcopies to those who are entitled to them. Per prior comms, this will be handled individually: I will reach out personally to each individual backer deserving of a hardcopy of ABRE, and that backer will have a chance to verify their mailing address, finalize an edition, and if you’d prefer, receive a partial refund if you’re merely interested in the PDF version you now have.
Targeting fulfillment commencing Q2 2021.
ABRE Master Index [finished, pending MOA completion]
As I have all the needed information for all 1,660 monsters in a convenient Excel document, and have finished the number-crunching and prep. All that remains is to include the Monsters of Aquilae additional critters once MOA is finished.
Targeting 1 Week After MOA is completed, 2021.
Content Conversion Guide [completed]
This is completed, published, and fulfilled, with a bonus massive Excel Mapping Inventory provided free to entitled backers. This is quickly becoming my most successful product of all time, and no wonder: for the price of a coffee, it’s more than 430 pages of richly-detailed utility and conversion goodness.
CCG is now available in hardcopy: fulfillment in both softcover and hardcover POD codes is complete as well.
Monsters of Aquilae (MOA) [partially completed]
Pathfinder and 5E editions are completed, published, and fulfilled; I’m submitting content files for the hardcopy editions by end of March.
Pathfinder Second Edition version is nearly complete as of this writing; this and the OSR and DCC editions should be completed, published, and fulfilled by early April.
Hardcopy fulfillment to those entitled to (and waiting patiently for!) a copy will follow; see the “ABRE Hardcovers” description above for the approach.
Targeting April 2021 to complete.
FTEG Solo Adventuring Toolkit (FTEG SAT) [in process]
The complete book will be enormous; it’s about 60% complete as of this writing.
The Solo Adventuring Quickstart was published this summer, and is an enormous success, with tons of great feedback and anecdotes of folks stranded at home during the quarantine using the book to drive some really interesting solo adventuring. The QuickStart (and its accompanying Bestiaries) form the introduction to the complete SAT book; similarly, key elements of the Content Conversion Guide and the FlexAI Guidebook will also feature in the FTEG SAT.
Of note, the QuickStart and the accompanying bestiaries are now available as softcover hardcopies.
Targeting Q2 2021 to complete.
Artifacts & Artifice 3 [in process soon]
Nearly everything is done with this. Still. I need only to finish laying it all out and finish a small handful of the items’ flesh-outs. It should be some low-hanging fruit that I can complete quickly following some of the above items.
Targeting Q2 2021 to complete.
Dark Obelisk 1: Collectors Edition [complete; fulfillment in process]
This is complete, published, and fulfilled from a PDF standpoint.
I just this week received the hardcopy proofs. POD codes for those entitled should go out early April. I will also be ordering hardcopies for Adamantium-tier backers so I can sign and number them, and ship those out individually to each backer entitled to a set.
Targeting Q2 2021 to complete fulfillment.
The Mystery of Brushgather Farm [complete]
This is completed, published, and fulfilled.
Gauntlets & Gaslight: Incarnae of Aquilae (IOA) [in process soon]
(This was “ABR Volume 4”, unlocked originally as a stretch goal of ABR and then expanded in scope with its own KS campaign.)
Tangible progress: We finally have the overland map of the setting Nycarrad with dozens of points of interest scattered, and there’s tons done already on the detail.
Nearly everything is ready with this book; shouldn’t take too long to lay out pending completion of the above pipeline.
In a more general G&G sense, I’ve continued to work with artists, new and old, to produce more pieces. There’s more than 100 pieces, now: more than for any other single concept in IGS history.
I realize those folks who backed the G&G Kickstarter have been waiting patiently for a VERY long time to see the fruits of the concept. I’m fully committed to it still: G&G features heavily in the evolving detail of the mythology of Aquilae.
Targeting Q2 2021 to complete.
FlexTale Encounter Generator v2.0 [in process]
The holy grail, the tome of tomes… this endeavor is coalescing in the background of all other work. I’ve been working on this for years already, and I cannot wait to put pen to paper laying it all out. Much is already in Excel in various forms; the layout itself should be disturbingly straightforward once I wrap up the predecessor work.
From Dark Obelisk 2 onward into the future, all IGS adventure content will leverage FTEG to fuel and generate its encounters.
Some of the work in the Content Conversion Guide will feature in FTEG 2, and certainly learnings from the feedback I’ve received will find their way in as well.
I’ve actually begun work on the FTEG v2: Monsters tome, as a natural consequence of working on the Master Index. That book is probably about 25% complete at this point.
Targeting Q3 2021 to complete.
Western Realm Gazetteer [in process]
I’ve been spending a ton of development time on this. The world map is already the most detailed thing I’ve ever worked on; more than 85,000 entities drawn and placed on a map that already contains more content than any gazetteer or map pack I’ve ever bought or seen myself.
At the end of 2020, I indicated that I need a firm schedule to make this thing happen, and that we’d be looking at August 2021 to produce the final book.
I’m as terrible at predicting pessimistic targets as I am at predicting optimistic ones: Mapping has gone MUCH more smoothly than anticipated, and so I’m a month or two AHEAD of that projection, if you can believe it.
This will be absolutely enormous in terms of density of content, and best of all, I’ve been organizing it along the way to make it as easy as possible to reference and use at the table. The goal here—and I think I’ve achieved it—is to be able to literally open the book to any page, place the PCs on the map, and start an entire decade-long adventure campaign… all with ZERO PREP beforehand. Because I’ve already spent the better part of 35 years planning things out, FOR you. :)
Targeting August 2021 to complete.
Ultimate Character Compendium [in process]
This is probably the single most-behind project in terms of the horsepower that’s still required to finalize. I’ve generated a ton of the crunch, but it’s certainly not done. The good news, however, is that I’m nearly in a place where I can dedicate all of my “crunch time” to generating statblocks for UCC. There’s a very good chance the crunch-work will be complete by the time I wrap up the above so I can start laying things out.
I’m dedicating a small chunk of every workday—time that cannot be spent on layout or mapping or write-ups, for example—to UCC crunch development. I’ve published the UCC Bookshelf, as well as Volumes 3 and 4, and I’m most of the way through Volume 5; hoping to continue this pace into next year.
Targeting 2021 for completion.
Villainous Locales [in process]
Tangible progress: As part of developing the Western Realm Gazetteer, I’ve placed more than 150 Points of Interest directly related to the Villainous Compendium and the baddies therein.
The VL book will include an overland “heatmap” of the western continent of Aquilae, highlighting the locations of villainous hideouts and maps. In addition, more than 50 regional maps will be included, showing the surrounding region where each and every villainous point of interest.
You’d be inclined to ignore these of course if you’re not playing in the campaign setting of Aquilae, but even if you aren’t using the IGS setting, having regional maps ready to go with zero prep describing the area around each zoomed-in actual map will be useful for many GMs.
This is all in addition to and a bonus on top of the actual planned content: a villainous locale map for each baddie in the Villainous Compendium. That’s still happening!
Each and every one of the dozens of maps has been sketched out by hand. Figure about a half to a full day per map to adapt to CC3+ and flesh out and lay out.
Targeting Q3 2021 for completion.
Prior Lives [in progress]
This, too, has been part of developing the Western Realm Gazetteer: each and every one of the dozens of NPCs featured in the Prior Lives stories has two points of interest: one for their present location, and one for their “Prior Lives” formative adventure.
I realize it’s not much, particularly for those awaiting the actual adventures, but it’s in progress!
The adventures and backstory for all of Volume 1 is sketched out; I need to draw the maps and lay it all out.
Targeting Q3 2021 for completion.