Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Books Have Arrived! (And Other Stuff)

So, after much waiting, Warbirds has arrived in late July as promised! Photographic evidence follows, and there are some more notes below, so read to the end if you are curious:

The Fedex boxes in their natural state

Cracking open the first box to find the the Warbirds books inside.

We had 75 envelopes to fill with all the books and goodies.

It took me and Cait a few hours to pack everything up.

All 75 packages made up with our daughter's help.

Shipping Notes
It will be a few days before the books ship out, as I will probably have to take time off work to harass the Canada Post people for a few hours to get all these books shipped. Also, once you receive your package, please contact us if there is something missing, and we will send you a replacement via express post. 

Be careful opening your packages when they arrive; the ziploc bags holding the tokens for the Dogfight Tracker are right at the top of the envelope. Careless use of scissors might cause damage.

Electronic Products
The PDF version of Warbirds as well as the PDF for the WWII source book are done (we ended up with 25 aircraft in the source book). We will be rolling them out to backers next week, and will become available for purchase on DriveThruRPG on the 14th of August.

We are getting all of our materials together for Gencon and we couldn't be more excited. We will be selling Warbirds, Edge, and Remnants. We have already set aside books for backers who requested a Gencon pickup, and your books will be waiting for you at booth 1653. If you drop by the booth, we will be happy to give you a quick demo of any of the games, and I will be willing to run a 2 hour session by request if there is enough interest. 

Final Note
We are nowhere near done the summer rush yet, and there will be more posts soon.

"Very exciting times."

Friday, 19 July 2013

The Damned Map and Other Things

I know you are all hoping for more Warbirds updates, but things with printers move slow, so you're going to have to wait a bit more on that one. Sorry.

What I want to talk about today is the map for Remnants. When the game came out it had very little space for a map (that is one of the few problems with a 6x9 format). To make up for this, I spent a few hours in Photoshop labeling a high resolution map and then hosting it on our website.

My error, and it was a grievous one, was to host on my old website and then link to it from the far superior Remnants website. Things were OK until I forgot about my old site. It eventually crashed, and then the registration expired. The hosting company had the wrong email address for me, so I received no updates when it went down.

The first sign I had that something was wrong was when people started telling us that the Remnants map wasn't working. Confused, I looked into it, and eventually found the problem. I contacted the web host, renewed my old site, and discovered that all my old data was gone. I tried for a long time to recover it, but it's lost. Recently I thought I had someone who happened to download the map before it dropped, but no luck.

So, I finally went back to Photoshop and built a new map and hosted it in the right spot (with all the maps for Edge). You can take a look at all 2.6 megs of it:
Be sure to check out the full size map.
Going to Gencon
Cait and I are taking Outrider Studios to Gencon this year. We are bringing the Great Derek Breedon and the wonderful Desiree Barlow with us. We should also have Warbirds, Remnants, Broken Lands, and Edge with us. If you're going, you can come visit us at booth 1653. We'd love to meet you and give you a 5 minute demo of one of the games. 

Go See Pacific Rim
As a person who made a game about giant robots beating the shit out of giant monsters, I was pretty stoked to see a movie about giant robots beating the shit out of giant monsters. The movie exceeded my expectations. It was hundreds of tons of rocket punches, power swords, and armoured goodness. Go see it and watch the awesome.

Other Games
I backed Jason Pitre's Spark RPG and I have been reading through it. Jason has created a brilliant, intellectual game. If you remember my old Grognard/Warhol comparison, it falls squarely in the Warhol camp. It is a game designed around structured narrative building and examining deeply held beliefs. I have to admit, it is very different from the games I like to create. My games are about nostalgic wish fulfillment and focus on emulating a single concept in a fast and simple, but not too simple, manner (robots, dogfights, etc), and creating something beautiful in that narrow focus.

Jason is far more ambitious. He has created a setting generator that treats the setting as an expansive, powerful character. His pre-generated settings are full of contentious issues, moral dilemmas, and multiple layers of complexity. The characters reflect and are directly linked to the setting as well as each other. The mechanical system that pushes his game is simple and easy, and if you remember my previous posts about mechanics, his design hits all the high points. 

So, I am not in the business of game reviewing, nor do I intend to start, so I will not give Jason a score or any such thing, but if what I have said so far intrigues you, you might want to check out his game. Oh, and the cover art is pretty cool:
It took me 5 photos with my Iphone to get 1 that wasn't blurry

That's all for Now
I will update here the moment I have some Warbirds news for you.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Proof

After some absolutely gut-wrenching delays, we received the Warbirds proof today. It is, in a word, beautiful. I snapped a bunch of photos with my iphone:

The front cover. The framed photo style is repeated throughout the book. 

The back cover. We agonized for days trying to decide what to say, but I am very happy with what Cait and I (who am I kidding? It was almost all Cait) came up with. 

Kind of a blurry shot of one of the nations. It has been noted several times that my photography skills are lacking.

This is a page showing an air combat example. The comic ties nicely into the text. 
You might have notice that the border changes colour.  Each of the first 4 chapters has a different coloured background, with colours repeating for the last 4 chapters. I am a big fan of making the book easy to navigate, so in addition to the colours, we put the chapter name at the top of each page, and a counter showing the chapter number in each outside margin. 

This is from our plane creation chapter. Those of you familiar with Remnants will recognize our "start with a generic design and then customize it with traits" system of vehicle design.

A very blurry shot of the Character and Warbrid sheets at the back of the book. We are going to put some larger and more robust sheets on the Warbirds website.

The Next Step
So now we have the proof, hooray! Our work is not done yet. Now we need to review it, decide if we need to revise anything, and then order the first bulk shipment of the book. While that's going on, we need to finalize the PDF version of the book, and make sure it matches up with the print version. We are also working on the WWII PDF, and the Mad science book is waiting in the wings. After that, we are supposed to start on Broken Lands II. The work is never done...

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Tokens, Lots of Tokens

With Warbirds at the printer for proofing, Cait and I have time to do all sorts of fun stuff. Today we spent five hours putting almost 4000 tokens into 102 tiny plastic ziplock bags. But the counters for the dogfight tracker are done. I have photographic evidence:

If you look at this photo you can see the templates that held the counters. We popped them out 8 at a time.

We hope to have the Warbirds proof soon, and then we will send all of this great stuff to our backers (and bring the leftovers to Gencon).