As a many of you know, the busy madness toward the end of con season took a particular toll on me. I came home from the Gen Con Game Fair with unexplained swelling and redness in my leg and recurring fever. Turns out it was a particularly antibiotic-resistant bout of cellulitis that landed me in the hospital for a better part of a week. I was out and recovering when I had things to attend to at Dragon*Con. Some have (probably rightfully) told me that I was insane for attending the show when I should probably have been home resting, but I'm proud of my 22 year unbroken streak attending my hometown convention and took care of some business that might pay off in the coming year.
It's back to work with a vengeance in the coming week, with updates coming soon including more backer-exclusive preview material—the next being the full rules chapter of the book in layout with final art. If you are waiting on an answer to a direct question, I'll be playing catchup on emails and such this week as well. If you don't hear from me by Monday on a direct issue, PLEASE bug me again in case it somehow slipped through the cracks.
I want to thank you all for some genuinely supportive comments and emails during my stay in the hospital. I'm happy to report that my leg, while still healing, is doing much better and hoping to be fully recovered in the next few weeks.
While things still might work out to get you the full rules chapter preview that I wanted for this week's update, there is also a fair chance that it may not happen until next week. I wanted to get ahead of the communications front and let you know what's going on.
I'm in the hospital. I came home from Indianapolis with my left leg swelling above the ankle that had turned pinkish. Even under outpatient medical treatment since last Tuesday the infection only got worse until I had a hugely swollen leg that had turned nearly brick-red in some places. The diagnosis is cellulitis, an infection of the soft tissue, with an unknown but tough-as-nails bacteria as the nasty root cause.
The good news is that I've been responding to IV-administered antibiotics since I was sent to the E.R. on Friday night. The bad news is that I've been laid up in some pain for days and not able to do much useful work from here in my room.
Sorry to bore you with the details, but I wanted you to know the situation and that I'll be hitting the ground running (or limping a bit) to catch up when I'm released, which may be as soon as tomorrow afternoon.
Thanks for your support! I'll keep everyone posted with actual project progress very soon.
Hi there! I returned from a very busy Gen Con where I set the stage for some exciting projects coming up in 2014, but I did want to assure you that everything else is taking the backburner to the finalization and release of Metamorphosis Alpha. I get that some of you are unhappy with the delays, but work on the game is still going on and you'll be seeing a lot of new stuff in the coming weeks.
Friends on Facebook might have seen the Saga of Jamie's Weird Leg, in which I came home from Gen Con with my left leg swollen and steadily turning red (along with some pain and occasional fever). After this update I head back to the doctor for a second round of Dr. House-style tests and head-scratching and educated guesses. Hopefully this problem clears up with the help of modern medicine or the amazing power of the human body. I mention this only because I'm not going to provide an exact date on next week's update with the additional unpredictable element, but that it IS coming. Speaking of which ...
Next week I will post the full rules chapter (7) in full layout, with art, for the backers to review. Combined with the Basic Rules you'll have the full nuts & bolts info on how to play the game. Next up will be character creation and sample characters in the following week.
With Gen Con behind us, that's my last trip out of town until October. What needs to be done? We have revision, bits of spot writing, and the final version of the Starship Warden art and map overview from Jeff Carlisle that i showed you a few weeks ago (which I should be completed very soon). We also have typesetting and final proofing, and you'll be seeing those chapters as they are completed.
Gen Con turned out to be too slammed for me to get together a game table for MA like I had hoped, but I will be offering chances to play using an online game table in the coming weeks—announcing the time and platform and letting backers sign up on a first-come, first serve basis.
Chapter Opening Splash Pages
While I showed off a few of these before, I wanted to share with you ALL of the finalized versions of our chapter openers, featuring art by Lindsay Archer framed by Ben Mund. I'm very excited by the visual presentation of the new Metamorphosis Alpha, and I hope you like what you see.
I know it's been too long since the last update, folks. I apologize. I'm not going to dwell on it or make excuses about it. I don't take issue with anyone who is dissatisfied with the delays or call me out on lack of communication—rather I agree with you.
I have no problem with frank comments. Just understand that ultimately we're all on the same side here. As much as any of you wants to have your copy of the Metamorphosis Alpha RPG, I can say with fair certainty that no one wants the book finalized and released more than I do. I want to be able to get everything out to the backers, and also release the game for sale to the public. It's late, and sometimes it's been a source of frustration, but I'm ultimately proud of the work we've done. I'm comforted by the fact that I can think of at least one big RPG release in recent memory that was five years late and went on to great commercial and critical reception.
This project has met more than its share of challenges, obstacles, and delays. Many of them can be laid at my feet, though some have been caused by members of the team who were extremely late on deliverables and circumstances didn't allow for simply doing without those contributions or replacing them on the project. If I could plan this project with the benefit of hindsight, I'd do a number of things differently.
The book is still moving forward. We've slid on the schedule I set a few months ago, which is the bad news. The good is that we didn't slide so much that we're looking at massive delay. I've returned from Comic-Con, recovered from a nasty case of con-crud, and will be pushing on getting the last pieces of this project together.
Over the coming weeks backers will get additional finalized PDF chapters of the book in layout with art, just as with the first two sections. You'll get the chapters separately, and once we have the final version approved by Mr. Ward, backers will receive the locked-in PDF equivalent to what will go to press in advance of the digital version going for sale. At that point I'll be able to give you an estimated date for when print copies will reach you via the mail. I'm not going to be so bold yet as to announce a revised release date just yet, but it will happen in the coming weeks.
Who Wants To Play?
As the chapters are finalized and sent out to backers, I also want to offer some opportunities for those of you who would enjoy playing the new Metamorphosis Alpha RPG.
Gen Con - In a few weeks I'll be in Indianapolis for the Gen Con Game Fair. I will not be running a booth this year, so it will take up far less pressure and time than Comic-Con. It's important I be there for several meetings, including a sales update with my rep from PSI and our annual GAMA board meeting at the show. I have not formally scheduled any events, but if any backers are attending the convention please contact me and we might be able to set up table where I'll run the game in the Open Game area.
Online - After I return from Gen Con in late August, I'd like to set up the opportunity for others to play. My current thought is to take advantage of an online gametable such as Roll20.net. I'll post an update with a projected time and a means for folks to sign up, and hopefully make it possible for others to observe.
The Warden - Rough by Jeff Carlisle
One element I really wanted to have in the book was a solid visual representation of the starship Warden. The core book offers an overview of the ship and some basic details to allow referees to flesh out the setting in their home games. We're fortunate to have the talents of Jeff Carlisle, who among his many other contributions to gaming has included many amazing ship designs for the Star Wars setting.
What we see below is not the final art, but a "rough" that Jeff wanted us to be able to show everyone of his work-in-progress. The final will allow us to have a color version of the Warden we can feature on the back cover and the overview like you see here, in grayscale, to use in a full two-page spread inside the book.
I've cut the image into the left and right sides so you can get a better look, below.
I really enjoy how Jeff has taken us closer to the original vision of the Warden from MA 1st Edition and its "pancake stack" structure of decks, with engines that push it at sub-light speeds across vast distances. For the final we have discussed how the exterior will reflect a ship that has been damaged by space debris over its long journey and it has self-repaired, showing literal scars.
Let us know what you think of the Warden as we're presenting in the new game!
More next week, including the next PDF for backers. Thanks to you all.
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