Hello EX3 backers!
TLDR version: Right now the text, after a thorough review by the Devs, is with Maria as she works her magic with the layout.
The longer version: To clarify this whole preliminary layout process, the first thing to remember is that Maria is creating a new overall visual design for EX3. There will no doubt be some connections to the previous editions, but because she is coming to this fresh, with her own years of experience in visual design, I am trying to give her a lot of room to create something that is both right for Exalted and new.
The first step was the rough "word count" layout pass that was just completed. Basically, what Maria did last time with the layout was to make a very basic format and then insert the text into that to give a basic idea of chapters and word count. She modified that basic format a bit based on that document and we sent the text back to the Devs so that they could tighten up parts and my understanding from Holden is that they took the opportunity to really review how they wrote certain sections and tighten those up. And no, I do not know what was cut and if any of those chunks were significant enough to use elsewhere later.
Once the Devs sent the text back, we needed to go back and forth with a new rough layout in order to be sure that the text she was using was absolutely the last version. She does not want to be midway through 600+ (and +) pages and find out she needs to rip out part and redo it. Now that that is confirmed, she is doing the actual first real layout phase as everything she decides to do will be using the actual text that should show up in the PDF and books. This is the hardest phase as the real design decisions are made here.
And like I mentioned above: Maria is designing this new EX3 layout format differently than any before it, but it is still using the two column format on an 81/2 x 11 page as a base, so while she has the freedom to bring her own design sensibilities in, she's not going to be presenting a layout that is alien to Exalted or RPGs. It should have a fresh look, and in parts present some surprises, but not cure the common cold.
And because some backers were concerned about how our Stretch Goal collaboration with the Anathema online dice roller team was going, here's the word direct from them:
This is Urs from Anathema.
There was some discontent over the lack of news lately, way over in another thread.
In this post, I'll try to remedy the situation and give you some insight into our collaboration with Onyx Path as well as our progress. Please understand that I can't go into details; I am NDAed and can only speak about the general outline.
Our main contact in the writing team is Holden. We are in close contact with him, meaning: unmoderated, direct, private messages.
Some weeks ago, he sent us a pre-release version of the rules, more than enough to build Anathema with.
He answers any questions we have clearly and quickly, and generally does his best to keep us in the loop.
Just to make it clear, Onyx Path is not responsible for our doings, errors or lapses, as we are not beholden to them. We did not ask for money, and will receive none. In fact, we - as a team - explictly decided not to make this a paid project, so we never had to discuss this with OP.
Rules in hand, we obviously have a lot of work to do, reading as well as coding.
Generally speaking, work is progressing orderly. We are working in a hidden repository, that's why even the tech-savvy among you didn't see any updates on GitHub for ages. Progress could be better, though, since our time and energy are not as plenty as they were back in 2013, when we first signed up for this.
I have seen speculation that we only need to update the Charms - this is decidedly not the case, the changes required are much more extensive: There are assumptions in Anathema that just don't hold any longer, and we still need to figure out how to deal with major points.
However, all of the minor changes and additions are done by now. With a version I have running on my desktop this very moment, I could probably adopt more than eighty percent of the Exalts I or my group have played in the past; dealing with some rough edges manually.
All of this said, we can't promise to have a fully-fledged version the moment the PDF goes live - just as I said back in September.
Also, OP and the Anathema team have yet to speak about content inclusion beyond the usual - we have left this issue open so far, because it is the least of our concerns.
Finally, please bear in mind that Rich knows exactly as much about our work as you do, so he just couldn't give you more details.
I hope this clears matters up somewhat.
Thanks for your patience, we're getting so close now!