Greeting backers! This is Andrew Shields, lead designer, reporting in.
I became lead designer six months ago. What has happened since then?
- Two rounds of playtesting. In the first, I ran for a number of different groups. In the second, I was a player, and someone else ran the game. That's eleven games across four groups, with play reports for each game.
- Two rounds of revision. The game keeps improving and getting more focused and more flexible with every round.
- Professional editing. Brent Newhall has offered his editing services to make Book I much tighter and shinier. That edit is done and in my hands to implement.
- Art. First I was going to go without art, but David Okum offered his artwork for the book. I've found some other art to go with it, enough to put art back in. His energetic characters and amazing seals will put a touch of visual class in this project.
- Nameplate. And I think it looks pretty great.
- Professional layout and design. I'm still finalizing the arrangements, but I think we'll have professional layout and design for both Book I and Book II. This is really exciting! We may even get a logo.
- Design blog. You can follow the most current news here.
We also have progress on elements for Book II.
- Worldbuilding. High level backers have given great input into worldbuilding, and I'm making an updated gazetteer. I have a draft of a new map, too. We've been talking things over on a forum, and I've got lots of new raw material to shape into an inspirational setting.
- DungeonWords and WilderWords. I talked with Tim Ballew, who is willing to let us include these evocative word sets in the book to go with the GM-less play.
- Contents. I've done a lot of thinking about what will go in the book, and there is initial design of several great elements that will bring the game world to life and make the GM's job easier and more satisfying.
- Deck of Legends. I've made a great deck of cards designed to help groups tell stories from the clan's past, as part of the ongoing group-based world-building after the clan is built. This deck will be available after Book I comes out, to provide another round of interest in the project and to give players another great tool. Other group-based world-building elements will be in Book II, so the magic of working together to make the world isn't gone after the clan is built.
To sum up, things are moving along. Working with others means adapting timelines, so some things will take longer. We are in no rush, and having the best game we can have is important. I am pretty pleased with how far we've come.
Want to Play?
I conclude this update with an offer. I now have the technology to game online! Axes and Anvils is in a very playable state. It is also ideally suited to online play. So, I'm offering you the chance to try it out! If you have the technology (web cam, microphone, good internet connection, and G+ account) you are invited to play Axes and Anvils with me online. You can find me here.
When I get enough people and we can set a time, then we'll make a clan for the online players! After that, everyone who plays online can defend the honor of the online clan. I will have information on the clan available in google docs, so if other people want to run games for the online clan, they can do that too!
The game is fully playable, I'm just polishing it now. I hope a number of you are interested enough to pursue this opportunity.
That's it for now! When we get further along towards the layout process, I'll be double-checking names to make sure the credit for backers is accurate in the book. Until then, I'll keep working on this game, and maybe seeing some of you across the virtual gaming table.