When this all began we thought we had a handle on how much work is was going to be and scheduled accordingly. Boy, were we ever wrong. The scope of putting together a comic book was far greater than we could have possibly imagined. Each time we faced one of our unrealistic milestones we asked ourselves, "Do we rush to meet the deadline and release something we're not proud of, or do we admit we failed to plan well and continue to focus on giving our backers the absolute best product we can?" A quick glance at your calendar will tell you what course we took.
The good news is that with each failure to meet a deadline we got better at setting milestones. Which is doubly good, because we plan on this being the first of many games from Zakelro! and being realistic about how much work we can feasibly do in a day is probably one of the most important skills we can develop.
So, we've learned two important things. One, we aren't going to be happy releasing anything other than our best. And two, our best takes time.
As of this past weekend, I'm thrilled to tell you that I honestly believe we've figured out how to set reasonable deadlines. I know this because yesterday afternoon we did the final edits of the core of the handbook, hitting a deadline smack-dab in the middle of its great big reasonable nose. That means all of the final art is in place, and all the text has been gone over with a fine-tooth comb by multiple editors.
Now, when I say "core" I mean all of the rules, the discussion of variants, and two bonus gameplay demos you can run in order to become familiar with Bhaloidam (the same two demos I usually run at conferences).
So what's left to do?
Over the next week we'll be compiling a glossary, formatting the index page, writing some thank you pages, and most importantly--putting the final touches on the the Storyplay samples. These pages will give you an idea what it sounds like to tell stories with Bhaloidam. And, of course, each sample is based on a short story contributed by one of our Storyteller Special backers.
Did you notice what I said at the beginning of that last paragraph? Over the next week! That's right, within one week from today, we expect to have all the files to Panda GM so they can start the manufacturing process. We're facing the final mile. Storyteller walking.
Even then our work on Bhaloidam will be far from over, because within one week of that we'll be sending our backers their PDF copies so they can get started telling stories with Bhaloidam right away. Shortly afer that, the handbook will make its appearance on Bhaloidam.com and in July, the PDF will be available for purchase.
The special backer reward booklet and thimble will be available no later the release of the physical game and likely a PDF of the booklet well before. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We've got this incredibly exciting, and very reasonable milestone to meet first.
Talk to you in a week!