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ALAS VEGAS is an RPG miniseries about amnesia, sin, horror and gambling, by 'the godfather of indie-game design'.
ALAS VEGAS is an RPG miniseries about amnesia, sin, horror and gambling, by 'the godfather of indie-game design'.
1,164 backers pledged £24,061 to help bring this project to life.

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Alas Vegas extra content, and spoilers

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In an open comment earlier today someone asked which parts of the book constitute or contain spoilers for the main 'Alas Vegas' section, and then someone else suggested I make the information more generally available, so here it is.

  • The first chapter after the end of the main 'Alas Vegas' text, pages 157-160 with the tarot of the Magician opposite the first page, is so much of a spoiler for the climax of 'Alas Vegas' that even its title can be construed as a bit of a give-away.
  • 'Drinking Heavily in Vegas' (John Scott Tynes) contains a number of spoilers, mostly about setting and character.  
  • 'The Big Board at the Adelphi' (Mike Selinker) is clean.  
  • 'Alas Vegas: In-Game Gambling' (Matt Forbeck) is clean.  
  • 'Grifts, Scams And...' (Rich Dansky) is essentially advice on how to continue playing in the Alas Vegas background after the intended end of the campaign, and so it's basically one big spoiler for everything. Again, the full title is a bit of a give-away.
  • 'Tarot-Jumping Other Games' (Robin D. Laws) is clean.  
  • 'Killing Bugsy Siegel' (Ken Hite) is a separate game, and any overlaps between it and Alas Vegas are probably down to all the times Ken and I have broken bread together.  
  • Yet Already, Warlock Kings and Remembering Cosmic Man are all clean.  
  • The Designer's Notes (p. 313) contains a couple of spoilers, but also contains a warning that it contains spoilers.
  • I'm pretty sure that the list of backers' names and the Creative Commons licence are clean, but you may know better.

US copies are shipping

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All copies of Alas Vegas and The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen for American backers have now shipped, with the exception of twenty which missed the post on Friday and will have to wait till next week. 

That's it. Back to your weekend.

The update you thought you'd never see

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It is with huge relief and a little disbelief that I can announce Alas Vegas is shipping. 

Actually fucking shipping. Right now. To you. 

Yes.

Well, most of you.

Three-quarters of the copies left the UK warehouse today, heading out to almost all backers around the world. The remaining quarter of them will go out tomorrow, when resupplies of the right sort of packaging arrive.

The exception is copies for backers in the USA, which are actually being shipped from a warehouse in the USA. These have been held up because the package containing the signed bookplates has been delayed. (I'm not saying 'lost'. It's not lost until I type the tracking number into the web and USPS goes 'No idea chief'. Until then they're just delayed.) Fingers crossed for them turning up in the next day or two.

If you also ordered a copy of The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen then that will be included in your shipment. 

I will not be able to relax until I start hearing that physical copies of Alas Vegas are actually in people’s hands. But it looks like this hideous process is almost over, and one of the RPG industry’s most famous pieces of Kickstarter-vapourware is actually done and real and about to be with the people who paid for it to exist.

To celebrate, I am going to officially launch the game at Dragonmeet in London this weekend. Several other contributors will also be at the show and available to sign copies, including Ken Hite, Robin D. Laws, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, and John Kovalic. And if you come to the booth (which is H7) and identify yourself as one of the faithful who stayed the course through these troubled four years, I have a limited-edition launch-day something for you. 

After Dragonmeet the game will be going on sale on DriveThruRPG and its associates and affiliates (notably RPGNow), in PDF and print-on-demand format; and also on Amazon and the major online retailers. I *think* that if you received a voucher from DriveThruRPG for a download of the PDF then you can leave a review on the site, and if you do I will be hugely grateful. Reviews are the lifeblood of online sales, and I know from emails that a bunch of you really like the game, so… I know you owe me nothing, I've made you wait a ridiculously long time for this, but I also know the vast majority of you have been right behind the project the whole way, wanting it to succeed, and this is the best way you can help make that happen now. 

The novel is still in progress, as is the website. and I'm aware that a few people are still owed prints of the cover art. I'll deal with all of those shortly.

Thank you for your patience and tolerance, most of you, and I hope you enjoy Alas Vegas. If you can make it to Dragonmeet, do come and say hi. And when your copy arrives, please post something here.

Pulp

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On Friday I pulped the hardbacks.

Hearing that, questions may spring to your mind. “That bastard Wallis is still alive?” for example, but let’s leave that one aside for the moment. Mostly you can infer from the first sentence (because you are intelligent and wise people) that the Alas Vegas hardbacks have been printed and indeed delivered to a fulfilment warehouse, with the intention of shipping them in the immediate future.  

Then I got the sample copies from the printer.  

I'm sure I've talked before about printers and how adept they are at screwing up. Book printers are ridiculously bad at making books. It’s astonishing. No matter how much detail you put into your instructions to them, they will find a way to do it wrong. At first glance the Alas Vegas hardbacks looked fine. The paper I chose—and these are the hardbacks that will go everywhere except the USA, since the USA is getting its own print run by a different printer, using a different paper stock, because of reasons—feels like the paper that printers used in the 1970s, which is exactly what I was after, and holds the text and images really well.

And then I fully opened the book and the whole binding went FLOOMPH. 

It didn’t explode. There was no dandelion of pages. The book-block separated from the covers and hung there, like a shot swan, because it hadn’t been glued in properly. And the other sample did exactly the same.  

On closer examination, the spine is also (a) too narrow for the width of the book, and (b) crooked. So we’ve pulped the lot and are starting again.  

That, in a nutshell, is how the last four years of producing Alas Vegas have been for me. 

On the floor by my desk as I type is a pile of cover proofs. It’s a fairly substantial pile, all but two of them rejected, because we have gone over so many different crops and alignments, trying to get all the elements into the places they’re supposed to be on the finished book. This shouldn’t be hard. Cover design is a skill, it requires an understanding of bindings and process and bleeds and gutters, but this will be something like my thirtieth book cover design, I'm pretty sure I know what I’m doing. And yet the bit of the design that is supposed to be centre-aligned, and which I have painstakingly centre-aligned over and over, and checked on the PDF each time before I sent it to the printer, obstinately ends up as much as half an inch to the right of where it’s meant to be. I mean, the fuck? 

Meanwhile the American hardcovers have arrived in the American fulfilment warehouse. The softcovers are somewhere in Reno, which is not where the warehouse is. We don’t know what they’re doing in Reno, or why they didn’t accompany the hardcovers because they were printed by the same company at the same time. We hope they won’t stay in Reno very long. But at this stage, who the fuck knows, really. 

It wears you down, all of this. You do your best work, you send it off, and it comes back wrong. You correct it, you send it off, and it comes back wrong. You ask people to do something and they tell you it’s been done and send you paperwork to show it’s been done—though they sent the paperwork to an entirely different person at an entirely different company, thankfully someone I know, but what the fuck—and then several hundred books end up having a two-week vacation in Reno. It wears you down. Like being repeatedly punched in the face. And each time it’s that much harder to get back up and carry on. 

But the end is in sight. The books exist, even though a quarter of them will cease existing imminently, and another quarter of them are in Reno. 

The Reno thing and the pulping together do give us a last chance for corrections. If you have moved lately, please check that I have the correct delivery address for you. The books will be sent to the delivery address in your Kickstarter records. You can check the address is correct by going to the Alas Vegas Kickstarter page, clicking on ‘View Pledge’ on the right-hand side, then click ‘Survey’. You can see your details there, and update them if they’re wrong. 

We are nearly there.

Right.

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