Well folks, we’ve reached 2016 and you haven’t heard from me in a while. It’s been a long time. An inexcusably long time. And as difficult as it is to face the music and open up to a lot of people I have disappointed, it’s important that I fix things. Delays are one thing, but delays and silence are not the way I want to conduct myself, run my business, or represent the people I work with on this and other projects.
As I’ve detailed in previous updates, there were a lot of factors that led to the delays in getting the Metamorphosis Alpha RPG core book completed. There were writers that I couldn’t replace who were extremely late turning in their work, artwork and maps that came in late, and me having to do complete additional writing and revisions that were way outside the schedule that I had blocked out for it all. Because of the production delays it threw off the plan, and I extended the licensing advances I offered to an extremely patient Jim Ward (who was and is dealing with serious long-term health issues) and I had to shuffle money around to try and make everything work. I thought that I would be able to afford the printing and fulfillment of the print book just after a short delay following the release of the eBook version. But luck was not exactly on my side for most of last year, and circumstances ended up getting even tougher for me.
At the same time, the delays in finishing the content of the main RPG book really upset and disillusioned some of you. I got a certain level of backlash even when I posted good news, and it made it really difficult to post updates that didn’t have anything substantive to say or good news to share other than things were “in progress.” I should have written a version of this update way back at that point. Instead, I got overwhelmed by a lot of things and pulled away. It was supposed to be a short hiatus to get both my plans and my head together so we could move forward on this project and the material to follow. But I went into “survival mode” and just focused on short-term earning for my family that dragged out to the end of the year. One bright spot is that on December 9, 2015 my son Jensen was born after a long and difficult pregnancy. He’s healthy and beautiful and already inspiring me to be a better man.
Despite any challenges thrown my way, the fulfillment of this project and communicating with you has always been my responsibility. I didn’t meet my end of the bargain, and for that I apologize.
The Good News
I’ve told you what went wrong, but I am NOT throwing my hands in the air and walking away. Admitting fault and apologizing are good first steps, but now it’s time to make things right. I want to move forward and build my business, and that’s not going to happen until I address my obligations and make good on outstanding promises.
A little while back I sent a coil-bound printed version of the book to Jim Ward while he was in the hospital in Milwaukee. He told me that he really likes this new incarnation of Metamorphosis Alpha. The presentation of the rules, the writing style, information, and visuals got praise from the very first person I was hoping to please with all of this. Jim is not just my licensor, but he’s been a mentor and friend for a long time. I hate that it’s taken so long and my own struggles have delayed it, but I’m going to make sure both he and you can flip through the final retail version and get some gaming in with it.
So what’s in the works? First step is that I’ve got both Plan A and Plan B in progress to cover the printing of the main book. I’m getting updated quotes in from my top three printer choices so I can decide which will get the business. I’m going to write up a synopsis for adventure concepts (for the short- and long-format scenarios) that I will be moving forward with in the next few months. And I’m going to outline the Starship Warden sourcebook that I’m excited to produce, a book that will pair with the core book to offer everything one could ask for to run a Metamorphosis Alpha campaign. I’m also going to get the t-shirt rewards and other offerings together that I owe certain backer tiers.
As part of my commitment to make things right and get my business back on track, I’ve taken a leave of absence from my volunteer position as Vice President of the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA). I will resume the duties of my current term once things are properly moving forward.
I am putting together an update calender for every other Monday, beginning today and continuing until all pending rewards have been delivered. But I’ll warn you now that sometimes there won’t be much to say while we’re waiting on certain things like printing to complete or a draft of future material put together, but I’ll at least give a recap of what’s going on. I’ll close each post with the date of the next expected update.
Personal Communication: In my time away from Kickstarter my messages got really backed up and my work email is choked with spam. In the interest of making sure I can respond to future communications in a timely fashion, I’m declaring Email Bankruptcy. I’m going to set up an entirely new account specifically for communicating with crowfunding backers and will give you all that information in the next update in two weeks.
I messed up, you guys, and I’m sorry. But I’m going to fix things one step at a time, and keep you updated once every two weeks until we’re done.
Next Update: January 18, 2016