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Explore and survive as a primitive mutant on a derelict starship using all-new rules as the very first tabletop scifi RPG returns.
Explore and survive as a primitive mutant on a derelict starship using all-new rules as the very first tabletop scifi RPG returns.
447 backers pledged $18,545 to help bring this project to life.

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New Year, Fresh Start

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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.

Jensen E. Chambers
Jensen E. Chambers

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.

TL;DR Version

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

Bonus Content & Moving Forward

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Morning everyone!

I'm caught up on all the requests I'm aware of from backers who were missing their download codes for the core book. If you haven't seen your link/code by email, please leave a comment below and I'll get it to you manually. Just a few quick pieces of business!

Bonus (Free!) Content

I've updated the playtest/demo characters to our current format. They can be printed out to jump into a game quickly—including the great ink illustrations by lead artist Lindsay Archer! We've also got a printable blank character sheet handy for you as well. Just click >> here << to see our bonus content page. I'll be adding to it in the coming weeks to include some extra stuff that wasn't included in the final cut of the core book.

Moving Forward

The digital edition is just the beginning. I'm getting updated quotes from the printers that bid on the job previously, plus I'm speaking to a few new companies based on the recommendations of colleagues. I'm also exploring a change in warehousing/fulfillment options for Signal Fire Studios products in general, and I've got to make those final determinations before I lock in a print contract.

There are a few small pieces of errata I've made note of already, and I'm going to come up with an easy way you all can participate if you spot something you believe needs correcting and would like to help out. We want the print version of the book to be as sharp as possible!

I've begun more brainstorming on the full-length adventure I will be writing for backers (and digital sale) and have a few ideas that would be fun to explore in Metamorphosis Alpha. In addition, I've had a few early conversations about the upcoming Starship Warden sourcebook, and soon I'm going to solicit a wish-list from all of you for just what you'd like to see in the book. If you'd like to participate in the process give a little thought on what content would be in an ideal companion to the core game. (Note: All backers at $10 or higher will get the digital version of these products completely for free.)

I'll give everyone a solid update on what's going on after Comic-Con in San Diego, where we'll be showing off a preview of the RPG along with our book and card game products. Thanks again to you all for making it possible for us to continue our adventures in game publishing!

DriveThruRPG Comp Copies

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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Backer Exclusive PDF Download

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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Backer-Exclusive Final Version!

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Folks,

I'm very excited this evening to offer the backer-exclusive final(ish) version of the Metamorphosis Alpha RPG!

(Yes, the above image is just a Photoshop mockup of a hardcover version of the book, but it's meant to whet our appetite for what's coming next!)

All backers set to receive a digital copy of this book will be included on an update with a link to the PDF file. This includes the most recent tweaks to the book, the Table of Contents, the Index, and the Backer Acknowledgement page based on everyone who had completed their backer survey as of 4:00 PM EDT today.

So What's Next?

You folks will enjoy exclusivity with the eBook version through this coming weekend. On Monday, June 15th, the eBook version will go live on DriveThruRPG.com and other venues. Everyone will immediately be sent download codes for DriveThruRPG to get free access to that version of the book. As to what will be different and why:

  • It will include any tiny changes (typo corrections, etc.) that I make between now and then.
  • It will include a PDF table of contents and the internal hyperlinks (from the TOC and index to the matching page numbers), plus the page numbers will be adjusted so the front and back cover doesn't jack up the match to the written page numbers.
  • Anytime I update the files there you'll be notified and have the option to easily download the updated version.

Then What?!

Once the digital version is off to the world I will take a deep breath and make final plans to get the softcover, perfect-bound version printed. I have quotes from a few printers I've worked with in the past but a few new conversations have opened up in the past month and I want to provide everyone a high-quality book for a fair price. Also, as we move forward toward the printed version we'll also begin to look at the additional rewards and stretch goals. We're not done by a long shot!

A Note of Thanks

I'm grateful for all the backers who supported this project, but I'd like to specifically thank everyone who has been supportive of me in public and private as I've pushed to complete this game. It's been discouraging, sometimes, when some have been so upset by delays as to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, or call for my resignation from a volunteer position I hold with a nonprofit organization, that the notes of encouragement or kindness have really made a difference and helped me rediscover the joy again in making games. I'll do my best to justify the love and take every lesson learned along the way into the all the followup on this project and into those that are coming next. You know who you are, and you are awesome.

So ... ?

If you're a backer of the appropriate level, you'll see the download link on the update coming up next!