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Grab your EDF laser rifle! The critically acclaimed Dawning Star setting gets a total relaunch, using the Fate Core system.
884 backers pledged $28,138 to help bring this project to life.

When We Said "April"...

Posted by Justin D. Jacobson (Creator)

... we meant on the Eotian calendar. Kidding, of course, and I don't mean to make light of our delay. The fact is, we are experiencing a delay, and I wanted to make sure you were updated. Here's where we're at:

I'm not normally one for excuses or for talking about personal issues. However, you have entrusted me with your faith and, more specifically, your money. I have had some serious back problems over the past several months. Ultimately, I had an MRI, which revealed significant damage, including four herniated discs, with nerve impingement, resulting in numbness and radiating pain. The upshot of this is that, for a time, I had near constant pain, affecting my ability to concentrate, sit for long periods of time, or stand for even more than a few minutes. I have also had many doctor appointments and regular physical therapy sessions. I have since had an epidural, which has lessened by not eliminated these symptoms. Importantly, it has not resolved the underlying issue. I am now scheduled for surgery on June 4th. As you might imagine, this is significant surgery, which will require extensive rehab. Gen Con remains a 50/50 proposition. Candidly, I was in denial about the significance of these issues and allowed myself to become the obstacle to a lot of the development on the book. Even relatively minor duties were delayed.

I have since gotten a handle on my current situation, and our development process is back on track. On the plus side, I will likely have some free time during recuperation that can best be spent working on things on the computer. Most importantly, I am making arrangements to turn over most of my duties to the rest of the design team.

Where are we now? The principal setting material is basically done, with just a few more tweaks needed. This is where most of the new material comes from and likewise required most of the initial creative effort. It is going through the editing process as we speak and will then go to Danilo for layout. We are now working hard on the mechanical side of things, including chargen, tech, and xenomorphs sections. Although some of this is a simple conversion, we are also adding new content given our expanded page count. We have also taken note of some of the amazing new Fate releases, such as Mindjammer, Atomic Robo, and Jadepunk. We want an opportunity to absorb and assimilate those bits of new tech we feel will be a good fit for Dawning Star.

To that end, we have also decided to do some limited playtesting of some of these new mechanics. We are not ready to release the pdf to all of the backers. We want to get it into better shape before that. If you are willing and able to do some playtesting for us in the very short-term, please fill out our playtest application. We do not want to run a large playtest at this time, and we will give priority to backers.

In the meantime, I thought you would enjoy a look at some of Danilo's concept art for the iakali that arrived on Eos aboard the Evergreen/Utyi:

The first race to join humans on the Utyi, the iakali are a large crustacean-like race that live in aquatic sectors of the ship. They are not technologically advanced, but are eager to learn and are physically strong. Most work in the kelp pods or the hydroponics bays, but some do heavy labor in the manufactories. The iakali display little interest in accumulation of wealth or resources and are well liked by most on the ship. The iakali are thought to have once been a client species of the Star Confederation.

Going forward, I will post more regular updates and make sure you are aware of our progress. Thank you for your continued patience. We know it will be rewarded with a truly amazing book in the end. As always, if you have questions, let me know.


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    1. Jackson Starky on

      What Michael Pedersen said. I just got back from a week on vacation, during which time I did not touch a computer (or any other device) with an Internet connection. Anyway, to reiterate Michael's points:
      - Get well soon.
      - Post here at least once a week so we know you're alive and on the mend.
      - When recovery has been achieved, worry about the game.

      I've had my own health issues of various descriptions over the past year (and all of my life, for that matter), so I know that of which I speak. Healing takes time, and it also takes focus if it's to be done well.

    2. FatPob

      cheers for the update, good luck with the surgery, and consider that it is likely routine (to the doctors) and you will be bouncing off walls in no time. See you on the other side

    3. Noe Ridgway on

      No worries, man. Health comes first.

    4. Missing avatar

      Matteo Signorini

      Try to get well soon.

    5. Michael Pedersen on

      I'll echo what's written below: Get well first.

      While we all might want to get our hands on this product, it's still just a game. Your health isn't. Get well.

      The closest I'll come to a demand is this: Every so often, just post a comment to us on the comments here, so we know you're still around and (hopefully) getting better.

      That's all I'll ask of you. Once you're better, make the game happen.

    6. Missing avatar

      stephen.esdale on

      I echo the sympathies expressed about your health. Also, having seen the awesome Mindjammer and Jadepunk RPG's, I for one am for one quite content that Dawning Star intends to benefit from their design choices. Makes me feel even better about the final product.

    7. Reise, Reise

      Good luck with your medical issues and I hope your recovery proceeds quick enough! I have no problem waiting longer for this because you are communicating with us.

    8. Eric Magnuson

      Stay positive and get well soon.

    9. Justin D. Jacobson Creator

      Thank you for the kind words. We do intend to submit the pdf to all backers as soon as it is done for a proofing/beta period before we go to print. You shouldn't feel like you need to apply to playtest just to get a sneak peek at the book.

    10. Panagiotis Grigorakakis on

      I have had serious problems with my back for years, so I know what that pain can feel like. Don't rush yourself buddy. The book can wait as much as you need. Lots of wishes for a smooth surgery and a quick recovery.

    11. Jonathan Dibblee on

      I submitted an app, and have some playteating experienxe with tabletops. I hope everything goes well, sorry for your health.

    12. Jens Reineking on

      Do what it takes to become healthy and fit again. As much as I'm looking forward to the game, it is not worth ruining someone's health for.

    13. Missing avatar


      Thanks for the update, Justin! I'm content to wait as long as it takes, and I hope playtesting goes well. I'd volunteer, but don't think I'd have a chance to actually run the game in the short term. If you do another round for more general playtesting/proofreading, I'd be happy to help then.

    14. James Cartwright on

      Sorry to hear about the problems you've had, hope things get better soon, glad to have an update.