Two New Rewards!
Hello, Ninth World Kickstarter backers—
Charles here; I’m the one who generally writes these updates for you. Today, however, you’re mostly going to hear from Shanna. Why? Because she’s the one who’s done the heavy lifting on both of the rewards we’re delivering to you today!
Before I hand the baton to Shanna, though, here’s a quick update on other rewards in the works:
- Do you like what you see? Fantastic artwork there by Christopher Burdett and Sam Cullum. Into the Deep has just passed from the layout phase and into proofing. It goes to press in just a few weeks, perfectly on schedule for its May street date. We’re really pleased with this book—it’s a beauty, and we think you’ll really like where it takes your Numenera campaign.
- The Artifact Deck has just entered the layout phase. Because it has a much shorter print turnaround, we expect to deliver this one ahead of Into the Deep—by the end of March.
- We start writing on Into the Outside and Character Options 2 over the next couple of months!
Achievement Unlocked—Times Two
Today we’re delivering two of the rewards you unlocked through the campaign’s social media achievements. The first: Numenera gear! The actual item you unlocked was “a series of T-shirts available through a third-party vendor,” but we might have taken it a bit further. Here’s Shanna:
Back when we were running this Kickstarter, we thought that opening a t-shirt store would be one of the easiest rewards to fulfill: come up with some cool shirt designs, print cool shirts, and offer cool shirts to all of you! (Plus, selfishly, the MCG team really wanted Numenera t-shirts, so it was just a great excuse to do something that we were already pining for).
However, it didn't turn out to be quite so easy. Whenever we're making decisions behind the scenes, on ANY product, the first and most important question we ask is, "is this the level of quality that we'd be proud to put our name on?" If the answer is no (or even a "um...maybe?"), then we start over.
We did our research and scouted out what people recommended as the top places to get cool-looking t-shirts online. Then Bear made up some shirt designs, and we ordered some sample shirts… A LOT of sample shirts.
As they arrived, we looked at the make and feel of the shirt: soft? comfortable? true to size?
Then we looked at the print job: were the colors off? was the image stretched? were the details clear?
Then we washed and dried the shirts a whole bunch: did they shrink? did the printing wear off?
In the end, very few of the shirts we ordered made it through our quality control check unscathed. The most common failure was that the printing just wasn't as beautiful as we wanted it to be. Other shirts were uncomfortable, didn't fit right, or didn't last the through multiple washer/dryer trials.
But there was one clear winner in the end, and that was Red Bubble. The shirts were soft and high quality and the printing was crisp and clean. There was also a lot of variety--great unisex and women's sizes, as well as long and short sleeve options. So then we went a little bit crazy—we test-printed leggings, coffee cups, laptop sleeves, phone cases, and more. And the quality continued to make us very, very happy.
So with all of that, we are excited and proud to present the Numenera Gear Store. We hope you love these as much as we do. Please send us photos of you showing your Numenera love out in the world—or bring your goodies to Gen Con (or another convention we're at) and we'll be happy to sign them for you!
Who Wants a Little Fiction?
In addition to Numenera gear, Shanna has also been hard at work on The Poison Eater. (All that on top of her primary duties—writing MCG products and keeping the plates spinning on our production schedule.) Here’s what Shanna has to say about the first official Numenera novel:
Those of you who know me even a little bit, know that I have a lot of loves: games, dogs, good food, good people, great stories. But probably my biggest love is writing fiction. It’s the work that makes my heart sing, the work that makes me feel most alive. So writing a novel set in the world of Numenera is just the best-of-the-best for me.
As a reminder of what The Poison Eater is about, here’s the quick plot summary:
Poison never lies.
Talia was once one of the Twelve Martyrs of the Forgotten Compass. She barely escaped that life with her body and soul intact.
Now she has a new life as a poison eater in the city of Enthait. Here she is hailed as one of the city's protectors. No one knows her history. No one has asked about her past. She’s been here so long that Enthait is her home now, these are her people. She loves them and they her.
But in the Ninth World, the past is a living, breathing thing. And when it hunts you down, you can run. You can fight. Or you can die.
The Poison Eater is a story that is deeply immersed in the Ninth World. Along the way, you’ll encounter places, creatures, and numenera that you recognize, as well as a lot of weird stuff that will be entirely new. Talia, the main character, will be your guide through the dangers and delights of the Ninth World.
I say all of that as though the novel is complete, and of course it’s not yet. I’m an organic writer (a process I do not recommend, by the way); I don’t start a novel on page one and write it chapter by chapter. And so I’m always tweaking and changing things as I go, making them better, upping the stakes, breaking more hearts, kicking more ass.
This first chapter will likely change a bit by the time I finish writing the rest of the book (this is just a rough draft, after all), but I’m happy with how it’s coming along so far. I hope will be too.
The sample is now ready for you to read! You can download it here.
Finwa, Poison Eaters.
Hope to See You at Gen Con
This week Tammie uploaded our official MCG events to Gen Con. We’re really excited about the lineup—we’re running roughly 110 games (with a few cool seminars in there as well). Last year we ran about 75 games, so this is a 50% increase. Of course, last year our games sold out within hours of event registration opening, and Gen Con listed them among the most chronically oversold events—so demand is still likely to be high.
It’s not too late to join the team. We have a great community of volunteer GMs at Gen Con—they have a fantastic time, and we treat our volunteers very well. If you’d like to get on board, you can find out more here.
Thanks again for supporting Into the Ninth World.