May Status Update

Wow, time passes when your nose is to the grindstone.

It’s Ryan again, posting up another project update. Everyone on the project is pretty hard at work, and while it’s hardly exciting to type “so, we’re still working!” it is exciting to be in that state. Fred’s been tweeting about working on the magic & spellcraft chapter, and Lenny & I have been pushing to revise the various chapters, incorporating playtester feedback. Amanda & Adam have been taking the drafts and working on them as fast as we can get them out. Overall, we’re working like a well-oiled machine.

In fact, we recently got to celebrate declaring some chapters as “layout ready.” I can’t get into specifics yet, and the chapters we’re revising will undergo pretty heavy scrutiny by everyone in development & editing before they’re considered also ready. But, I’m happy to see the results of our progress.

So, here’s where I get to share some news that might, at first glance, disappoint some people: we won’t be doing a public “beta” playtest. We feel like the two rounds of playtesting we got gave us much of what we need, and everything we have remaining to try out falls until what I call “spot playtesting,” which some of us are handling with local groups in order to see how those specific rules call out. Now, I know some of you were hoping to get into the beta, and this might be a bummer, but the cut & dry of this is: public playtesting adds months to a production schedule. If we don’t have to do that, why delay the book further?

Overall, we would rather get a quality finished product to everyone sooner than half-edited manuscript to a couple dozen people while everyone else waits.

(And before you comment or email with “So, when’s it coming out?” be patient. When we’re ready to announce that, you’ll see it here first.)

Also, progress on art! Check out some more fantastic Jennifer Rodgers work, this time a color version of Little Chicago (it’s not in its final state– she still has some additional detail work to do in the color & effects):

Little Chicago

That’s it for this update. The phrase we’ve been throwing around Team Dresden has been “light at the end of the tunnel.” We can see it – we’re not quite there yet, but seeing it has been a source of excitement and energy on this project.

– Ryan