new horizons Archive

  • State of the HatSo one thing that chrishanrahan tells me that folks kept asking at the recent Endgame Minicon was

    State of the Hat

    State of the Hat

    So one thing that [info]chrishanrahan tells me that folks kept asking at the recent Endgame Minicon was "So how many books are Evil Hat going to put out before they put out the Dresden Files RPG?"

    The answer to such a question is complicated, and in parts, vague. If you've listened to the That's How We Roll podcast where we held an internal Evil Hat roundtable, some elements of that question have already been answered (though to be frank, how much, I can't remember).

    In the interests of getting as much of this spelled out as possible, I present this State of the Hat post.

    Here's a quick breakdown of what we've got on deck at Evil Hat in the near and not so near future. Some of these may die on the vine, but I'm sure hopeful they don't.

    The Dresden Files RPG

    The Dresden Files RPG is currently in "bleeding alpha" playtest. This is where we put parts of the system in front of some fairly understanding, vocal, proven Evil Hat supporting people and ask them to rip the thing up, look inside the factory and see how the sausage gets made, and tell us where things are just plain broken. We started assembling this group of "bleeders" at the beginning of the year, mid-January.

    Over the course of February, we incrementally staged out the system pieces and other drafted bits of writing for them to take in, one piece at a time. As of today, the mailing list we've been using to interact with our bleeders has over 400 messages on it, just to give you an idea of the level of activity going on. The last file -- with spellcasting in it -- got given to them in the first week of March, and the official four-to-six-week "get your playtesting done and your feedback in" clock started on approximately March 10th. This means the soft deadline for the bleeding round of playtesting is April 7th, with the harder one coming two weeks later on April 21st.

    That's when things start to get a little vague, date-wise.

    From there on out, I'm anticipating, at minimum, these following phases of activity (semi-linearly in their presentation):
    • Post-bleeder revision pass on core materials
    • Selection and establishment of Main Sequence Alpha Playtest crew
    • Main Sequence Alpha Playtest (4-ish weeks).
    • Post-alpha revision pass on more materials
    • First draft on as-yet unwritten portions that depended on ratification of the twice-gone-over core
    • Selection and establishment of Beta Playest Round One
    • Revisions as necessary
    • Lather-rinse-repeat with additional beta or gamma rounds as needed
    • Completion of edits
    • Completion of art acquisition
    • Completion of layout
    • Print quotes
    • Proof review and acceptance
    • Print run
    • Launch strategy
    • Launch
    D'you want to ascribe a firm date on the basis of so many variables? I sure don't. So I haven't. :)

    Resources tied to this project: Primary resources tied to this project are Leonard Balsera and Chad Underkoffler on system design and writing, Amanda Valentine as managing editor, and myself as layout, print production, marketing, playtest group wrangling, etc.

    Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies

    This is Chad Underkoffler's next PDQ game, using an expanded (and slightly crunchier -- or at least fiddlier) version of PDQ called PDQ# aka "PDQ Sharp" focused on delivering strong swashbuckling action. It has gone through two full rounds of playtesting as well as a few convention playtests, and is looking like it's going to need a gamma playtest round at minimum before really getting to the point of moving on.

    The playtesting has gone well, but it's definitely revealed a number of places where the system and setting wants rewrites, so the timeframe on this is not super definite. Look at the Dresden Files RPG timeframe above, drop the first several steps, and simplify it a little, and you'll have a sense of what the expected phases of development yet to go on this one are like.

    Resources tied to this project: Chad Underkoffler on writing, playtest group wrangling, etc; myself on layout, print production, etc.

    Spirit of the Season

    This was an upgrade of a free giveaway project that Chad Underkoffler, Christian N. St. Pierre, and I banged out real quick back in November as a holiday giveaway. With some help from Daniel Perez from Highmoon Media, we expanded it, added some new system bells & whistles, new characters, etc, and it's now in preorder, with a current estimated number of preorders around 70.

    Resources tied to this project: At this point, just me, finishing out print production and marketing and the rest of my usual day to day Evil Hattage.

    Spirit of the [Encrypted]

    This is a project getting developed in partnership with another company. I can't say more yet, so you'll just have to suffer! This may end up as a PDF only thing at the end, but I think a few folks out there may like it.

    Resources tied to this project: [Encrypted] is doing the writing, and [Encrypted] is doing the layout. I'm consulting on the Spirit of the Century specific portion of things, providing half of the capital, and other "post-production support" elements once it's done.

    New Horizons

    This is the "take the prejudices of the time period head-on and turn them into engines for driving story" supplement for Spirit of the Century to be written by Bruce Baugh. Timeframe highly undefined as it's one of those "when Bruce has the time and energy to do so" projects. It'll happen when/if it happens.

    Resources tied to this project: Bruce Baugh on writing, Brand Robins on editing, myself on that other stuff.

    Don't Lose Your Mind

    This will be the first supplement for Don't Rest Your Head, and will delve deep into the nature of madness talents and making the most of insanity in the Mad City. Benjamin Baugh of Arc Dream's Monsters and Other Childish Things is point man on this project.

    Resources tied to this project: Ben on writing; Ryan Macklin on editing; George Cotronis on art; myself on system finalization, layout, print production, etc, etc.

    The Dinocalypse Trilogy

    Details to be determined. This is next on Benjamin Baugh's plate once he's done with Don't Lose Your Mind (above). A set of adventures (and support of campaign-style play) for Spirit of the Century.

    Resources tied to this project: Ben Baugh on writing, others TBD.

    Shadow of the Century

    A "sequel" to Spirit of the Century set in 1984. Details TBD.

    Resources tied to this project: Ben Baugh as lead writer, others TBD.

    Fate 3.0

    This is what diehard Fate fans have been waiting for -- a full-bore update of the Fate 2.0 core engine, without setting specific implementations like Spirit of the Century and the Dresden Files RPG wrapepd around it. We'll use our tried & true method of heavy examples, lots of plug & play out of the box modules for building the Fate game of your choice, and so on, just like Fate 2.0 did.

    Resources tied to this project: Leonard Balsera will be lead author, with Rob Donoghue and myself, at minimum, pitching in with additional material. Other resources TBD.

    Escape or Die!

    This is my convention game, the one I take to Dreamation and Dexcon and (so far) run in midnight slots. I don't know how full on of a publication I'll end up making out of it, but I think there are some interesting ideas here and I'm eager to see it come out even as a thin pamphlet or electronic download.

    Resources tied to this project: All me right now, though Russell Collins is doing some audio work for a value-added portion of the product.

    Faith and Credit

    This is the name given to a Rob Donoghue lead project that I'm not going to get into the details of. This is still in the early research phase; there's a lot of background material to be taken in, and that's all squarely on Rob D's shoulders right now (and he's loving it).

    Resources tied to this project: Rob Donoghue, myself, others TBD.

    Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple

    This is Daniel Solis' game project which he posts about voluminously on his own livejournal. Definitely one of those "done when it's done" projects. Daniel's going to be doing pretty much everything prior to getting it to a print-house to be printed (save for things which he asks us to do); Evil Hat takes it up from there and runs with it.

    Resources tied to this project: Daniel Solis, myself, others TBD.

    Other Stuff

    I'm sure there's other stuff that we've got going on that I've completely forogtten to mention, or which is solely in the "idea phase" and not something I'm ready to mention. We'll see where those go.

    What I hope is discernable from the above is that while we've got a lot planned out, the stuff that's currently getting generated "before the Dresden Files RPG comes out" is stuff that's getting worked on primarily by people who have at most one other project on their plate -- for Chad, for example, he does time-trading between DFRPG and S7S, but in a way that hasn't really caused either project to suffer. And while Lenny's chomping at the bit to work on Fate 3.0, the Dresden Files RPG is his first and, currently, only active priority. Me, I'm split all over everything, but that's intentional; these days I'm much more effective for Evil Hat by doing the final run from layout to sales, and much more of a speedbump if long, focused, dedicated writing is on my shoulders. So that's been delegated.

    If you have any questions, please reply here on my livejournal, and I'll answer them to the best of my ability.

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  • bruceb is blogging about New Horizons, his Spirit of the Century take-prejudice-on-the-nose supplement you may have heard about some time back, now that we've gotten an outline assembled and approved for the project.  It's worth keeping an eye on.

    Bruce Baugh’s Spirit of the Century Project

    [info]bruceb is blogging about New Horizons, his Spirit of the Century take-prejudice-on-the-nose supplement you may have heard about some time back, now that we've gotten an outline assembled and approved for the project. It's worth keeping an eye on.

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  • Prompted by this post am reminded I should make sure folks know that Bruce Baugh's

    New Horizons & Spirit of the Century: I am reminded

    Prompted by this post

    I am reminded I should make sure folks know that Bruce Baugh's "New Horizons" project for Spirit of the Century is in fact still "live" -- but as I said downthread from the above post, it's very much a "as time is available" project for Bruce, and so it'll still be a bit until we see some of what's in store. It's been six months since I last posted something with the "new horizons" tag on this livejournal, so I feel I've been remiss in at least making sure the visibility on this project remains active.

    I've also been talking with some other folks about possible Spirit of the Century supplements, but those are still sufficiently early in their concepts that it's not something I want to talk about in detail just yet.

    If anyone has any questions about the future trajectory of Evil Hat in general or Spirit of the Century in specific, or anything else -- please don't hesitate to drop us a line via the feedback form on our site, or in the comments on this livejournal.

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