|I really like the rough layout version - it looks like something drawn at the gaming table|
The following is Alex Macris's update for Dwimmermout from earlier tonight. If you don't know who Alex is and what kind of cred he has, it will be explained below. I've run ACKS, and even though I'm not running it now, there is a bunch of stuff from it that I've
Hello, everyone! This is Alex Macris writing today's update. If you read Tavis's last update, you know I'm now actively working on Dwimmermount.
Who Am I?
I had a somewhat painful realization (by way of Tenkar's Tavern) that many of you don't know who I am, having never backed any other Autarch products or visited our forums. A short introduction seems in order.
I'm the co-founder of Autarch and lead designer of its all internal products - Adventurer Conqueror King System, Player's Companion, and Domains at War, as well as the upcoming Lairs & Encounters and Auran Empire Campaign Setting. Over the past 2.5 years I've written over 500,000 words of old-school D&D-style content for Autarch. I've also been intimately involved in Dwimmermount since the beginning, having been the one who first wrote James about publishing his dungeon, before handing it over to Tavis. Since the design portion of my last project, Domains at War, is complete, it has freed up time for me to work on Dwimmermount and I will be carrying the development and editing through to completion.
What Work Am I Doing?
I am going through each chapter and appendix of the book and finishing what is called in industry parlance "development" (as compared to "design"). This is the process of fleshing out ideas that the original designer left incomplete, reviewing the material for inconsistencies or imbalances (and correcting them where they occur), and polishing the draft.
Whereas Tavis and the team had previously focused on developing the material surrounding the dungeon, I have begun with a focus on the dungeon itself. At present I am completing development of one dungeon level every two days, to date including The Path of Mavors, The Laboratory, The Reliquary, The Hall of Portals, and The Reservoir. I see no reason that this pace will not be sustainable, so I anticipate having all the dungeon levels developed on February 24th.
As each level is completed, it will be handed-off for proof-reading, then made available to you as word documents so that you can offer feedback in real-time to me about the decisions I've made. If for whatever reason I make a development decision that displeases the majority of the backers, please be assured I'll address it. Those of you who have worked with me on the other Autarch products know that I am willing to work very interactively with backers to make sure that expectations are met. (See the changes to the city mechanics in the original ACKS as an example).
What Comes After the Development of the Dungeon Levels?
Once all of the development work on the dungeon levels is complete, I will do final development on Dwimmermount's introductory chapters and appendices, to make sure that the material in the dungeon levels matches what's in those chapters. The chapters that I'll work on, and the duration I expect each to take, is noted below:
Chapter 1: Introduction (1/2 day)
Chapter 2: Setting of Dwimmermount (5 days)
Chapter 3: Adventuring in Dwimmermount (2 days)
Chapter 4: Vicinity of Dwimmermount (1/2 day)
Chapter 5: Muntburg (1/2 day)
Chapter 6: Overview of the Dungeon (2 days)
Chapter 7: Factions Within the Dungeon (2 days)
Chapters 8-20: Levels 0 - 9 (covered above)
Appendix A: New Magic Items (1/2 day)
Appendix B: New Spells (1/2 day)
Appendix C: New Monsters (1/2 day)
Appendix D: Rival Parties (1/2 day)
Appendix E: The Four Worlds (1/2 day)
Appendix F: Azoth (2 days)
Appendix G: Secrets of Turms Termax (5 days)
Appendix H: Tables (1/2 day)
Therefore it will take another 22 days. That would put completion at around March 18th. I know that I have personal and business travel coming up that will prevent me from working on this each day, so realistically I will push this back to March 30th. Each step of the way I'll be releasing the word documents so that you can see what's being done.
Once all of the development work is done, it will pass to the rest of the development team to lay it out and bring it to print. On every other product I've worked on, the writing got done before the art and maps were finished, but in this case the reverse is true and I expect a very quick turnaround. I will, however, leave it to those more expert in that side of the business to speak to the specific timeline when it gets closer.
That's all for now. Back to work for me.