When my publisher asked me how long it would take me to get the game ready for publishing, I told him it would take two months. That said, we hadn’t discussed the scope yet – from my previous conversations I’d thought we were going to have something like ten ship designs and five scenarios.
He gave me four months, for fifty ship designs and ten scenarios.
Like Silent Fury itself, that’s pretty ambitious. But our progress is looking good so far. I’m more thankful than ever that this is a two-man project – all fifty ships are now designed in our internal documents, and Nathan is working hard at cranking them all out amidst some last-minute ship sheet design changes.
Seven out of the ten scenarios and their associated fiction are written and I’m working on the other three over the next couple weeks. Once those are done, then it’s going to be lots of playtesting, and me writing a ton of ‘ship history’ entries for the ship book – we have just under two months left and to meet that deadline I’m going to be putting in a lot more of my free time than usual on this. There’s a huge difference between just working on the game at your own page and trying to get everything ready for the final product, and now that we’re in the home stretch I’m looking at both the immense amount of work I’ve already done and the amount of work I have ahead of me. Prior to publication there were two-month stretches where we basically didn’t do anything at all, but now there’s a mind-boggling amount of material that still needs doing.
The rulebook looms large in that ‘to do’ list. More blind playtesting and other feedback has shown me that the current organization of the rules just isn’t up to par for new players. It’s going to undergo a major reorganization effort to better arrange rules by topic so that all subjects are more naturally grouped together. And I still need to add niceties like a glossary and a table of contents (or my publisher does… those can’t be properly done until the document is laid out in book form. Even once I’m done with this mountain of work, I recognize that the publisher has a ton more to do on their end.).
But on the whole we’re going strong, and I remain confident in my delivery date. On August 1 I’ll be sending out a vast collection of Silent Fury material, and then someday soon I’m looking forward to holding a game box in my hands.