Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Project Update & First Introduction/Test Mission

It's been one of those strange weeks where I feel like I've gotten a whole lot done, but haven't had anything very presentable to show off. Here's one page at least. :)

So what have I been doing?

1) Finalizing the Book Layout

I've gone back and forth on which sections should go where, and be presented in what order, but I've finally worked it out completely (sans the required rules renumbering). With a few exceptions and additions, the rules will be laid out in a manner that's a mix of how 3rd and 5th Edition 40K were presented. Since that made the most sense organization-wise, and helps the game feel a bit more familiar despite its drastic differences.

I've also decided exactly what will, and won't be included in the first Alpha release.

2) Optimizing The Book Images

There were a lot of older sections that had images that were too high-resolution for their size on the page. iBooks Author is kind enough to re-size images automatically for iBook output (of course), but it doesn't bother when you're exporting PDFs. So imagine going through the book and loading every image into Photoshop to resize, and then saving them out, re-importing them into the book, and redoing every line/shadow/text-spacing tweak. Yawn.

I was also adjusting the exact degree of image compression per-image, until I tested the PDF export and discovered that IBA just re-compresses every picture anyway based on a good/better/best image setting. Oh well...

3) Working On The Faction Intro-Images

The Colseran image is just a stock image run through a filter, so while it works well, I didn't feel like it was worth putting up by itself. I'm still working on the Genii image, as it needs something more to convey the creepy servant robot mouthpiece thing. Obviously the one with the mask is the one a Colseran will ask for stuff, but it needs some robes or something else too. I'm thinking the crotch needs covering. :)

I've also been scouring the stock art sites for good images to portray the Republic, the Turids, and to finish off the whacked-out Republic creation myth that begins the book. I have pretty much everything I need now, but it has to be edited and put together.

4) Outlining, Outlining, & More Outlining...

As far has the turn rules go, the only major thing left to do is to write up the Turn Introduction, which is a page or two.

As I've been working on other things I've been dropping notes for additional rules here and there. I'll incorporate those once I'm done working out the mission chapter.

I've got various degrees of outlines done for 7 rules sections that won't appear in the first Alpha release, including Psychology, Vehicles, Technomancy, and Off-Table support. I'm trying not to waste too much time on these just yet, but if I get a cool idea I throw it in the appropriate section as a note.

"Special Unit Rules" has a place now after Vehicles, but before Off-Table support. I've taken a first pass at formalizing them, but am waiting to see if I think of anything else that's needed.

5) Where I'm Focusing Right Now...

I'm currently working on the mission rules. Writing up the Intro/Test mission was easy enough, but I'm still deciding what needs to go along with that. I'm not intending to fully write up any of the planned missions (see links at right) yet, but it looks like I need to at least outline them so that I can get a grasp of what rules should be defined in a common manner, instead of per-mission.

So Here's My Alpha To-Do List (in no particular order):

  1. Write up the Turn Introduction
  2. Finish up the Special Unit Rules Section
  3. New Section: "Choosing Your Forces"
  4. New Section: "Preparing The Battlefield"
  5. Finish Up Missions (Intro, Common Rules, The Above Test Mission)
  6. New Section (or maybe not) on "Special Mission Rules"
  7. Intro full-page portraits for all 6 factions (2.5 done so far).
  8. Final pass on per-Faction fluff, plus some teaser design notes for each.
  9. A small selection of starter-units for the Republic & Fallen.
  10. Incorporation of small rules changes/additions to turn rules.

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