â€œA ruthless band of mercenaries has been hired to change the future, but Time Hunter Thyrgion will have none of it! Join forces with a Time Hunter to prevent these time meddlers from changing the flow of time!â€
I have jumped onto an online cource, creating an RPG product from scratch to publishing in just 30 days!
This seems like an excellent thing to put up here for you all to follow, its always good to keep oneself accountable to others to make sure you do the stuff you plan for!
So here i will try and put up some snippets and blurps and progress reports from this exciting Quest!
The Bootcamp project cource can be found at http://www.gamer-lifestyle.com/rpg-product-bootcamp/. It is closed for enrollment this time around, but there is a link for signing up for the next cource. I should mention the cource is a paid cource.
The final product can be purchased for $1.00 here: Galens Gamble
BootCamp Project: The idea
There i was, 30 days deadline needing to pick a product idea to start from scratch!
What was i going to do? I needed a spark and suddenly it hit me how blind i had been, i had it infront of me the whole time! Speaking of time, thats what hit me, Time Hunters. I had just finished formatting the ebook Time Hunters first draft. Why not, i thought, create an adventure that features a Time Hunter so we got something to use the source book for!
So that was the idea, an adventure featuring Time Hunters! That was the seed i decided to nourish and cultivate into a blossoming Bootcamp project!
BootCamp Project: Planning
So I had my idea in hand and I know approximately how fast i type, so settled on a goal for my page number. I wont get into the boring details but i cut down abit on my initial calculations, because i did not want too big a goal. If i had some overflow i could always decide if it could go in or get cut. I like working with goals that are not challenging reality too much, because it gives me a feeling of success each time i accomplish a goal, which in turn keeps the momentum flowing better.
I decided to put aside 30 mins each day for writing and i needed to do this in the evenings because from 6 am to 7.30 am i am writing on the Shadow Council.
BootCamp Project: Product structure
Creating a TOC (Table of contents) was helpful, got the juices flowing and created a framework for my inspiration. I found that even with a rough general idea it was difficult to flesh it out in segments on the spot, usually my way of developing adventures for my gaming Group involves an idea fermenting for awhile in my mind and then as i jot it down it mutates. Working with deadlines and allotted time as we do in the Bootcamp, this puts me on the spot, but thats where Johnn advices to steam on and come back after first draft to edit. So onwards to the breaches!
I landed on 6 chapters, I initially put them as encounters but the way i write is more chapters of prose/explanation than your typical tactical encounter overview. So i got 6 chapters headlined and fleshed out with some subheadlines for what i want to happen in a given chapter. I also decided on putting in a flowchart overview of the adventure at the front of the book, so GMs can look at that page and get an idea of what will happen.
I decided that i will descripe npcs, locations etc in more detail in an appendix, as well as put in some maps and maybe monsters.
BootCamp Project: New Title
The working title of the product was Galens Black Star, but having let the story run its own cource during my writing Grind i have opted to change the title to Galens Gamble. I feel that it is a better reflection of the story.
BootCamp Project: Monster
I finished writing up my first draft of a monster to accompany Galens warband, it turned out to become much closer to an actual npc due to it being a demon. I gave it some quirks and Desires and added a few hooks for future use after the adventure if it survives.
I have my cover, my utility pages (legal, credits, thank yous etc) and the page to contain a TOC. On top of that I have now completed my first draft of the product as well, ready for editing. But editing is a big hurdle for me, even getting started is a challenge.
For some reason i have difficulty going over stuff i have written more than once, its the repitition of it all that gets to my motivation. However it must be done and i do not have the cash to pay for it, so… 😉
For my Gork Stuff #4 i wanted to showcase one of the major npc’s of Galens Gamble, the assassin Black Star. I also wanted to add an illustration for her, i even found a perfect one but the artist never responded back. So i asked a friend ‘downunder’ who started MysDesignHair if i could use one of her pictures and ran it through some Photo filters and added a Black star to her cheek. I am very happy with the result, the Photo is actually from a contest that she won.
The editing is the toughest grind for me yet, my initial story outline proved (in my mind) to be too weak and railroaded. Doing this systemless gives me the oppertunity to not lose focus on story due to stat Blocks and rules. Which also has the added sideeffect of possibly overthinking Things. Huge chunks have been completely re-written and story line re-shaped to fit better together, hopefully.
Typography & Scribus
Finally deciding that i’m done editing and re-writing, the project has now moved onto design/layout/typography. So I have tried to educate myself abit on those topics, a really good place for me to start was MB’s practical typography webbook Butterick’s Practical Typography and i also purchased a used copy of the Non-designers design book. All alongside learning to use the Scribus software.
So i’m now knee deep in laying out Galens Gamble in Scribus trying to apply all the rules of typography i can remember. It has taken me a year so far to create this book much more difficult than i had anticipated and i suspect i’ll revisit it at a later time and refurbish it. But i want it to be completed now and I am now at the appendix, this is a part of the book i have not really written or edited so there’s some debate going on in my head with the elements here. What to include what not to include, here i’m considering including the Time Hunter class as well as NPC profiles (still no system stats though).
I have also been giving artwork some thought, so far it’s all free, my own work and one single free contribution to my photoshop by an Aussie friend. I even looked at heromachine and got the approval to use images created here for free in my works. Free is important to me as i want Tiny Gork to support itself after my initial investments in the gamerslifestyle cource, domain and hosted server for the blog along with a few books.
First off, Galens Gamble is now a finished PDF, YAY!
I am glad that i was persistent and now have a finished product.
The appendix grew fast, I decided to put all npc and organisation information in the appendix and along with that i decided to put 3 pages of Class information on the Time Hunter. So that you don’t need to purchase the Time Hunters book to use the NPC that needs help, but if you want more details on what the Time Hunter organisation is. The appendix turned out to be 15 pages and the adventure itself 13 pages, onto that are the statis pages such as “also by tinygork” and “contact information” and such and i also added an introduction with my thoughts on the Bootcamp in general and a chapter that provides you with an overview of the story and chapters content. To complement this “overview” idea I finally managed to create a flowchart that attempts to show how i imagine the adventure to go.
Another thing that went into the Appendix is a short introduction to a demon worshipping cult “the order of the rotten diamond” just to give you an idea to extrapolate on. One of the things i intended with the Bootcamp was to leave lots of open ends for GMs to work with, my whole premise is creating stuff you can make your own. Seeing as the whole thing is systemless GMs already have to create their own stats so i thought that loose ends would help as an inspiration to GMs for making it fit into their own stuff or build upon it.
Along with the flowchart i also managed to create alittle more artwork myself. Now i have an emblem for the Crimson Orchids which the assassin girl Black Star used to belong to and the Howlers got a tattoo as well.
So with the appendix, flowchart and last artwork finally done and the mandatory static pages inserted the PDF was ready, next was the marketing side of things.
I had planned for 21-22 pages and instead have 40 pages, i also had alot more content than anticipated so i felt that my initial pricetag was a little underwhelming. Along with that it would not really allow me to give discounts and i had planned on giving my Gorks on the newsletter a special discount. I reached out to the BootCamp cource instructor Johnn Four and had a little chat with him, showed him the book and so forth. Soon i had a plan lined up, a price tag, a newsletter discount along with ideas of a bundle with the Time Hunter book and even created a small survey about the Galens Gamble book which customers can take and in return get a free copy of the Time Hunters sourcebook.
The newsletter discount has already been sent out to the subscribers 🙂
I am also hoping to get some feedback from the Gamerlifestyle community which is the foundation on which www.tinygork.com was built.
So now the BootCamp – Galens Gamble short story adventure is ready for launch and will be available soon on DrivethruRPG!
Next entry will be a wrapup with my thoughts looking back in the hindsight mirror…. to be continued.