Tuesday, February 2, 2016

RM Update #3

Hello all! Update time.

The Combat chapter is revised and sent off. I'm still working on the Materialism chapter, but the beta-text is revised to fit the newest iteration. I'm also fixing copy errors as I find them (thanks proofreaders!), but I'm probably creating as many new ones as I fix.

Deleting and changing stuff is easy; adding stuff slows the process down. New rules need testing, of course, but increasingly less so as the process goes on and you learn the quirks of your own system. The difficult part is working those new rules into the larger outline: do they fit best under another heading or require their own section. If it's the latter, where does that section fit in the order? How does it fit into the hierarchy of importance that a style guide locks you into?

A lot of my writing time went into rules for selling excess gear (a ubiquitous demand from playtesters) and completely rewriting the rules for Haul and Refresh. I also had to add a section on Weird Damage (suffocation, falling, etc) to Combat before I sent it off. That was strange to write; I'm not sure I've ever used such rules, as written, in any system I've ever run. The stakes are always so high when rules like that come into play, and they're such outliers that stuff like poison damage is always hard to find. I usually just make something up to keep the game moving. I certainly hope players of Red Markets do the same, but you can't put yourself in the book to run games for everyone that buys it. Some folks want a deeper investment in system mastery, I suppose, and the game is crunchy enough to justify it.

I've still got to add in vehicle rules, but that's taking longer than expected. The section needs to be short, but it also can't integrate entirely into the rest of the gear list like I'd initially hoped. That means writing a separate set of conditions for vehicles altogether, but one short enough to prevent a chapter that's already the largest in the book from becoming unwieldy. Couple these concerns with the fact that I've never read a set of vehicle rules I actually liked, and it makes for slow going.

If you're wondering what this struggle looks like, imagine me typing angrily while repeating "I will not remake Autoduel. I will not remake Autoduel. I will not remake Autoduel..."

I'm also busy with the usual logistical stuff: art direction (though a minimum because my artists are on point), licensing, pricing, playtesting, promotion, etc. At the pace I'm going, we'll make the current schedule, but it's going to be a grind. It always is, I guess, but there comes a point where you realize exactly how much is left to do. You feel it in very human terms -- hours spent alone without friends or family, invitations turned down, bleary eyes burned by computer screens, the feeling of looking at your words and hating them -- and that's the point I imagine most people stop. It's a crushing realization, and I'm glad I had it before on other projects. It's easier to overcome once you know you can overcome it.

So that's where we're at. Once the current chapter is done, I'll move to the top of the book and start marching revisions down the page. Then I need to get a website cooking and ready to go once we get some graphic design elements to establish a look. I imagine backers are going to want a better track-out link on the Kickstarter updates besides this janky blog.

I'll keep you updated if you keep my accountable. Thanks for the continued time and attention!


  1. Keep it up and don't let the AUTODUEL get ya!

  2. Awesome work! That is quite appreciated. I hope you’ll get more success.

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