Well, now, it has been a while since I last did one of these. I’d hoped to do one earlier, but the needs of simply getting Dark Harvest finished, and the desire to give a single news announcement that covered the conclusion of the project, meant that it all got pushed around and expanded.
A bit like giving birth.
Yesterday, the 15th of February, was a HUGE landmark date in the project. On that day the final approval of the print and e-book pdfs came through from Dominic at Cubicle 7. At the same time, I was given the as-near-as-damn-it release date for the book – the 13th of April, 2011. Now I’m just waiting to see print proofs from, well, the printer Cubicle 7 use and that’ll be that. The book has been available to pre-order internationally for a number of months now. This was very exciting, particularly as we hadn’t entirely finished the thing when pre-orders became possible…
Let me fill you in on everything that’s been happening since we last spoke.
Just before Christmas, the very brilliant Andrew Peregrine and Walt Ciechanowski handed in their work on the RPG chapter. They battled through colds and flu to do so, might I add. Such heroes!! It was then turned over to Steve Ironside and Neil Wiseman, with a few contributions from me. Steve did the majority of the writing from this point, with additions from myself and Neil. Neil was our expert spotter, pointing out things that were missing, unclear or generally messy. This was invaluable. When you’re close to a project, what seems obvious to you is occasionally less than obvious to a fresh pair of eyes.
The finished RPG chapter was handed in with two weeks to go before the final submission date – the 31st of January. James King had already laid out the majority of the book, complete with amazing new work from Rowena Aitken. While James sorted out the RPG chapter and the rest, I got on with indexing. I was determined the book would have a decent index. As a gamer, I hate not knowing where things are, so I was determined readers of Dark Harvest would not have that issue. However, I had no idea of the task I was taking on. I can understand why there are companies that publisher friends of mine use who do nothing but indexing. It took a full week and a bit to do, and nearly drove me mental, but it got done. I was and am stupidly proud of that index.
So, James and I had a weekend to check the book. At this point InDesign decided it would make our lives more interesting and would randomly take offence at where James and I wanted things. Text would mysteriously move. Administrative county maps would wander hither and thither. On the Saturday before submission, I scan read the book half a dozen times checking for errors. On Sunday the 30th, the pdfs were done and sent, based on the last compiled version done by James at 4am.
Since then, things have continued to move on with the project.
I had the pleasure of sending a pdf copy of Dark Harvest to Ian Livingstone, OBE, to whom the book is in part dedicated. That made me very happy.
Conpulsion 2011 in Edinburgh (http://www.geas.org.uk/conpulsion/) is looking like it’ll be the semi-formal unveiling of the game, as the fabness that is Simon Proctor has said he’ll demo the thing. This will be, barring incident, the first time anywhere the gaming public will get a chance to have a glimpse into Promethea. More details will be announced later. Simon and I are going to work on the demo game, and I’m hoping to get Rowena to create art specifically for it. The demo game will eventually, I hope find its way to the website.
Also on the website as of today is the Promethean map, as created by the wonderful Robert Coles. I wanted to make the pdf available to you all so that you could fully appreciate the frankly incredible detail Robert has put into the map during the many, many months he worked on it. Even now he’s not sure it’s finished, so it may well get updated further.
So, that’s it for this update. More details of various things will be announced as time goes on but, in the meantime, I’m looking forward to hearing what folks make of Dark Harvest.