It’s been much longer than I had anticipated since our last post. A lot has happened in between holidays and personal household transitioning. We JUST sent download directions to our Kickstarter backers for the Savage Worlds version of Tunse’al Setting Guide. I’d thought I’d have that out at the close of the Kickstarter. I was Overconfident. Yes, as in the Hindrance.
Even after reading post-edit, I found some things during layout that were system related and the editors wouldn’t have known to flag. It’s amazing what happens when you step away from something you wrote for more than 72 hours. You see it through much fresher eyes! I also discovered some logic errors that didn’t come out earlier. A big hurdle was just how much of a pain tables created within Word turned out to be.
I didn’t know that the software for layout would read them as some sort of funky text-image hybrid and make it nigh impossible to separate. In the end, it was faster to create the tables as an image file, put a manual tag in referencing the image name to REPLACE in a particular place, then re-flow the text, look for the tags, and replace those with the appropriate images. (Flowing the text is the layout term for dumping the text into the page and making it go where you want it to.)
After all of that came moving images around, making sure the text wasn’t too close to them. Then there were the adjustments for when something wasn’t quite right in the text. I also altered how the table of contents was presenting. The last part of the adjustments to what had been the manuscript was the index. That took some serious doing, especially since I’d never done one in a software program before.
I hope folks use the index in their books because that was a labor of love if ever there was one! And I’m sure there are still more things that could be put in. Hopefully helpful readers will provide their opinion on additional entries.
Once all of that was done, there were still a couple more pieces to do before the book could be turned into a PDF for folks to download. We needed to include the hex map, pre-generated characters, and the blank character sheet. The map was pretty fast, but the character sheets bogged me down.
It became painfully obvious that in responding to playtests and convention games, we failed to keep up with our changes in the pre-generated characters. That required overhauling all nine characters and creating a tenth. It’s one thing to go the “quick-and-dirty” route to have a character to play that you can alter as you go. It’s another to do one for publication where once it’s out there, it’s out there. We wanted to be sure the pre-generated characters weren’t carbon copies of each other, still had enough overlap for folks to have choices of different characters who could do similar jobs, and included Edges, Hindrances, and Skills that show off Tunse’al. We also gave them all back stories so that they’d work for groups who just want to get going on a game, but don’t necessarily want to play all the same race or all the same tribe.
The last item for the process was creating a character sheet specific to Tunse’al for Savage Worlds. I took inspiration from designs of the character sheet in each SWD and Hellfrost, as well as the notes I added to my personal in-use character sheet. I was shooting for a functional sheet with stylish accents that wouldn’t drain all the ink or toner and would look good whether printed in color or not. I hope players feel I accomplished that!
The last step was to combine files to create a PDF. All looked good until i realized something happened that made something appear out of place on the character sheet. Luckily, I figured out what happened and how to fix it before making it available for download. At long last, it is off to the backers and will soon be made available to people who won it before they could buy it through various means.
Then there’s the Systemless version. And the Player’s Guide. And the Print-Your-Own minis. And bookmarks. And…well, there’s still a LOT to do!