Betas Galore! It must be August

Hi everyone. Welcome to the August update.

I was gonna keep this short, but every time I say that I end up writing War and Peace. So I’m just going to “chain of thought” type.


At the start of July there was LaveCon. And it was good. Oh my god it was good. Loads of fun and loads to do! I spent most of it locked away in a back room running games of Elite Encounters. Yes, the game has finally seen the light of day and has been played! I ran three games altogether (none of which featured the miniatures rules grr) and ALL of them were LOADS OF FUN! The feedback from the sessions was overwhelmingly positive and after the midnight session I crawled back to my hotel room at 4:30am buzzing with happiness that the game system and character generation WORK. Yeah there are some small tweaks that need to be made (like trying to stop AGILITY being the catch-all stat for most rolls and correcting the weapon stat information on the character sheet) but 99% of the game worked.

It was awesome to meet the guys at LaveCon, and special mentions go to Giles WIlliams, creator of Oolite, Rufus, Seb, Tony, Chris, John and ALL THE PLAYERS who took part. Extra special mention to James “One” Vigor who apparently stumbled out of the game room with glazed eyes declaring that “wow..that was fantastic”. High praise indeed from a beginner! Coupled with John Stabler’s remark on the last episode of Lave Radio, that means two definite converts to roleplaying games!

On the subject of Lave Radio, the latest episode does feature a few minutes near the start of John and Chris (Jarvis) discussing their experience of the RPG during the convention. It’s a very generous “review” and very positive! Again, thanks to the guys for playing and for the good review and apologies for both of their characters being shot in the face. It wasn’t deliberate. Honest. 🙂

So my cup of confidence in this game is through the roof at the moment. Now I just need to get the fine details done and get the fluff finished and get this puppy out into the world!

Beta Blockers

So that brings me to the Beta schedule for Elite Encounters. I’ll be honest: I had planned to get the Beta out before the end of the month (and beat the Elite Dangerous Beta) but I haven’t managed to get the time to sit in front of the computer and hammer out the details. I have pages and pages of notes from LaveCon as well as other, older notes, but the last couple of weeks have been pretty strenuous in the Real Life ™ department and this has held me away from the project since LaveCon. Not least was the need to spend time with my family, who have forgotten what I look like the last three months! Not to mention a weekend away to celebrate nine years of marriage to my lovely, tolerant, patient wife.

I’m back now, and work is back on track. The Beta will be out within the next couple of weeks (hopefully before Fantasticon) once the rules revisions and changes to the Avatar templates have been done. I’ll be looking to the Game Development pledgers with in the next few days, so if you pledged at that level keep an eye out on the Daftworks forum for news on that.

The Beta will include more information than the alpha booklet, with pretty much the whole of the game system and related information on factions and technology – essentially everything except the stuff I need Frontier to approve before releasing. The content should allow the Beta and Alpha testers to run a pretty complete game, including a decent equipment list and character archetypes to choose from.

So, apologies for the delays but my family thank you for allowing me to spend some time with them. 😉


The 15th August is the Fantastic Books Publishing “Fantasticon” event at the Royal Mercure Hotel, Hull. I’ll be there running Elite Encounters sessions using the revised rules that will incorporate the changes to the system based on lessons learned at LaveCon. That’s not all, though! There will be cosplay, tabletop gaming, Oculus Rift games of Elite Dangerous, Doctor Who guests, appearances by some of the Elite Fiction authors and MUCH MORE! It’s going to be a great day with lots to do and see. If you haven’t registered yet then don’t waste any more time and get over to the Fantasticon Website and get your name on the list!


I’ve begun a slow overhaul of the Daftworks and EliteRPG websites, which is a task that needs doing but needs to be second priority to the book writing business. I’m also trying to sort out marketing things that will go into the future of the game. This means that I need to make the website robust enough to handle the needs of the game and its audience. The main Daftworks site in particular is rubbish and needs to be redesigned. The main point about this is that the “branding” of the game has now been finalised and the main banner header on the EliteRPG site is now the final branding of the game.

What all this means is that as I go through the process of changing the site around, there may be some access glitches as I remove stuff and put new stuff on. If you encounter any of these problems, please be patient and try again in a few minutes. The forum should be stable, so if you see any long-term issues then please report them there.

Stay On Target

One aspect of this project that has been raised is that my attention has drifted from the core deliverables of the Kickstarter. No matter how much more effort has to be given to the pledge rewards, print on demand and hardcopy versions of the book and the delivery of dice, the Kickstarter was built around the design and publication of an electronic book. This included electronic copies of the sheets needed for counters and miniatures.

So my pledge as we go into August is that less attention will be given to the hard-copy options including the design and logistics of the miniatures, and more focus will be set on the delivery of the best looking electronic book that money can buy. Or has already bought. Or whatever. Once that is in the bag then the hardcopy options will be given full focus.

I mentioned dice, and there are no doubt some of you out there saying “Hang on, Hughes, you said that once the first draft was complete you’d be getting round to sending out dice!” This is still the case, but instead of “first draft”, think more about “Beta and Fantasticon”. Yes, that’s right, once the next couple of weeks of hard book graft are done and I’ve beat a hasty retreat across the M18 back to Derby, there will be some time devoted to getting dice and dice rings sent out. Even if I have to draft in unwilling helpers (that’s what kids are for, after all), I’ll get on with the dice. You’ve all waited long enough.


That’s about it for another month. The schedule so far is the RPG Beta within the next 14 days, then Fantasticon (as mentioned) then the push towards the final draft of the book whilst filling in gaps of time with getting dice packaged. 

As usual, if you have any questions or comments please get in touch using the usual methods. 


P.S. Looks like I failed the “short update” challenge again…