I’m running out of ideas for titles

Greetings, Commanders and welcome to another monthly update from the world of Elite Encounters.

It hasn’t been a great month this month. The envisioned deadline of May 31st has been and gone and the content STILL isn’t finished. Every time I finish one section, it seems like there are two more sections to take its place. It’s starting to really frustrate me, so I can only imagine how you guys out there feel about it! I work my day job til 6pm. I come home, have dinner, make sure everyone’s OK and am in the office writing/editing/revising from 8pm til 1am. And STILL I’m not done. This book is eating words faster than I can type them.

I think I understand now why most RPG rulebooks have a very large credits list, even without Kickstarter pledge names.

The biggest time sink this month has definitely been the commodities list. It threatens to take over the book, to be honest. I’m having to reign in the temptation to just keep adding to it. At the moment it’s a mix of two styles – some entries have prosaic text with some general pricing information and some are presented as a table. The mix of styles will probably be a final feature of the list due to the varied content. Some items benefit from a brief description whilst others are best left as just a name and some stats.

The biggest concern I have is the inclusion of canon Elite: Dangerous equipment, such as the spacecraft and the equipment that gets fitted to it. I have had a bit of a back and forth difference of opinion with Frontier regarding the detail that the book will need regarding game content, and its a situation that as yet is still undergoing discussion. At the moment my prime concern is the lack of solid information about the ships, which is holding up a lot of the vehicle list development and miniatures rules revision.

The most significant issue of the last few weeks is the news that Frontier will not be reviewing a first draft of the book, and will instead be reviewing the final draft. This has come as a bit of a blow, but that’s the way things are. I’m therefore revising the plan to have proofreading done first once I’m happy with the content.

I’ll be honest, I’m doing a lot of revision at the moment as I read through past sections and evaluate the content. It’s not an easy job keeping this all straight during an edit – there’s only so much cross-referencing I can do before going cross-eyed! It takes time, yes, but in the end the book wil be better for it and thus you, the customer, will hopefully be happier. All it’s costing me at the moment is a few grey hairs.

So the status is as follows. 140,000 words. 410 pages. 2 completed sample adventures. An ALMOST completed commodity list. More incoming artwork from the stellar Arto Heikkinen. More incoming short stories. Yes, the last bits of the jigsaw are coming together slowly but surely!

Other News 

Elsewhere in the Elite universe, things have been motoring along at a whopping pace! Mid-May saw the release of the three Gollancz books: Simon Spurrier’s “Nemorensis”, Gavin Deas’ “Wanted” and Gideon Defoe’s “Docking Is Difficult”. I’ve read the first two mentioned there, and they are fine additions to the Elite canon. I’m halfway through “Docking Is Difficult”, and it’s a different take on the universe but is a definite work of art in its own right. Well done to all three authors for crafting such diverse and enjoyable tales.

May also saw the release of the Premium Beta of the Elite: Dangerous game! I still can’t play the game properly on my ageing laptop, but have been assured that it’s awesome. I wonder if I could justify a Kickstarter to raise funds for a gaming machine for “book development purposes”.  I’m sure it’s both morally wrong and against Kickstarter’s policies. 😉

Lastly, the end of May saw the release of the most eagerly awaited Elite products: the Fantastic Books collection! Allen Stroud’s “Lave Revolution”, Drew Wagar’s “Reclamation” and Kate Russell’s “Mostly Harmless” are all on my Kindle app waiting to be read (after I finish “Docking Is Difficult”. The other two, John Harper’s “And Here The Wheel” and the “Tales From The Frontier” collection, haven’t yet been released but I’m looking forward to them in the very near future.

LaveCon and Fantasticon are drawing ever closer. It’s less than a month to LaveCon now, and I’m looking forward to it very much. Yes, I’m panicking about the game being ready for LaveCon, but in a good way. Honest. 

If any of you reading this are going to LaveCon and/or Fantasticon AND are waiting for Elite dice or dice rings, please drop me a line and let me know. I shall then do my level best to get your dice and/or rings ready and bring them with me to the conventions. As stated before, I am still holding to the proimise that once the “first draft” is in for review with the proofreaders then I’ll get some packaging done.

One last thing – I found this on the internet yesterday, and it’s the next best thing since sliced bread. If you like Star Trek and you like Galaxy Quest and you like fall over funny stories, go there. Watch it. You Will Be Entertained! The cast and crew are trying to raise money to develop a full length film, and I think it’s well worth popping some funding on there and helping them live the dream. Watch the series, fund their indiegogo campaign and enjoy yourselves for a couple of hours.

And that about wraps it up for this update. If there’s anything I’ve missed that you particularly want to know about, please let me know in the comments or by email or carrier pigeon. 

All the best everyone, and see you next month (at LAVECON!!).