The Second Coming

Hello everyone. First of all a huge apology to everyone for an unreasonable time period without an update. I do have a reason for it, and it’s not a good one, so this is a tough update to write.

At the start of July a few things came to a head in various aspects of my life that affected me in a rather negative way. Several questions were raised about my state of mind and my fitness for various attributes of my personal life and as a result it was recommended that I see a doctor about it. I did so, and it was discovered that I have been (and am) suffering from clinical depression (the brain chemistry imbalance kind, not the “I feel a bit down” kind), anxiety and stress brought on by the culmination of different things going on both in my personal and professional life.

As such I began a series of treatments for the effects, including medication and counselling. The most serious effect of this depression was a serious lack of concentration on ongoing tasks. This was made slightly worse by the medication at the start of the process, and the doctor suggested that any structured work should be avoided and that I should “enjoy myself”.

The most significant impart in relation this this project was that any time I sat in front of the computer and tried to get anything done, it was like there was a train driving around in the inside of my head with all my thoughts in it, and occasionally I’d catch a glimpse of something before it whizzed past. It was when I sat with seven documents open for an hour and only had managed to write (and rewrite) the grand total of five lines of text that I saw that my situation was worse than I thought.

At the same time, severe anxiety attacks have become a common thing, the most serious of which landed me in hospital with a suspected heart attack (it wasn’t – it was a panic attack). The doctor’s recommendation following this was to concentrate more on relieving the causes of the anxiety.

Thus, sadly, work on Elite Encounters had ground to a temporary halt. The interesting thing about this project is that from conversations about it to the counsellor, it is this project and the joy and honour it gives me that has actually enabled me to stave off the effects of this depression for so long. However, something had to give, and to my everlasting regret it happened during the timescale of this project.

Time marches merrily on, however, and there are deadlines to meet. I am on the road to recovery and I need to be able to re-engage with the community and get this project back on track. My drive is still intact and my ideas are still there. I have been doing some work on it in the last few weeks, and although it’s not been as easy as I had hoped I have focused on the positives of the work and been able to progress.

Fair Enough, Dave, But What’s Going On??

The schedules have been pushed back a bit now. The alpha and beta phases will have to be rescheduled for one thing. Alpha will be happening this month, hopefully next week. My first task is to re-engage with the community at the Elitemeet event this weekend which should get me back in the mindset after the long absence. Then, starting Monday I hope to be able to spend a few hours per day on the project to get it back on track. As stated, I hope to get some content out for the alpha playtesters and development pledgers through this coming week, so if you’ve pledged at those levels keep an eye out on the Daftworks forum for those things going live.

The main body of work that I have kept my hand in with has been the “history of the universe” – this is a section of the book that will be created using the HUGE body of historical documentation put together by the guys at Frontier Developments and the Frontier Forums. To include it all would be a 600-page epic on its own, so the RPG will contain the most entertaining and interesting (and relevant!) bits.

I’m hoping that the Beta can be ready through December or January with any modifications and improvements to the system and rules. 

Some rewards will be hit by this unfortunate situation as well, sadly. I don’t know yet which ones but I think the card models will be one casualty as far as timescales go.

One thing I have managed to get on with is the research into the quality of the counters. I now have a good method of creating the basic counters that removes the necessity for the player / purchaser to cut them out him/herself. There would then be options for each counter type that the player can use to make the counters stand out more – options for more “3D” counters, for example.

It’s still a work in progress, but the progress to this point has been very positive.

Thanks to Everyone

I just want to take a bit of time to say thanks to everyone who has offered their support and thoughts the last few months and reminded me that the Elite and Kickstarter communities are the best in the world. Drew, Grant and Allen in particular have been true beacons of light in the somewhat dark autumn.

I also want to thank YOU, the pledgers. Your patience has been amazing, and please be assured that I am ON the case and this book WILL be written. 🙂

And…to the end.

…of this update at least. Probably a lot more to say, but it’s late and I need to pack for tomorrow.

If you have any comments or concerns about anything that’s been written above, please let me know in the comments or by email. This update will go on the EliteRPG site too but I’m happy to take comments on either location.

Again, apologies for the inconvenience.