Quick on the fly reference tables and step-by-step creation tips, tricks and guides for every type of natural location imaginable!
Pre-orders will only be charged once the digital book is ready to release.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
23.06.23 Almost there!
6 months ago
– Fri, Jun 23, 2023 at 06:25:00 AM
Your Name in the book
If you backed the book at the level that got your name in the book, please please please: we are collating those names next week. We are currently using the name linked to your backerkit account. If you do not want that you must send me a message here on KS listing your backerkit name and the replacement name. You have until next week Friday to do this.
We are almost at the final PDF release stage. Just a few tweaks remain. What tweaks you might ask?
Like any good jigsaw puzzle, the text versus the books layout needs to be adjusted. On the left side, the magmaman and his two dogs are sort of plopped down. The text should work itself around them. On the right you can see the text by a few lines, has overun the page. The choice we have to make is: do we run onto the next page or do we rewrite the text to get it to fit. It's amazing how a little pressure can force you, as a writer to come up with shorter sentences that still give the same information!
This is something I rather enjoy doing as it's a lot of fun. Throughout the book there will be spaces. What to put into these spaces? A relevant quote? An image? Perhaps a hint of a map? Whatever it is mustn't obstruct the meaning of the text.
So the graphic designer highlights these spaces in bright pink. I then go through them looking at what can go there. In this case (above) Martin, the designer, has suggested a submenu or list. As this is the opening to the chapter that contains all the locations, I think that makes jolly good sense. Thanks Martin!
This backwards and forwards of slowly completing the book is my favorite part. Firstly, it means the book is nearly done and secondly, I can see the book coming alive. To see the images I've made or commissioned sitting in place with the text beautifully laid out is really awesome and humbling.
Speaking of which, to bring this amazing book to life is going to make use of so many folks that I will never get to meet to say thank you to: the printers in Poland who always produce such great quality books, the delivery driver who takes the books to the warehouse, the ships captain who navigates the Atlantic bringing the books to the USA, and most importantly, the courier guy/postal worker who brings your book to you. When I look at the team I can say thank you to, it's a huge list! And you are on it!
To everyone involved, I say: thank you dearly!
24.05.23 Close to finishing editing
7 months ago
– Wed, May 24, 2023 at 12:51:19 AM
I've been away on holiday, family business, and recovery and am glad to say that everything is happily resolved! I'm full of energy and ready to finish this book!
Our editor has been furiously working on our text for the book and bringing an amazing clarity which we love and, frankly, didn't realize was possible. She's only got a few chapters left to work through and if you could see the original in comparison to the final work you'd be blown away!
We are hoping to finish the editing of the book by next week Wednesday!
We have in hand 25 original artworks by yours truly, 30 battlemaps of the locations, 15 location maps, 15 NPC illustrations, and are currently finalizing the 45 illustrations from the stretch-goal additional content. All that is outstanding now are the graphic elements for chapter 5 which will be completed before the middle of June!
Martin, the graphic designer for the book, has already laid out the orignal text and is just waiting for the finalized edited copy to replace it with. We've worked through the book with him and he knows where every image is going to go. We're hoping to have the layout complete by the end of June, all things being equal!
UK GAMES EXPO
If you are lucky enough to be coming to UKGE next week please come and say hello to myself and Till. We have a big stand in hall one and would love to meet you!
Until the next update,
Thank you for your support as always!
Guy, Till and the Team
8 months ago
– Thu, Apr 13, 2023 at 01:12:16 AM
Lou, our new editor, has been furiously working over the Easter holidays and has made some amazing changes to the book already - as we knew she would. We're well on track to make our mid-June edit completion date. *
The printers have already ordered the paper we need for the book to be printed on so that's yet another cog in the great machine in place and ready to start spinning.
The base artwork is about 50% done which is very exciting. It should be complete by the end of this month. Base artwork is all the pretty stuff that one expects in a book - chapter images, key reference images and so on.
We brought Victor Yah on board as a hand-drawn sketch artist to add in a little personal flair for some of the stretch-goal locations and what I love about his work is the extra little details he adds in. We also wanted the book to contain images that look like notes that a DM might make in their own journals. And he's knocking them out of the park!
If we're a little slow to respond to messages or comments it's because we're all focused on finishing up this project.
*More on Editing
For those of you who haven't been through an editorial process it depends on the material you're working with as to how it plays out. As our book is an educational manual and inspirational guide Lou's primary goal is to make sure that that is what the book does! She isn't just looking for grammar, spelling and coherent sentences, she's looking at ideas, concepts and the overall book flow and content.
As a result of her work, we've already added in several pages of content to expand upon useful information, redefined our suggested workflow, and have made the Location entries even clearer in terms of how they can help you.
Of course this isn't a simple process. Lou takes the material, reads it, formulates her comments and sends those comments back to Till and myself. We read the comments, look at the material and then best decided on how to either fix the commented work, ignore the comment made by Lou, or address the comment in a different section of the book. Most of the time we're fixing the commented upon work. Bringing clarity of meaning or linking disparate ideas together. Once in a dozen comments we'll tell Lou that something she's confused about is because the layout of the book is sometimes quite key to bringing understanding. We have things called 'red boxes' which are stand-out sentences that should become mantra's for anyone using the book. Without this understanding of the graphic nature of the text (a red box) it can read as an arbitrary sentence without context. So it's things like that.
This back and forth takes time and of course, just because Lou has pointed out an issue, and we have fixed it, doesn't mean it ends there. Lou then goes to our fix to make sure our fix is actually a fix and not a fu...muck up.
Hence editing is quite the process. It takes absolute honesty. There is no point in Lou trying to kindly point out that Till and I cannot spell the word finesse. For some reason we wrote fineness. We also have to accept that when she says something is confusing that it really is and that we must fix it rather than dismiss it. It's a lot of humble pie to have your work examined in such a way.
But I wouldn't trade it for the world. It makes a better book at the end of the day!
Until the next update,
Till, Guy, Lou, Derrick. Victor, Martin, and the rest of the team involved!
23.03.23 CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS
9 months ago
– Fri, Mar 24, 2023 at 04:20:24 AM
January, February and March have not been kind months to the team. My dad had a heart attack and was diagnosed with cancer (which as of two days ago is responding well to chemo). Our editor Pontus' wife was rushed to hospital and was in critical care but is now on the way to a full recovery. Throughout this we've continued to work on the book. The text is complete and we could send out the word document today but it's unedited.
Pontus has had to pull out of the project, however, to care for his wife and we wish him and her the best and speediest of recoveries. A very good friend of mine, and a long-time industry editor has stepped forward and we are in the process to iron out the details of her joining the project and bringing it back onto track as fast as she can. The book is just shy of 100 000 words or 220 pages of solid text so it's no small task. As of today, she's on board and we'd love to welcome Lou Fryer who comes with a wealth of industry experience (and was a fellow DM at D&D in a Castle this year)
Martin, our Graphic Designer, has also stepped up and agreed to do a preliminary layout of the book using the unedited text, as this will be his fifth book with me and he knows that the edit won't change too much and if it does, he'll just cope with it. So that will bring us back on track a bit more.
I've also reached out to the printing company and they've started the ordering of the paper already to cut down their turn around times based on the last two books we did with them.
This means that we are currently two months behind our schedule but are hopeful we can get it down to less than a month.
GRAPHICS AND ART
In other news work on the artwork for the book continues at pace and everything there looks to be thoroughly on track. We've commissioned a few established artists for some artwork and we've also cast the net out to find some new up-coming artists.
This is one of the pieces for the Forest section. This is also only one type of forest. And yes - I indulged myself by adding in some dinosaurs because why not!
Until the next update - which will be as soon as we've commissioned the new editor,
Guy, Till and the Team
01.03.23 The copy is done... and it's too long!
9 months ago
– Wed, Mar 01, 2023 at 06:36:41 AM
Writing is done
Well, we finished writing the book. This may not seem like much but the word document is ready for edit. This has taken us a little longer than expected. We are, however, at that moment where we now hand it over to the editor and hold our breath - as writers. As producers of the book, we're smiling. It's always nice to have a finished manuscript.
The next steps
The editor, Pontus, will now sit on a beach somewhere - it's true he lives in South East Asia, and go through everything we've written. He isn't looking for spelling or crazy comma's. He's looking for continuity, for clarity, and most importantly of all, to see if the book helps him create epic locations. He'll send this back to us marked up with notes.
He's been my editor on The Practical Guide to becoming a Great GM, and The Complete guide to creating Epic Campaigns and his notes are wonderful. I'll get little things like:
"I can see what you want to say. But what you wrote doesn't say that. Break it down and assume I know nothing."
Other times he simply says: "This is brilliant." But usually it's "This is a repeat of para 3, page 22. This is better. Consider replacing."
Anyway, Pontus will take about four to six weeks to work through the book. At roughly 100 000 words, he'll probably end up making around 13 000 notes (at least that's what he did on my last one, but that does include comma and spelling mistakes too).
Till and I begin to creatively wonderful process of getting all the artwork for the book. We've got some artists already working on commissions and I'll be throwing in my lot too. Till will be working on the maps that will demonstrate the principles of the book, and give you insight into how a master map maker works.