Aint' Gonna Edit Itself

Hello all,

No new content to share this time around, but I thought I'd provide a quick glimpse into the editing process within which I am currently neck-deep.

Murders & Acquisitions is quickly moving toward final editing. That should start in February sometime. I have a good friend and professional RPG dude, Chris Sims, lined up for editing the rules. I'll be handing the manuscript over to him as soon as he is ready for it in February. I expect to get the final manuscript from him sometime in March or early April. That's well before the Kickstarter will go up, and help me keep the entire process on track for a relatively quick turnaround once the Kickstarter wraps.

Right now, I'm tidying things up so as to make Chris' job easier. For many, manymonths, the M&A documents have been split into three parts -- player stuff, modular rules add-ons, and Supervisor (GM) stuff. I'm combining it all into one document and making sure everything jives with everything else.

Up until now, the documents were presented as playtest documents. There were portions of text that discussed the nature of the game, its inspiration and development, what I was trying to accomplish with the mechanics, and so forth. This was provided to give playtesters a basis from which to judge my efforts and provide feedback. All of that has to go...and be replaced with text that reads as a rule book.

Additionally, I'm codifying the "voice" of the manuscripts, so everything reads a particular way. That is, I'm cleaning up verbiage to refer to "players" and "characters" appropriately and avoid confusion. I'm adding examples of game play and expanding the info presented so that it's all clear. I'm clarifying and coordinating specific terms and phrasing so that such things are consistent across the entire manuscript.

Being the designer (and, more so, one who's been working on this for over two years), it's easy for me to fill in the gaps in such things. I'm now giving it a long, solid look to make sure someone new to the game understands everything about the game.

I'm sure it won't be perfect, but that's what Chris is for.

I'll have a handful of things to add to the manuscript even after Chris completes his editing pass. But that should be easier, since I'll have the baseline of how Chris has tweaked things to use as a guide for how I present those final bits.

I've got a long New Years weekend ahead of me. I expect to spend about half of it going through M&A and prepping it for final editing. There will be tweaks over the course of January, as I continue to playtest and incorporate others' playtest comments.

Such is the life of an independent game designer, I guess. Wish me luck.