The Shape of a Day

A lot of you reading this have a regular routine with a few deviations here and there. For the most part, it’s no different for me. Despite working from home, I get up early and go through a regular routine too. For those who think writing or game design is fun and easy, you’re way off. While there is definitely a hearty degree of fun, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. As an example, I’m going to give you an abbreviated snapshot of how my day went today.

I got up, checked email, checked our project management system, and immediately began reviewing the status of outstanding projects. Feeling somewhat satisfied with a to do list well in hand, I dove into the main action item of today, wrapping up layout for the RunePunk Campaign Setting Book: True20 Edition. It’s been sitting on the desktop for way too long and we need to get it out there to the fan base. I figured I had about fifty or so pages left when I began working on it at 7 a.m. About halfway through the process, I realized part of the original Word document didn’t import over at all, so I had to go to the original Word file, cut out the appropriate section, and import it into the layout. This ended up adding another sixty pages, so I had more work than I started the day with. Oh joy. It was about then I realized I needed to add a new freelancer into our project management system, and provide some direction as he’s new to the team. The internet ate my first message and I had forgotten to copy it, so I got to rewrite it. What should’ve taken about five minutes took about ten. It happens. That done, I resumed the layout. Progress went well as I’ve got robust templates set up (which I worked on last week), and wrapped this process up around 10:30 a.m, making the entire document come in at about 264 pages, not counting cover, credits page, or table of contents. It’s a beast full of dark steampunk goodness.

I could’ve been content to rest on my laurels, and for some folks that may have been counted a day all by itself, but I’m busy. I have no laurels to rest on. Next up was making a phone call to touch base with Eric Avedissian about the progress on the Ravaged Earth reboot. This is something I had slated with him last week, as I like to keep a good pulse on things, and as grand as email and our project management system might be, nothing replaces talking with someone.  He wasn’t available, so I wanted to follow up with Kristian to see how excited he was about the Life After Death announcement yesterday. He knew it was coming, heck, he set up the new forum to discuss it, but there is nothing quite like being out there. He’s not alone though. He’s part of a team. We discussed some of the finer details of how to interact with the fan base about the project, and what was permissible and what was verboten. We are being more open, but we can’t just give everything away all at once. Trust me. You’ll appreciate this in the long run. After that segment of the conversation, we moved on to hash out some various little outstanding concerns he had regarding Edges, and we added a few and refined a few other things which should make the setting, let us say, very interesting. During this call, Eric buzzed me back and, though I missed the call, I wrapped up the conversation with Kristian (whom I call Kansas from time to time), and gave Eric a call back.

Eric is very excited about the shape of Ravaged Earth and how close it is to a finished manuscript. He’s hands off at this point, currently working on the line of support materials for the setting to include, you guessed it, both a guidebook and adventure series using the model we’re moving forward with for Iron Dynasty, and most likely, our other lines, such as Agents of Oblivion and RunePunk. He already has a number uploaded in our project management system awaiting review, and I told him I’d eyeball them this week as well as see if I could put together a mock up of a few sample pages for the revised Ravaged Earth. I also brought up the fact we’d be looking at rebranding the line, since we’re getting new art for the book, and I’d probably try to hunt down an appropriate font. Fonts can really evoke the feel for a setting just as much, if not more so, than a piece of art.

After this, I grabbed a quick bite to eat, took a longer break than usual, watching an episode of something on Netflix I’d never seen (Trailer Park Boys), and resumed work.

I reviewed the NDA and Waiver I’d received from someone we should be working with in the near future, and shot off a contract to said party. I then had another brief call with Kristian about some additional zombie stuff (as he’s very enthusiastic to cross the finish line on the draft) and I went back inside and began working on some design ideas for Ravaged Earth. The day was nearly wrapped and I knew I should’ve probably gotten to work on The Razorwise Report, but I do enjoy a good font hunt, so I spent about an hour or so working with some sample fonts, and doing some design tests in InDesign and Illustrator (my program of choice for mocking up and laying out covers). It was a bit after five and I remembered I needed to touch base with Dave who’s our Swiss Army Writer and Project Manager guy. He wasn’t expecting my call–we normally chat on Wednesdays–but I’ve got my group coming over tomorrow, so I wanted to go over a few things with him. He answered the phone, but he was in the middle of dealing with some real life floor issues, so we had an abbreviated conversation. The upshot? He should have Ravaged Earth uploaded tonight, so I’ll be spinning through that tomorrow. We discussed the state of our other lines. I told him some new news (regarding the mystery party I mentioned earlier), and we wrapped up the call.

Finally, I gave Lyn a shout, filling our Executive Producer in on all the happenings, and called it a day. I wrapped at about 7 p.m.  It was more or less a typical day. Oh, I’m forgetting something. I cooked dinner, caught about fifteen minutes of news, and tromped up here and wrote these words you’re reading now. There. That’s a day.

Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!

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