Hello once again!
It’s been a long time since we’ve given a progress report, so let’s have one! What kind of progress has Room 209 Gaming made over the past year?
Well, back in spring, we scrapped almost all the work we’d done up until that point. We’d found ourselves falling into a trap of Pathfinder / 3.5 D&D-eque thinking, where every little tidbit or scrap of capability had to be expressed by a different little talent. We threw all of that away and started over, streamlining the game and streamlining it again to really hone in on what we wanted to do rather than attempt to maintain compatibility with the d20 line of products.
We did closed testing from Spring to Fall, but not with roleplayers familiar with gaming systems. Instead, we grabbed folks who were sorta-interested in roleplaying but did not have the detritus of several others systems rattling around in their heads. We played, we asked point-blank questions, and we watched the reactions to changes, etc.
During this time we took several wrong-turn paths; but by that point we’d gained enough experience to discover how wrong they were quickly, and either revert the changes or find the way to make the changes work.
At the Escapist Expo, we brought with us the 40-page alpha manual for the game. It still required one of the designers around to fill in the blanks between the pages of charts, but it was playable and it was fun. We got a lot of really great feedback and we took our next steps forward from there.
In October we did our last round of changes to the system in order to prepare it for open beta. In November, I began writing the beta materials and we’re now 32,000 words in, with the Introduction and first four chapters complete. The good news is, a lot of the really hard and conceptual stuff is in those chapters, so it should be quicker writing from here out.
The current plan is to have the first round of beta materials, consisting of the Introduction and first 12 chapters, complete and ready by late January 2014. We will be rolling those out simultaneously with a new website design (restoring comments), new logo for Room 209 Gaming, and new logo and name for the “Infinite Earths” system.
On the adventure front, we’re looking at having at least one adventure (and potentially two) available for play simultaneously to the release of the open beta ruleset. Any readers who gamed with us at the Escapist Expo will recall the Tournament of Beers, a lighthearted adventure that often goes wild somewhere in the middle.
On the art front, we have over 135 pieces so far, which we will be placing in a multitude of products, and we expect to have around 40 more before we’re ready to go to print with the core rulebook.
I’ve made some premature announcements about our “done-ness” in the past, so I’m trying to avoid that this time. These are all anticipated dates; they could change. We want to get all our ducks in a row before we start really hyping ourselves up again.
Thanks for reading, and we hope you have a fantastic Christmas!