As work on the Companions nears completion (and they are very close; I’ve just sent back hopefully the final touches on layout notes before they get the covers and go off to the printers), the focus shifts back to the next books going forward. I’ve talked about the books planned previously, but want to take a moment to review since it’s been a while, as well as to delve into some more detail on what’s planned for the next sourcebook, Fort Alice.
Releases are planned to happen in pairs. The next release will be Fort Alice along with the second of the three part adventure, Saurids on the Grosvenor Express. Writing for the adventure is done at this point, and I’ll be going in to more detail on where we’re at with Fort Alice in a moment. Next release after that will be Maps of London along with the Saurids sourcebook. Both are tasked out to others and being worked on currently, and progress continues to roll in. After this will be the third part of the adventure, Deathless on the Nile, as well as the Samsut sourcebook. While these are planned and have some work done on them, the active work is on the sooner releases.
Additional books that have been discussed but not drawn up into a planned release schedule at this point are a Beastiary book for the Gruv (and possibly one for Earth to fill in more of the exotic creatures showing up as the mana level rises), sourcebooks for the Union and Confederacy, as well as source books on some of the other major powers of the time period. Exactly what these books will look like and how they will fit in to the overall story arc for the line that is being developed hasn’t been worked out in detail yet, but we have some ideas that are being kicked around. If you as the fans have any ideas for books you’d like to see or things you’d like to see included in them, please do voice your thoughts in the comments or on Discord; I’m watching regularly and taking notes on what people would like to see, and the best time to get an idea in my head is early so that it can take root and grow for a while.
Turning attention back to the most upcoming project, Fort Alice. Chapter topics right now include a history of the Fort and work in the Gruv, detailed information on the Fort itself as well as the town of the same name around it that provides the necessary civilian support and jumping off point for operations in the Gruv, as well as information on the towns and environs scattered around the Gruv, and the railroad service that makes up the primary method of connecting them all (other than walking or, for the few that can afford it, flying). We’re also planning to provide some information on the Saurids that have joined up with the British (which will provide a bit of a soft introduction to the next source book), and significant representation of the Zulu forces brought in, as they make up a large part of the standing forces available in the Gruv.
There’s partial progress on the majority of these chapters, as well as some already on the later source books, but more than just fan commentary, I do need actual writers to help fill out the team to get these items written. Our production is admittedly slower than we’d like at this point because we don’t have a lot of people to contribute right now. As Line Developer, there are a lot of hats to wear, and the more time I have to spend researching or writing a piece, the less I have to work on edits, reviewing layout, promoting the line, and planning what’s coming out in the future (not to mention all the work I have to do in IT for the company). There’s also the simple fact that we need more eyes on the development team to make sure we’re catching and preventing all the mistakes we can, and that the game is created with as broad of a viewpoint as possible, to make sure it can be enjoyed by the most people. The Zulu I feel are a particularly critical part of this; there is a matter of cultural representation, both from the historical context of the game line and in how the game relates in the modern day, that we need to make sure is done Right, and that I both professionally and personally want to see handled correctly.
So, if you have any interest at all in contributing as a writer for 1879, please reach out. For those of you who are already involved with us as a freelancer, leave a note in the #skills channel under Freelance Resources with what aspects that I’ve talked about above that you may have ideas for. For anyone not already freelancing with us, feel free to reach out to me direct; let me know what ideas you have and give me a sample of your writing so that I can see if it looks like you’ll be a good fit. While I do respond to direct messages through Discord as best I can (and if you’ve already spoken to me through a DM, feel free to continue using it), in the case of initial contact it’s most appreciated if you email me at email@example.com so that I can keep things organized.
I look forward to hearing from you all, and to having the Companions out soon!