Wow, it’s been a busy last few weeks, with some big events. With all the developments and work going on behind the scenes, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to go over much, so I wanted to use this opportunity to go over everything and extend some well deserved thank yous.
First, you may have noticed that there was not a blog post last week, as FreedoniaCon was in active progress then. We had a lot of fun running some games and talking about 1879, where we’re at now and where things are going. I’ll be covering some of that information again in brief below for everyone who wasn’t able to attend. I want to send a big thanks out to everyone who attended, in particular those who tuned in for my talks and played in the games I ran. Given the norm of the times being social isolation, it was great getting to talk to some folks again, and it’s always gratifying to see the enthusiasm for the game line that I and the rest of the team put so much time into producing.
On that note, the other major development this week was the close out of the Welcome to the Gruv Kickstarter campaign. Thanks to some very generous last minute backers, we closed out at $7734! That’s enough to have unlocked the rail map stretch goal. Since it came in very close to the end of the campaign, I’m sure most of you didn’t get a chance to use the add-on option with your pledge, but worry not; you’ll get an opportunity to add it on to your pledge when the surveys go out. The rail map posters will be 24″x36″, and you’ll have the option for a folded version for $5 and a flat version for $20 (plus relevant shipping costs, details will be provided when the surveys are released). This is Kickstarter backer only pricing, so if you’re interested in the map, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of it. I’ll be posting an update to the Kickstarter campaign itself soon with some additional info on what to expect, but just so everyone is aware, I’m expecting the initial layout on the books to be coming in some time around the end of this year’s first quarter, and shortly after that we will have the backer previews available, where you’ll get the chance to see how the book looks and comment before it goes into final layout and then production. There’s something special planned for the final layout of these books that we’ll be doing with all the 1879 books from now on which will give them a very unique look. I won’t spoil it yet, but be aware, it will probably take longer than usual, but should definitely be worth it.
So, where do things stand, and where are we going from here? Major projects at the moment are layout for Fort Alice and the adventure, and writing for the Saurids Sourcebook continues to progress. Our production plans currently are that the Saurids Sourcebook and Maps of London will be our next Kickstarter campaign, followed later by the Samsut Sourcebook and the 3rd part of the adventure. We are also planning books for Creatures of the Gruv and Maps of the Gruv, however, as these will be very art intensive books, we may have to be flexible on the production schedule there, as art is very time and cost intensive. We do have a story arc planned with the meta plot for the Gruv which will culminate in the Samsut Sourcebook, after which point the pendulum will swing back through the portal where we’ll be delving further into plots on the Earth side. This will largely involve books on various nations outside of Britain itself. The Americas (Union/Confederacy), France, Prussia, and several others are already on the table, with several others being discussed. We have also discussed additional books covering some other topics of interest in further depth, such as Analytical Engines, The Great Game of dodging and espionage, vehicles, magic, and several others. This part of the production too has a story arc planned which will have its own climax.
The discussion did lead us to talking about possibilities for a 2nd edition of 1879; while there is quite a bit to love about the game as-is, in particular the setting, mechanics wise there are a few items that can use some refining (as you’d expect for the first edition of a game). I will repeat now what I went over during FreedoniaCon: while there are no immediate plans to put out a second edition of the game, I’ve seen the criticisms and do have plans to address them. My intention is that when any major mechanics overhauls come out, they will be done in conjunction with a major meta plot development. This not only gives an in-game justification for why certain things may behave slightly differently, it adds style flair to these developments and continues our tradition of making the mechanics match the theme and setting of the game. Any new editions will be kept backwards compatible with material that has been released prior (similar to how Earthdawn has been), so any materials you buy now will still be useful in the future.
We haven’t laid out the full details for this into a production schedule just yet, and part of that is because I want to hear from you, the fans, on which books you’re most interested in. We did get some feedback during the convention, but I’m always looking for input from the people out there playing the game, so if you didn’t get the chance to attend, as always, reach out on Discord or in the comments below.
Thank you once again to all of our amazing fans, Kickstarter backers, writers, and everyone who continues to make 1879 and FASA as a whole so great. We’ve got lots more to come, so stay tuned!