Today I’m going to give a brief overview of the progress I’m hoping to make on Ostravia throughout the next couple months. Long story short, Ostravia has a somewhat inflexible “end” time of October. It doesn’t have to finish as a project at this point, but the historical bits and a functional game must be complete at this point. With that in mind, here’s my outlook:
January is going to be crunch time. It’s time to finish up the combat and dying rules for early playtests, as well as to go on and get some of the 3d maps done (tangential to the project, but likely very helpful). It’ll also be time to generally work on getting stuff polished. I’ll also go back and revise my prioritizing roadmap, meaning that I’ll have more of an idea of where I’m going in the long run, and I’ll have a nice, pretty, color-coded, potentially release-worthy chart showing what is good and needed and what might be nice to have in but probably won’t happen.
February is when the Kickstarter launches. It doesn’t have to succeed for Ostravia to be made, but it will help Ostravia be pretty, rather than an assortment of things that I try to mishmash together. It’ll also be a time of going through and providing examples for most of the rules currently in the rulebook and getting any high-priority missing pieces complete. I’ll also go back and do the first hardcore internal consistency edits.
March is my hopeful “first release” date for Kickstarter backers. Should the Kickstarter fail, I’ll probably release it through my Homoeoteleuton Connect platform for the public, as well as in a couple other places. The game won’t be fully feature complete, but it should have combat, social combat, basic economic functions, and a generally fleshed out skills list.
In April I’m hoping to create a sample adventure tree (I prefer less-linear designs) for Ostravia that includes more or less every core mechanic, both for testing purposes and also as a backer reward. I can’t vouch too much for April and May, as they’ll probably be my more busy months, but I’ll get a good chunk of stuff done.
May will be a second internal consistency work period, as well as the final expansions. Ideally I’d have decent feedback here, and between that and the roadmap I should have something that looks almost like the final version done, albeit perhaps still lacking some setting and rules details. It’ll also be a go-through-and-make-sure-everything’s-absolutely-totally-historically-believable-and-conceptually-accurate time. Again, however, May’s a busy month for me as a student.
June will be back to massive progress. Ideally I’d have art in if the Kickstarter succeeded, and this is when we’d have a proto-final version of the game. It still wouldn’t have the rich PDF and commentary integration I plan for the final version, but there’s going to be a fair chunk of stuff here. Depending on how things go, this will involve the expansion of my playtest to a second group of backers, or me aggressively marketing the playtest to people on Roleplaying Games’ Stack Exchange and various places on the internet.
July is really the “contingency” month. It’s a final typesetting period, hopefully, as well as the time when I go back and work on things more heavily. Should the Kickstarter succeed, I’ll probably have the PDF created in chapters/sections, then stitch them together, which has the nice upside of meaning that I won’t have to do too much of a merging. If the Kickstarter doesn’t succeed, I’m not going to be worrying about that at this point; the advanced features will be added in Scribus during August/September, which would normally be “Get-the-Kickstarter-Stuff-Looking-Good-Month”.
August is a big busy month, but mostly involves (PDF) proofing and testing with first the innermost Kickstarter circle, should the Kickstarter succeed, as well as collaborating intensively with my thesis directors. I’m also hoping to have the balancing almost finished at this point, and be looking at a solid game.
September will be sort of the judgment day. Should we be doing a Kickstarter with print-level backers (this would come after everything), this will be the time when I’ll be getting a proof and going over it. It’d also be the time when I have huge feedback dumps from people, ideally, with some sort of interesting reward for giving feedback that I’ll make over the summer (unless, of course, Ostravia is behind schedule, which it doesn’t look like it will be).
October is the month when I’m supposed to have the final thesis ready, and it’s also when I’d like to have a print edition (again, if the Kickstarter goes that way, which it probably won’t since I’d rather not have that extra responsibility hanging over my head), ready and available. The defense may not be until November, but I should have a final review for my thesis directors ready at this point.
November and December will go toward finishing up Ostravia stuff. I’m not going to pretend that it’s perfect, though I’d like to not have to maintain it forever. If I don’t feel like Ostravia’s ready to public-license at its release (namely due to needing more editing), this will be the point where I release final stuff. If the Kickstarter has additional supplements that don’t make it into the base game (Miracles and Myth, for instance, is one I’m considering, obviously touching on a mechanical exploration of magic and faith for powers), I’ll be finishing them up and publishing them here.