Getting Cthulhu Abides onto Amazon proves to be fraught. On the plus side, I now know about indexing and dynamic contents pages, all sorts of advanced page layout stuff that's taken my mastery of Word to a new level. Then there's the business of PDF conversion, embedded fonts, transparent panes and gnnnnnnarrrrgggggnergle.
Things are still not quite right. The lovely elder sign watermark is misbehaving and looks a mess on many pages. Thought I'd fixed that but, no. First thing to fix once I get home.
Looking ahead, two groups have contacted me offering to beta test the product. This is very exciting but, of course, challenging as well. Since I created the game its mechanics strike me as clear and obvious. People with fresh eyes may see them as convoluted and cumbersome. Then there's the question of tone and style. I like the roll-d6s-on-lots-of-tables quirkiness which strikes me as old skool and retro. It may strike others as dated and primitive. I've mucked about with the canonical reading of the Mythos. Is this fresh and innovative - or presumptuous and arbitrary?
If the beta testing is broadly positive, the next step in 2015 is to put together a Kickstarter package. This involves some legal searches into issues of copyright - Lovecraft's material is public domain in Europe, but contributions to the Mythos from later authors aren't. That's why there are no Chthonians or Fire Vampires, for example. I can see that the list of grimoires may need editting, for example. I've no idea whether a project like this would attract a challenge from Arkham House in America.
There's also the issue of art - original cover art and interior illustrations as well as original designs for various symbols, logos, etc. Professional layout and design, too.So, that's all in the future: enough hurdles that could stymie the project at several points. Nonetheless, the signs are promising at this juncture. I should be hearing from the Student Nationals about GMing categories and if I get my first choice (Cthulhu), I'll take Cthulhu Abides to the Nationals and hand out some free copies to the players to generate word of mouth. I'll need a scenario for that, something that can occupy half a dozen people for half a dozen hours.
Such is the perversity of life that I have to juggle my commitment to old Cthulhu with other projects - school teaching, obviously, and all the fan stuff I'm putting together for Myth. On top of that, there's Tinderspark and MALEFICIVM. These two books have been on hold for three or four months after the last feedback from Agencies in London, but I'm feeling inspired now to go back to them so of course novel-writing trumps gaming, or at least it has done in the past.
Plenty of resolutions there. I hope 2015 proves to be a game changer.