Monday, 29 February 2016

Operation: Paint Spill - A Week Long Painting Pledge

Greetings friends!

So at the time of writing it is Monday at 17:30 and I'm on my commute home. Sat at home on my side table is all the models that I need to paint for DaffCon in the second weekend of April.

As it has stood there has been next to no movement in terms of painting these models, instead focus has been on getting the Override book finished and sent to the printer, which it now has as of last Thursday.

Now, I want to burn through these models and get them done with time to spare. For this reason I am proposing a painting pledge of my own. This isn't like my last one where I said I would get X models painted in Y time.

Instead the plan is much smaller and simpler:

Every evening this week from Monday to Thursday, that is 4 evenings. I'll be picking up my brush and painting at least one technique on at least one model. If I can do it en bulk like for example a dark blue shadow base on all the Wraiths, then I will do this.

Obviously I will try and do as many of these as possible, but with a requirement of at least one per evening.

The next day I will be posting a short update on how the night before went complete with photos showing progress.

Quite simply there will be zero room for quitting here. The only requirement is that I 'apply paint to model' every night from Monday to Thursday.

If I fail to do that, then you all have permission to beat me in a game of Punchies at DaffCon (after playing a demo of First Law of course).

The aim here is to push through my painting block and get as much done as possible. The current drought is unacceptable when I am only about 6 weeks away from the event itself.

Now for those familiar with my painting setup, this doesn't mean I'll be hanging around my hobby-sofa every evening. I can paint anywhere including my Geek Cave, just as long as I apply a minimum of 1 bit of paint against 1 model.

So yeah, tune in tomorrow to see what progress has been made.

Until then, stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 25 February 2016

The Incident at Rapture Farms - An Update

Greetings friends!

So today is the day, I'm ever so slightly ahead of schedule, but once I get home from work I'll be uploading the 'manuscript' to the printer, inputting payment details and pushing that all important 'print' button!!

What this also does is give me a very short moment of breathing time to think about Book 1.5, yup the previously mentioned Incident at Rapture Farms story scenario that connects Book 1 with Book 2.

So originally Rapture Farms was going to be just a single mission, something to play for a bit of difference. It now occurs to me that I can really jazz this up by making it a 3 mission story pack!

This has gotten me quite excited, as it allows for me to really play around with some mission objectives and bring out the fun side of the Infected.

I've had some chats with people, and it has been pointed out to me that my previous plan of fast Zeds may not be for the best, and that slower building Zeds can be just as, if not more terrifying.
- It then occurred to me that not only was this person correct, but also as Rapture Farms is intended to be an introduction to a mechanic in Book 2, it should give a different side to that mechanic. Book 2's big nasties are supposed to be fast, so making the Infected slow creates a very different dynamic.

And so work has begun in the back of my fevered brain on a 3 mission story scenario involving Rapture Farms.

This of it this way: mission 1 is discovery. Your forces arrive to investigate the blackout, to begin with it is just you two, your missions are to extract the black box and get back to your base of operations. However the moment one of you do so, you wake something up, it's not happy and so in no time at all your position is surrounded by Infected. Each one is the same as the next and they slowly advance on your position. You receive a radio transmission! Your extraction point is cut off! The Infected are everywhere and you need a new site, queue having to run to the other side of the board to reach a new extraction zone.

Bonus points for getting the black box, but most of these rewards are for each force member who reaches the extraction zone by turn 6.

Mission 2: you've regrouped but now it's time to get a sample of this infection. You've tried with the shamblers, but they are just too far gone. You need a fresh sample, something from someone recently turned. The problem with these is that they are a lot faster than the shamblers, plus they like to hunt.

The Hunters are your objective. Find one, take it down, and then out within melee, then return to your extraction zone for analysis.

Hunters are essentially sprinting objective counters, but be careful when you get close to them as they are lethal up close.

Last but not least - Mission 3: Patient Zero
Yup, it has been determined that all of this began from a single person who was bitten by 'something' and has been spreading the contagion. The only way it is possible to even begin working on a vaccine or cure for the Infection is to get a sample from Patient Zero. Here's the thing; Patient Zero is not an easy customer, and will be hard coded to be next to impossible to bring down by yourself. We're talking a single unit with more Wounds than your entire force put together, MF Armour due to it's mutated hide, and of course ranged and melee attacks that would knock a veteran Kratel warrior onto his ass in one swoop!

How you bring down Patient Zero is up to you, and once done the facility is ripe for demolition with extreme prejudice, burning whatever is left of the Infection, but they can't do that until the sample of Patient Zero has been obtained.

In mission 3 there is no one winner. Either you win together, or you loose together, bring that beast down with coordinated attacks and you are looking at a hefty reward, which is perfect just before the dropping of Book 2's scenarios.

And that is my first pass at the scenario pack! Should be fun to play through.

Of course this does ask the question about what is the story of Book 2 about? We know it is dealing with big nasties in a doomed city, but surely it can't be just more infected?

Until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

An exciting time for First Law: Override!

Greetings friends!

Just providing you with an update on the First Law: Override book!

Yup we're on schedule to send to print THIS FRIDAY!!

That's right, by roughly this time next week (the printer gives a rough 2 working day turn-around) I should have the Pre-Release copies in hand!!

To say that this is exciting is a total under-representation of how I am feeling. More like balls-to-the-wall, terrified I think would be a better way of putting it.

This will be very good for me to get sent off as to date I have had a lot of very late nights as I try my hardest to get typos corrected, inconsistencies put right and of course making sure the whole thing makes sense!

Last night for example I wrote two whole new pages within the introductory beginning explaining who the different organisations from the UEF to the Ghosts are being sure to also include mention of the Bastion and the Kratel Imperial Regime. Sure the last two are not playable or viable locations, but they are referenced later on in the book, and I can't reference something without first explaining what the hell it is.

Hence the late (01:30) nights!

Tonight my plans are a lot more simple:

Finalise the front cover and back blurb. These things are necessary to make the book look as complete as in all honesty it is.

- Now you might be wondering, if I am saying it is complete, why then am I also calling this the Pre Release edition? The reasoning is simple. To date while we have internally tested the hell out of this game, that pales in comparison to the sheer volume of testing that happens via Joe Public and the insane combinations they can create. And so while the fundamentals of the game are sorted, the exact stat profiles, unit costings etc are far from it.

So once tonight is over, what will be left on the check list?

1). Printed T-Shirts.
Yup I've talked about this before. And I will be sorting these out next week once the book is sent off.

2). Painting the Demo forces.
If you remember I have roughly 8 models that I need to paint. This I know I can do in the remaining time scale, it's just a question of getting my head down and doing it.

3). Painting extras.
So the game uses certain extras such as Exo-Suits. I have models for these and want them painted. However I also have cut acrylic tokens from Counter Attack! So if the worst comes to it, I can use these instead. So this is going to the bottom of the pile.

4). Fixing terrain.
Yup, so a few things kind of fell through in the 'grand terrain' plan. So out of necessity we are going to have to utilise my plastic (painted) Deadzone terrain in combination with my full colour Infinity cardstock. This is fine, and actually I quite like the idea. It's terrain that most people are familiar with, and it shows off that you can use almost any sci-fi terrain for this game!

And that's it I think! Just booking return tickets to Wales and getting down and actually painting those damned models!

Anyway, that's all for now, and so until next time, stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 19 February 2016

Forward Planning for Override

Greetings friends!

So I need to get this down on paper in order to make sure that I don't forget it!

As you most likely already know, for Override I currently have 3 books planned. The first being the Core Book and the 2nd and 3rd being story campaign books.

But what about between them? Now that's interesting in itself. After all, events happen in between the 'now' and 'then' if the campaigns, but those events are not interesting enough for the campaigns themselves, but they are tied together.

After all Book2 focuses on the fall of a major city. That doesn't happen without a lead up.

Instead individual story missions are going to be produced. Just a single self contained one between each book that gives you a taster of what is to come.

The first is to bridge book 1 and 2, is seton the deep Badlands in a rural farm, one of the few farms on Honos that produces real meat rather than refined nutrient enhanced junk. The owners of this farm were fanatical Christians and named it Rapture Farm, but for some reason their latest shipment of meats was never shipped and they are not responding to connections trying to reach them.

And so we are introduced to High Noon at Rapture Farm.

In this mission both players will be competing to steal Rapture Farm's black box and escape with their lives, but the Farm's population infected with a mysterious virus might have something to say about that.

Yup, that's right, for the first time ever we will be featuring the first in-game Non-Playable faction in the form of The Infected.

Can you reach the centre of Rapture Farms, steal the black box and deal with the cause of the infection?

In this single mission encounter, the portents for Book 2 shall be revealed.

Until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Updated State of Play - Another Update on stuff

Greetings friends!

So a couple of small updates here!

First up is about the Pre-Release copy of the Core Book!

Yeah, so it was supposed to be sent to the printer tomorrow for delivery next week (they are fast) but that's going to be pushed back to next Friday instead.

The reason for this delay is that my lovely wife @tehtri has offered her invaluable skills as an editor to go over the document and point out all of my fragmented sentences, poor grammar (using It's in the place of Its) missing continuity between timelines, and an entire segment missing explaining during the introduction section who the different organisations are.

Now this is a very long and in depth edit she is doing for me, to the extent she is spending roughly 1 hour on 1 page, we're looking at around 80 hours all over, which is going to take us dangerously close to our April deadline, but is also unfair on her. So instead I've said that she has until close of play on Wednesday to do what she wants. She can do as much or as little as she wants between then and now, and then I'll be taking that off her Wednesday night and using the time between then and Friday to make all outstanding changes (I'm already getting start on a lot of them now) and will be sending it off on Friday in whatever state it is in.

A reminder that this is again a Pre-Release copy. I am hoping that following on from DaffCon we'll have enough interest to get some play testers interested and I'll be setting up a play test forum (waiting for some interest first, as there is nothing more depressing than an empty and silent forum) and we'll be actioning the play test findings.

Once done assuming there is the interest, I'll be sending it off for professional editing, so all of this will come out in the wash. I just want to make sure that the demo copy appears as professional as possible. After all, we both know that I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I would prefer it if at least 1 person walks away from a demo thinking it is something they are interested in and that the two guys demoing games weren't totally clueless (such as not knowing the difference between it's and its).


I also left it that I was thinking about t shirts vs polo shirts. After some advice from a good friend I've settled on t-shirts.

While polo-shirts themselves are the better item of clothing, apparently they look pretty shit with a printed design and only really work with embroidery, on the other hand t-shirts don't look better or worse with a printed design. As setting up the costs for embroidery is a total bitch, I will be going with T-Shirts for printing.

And that's it for updates. Not much but quite crucial stuff. Where as before I was really excited for getting the Core Book in a hardcopy edition, now I am mega anxious, I know that everyone who walks over to our stand and stays for more than 30 seconds is probably going to flick through that book, that is potentially a lot of people looking over the product of months of work between me and Tom being scrutinised and judged. I know they say you need to take these things in your stride and shouldn't get caught up focusing on the overtly negative, but when something has been a labour of love like Override has been for me, it's hard not to take that stuff to heart.

Anyway, as always friends; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

State of Play: An Update

Greetings friends!

So it's been a short while since my last update and so I thought I would take this opportunity to let you all know how things are for the upcoming gaming convention: DaffCon in April.

Now it's important to remember that we are looking at only at about 8 weeks to go until the convention - so not long at all!

So first up is that this week will be the sending of the Pre-Release Core Book to our printers.

Yup, it's pretty much ready to go!

I was hoping we would have some additions such as a glossary of terms and maybe even an index however as it stood we already had pushed our volunteers pretty much to their breaking point and despite trying my hardest, I just could not squeeze any more out of them.
- I'll need to recruit a slave driver of the Imperial Regime for next time.

But regardless, we're pretty much there for the Pre-Release edition which we'll be bringing with us for this and any further demos.

Once that has been sent off I'll then be working flat out getting the demo forces painted up.

For those curious we're looking at a Wraith force with Leader, Assassin and Hacker. Against them will be a Raider force of Leader, Ghost + Linkbot and a Big Bro. Not many models, so that shouldn't be much of a problem. I also need to finish my Red Claw force, but they are an 'alt' force.

Terrain-wise, we're kinda good to go. I thankfully have my Deadzone terrain complete as well as my Holo-Ads from Infinity and the Operation Icestorm card stock terrain. Together they should make up the required minimum so even if we are looking at only using mine, we can host the 2-intended tables.

Then we have the clothing side to sort out! Obviously if we are going to pretend to be remotely professional** we have to look the part! So yeah time to get the polo shirts ordered!
- Polo Shorts or T Shirts? That is the question!

**So for the past year+ I've argued that I am not a games designer and that we are not a professional company. We are still not a professional company, but I have been told by a friend that based on what we've done here is nothing shy of miraculous. When you factor in the possibility of bringing a product to market combined with a 3+ book plan, I need to stop being modest, and at least pretend to act the part.

So yeah. Send book, paint models, order shirts... Then cry!

And while I am curled in a small ball waiting for DaffCon to come and go - I'll say that I hope you stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley