Thursday, June 14, 2007

WAB and writting books!

I have been visiting many fourms looking for info on LotHS and what people have been saying about it. For the large part folks can't wait for it to be out (neither can I!). But I came across a few folks on a certain forum that see to be disgruntled at the fact that Warhammer Historical is even doing these legends books.

It seems that they would rather see WHH focus only on WAB (Warhammer Ancients Battles) supplement books before seeing anything else come out from them. Now as I posted here a few days ago I wrote the LotHS book. Now I had a unique first hand look at how WHH or even GW gets books out there on the shelves. And I can tell you it is a long process and what makes it harder is that Rob Broom of WHH is really a one man show. So I thought I would give you and everyone else a look at how a book comes to the shelves. now you must understand that this is what I saw & this is only my point of view. Much much more goes on after the author turns over the manuscript.

So a little background info of me, I'm a regular guy, with an ordinary family (Wife, Son, 3 cats and a mortgage payment). Writing is not my job that brings home the bacon (as my wife & friends will attest too!) I work for a large Auto Finance company by day, and play with toy soldiers by night.

This idea for a Pirate game started out way back in when I purchased GW's Lord of the Rings game Fellowship of the Ring. After looking over the rules and playing a few games with friends, I decided that the rules system would leaned themselves to a Pirate game. Now the local guys here in Phoenix would often host participation games for the rest of us and I wrote the rules after playing Tom O's home brew game called the Good, the Bad and the Dead (which he used for Old West & Pirate games).

Well after tinkering around with the LotR rules I set about creating a modification of the rules for Pirates. Well as most folks know, I tend to start things but never get them done in a timely fashion. So the Pirate rules fell by the way side as something else peaked my interest. Well that something else was when the Disney company released Pirates of the Caribbean, Curse of the Black Pearl. I remember as I walked out of the theater I told my wife and son "You know, that would make an awesome mini game" They both shook there heads and dismissed me as crazy. On the ride home I remembered that I started a set of rules and that I should see where I was with them.

It was a few days later that I had lunch with Tom O and I told him about my idea for a set of rules. he said why not submit the rules to WHH. So after going home that night I put together a proposal for a game based on LotR for Pirates much like Legends of the Old West that Mark Latham had just written. The other thing that Tom told me was to keep writing the rules, even if I don't hear anything from Rob Broom, keep writing. So I did, I kept writing and sent the proposal off to Rob which was sometime around late 2004 or early 2005.

I finally heard from Rob and was being considered for the job but he had other proposals to look at. In the meantime, Tom kept saying "Keep Writing" so I did. Sometime in mid 2005 I heard from Rob B and he said i should start assembling a play test group together, this was of course after I sent him a 40 page word doc with what I had. I then started asking guys if they wanted to play test a set of rules I was working on based on LotOW rules and I had a yellow light from Rob B to proceed. The reason I had a yellow was the fact that Rob B was still trying to sell the idea of the book to all the GW sales folks. Even though Rob is head of WHH, he still has boss' above him. Well the sales folks at GW gave the thumbs up around the end of 2005 and Rob passed the info on to me. Rob then asked how soon I could have the final manuscript to him, I told him I could have it all ready to go by the first weekend of December 2006. So with that target date I set about to finish & get the rules out for folks to play test the system.

Now a word about play testing, for those of you who have not done it, it basically means that your trying to break the rules of the game that was written. I had guys all over the globe playing my game & one guy in person was always complaining about everything. Now this would usually bother me, but this was what was needed for the rules, I had to have folks see if it was broken. So I appreciate the one guy (who I will not name) for always pushing me to fix this or that.

We now flash forward to December 2006, target deadline, I finally had the document ready to send off to Rob (86 page Word document, size 10 font, no double spacing) ready for him & I sent it off. it was a relief and also frightening at the same time. Now obviously it was relief because I had no more deadline, but now I knew that Rob B would be doing the final editing and that I was one step closer to getting the book out there.

So that brings us to June of 2006, right now, where do we stand, well that's a good question. I heard from Rob B last week and the book is in final editing and in the layout stage. Rob will be sending out an email about needing figures & scenery for the book. that will be in the next few weeks. I can also expect to do some re-writes due to editing, which in fact I did one small edit to the non player character section of the book. From what I heard from Rob, the book is expected to be out by September in the UK and October here in the states. That's if everything stays on track. We were supposed to see the book by now, but Rob had new additions to his family and was also ill for about a month, this pushes everything back and I can only imagine he has a ton of work to catch up on as well.

So whats the point of this, well to bring this back to the beginning of this huge post, it takes time to produce a book! It takes alot of time, as a gamer of WAB, I would love to see a steady flow of books coming out every month, but seeing how long it took for my own book, I understand why there isn't a steady flow. The WAb community is huge, and there are many folks out there that write books, but there isn't enough people to do a steady stream of books like the community would like to see.

So there you go, to quote a friend of mine "If you think you can do better, have at it! Otherwise, shut the hell up!" and I would add, be appreciative for what you have and what you get...

TK

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