Monday, August 15, 2011

Hard At Work - Another Prototype Ready for Review

Glad to have you back!

Here are the updates:

- Lee has still not responded to my email. I sent another one yesterday. Not sure what is going on but it has been nearly two months since his last email and we are at the point where I may have to extend the commission to someone else.

- Karl Olsen has finished the Diomedes, the Hammerhead II, the Roland and the Machete. It’s just a matter of paying him for his work now – about $153 left to go.

- Jim Lafferty has done nearly all the color work. I owe him $75 and should have that paid off by Friday the 19th.

- There is one color piece left to do (for the Periphery). I will ask Jim to do that when I have paid him up to date for pieces already received.

- We owe Paul $40 and Dave Dryburgh $70. With school coming, it’s going to be touch and go whether I can pay all this off before the end of September. But we’re trying.

- Mike Sullivan has submitted a rough of the FWL Jaguar and I returned my suggestions. The commission is in progress.

Layout Business

- Work continues on the layout. We slammed away on it all Sunday (the weather was nice) and have added another thirty or so machines – the Free Worlds League ‘Mechs and the Capellan Vehicles and ‘Mechs. We also worked in the corrections to the previous prototype. The Web version now stands at about 26 Mb, the high rez version at 65 Mb.

- We were having the devil of a time getting InDesign to create a PDF, until we realized that the image on page 138 was something like eight feet wide! InDesign just choked on it. Apparently, it is possible to have an image file that is TOO large! We shrank it down and things work okay. That is, until we tried to spell the name for the FC Dragonfly. It would not let us put an ‘L’ after an ‘F’ for some reason. We cleared that up eventually, but it was weird to say the least.

The boldface and italics will be added in later. Bill and I am considering setting a day aside so that I can go through and work on it. I will have to use his computer, so Bill plans to drop his machine off and set it up on Sunday morning. I will spend the day going through and making the changes; Bill will stop by later in the day to correct any goofs I have made to the layout (I know nothing about working in InDesign).

It may take more than a day – I might have to keep the machine for a couple of days. Of course, all this will happen after we get the whole thing put together.

New Prototype Available!

I trust you all will be willing to go through and find any goofs we’ve made – there are sure to be several, and we need to get them fixed. Bill was trying to get the Federated Commonwealth Vehicles in last night, but his eyes began to cross and he was making silly mistakes, so we left it at 151 pages. I believe that is out of a total of 232.

There is one more House to enter, then the Periphery, Mercenaries and Comstar/WoB. Bill would like to do the Federated Commonwealth and post that as the final Prototype available to you all. The rest he wants to do without review, but I am undecided. You readers have been very helpful in picking out errors in layout, writing and art. It seems to me that we could use that kind of help on ALL the sections. Please submit your name if you are interested in proofing the TRO when we have finished all the machine entries.

Help If You Can...

- We are at the point where every donation via the PayPal button is crucial to getting the TRO out in September– even ten bucks will help enormously. I send the money directly from that account to the artists and others, so if you have been watching and waiting, now is the time to send a sawbuck my way. Unlike the company, I cannot publish without completing my payments to the professionals who have done work for us.

Doing My Part...

To show you how much I want to get this out on schedule, I have put up a very old game on Ebay. It is the original FASA version of Battlestar Galactica. The counters are unpunched, sitting in their cardboard sheet, and everything else is pristine. I saw a similar game with the counters in a ziplock going for $85, so I thought $80 would be a good start for this. The money will go directly to PayPal, and then from there off to artists.

Next up will be a copy of the original Albedo RPG. It is in excellent condition, but has been played with a bit.

I have also put up an extremely rare Pokemon collectible, a sealed Trainer Deck B, one of a set issued to the original Gym Leaders for WOTC's initial release of the game in 1999. Most were opened and played back in the early days, but I got lucky and had a batch come my way. I sold most of them for about $10 each back in 2002 to players and collectors rather than cash in on Ebay. But I kept a couple for myself and ten years later, am releasing one to Ebay to raise money for the TRO art.

Heck, even my son is getting in on the action , putting his only Tarmogoyf up for sale (it is a Magic:the Gathering card worth quite a bit right now).

The Legal Stuff... still waiting

Finally, I contacted the Catalyst Game Labs Battletech Line Developer back at the beginning of July to see what we would have to do to permit publishing this fan work. Disclaimers, copyright notices and and things like that. I also asked Mike Miller for advice. He sent a note to the folks in charge about this, and they responded with a statement that suggested they were going to kick it upstairs.

So far, no response.

Bill thinks we may not get any reply at all. It would set some sort of precedent. But there are any number of fan TROs and other BT-related books already out there, not to mention fan forums and websites. I find it a bit hard to believe CGL does not have some sort of process in place to handle this kind of thing. But maybe they don’t. I guess we’ll see.

Enjoy the prototype and thanks for stopping by.



Anonymous said...

Like I said over at BTU, the pros need to look out if this is amateur work!!!

Keep it up!!!


Zureal said...

I just have one complaint, it is in regard to the Black Knight. The art is fabulous and the layout is great to, BUT, the placement of the medium lasers is wrong in regards to the art, it would be better if there was one in the CT, and one in the LT and RT respectively.


Zureal said...

Sorry to bug u, also, you forgot to put the Mass of equipment and the armor value on your Jian MMTV on pg 127. The Griffin 3L on pg 143 is also odd that the art shows the ERPPC on the RA, but it says it is on the LA in the txt :/
Hope this constructive criticism helps make your work better :)

Steven Satak said...

You are correct on that first account - the ML placement does not match the data! We will fix that.

Will look at the Jian later tonight, and send both of these off to Bill for a quick fix.

Thanks for a sharp eye!


Steven Satak said...

@Zureal: Fixed the Griffin, found another error you didn't catch (the jump jets are supposed to be two to each side torso and one in the center, vice the 3/2 arrangement in the Prototype). I sent the updated stats to Bill. Also fixed the HMP files and the record sheets (these errors were also in the variant).

The Jian turned out to be a layout glitch, where the art overlapped the stats. Bill will fix that.

The Black Knight is also fixed as per your suggestions. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

unable to view the new version either in IE9 or mozilla.

robunos said...

From a first quick pass through :-

The drawing of the Vagabond is captioned 'isomerus'. As an aside, will the handwritten captions on Eric Ou's illustrations be removed?
On the Ural page there's a missing word or phrase :-
'While most drivers shouted at each other to turn back.
Groves quickly[missing word or phrase] his Ural and left his bickering comrades behind.'
And again on the Grffin GRF-3L page, the title reads 'Grifn'

Steven Satak said...

@everyone: I have noted your spotted errors and am listing them for correction on the next go-around.

Some of these are embarrassing, but as I said, we are concentrating on data entry. Correcting errors and doing things like boldface and italics will come later. Every single error you spot will be fixed, and as can be seen, there are some from left field.

Steven Satak said...

@everyone: I spotted even more issues to correct next go-around. I have written them all down along with the proposed fix and sent them to Bill. We will work them in along with more entries a couple of weeks from now.