Monday, June 01, 2009

Editing Blues....

Hey. Back once again with more updates.

After having sent the whole shebang off to Geoffrey for proofreading, I was left with the credits page and not much else. Out of sheer boredom, I began combing through the ‘Mech writeups and wouldn’t you know it? I came up with at least three that needed immediate attention.

- The Nightsky clocked in at nearly 900 words (the limit is 750) and was still in the original format (meant for online reading).
- The Commando was lacking any Notable ‘Mechs and Mechwarriors section and was about seventy words short.
- The FedSuns Centurion sections were out of order.

You know what that means. I fixed them and sent them individually to Geoff with my apologies, but now I have to go through each and every one of the ‘Mech writeups to make sure this does not happen again. To have missed such an egregious series of errors on the Nightsky was something of a shock. The least I can do is comb through them again, rather than place the burden on Geoff.

Also, I would like to elaborate a bit on the method we are using to guide this TRO. I am not talking about the nuts and bolts of the process – although you can be sure I will do that sometime soon 

As I mentioned a few posts back, the goal is not to re-invent the history of the Battletech universe circa 3063, but to slip our designs into it much like a high diver tries to enter the water. That is, with nary a splash. To that end, we have included references to events and institutions which are prominent in the storyline thus far, but taken pains not to inextricably link a design to any particular Name. You will find references to the loyalty of certain troops to Victor or Katherine Steiner-Davion – but Victor will not order a lance of Dragonfly VTOLs into combat. Nondi Steiner will order the production of new designs, and we will list new designs, but no specific names are mentioned so the connection is implied rather than stated categorically.

Likewise the rest of the Inner Sphere. As a goodwill gesture, House Marik will authorize a contingent of troops and their machines to clear off unexploded munitions left over from various conflicts between the Free Worlds League and the Capellan Confederation, but at no point is it specifically stated that the Mastodon mine-clearing tank was sent to take part in this activity. We leave it to the reader – and the player – to draw their own conclusions and use (or not use) the Mastodon in their own game.

The idea is to drop these machines into the enormous gaps left by previous hard-working writers whose effort is evident in the FedCom Civil War manual and other similar publications. While an incredible amount of information is available on what units and notable leaders participated in an enormous variety of actions across the Inner Sphere, this is as far as the writers took it. I presume they left room for the individual player (or character in the Mechwarrior RPG) to make his mark below the thirty-meter limit.

This is to our advantage. Nowhere does the FCCW manual state what particular ‘Mechs or vehicles took action in the second wave fighting on Broken Wheel – only that light ‘Mechs and hovercraft led the way to capturing a Loyalist General. Thus it is ‘safe’ for us to drop a new version of the Commando into this action and claim it made contributions towards the eventual victory over the Loyalist faction on that world.

I know, I know. It seems like we are investing a large part of our effort into avoiding the discerning eye of authenticity mavens – aka the ‘Canonicity Police’. It’s sad, but it is true. To do otherwise would place us in the untenable position of effectively re-writing a piece of established Battletech canon – that is, the accepted account of history which the company both generates and approves.

It is untenable because we simply don’t have the manpower or time to continue re-inventing the history of the Inner Sphere from 3063 on. And we would lose a large portion of the fan-base. There are other fans who can pull it off (the Shattered Sphere stable of writers is especially good at this), but while their account of ‘alternate-timeline’ events is thorough and quite entertaining, it automatically disenfranchises a large number of Battletech players and readers who like things just as they are. It is too high a price to pay for seeing our work in print.

Remember, we want you to use these vehicles in your own games, in addition to the enjoyment you get reading the individual writeups. Listing them as being produced in an ‘alternate timeline’ is the same as saying ‘aren’t they nice? But you can’t use them in a REAL Battletech game’. I have spent too much money and my associates too much time to permit that to happen.

In other news, the Marian Hegemony’s refurbished Catapult art just came in. It’s sooooo cute! The only thing preventing us from commissioning a cuddly stuffed toy version is the huge LRM launcher and the ER large laser. They take the edge right off the ‘cute’.



Doug said...

Will you release a record sheet?

Doug said...

Refurbished, like it!

Steven Satak said...

Are you asking if I will release a record sheet for the new Catapult?

And what are you referring to with the 'refurbished' comment?


Doug said...

Sorry, my bad humor.

I was asking of the whole TRO will have a record sheet release.

Refurbished comment was about the idea of having a Catapult refurbished. I just get a picture in my head of having an old peace of junk car, say grandma's 1989 Chevy Monte Carlo refurbished or reconditioned.

Steven Satak said...

Let me have your email address and I will shoot you the writeup.


Doug said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.