Insider 07/05/2010

I Won!

Today I opened my SoBe life water beverage, looked under the cap, and discovered that I had won a coupon for a “buy one drink, get one free.” Believe it or not, this was not the most exciting part of my day. No, the best part of my day was entering my office to find a shiny new Forces of WARMACHINE: Mercenaries book on my desk*.

I’m not trying to make you jealous. I know you don’t have your copy yet. So, I’m not going to prattle on about how cool it is. Let’s file that under the category of “Assumed.” What I will ramble about—for some length that I have yet myself to determine—is what having this book in my hands means to me.

First, it’s really freaking cool! No, not the book. (Yes, the book!) It’s cool to ”have” the book, to possess it, to put it on my shelf to complete the collection. Seeing all of the books lined up in order just gives me a certain amount of satisfaction. I love how they all match each other, how the jacket design is consistent and unified so that they all look like they belong together. And it’s an impressive amount of material represented in Prime Mk II and all of these Forces of WARMACHINE books. Someone else can do the math on the total page count; I’ll just file that one under “A Lot.”

With such an impressive volume of information comes an impressive amount of work. And the Mercenaries book marks the final chapter in the complete Mk II overhaul of WARMACHINE. This didn’t happen without a few hiccups along the way and a few scars to remember the whole business by, but we Privateers set out to do something extremely ambitious with six books released back-to-back in consecutive months (the fastest way possible for us to bring all of the existing WARMACHINE material up to date), and we did it. (Hey, let’s not get technical— what are a few weeks between friends?) And while we were at it, we threw in a bunch of cool new material as well: new models, themed lists, and all new fiction. I’m not saying we pulled off the impossible. Clearly, it’s not because we did it. But I do think we unlocked an achievement that is worth posting to our profile.

And yet, this triumph is overshadowed by the fact that it really only marks the halfway point for a much loftier goal: twelve consecutive books in twelve months. I think anybody else would have taken a break between rebooting two different games, but that’s not our style. We’ve got tournaments to hold and leagues to run, and we need WARMACHINE and HORDES on a level playing field as fast as possible.

It’s here that I think we’re getting into uncharted territory. I’m not certain—some other chronicler of game industry history can confirm whether or not this kind of craziness has ever been attempted, much less achieved. In any case, it’s a huge, daunting amount of material to cover in such a short period of time. The staff here trudges on, one book at a time, determined to see this journey through to the end. In some cases, aspects such as the game-development side of the Forces of HORDES books are already done. In other cases, like fiction, layout, and editing, there are miles to go before the last few books are put to bed. But what I’m certain of is that we will succeed at meeting the schedule we set (give or take a few weeks and foregoing any further interest on the part of U.S. Customs inspectors or Homeland Security).

More importantly, as the owner of this enterprise, it’s good to know what the crew of Privateer Press is capable of. We set a high bar and these folks have jumped over it time and time again. Winning a bottle cap sweepstakes is pretty cool, but knowing that your game company can pump out twelve [big, fat awesome] books in [approximately] twelve months brings with it a much greater sense of satisfaction.
All the same, I think we’re going to file this experience under “Never Again.”

(*Seems like every time I walk in my office these days, there’s something fantastic waiting there for me, as you’d know if you saw my Twitter recently on the awesome birthday present I received from the Privateer Staff!)

Catch my latest ramblings on Twitter at @MattWilsonPrime and join me on Facebook.