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Old October 7th, 2008, 04:28 AM

The big supplement for Mutants & Masterminds is now awaiting approval from Green Ronin, and our focus now shifts to the next big item for Hero Lab: the Authoring Kit. So I figured that I would give everyone an update on the release plan for the Kit.

The nasty problem we've run into is that life has dealt me a serious setback in terms of my health. I've got a severe problem in my neck that has significantly impaired my ability to get much done this past month. After countless doctor visits and tests, the decision is that we're going to try conservative medical treatment (i.e. no surgery), but this means that my ability to work will be diminished on an ongoing basis. Since I'm the critical path in getting the Kit out the door, this will inescapably impact the release of the Kit. :-(

Colen and I have been discussing how to scale back the contents of the initial Kit release in light of this impact. We're also exploring some different ideas on how to get a few things accomplished without my involvement. But the unfortunate reality is that, regardless of what we do, the Kit simply won't be finished when we planned it - at the end of October. We're going to do all we can to get it out at some point in November, but we're limited by what I'm physically capable of getting done. I'm back to operating at about 60% of where I was before, which is a huge improvement, but that's still a 40% drop-off, and it also doesn't account for my almost complete loss of productivity in September (which puts the Kit a full month behind where it should be right now).

So where does this leave us?

There are a few weeks of actual coding work that need to be completed before the Kit can be released. And the complete walk-through for creating data files is about 80% finished. But there is a wealth of documentation that still needs to be written - my best guess is about six to eight weeks of it. This all assumes that my productivity remains at a reasonable level, of course. Getting it all done brings us to a late December release timeframe if we don't make some adjustments or concessions. Consequently, various compromises are a necessity.

It's almost a certainty that the documentation will not be as complete as I'd like it for a November release. So we'll make sure the documentation focus is on the most commonly used mechanisms first. That way, near-term content omissions should not impact anyone much, and we'll progressively get the missing material added. If someone runs into something that we haven't documented yet, we'll just bump that up to the top of the priority queue for the next update.

Barring any further unforeseen developments, that's the game plan for the Authoring Kit release. I'm hopeful that this approach will work as well as possible for everyone under the circumstances - i.e. finding a compromise bewteen releasing something soon and having a quality toolset from the start.

Thanks in advance for everyone's patience. We're doing our best to get this stuff finished, in spite of the knuckleballs that life has been throwing recently. :-)

May the dice be with you....
rob is offline   #1 Reply With Quote
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Old October 7th, 2008, 06:56 AM
Glad to hear you're feeling better rob. Take your time with the Authoring Kit and its documentation. I'd rather have it later with good documentation than now with bad documentation. All the features in the world do me no good if I don't know they're there or how to use them.
FifthWanderer is offline   #2 Reply With Quote
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Old October 7th, 2008, 08:14 AM
Take care, neck problems and computers don't mix well at all.

How does this impact the Savage Worlds rules release?
DaggerdaleDM is offline   #3 Reply With Quote
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Old October 7th, 2008, 12:09 PM
At 08:14 AM 10/7/2008, you wrote:
How does this impact the Savage Worlds rules release?
The Savage Worlds stuff will be included with the Kit. When the Kit gets released, so will the SW stuff. Consequently, this impacts the release of the SW material and also pushes back our plans for more WoD settings all the Cortex-based RPGs (Serenity, BSG, etc.). :-(
rob is offline   #4 Reply With Quote
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Old October 7th, 2008, 01:07 PM
Rats but hey, you guys have been great about updates and quality product, the least we can do is remain patient.
DaggerdaleDM is offline   #5 Reply With Quote
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Old October 7th, 2008, 03:17 PM
Thanks for the update, Rob! Health and family always come first, and I hope you get back to 100% soon!

Noctivagus is offline   #6 Reply With Quote
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Old October 8th, 2008, 01:23 PM
Hey! Who is in a hurry? Not me. Your health is more important than an update. We got the rest of this year and have not even touched next year, so all is well. Take care Rob!

joaquin83 is offline   #7 Reply With Quote
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Old October 10th, 2008, 08:27 PM
I'm with the others. Of course I am chomping at the bit for the Authoring Kit, but I agree that anyone's health (and family) come first. I went through a serious illness myself a couple of years ago and I would never suggest that you push yourself beyond your limits. No game is worth that. Get yourself well and know that we will still be here and will still love the product whenever you are ready to release it.

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Old October 18th, 2008, 01:47 PM
Keep up the good work guys, and heres a YOU ROCK to add to your joy
SAbel is offline   #9 Reply With Quote
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Old October 29th, 2008, 07:27 PM
A 2 month slip on a release date? Having worked in the software industry for the last 10 years I think you guys are doing better than most companies out there.

Seriously, I am really looking forward to the Authoring Kit. That said, waiting a few more months because you guys want to make sure that it is a top notch product only shows me that it is worth the wait.

Hope your recovery is a fast and smooth one Rob!
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