Tuesday, March 13, 2012

S&S: Why did it take so long? Part 3

The next gap is almost a year long, and it's harder to explain from the news headlines. I was almost put in the hospital again during that time, but was able to recover with bed rest. And Arnica started selling in earnest. And the 10th and 11th adventures we selected were BIG adventures. They were probably overly ambitious because they each included some really cool extras. Dion Duran's "I Hit a Vein!" has a PDF map for a poster-size underground gold mine that can be printed out, one page at a time, on your color printer. And Tom Reed's "White Water, Bloody Boulders!" comes with 13 pages of map tiles to simulate a wild escape on a white water rive raft. Both of these bonuses took extra time to flesh out... But I (for one) think the wait was worth it. These two adventure accessories will turn any game into an ace high fandango!

Remember, you can get all of these adventures for FREE over at our Website: http://www.hawgleg.com/2007_contest_winner.asp

The Last Hurrah
I think the hardest part to explain is the final big gaps. It took us almost a year to publish the 12th adventure, and then another year for the three of us to force the matter and actually vote on who won. That honor, of course, went to Tom Reed's "The Great Dry Gulch Bank Robbery!" Now, part of that delay did come from the fact that we had wanted to print a 13th adventure to make it a baker's dozen. But we finally realized that this had been sitting idle for far too long and we just had to end it. So, end it we did.

And then came the next delay, which is entirely on me. We needed to set up a software solution for people to vote on the winner of the Jury's Prize (that is to say, second place). The problem was, I couldn't find an available solution that we could afford (honestly $99 to run a contest for one month?). And the freebie solutions didn't have the functionality we needed to capture email addresses, or if they did, they limited us to 100 respondents. Since we couldn't find what we needed, we decided that I should write it myself.

The really sad thing is, I got about 80% finished with the coding and back-end tools in two weekends, and then my work schedule went crazy and my computer crashed (my work was safe online but I didn't have an ASP development environment set up on my new laptop). That's when things REALLY slowed to a snail's pace. Countless distractions and other issues just kept putting S&S on the back burner until -- you guys really should thank him -- Paul got me to focus on it again so we can finally put this puppy to bed.

And that's where we are: Finally putting it to bed after starting it five years ago. This puts us 3.5 to 4 years behind schedule. I've got to say... Hawgleg has the most patient fans on the face of the earth. I think they always knew we'd get it done... it was just a matter of when. And, of course, that "when" is now.

Putting it all into a nutshell
I've had time to think about what happened and why. There were some reasons for some of the delays, and hospitalization and hurricanes are darned good reasons as to why we got thrown off track. But (and you decide if this is a reason or an excuse), I think it comes down to this: We underestimated the time and resources we would need to complete all the projects we had lined up and, because of that, we lost momentum on the S&S contest. 

I think we've managed to lasso the momentum right now and will manage to keep it going for the last mile of this journey. We're going to get the prizes awarded and delivered to the patient winners. And then we're going to pull the material into a book for the people out there who would like to purchase a permanent hard copy for their records and, let's be honest, to give one final thrill and some serious bragging rights to the fine gents who entered this contest. When all is said and done, they will have their work printed in a game book that they can show off to their buddies and to woo the ladies (okay, I suspect it will be more showing off than wooing, but you never know...).

By the way, just because we are collecting the Showdowns & Shootouts material into a book does NOT mean we are taking the original adventures offline. Our intention is to keep those up there as free downloads for anyone who wants to mosey by and take a gander at them. After all it's taken to get them up there, it would be a downright sin to do anything else.

Tuesday, come back for a rules discussion on Movement & Modifiers. 

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