4 months ago
– Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 06:45:34 AM
All War Mage Diary files have been transferred to the printer with the usual tweaking back and forth. I’m really excited to see the initial proofs. We’ve got cards, punchboard templates, spells sheets, and of course, the leather-bound book!
With all the elements, the question was, how do I hope to package this for shipping?
I decided the best course was a heavy slipcase with a custom blister to hold everything secure. It’s a little bonus that hopefully ensures your book arrives safe.
P.S. The mockups pictured below are not to scale or from the printer. This is a 30% actual size mockup on a single sheet of laser paper—just to make sure the folds line up correctly!
Going Old School
5 months ago
– Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 11:23:52 AM
I was a kid who became a pro illustrator in the 90s. This was a fascinating time because illustration studios still existed and computers were just coming in. (We couldn’t understand why anyone would want to use a PDF!) But I was also learning from veterans with 40-50 years experience in hand-lettering, airbrush, painting—yes, actual acrylic, gouache, and watercolor on rag board—dye retouching, and more. The education I got from the masters was immeasurable!
I became an expert with Rapidograph ink pens and could draw painstakingly accurate line drawings on vellum. (A skill that quickly became obsolete once we figured out those computers).
For the cover of War Mage Diary, I decided to mix old school with new school. I needed to create a stamp for the leather on the cover. And when creating a spellbook, an imperfect hand-drawn illustration is better than a perfect computer illustration. I set to work with a Sharpie and a pad of 360 paper (my old ink pens are dried up and vellum would be too perfect). I dug out my ancient french curves and oval templates and went to work.
To draw the whole moon shape by hand would be maddeningly slow (just the little bit I drew took a couple hours) but once I had the key scrollwork done, I could bring it into the computer and repeat the shapes over and over.
It’s a little detail readers aren’t likely to notice but it’s one of those things I do to honor those teachers I had starting out.
Cover stamp delivered to the printers
The War Is On!
5 months ago
– Fri, Sep 04, 2020 at 11:56:34 PM
I want to thank you again for bringing magic to Perdition! Emails have gone out to backers with a link to download your final PDF version of the War Mage Diary. We’ll keep this link active for a few weeks.
Toss any previous versions of WMD along with preconceived notions. Almost everything has subtly changed from the last PDF. Rules have changed. Skills have changed. Equipment has expanded. (Mage armor!) The Unreal Beasts are completely new. And Perdition is so much bigger now.
The other great news is, we should be uploading the final files to our printer next week and the leather-bound version will be underway!
Thank you for your support and belief in The WitchBorn. Enjoy!
P.S. Folks who purchased from the Preorder Store received separate emails. Those who purchased a beta version at WitchBorn.com can login for their updates on the “My Downloads” page. And if you missed out, the price will never be better than in the Preorder Store now.
ANATOMY OF AN ILLUSION
5 months ago
– Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 08:25:31 AM
The handwritten look for War Mage Diary has come together over several years. First, there was the writing (which never really stops—we’re always playtesting something!)
Then, came the photography. Maybe you saw me on your vacation. I was the nerdy guy photographing the blank leather spellbook on the sandy beach, in the autumn forests, and on the precarious cliffsides.
This was all roughly assembled in the last PDF version. Then came the comments of three different proofreaders plus input from you.
Now, we’re in the production phase, finalizing the retouching on each spread and “bending type.” A rough spread looks pretty good in the page layout program.
Here’s where we sell the illusion. I import and bend the type in Photoshop—an easy step—but not easy to edit afterward. That’s why we save it for last. With the type bent, I add a little highlight to the type to sell the curve of the book. It doesn‘t have to be perfect (part of the reason it’s handwritten).
Subtle change but pretty cool, hunh?
I am excited to share the new PDFs as soon as this is complete!
And you won’t believe how good it will look.
Pour Me a Whisky!
5 months ago
– Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 05:41:33 AM
203 templates done!
You may be thinking—great—but why are you celebrating?
The templates were the last piece of creative work for War Mage Diary. Sure, I’ll be fielding comments from proofreaders and editors while making final tweaks right up to the moment this book goes out the door. But all the heavy lifting is done.
War Mage Diary is in effect written and designed. And that is cause for celebration!
So what’s next? I’ll be working through production details with the printer. There’s one stage left. We used to call it “keylining,” pre-computer. Now it’s the process of making sure all the retouched imagery is ready for press; a little Photoshop magic to bend 288 pages of type to make it look like it’s really on the page; and prepping the cards, templates, slipcase, and spell cards to look their best. And of course I need to get an updated PDF of the whole thing to you backers.
Still a lot to do. But this is also a milestone to celebrate!