Descent into Midnight

Created by Richard Kreutz-Landry

A roleplaying game about community, family, and hope on an aquatic world. Descent into Midnight is a Powered by the Apocalypse game where the players take on the role of psionic alien sea creatures who are defending their home from an otherworldly Corruption.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

September Update
17 days ago – Thu, Oct 07, 2021 at 08:59:52 PM

What did we accomplish in September?

In short, we have the first finished chapter! Chapter 1 is undergoing one last accessibility check, but aside from inserting page numbers references, it's looking like the final product. In addition, I've been continuing work on the digital character keeper.

What's next for October?

I'll continue work on the digital character keeper. We still have at least a few months to go to finish the layout, so I'm pacing myself on the software development work. We're also taking a brief pause on the layout because of some real-life situations that have cropped up, but we expect to get things rolling again in November. Given how smoothly the work on Chapter 1 has been going, I have every confidence we'll be moving forward rapidly on the other chapters, especially the simpler ones that don't have play examples or the Playbook chapters.

A few final words

We're still rolling along, and the book is turning out as gorgeous as I'd hoped. Next month's update will likely also be a bit spare, but we should have some good progress to report on by the end of November.

- Richard and the DiM Team

August Update
about 2 months ago – Wed, Sep 08, 2021 at 11:59:03 PM

What did we accomplish in August?

Let's start with a preview of the new layout!

The finished book will have one of Devon George's full color illustrations per chapter, and we're planning on each chapter's pages being bordered by bits from that illustration. The black and white illustrations from Taylor Livingston are getting a watercolor background treatment to really make them pop. With this design getting fine-tuned, we'll be ready to start surging ahead on the layout soon.

Mock up of open book, with stylized fonts, embedded image of a sea wyrm, and illustrated vertical page borders.
  • Layout revisions on chapter 1 and pre-chapter 1 content.
  • Minor editing and copy updates based on layout flow, etc.
  • Playbook Moves and general infrastructure improvements to digital character keeper.

While three items may not sound like much, we're zero-ing in on the final template for standard text chapters (the Playbook chapter will be its own fun beast). This includes concurrent accessibility review, adjusting text as needed so it flows properly, minor editing updates, and shuffling around some of the content as needed.

The work on the digital character keeper has been slower than I'd like, but a lot of that is ensuring that it will be a single-page html file that does everything a page using a heavier-weight software library would do. Manually recreating all the functionality it needs is time consuming, but should be worth it in the end. And I have no doubts it's going to be ready by the time the digital version of the book is ready to distribute.

What's next for September?

  • Continued work on the digital character keeper (next up is selecting arbitrary Playbook Moves from other Playbooks gained via Insights and then Corruption Moves).
  • Finalizing the base layout template for standard text chapters.
  • Finish Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 layout. 

We're already in the process of laying out Chapter 2, but obviously that won't be finalized until we have the final decisions on Chapter 1 and the overall style guide. We've been working closely with our accessibility consultant to ensure we won't be running into unexpected issues down the line, and work should proceed quickly on the rest of the layout until we get to the Playbook chapter.  That chapter presents some unique layout challenges that we'll deal with once we get there.

A few final words

We're moving along with layout and accessibility review and the digital character keeper, I've been keeping an ear out about the logistics phase that will follow. Shipping and printing are going to be costlier than we had anticipated due to the effects of the pandemic, but we're lucky in that we're planning on using a domestic printer and don't need to import components like some other projects. We're still in good shape to get books to everyone once they're ready.

On a personal note, the fulfillment side of this project has essentially marked the time of the pandemic for me. It's given me something to focus on creatively, a reason to stay organized, and a long term goal to accomplish. I'm grateful to all of you for your patience and your belief in the project.

Thank you

- Richard and the DiM Team

August Update will be slightly delayed
about 2 months ago – Fri, Sep 03, 2021 at 11:22:06 PM

Hi everyone, just a super quick update. I'll be doing the monthly update about the August progress after the long US Labor Day weekend. We've got some exciting things to share and I'm hoping to sneak in a bit more work on the digital character keeper/sheet over the weekend.

Keep an eye out for the update next week!

- Richard

July Update
3 months ago – Thu, Aug 05, 2021 at 12:29:59 AM

What did we accomplish in July?

  • The full text has received a pass from our editor!
  • Most of the revisions from the first editing pass have been made.
  • The itch.io page for Kreutz-Landry Games is live (complete with a small vampire-themed party TTRPG/drinking game).

We transitioned to the new layout designer and have prepped both versions of the covers, as well as revisiting the layouts for the book chapter template and pre-chapter 1 content.

Similar to the change we made last month, we made a tough decision to move forward with another editor. The work we'd received up to this point was great, and we're grateful for the work that was done. That said, the transition allowed us to complete the rest of the editing pass this month, and we believe it's what was best for the project.

What's next for August?

  • Finish revisions based on first pass editor feedback and start second pass of editing.
  • Pre-chapter 1 layout.
  • Chapter 1 layout, including an accessibility review and iterations.
  • More work on the Kreutz-Landry Games storefront and site.
  • Finish digital character keeper.

We're in great shape to move forward rapidly with the layout and editing iterations. Most of the edits are already finished, and the turnaround time for the remaining editing and layout should be shorter now. Some of the later chapters will require new design elements (play samples, the playbook text, sample moves, etc) but having a solid Chapter 1 layout will mean we can speed through the majority of the content and just worry about those new elements.

A few final words

The last two months have seen us make some tough decisions about the project. We're thankful for the work I-Hsien and VJ did to get the project to where it is now. Paulomi, our art director, is taking over the layout design and our accessibility consultant Rhi is taking over the editing. Since Paulomi and Rhi are both already familiar with the project, it means we didn't have to spend time onboarding new folks, and they've both got the skills and experience to knock this project out of the park.

On a personal note, I'm excited at the progress we've made this month. I can't express how much everyone's continued patience and encouragement means, and while I know I can count on the grace and well-wishes of everyone who has backed the project, I'm more eager than anyone to get this project finished and into your hands. I want to hold this book and know that we've created the game that has lived in our hearts for years now, and this month has taken us all a huge step forward towards that goal.

Be well, stay safe, dream of weird sea creatures,

- Richard and the DiM Team

June Update
4 months ago – Mon, Jul 05, 2021 at 09:35:53 PM

What did we accomplish in June?

  • Finished editing on Chapter 3.
  • Worked out a new schedule to speed up further editing since the remaining chapters are longer than the first few.
  • Rebuilt the HTML character keeper with a more structured approach so it will be easier to work on.

We have decided to move forward with a new layout designer to finish the project. The team is super grateful for the work we've received so far, and we're confident we've got a good baseline template to work from going forward. We'll share more information as it becomes available, but we believe in the end it will mean getting the book into your hands faster.

We also worked out an updated schedule with our editor to speed things up so we can keep a steady pace and fully finalize the text as soon as possible.

What's next for July?

  • Editing for pages 36-76 (of 200) putting us halfway through Chapter 5: Playbooks.
  • Transitioning to a new layout designer and finalizing the Chapter 1 layout.
  • Accessibility review of Chapter 1 template.
  • Finalize the first draft of the digital character keeper on the new code structure.
  • Miscellaneous work to prepare the Kreutz-Landry Games site and storefront.

Descent into Midnight will ultimately be published by Kreutz-Landry Games (run by me, Richard, the Project Lead) in association with Riverhouse Games (run by Taylor, our Design Lead). In my spare time when I'm not writing code for my day job or the character keeper, I'll be writing more code to get the company website up and running. It should be a small project that shouldn't interfere with anything for getting you folks the book. Most of my time at this stage in the project is check ins and minor decision points regarding the work the rest of the team is doing.

A few final words

I can't say enough how much we appreciate everyone's patience with the project. We're continuing to move forward, and the changes we've made should help things move more quickly. That said, the current projected finish date for editing takes us into early October. We'll be busy in the meantime doing layout, doing accessibility reviews, building digital play aides, laying out chapters as they become available, and pre-doing as much work as possible, but we'll still have some work to do once the text is finished.

Among the final details will be getting MARC records and other library catalog metadata generated so the copies donated to libraries can be easily integrated into their systems. In general books donated that don't have an ISBN and cataloguing data registered with one of the large library cataloguing sites will end up in the book sale cart. And while we'd love to support those libraries any way we can, we'd prefer if librarians who wanted to could easily enter them into their library system. There will be other small details to finalize, but rest assured that once we have a fully finalized text we'll be getting it out to everyone as soon as possible while we wait on them.

As always, we're committed 100% to keeping you all informed of precisely what's happening with the project. This journey has been longer than any of us expected, but it's moving forward. If you have any questions or comments, let us know and we'll be happy to respond.

Stay safe, stay hydrated,

Richard and the DiM Team