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:

Full text preview
4 months ago – Mon, Jul 05, 2021 at 09:34:49 PM

While editing is still in progress, we do have a document with a full text preview of the game ready if any of you would like to read it and play with the latest rules. It doesn't have play aids like a Moves Sheet or Playbooks laid out yet, but it contains the entirety of the rules. 

Google Drive folder with preview draft


In addition, if you'd prefer to jump right in with Playbooks and Move Sheets that have been laid out, you can go to the Download page of the website to get the Quick Start Guide. They're an older version of the rules and Playbooks but they're still a ton of fun!


- Richard

May Update
5 months ago – Thu, Jun 03, 2021 at 05:27:29 PM

What did we accomplish in May?

  • Finished the core team's pass of the full game text.
  • Refined the layout for Chapter 1 (including deciding on the overall look of the layout from the two options we'd zeroed in on and starting on some thematically appropriate treatment options for notes/boxed text).
  • Started layout on content before Chapter 1.
  • Received 9th city image.
  • Built infrastructure of accessible character keeper (set up creation mode, play mode, and editing mode).
  • Finished editing on Chapter 2 and locked down text for layout.

We continue to be delighted with Devon's artwork on the full-color illustration, which we'll be including opposite the chapter title pages. We've included the final piece below, but you can check out this time lapse video of the piece being painted.

Organic buildings in a tangled nest of mangrove tree roots, with a trio of guardians swimming down beyond schools of fish to investigate the corruption in the soil below.

What's next for June?

The extended team will continue working on editing and layout, while I'll continue work on the digital character keeper.

  • Finalize Chapter 1 layout including note/boxed text treatment.
  • Finalize (as much as possible without final backer/preorder list, publishing metadata, etc) pre-chapter 1 content.
  • Start on Chapter 2 layout.
  • Editing for Chapter 3.
  • Accessibility review of Chapter 1 template.
  • Finish first draft of digital character keeper.

A few final words

Things are progressing! I'm getting to flex my software engineering skills (it's fun to get back to vanilla JavaScript) for the character keeper while the other talented folks on the team tackle the editing and layout and design decisions that are going to make this a truly beautiful book. Speaking of which, here's a sample of one of the chapter title pages featuring the illustrations Devon has provided. It's simple, it's bold, and it's gorgeous.

We'll save some of the interior pages until after we've finalized the layouts, but I can say I'm incredibly excited by what we've come up with for them.

Two page spread with ice spire city on the left and a bold, simple title page for Chapter 1 The Basics on the right.

Finally, thank you again. Working on this continues to be a joy and a privilege. We couldn't do it without you, and we're excited to keep pushing forward on this until we get this gorgeous book into your hands.

- Richard KL and the DiM Team

April Update
6 months ago – Sun, May 02, 2021 at 10:21:04 PM

What did we accomplish in April?

  • Reviewed style guide for book layout and review Chapter 1 layout.
  • Locked in final text for Chapter 1 and majority of Chapter 2.
  • Income taxes, sales taxes, permits, licenses, and reviewed financial projections.
  • Updated "Community" Playbook and map to "City" to avoid confusion with the stat.
  • Received sketches of a ninth full-color image (since we're using them on the chapter title pages and we now have nine chapters). We gave Devon free reign on this one and it's going to involve mangroves!
  • Created alt text for all the images.
  • Began work on an accessible HTML character builder / Playbook that can easily save your character. The first priority for this is making it usable via assistive technologies and ensuring it's easy to save the state. It's set up so all you have to do to save your work is save the file (the data you enter is stored into a hidden field on the page).
Screenshot of basic screen where user can select a playbook from a dropdown.
Screenshot of partially implemented playbook design featuring text for a few Moves and a text field notes area.

What's next for May?

We've got the editing and layout flow up and running now so we can get the layout happening while we wait on finalizing the text after the professional editing pass.

  • Finalize core design team editing pass. Currently this is about 92% complete.
  • Continue editing pass to lock down final text for layout. Professional editing pass is currently about 12% complete.
  • Decide which of the two layout options we've received for Chapter 1 we want to proceed with for the rest of the book, and make any updates necessary to our template going forward.
  • Layout for the pages before Chapter 1 (Preface, table of contents, publishing details, title page, backer thanks, etc) plus any additional chapters we can get to.
  • Accessibility review of proposed image alt text and Chapter 1 layout.
  • Finish unstyled draft of character builder / playbook and hand off to accessibility tester(s).
  • Continue work on remaining fiction rewards.

A few final words

Things are moving! Watching the layout come together has been an absolute joy and incredibly motivating. As I'm writing this update, we're doing a review of the Chapter 1 layout. I can't wait to share a preview with you all in the next update!

On the less exciting side of things, getting all the permits, licenses, and doing tax returns was an eye-opening experience. After we fulfill this project, I'll be moving on to create a guide for first time tabletop roleplaying game Kickstarters that includes all the things I wish I'd known from the start. There was a lot of information that I simply didn't find in my research when looking up how to do a Kickstarter for the first time and I want to make sure I can help prepare other folks.

I can't wait for the day in the coming months when I can see "Descent into Midnight, a game by Kreutz-Landry Games in association with Riverhouse Games" laid out on the page, with Rich Howard, Taylor LaBresh, and Richard Kreutz-Landry all on the cover. 


- Richard KL and the Team




March Update
7 months ago – Fri, Apr 02, 2021 at 05:16:19 PM

What did we accomplish in March?

  • Finished the first draft of the book text.
  • Began detailed review process of the draft with the entire core team. Made a few minor rules adjustments. This review process is roughly 60% complete.
  • Re-connected with our fiction reward authors.
  • Began programming an accessible HTML character sheet that includes character creation and saving the character data as simply as saving a new copy of the file.
  • Began work on color swatches for book layout.
  • Turned over the first few chapters of the finished draft to our copy/rules editor and proofreader.

What's next for April?

We've got the ball rolling smoothly again now, so there's a lot we're aiming to get done this month, including the following:

  • Finish core team review of first draft.
  • Set schedules and story requirements for remaining two fiction rewards.
  • Finish first draft of HTML character sheet and set up an accessibility review with our assistive technology testers.
  • Continue editing and iterating as needed.
  • Create layout for first chapter.
  • Update financial projections (review projected costs with printer, projected shipping costs, etc).

When can backers expect to start getting things?

Much of that depends on when we finalize the text and how quickly we can do layout. We're a quarter of the way through 2021, and due to everything last year, production got severely delayed. We're still, more than anything, committed to both getting everyone a fantastic game we can be proud of and making sure our team are working at a healthy pace. 

Our current projection for completing the copy/rules editing and proofreading is roughly five months, allowing an average of two weeks per chapter. The book text has grown from about 100 standard US letter-sized pages to nearly double that, so it's a lot more content than we'd originally anticipated.

We're anticipating a similar duration for layout, but we'll be doing that as we go. In addition to the book text, we'll be providing updated Playbooks that reflect the new rules and language, which will also need to be laid out. In addition to getting the finalized text laid out, we'll be reviewing the PDFs being generated with out accessibility consultant to ensure they meet the accessibility standards to make them usable to as wide a variety of players as possible. In addition, the book is planned with a 6" x 9" form factor, so 200 pages of letter-sized content will likely become a lot more in the final layout.

Realistically, our current estimate for a PDF is sometime in the last quarter of the year. While that's happening, I'll be coordinating with our editor, layout designer, art director, fiction authors, artists, and token designers to ensure as many pieces are moving forward as possible at the same time.

As soon as we have a finalized digital version, we'll get that out to backers. We'll also be working on the files to send to the printer, so we'll be beginning the proofing process as soon as we can. Our hope is that the proofing process will go smoothly and we'll have books to ship out by the end of the year.

Our priority, obviously, is finishing the main book as quickly as possible. Beyond that, there are the stretch goal unlocks. We're waiting until we have a finalized text and Playbooks to give to the Streampunks before we begin production on those episodes to make sure they're the best they can be. The coloring book pages, token designs, and fiction rewards are in progress. Depending on the team's availability, we may release those before the PDF of the book, but only if we're blocked on the main book for some reason and have bandwidth available.

We aren't currently planning on releasing things until they're finalized, but if you'd be interested in seeing draft versions to get the latest content to your table in the meantime, feel free to contact us.

A few final words

We'll again reiterate how grateful we are for everyone's patience.  Updates will be returning to the first of each month, with a quick bullet list of what we've accomplished and what we plan to do for the next month.

On a more personal note, it feels good to be back to coordinating the team. In some ways the last twelve months have felt a bit like a black hole, but we got the first draft of the book text written, and there's a bright path forward. The game is better for it, and things are looking up.

-Richard and the DiM Team

First draft complete!
7 months ago – Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 02:55:26 AM

We did it!

The first draft is complete. Obviously there are things we can't fill in yet (ISBN, library catalog info, the final list of backers from the combination of Kickstarter and BackerKit, page numbers for the index, etc) but the main text including the appendices is ready for editing.

We're incredibly excited to have nearly 200 pages of document to edit.

What's next?

Speaking of editing, that's the next big step. I (Richard) finished up the last of the text and appendices and the rest of the core design team is doing a review pass on the completed draft. At this point, we'll make any minor updates arising from that and getting the editing going with the new full text.

With the writing essentially complete, I'll be transitioning back into logistics and managing the rest of the process. While we're waiting on editing and layout, I'll also work on creating the accessible HTML/JavaScript versions of the Playbooks.

We would again like to thank everyone for their patience. Given the toll the ongoing pandemic has had on the team, my role as Project Lead has meant figuring out how to keep the project moving forward. Over the last year, that has essentially boiled down to doing one thing at a time, much more slowly than we'd anticipated.

The original plans we had for fulfillment had us moving swiftly through the writing and editing, and delivering that for layout and editing soon after, all while I would be managing details like getting an ISBN generated, getting the boilerplate information necessary for cataloguing data, managing additional art requests from BackerKit as they came in, etc.

Now, though, we're at a point where the remaining tasks are mostly a matter of coordinating the work of others and doing small logistical tasks that don't require large blocks of time. Things are moving forward, and I'm excited to transition back to fulfillment details and giving feedback on the work of our talented extended team.

Finally

We're two days short of the one year anniversary of the end of the campaign. I'm so incredibly grateful to everyone for the continued support and love you all have shown us. This has been an amazing journey so far, and amidst all the darkness in the world at the moment, this project has been a consistent source of light and joy, even with the stress of it taking so much longer than planned.


Thank you and stay safe

- Richard and the Team