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:

July Update
11 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 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
12 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

Full text preview
12 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
about 1 year 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
about 1 year 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