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:

Surveys and Week 3 Update
over 1 year ago – Mon, Apr 06, 2020 at 01:07:08 AM

The big two pieces of news this week are that we got the money from Kickstarter and we've sent out surveys!

Week 3  Progress

  • Sent out surveys: We sent a test batch of BackerKit surveys on Friday, and after that appeared to go off without a hitch, we sent out the rest of the surveys tonight. If you're not sure what to do with your donated copy, we've got over two dozen libraries who want copies, so feel free to select the option to let us find a home for them. We've got plenty of people looking for books.
  • Got the Big Check from Kickstarter: We now have the funding in hand. We paid out our March invoices to our team who are working hourly, and paid Tracy for their work consulting on the Kickstarter. We've also reached out to the StreamPunks to start figuring out how/when we'll be proceeding with that, but obviously in these strange times the logistics are going to be a bit more complicated. We'll keep you all in the loop as we find out more.
  • Reviewed thumbnail sketches for another of the interior city art pieces by Devon George: Today, we received an exciting set of thumbnail sketches from Devon for one of the backer-inspired city art pieces. As ever, we're incredibly excited by it, and we'll share it as the piece comes along.
  • Recorded an interview for the Marine Conservation Happy Hour podcast: If you've ever wondered what it would be like to hang out with some marine biologists and have a few drinks and shoot the bull about cool marine science topics, this is the podcast for you. I rounded up a bunch of random drinks from the pantry and dove headfirst into this recording session without breakfast, so it was a fun one.

A Word of Encouragement

Last week we talked about productivity and how important it is to be kind to yourself. This was, personally, a tough week for the team. I (Richard) had to deal with a loss in the family, and while I'm thankfully employed full time and able to work from home, several of my wife's coworkers are in a very bad spot at the moment. I really had to dig deep to take my own advice this week and allow myself to be okay with not being okay.

We're continuing to move forward on the project, but I've got an ask for everyone this week. If you're reading this, go find a picture of a cute cat, a puppy, or something that brings you joy and share it with somebody you care about.

Gray and white cat covering their eyes and trying to sleep.

This is the "supervisor" for the project, deciding that it's probably time for lights-out and getting some rest, so that's what I'm going to do. Hope all of you are well, and taking care of each other,

-Richard and the Descent into Midnight Team

New Art & Week 2 Update
over 1 year ago – Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 09:59:27 PM

We’re two weeks out from the campaign and we’re excited to share some new artwork from Devon George! This is the city inspired by your votes on the Twitter polls we ran during the ramp up to the campaign.

Luminous shrimp swimming up from market past giant skull to the surface.

Week 2  Progress

  •  Paid our fiction authors: We got close enough to the $55,000 stretch goal that we decided to bring Brandon in, and we have contracts signed and payments made to the them. We know Aly has already started the research for the piece and we’re excited by what we’ve heard so far.
  • Completed Art of Twitter poll city: Devon is producing full color illustrations of several aquatic cities for the book and this is just the first. For those of you at the highest backer tiers, you can see what they were able to do with just the short description from the polls we ran.
  •  Finished drafts of the Awakened and Cultivator playbooks for copy editing: We have now revised the first two playbooks and have them ready for copy editing. They’ll go through iterations based on that feedback but they’ll then be locked for layout and finalized.

A Word of Encouragement

This week wasn’t our most productive on this project, but that’s okay. We’re still figuring out how to adjust to the situation around us. We’d like to encourage everyone, if you can, to be kind to yourself. Whatever that looks like, congratulate yourself for the things that you are accomplishing, even if that’s just putting on pants or cooking a meal or just getting out of bed.

Health, love, and strength from all of us,

 -Richard

Week 1 Update
over 1 year ago – Mon, Mar 23, 2020 at 12:45:31 AM

We're one week out from the campaign and despite all the things happening in the world right now, we're hard at work. Before we get into the details of the this week's progress, we wanted to take a moment to wish everyone health and safety.

Update Format

We want to be as transparent as possible with the process so you all know exactly what's going on with the project as we move forward. Just like we developed and playtested the game publicly, we're going to finish the game publicly. I'll be posting a weekly update with a bullet list of tasks we accomplished.

One of the my goals with this project, beyond publishing Descent into Midnight, is to collect as much information as possible about how to prepare for an indie RPG Kickstarter and self publishing in the same way that Multitude and the Bello Collective have created documentation for how to start/run a podcast. We can't hire all the amazing people in the community we want to, but at least we can at least provide resources to make it easier for folks to do the work they love and crowdfund it.

Week 1 Progress

  • Opened the BackerKit pre-order store. If anyone you know would love the game but didn't back the campaign, no worries! They can still pre-order while we finish the book. The current plan is to print the books in fall, so there's plenty of time. 
  • Reserved an ISBN number. We need more information to generate the metadata and the barcode, but we've purchased it.
  • Created a workflow for finalizing the playbooks. I'm writing the final drafts, submitting them to I-Hsien for copy editing, iterating, then doing a final check in with the design team. After that, they'll be locked and passed over to the layout team.
  • Identified libraries who want donated copies. We reached out to the American Library Association Games and Gaming Round Table group on Facebook and received over two dozen responses so far from librarians who want donated copies of the book. If you don't have a specific recipient in mind for your donated copy, we'll make sure it finds a good home!
  • Sent setting brief / requirements document to fiction authors. I've now passed along the information the authors for the short fiction stretch goal rewards will need to start their work. Because we ended up so close to the $55,000 stretch goal, we'll be creating a short collection of stories that includes work by both Aly and Brandon, along with bonus contributor Olivia Hill, author of the new tabletop RPG #iHunt, about monster hunting in the gig economy. We're giving our authors plenty of time, and expect to deliver the collection around the time we're planning to deliver the books (December of 2020), though if everyone delivers early, we'll get it out to you as soon as it's ready.

Word of Encouragement

Times are pretty rough at the moment. I'd ask that if you can, find a way to help. Even if that means just taking a moment to do something nice for yourself, to breathe, to dig out that holiday scented hand soap you save for special occasions, to text somebody a goofy thing that made you laugh. Whatever.

Wash your hands. Remind the people who you care about that you love them. We all have something to offer ourselves and our communities right now.

Sending love and care from all of us,

Richard

We did it!
over 1 year ago – Mon, Mar 16, 2020 at 02:41:51 PM

Together with 1,114 of you, we made this happen! Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts and the oceans of the alien worlds you'll create. We've poured three years of our lives and a whole lot of love into this project so far, with more still to come, but we couldn't have done it without all of you.

This is a game about community, hope, and togetherness in the face of a looming danger. That feels more appropriate than ever right at the moment. We could talk forever about what it's been like to see such a huge response to this thing we've created, but at some point we should probably sleep, so let's get to the details of what's coming next.

How did we do?

We ended up at $54,600 which is just shy of the sixth stretch goal. We're working on finalizing the last few details of the BackerKit setup and should have that ready soon for folks who want to support the project who didn't get a chance to back during the campaign, or for folks who want to upgrade their pledges. I think we can safely say that even though we didn't quite hit $55,000, once it comes down to it I think we'll pick up another $400 in the next few weeks via pre-orders and be able to call it six stretch goals.

What's next?

Sleep! We're going to sleep for a bit. Then we're getting right back to work.

Updates

We'll be posting weekly updates so everyone knows precisely what's happening with the project as we move forward. Collectively, the core design team has backed a few hundred Kickstarter campaigns and we know personally what a difference good communication can make. We're committed to making sure you all know exactly what's happening as it's happening.

The Book Text

We have a full set of playable rules, but we're filling in things like Guide advice, more information about the moves and setting, and all the other copy needed for the book. The sooner we can get the first draft of the text done, the sooner we can begin the editing process and the layout process. We're anticipating a book somewhere between 100 - 200 pages, so there's a lot of work yet to be done.

Artwork

If you've been following us at @DiMRPG on Twitter, you've been seeing the playbook art, the cityscape art, the coloring book art, the token art... which is all to say that there's a ton of art being produced for the book. Some of you at the higher level tiers will also have the opportunity to submit character or city descriptions for art to be included in the book.

Additionally, we'll be including an add-on in the BackerKit store for submitting a character you'd like to be turned into a coloring book page! Because of the timelines involved, these images won't be in the main book itself, but everyone who gets the coloring book will get to see your awesome creation.

Donations & Fulfillment

One of the things we're most excited about with the campaign is offering the book donations. Every book in your pledge has the option to be sent to you, to a person/organization you choose, or to an organization we'll choose. If you have an organization you want to send them to in mind, please let us know as soon as possible so we can reach out to them. The sooner we can identify which groups need/want copies and how many they'd like, the easier it will be to arrange getting them the desired quantity.

We'll be tackling shipping once we're closer to the fulfillment dates. We have a general idea of the size of the book, but don't have the specific numbers for the weight yet. We've done our best to estimate the cost of shipping and packing materials and priced it out accordingly. We'll keep you informed.

Fiction and StreamPunks rewards

We'll be working with our authors to develop Descent into Midnight-inspired short fiction pieces, and the StreamPunks crew to develop a mini-series of streamed episodes. As the details for those emerge, we'll make sure to keep you up to date. We're incredibly excited about seeing how they come together.

Thank you

Again, thank you. We're stunned by your interest, your generosity, and the amazing things you've already built in the three years of playtesting. We can't wait to see what your compassion and creativity call into being as we create this thing together.

All our love and gratitude,

-The Descent into Midnight team

Just 24 hours left!
over 1 year ago – Sun, Mar 15, 2020 at 12:40:43 AM

This is it! We're down to the last 24 hours. On Saturday alone, we jumped up 110 backers, and hit our fifth stretch goal (200% funded)!

Thank you to everyone who helped make that happen. Now we're in the final stretch. Anything you can do to give the project a strong bump at the end would be amazing. We've already unlocked five streaming episodes from the StreamPunks, and we'd love to see another one, along with DOUBLING the bonus we're paying to our production team for Descent into Midnight.

After you tell your friends about the game, you can check out our three-part actual play with the fantastic Kat Kuhl, Orion Black, and Devon George.

Thank you, from the whole team. Let's do this thing!