Here's an update on the status of the Player's Companion, and some glimpses of what the PDF will look like when it arrives in September! As you know if you've been following the internal development closely, we released the final manuscript for download by our Kickstarter backers and pre-orders at the end of June. We expected we'd take some time catching errors in that manuscript with our backers' help, which is always time well spent. We also got some late-arriving art orders from one of our Visionaries, which we were glad to receive. The images requested by backers are always fantastic and get at the heart of what Adventurer Conqueror King is about in a way that we're sometimes too close to see, and these latest ones are no exception.
The Lakeys were still finishing their last two pieces and didn't have room in their schedule for more, so we were delighted when Ryan Browning agreed (despite the arrival of a new baby in his family earlier that week!) to take on these illustrations. Since we knew the dimensions the illustrations would occupy, Carrie Keymel was able to start doing layout on the corrected manuscript with placeholders for the images yet to come, working in parallel with the artists.
Our last estimate of when the Player's Companion might be ready was July, and as that month came and went I started working on getting another estimate of completion for each aspect of the project. Because there were so many different hands working on pieces of the text/art/layout combo, by the time I'd heard from everyone the answer was: "actually it's all here now!"
The layout pictured here (with an illustration by the Lakeys made even more dynamic by Carrie's text-wrapping) is still a draft. We're currently trading emails about minor details of spacing and formatting, and thinking about ways to fill in white space like the one left below the Construct Creation Mishaps table opposite one of Ryan's new illustrations:
After these last wrinkles are ironed out of the layout, it will pass to Greg Lincoln who will create the PDF, including finishing touches like the internal hyperlinking of the table of contents. We expect that this final process will take no more than three weeks, so that our Kickstarter backers will be receiving their PDF rewards on or before the first week in September, followed by folks who pre-ordered theirs through Game Salute. After a period of exclusivity during which those who've supported the Player's Companion from the beginning will be the subject of intense envy, the PDF will also be available for sale at DriveThruRPG, and Paizo (and will switch to "available now" status at Game Salute, our preferred channel).
In parallel with the above, we'll send the layout to our printers, McNaughton & Gunn, as soon as it's finalized. It should be six weeks from the time that they receive the file until they send the books from their presses in Michigan to Game Salute's warehouses in Vermont, and another two weeks for them to reach the furthest-flung Kickstarter backers. So we expect those waiting on a print reward should see it in October, with a timeline staggered similarly to the PDF for when it's available to pre-orders, online sales channels, and at your friendly local game store.
If you've been waiting eagerly for this book, we appreciate your patience and are confident we'll soon be ready to bring you a Player's Companion substantially more awesome than originally envisioned. Here's one last pictorial bit of evidence for this claim: