XDM: X-treme Dungeon Mastery, 2nd Edition

Created by Howard Tayler

The Cure for the Common Game

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Status Report #11
9 days ago – Sat, Nov 20, 2021 at 09:19:03 PM

Greetings Backers,

Welcome to your bi-weekly status report.


TL;DR: For December we're staying on an every other  week schedule for status updates, updates will happen on Dec 3 & 17. We're reserving New Year's Eve for holiday celebrations, so your first January status report will be January 7. Surveys have gone out. If you didn't get yours, click  the link below.   If you're a Legendary XDM who is getting your name listed in the book, please scroll all the way to the bottom of this update to make sure we have your name listed correctly. Details below.


Almost 95% of you have filled out your surveys. Thank you! If you're   one of the remaining five percent, specific step-by-step instructions  for  the survey can be found here. If you didn't get your survey email, or have lost it, you can go to this link to get access to your survey: https://xdm-x-treme-dungeon-mastery-2nd-edition.backerkit.com/

Status by Chapter

We've reached a point where we're finalizing art rather than focusing  on text generation. There are still a few appendices that need some text, but over all the text is done and currently Sandra is working on merging notes from all the editors into one thoroughly edited document.  Art progress is as follows.

  • Intro & Chapter 1-5, 7: Art complete, waiting for final layout and design
  • Chapter 6: Pending, we need to write up some pre-built NPCs before Howard can draw them.
  • Chapter 8: in progress now
  • Chapters 9-15 : Second notes merge, waiting on art.
  • Appendices: X-treme Guide to Conversational Storytelling, Random Story Generator, Secret History, DIY Initiation Rites, Accessibility,   Bibliography: Second notes merge, waiting on art.
  • Appendices: QUIRK Generator, NPC generator, About the Contributors,  X-treme guide to comedy,  Adapting for one shot play, Conquering Imposter Syndrome:   In second revision. We have notes for these. Mostly they  need to be   tightened up and  given a voice pass to add jokes.

Illustrations done: 71 (+22 from last update)

Illustrations probably done: 27 (Things like the hands showing card tricks in Wonders of the Gods probably don't need to be re-done.)

Illustrations pending: ≈ 110 (88 confirmed art spaces + more because Howard sometimes double illustrates a page.)

Deliverables List

This is the comprehensive list of things we owe to you as part of this project.

  •  XDM2e Hardback book (includes the printed end  papers and spot  gloss): Almost text complete. Illustrations and design in process.
  •  XDM2e PDF: This will release to backers  at  about the same time we send the book off to print.
  •  XDM2e audiobook: Tracy has blocked out a space in his schedule to record and produce this next February. Well before the April 2022 deadline we set in the Kickstarter
  •  Signed Bookplates: We'll need to design these, that is likely to happen concurrently with cover design and book interior design.
  •  Streamed book Illustrations: Follow Howard on Twitch to be alerted when a stream goes live.    You can click that link to view recordings of past streams.  Streaming schedule has been lighter because getting art done is more  important than streaming and if he only has energy for one, he's going  to focus on art.
  •  Game with Tracy for the 6 backers who picked  that level:   Tracy  will be contact the six people directly to schedule  the game.   I pinged Tracy this morning and he said he was working on it at that very moment.
  •  Quest for the Tavern PDF: We'll  actually be   giving you two versions, the original is ready  for you to download as  soon as you fill out your survey. The updated one with numbers matching  the  mechanical changes to the XD20 system will come  later.
  •  Desktop Backgrounds: We dropped a second background last week. You can get zip files of the desktop backgrounds as soon as you fill out your survey. More will be  coming as Howard makes art and we'll do a drop of additional aspect ratios before we're done.
  •  PDF of printable character stand ups: Howard is working on these as he creates illustrations. The full PDF will available shortly after the book goes to  print.
  •  Sketches in books (or on separate papers):  These will be hand drawn by Howard Tayler. We can't get started on these until after the printed books arrive in our hands. We'll  collect  information on customizing sketches as we get closer to being  ready to  sketch.
  •  Attack on Santa's Workshop PDF: Complete! Available to you as soon as you fill out your survey.

How the past weeks went

We got Howard a Covid booster shot and it knocked him flat for four days, including one day where he spiked a fever of 102°F (38°C). That slowed down art production, but it seems to be having the result we hoped for of eliminating the "lung thing" which has him breathing heavy while standing still. We're happy for the booster to knock him flat for a few days if it grants him six months of breathing normally. Long Covid is so weird. 

Hopefully with the increased air supply, Howard will be able to put art streams back on the schedule. Though next week is US Thanksgiving, which will disrupt our household patterns and impact the ability to stream. 

Tracy reports that he's working on setting up the game for "Seat at the Table" backers today.

Curtis' role in the project is complete until we need him to sign bookplates.

As for Sandra, We've reached that portion of the year that I call "holiday brain frazzle" where the increased household admin tasks combine with increased business shipping tasks to result in mental overload. I'm uncertain the exact shape of it this year because both pandemic and the end of the daily comic have changed shopping patterns in our store. Have I already shipped most of the things because people placed their orders early? Or am I about to be slammed with a bunch more holiday orders that I need to get into the mail ASAP? I'm hoping for orders because fewer orders doesn't mean less frazzle. Frazzle is endemic to the season and if I'm shipping orders, at least I can picture someone being happy to receive the package.

Despite the frazzle, Sandra has been putting in time doing the tedious tasks of double checking every indent in the book to make sure that we don't have extra spaces, making adjustments to the styles for the headers, and working on getting copy edits put into the final document. Here is a gif of one of the page spreads we refined over the past couple of weeks. You can see that we still have design work to do on the headers and footers.

Page spread of a book. As gif cycles words move around pictures appear, and the page becomes increasingly finished.

Another thing Sandra did was to import the list of Legendary XDM backers into a page spread. If you're a Legendary XDM, please check this page spread to make sure that the name you gave us is listed correctly.

List of names: Adam Meyers Alan Wiggs Alton Andrew Gronosky Andrew Howe Andrew Massman-Hall Anthony McClure Arthur Schwartz BAS Benjamin Rodenfels Bobnik Brent Reitze Bryan Barnes C. Beau Sampson C. David Cauble Chris “The Gnome” England Christopher Malott Cody York and Khoshekh Connor Bliss CTsands Daulton Whitehead III David Francis David (dj) Johnson, VES David Bobbitt David Fraking Smalley David Linch David M Aleshire David Wohlreich Dodson B. Brown Donn M Hastings Jr Erik Bell Erika Kuta Marler FORTE George S. Cole GM Bill Carroll (they/them) Hector Geoffrey Dokopoulos Hamilton In memory of Mike C. Isaac Nagel J. Loizeaux Jacob T. Stachowski James A. Velez James B Patrick James Gorin James R. Lackey Jared Jensen Jason Shupe Jayrod P. Garrett Jeremy R. Juetten Jerome “Winfield” Thompson Jonathen “Meerkat Manor” Bingham JoseB Joseph Herne Joshua Pothoof Justin Bojarski Ken Franklin Kevin DeLise Kevin L Morris Kevin Scully Kevin Sonney Klil H. Neori Kyle “Fiddy” Pinches Liz and Shawn Malloc Matthew Dunn Melevorn Michael “Impact” Gilmore Myron K. Crandall Natticus Nick Asselberghs Okami No Rei Peahen#9639 Pete Brown Peter “Abfinz” Kuhlmann Philip Chrysler Rev. Jesus “H” Christ Richard Libera Roger Rebisz Samuel Reyes Sarah Hall Scott Francis Scott Spearman Shane Leland Sijs Kormt Sir Andrew Scott Perry - The Harper for WARP SonOfSofaman Stephen Tigner Steven Tipton TC Place Ted Heim Teddy Benson Terry Winter Thabell of Aglareb Thorsten Koda Vaughn Romero Wally Waltner Xander Hacking YorkusRex

If your name needs correcting or is missing, email SchlockMercenary @gmail.com. I'll get it fixed.


That's it for our current status report.  Your next update will be on Friday December 3.

Thank you so much for backing our project. We are so excited that we get to make this book!

Sandra Tayler and the XDM2e Team

Desktop Background: Atuin's Bracelet
16 days ago – Sat, Nov 13, 2021 at 04:01:32 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

Status Report #10
24 days ago – Fri, Nov 05, 2021 at 07:16:39 PM

Greetings Backers,

We have less to report than last time because it has only been a week, but we still have  some new things to show you.


TL;DR: For November we're staying on an  every other  week schedule for status updates, updates will happen on Nov 5 & 19. Surveys have gone out. If you didn't get yours, click the link below. Tracy acquired a job and is part of another Kickstarter, but has just pulled scheduling his game to the top of his list. Howard's lung thing has slowed him down and prevented streaming, but not prevented art progress. Sandra spent the week on admin work and Notes Merge.  Details below.


Almost 95% of you have filled out your surveys. Thank you! If you're  one of the remaining five percent, specific step-by-step instructions for  the survey can be found here. If you didn't get your survey email, or have lost it, you can go to this link to get access to your survey: https://xdm-x-treme-dungeon-mastery-2nd-edition.backerkit.com/


Status by Chapter

We've reached a point where we're finalizing art rather than focusing  on text generation. There are still a few appendices that need some  text, but over all the text is done and currently in the hands of copy  editors.  So this section of your updates will shift to art information.

  • Intro & Chapter 1-3: Art complete, waiting for final layout and design
  • Chapter 4: Howard is working on this on, it is about half done.
  • Chapters 5-15 : Second notes merge, waiting on art.
  • Appendices: X-treme Guide to Conversational Storytelling, Random   Story Generator, Secret History, DIY Initiation Rites, Accessibility,  Bibliography: Second notes merge, waiting on art.
  • Appendices: QUIRK Generator, NPC generator, About the   Contributors,  X-treme guide to comedy,  Adapting for one  shot play:  In second revision. We have notes for these. Mostly they  need to be  tightened up and  given a voice pass to add jokes.

Illustrations done: 32 (+17 from last week)

Illustrations probably done: 37 (Things like the hands showing card  tricks in Wonders of the Gods probably don't need to be re-done.)

Illustrations pending: ≈ 133 (76 confirmed art spaces + more because Howard sometimes double illustrates a page.)


Deliverables List

This is the comprehensive list of things we owe to you as part of this project.

  • XDM2e Hardback book (includes the printed end  papers and spot  gloss): Almost text complete. Illustrations and design in process.
  • XDM2e PDF: This will release to backers  at about the same time we   send the book off to print, hopefully by  November, but watch the  status  report for details.
  • XDM2e audiobook: Tracy has blocked out a  space in his schedule to   record and produce this next February. Well  before the April 2022   deadline we set in the Kickstarter
  • Signed Bookplates: We'll need to design these, that is likely to happen concurrently with cover design and book interior design.
  • Streamed book Illustrations: Follow Howard on Twitch to be alerted when a stream goes live.   You can also click that link to view recordings of past streams. Streaming schedule has been lighter because getting art done is more important than streaming and if he only has energy for one, he's going to focus on art.
  • Game with Tracy for the 6 backers who picked that level:   Tracy  will be contact the six people directly to schedule the game.   I called Tracy and pulled this back to the top of his To Do pile. I'm keeping tabs on the status of this and won't let it get lost in Tracy's juggling of projects.
  • Quest for the Tavern PDF: We'll  actually be  giving you two versions, the original is ready  for you to download as soon as you  fill out your survey. The updated one with numbers matching the  mechanical changes to the XD20 system will come  later.
  • Desktop Backgrounds: You'll be able to  get a zip file of the  first  desktop background as soon as you fill out  your survey. More  will be  coming as Howard makes art.
  • PDF of printable character stand ups: Howard is working on these   as he creates illustrations. The full PDF will available shortly after   the book goes to  print.
  • Sketches in books (or on separate papers): These will be hand   drawn by Howard Tayler. We can't get started on  these until after the   printed books arrive in our hands. We'll collect  information on   customizing sketches as we get closer to being ready to  sketch.
  • Attack on Santa's Workshop PDF: Complete! Available to you as soon as you fill out your survey.

How the past week went

This week was one of quiet working. Howard focused on art production. The biggest drag on the process is that Howard's "lung thing" has come back. At this point we are pretty convinced that what he has is long covid, though we can't prove he ever had Covid since the illness he experienced in early 2020 pre-dated the availability of tests for Covid. We've scheduled another round of doctor's visits and he did a sleep study this past week. Right now he needs all his breath to spare for drawing, so streaming will only be happening on good air days. 

Tracy's Skyraiders of Abarax Kickstarter is going wonderfully well, and in addition Tracy has picked up a job with healthcare benefits, so he's got a lot going on.  However I called him this week to pull the game for backers to the top of his To Do pile and I'll keep in touch about that.

Curtis' role in the project is complete until we need him to sign bookplates.

Sandra spent the week working on admin tasks and diving into the minutia of the Notes Merge process. She's also spent hours checking every indentation to make sure they're all equal, because somehow in our process some of them got bigger by four spaces each.  

These pages are still not finalized because we have design work to do on the top and bottom elements, also additional copy editing and formatting, but we're getting closer!

Animated gif showing words being moved around on a page as images are added and corrections are made.

And here is a short video showing Howard drawing a Ravenloft picture for the the book.

Everything is proceeding well and it is time for me to put down this update and go put some images into place.


That's it for our current status report.  Your next update will be on Friday November 19.

Thank you so much for backing our project. We are so excited that we get to make this book!

Sandra Tayler and the XDM2e Team

Status Report #9
about 1 month ago – Fri, Oct 29, 2021 at 11:34:30 PM

Greetings Backers,

Welcome to the third October status report!


TL;DR: For November we're staying on an every other  week schedule for status updates, but in order to dodge Thanksgiving weekend we're going to report again next week. This means updates will happen  on Nov 5 & 19. Surveys have gone out. If you didn't get yours,  click the link below. Howard worked on art, Sandra interfaced with copy editors, and Tracy launched his next Kickstarter. Details below.


Almost 90% of you have filled out your surveys. Thank you! If you're one of the remaining ten percent, specific step-by-step instructions for the survey can be found here. If you didn't get your survey email, or have lost it, you can go to this link to get access to your survey: https://xdm-x-treme-dungeon-mastery-2nd-edition.backerkit.com/


Status by Chapter

We've reached a point where we're finalizing art rather than focusing on text generation. There are still a few appendices that need some text, but over all the text is done and currently in the hands of copy editors.  So this section of your updates will shift to art information.

  • Intro & Chapter 1: Art complete, waiting for final layout and design
  • Chapter 2: Howard is working on final art today.
  • Chapters 3-15 : Second notes merge, waiting on art.
  • Appendices: X-treme Guide to Conversational Storytelling, Random  Story Generator, Secret History, DIY Initiation Rites, Accessibility, Bibliography: Second notes merge, waiting on art.
  • Appendices: QUIRK Generator, NPC generator, About the  Contributors,  X-treme guide to comedy,  Adapting for one  shot play:   In second revision. We have notes for these. Mostly they  need to be tightened up and  given a voice pass to add jokes.

Illustrations done: 32

Illustrations probably done: 37 (Things like the hands showing card tricks in Wonders of the Gods probably don't need to be re-done.)

Illustrations pending: ≈ 150


Deliverables List

This is the comprehensive list of things we owe to you as part of this project.

  • XDM2e Hardback book (includes the printed end  papers and spot gloss): Almost text complete. Illustrations and design in process.
  • XDM2e PDF: This will release to backers  at about the same time we  send the book off to print, hopefully by  November, but watch the status  report for details.
  • XDM2e audiobook: Tracy has blocked out a  space in his schedule to  record and produce this next February. Well  before the April 2022  deadline we set in the Kickstarter
  • Signed Bookplates: We'll need to design these, that is likely to happen concurrently with cover design and book interior design.
  • Streamed book Illustrations: Follow Howard on Twitch to be alerted when a stream goes live.  You can also click that link to view recordings of past streams. We  expect the streaming schedule to be light in the next couple of weeks  because of an online conference that Howard is participating in.
  • The game with Tracy for the 6 backers who picked that level:  Tracy  will be contact the six people directly to schedule the game.  Last I  heard he planned to run the game in October or November I will be in touch with Tracy next week to check on the status of this.
  • Quest for the Tavern PDF: We'll  actually be  giving you two  versions, the original is ready  for you to download as soon as you fill out your survey. The updated one with numbers matching the mechanical changes to the XD20 system will come  later.
  • Attack on Santa's Workshop PDF: Available to you as soon as you fill out your survey.
  • Desktop Backgrounds: You'll be able to  get a zip file of the first  desktop background as soon as you fill out  your survey. More will be  coming as Howard makes art.
  • PDF of printable character stand ups: Howard is working on these  as he creates illustrations. The full PDF will available shortly after  the book goes to  print.
  • Sketches in books (or on separate papers): These will be hand  drawn by Howard Tayler. We can't get started on  these until after the  printed books arrive in our hands. We'll collect  information on  customizing sketches as we get closer to being ready to  sketch.

I think that is the full list. If I've missed something, now is a  great time to mention it so I can add it.   This list is how I make sure we don't lose track of anything we promised to all of you.

How the past two weeks went

The last two weeks were highly distracting, but we got some stuff done anyway.  

Tracy launched his next Kickstarter Skyraiders of Abarax. Like the true XDM that Tracy is, he's been juggling multiple projects during the entire process of creating XDM2e. Now you can see the other thing he has been working on. An entirely new world that you can have adventures in. 

Sandra and Howard both gave a lot of time and energy to the Surrey International Writer's Conference last week. Even though the entire conference took place online, we still ended up just as exhausted as if we'd traveled to an event. It was so wonderful for us to be able to give our full attention to the conference attendees. Now we are really looking forward to making XDM2e our first priority since we have nothing on the calendar between now and US Thanksgiving. 

Sandra has finished out working with our copy editors and polished up some of the appendices. Some of the remaining appendices are best tackled when Howard can approach them from an art angle rather than a text angle. We still haven't managed to secure the paper we want, not sure if the lack of response to emails is a lost-in-the-forest-of-emails thing or a reluctant-to-respond-because-I-don't-have-the-response-I-want-to-give-you thing. Either way, Sandra will be making phone calls next week. We can definitely get paper and print books, it is just a question of whether we'll get our first choice of paper.

Howard will be streaming some of the art creation, but sometimes he doesn't have enough brain to both stream and art, on those occasions he'll make art off camera. He's done some tweeting about his art process. You can see those here

Want to see some art? I hope so, because we want to show you what we've been working on. 

One of the things about working with text and illustrations together is how much the placement of an illustration or slight change in the text can change the entire flow of a page. For example, here was our starting point for the page 18-19 spread.

Two page spread of a book with white spaces, but no images.

The first layout is me throwing words on to the page and making some guesses about where I think Howard might want to do pictures. Then when Howard starts working with a chapter, he goes to the printed pages and draws arrows about how to move text around. I do that so that Howard can see the spaces where he wants to put images.

Image of page spread with text and white spaces rearranged.

Sometimes changes earlier in a chapter affect what words go onto a particular page spread. Fortunately each chapter is separate so that a change made on page 15 will affect pages 16-23 but will not affect pages 24-206. We still try to work from beginning of chapter to end of chapter in order to not mess up work that has already been done. In this one, Howard drew two diagrams and we pushed around the remaining white space a bit.

Text has been moved around on the page. Two images have been added. There is still white space on the page.

Howard depends on seeing the exact shape of the white space so that he can draw the image to fit the available space. Rulers are involved.

Small changes to text. A joke idea is penciled in for a large white space.

Here is the current state of the 18-19 page spread. 

All of the white spaces between text have been filled with diagrams or art. The page spread seems more complete.

There is still work to do. I have to enter additional copy edits. We still need to re-design the graphic elements on the top and bottom of the page. Once we have all the art on all of the pages we'll have several passes through the book looking for "orphans and widows" where a single partial line of text wraps into the next column or onto the next page. We'll look for rivers in the text where serendipitous lining up of space makes it look like there is a white stream down the center of a block of text. 

For now though, we're focused on getting white spaces filled with art and we're wrapping everything else in our lives around getting the art done. 


That's it for our current status report.  Your next update will be next week on Friday November 5.


Thank you so much for backing our project. We are so excited that we get to make this book!

Sandra Tayler and the XDM2e Team


As a reward for reading all the way to the bottom, here is an art sneak peek.

Person in space suit looks in a window to the interior of a space ship and says: Open the Plot Twist doors, Hal! Inside the ship a glowing screen labeled "Hal 9000" answers: I can't do that, Dave. this is the Act II disaster.

Status Report #8
about 1 month ago – Sat, Oct 16, 2021 at 12:50:37 AM

Greetings Backers,

Welcome to the second October status report!


TL;DR: For October we're on an every other week schedule for status updates. This means updates will happen  on Oct 1, 15, & 29. Surveys went out last week. If you didn't get yours, click the link below. We fixed our video card problem, got a pile of writing done while art was on hold, then started moving forward on art again. Details below.


Almost 90% of you have filled out your surveys. Thank you! If you're one of the remaining ten percent, specific step-by-step instructions for the survey can be found here. If you didn't get your survey email, or have lost it, you can go to this link to get access to your survey: https://xdm-x-treme-dungeon-mastery-2nd-edition.backerkit.com/



Status by Chapter

For a detailed listing of process and stages, read the "How our process works" section of this update.

  • Chapter 1: In second layout, pinning down design details, now illustration complete.
  • Chapters 1-15: Second Copy Edit complete. Waiting on second layout and second notes merge.
  • Appendices: X-treme Guide to Conversational Storytelling, Random Story Generator, Secret History, DIY Initiation Rites, Accessibility: In Notes Merge.
  • Appendices: QUIRK Generator, NPC generator, About the Contributors, Bibliography,  X-treme guide to comedy,  Adapting for one shot play:   In second revision. We have notes for these. Mostly they need to be tightened up and  given a voice pass to add jokes.

By our next status update we expect all of the text to be complete, leaving only illustration and design work left to do. That will change the format of our "Status by Chapter" section of status updates starting with our next update.

Deliverables List

This is the comprehensive list of things we owe to you as part of this project.

  •  XDM2e Hardback book (includes the printed end  papers and spot gloss): Almost text complete. Illustrations and design in process.
  •  XDM2e PDF: This will release to backers at about the same time we  send the book off to print, hopefully by November, but watch the status  report for details.
  •  XDM2e audiobook: Tracy has blocked out a space in his schedule to  record and produce this next February. Well before the April 2022  deadline we set in the Kickstarter
  •  Signed Bookplates: We'll need to design these, that is likely to happen concurrently with cover design and book interior design.
  •  Streamed book Illustrations: Follow Howard on Twitch to be alerted when a stream goes live. You can also click that link to view recordings of past streams. We expect the streaming schedule to be light in the next couple of weeks because of an online conference that Howard is participating in.
  •  The game with Tracy for the 6 backers who picked that level: Tracy  will be contact the six people directly to schedule the game. Last I  heard he planned to run the game in October or November.
  •  Quest for the Tavern PDF: We'll actually be  giving you two  versions, the original is ready  for you to  download as soon as you fill out your survey. The updated  one with  numbers matching the mechanical changes to the XD20 system will come later.
  •  Attack on Santa's Workshop PDF: Available to you as soon as you fill out your survey.
  •  Desktop Backgrounds: You'll be able to get a zip file of the first  desktop background as soon as you fill out your survey. More will be  coming as Howard makes art.
  •  PDF of printable character stand ups: Howard is working on these  as he creates illustrations. The full PDF will available shortly after  the book goes to  print.
  •  Sketches in books (or on separate papers): These will be hand  drawn by Howard Tayler. We can't get started on these until after the  printed books arrive in our hands. We'll collect information on  customizing sketches as we get closer to being ready to sketch.

I think that is the full list. If I've  missed something, now is a  great time to mention it so I can add it.  This list is how I make sure  we don't lose track of anything we  promised to all of you.

How the past two weeks went

When last we updated, we were in the midst of woes with Howard's computer graphics card. We managed to acquire a replacement card and install it. It took several days to get all the pieces in place and communicating properly with each other. This disrupted drawing and streaming during the first week of October. In the second week of October (this week) Sandra had a routine colonoscopy, which, while being completely routine and boring from a medical perspective, was still a new and stressful experience for Sandra. Going through new and stressful medical experiences is also disruptive to art creation. 

Despite the disruptions, Howard plowed through a large portion of text, we put in some design work, and Howard finished some of the beginning art to set up the story that will be told via illustrations throughout the book. (If you leave Howard any room for visual storytelling, he will use it.) These early illustrations are more complicated than most of the book illustrations will be because he wanted to fit in more characters.

Woman stands in doorway welcoming players into her house. Through a window you can see a game table with multiple players sitting around it ready to have fun.
Dragon face peers through doorway at a barbarian and a bard: Dragon says "Take it all! Just tell me how to get out of here!" Bard says "I want to know how he got IN."

Most of the illustrations in the book will only have one or two characters not five or six.  That will (hopefully) allow Howard to move through the work more quickly. 

One of the things we're excited to try out, is putting a small flip-book style animation on the bottom corner of every right hand page. We've hired animator Zoe Pangeas to render these for us. We're not sure yet if we can make it work, but preliminary tests are promising.

Three images: Barbarian approaching door, barbarian smashing door, barbarian running through debris of door.

One thing we've already identified is that the lines probably need to be thicker to be readable at small size and we likely need Howard to do that thickening manually so that the animation matches the other art in the book. But we're not letting him tackle that project until the other art is complete.

Next week  will be full of disruption as Howard and Sandra are both teaching at an online writer's conference. But after that, our calendar is empty of obligations. This will allow us to build up momentum with getting the illustrations complete. By next update we'll have counted the approximate number of pending illustrations and will start doing a running tally of illustrations done / illustrations yet to do.


That's it for our current status report.  Your next update will be Friday October 29.

Thank you so much for backing our project. We are so excited that we get to make this book!

Sandra Tayler and the XDM2e Team


As a reward for reading all the way to the bottom, here is a work in progress. In order to get this one right, Howard had to dig through our Lego collection and eventually order some parts off of Ebay.

Lego minifigure with scowly face holding a minifig head that is smiling says: I found my angry face. Sketched figure running with them says: "found" sure that's what happened. Behind them are minifig legs laying on the ground.