State of the Watch: 2017-2018

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Now with the release of Issue 60, it’s time for the State of the Watch!


Looking Behind…

It’s kind of crazy to look back and see half a decade of magazines in our wake! Again, we could never have done this without the help of readers like you, so please give yourselves a collective pat on the back.

Repairing the Lulu Print-on-Demand Options: YES

With working on the Ironwatch Annuals, a nice side effect was that in the process the files were sufficiently cleaned up and optimized for printing. While only the first year has been updated, it fixed some of the most egregious printing errors we had seen, and should similarly continue in lockstep with Ironwatch Annual releases.

Speaking of which…

Releasing the Ironwatch Annuals: YES

We’ve released the first Ironwatch Annual: Year One, featuring some of the best content from our first year of publication. While we didn’t manage to get to Year Two yet, we now know the method works, and future Annuals should be a semi-regular occurrence (as they should be!)

Ironwatch Games’ Quarantine: YES

The Basic Rules for Quarantine are out and available for playing, and we’re currently working on getting the interior art and model photographs in line to release a Deluxe edition. While the model photography has been delayed due to unavoidable external complications, we’re excited to have the second Ironwatch Games polished publication coming down the pipeline soon!

Publication Schedule Kept: NO

Unfortunately, our original plan of publication was simply too aggressive, and while we did publish more extra content in the last year than we had in all previous years combined, we still missed the benchmarks we had set:

  • October 2016: Ironwatch Annual, Year 1
    • This was released, but in April 2017, 6 months behind schedule
  • December 2016: Ironwatch: Tales of Fantasy
    • Expect this one by next Friday, as our (awesome!) cover art won’t be ready until early next week
  • February 2017: Quarantine Basic Edition
    • This was the only goal we hit!
  • April 2017: Ironwatch Annual, Year 2
    • Planned release date currently TBD
  • June 2017: Quarantine Deluxe Edition
    • We’re shooting here for around the end of September hopefully!
  • August 2017: Ironwatch Annual, Year 3
    • Planned release date currently TBD

We’ll be going over the updated release schedule below, but suffice to say we’re going to be giving more breather time between projects, and rearranging the publication order for some items.

Ironwatch Tales: NOT YET

It’s so close I can barely wait, but the release of Ironwatch: Tales of Fantasy is just around the corner. We have the finished publication ready and just waiting for the cover art, and it will be available as PDF, EPUB, and of course, as a physical copy you can order at-cost. There is some absolutely fantastic content in here, so I think it will be a treat all-around.


 

Looking Forward…

While we missed around half of our deadlines, the push of published content is an absolutely awesome part we’re really excited about, and looking forward to publishing other content as well.

However, a big change is the first point noted below, so be sure to take a closer look!

Changing Ironwatch Issues to Bi-Monthly

Unfortunately, the rate of reader submissions has fallen below the minimum levels we need to consistently and reliably provide a robust, 60+ page publication each month. As a result, we’re slowing our publication to every other month for our primary issues, so we have more time to receive content and ensure the quality of the magazine doesn’t suffer in any way.

Publication Schedule

This is our revised plan of attack for upcoming items:

  • Ironwatch: Tales of Fantasy
    • This one is almost here, and there will be around 330 pages of fantastic stories to enjoy for free once it’s released!
  • Deluxe edition of Quarantine
    • This is primarily waiting on the interior art and photography, especially the photography, to be completed. We’ve had some unexpected delays in this area, but once that content is done, the Deluxe edition should be dropping relatively shortly thereafter
  • Mawbeast Madness basic rules release
    • This is an awesome racing game set in and using the base Dungeon Saga rules, and we’re going to be releasing it as our next Ironwatch Game. Depending on circumstances, this might be released as a Deluxe version immediately
  • Ironwatch: Tales of the Stars
    • If you thought 330 pages of fantasy was awesome, get ready for 435 pages of awesome scifi content coming hot on its heels
  • Tetra Firma basic rules release
    • A fantastic and complete Kings of War revamp from Christopher Binetti, these army lists and rules help rewrite how you can play the game, and have a robust alternative lore to go along with them as well
  • Annual Year Two
    • Second verse, same as the first. As mentioned above, this will also have the carry-over effect of updating any issues with the print copies of Issues 13-24 as well

Note the lack of hard deadlines! The goal is to complete each item above in 2-3 months, but with the delays we encountered last year, those windows might be subject to significant changes!

Improve Reader Submission Rate

I’d absolutely love for the change to slower Ironwatch Issue releases to be a temporary one, and to that end we want to get the IW word out there! We’re going to push to try and expand our viewership, and in doing so ideally increase the rate and quantity of our submissions for issues.

Fix the Cafepress Shop

For reasons unknown to us, the shop has evaporated! Clearly this is non-optimal, so we’re going to see about reinstating the shop, as well as exploring other options (like Redbubble) for putting the logo and pictures out there for shirts and mugs and such.


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Not much else to say, but here’s to another five years! Thanks for reading, and Welcome to the Watch!

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter!

 

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