Around a year ago, I was visiting Richard Ham in Malta, and we got to talking about Gloomhaven expansion content. At that point, it was well-known that I was (and still am) working on a big expansion for the game, but it was (and still is) going to take years to finish. What he was interested in was getting one of the people who had contributed a lot to the content of the original game to make a smaller expansion on their own to tide people over until the big expansion was ready. The idea was I wouldn’t have to divert too much of my time to the project so that it would make more content for the game without delaying other future content.
I thought it was a nice idea and ruminated silently about it for months until I went to Essen and met up with Marcel Cwertetschka, one of the main Gloomhaven contributors, who told me he had been writing some post-campaign content for the game and it was going over really well with his play group. It didn’t take me long to decide, yeah, let’s publish it. I trust Marcel to come up with kick-ass scenarios, and he was excited to explore and expand upon the lore of the game, so it was really a no-brainer.
Thanks to the success of Gloomhaven, I have the luxury of not really needed to get things published by a specific time to make sure the bills are paid. Definitely more of a “It’s ready when it’s ready” philosophy going on over here, and so we took the same approach with Forgotten Circles. There was no need to rush the content creation, so long as Marcel got his expansion done before I got done with mine. We discussed maybe having it ready for Gen Con or Spiel this year, but if it didn’t hit those goals, it wasn’t the end of the world.
Maybe you know where I am going with this.
Back in March, when I announced the game, I was sure the game would be ready and printed by Spiel, but now it is looking like that is not going to happen. It has taken Marcel a few more months than he anticipated to get all the content together. And, let me be clear, that is no fault of his or anyone’s. The project became quite a bit more massive than what we had anticipated, and his ideas for the layouts of the scenarios were rather ambitious (in a good way). There is a lot of hidden information in the stories – including puzzles and alternate endings – and so Marcel has broken up each scenario into multiple sections for each room or story point, and then scattered those sections throughout the scenario book, “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style. I think it works really well, but it took a lot of time to plan out.
So now Marcel’s work is done, but there is still more layout work of the scenario book to be done, which takes a lot of time, and there’s still a significant amount of editing, too. The scenario book obviously won’t be as huge as the original one, but it is still going to be big. It’s a lot of pages to make sure are perfect.
I’m pretty sure I can get all the files to the printer by the end of August, but on any conservative estimate, that puts us past Spiel, even to get some copies air freighted over. Right now it is looking like December, but the holidays are tricky, so there’s always a chance it’ll get pushed back to January.
Once the files are sent off to the printer and we have a very clear idea of when it will be available, I am planning on running a pre-sale for it. Not through Kickstarter, but something much more low-key, just to make sure that everyone who wants a copy can get one from the first printing. I don’t have any more details on that for now, but you can always sign up for my newsletter (upper right of the page) if you want to be informed when that launches.
And just as a final note, I’m sorry it has taken so long to get another post up on the blog. I started the second community-driven expedition for Gloomhaven all those months ago, and that became my weekly writing time instead of this. Then that rolled into convention season which, which was especially brutal this year (in a good way). Now that that’s all winding down, I am hoping to write some stuff for the blog a little more frequently. At least until the next community-driven expedition starts up again!