Well, it’s been a minute, hasn’t it. To say our lives haven’t been consumed with making this game for the last few months would be saying untrue things, so let’s not perjure ourselves during the holidays. It has been a tremendous time getting to this point. We so appreciate your support while we do it.
The digital version of Dialect is now available and is being hosted on Backerkit! You should have gotten an email with instructions on how to download it. If not, check the scary filtered recesses of your inbox, and if you still haven’t gotten it let us know at email@example.com. We’ll be traveling a little over the holidays, so it may take a couple days to respond. But fear not, we’ll sort it out.
At final count, this release includes:
- The Game Rules, playtested to oblivion
- A printable Language Deck
- The 4 Core Backdrops:
- The Outpost: The first Martian expedition
- The Compound: A voluntary isolation of ideals in 1982
- Sing the Earth Electric: Machines left to tend to the Earth
- Thieves’ Cant: The coded language of thieves
- 12 Contributed Backdrops by a bevy of fine folk that explore perspectives on language loss and awakening the world over.
- A Chapter on Language Building by David Peterson, professional language creator.
- A Chapter on Language Vitality by Steven Bird, real-deal linguist.
- Instructions to Write Your Own Backdrop and Using Dialect to Make Language for a Campaign
- Art so-lovely-it-hurts from the hands of Jill De Haan and Erica Williams.
Do let us know if you have any issues accessing it.
Phew! Heigh, my hearts!
The Devil's Work ...
... is never done. That means over the next few weeks, we'll be collecting feedback on any confusing bits or errors you may find and we'll be correcting them before going to the printer mid-January. If you read or play the game before January 15, we’d love to know about any issues you stumble on. Also, your language, tell us about your dialect!
Please use this trusty link to share feedback. We’ll pick 50 of these pieces of feedback (ones that are most helpful, or if we get overwhelmed, at random) and send along a small token of our appreciation.
The Timeline: Tracking to Ship in April
We are tracking to ship the physical game in April. We have signed deals with our printers, manufacturers and distributors. Here is the calendar we are working off of:
Final Digital Version: Mid-January
The Physical Game:
- Mid-January: Close edits.
- Late- January: Send to Printers.
- February: Printing
- March: Printing.
- Late April: Shipping out to backers.
We are keenly aware that this is late. We'd rather that not be the case, but know that a lot of good work is actively going into this and in the end, you will get a better product. We appreciate your patience.
To soften the blow of lateness, it’s a nice time to look back on some of the good. As a reminder, all backers who bought the physical game have been updated to hardcover books free of charge. All backers who purchased the hardcover book, have been upgraded to a limited edition adorned copy that comes with a hand-printed cloth bag for the game as well as custom-made age separators. We did this because we want the game to be beautiful. It's taking longer, but we’re confident that it will be worth it.
And now, a candid conversation between Thorny Games and our inner editor.
Well, well, Thorny. A digital release. What took so long?
Holy moly, making things is hard! It takes a long freaking while. In the last couple of months, we ran into unexpected development issues that pushed us back a number of months behind our plans. We learned things along the way. Thankfully we worked through them and we’re really happy with how things turned out. Don’t get us wrong, making things is hard but it’s still great.
You sound pretty excitable. How much coffee did you drink doing this?
A lot. Seriously.
What were some unexpected moments?
Giving art direction for a 2-page Maori language piece that is a window in space to another drawing. Seeing what amazing things our contributors wrote. Getting to hold the physical print-out of the thing we made. How awesome it feels to find a good character name. In general, being called to learn lots of new things.
How many times have you played Dialect?
Many times. So many times in fact, we were recently listed as one of the most played games at cons last year. Keep in mind that apart from only a couple exceptions we were the only people running all those games! This year has been a lot of hustle.
What was a surprising thing you learned along the way?
How to get new insights from playtesting. How to do layout. How to decipher feedback. How to collaborate with other people. How to let go. We expect we’ll be learning about these for awhile to come.
Why are there phonetics tables in this role playing game?
That’s how we do.
In that case, why aren’t there more phonetics tables in this role playing game?
Because the game needs to be playable. There are a tasteful number of tables in this game.
What’s next from here?
Production. Sign was already laid out, but now soon-to-be-professionally so for printing. Mystery Box contents are being arranged. Posters are already being printed. Forward motion.
We leave our inner editor for now with a glimpse into the art abyss of space-time.
Until Next Month
Now that the book’s ready, expect our monthly updates at their normal pace going forward. In the meanwhile, printing for posters for the Aesthete levels as well as manufacturing for some of the Mystery Box items is on its merry way. But this update has already been a mouthful so look forward to seeing some of that the next time we meet in the digital sea.
Wishing you health and happiness in these strange times. May 2018 be kinder.
K+H+B+T at Thorny Games