August 2012. That's when Killshot will officially become a roleplaying game rather than an upcoming roleplaying game. With the Kickstarter drive passing its goal (though I'm not jumping through hoops just yet as there's always something to get in the way; I'll be happy when the deadline's come and gone and the money is actually sitting in my bank account), the realization of putting Killshot on virtual shelves is one step closer. Close enough to start carving this sucker into stone.
Six months might not seem like a lot of time to get everything together, but it's also a huge amount of time to focus all my energy at a single target. The mechanics have already been tested, pulled apart, and put back together enough that I can establish a working system requiring tweaks at the most. With multiple groups having a go at the game for the next while, it's all about making Killshot the best it can be with the tools I have to work within the parameters I've designed it for. Killshot: An Assassin's Journal - the first release - is designed to run Killshot as a one-shot filler on nights your group wants to play something different. A trial run, if you will. While there will be material allowing players and Directors to slowly ramp it up a notch, the goal of the first book will be to get you hooked. From there, the additional supplements will help fill in the gaps. All I need for now is a working foundation upon which to build.
This entire process establishes a foundation. Killshot is a ground-level experiment in the Optional System's capabilities. When I first started testing the OS as a whole, I tried high-magic fantasy and sci-fi superpowers. Looking back at it, I'm glad I went with a game closer to reality as an initial release. Test out the game without crazy abilities and game-bending magic, let it work within a more realistic setting before you start adding on the wild and weird workings of the supernatural.
I'm going to keep any concrete release date (meaning a target week - anytime in August is my goal right now) under wraps until we get closer to the moment of truth. Suffice it to say my goal is to have three products ready to rock and roll in August: An Assassin's Journal, Direction, and the Director's Cut (a special hardcover edition of Killshot containing both Journal and Direction in one volume). Along with character sheets, Trackers, and any other goodies we can devise, there should be plenty of treats for assassins out there by the time Gencon rolls around.
Which brings me to the harsh realization of Gencon itself: what are the odds of me going this year? Slim. Very slim. Aside from putting this game together, I have a huge load of rehabilitation and aftercare to deal with, plus dealing with the lawsuit and working with my insurance company to establish a retraining program likely to start in the fall (hence another reason for releasing Killshot in August). I do want to go, more than ever, but I don't want to hammer that nail into the board until I can know for certain. Would it benefit me going to Indianapolis with Killshot in hand? Hell yeah! Is it going to be feasible for me to go? Not exactly. I have to pick my battles, but I can't avoid the war forever. Perhaps I should leave it at this...
If I don't go this year, then 2013 must become the Year of Gencon.
Damn, now I don't want to wait that long either. Oh, bother.