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The Best Laid Plans...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I hate airing our dirty laundry in public...

Who am I kidding, I relish airing our dirty laundry in public, but professionalism and good taste often makes doing so... "inadvisable." But this is a special situation and in this instance it's easy to talk around the specifics so to protect the innoce—well, in this case, to protect the guilty. As we've been trying to show off our editorial processes with this project, even more reason to let you all in on how things sometimes play out around here.

The product in question: From Shore to Sea, our Pathfinder Module partnered with Wolfgang Baur's patron-fueled Open Design venture.

The topic: Sometimes we get screwed.

So, let's backtrack a little bit. Here's something most folks didn't notice—unless you've been getting emails from me or really enjoy reading the credits pages of our projects. Around October of last year my title here at Paizo totally didn't change. What comes after that title did, though. Thus, "Managing Editor of Pathfinder" became "Managing Editor of Paizo Publishing." The distinction: now I'm not just in charge of making sure everything runs smoothly for Pathfinder Adventure Path, but everything else we publish too. And, as a special bonus challenge, that it all happens in a timely manner. That's been the real trick. It's like telling someone to build a number of towers (one for each product line) but, hey, for fun, let's start at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon, in this case, is our "schedule debt," a sizable hole with depth markers called Dragon and Dungeon magazines, the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, and other beautiful fiascos that have gradually meant nearly everything we publish has fallen off its intended tracks. A real nasty peril when you've got thousands of gamers rightly demanding the products they've subscribed to and expect from month to month. But with my shiny Paizo-brand carrot and Paizo-brand stick, and the incredible efforts of our insanely talented and even more dedicated designers, editors (with a special nod to Judy Bauer, Chris Carey, Rob McCreary, and James Sutter), and folks at all levels of the company who have sacrificed nights, weekends, sleep, and meals to write and edit, those towers have reached up and up toward the light. The first tower to break the surface was the Pathfinder Module line with From to Shore to Sea, scheduled to go to print, on time, March 5th.

Or rather it would have, if the art we ordered actually came in. Oh, I don't just mean came in on time, I mean, was going to come in at all. What we got on the due date instead of a half dozen illustrations was an apology from Joe "You'll-Never-Work-in-this-Town-Again" and a very empty "good luck!" Lame. Now, art directorix Sarah Robinson is a goddess for a variety of reasons, but the power she employed in this particular crisis was to bat her eyelashes via email and coax a whole host of fantastically talented artists to take up the slack, and in record speed. What that did mean, though, is that instead of going out on time, From to Shore to Sea is now going out next week, three weeks behind my precious schedule. Ugh.

Illustration by Dan Scott

Wolf set us up with this great plan, author Brandon Hodge pulled together a fantastic adventure, the Open Design patrons made a host of inspired suggestions, and Rob developed this thing into a fine addition to our Pathfinder Modules line in record time. And Dan Scott, our ever reliably awesome cover artist, did the incredible cover I’ve attached here. (Again, Dan: great and timely work. We love Dan’s stuff.) Yet despite top-notch materials and everyone who touched the adventure doing heroic work, sometimes things still don't work out the way they should. Sometimes it makes things frustrating and stressful, but never, ever boring.

From Shore to Sea will be awesome, there's no doubt about that, and I'm more excited about this one than I am about most. But, sadly, this one has had a bumpy journey, and my first tower breaking the surface will likely have to wait for City of Strangers in the Pathfinder Chronicles line later this month. Missing a deadline sadly isn't something new, so don't go adjusting orders or rechecking release dates; this happens sometimes and no one outside this building ever hears about it. Our website and warehouse teams are also quite adept—to our chagrin—at picking up our slack. And, should all our plans continue to work and there are relatively few additional catastrophes, you shouldn't ever hear me griping about our "editorial debt" again.

So just a heads-up for all the folks who have been invested in and keenly anticipating Open Design's From to Shore to Sea: it's awesome and it's coming, but sometimes the path from author to your hands has some unanticipated adventures. And expect a very boring blog post from me in a few months announcing that all our product lines are, at last, shipping to the printer on time. It might not matter much to folks outside these offices, but here, it's going to be cresting the top of a very tall hill.


Wes Schneider
Managing Editor

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Azlant Dan Scott Ezren Fighters Iconics Kaer Maga Merisiel Monsters Open Design Paizo Pathfinder Campaign Setting Pathfinder Modules Rogues Squid Valeros Wizards
Paizo Employee Developer

Better Valeros than that poor owlbear, I always say.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

This makes me very worried about the artist in question, as in hoping he/she isn't one of my faves(as selfish as that sounds as I read over my post again...).

My problem is that I have a lot of faves.

On the bright side, I got to post before Baron.

Cheliax

Wow I got ninja'd for the first blog quote by Yoda by 11 minutes.

The pitfalls of working late.

And how much can the iconics make selling calamari ?

Oh and Wes, your starting to sound like James. Which, as you know, is sexy.

:P

edit: Yoda and Mikaze, I must be getting old.

Cheliax

i bet you the reason Valeros is the one being grabbed is that he insulted the thing... again...

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Wes, just remember we all love ya. Keep doing what you're doing to the best of your ability and I will have nothing bad to say about Pathfinder, Paizo, or you. Except that hair...pick a color already! :p

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Mikaze wrote:
This makes me very worried about the artist in question, as in hoping he/she isn't one of my faves...

Naaah, it was a new guy/gal we've never used before.

Justin Sluder wrote:
Except that hair...pick a color already! :p

Qua? Aside from a nearly imperceptible crimson highlight that lasted for all of three days five years ago I have never dyed or otherwise despoiled my luxurious mane. Perish the thought.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

RE-LEASE THE PRODUCT!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Oh and Wes, your starting to sound like James. Which, as you know, is sexy.

I... I don't know how to f... wow... huh. Thanks?


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Speaking as someone who finished his dissertation a couple of years late, hoo-ray for the late guys! Here's to skewering the blasted hares of this life.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Justin Sluder wrote:
Except that hair...pick a color already! :p
Qua? Aside from a nearly imperceptible crimson highlight that lasted for all of three days five years ago I have never dyed or otherwise despoiled my luxurious mane. Perish the thought.

Really? I must be confuzzing you with another GolemLord....


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:


Qua? Aside from a nearly imperceptible crimson highlight that lasted for all of three days five years ago I have never dyed or otherwise despoiled my luxurious mane. Perish the thought.

Your mane will never look as good as my luscious curls.

*slithers off*

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Naaah, it was a new guy/gal we've never used before.

And will never use again.

Too bad for them, they dropped the ball on their big chance. Behavior that unprofessional cannot be forgiven or forgotten.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Speaking as someone who finished his dissertation a couple of years late, hoo-ray for the late guys! Here's to skewering the blasted hares of this life.

Defended yet?

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Justin Sluder wrote:
Really? I must be confuzzing you with another GolemLord....

Probably Chris Self, who wins the award for most able and active dyer at Paizo, coloring his coiffe only in shades that don't occur in nature.


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
RE-LEASE THE PRODUCT!

Don't you mean "Let loose the Product!"?


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Sinvel Menter wrote:
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
RE-LEASE THE PRODUCT!
Don't you mean "Let loose the Product!"?

Apparently the line got changed. Laurence Olivier or Liam Neeson?


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Tarren Dei wrote:
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Speaking as someone who finished his dissertation a couple of years late, hoo-ray for the late guys! Here's to skewering the blasted hares of this life.
Defended yet?

Nope. Waiting to hear back from readers.


I think Paizo already has the lifetime award for "Most Ontime Publications Ever," and nobody is in line to take it from you. Be comforted.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

orcface999 wrote:
I think Paizo already has the lifetime award for "Most Ontime Publications Ever," and nobody is in line to take it from you. Be comforted.

Awesome! I'm so glad you think this! And you can bet that I'll mention this at my weekly schedule report/editorial sin eating! ^_~

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

A year later, no one remembers that an adventure was 3 weeks late. They remember that it was more fun to play than anything else that month!

So, yeah, shame about the vanishing artist, but in the larger scheme of things, that's not what gamers will care about most.

Oh, and sweet cover!

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Wes wrote:
And expect a very boring blog post from me in a few months announcing that all our product lines are, at last, shipping to the printer on time. It might not matter much to folks outside these offices, but here, it's going to be cresting the top of a very tall hill.

Here's to that day!

Andoran

This is my first post but I have been a closet reader for years. Wes' post compelled me to send a shout out: I really appreciate the inglorious real-life adventure that must be slogged through to publish such high quality products. I can hardly wait for the next white Paizo envelope in the mail, but the contents are always worth the wait!

Keep up the great work!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Entrerus wrote:
Keep up the great work!

Ha! Awesome! Thanks a ton Entrerus and don't be a stranger!

Cheliax

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Entrerus wrote:
Keep up the great work!
Ha! Awesome! Thanks a ton Entrerus and don't be a stranger!

That's not a nice thing to say, Wes -- there's a whole city of strangers on Golarion, isn't there? ;P


Don't give up on new talent! Don't assume the next guy/gal will flake!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wes, why don't you ask Mr Baur for his pocket pronto turn-over guy (most of the time) artist :) I hear he's reliable (again, most of the time :P)

Taldor

Hugo Solis wrote:
Wes, why don't you ask Mr Baur for his pocket pronto turn-over guy (most of the time) artist :) I hear he's reliable (again, most of the time :P)

Wayne Reynolds? Prescott?


so... bets on how long until Joe Lame's real name is generally known? :)

don't worry too much about the deadlines, you're all only human. pathetic humans who shall one day cower in the dark dominion of the drow elves. muahahahahaa!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Callous Jack wrote:
Hugo Solis wrote:
Wes, why don't you ask Mr Baur for his pocket pronto turn-over guy (most of the time) artist :) I hear he's reliable (again, most of the time :P)
Wayne Reynolds? Prescott?

Nah, those guys are totally reliable, and not pocket-sized!

*sobs and whimpers quietly*

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Hugo Solis wrote:
Callous Jack wrote:
Hugo Solis wrote:
Wes, why don't you ask Mr Baur for his pocket pronto turn-over guy (most of the time) artist :) I hear he's reliable (again, most of the time :P)
Wayne Reynolds? Prescott?

Nah, those guys are totally reliable, and not pocket-sized!

*sobs and whimpers quietly*

Speaking of that Hugo Solis guy...

Spoiler:
All of your contact info is on your DA page, yes? I can't access it at the moment what with being at work

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

Naaah, it was a new guy/gal we've never used before.

Whew! I was worried about having a Joe Madeiura situation all over again!

Cheliax

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Laurence Olivier or Liam Neeson?

Both quite superb actors. But only one (so far) was made a Baron. Just saying.

And although you've been reading the boards for a bit Entrerus, welcome!


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Entrerus wrote:

This is my first post but I have been a closet reader for years. Wes' post compelled me to send a shout out: I really appreciate the inglorious real-life adventure that must be slogged through to publish such high quality products. I can hardly wait for the next white Paizo envelope in the mail, but the contents are always worth the wait!

Keep up the great work!

Happy posting, Entrerus!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
Hugo Solis wrote:
Callous Jack wrote:
Hugo Solis wrote:
Wes, why don't you ask Mr Baur for his pocket pronto turn-over guy (most of the time) artist :) I hear he's reliable (again, most of the time :P)
Wayne Reynolds? Prescott?

Nah, those guys are totally reliable, and not pocket-sized!

*sobs and whimpers quietly*

Speaking of that Hugo Solis guy...

** spoiler omitted **

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

Naaah, it was a new guy/gal we've never used before.

Whew! I was worried about having a Joe Madeiura situation all over again!

dA may be blocked on your office. The site is working OK

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wes, ConceptArt.org has a repeating challenge "Character of the Week" that demands the turnaround of an illustration on the weekly concept in a fairly short period of time. Some of the stuff they come up with is pretty darn good, this might be a good place to look for unknown artists that can turn around illustrations to spec quickly.

link

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
ulgulanoth wrote:
i bet you the reason Valeros is the one being grabbed is that he insulted the thing... again...

Or Paizo decided not to indulge the strange crowd on these forums that are into tentacle action by having it grappling Merisiel. :P

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Word is that James is awfully protective of merisiel when it comes to getting ones buttkicked in artwork. and when an angry dinosaur roars "no hurt merisiel" you tend to accommodate.

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