I haven't talked about it much here, but I'm a backer of the James Maliszewski's Dwimmermount Kickstarter. It's probably the Kickstarter project that I've watched with the most interest and as a result it's felt like the project I've backed with the most ups and downs.
The project has seen some delays, then seemed like it was on track, and then got severely delayed again. James has gone through some serious tragedies in his personal life and I don't begrudge him the delays at all, but it has really slowed things down with this project. The most recent delay and extended silence from James left some wondering if it would ever be completed.
The Kickstarter for the dungeon came along right around the time I became most interested in old-school style gaming, so it showed up at exactly the right time for me to get really excited about it. Despite the delays that excitement hasn't ever really waned (I also always try to keep Kickstarter projects in perspective. I view them as investments. Investments don't always work out). I very much like the draft I've seen and I can't wait to see it refined more and fully laid out and in print!
Today there was a fairly big announcement on how the project would move forward, you can read the announcement here.
While of course the best outcome for the project would be for James to be able to finish it himself I'm very happy with this as a "second best" outcome. I actually originally ordered my hardcopy of the dungeon in Adventurer Conquerer King System (ACKS) anyway so the project switching to that exclusively isn't really a problem for me (and there are some indications that there may end up being a Labyrinth Lord (LL) version anyway, the comments on that update indicate there may have been a misunderstanding on that). There are two things I really like about this outcome though and I think everyone else who's interested in the project should consider too.
1) By transferring rights (and funds) to Autarch, we can be reasonably sure a final product WILL be produced. This won't be Castle Greyhawk (it wouldn't have been anyway since we have a reasonably complete draft). Secondly this still means there might be a "final" or "directors cut" version of the dungeon some day from James. We get the best of both worlds. A solid product all but guaranteed, and the possibility of the "auteur" version further on down the road.
2) The other thing that I'm arguably even more excited about is that the dungeon and a lot of the surrounding texts and ideas are going to be opened up via the OGL. This small part of the project may actually be the best news. At least in this one way this outcome might actually be better than the original plan. We can see a lot more fully supported and legally safe "remixes" of Dwimmermount (like the "Devilmount" remix). I really think there's a lot in there that the community can play with and do interesting things with and now it'll all be totally legally safe! Sweet!
I've been very impressed with the products from Autarch that I already have, and I have no doubt at all that they'll do a great job completing things. I also hope we some day get an "auteur" version from James (and even more that James fully recovers from everything that he's been going through, even if he never puts out another product again), but in the meantime I'm very excited about the project getting back on track and really looking forward to what the final product ends up looking like.
I'll write part 2 to my savage worlds post soon, but I wanted to get some of my thoughts on Dwimmermount out first. Have a great weekend everyone!
-The Duke of Brandonshire