An Afropunk Sci-Fantasy world brimming with ancient magic and future tech.
The Pre-order store for the Kickstarter, Welcome to Tikor.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
The May Update *queue dramatic music*
18 days ago
– Wed, May 13, 2020 at 12:21:35 AM
This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.
The March/One Year Update!
3 months ago
– Tue, Mar 10, 2020 at 02:07:33 AM
It’s March and I know people are super excited for Welcome to Tikor. Unfortunately, it will NOT be this month. But don’t fret, nothing crazy or bad is happening. The short version is “Art takes time.” But that’s not the point of this update. I’m going to let you all know where we’re at a year in and some changes I’m making.
Welcome to my Swordsfall Ted Talk.
Welcome to Tikor Delay
So, let’s get the bad news out the way first and foremost. The book will not be coming out this month. It’s been pretty clear since the beginning of the year, but I wanted to see where we were at in March first and evaluate the situation. Release Dates on a project like this is pretty hard, and I’m not quite sure what to set for a new release date. But right now we’ll tentatively say “Summer”. I feel like if I gave any solid month, I’d essentially be guessing to the point of lying, and that’s not my style. But I do want to talk more about the overall process and the last year.
From 10 Pieces to 100
So when I started this Kickstarter I set a modest goal of $2,000. Honestly, I thought I’d have to really fight hard to get any movement on the project. So I set my eyes on how much money it would cost for the minimum amount of art I needed. Needless to say, we exceeded that by QUITE a bit. With the budget I had set out it would have been about ten pieces from Tumo Mere.
Tumo is now on piece number 40 or something crazy like that. And the art is so good it blows my mind. As a customer I know it’s awesome but as a writer? It’s something so much more. Every once and awhile I’ll get a piece and find myself crying. It’s really something having your creations come to life in the care of amazing artists. I have the creator of SKYRIM DRAGONS DOING MINE. How crazy is that???
Mo Art, More Time
This is where I ended up showing my amateurnish as a project lead. I didn’t really understand how long it took to create a full art piece. Not just in how much time it takes for the artists to draw the final piece, but how much time you could eat up just working on style and concept. The first piece Tumo did took about a week. I knew it wasn’t his most detailed, but I figured it was a good basis for some numbers.
I can firmly tell you, expecting an artist to do a piece per week is foolish and I don’t’ recommend anyone EVER do such a thing. On average it takes about 2 to 3 weeks per piece of art, with some being longer and some being shorter. I’ve found there’s really no measurement you can go by. Sometimes lightning strikes them and the art flows. Sometimes they have to chew on it, and we’ll work back and forth on iterations.
I’ve really found the process to be enjoyable, and it’s taught me a new level of art appreciation. I can also firmly say I should have moved the release date back the day we hit $3k. There was just no way they were going to do the amount of art planned, in a year. Funny thing is my original goal, before I opened the Kickstarter was OCTOBER. It was Jonah Lobe who told me, “That’s not enough time at all”. So I adding on another 6 months sounded good. Nope, not quite enough for an art heavy project.
The HOLIDAYS! That’s a thing. And just because you’re the kind of no-life writer who works all through holiday….doesn’t mean others do. Especially when they’re from outside the US and have family obligations and customs. So yea, most of the team was on break from November to January and either was fully offline or just doing partial work.
And that’s NOT a bad thing. It’s just something I didn’t take into account. I’m the kind of person who will grind nonstop on something, but it’s bad to assume that on a team level. In the future, I’m going to put holidays in my calendar as proper blackout days, even if I intend to work during it.
The Whole Bundle Vs. One at a Time
While we talk about Welcome to Tikor as a single thing, the Kickstarter itself launched three extra books as part of the Kickstarter. These weren’t just extra books I randomly made up either. These were three other books I knew I wanted to do after Welcome to Tikor. And the KS let me push forward the art on all of them at once!
After the KS I had Sabina and Tumo start working on stuff from Welcome to Tikor immediately. However, I discovered a wrinkle. It’s hard to have your landscape and character concept artists start at the same time….when they have nothing to reference from each other.
This means I had Sabina doing Garuda landscapes but she didn’t really know what the Karu looked like. Tumo was working on the Karu, but had no idea what Garuda looked like. And when you do the Karu, do you immediately do the gods and professions attached to them? To solve this issue I ended up having Tumo do a number of pieces all from different spots. This culture, that character, this god, that animal. It was necessary to get the tone of a place done.
However, that meant that by January we had work on all four books underway but none of them were completed. Especially with Tumo being an artist on basically every project. I thought about bringing in another artist, but I also really like continuity. And having all the landscape pieces be by Sabina goes a long way toward setting a tone. Also, it’s really better for the project as with a year in, Sabina understands not only Swordsfall but how I work.
I did bring a couple of new artists to help do some other things. You’ve seen Enmanuel Martinez pop up all over the place, and let me tell you the are a LIFESAVER. Not only is Enmanuel a great artist, but he’s FAST. I mean, scary fast. He’s working on becoming an in house artist at somewhere like Marvel one day. So speed is key, and he’s on it. I’ve been putting Enmanuel on stuff like the Backer art, vehicles and such. Things that go in the book, but can be done by a different artist with no issues.
There’s also Bethany Berg who’s been doing some animals for Swordsfall! Her art is really great, so I’m looking forward to hiring them a ton for the Animalist book!
Welcome to Tikor First and Foremost
However, like I said earlier, it’s still a lot of art. And even if I throw more artists at it, there’s nothing I can do about that. So instead, I’m going to be sort of refocusing Welcome to Tikor so that PDF comes out first. My Pre-KS plan with WtT was to have a piece or two for Garuda and Vinyata. However, with the KS doing so well I could afford to get more in depth!
The revised plan became FIVE pieces per area, with me detailing,
· Independent Freeland of Teslan
· The Isle
· The Grand Divide
· The Canopy
· The Ebon Cascade
· The Dark Spiral
· The Island of Martalan
That’s 60 pieces. Not small pieces. Large, pieces of at least half a page. On top of that, Sabina runs her own business around her art and does commercial work as well. Needless to say, that’s a lot of are to do in a year in the best of circumstances.
Currently, we have all pieces for Garuda, Vinyata, Teslan and Hawklore finished, with the rest just in concepts and sketches. The city pieces took the longest to complete due to how intricate they are. For instance, the Hawklore “High Perch” piece took almost a month alone. At that rate we’d be talking about another year at LEAST. Ya’ll can’t wait that long. I can’t wait that long.
So right now I’m focusing on wrapping up what we have right now for Welcome to Tikor landscape wise, which is currently 15 pieces plus some building cutouts. I want to wait for least two of the pieces from Grimnest, but the rest we’ll have to leave for another book I’m afraid.
We’re not killing any art, as all those pieces need art. But I don’t see a situation where I can wait for all those pieces to be done, and I’m super nervous about adding another landscape artist.
I won’t be taking these places out the book mind you, you’re still gonna read about it. It’s just those sections won’t be as elaborate with their own giant two-page spread openers.
That means we’ll be releasing the actual Welcome to Tikor pdf first with the first chunk of it going off to layout shortly. Once that is fully done then we’ll focus on Tikor: The Professionals next, and keep going down the Kickstarter list. Each one being finished and it’s PDF being sent out to you backers.
Then once all the pdf’s are finished we can move toward getting them sent to the printers. This one I really need all the backers to remember. There is NO way for us to release each book in print one by one. The Azurean Edition was set up as such because I got a huge discount from my printer by doing so many books at once.
It counts as ONE print run since all the margins, paper and such are the same. It’s the whole reason we were able to offer 4 books for $40. Literally, BECAUSE it was 4 books at once. So that means that for those getting the physical bundle, you’ll be getting your physical books at the end. It’ll be the very last thing we do.
What a YEAR!
Phew, this was a long Update! But I wanted to make sure I really explained in detail what was going on. I know Kickstarters can be scary for people because you just never know what’s going to happen. And many do not fulfill. I’ve you’ve been seeing the updates on the Swordsfall.com then you can see we’re always hustling. I’m always blown away by the support we received for this Kickstarter and the following we’ve gathered!
I really, really want to deliver a stupidly high-quality product to everyone. And I couldn’t be happier with how everything is turning out! I so wish we had more time, like a hyperbolic time chamber. Because I think for the “full vision” I was dreaming of, it would probably take 5 years to do all the art. I’m a little extra like that.
But, like, also..I’m a Star Citizen backer. So there’s something to be said about TOO much vision. I’m mindful of these things.
Of course, as layout starts to come in, you all will be seeing it! Also check out the website, as I update almost daily!
The Summit of Kings
For those that want more of the RPG side of Swordsfall, I finished up a cool one-shot adventure called Summit of Kings! It features some of the sweet art you'll have in Welcome to Tikor along with rules from the Swordsfall RPG. I know a lot of people are thirsty to see what it looks like, well this your appetizer!
It also was our test for the layout for Welcome to Tikor. I didn't want such an important book to be the first time we do layout. And well, I think the results came out simply amazing. Owen St Gleais did the layout for Summit of Kings and I'll be working with him again for Welcome to Tikor! The layout is going to be amazing. And when you see Summit of Kings and realize it's just a TASTE of how extra the Welcome to TIkor book is gonna be, you'll be blown away!
In the meantime…
While your waiting for Welcome to Tikor, please check out the writing I’m doing for Swordsfall on Amazon! I’m hitting a nice stride with my writing pace so you’ll be seeing several short stories/novellas from me this year! Since ya know, there’s no art or anything, I can just get these out at a great pace.
I just released Four Stages this week, which is a short psychological horror story about what happens when someone is infected with Xavian’s Curse!
The next one on the list is The Bank Heist, a novella about well, a Bank heist…by the Killer Krew!
I hope that answers questions and soothes any fears. If you have questions, of course, drop them in the comments below!
Important Question for the "I have personalized art" tiers
4 months ago
– Fri, Feb 14, 2020 at 08:15:02 PM
Hello Backer tiers that are getting art.
Do you want your names published along with your characters when I promote the art? I wanted to see how everyone felt before I accidentally doxxed someone.
Leave a message here, or e-mail me at email@example.com. The sooner the better, please!
What I need to know
1.) Do you want your name credited with the character in the books?
2.) Do you want your name credited with the character on social media/website/other public spots?
Ten Key Figures Walk in a Bar
4 months ago
– Thu, Jan 30, 2020 at 07:39:01 PM
What happens when ten of the Key Figures around Tikor end up in the same place? Well, an awesome picture for one!
We've started working on the backer funded art and it's looking GOOD. I'll be sending the high-quality versions to each of the backers so you have your own version!
Also, I recently launched the latest redesign for the WEBSITE! I'm going to do some tests to see if it can handle the orders better than the last platform. If I don't like how it works out I'm basically ready to say Fuck it and just do Backerkit for the moment.
Now for some Backer pics and a few extras ;)
Jikay the Falconer,Ban'Goram,Uzuri,Sieg Thelis,Majajiya Zardò,Manda,Oromo,Elek Brekrar,Yara Jatau the Healer,Darien Nok-Vada
Wretched One: Inkayban
Profession: Land Raiders
Culture: The Grimm
Animal: The Ankole
Hawklore: High Perch
Hawklore: Blue Hollow
Till next time!
Address Changes are Back Open, Please Stop E-mailing me.
4 months ago
– Mon, Jan 27, 2020 at 10:37:49 PM
This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.