And what is that process?
It begins with Vincent Lazzari creating a working document from the Project Aon archive. This document then goes through a rigorous process at the hands of the Holmgard Editing Guild.
Engineers apply their expertise to the mechanics, gameplay, difficulty, balance. Loremasters check for consistency & continuity and errors. Emissaries take a look at the diversity and representation, being very careful not to retcon the books while opening the series up to a wider audience. And our Scribes tackle the fiddly proofreading. This process takes about a month.
Meanwhile, Vincent and I compile the artwork, providing our artists with briefs for all the new stuff and collecting any vintage material we want to use, which often needs scrubbing up.
Once the Editing Guild finishes their first pass, Vincent and I enter the conference phase, where we discuss suggestions and either approve or deny changes. For books that were first published nearly 40 years ago, and that have been proofread by multiple publishing companies since then, there are always a surprising number of errors, revisions and modifications.
Next is the design phase. Our layout designer gets to work typesetting, while I get through fifty drafts of the cover design with our graphic artist. Once the internal design is done our Scribes put their eagle eyes to work proofing the layout. Next follows a painfully long process of tweaking the layout in InDesign to satisfy my perfectionism (this is where we are currently).
Next up is the design team at our printers, who check things like paper, margins, spine width, cover touches etc. Once everyone is satisfied the books hit the presses.
We have a new UK-based printer, and a new fulfilment team set up specifically for the task of looking after the Definitive Edition hardbacks. The workflow for this series has been set up so that each stage of the process piggybacks all the way to its completion in 2024, but leaving enough room for a few extra projects, which I'm excited to tell you about in good time.
In fact, the first of these new projects will enter the editing process next week.