Friday, June 30, 2023

MEST Tactics :: Core Book proof-print

Perfect-bound MEST Tactics 

So, I received my proof-print of the MEST Tactics :: Core rules book. 

The exterior looks nice enough. The interior as well, though I think I could improve on the light ramp for most of the images ... they appear too dark in some placed.

A couple of observations:

  1. Pages were falling out.
  2. Text is larger-than-average for similar TTWG game books.

Letter to The Game Crafter

The Core Rules are about 200 pages in length. Lots of interior pictures, all of which illustrate the various rules in the game. I got this idea from the 3rd edition rules for "The Flames of War" game and I thought it would really help new players learn the game system.

The rules are perfect-bound in this case, and at 200 pages it is the maximum allowed for such a format by The Game Crafter. It is about 0.53-inches thick and the pages are glued to the book cover.

When I lay the book down with it opened, the pages started to come out (see below). As a result, I send a letter to The Game Crafter for suggestions and my options for recompense (if any).

I think that I'll need to re-think my package strategy for the rules. I am already considering Amazon's Kindle Publishing because they offer a hard-cover option and allow up to 500 (OMG) pages. I think I'll limit my books through them to be 250 or 224 or whatever. Most of the back of the books would be charts and tables regardless. For Missions, Scenarios, Archetypes, and maybe some print-and-play tokens and cards.

Text Larger-than-Average

I looked at my copies of Frostgrave and Malifaux. The first by Osprey Publishing, and the latter by Wyrd Games. I've been using Microsoft Cambria11-point and it looks very big. Actually, pleasant for a person my age and visual acuity, but about 20% to 30% larger than those other two books.

I may just keep the text that large as I think the market audience will likely be my age group (Gen X and Millenials). I'm not sure, of course, but I think the younger generation is more "casual-gamer" types if they were to play boardgames at all. Especially a game which requires collecting and painting figurines and terrain (for now ... though I think that will eventually change).

Next Steps

I'll continue editing the Core Rules book. It will be multiple tasks. In no order, these are:
  • Redo the layout to fit the larger dimensions of Kindle Publishing. Not much change, but it is a labor-intensive process even when using Adobe InDesign.
  • See about improving the light ramps on thoses images. This I can do with a macro, but I'd need to get another proof-print. Likely through Kindle Publishing.

Near Future Tasks


  • Create Tactics cards. 
  • Create tokens and marker set.
  • Create Grimoire Basic cards.
  • CreateAgenda cards.
  • Create Resource cards.
  • Create Dunjon of Death tile cards.
  • Create full-color layout of Core rules play-test. (see above)


  • Create full-color layout of Core rules final version.
  • Create full-color layout of Expansion rules.
  • Create 2D play-set for Fantasy Genre characters.
  • Create rules for Dunjon of Death genre book.


  • Create Dunjon of Death tiles.
This is the most daunting set of tasks. I'll create the final rendition of the various genre and settings. The low-hanging fruit are those which I've already worked on, but I'll need to make them solid. For those of you following this (intermittently updated) blog, you'll know them fairly well. 

The first genre and setting books will be the Dunjon of Death. That's the one which is a work-in-progress. I'll see about maybe adding Of Werewolves and Tesla Coils, Retropocalypse, or some others. 

After I get everything ready, I'll see about a Kickstarter campaign. Maybe a total of another year for all of the above? I'll see about hitting Summer 2024.

Perfect-bound Exterior
Interior. Pages are falling out.

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