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Saturday, April 08, 2017

On Writing and Creativity and Publishing

Jean Sexton muses:

Recently Steve Cole told me to give him a list of changes that GURPS Prime Directive needed. After several pages of changes from substantive to moving from "race" to "species" or "empire," he agreed that the book needed an overhaul. One thing I wanted to do was end the artificial separation between the empire information and the species information. So much of what is true of the Kzinti Hegemony is reflected in the species; having those in totally different parts of the book made it less convenient for the player. I have found a few missing advantages/disadvantages in their chapter and those will also be added.

One thing that always niggled at me was assigning a personality trait to a species without noting that this was a cultural thing. The revision tries to address that situation. Some things just were inaccurate as further exploration of the US Air Force tapes revealed. Those will also be corrected.

One thing that showed up were the Inter-Stellar Concordium (ISC) species weren't well-developed. I wanted to have more than a paragraph that "The ISC has a cat species, too," or "Lizards, we got lizards!" That's where the creativity showed up -- a streak I didn't really know I had much of. I've been fleshing out some of these species, based upon a story that Josh Spencer wrote for Nexus #16 and a history that focused on the formation of the ISC that appeared in Star Fleet Battles Module Y2: The Early Years II. A couple of the species have appeared in recent Captain's Log issues. It is a challenge to take the pieces of information and make them into a cohesive whole. Some of the information will be in the GURPS Prime Directive revision; some will be a part of the future ISC sourcebook.

It has been fun creating the background. Who would have known that the Rovillian culture loved sports as much as they do? I found out more about the Veltressai that will likely appear in the next Captain's Log. I found hints of the Pronhoulite culture and liked their quiet practicality. I think my historian father would have liked the Q'Naabians. And next on the list are the Korlivilar. I know there is more to them than "cats."

When will this be published? I don't know and I refuse to set a timetable. My time is taken with many other projects being a higher priority.  I do know the book will have to be longer. I do think it will be more consistent in tone with the primary GURPS books than its predecessor. I hope that you will enjoy it!