Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Proof is in the Reading

Just a short post tonight, and if you can read this I assume my iffy Internet connection is holding up. You might have picked up that the four Forge World indexes are now out and in the hands of many gamers, including me. Unfortunately they are, to steal the words of Richard Garfield, buggier than a first-year FORTRAN class.

Now, I'm not talking buggy as in the odd minor misprint here or there, the sort of thing that will always tend to slip through the net. I'm talking massive, huge, stupid mistakes that should have been obvious to anyone. Mistakes like completely missing unit entries (e.g. the Medusa), nonsensical rules (Renegade transport flyers than can't transport Renegades) inconsistent rules (the Death Korps Memento Mori which has different rules for two models on the same page) missing options (Contemptor Mortis cyclone launchers, Fire Raptor autocannons) and missing rules for options (the Heavy Armour on the Land Raider Proteus). The warlord and Enforcers for Renegades don't even have the Character rule, for crying out loud.

Now this annoys me on two levels. Firstly, as the poor sap consumer who's just dropped £60 plus postage on four books which, at best, are going to have to have pages of errata and corrections stuffed into them. But more than that, it offends me personally.
You might have noticed I wrote a novel some time ago. Part of the reason for this blog is to help publicise it, and the link is right up there as the only ad on the entire thing. It took me something like two years to write, and it's over 160,000 words long. And I proof-read the whole thing, end to end, personally. It took me bloody ages. In preparation for a paperback release (which is coming soon) I've recently done it again, and I still noticed a few tiny mistakes. But I bothered to do it. My entire royalty take for those two years plus change of work is so far somewhere in the region of £20. So when I see a bunch of people who are supposed to be professionals make such a spectacularly half-baked job of checking their work that most gamers spot multiple errors on reading the things once and then having the brass balls to charge £15 a pop for the things, you bet I get cross.

So, as an aspiring writer, 25-year 40k veteran, and long-suffering consumer, I say to Forge World: Pull your fingers out. Check your work. Get someone else who doesn't already know what you mean to check it again. Then get someone else to check it. Then release the digital version so people can get a decent look at it. And then, and only then, can you commit that work to paper.

I will never- and I repeat, never, pre-order a Forge World book again, and I encourage anyone thinking of buying one of the FW Indexes to give it at least a month for them to fix the errors before even considering it.

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