I’ve been playing video games for years…a lot of years.  I’m not an amazing gamer, I certainly don’t have those twitchy reflexes of a 20-year-old, but I’m good enough at some games that I don’t get overly frustrated with them.  To me, gaming has always been a social thing.  I put on the headset, grab a drink and a cigar, and spend the evening shooting friends and talking trash.  That little beat-down, whether it is mine or theirs, always makes my week better.

I’m an FPS (first-person shooter) gamer, and my favorites have typically been in the Unreal family, whether Unreal Tournament, or even games built on the Unreal Engine.  I’ll play a good game well beyond its expected shelf-life, but the time eventually comes that the guys and I need something new. So I’m always excited when Epic Games announces a new version of UT – and it always kills me when they release after the deadline.
It seems to be a common thing to do with video games.  Announce it, announce a release date, and then release the game late. Ahhhhh!!!! Drives! Me! So! Crazy!
Or even worse, a game developer releases a game ‘on time’ and the game is full of bugs.  Several patches later, it runs like it should – which is basically the same as releasing the game late.  I’ve never understood this.  I thought it was bad business, even though I still bought the games.  It frustrated me to no end, even though I’d play the games until there was nothing left of my computer but a few smoking chips.  At the time, I just couldn’t imagine doing this.

Then I began working on my second fantasy novel, which I’m calling Angst 2 for now.  I was sure it’d be done by the end of the year.  While it’s possible that the rough draft will be done by the end of the year, the book won’t be ready for release.  How did this happen!!!???  I did the same thing that Epic has done in the past, and I should have known better.  Though I’ve never given an exact release date, I completely underestimated when I will wrap up Angst 2.

Since there isn’t a great way to patch books like they do video games, I’m going to have to stick to my traditional editorial process that worked so well for book one. As I finish writing chapters, I feed them to the Alpha Team. When the book is done I compile their feedback, make changes, and give the entire book to my Beta team. After the Beta team finishes in 2-4 weeks, I take their notes and do a thorough review of the entire book. I add to, take away, disassemble, and work to clarify anything that needs attention. After that, I hand it all back over to my lovely wife and editor for one final review. I make most of the changes she recommends (I do reserve the right to cheat…er, make use of poetic license), convert the book to kindle, epub, and print, make the cover, and then tweet that it’s ready. And tweet some more.

With all of this in mind, it’s nearly impossible to come up with an exact date when the book will be done. After some late releases, a lot of gaming companies have been reluctant to set game release dates and merely say they will be released when they are ready. I should have followed this path. I really pushed to complete Angst 2 within a year of the first book, but this one is going to be a little…meatier than the first. While Angst (1) could easily stand on its own, Angst 2 is going to be a part of something bigger. It’s exciting, and it’s going to be a fun Angsty ride – I can’t wait to share!!!

Angst 2 may take longer than I had projected, but it will be worth the wait. As for when, I guess I have to when it’s ready, hopefully soon.