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The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.

Our beta phase is finally over. Download The Ninth Age: Fantasy Battles, 2nd Edition now!

And on December 24th, Father Chaos brought us... A brand new army book for Daemon Legions!

Von Pinktaco,

Below is a detailed explanation of how the new teams will update the books in the future.¨
You can also read how to apply, right after the explanation of the RT.


Restructuring Announcement

As you all are probably aware, we have been going through a complete restructuring of our organization. The reasons were laid out in our August 10th announcement. We mentioned that we would provide transparency so you can understand the new structure and have the opportunity to apply for any of the new teams. Accordingly, the new structure is listed below for your reference.



RULES TEAM - RT
The rules team is the central unifying pillar of game design behind the 9th Age. They chart, guide and coordinate the creation and evolution of the game. Under their sole jurisdiction falls the creation of the Main Rulebook and the Magic Paths Book. Their duties include creating rules and guidelines under which other teams involved in the rules side of the document creation process will be bound to operate. In addition they will arbitrate should an issue arise during the design process which cannot be solved within the Design or Balancing Teams, or between the two mentioned teams. Finally they will provide a stamp of approval to the finished product before passing it to the publishing teams for visual creation and ultimately to the Executive Board for the release.

The intention is that the Rules Team to be highly autonomous in their work, deciding on the direction of and the evolution of the rules. It will also fall upon them to establish when the changes they seek to make are to be implemented. This information would later be passed to the Executive Board and either accepted or adjusted to fit into the general schedule of the project.

The membership in the Rules Team would be reserved for those individuals who show understanding of the rules and their application at the highest level as well as ability to create rules that are understandable, balanced and easily implemented within the game for the benefit of the users. The position on the Rules Team would not prevent individuals from participating in other teams if they so choose (and are chosen). It should be understood that it would be preferable if members of the Rules Team would also be part of the Rules Review Team, Army Design Team or Balancing Team. The only exception would be that an individual cannot at the same time work in both the Army Design Team and the Balancing Team on the same army due to the incompatibility of these tasks.

Other teams such as the Design Team or the Balancing Team can at any time approach the Rules Team for assistance should they feel they require it.

The membership of the Rules Team should number no less than 3 individuals at any time and no more than 7, with the preference on uneven numbers.

In short
A) RT as a group does the main rules and magic.
B) RT as a group solves disputes and provides assistance when asked.
C) RT as a group can intervene if any of their members notice some thing is going against the design rules.
D) RT as a group gives a green light to a finished product.

Applications for joining the following teams
The Human Resources (HR) Department are now collecting applications for any of the following teams. To apply for any of the teams listed below, please send a PM to @ForsetisMuse and include @Mr.Gobbo and @Pixie. In your application please include any information (e.g., experience, knowledge, etc.) that you think would be helpful in the evaluation of your application for the position(s) that you are applying for.

RULES TEAM SUPPORT - RTS - pending potential name change
The Rules Team Support is a group of dedicated individuals assigned to assist the Rules Team in the tasks of interacting with the community in a comprehensive and speedy manner. Tasks would include answering rules related questions, gathering material for creating FaQ-s and Erratas as well as other related activities which might need to be done at some point in the future. The team would not have a fixed structure, but would employ any number of individuals that match the criteria for membership set by the RT and corresponding to the volume of work that is required at a given time.

ARMY COMMUNITY SUPPORT - ACS
The Army Community Support comprise individuals assigned to help communities of individual armies by answering rules questions related to the army in question as well as providing answers to background questions once these backgrounds get developed and published. In many ways they are to be the ambassadors of the project among the army communities. A second job the ACS perform is to listen to their respective communities about their wishes and suggestions and pass them on to the Army Design Team in monthly reports via a dedicated topic in the period prior to the ADT working on their given army. It should be noted that while ACS do gather information from the community relating to rules topics, and interact with the CDS relating to the information gathered and passed on, the ACS do not actively participate with the ADT in generating and writing the rules.

It will also be part of the ACS job description to foster a friendly and productive environment within sub-forums dedicated to the army they support, however, ACS do not act as moderators in their respective forums. All armies should have at least one ACS.

RULES REVIEW TEAM - RRT
This is a language compatibility team supervised by the Rules Team. Members would be selected on their skill with the English language (other languages will come into play in the future and will be set up under the same premise as the English language team) and their ability to recognize and streamline the wording of the rules. Their work will focus on ensuring that all the rules in all of the 9th Age publications follow the same wording methodology and structure. The number of members will vary on the volume of work and availability of quality candidates.

ARMY DESIGN TEAM - ADT
The Army Design Team is meant to be the creative spark of the project working within the guidelines of the Rules Team and inspired by the Background Team and Art Team. The size of the Army Design Team should not drop below 13 (including the Team Leader, but excluding any Apprentice) at any time, nor do we anticipate it will need to be larger than 24 (including any Apprentice). The internal structure of the Army Design Team should not be fixed but fluid to suit the needs of the project at any given time, though operationally clear distinctions should remain based on what is worked on at any given time.

Obviously there are 16 different army books to work on, however, there will only be one ADT which works on a couple of books at a time. Each book worked on will constitute a individual task that is assigned to a Task Group selected from the ADT. Not all Tasks Groups will be comprised of the same individuals from phase to phase.

Individual tasks will have a Task Group Leader that will have the final say on design decisions at the ADT level. However, the Task Group Leader should carefully listen to and implement recommendations by the majority of the ADT members on individual tasks. If a majority of the ADT on an individual task feel that a decision the Task Group Leader is making is improper or incorrect, the majority can ask the RT to take up a decision on the issue. For each task the ADT performs (e.g., each army book to be worked on in the current cycle) a task group will be formed and will comprise of a Task Group Leader and at a minimum 2 and at a maximum 4 other ADT members. The number of Apprentices assigned to task groups will vary from 0 to 2. The various task groups are NOT static and may change from phase to phase in both size and composition. Task group members may step down, or be removed from phase to phase and new task group members may be added as necessary. The staffing of the various task groups is a decision for the Executive Board (ExB), however, these decisions will be taken under advice and recommendation by the RT. The number of task groups at any given time is determined by the ExB under advice and recommendation by the RT and will vary based on the needs of the project.

The team will comprise 4 distinct ranks:

1. Team Leader who will have the following duties - Keep track of inactive members, make them aware of their inactivity and ask for removal when they fail to adjust their activity level after being made aware of such. Keep track of the various tasks and know how close to completion they are. Be in touch with Task Group Leaders if they need additional members, how many and what skills they should possess. They should inform the RT and HR so that the HR can take care of staffing needs. Report from time to time to the ExB on the progress of various tasks.

2. Task Group Leader - These would be the lead designers on a given task making sure the task group stays focused on the work and does it within the rules and guidelines set up by the RT and in accordance to the inspiration provided by the CDS, Background Team and Art Team.

3. Regular Team Member - These include the task group design members that work on providing rules for the army within the direction of the Task Group Leader and the guidelines provided by the RT.

4. Apprentice - These would be ADT members in training, individuals that exhibit necessary qualities for the membership in the team, but require further evaluation.

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN SUPPORT - CDS
Experience has shown that not all individuals possess all the skills necessary to design and write rules, to write immersive background material and to synthesize these into a cohesive working document (in fact, almost no one has all these skills). Therefore, it was determined that different individuals that have different (and necessary) talents are to make up the members assigned to each army book. The CDS team would be made of individuals that have good imaginative skills for helping the group to write rules that are true to the "feel" of the respective army. It is anticipated that this team would number no more than 7 members. Their task would be to provide additional creative spark in the initial phase of the process alongside the Background Team and Art Team to inspire the ADT to create rules which are representative of the background, are imaginative and balanced in the end.

BALANCING TEAM - BLT
The BLT will cooperate with the ADT task groups and review their designs from a balance point of view. First in smaller segment (single units, items, spells, etc.) and then the entire book as a whole. The Balance Team's jurisdiction is points cost, duplicate limits, category percentages and moving units between categories (heroes, rare, special, etc.), special “comp”-solutions (e.g. Last of Their Kind), unit sizes (full list to be defined by RT). Any changes from the ADT's original proposal, except points changes, must be discussed with the ADT so that intended roles for the units do not change needlessly. If agreement cannot be found, BLT has the final decision. While the final decision on points costs lays with the Balance Team, it is understood that the ADT may have an open discussion with the Balancing Team on points costs.

BLT may also suggest minor design changes (only things that do not significantly change the role or play style of the unit,e.g. changing stats, removing or adding a special rule, decreasing weapon range, and so on). When BLT suggest these types of changes (that are outside their jurisdiction), the ADT has the final decision if an agreement with BLT cannot be reached (and BLT may then perform balance updates within their jurisdiction such a anew point cost etc).

Finally, BLT may completely reject a design from ADT if it is deemed impossible to balance properly. This should be a rare action and needs to be followed with detailed reasoning so that the ADT can rework the design without repeating the same mistake.

If agreement between BLT and ADT cannot be reached the RT may be asked to resolve the issue.

The working relation between BLT and ADT is meant to be an iterative process with many back and forth discussions before the book is completed. Both teams work towards the same goal, but with each team having the final decision within its distinct area. BLT should always analyse the ADT's designs from a balance point of view. If BLT members have major concerns outside balance, they should notify the RT. An exact definition of “balance” will be created by RT together with BLT once BLT is formed.

The BLT will comprise five regular members and an unspecified number of Apprentices. The staffing of the BLT (as well as the number of attached Apprentices) is a decision for the Executive Board (ExB), however,these decisions will be taken under advice and recommendation by the RT. Representatives from play testers and data analysts will be chosen to act as permanent apprentices, serving as liaison between BLT and play testers/data analysts.

Membership in the Balancing Team is NOT mutually exclusive with the membership on the Army Design Team. However, a single person cannot act as both BLT and ADT on the same armybook. If a BLT member with a position on ADT is selected to be on the task group for an armybook, this person cannot take part in the BLT's work on that army book.

It should be noted that work on the BLT will be among the most time consuming in the entire project as BLT members will often be tasked to work with several ADT Task Teams at the same time.

SPECIAL TASKS TEAM - STT
Unlike the other teams in this presentation the STT would be formed periodicaly. Their members would be drawn from the ADT and supervised by the RT. The task of the STT would be to work on special project which get approved by the RT and the ExB, such as the currently planned Siege expansion and the envisioned Skirmish rules at some point in the future. The structure of the STT would follow the same format as an individual task group within the ADT.

BACKGROUND TEAM - BGT
The BGT is tasked with producing the background necessary for the Army Design Team to create the rules. They are crucial in setting up the atmosphere in providing the bedrock upon which the ADT will build the rules upon. The team itself will be adjusted in size depending on the needs of the project which may vary over time. In addition there are going to be two types of members; Writers and Specialists. Writers are permanent members selected for their ability to write, while the Specialists would be individuals that could be added to the team for a certain period of time while a certain project is being worked on based on their expertise. Many of the writers due to the nature of the project will also be Specialists.

A secondary task of the BGT is to discuss directly with the community by providing answers to background questions not related to a specific faction.

ART TEAM - AT
The AT produces the wonderful art for our project and is involved in the setting up the atmosphere alongside the BGT.

LAYOUT TEAM - LT
Responsible for the creation of all of our document to be ready for release. The team would be divided into two separate task forces. One in charge of the slim books and the other in charge of the full books.

LECTORING TEAM - LCT
Their task is to ensure that all of our document follow the rules and conventions of the English language. Preferably, if manpower will allow, the team will be expanded to have individuals versed in all the languages in which we release our documents. As much as translation teams already do that more eyes can never hurt.

MODERATING TEAM - MT
The individuals tasked with keeping the forum nice and civil under the published rules of conduct. The team will include a Team Leader and 8 Moderators, which will be in charge of the entire English language forum. Other languages will maintain their separate moderating teams.

PLAYTESTING TEAM - PT
The team comprises individuals with extensive experience in playing the game and will be working on testing the rules produced in various groups created by the Rules Team and the Design Team.

THE PRODUCT CREATION PROCESS

1. Selection Phase
Individual Task Groups are selected. Preferably it should include one person who is emotionally invested in the AB and one who has no emotional connection to the AB to provide opposite sides of the spectrum alongside other members of the Task Group.

2. Conceptual Phase
A) Rules Team establishes the guidelines/rules under which the Army Design Team must function

B) The Task Group, Conceptual Design Support, Background and Art Teams "sit down" and discus the nature of the book the Task Group will be working on. Background behind the army is explained and expended where needed. This period can last up to three weeks.

3. Creation Phase
A) Task Groups create the Army Book in coordination with the Balancing Team. While that is happening BGT overviews the process that the spirit of the individual Army Book is maintained. Upon the completion of the process the product is sent to the RT and RRT to check if it is compatible with the design rules and if it follows the established wording conventions. The RT may intervene at any moment in the process if they notice the design rules have been broken, by remind the Task group Overseer to stick to the predefined parameters.

B) The writers of the Background team in the meantime create the text needed for the book, while the Art team members provide the Artwork.

With the body of the text competed the work is sent to the Layout Team in order to prepare the document for release. At any point during this process the text will be checked by the Lectoring Team to ensure the language is up to standard.

4. Publishing Phase
Completed product is given over to the ExB for publishing and promotion by PR and SM teams.

This entire process is intended to last 4 months from start to finish for both Slim and Full documents, with the exclusion of point 3.B for slim documents.

Taking into account the time needed to create a single book and the current need for a rules freeze in the months prior to the ETC, for the time period before all the Army Books have been updated into the full post 1.0 form the product work flow would look as follows.

The Army Design Team would work in 4 month time periods. Within each period at minimum of 4 ADT Task Groups would work on an Army Book each. While the Background and Art Teams would select to focus on providing a full book for one the Army Books from that interval or for one of the books that has been updated in the previous interval and will not be worked on for foreseeable future. This will ensure that within a single "Development Year" (12 months) we have 2 intervals lasting 4 months when the ADT works on existing Army Books, ensuring that all the current 16 Army Books will be updated within 24 months.

This leaves a 4 month period of rules freeze due to the ETC when ADT can focus on currently non existing stuff like the creation of new Army Books. The two new army books planned to be added to the 9th Age being a priority with one done each year during the ETC freeze period. Those 4 months are also intended as a break from Army Book creation process for the most of the ADT and focusing on development of game expansions like Siege, Skirmish etc as part of Special Tasks Team. The background team would not have a freeze in their activities in those 4 months and would simply expand on of the previously updated slim books into the full book format, ensuring that in a single year we produce 9 slim books out of which at least 3 will be upgraded to full status, meaning that with current resources all the army books would receive full status by 2020. With more resources available the work would be greatly sped up.

The above would correlate to three releases during a single Development Year. Two releases including 4 updated slim books, with one book given a full status in each of those two, and a single release including a single full book and whatever is the result of work done in the Freeze period. Into the release cycle the public play testing period should be taken into account to ensure the highest quality product.

Putting a potential Development year to paper it would look something like this.

Annual Planning
01.12. - 31.03. Design Cycle 1: 1 Army given Full Book treatment, 2-4 Slim Army Documents Revised
01.04. - 30.04. Public Playtesting
30.4. Official Release
01.04. - 31.07. ETC Freeze/Design Cycle 2: 1 Army given Full Book treatment; Special Productions
01.08. - 31.08. Playtesting
31.8. Official Release
01.08. - 30.11. Design Cycle 3; 1 Army given Full Book treatment, 2-4 Slim Army Documents Revised
01.12. - 31.12. Public Playtesting
31.12. Official Release




DOCUMENT JURISDICTION

1. Main Rule Book – The RT are in charge of the main Rule Book. Changes to the main Rule Book may be implemented during any phase, although it is understood that a stable Main Rule Book is most preferred. The RT will decide on their own structure and working processes to implement changes to the Main Rule Book.

2. Paths of Magic – The RT are in charge of the Paths of Magic book. Changes to the Paths of Magic book may be implemented during any phase, in such cases where there is an AB exclusive Path the RT will cooperate with the Task Force in charge of the given AB. The RT will decide on their own structure and working processes to implement changes to the Paths of Magic book.

3. Army Books – The ADT will be tasked with implementing design changes in the various Army Books they are assigned by the ExB, whose decisions will be taken under advice and recommendation by the RT.

4. Special Projects - The STT will be tasked with creating these documents with the selection of personal following the same guidelines as that for the ADT.

The yearly 4 month periods will be structured as follows.

BASIC PREPARATION PERIOD

0. The Rules Team Develops the games design rules for the entire 9th Age under which all Design Team Task Groups must work.

SELECTION PERIOD

1. Tasks Selection - The Executive Board in cooperation with the Rules Team decides which projects will be worked on in the given 4 month period.

2. Staff Selection - The Army Design Team Leader in cooperation with the Executive Board and Rules Team selects members of the Army Design Team best suited for each individual task in the given 4 month period.

CONCEPTUAL PHASE

3. Background Development and Familiarisation - The Background Team at this stage presents to the Art Team, Army Design Team Task Group, Conceptual Design Support and the Rules Team what has been developed about a given project (usually it will be army background) and in cooperation with mentioned teams further develops background for new elements that might be added to the book.

4. Project Rules - The Rules Team develops a set of a additional complementary design rules based on the information provided in point 3. If it is deemed no additional design rules are needed this stage can been bypassed.

5. Rules and Themes Conceptualisation - The Army Design Team Task Group and Conceptual Design Support at this point based on the information provided in point 3 brainstorm on how best to bring to the table what is being described in the background.

CREATION PHASE

6a. Rules Writing and Balancing - The Army Design Team Task Group based on the previously gathered information and inspiration writes the rules while the Balancing Team provides the points cost for individual units or items. Also the Balancing Team serves as the first line of supervision. Should points be insufficient to balance certain elements the Balancing Team may ask that a certain rule should be changed (without giving suggestions). The Design Team Task Group can accept that or ask the Rules Team to pass judgement. During this process the Design Team can commission the Playtesting Team to test out various work in progress designs.

6b. Background Writing and Artistry - The Background and the Art Team at this point produce the written and visual material that will accompany the rules. This point is done only for those projects that are given the Full treatment.

7. Grammar and Spelling Review - The Lectoring Team checks if the language in all the written materials is in accordance with the UK standard of the English language.

8. Rules Review - The Rules Review Team checks if the language of the rules is consistent with that of the 9th Age standard, while maintaining compatibility with point 7.

9. Rules and Balancing Confirmation - The Rules Team inspects the work done by the Army Design Team Task Group and the Balancing Team. It will either give the project its approval to proceed to the next phase or ask for adjustments in order for the document to conform to the design rules of the 9th Age. If adjustments are needed points 6a, 7 and 8 will be repeated for the sections where the adjustment are needed until the Rules Team gives their approval.

9. Document Creation - The Layout Team creates the document including the material created in the previous points.

10. Text Adjustments - Based on the needs of the Layout Team the Background Team and Lectoring Team will be asked to adjust the text in accordance to point 7.

PUBLISHING PHASE

11. Internal Review by all the Staff - Prior to the project being given the green light for release by the Executive Board the document will be subjected to an inspection of all of our staff to ensure anything that might have been missed is corrected.

12. Pre-release Promotion - The Public Relations Team and Social Media Team in cooperation with the Background Team, Art Team and Executive Board creates anticipation in the community.

13. Release - The Executive Board in coordination with the Rules Team established a release timeline and in accordance to it makes the produced documents available to the wider public.

14. Post-release Promotion - The Public Relations Team and Social Media Team as well as Content Team in cooperation with the Background Team, Art Team, Army Design Team, Rules Team and Executive Board promotes the product in the community.
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