Session 04: Deliverables

Session 03: Project Phases

Hey! You found this! Great – welcome to this log about creating “Tales from the Wilds” – a series of short stories set within the Imbue Role Playing Game. What you are reading is Session 04 of the project – and the current goal is to discover all the deliverables needed to make this thing. So far, we identified the goal, some core objectives, some guidelines and some tools. We also established the phases I refer to for project management. Today we will look at each phase structure of the project to identify the deliverables. Okay, enough introduction crap. Let’s get our planning on!

Just a reminder of what we’ve established so far…

Goal: Create scripts for a podcast.

Objective 1: Ensure the stories highlight different the types of adventures one could have within Imbue.
Objective 2: Ensure the stories are not trite or inconsistent.
Objective 3: Ensure the stories are not confusing or boring.
Objective 4: Ensure the stories don’t contain “off switches”.
Objective 5: Ensure the content of the stories are original content which remains the property of Cryptiquest, LLC.

Guideline 1: Stories should be told in first-person.
Guideline 2: Episodes should be episodic.
Guideline 3: Episodes should be about 20 – 30 minutes.
Guideline 4: There should be about 24 episodes.
Guideline 5: Episodes should target “general audience” regarding “maturity” rating.

Tool 1: Create a checklist of the must-have adventure types (determines what to write).
Tool 2: Survey matrix that rates each story on: Uniqueness | Consistency | Flow | Entertainment (determines quality of writing).
Tool 3: Create a checklist of “off switches” (determines what to look for during edit to prevent reader abandonment)

Okay. So I’m now going to look at each phase and predict which milestones, deliverables, or other types of work will need to be completed during that phase. I’m the type of person who loves to explore possibility and this part is like “living” in the future – it’s fun!

First up: Ideate. We can scratch that off the list since I already did that (again, the goal of the Ideation phase is to discover the feasibility of the project). So, we’re done with that phase.

Second: Plan. Here we are. We’re doing it. Our deliverables are to establish the goal, list of objectives, list of guidelines, list of tools for measuring objectives, list of all the required deliverables for the project, steps and timeframes for each deliverable, and finally, a working schedule.

Third: Design. So once planning is over we will go into the preparing the materials and infrastructure required for production, starting with the tools we will use to measure the objectives. We already know what those are: a list of required adventure types, a matrix survey, and a list of off switches. Once we have these items, we can create the file structure – which may end up being an online tool in order to better share the stories.

Fourth: Production. STORY TIME! Here is where all 24 short stories will be written. Hopefully all the infrastructure needs have been taken care of and done so in a way that I can just write (well plan and write) without having to worry about version controls or any other nonsense. Things get a little out-of-sequence here since there are so many stories. Specifically, the deliverable for each story at this point is the first draft. But that’s the first draft for each story – as they each become their own micro-project. I can send them out for review and start writing other stories while waiting for feedback. That’s not really important now, what is important is that we plan the steps for one story now and extrapolate later when we make the schedule. So, ultimately, the deliverable for this phase is the first draft.

Fifth: Refine. Editing is hardly fun for me but I’ll take it over marketing any day (Ugh. I just remembered what the next phase is). There are several deliverables here during this step. Again, we will identify the steps for one story and extrapolate later. The deliverables here are the second draft (character and plot consistency), the third draft (selfchecking against objective tools), then final draft (feedback from volunteer editors).

And that’s it!  So now, oh wait. That’s not it…

Sixth: Launch. Okay, so I’m not sure what to do here because the goal of the project is to make scripts for a podcast, not actually launch the podcast. Therefore, there is nothing to launch. HOWEVER, there is an opportunity here to release these stories in some sort of written capacity – not for money (though I’m not against the idea) – but for a chance to increase followership. The more interest this builds the easier it will be to put the podcast together. So I should put together a marketing plan that will express where to share the stories and how with what sort of supplemental materials (banners, copy, bios, etc.) are required. I was just about to explain how I would probably need an illustration but I forgot that I already own several illustrations that were created for Imbue so I’m actually good there (for once).

So folks, here is the final tally for deliverables. I doubt it’s comprehensive but it’s a good start.

  1. Goal (Done)
  2. List of objectives (Done)
  3. List of guidelines (Done)
  4. List of tools to measure objectives (Done)
  5. List of deliverables (how meta!) (In progress)
  6. Steps and timeframes for steps
  7. Working schedule for the project
  8. List of the required adventure types
  9. A matrix survey
  10. List of off switches
  11. File structure
  12. First draft (for each story)
  13. Second draft (for each story)
  14. Third draft (for each story)
  15. Final draft (for each story)
  16. Marketing Plan
  17. Supplemental Materials

Sweet. I love all of it (except number 16). If it’s not evident, I don’t expect the project to go 100% according to plan – it never does. But I will try my darnedest to make the best tootin’ prediction I can. During the next session I will try to draft all the steps for each deliverable and come up with timeframes.

Session 03: Project Phases