I recently ordered a test print of 4e. Does that mean the new version is almost done? No. I’d say the writing is about half done. I order development books to help me see the work as a “big picture” framework.
Art is not even started. I’m unsure what my direction is going to be for it. I would love to be able to pay someone to do some of the art. It’s really unlikely that I’d be able to hire out all the art. This speaks to an issue that I’m facing for the project as a whole.
The Artifact has been available on the internet for 22 years. Not many people know about it and fewer care. Thousands of game designers are putting out designs. My track record of drawing attention is poor. I have no illusions that this edition will blow up and have a place at the table.
So why do it?
A lot of the delays in working on 4e have been me giving up. Some of it has been trials and tribulations I’ve encountered, but I’ve worked through things like them before. The majority of it has been the idea “why bother?”
In the end, each edition has been a revamp that I wanted. This is one of the ways I express myself. That’s why I picked it up again and finished a bunch of things that made ordering the development copy a possibility. This is for me, I’d love to share it with people, but I’ll soldier on regardless.