ADDIN_Submissions

Purpose: Allows users to track where they submit stories for potential publication. Assists with keeping track of rejections and sales, as well as helping the user determine which market to send stories to (based on word count, pay rate, and the like).

I have used a variety of submission tracking tools over the years. Previous versions of YourOtherMind included such tools and I have almost twenty years of data accumulated, a detailed tracking of my victories and failures.
This version of the submission tracking system is by far the quickest method I’ve developed for maintaining submissions.
It is also the ugliest.
It is efficient but a bit awkward to use (i.e., screens are too cluttered). This ADDIN is still under development. Expect the final interface to look slightly different from what is shown in these screens.

Main Interface

The Submission Panel has three tabs.

  • Submissions. This is a list of submissions and items the user wants to submit. Discussed below.
  • Markets. This is a list of the places that users may want to submit material to. Discussed below.
  • Advanced. The Submission Panel ADDIN is a ‘child’ of standard Table Note. The market data is actually stored on an inline table and can be edited directly instead of using the market editor (though we default to READ ONLY mode for safety). This table view is useful for sorting markets by word type or other markers.

Submissions

The submissions page is where users review outstanding submissions and plan where to submit material. It has two views — List and Details. The List shows the list of appropriate layouts to consider. When a layout is selected the FLIP button can be pressed to move to a Detailed view of that layout’s submission history.

List

This is an example of the list view with the Ready to Send flag set.
capture0000497
These are the stories that are ready to be sent to markets (means they have been written and are not currently under consideration at another market).
There are three filters available: Their effects stack.

  • Ready To Send. As explained above, those projects that can be sent to a market for consideration. The far right column lists the top five destinations/future homes the user has selected for this project.
  • Sent. Those markets that are currently under consideration. This view indicates their current market and how long they have been there. It will highlight in red those submissions that have been there for over a hundred days.
  • Query. The dropdown at the top (which says WritingDone in the example above) is filtering the results. This query contains the following text, used to ensure that only projects that have been flagged as completed should show up… the criteria is entirely up to the user.

    notebook='Writing' and section='Projects' and status='4 Complete'

    This filter is the same as what is used for the List Note.

Other behavior:

  • If neither Ready to Send or Sent are set, then all the layouts dictated by the current Query will be shown.
  • Double-clicking a layout will open that layout in YourOthermind.
  • Press the FLIP button to transition to the details view for the selected layout.

Details

submissionpanel
The FLIP button is a toggle between the list and the details view. The details view lists past, current, and future submissions for the selected layout.
This example shows a project with three submissions. The top entry, the most recent, has not been replied to. This means that this layout is consider “out for consideration”. It won’t show up on the Ready to Send list, as noted above.

Destinations

At the bottom of the image you will notice a single submission entry in the destination section. A submission can be changed to a destination by selecting it and then pressing the CHANGE SUBMISSION TO DESTINATION. This allows a user to prepare a list of potential markets for a new story. Once they are ready to send the story to that market, they select the entry and press CHANGE DESTINATION TO SUBMISSION.

By doubleclicking on the submissions users can edit details as shown here:
editsub

The top portion deals with the submission itself, including the cost of sending the submission (if a postal submission) and the date. The bottom portion concerns the reply, with a third section for any personal notes the user may have received from an editor. The DAYS OUT field is autoscalculated (from the reply date – the submission date).

The Rights Sold field will turn blue if the reply type is an acceptance. This is to remind the user that they should enter the rights they have sold to this publisher/market.

Markets

market
Users are able to add and edit markets here as well as select which market to send work to . The currently selected market is the one which the submit button at the bottom indicates the user wants to send something to.

Press ADD MARKET to add a market. This creates a blank entity to fill in using the property grid on the right. Once changes are complete the user MUST PRESS SAVE EDITS to commit the changes.

The MARKET NOTES tab allows the user to jot down any notes (like submission guidelines) for this market. The MARKET SUBMISSION tab shows a list of submissions — these are all the layouts that have ever been submitted to this market. Double-clicking any of those will show the editor’s comment on the work, if one was entered.

Adding a Submission – The Footer

This shows the current submission and the current selected market, together. By pressing the SUBMIT button, which shows the current project and the current market, a submission is created.
footer2
Above the button any potential errors (already sent this story to this market, story exceeds allowed word count, target-audience concerns, et cetera) appear.

The Cover Letter

From the submission list (details view), users may create a cover letter from the submissions tracker.

The first step is to select a submission. Then press the COVER LETTER button.

For this to work the user must create a note on the current layout called Cover Letter. This is an example of such a note:

[Caption]
[Address]
[City], [Province]
[PostalCode]
[Country]

Dear [Editor]

Attached is the short story, '[ProjectName]' ([Words] words).

Most recently my work has appeared in The Journal of Unlikely Entomology, Shroud, Abyss and Apex, On Spec, and Writers of the Future.

Thank you for considering this story.

Sincerely,

Brent Knowles

The text in brackets (i.e., [Caption]) are pulled from the market information associated with the selected submission. Likewise [ProjectName] and [Words] are pulled from the layout associated with the submission (the thing we are sending).

Flexible Tracking

The Submission Tracker is a note.
This means that the user may choose to track a variety of different things (i.e., not just stories and novels). They might have several layouts, each with their own submission tracker on it.

Tables to Customize

These tables are created automatically on layouts when new Submission Trackers are created.

  • submissiontypes. When a submission is sent, a submission type is chosen. For stories the default table supplies entries like Submission and Contest entry. But you may use whatever terms you want. In the code column just ensure to use the appropriate codes (submission, invalid, none, none). Anything flagged as submission will count as a submission in all the various reports, for example.
  • replytyypes. When an editor responds to a story there is a reply. Like submissiontypes, these have codes too (rejection, sale, or none).
  • replyfeedback. When viewing a layout in the submission tracker we see feedback on how well it has been received so far. This table defines the wording behind that feedback.

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  • Dave

    Hi Dmitry,

    I recommend Drakensang: The Dark Eye if you’re a fan of party-based RPG like the ones Bioware made in the past. Though don’t expect a classic RPG like the Baldur’s Gate series or Planescape: Torment, but it’s still very good and if you want an alternative to those numerous action “RPGs” out there, it’s worth checking out, especially since it cost much less than DA2.

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Thanks for the recommendation Dave!

  • Dmitry

    Hi again, Brent, the praise is all deserved. By the way, what are you playing, if playing at all?

  • Dmitry

    Thank you, I’ll give it a try, if there is not so predictable and non-linear storyline in Drakensang it would be just great. Otherwise, I was waiting for Deus Ex and Witcher 2, although they aren’t DnD classics by no means, but I’m hoping for a well-thought story there.

  • Dave

    No problem, Dmitry. Also, you got to try Risen (on the PC since the XBox version was poorly ported). If you liked the Gothic series (the first two, anyway), then you’ll probably like Risen. It’s non-linear and story is good, don’t expect a masterpiece storytelling but it’s still very good, imo.

  • Tim

    Thanks for a fast reply. Apart from Flemeth’s appearance at the start, few cameos by characters from Origins and a bit of talk about the Grey Warden, there’s not much connection from the original game. Having finished the game, DAII seems more like a spinoff than an actual sequel to Origins.

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Thanks for the reply re: cameos and whatnot. I’m glad there’s something but it sounds like it could have been more.

  • Merced

    Looking back on events Brent, can you laugh at how much of a joke Mike Laidlaw has made the Dragon Age franchise, and most notably himself?

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Merced,

    Thanks for stopping by but please cut Mike some slack. While Mike is probably very happy with many of the changes made I’m sure there are some he is less enthusiastic about. But it is his *job* to defend Dragon Age 2 as a whole.

    I did the same thing… I’m sure if you dig around a little you’ll find a quote or two of me defending Neverwinter Nights and some of its less polished features :)

    As well Dragon Age 2, as far as I can tell is selling well and has a respectable metacritic rating. I don’t think the industry considers the franchise a joke.

    Take care,

    Brent

  • DanaT

    I appreciate all the work you did for Bioware! I am working on my first novel right now and wish you luck on all your future endeavors!

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Thank you and good luck with your novel too.

    Take care,

    Brent

  • Mary

    I finally finished DA2. The urge to slap myself for being a early adopter is overwhelming. I don’t remember a “RPG,” that made me hate my own character.
    Hawke-the definition of “streamlining.”
    Hawke- the definition of writing that can be described as “user oriented content.”
    A dangerous path to take IMO when wanting at least a little creativity.
    Bioware should hire You now in the writing department, as the last hope that something can be rescued from the illness that has befallen everything even remotely connected with vision, idea and creativity.
    DA2 is almost a insult to the genre.
    No, I don’t feel entitled, not living in my Mom’s basement, not afraid of changes, I’m just not the target audience.
    But who is it?
    The game, this is all from various developer interviews targeted the COD gamers, because COD, based on Mike Laidlaw’s comments is a RPG, and RPG’s are dying.
    So they removed even weapon swap that is present in COD from DA2 because it’s a complicated task for the target COD audience.
    Logic?
    What am I babbling about:companions having fixed armors, fixed weapon class talents for companions,no dual wielding,no arcane warrior, a console camera on PC , blocked view distances, horrible FOV, all together 6 maps that are reused for the entire game, one mansion that is being visited in my case at least 10 times within 36 hours, I found less than 10 named NPC’s that are not plot related that the player can interact with, friendly fire only on nightmare, a approval system that is worse than the paragon/renegade system of ME, enemies exploding from weapon damage with the same animation, a dialogue wheel that brings paraphrasing to the next level, a level that manages to disconnect the player from the character He created…

    The Cameo appearances of Origins characters with half of the polygon budget they had in DAO, deformation problems galore because of the polygon budget everywhere.
    Wave of enemies falling from walls and buildings using invisible parachutes.
    The ” Cinematic Experience, “a excellent way to avoid player input, actual gameplay and player interactivity being way to expensive for EA’s budget.
    There would be a endless list to write down for future reference.
    The writing treats the gamer most of the time like a Michael Bay in front of a Shrine worshiping adrenaline junkie.
    I’m absolutely aware of the business part in gaming however, there is an always will be the need for a wider appeal, but the game failed at it, and managed to alienate many players like me.
    There was a way to get both sides, it would have been probably way to expensive for the ultimate Muzyka/Zeschuk vision of aggressively exploring the market by exploiting the gamer and those with a little creativity that is left at Bioware. The Doctors are probably the only ones getting a inner satisfaction from the project.

    This is getting really too long and sorry for infesting Your blog.
    I think that there is a easiness in the creative process for a creative person, but it gets so many times tainted by those with authority and no basic grasp on the subject.
    Must be You that made the creative process look so easy with Your writing and the games You influenced.
    I admire Your personal and professional integrity even more after the recent events.

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Mary,

    Thanks for the kind comments.

    The weapon/armor limits, despite what has been said, seems to be an art limitation. Not having really studied DA2 I’m wondering if all the companions received unique art models and animation? If that is the case it explains the limits on their visual upgradability. And I agree that’s disappointing.

    The more I read about what worked and what did not work in Dragon Age 2 the more I’m starting to suspect that there were serious art limitations handed down to the design team and the design team did what it could to work around them — i.e., building a story around fewer areas.

    Curious about what might have happened art-side to bring that about…

    Take care,

    Brent

  • Ewt237

    I really, really want you to know that what you did in Origins was probably one of the best games I’ve ever played in my lifetime.

    What I was really disappointed about was about the whole new Mage vs. Templar thing.
    It broke away to what I personally believe was what made the Dragon Age title a massive success, the Grey Warden storyline and how epic it was.

    IMO, it was the backbone of what Dragon Age was, apart from the Dragons wherein its the age of the dragons, (they should never take it out) I loved the Grey Wardens and how epic they were. The epic feel of being a Warden, with everybody hating you because you supposedly killed the king, then rising up to unite the nation in defeating the Archdemon was so epic. Especially when you finally stab it, it had that epic feel about.

    in DA2 I had little experiences with it, the epic aura, the impending doom, the party campfire was also great, I hate it that in DA2 you had to visit them in their own territory, (should have at least made the hanged man the their fortress or something).

    I also didn’t like it that the companions had their own choice on what they wear, because I really wanted to see what they’d look like using the Champion armor, especially Varric.

    What I did like though was the loading screen, it only took like 3 seconds or even less for it to load. Also I liked the combat, though not all of it. In DA:O it was very sluggish, in DA2 its fun, BUT the rogue combat mechanics had to much rolling every time I switched to another enemy (I was thinking about a song that goes, they see me rollin’, they hatin’). AND, why do most of them explode into tiny bits with a simple slash? It would have been okay with mages, but an arrow doesn’t make you explode!

    Also there are no lags, given my old-school hardware.

    Frankly though, I think the sequel made a step back, not forward.

    I’m not bashing the franchise, I’m just sharing my opinions.

    I thoroughly respect your work.

  • Alex

    Hi Brent, long time RPGs (and Bioware) fan from Mexico here.

    So, you can guess what brought me here, and reading your post cemented some of my fears and concerns. Your brief history puts many things about DA2 into perspective, so really, I can’t but share with you my disappointment in the way Bioware seems to be handling their games for some time now. I know of course that it’s not everyone’s fault on the team, some people have to work with what they have, but the company as a whole -and its discourse around the games- are really a testament of what you said: it’s not the same Bioware anymore. Shame.

    I also wanted to thank you for one of the best games I’ve played in the last few years, and for your previous work on NWN which I also played and enjoyed; thank you for standing up for the kind of games we like. They might make more profitable games that never miss the quarter, but the lack of passion that inhabits DA2 is something unforgivable for many, me included. I am glad that it is not you who has to be out there saving face (or pretending at least) and that you preferred losing your job before your integrity and ideals. I really appreciate that, and well, you seem to be doing great with your other projects.

    I hope it was not too much of a problem that I decided to vent some of my frustrations here, in your personal space, but I gathered that if anyone knew how this feels it was you. And very late congratulations on your writing! you are part of my bookmarks now and I will be looking forward to anything you put out in the future. I wish you the very best. Cheers!

    Alex.

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Alex,

    Thank you for the kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed some of the games I’ve contributed to in the past. Don’t worry about venting here; it is interesting to read how players have experienced Dragon Age 2.

    Take care,

    Brent

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Hi, thanks for sharing your opinions!

    You offer some interesting perspective. I think Dragon Age 2 intentionally steered away form the ‘epic’ storyline but I can understand why that it is disappointing to players who enjoyed the first game. As a player I would have expected the story from the first game to continue too.

    Nice to hear that there are some aspects of DA2 that you feel are improvements though! I’m curious how DA3 will incorporate all the feedback that the company has received.

    Take care,

    Brent

  • Eddyssonk

    Hi Brent, guess i’m more than 6 months late in stumbling upon your blog and probably be saying the same thing you heard a hundred times about DA2 and DAO. Still, just wanna thank you for DAO and the Baldur’s Gate series (if you’ve worked on them, sorry haven’t read all your posts). Those are masterpieces and i know for sure my time with Morrigan, Minsc, Jaheira, Demogorgon and the darkspawn horde will flashback before my eyes should i ever have a near-death experience.

    It’s a pity you left ‘big’ PC RPG games behind and not considering salaried employment again. But being a freelancer myself, i understand what freedom feels like. So all the best in your novels and other projects.

    PS: I’m super-pissed about DA2 too. It’s a middle-finger to those who loved DAO.

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Hi!

    Thanks for the kind words and yep I worked on Baldur’s Gate 2 (my first game). And yes, being a freelancer definitely fits better with my lifestyle now.  I certainly miss a lot about working with a studio like BioWare but having complete freedom has its perks… primarily that I get to spend time with my children while they are young.

    Take care,

     Brent

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Lever/100001103816209 Dan Lever

    Thanks to DA:O, no other RPG can live up to my expectations, I have to keep replaying it (it’s so fantastic!). I just wish that DA2 was half as good (but sadly it wasn’t even close).

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Wow, thanks for the kind words Dan!

    Much appreciated.

    – Brent

  • Michael

    I love DA:O,  it gave me a good hardcore RPG to finally play after a while of searching, I haven’t had a chance to play DAII though but from most if not all the comments here i’m guessing I would only play it for a complete story of the DA series, thanks for a great game Brent!

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Hi Michael! Thanks for the kind words.
    Take care,

     Brent

  • Ricardo C.

    I just wanted to wish you all the best and to show my admiration towards your decision to follow your values instead of the values of a company. I must say that i didn’t play Dragon Age yet ( i will though) because i left pc gaming and i didn’t want to play on a console but i did play Neverwinter Nights six or seven times, i loved that game through and through and i want to thank you for that fantastic experience.

    All the best

  • Pete

    This post makes me sad to read. I was born in a newer generation than most here so never got the joy of playing Balder’s Gate or Never Winter Nights. What got me into western gaming was Dragon Age Origins. After playing that I realised what I was missing out whilst playing japanese games, before that I didn’t know games could have such level of depth character-wise and role-playing wise and the tactical system… it was like a dream come true combining strategy with RPG.
    So yeah, I consider DA:O to be a true master piece and the best game ever created, after that I went back and started playing KOTOR and that was great too.

    Anyway thank you for helping to create DA:O, it’s sad that Bioware is taking a different direction (Just when I was starting to get into their RPG games too!), hopefully they’ll come around and start making real RPGs again.

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    I’m pleased you enjoyed Dragon Age Origins! Hopefully you can find other RPGS  that you can enjoy!

    And you might want to check out http://www.baldursgate.com/ … not sure what’s going on there but I think we might be seeing something Baldur’s Gate’ish down the road.

  • Joneleth Irenicus

    Brent, I hold you personally responsible for trapping me in a nasty Maze spell.

    I have always been a classic Bioware fan since KOTR (and up to DA:O), but I was too young for the AD&D games you made. I recently started playing BG:EE and it`s too much. I can`t stop playing. My career has suffered. My sleep quality is nonexistent. I am consumed by the Sword Coast.

    Furthermore, I played BG2`s Irenicus Dungeon just to get a peak of BG2, and I`m speechless. I`ve never become so obsessed with a villain before. I don`t know what you guys were smoking at Bioware when you wrote BG1 and BG2, but I need some of it real bad.

    BG1 and BG2 are the closest to a choose your own adventure Tolkien book I`ve ever gotten. Such unbelievably strong writing, characters, immersion, atmosphere, gameplay….I could go on, but I haven`t explored Mutamin`s garden yet and my eyes are starting to give out, so I`m gonna get back to it.

    P.S. Peter of the North was a dirty little woodsman.

    P.S.S I haven`t even played NWN…may as well quit my job now.

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Hi, thank you for the kind words! Glad you are enjoying BG:EE.

    I can’t take any credit for the first Baldur’s Gate though! Playing the game was actually part of my “training” when I started with BioWare. The first game I worked on was BG2 and I only had a bit part in that :)

    Bu I’m pleased you are having fun with them. I really enjoyed helping to put BG2 together, certainly among my fondest gamedev memories.

    Take care

    Brent

  • Eddy

    Been playing all Dragon Age series up from Origins till Inquisition and i can honestly say that Origins is miles better than its successors.
    It still baffled me why Bioware change Dragon Age series so much and going way out from its core, the current DAI and DA2 doesnt feel like Dragon Age game i used to know and enjoy, they just take out so many things that make DA Origins so great and replace it with more simpler content and action oriented games,, right now it feels like the game lores and “Dragon Age” label is the only one that hold similarity to the first game :/

    Sometimes im still wonder if only you never quit from bioware maybe the current Dragon Age game wont become “Dragon Age: fetchquisitors”
    And i cant help but feel that DA Inquisition will be the last Dragon Age series im gonna play :(
    I still remember my first RPG game which is NWN , the game that make me fall in love with RPG genre, the game that make me diehard Bioware fans up until the disaster with DA2, even then i still refuse to believe what the naysayers say that the good old Bioware is gone since EA acquisition, im still hoping that DA2 is just another “slip” and they will do better in next DA game, sadly thats not the case for me.

    Anyway i hope its not too late for me to say a big thank you for you for your creativity/role in making fantastic games like NWN and DA:Origins and giving me and many others such great enjoyment, wish you luck and i hope the best for you

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Thank you so much for the kind words and coming here to say them. I am pleased you enjoyed Origins!

  • Lost Raider

    Brent, I loved your work with DAO..I wish you were back and in charge of Dragon age..I wanted to ask you. The Warden Character..why do they leave out and not Hawke? I so wanted to see them again but they seem to take anything from your work and leave out. I love our Warden and I miss you being our leader of Dragon Age.

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Thanks for the kind words! I do not have any insight in regards to the Dragon Age games, past the first, so I’d only be guessing a reason! All the best.

  • Lost Raider

    Was The Warden..that all love..your character? We want to see them again..they won’t do it. Was he/she..yours? I think you had a story more like the lord of the rings..I would have loved that. Brent.. they will come to you to save it one day. I hope you can and have time with your kids too..in my line of work I have done the same..all I worked for is left to some other to claim but I have time with my kids…but I will never forget what I made…you should not either.

  • Lost Raider

    Thanks Brent! They will come to you to you sooner then later. I would welcome you back. Just let the clock tick of the hands..only a mater of time..but we are talking of working for EA. The best to you and your family..I have done the same as you as it as got me time..I still want to show I’am the best at what I do..and you know that too.. we love you and all the best. When they do ask…show them.

  • Lost Raider

    thank you and all the best to you! We that know..we miss you..one day..we hope that might change.

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Thank you so much for the kind comment! I should mention that I have been working with RPG developer Beamdog as of late…

  • Dave88

    I hate Dragon Age: Political Correctness, oh I mean Inquisition as much as I love the Origins. Origins is one of my favourite game.