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.
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.
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.
This is an example of the list view with the Ready to Send flag set.
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.
- 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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).
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.
I forgot to mention that one thing of note from the DA2 demo is that backstabbing is now linked to just pushing a button, rather than sneaking up on the enemy before attacking via positioning/distraction/etc.
A remake would definitely need to use more updated rules and I’m pretty sure Hasbro or whomever owns the right for D&D nowadays would insist on whatever the current version of the game system is.
Yeah that doesn’t surprise me. We had to fight pretty hard to make backstab positional.
Hi Brett, your former colleague, Mike Laidlaw commented that you left before Bioware started any solid plans on Dragon Age II. Is there any truth to that? Here’s the link where he commented on the Bioware forum: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/4982457/1
Since Witcher 2 won’t be out for months, for those who miss the old school RPGs, try Drakensang. You played that game, Brett?
Hi Brent! I was looking around at user reviews of Dragon Age 2 and was also in the process of making my own when I stumbled across a comment and link regarding your departure from Bioware. I would very much like to thank you for your years of work at Bioware participating in the creation of works of art such as KOTOR which I really loved, it’s sequel (though it was done by Obsidian, without Bioware’s KOTOR, would never have happened) and Dragon Age: Origins of course. In fact KOTOR was what got me into playing RPGs in the first place which later lead me to enjoy other RPG’s such as Oblivion and Fallout 3. I would sincerely love to hear your opinion on Dragon Age 2 when and if you have the time to play and write a review for it as you probably have other more important commitments to attend to eg. your kids and life in general 😛
Personally I enjoyed the traditional RPG experience embodied by Dragon Age: Origins far better than the shooter’ized Dragon Age 2 (aka Dragon Effect: Consolization 101). Now this might not have been a problem except for the fact that I preordered the 2nd game with expectations that were falsely cemented by twisted PR.
I am happy that you left TBH. I’ve admired your work immensely and my gaming has been enriched as a result.I wouldn’t want the respect I have for you dampened so selfishly I find your leaving gratifying ( is that bad?).
It isn’t worth alot to you personally as you do not know us…but you were and are greatly appreciated.
I think as you read these comments from your fans you should maybe listen to the Gladiator theme for immersive qualities.
Good luck for the future
kind regards Phil Kitching UK. (PC gamer )
Oops, meant to type Brent not Brett. Sorry, I got a brother named Brett.
Hi Ronald… glad you enjoyed Dragon Age!
I too wish PR could be more up front with titles though I understand why they are not! I’m pretty much a demo gamer now… I have to be very happy with the demo or else I won’t even consider buying it.
I guess you have a 1 year no-compete clause ? Anyways I hope you end up at one of the smaller more creative developers/publishers. They seem to do a lot of interesting works these days (I’d name a few but that leads things open to debate).
Not sure I love the emphasis on DLC these days (actually I kind of have a rabid dislike for them); not sure if that is a bioware or EA thing. To be honest I didn’t much like the combat in DAO; somehow it didn’t feel very tactical; but the story telling was great (imho) (story telling is not the same as story; I guess many would call it presentation). Hum. To be honest I don’t know you or your specific work at all. I mean I’m an oldie and been playing games forever and I in my early days I did quite a bit of work on diku muds which predate the graphical evolution of games; well not really predate but ran sort of tangient; but predated the graphical MMO… to be more accurate.
Oh well will be nice to see what the future holds.
No worries the Brett/Brent thing happens all the time.
As for Mike’s comment… he’s speaking the truth. No solid plans had started on Dragon Age 2 though there had been plenty of discussion between the then-DA:O leads on where the franchise would head.
Given the push towards a more Mass Effect style of game during DA:O development though it was inevitable that the sequel would have even more of a push in that direction. As well when we were prototyping console game play for DA:O there was a push towards introducing more of an action element that was postponed for the sequel.
Thanks Ab for stopping by!
I had a 1 year no-compete clause but that expired some time ago. I’m doing a bit of consulting now (www.empireavenue.com/writer) but primarily I’m writing stories/novels/screenplays and the like.
The game industry was awesome but I don’t think I’ll ever be a salaried employee again.
You had to fight to make backstabbing…positional? I would’ve thought that would be pretty clearly implied byt the name. You stab. From the back.
Man, the less you know what goes into the sausage, the happier you are.
I enjoyed DA1 immensely, being a huge BG2 fan. Good luck! It is a pity that DA2 has taken the direction it has. 🙁
Hi Noman, thanks for stopping by!
Glad you enjoyed DA1 and BG2!
Hmmm…well, i dont know what to think.
I refer to this line specifically “Party control/tactical combat are huge factors in my enjoyment of a role-playing game “. Yes, and thats why you made NWN, a glorified constructor set which Bioware lied and sold as a game, with a single character and consequently – barely any tactical choises available.
PS. And MY GOD, there are a lot of various Knowles in game development ! Surprising.
Well DA2 is out. I’ve played the demo and as I feared I have no desire to purchase the game.
It’s not that it’s a bad game, it’s just that it isn’t a DRAGON AGE game ( ie the progeny of a distinguished line of descendants that began with a twenty sided die and sadly ended with DA1). Is it too much to ask that BIOWARE, of all companies, can’t look after the old school “nerds” (the likes of which founded and BUILT the damn company) with a series of determinedly old school games (even if , heaven forbid, they perform modestly in the marketplace)??
We don’t care if they want to make action games for consoles – just start a new IP!
Besides, I thought DA1 did pretty well $$$ wise. Why alienate devoted fans when you don’t have to??
I got more enjoyment out of the $3.99 iPhone game “Battleheart” than I did out of the demo of a big budget sequel to a game that I loved.
Thanks for your work on DA1 Brent, and all the best for your future!
Hello and thank you!
I’m glad you enjoyed DA1 and I appreciate your stopping by to say so. (And I’ve been considering downloading Battleheart… maybe with your recommendation I’ll check it out now)
Yeah I was kind of surprised at BioWare when a second Knowles joined the company. Only time in my life where I ran across another.
re: your statement about party control.
You are absolutely correct about Neverwinter. The lack of party control in that title really influenced how I felt later on. I came on late to Neverwinter and was mostly on the tech side of things but with the follow up expansion packs I think we did a reasonable job of bringing more party control systems into place (especially Hordes) — as much as we could with a limited team and budget.
And we did this because the fans *were* disappointed with their lack in the original. And vocally disappointed…
Bioware changes, and so does the gaming market.
Unfortunately, i don’t like most of the changes.
After playing the demo and reading some previews and reviews of DA2, i was very disappointed; it’s the first game of Bioware i won’t buy on day 1.
Thank you for a lot of wonderful hours i had with BG2 and also NWN and DAO.
Good luck with your future projects.
Thanks for the kind words and I’m sorry you were disappointed with DA2.
All the best,
looks like you’ve made a right decision:
check out the user score 😉
Also did you read the escapistmagazine.com review of DA2?
“Bottom Line: A pinnacle of role-playing games with well-designed mechanics and excellent story-telling, Dragon Age II is what videogames are meant to be. 5/5 Stars”
The poor guy has either never played a good RPG game, or EA spends all it’s dough on buying positive reviews instead of on the actual game-making.
It’s a shame what became of Bioware…
I’m 31 and I hardly have any decent RPGs to play now. Games, kind of instead of maturing with you are getting dumber and dumber with every year or sequel…
Crap, i would kill (please don’t call the FBI, its just a saying) for another Planetscape:Torment, Fallout2 or Baldurs Gate2….
oopsy, sorry for all the ranting, take care.
Hi Alex, thanks for the comments and the link. Interesting stuff.
Brent thanks for the story and for making DA1. Based on my experience with DA2 so far, it was probably a wise decision to back out of that project. Its unfortunate that Bioware is clearly not the same company in spirit as it once was.
I hope you find a way to get back into game design whether big budget or small team. I would definately play them and I think a lot of other people would too! Take care.
Thanks Red RavN.
Simply put, Dragon Age: Origins was truly a love letter to old school RPG fans. In an age where choices are clear cut “yes or no”, Origins provided us with a refreshing taste of “whatever you feel is right”.
While Mass Effect’s transition into an action game sat perfectly well with me, given the game’s shooter roots, I wasn’t so happy about the transition that was made with Dragon Age 2. We have way too many hack and slash action games out there (ie Fable) to justify some of the cuts that went into it, and the game feels like it was contracted out to a completely different development team that had never even seen Origins.
I think the biggest travesty was the lack of lasting impact you had on the world. In Origins, there were tons of different endings detailing pretty much every person you affected. In DA2, you can only earn one of two different endings that are about 2 minutes long in total, and are extremely similar to one another. It really isn’t an RPG.
Given your history, I think you’ll enjoy the following image – keep fighting the good fight, and thanks for Origins.
Yes that image says a lot, doesn’t it? Thanks for your comments, I agree with you in that I think a large part of some user’s frustration is the change of scope from DA1 to DA2. Its nice to have variety in the kinds of games played.
Played dozens of hours on Dragon Age II and it’s… different. Not liking trudging through very linear and recycled environments, having my view obscure when casting AOE spells because tactical view was removed and how waves of enemies constantly appears out of nowhere, especially behind my mage and rogue. It happens like 90% of the time after defeating the first wave of baddies.
Mike Laidlaw said in an interview in Eurogamer (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-03-11-dragon-age-3-there-are-always-ideas) that they are thinking of implementing multiplayer into the Dragon Age series as well as Mass Effect series. When you were working at Bioware, was there any talk of multiplayer in those series at some point in the future? Do you favor adding multiplayer for those games?
If there were to add multiplayer that it’s more like what Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights had, not like multiplayer like we have now like with shooters or with the Fable series.
LOL @ picture. The dialogue wheel needs another option: “Button=Awesome!” I have seen this before and it never fails to make me laugh. At the same time, I cry a little inside when I do see it, as they don’t make RPGs like they used to.
I really enjoyed Dragon Age Origins, but good lord, it’s one of the buggiest games I’ve ever played for the PS3. The Awakening expansion even more so. I think it’s a shame you weren’t involved in Dragon Age 2 — a game I’m enjoying every bit as much as Origins, if I’m honest — but thank you for the hard work you did on the first game. In spite of the glitches and the bugs, it’s a wonderful game.
I actually think it’s short-sighted not to be more up-front. Especially with game prices today being what they are, not being up front and having people buy a game they don’t enjoy is not going to encourage follow-up purchases. Basically, they’re trying to do seller’s market style marketing in a buyer’s market. Problem is, few people are going to notice because a lot of companies have slept through the last couple of decades… but with more and more studios coming onto the market with games, competition for the buyers’ money will get more fierce, and I don’t think acting in a style that is perceived as being ripped off is going to win that competition.
Frankly, as someone who has played CRPGs since the dawn of time, I get a sinking feeling that what happens to Bioware is similar to what happened to Origin Systems way back when. The games get rushed, the gameplay drastically changed to the point where eye candy tries to cover a lack of substance.
One counterpoint, though: I believe that a game with a predesigned hero CAN be a stellar example of old-school RPG. I’m not going to point at Ultima here because those were very different times. But if you look at Planescape:Torment, it dropped you into a premade character with a premade backstory, and a great part of the game was actually about finding out that backstory. BUT it still allowed you a lot of freedom as to where you took the character from there. You were not locked into a specific style of play from the get-go, you were not locked into a specific outlook at the world. Add to that a very out-of-the-ordinary environment, and rich characters not from the usual mass market mold and I found it a game that could really capture me and not let go. In fact, not being a friend of D&D, I’d never have bought BG1 OR 2 if I hadn’t played P:T before because the premise intrigued me and had been absolutely enthralled by it.
I’m very sorry to hear you’ve left. You can probably (I certainly do) be counted among the industry’s greatest, seeing as what you have been responsible for.
I am wondering about something though, and I hope you can / are willing to clear up if they are just ‘conspiracy theories’, paranoia, or truth.
I, and as far as I know many others too, have the feeling that the last few years Bioware’s getting more and more influenced by EA. In the sense of wanting to release a game each year at the cost of quality, releasing literally dozens of DLC at the cost of focussing their time on making a ‘complete’ game, and removing a lot of immersion from the games through a lot of things both small and big, like for example not being able to buy wares from traders anymore in both ME2 and DA2, but having to interact with some object next to them…
After having read a few replies of you on this page I doubt you’ll be making more great games for us, but I’ll certainly keep my hopes up!
Multiplayer is always discussed for every title as it is generally seen that a single player game has less potential in the marketplace.
The difficulty, especially with the way BioWare games have moved towards very focused stories is that multiplayer becomes really complicated– how do you play a cutscene (and every conversation IS a cutscene) in multiplayer?. Neverwinter probably had the best BioWare multiplayer in regards to making multiplayer players happy but that came at the cost of story presentation.
Will be interesting to see where they go with it.
Thanks for the kind words James!
Alex, I hope you realise that the reason there’s so many negative user reviews on metacritic is because the website was attacked by internet “trolls” from the 4chan website wanting to “bring BioWare down a notch”. It had little to do with the game itself. I imagine the actual user enjoyment is more in lieu with that of the professional critics; personally I’m enjoying myself so far, probably to an 8/10, though DA:O was a more appealing experience all in all (9/10 or maybe even 10/10).
Which is why I’m also sad to see such a talented developer leave BioWare 🙁
Thanks for the comment. I feel the same as you in that advertising that misleads me tends to discourage me from trusting the source a second time.
In regards to Torment I have to be honest… I never finished the game. I think this was for a couple reasons
1. I knew how it ended; a drawback to being in the industry is that you always get spoilers
2. I think the RPGs I enjoy the most are ‘balanced’ — there’s good story, good exploration, good progression, and good combat. The whole Goldilocks syndrome I guess… when a game strays too far and focuses too much on one or two elements, I lose interest.
For Torment, it was too much about the dialog and the story and I found the combat/progression weak and eventually lost interest. Still a great game and it did amazing things (and as you mentioned had an engrossing setting).
Hi. Thanks for stopping by.
I was not with EA long enough to really say what their influence might be but some points:
1. BioWare is a strong studio with very strong leadership. I half expect Ray and Greg to take over EA one day 🙂
2. There is probably pressure from EA to release games faster and have DLC but these were directions BioWare was taking/wanting to take before EA
3. As for the merchant thing I’m not sure I understand as I haven’t played ME2 or DA2 but if you can’t talk to merchants that might simply have been to save a bit of dialog and VO recording costs.
Hi… you are definitely correct. People are a bit more willing to take the effort to dislike something on the Internet than to praise it. I was a bit shocked by how low the user numbers have dropped.
Anyways thanks for the kind words (but don’t worry there are many many many talented designers still at BioWare!)
Thanks for your quick reply Brent!
I’m not surprised Bioware wanted DLC themselves too, it’s a good addition to the industry. However, EA is really milking it way too much… Several dozens of DLC before the game’s even released? That’s not cool.
I understand your point about the merchant thing, and that is exactly what worries me.. Bioware won’t even invest time in something so simple anymore? Even something as simple as that breaks immersion, and it’s not like they didn’t have spare time, with all those re-used instances and all…
Hi Mr. Knowles
Thank you for sharing these inside stories. More importantly, thank you for putting your blood and sweat and so much work into these games. I never would have thought it would take 6 years ot make dragon age, but it was worth it (to us gamers anyway !) It is a masterpiece. I just ordered Jade Empire after reading that you worked on it hehe
Thanks for the kind words.
I agree there are users who will hate the game without even playing it and will troll on website like Metacritic but there are people who have played the game and are genuinely disappointed in the game. Unfortunately, they get lumped together with those internet trolls.
As sad as those people who gave Dragon Age II a low rating in Metacritic without playing it, it’s just as sad that a Bioware employee (one that we know of) is posting as a random gamer and giving Dragon Age II a 10 out of 10 rating in Metacritic. As shown here: http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/g3td7/dragon_age_2_conspiracy_highest_rated_metacritic/ His review on DAII was deleted after he was found out, but I remember seeing his review before it was deleted.
That’s not good but I’m pretty sure this is just one overly enthusiastic newcomer to the company trying to show his support. But yeah, it doesn’t look good.
I’m a big fan of BG2, NWN and DAO. I can’t tell you how many hours I have sunk into those games. Thanks to you and the guys at Bioware for making them.
I have been playing DAII since its release and there’s certainly some changes to the original. I’m dividend on some of these changes. One serious flaw I found in DAII is that I didn’t find Hawke and co to be as interesting as your character and his/her companions in Origins. When you were working at Bioware was your character in Origins, the Grey Warden was suppose to be the main character for the DA sequels or has it been planned long ago that you start with a new character after Origins? I ask because I get this feeling that it was originally planned that your character in Origins was suppose to be the character you play throughout the DA saga like with Shepard in the Mass Effect series but Bioware decided to do a mini reboot and create Hawke for DAII, maybe to attract new/non-hardcore RPGs gamers.
Hi. Thanks for stopping by.
I was a bit surprised at the change of the character but given the shift to a human-only main character it was inevitable I guess. When I was at BioWare it wasn’t 100% decided if the Grey Warden would remain the hero of the franchise but I had assumed this would probably be the case.
I had hoped at the very least that his mark on the world would have carried over somehow to the sequel (are there statues or monuments of the warden in the world? Or books?)
This aint brain surgery. What makes a ROLE playing game?
I play a game. My friend plays the same game. Later when we meet at ye olde pub for a pint to discuss the game we played we find that we had SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT experiences.
Anyone who plays DA2 is gonna have pretty much the same experience as any other sucker that plays it.
BioWare used to make really high quality role playing games. Folks are sad that they don’t want to anymore.
Now I must go to ye olde pub.
I’m gonna get drunk.
I’m gonna cry.
And later, I’m gonna fantasize about Morrigan.
Valid point but please… remember to drink responsibly!
Bioware is destroying games people love for more money and trying to get players who don’t like rpgs instead of appeasing rpg fans. I applaud you for quitting. Plain and simple Bioware is no longer the great company it use to be.
Hi Brent, I’m from Russia and I was playing every RPG title made by you (and your colleagues) from PS:T till DA:O, and finished DA2 lately. DA2 is a good-paced, but obviously too shallow for my taste game. While in our PnP DnD company we’ve suffered a lot from “duh, there are so many ways to make the story in this game much better!” syndrome, still Bioware of old were really those people that brought us quality storytelling and adventures through personal computer, and has shown the magic of adventuring to many people worldwide. I thank you from all my heart for all those hours of entertainment and thought-provoking decisions in-game; I wish you’d never had to waste your time on anything not interesting enough for you. Hopefully you won’t lose the drive inside! As for RPG industry – I just want to know, does anyone is still doing the games with deeply-thought-out and immersive storytelling? Any directions, please?
Thank you for stopping by and for the praise. It is very much appreciated.
Unfortunately I’m not sure of any other titles like what you are asking for. Perhaps somebody else reading this could recommend something?