My thirty-third Kickstarter Update for the Steam Highwayman III: The Reeking Metropolis is now live on Kickstarter. Writing these almost every fortnight has become a rhythm of Saturday evening at the laptop over the last year – during which time I’ve gone from being the father of one to a father of two. Sammy has been resting on my chest in a sling while I’ve been preparing the update – but soon this project will be complete. It’s amazing to say it.
One of the details to finish is the labelling on my large maps for SH1 and SH2. The little extract above shows a crucial location in Highways and Holloways – Aston Hill, an ideal place to ambush passing vehicles, and Stokenchurch, a small town in the north-eastern corner of the map with Coal Board depot, church, inn and market. The road running to the south-east heads down to Piddington and the map of Smog and Ambuscade; other roads lead to Ibstone and the Hamble vale, Christmas Common and Lane End, through Cadmore End and Bolter End. It’s a region I know very well, both from riding myself, and from poring over maps for an age. Unfortunately in our timeline, the M40 cuts through here, with a very dramatic cutting at Aston Hill, where the chalk escarpment has been dug out into a sharp-sided ‘V’. When I rode this area, my Yamaha RXS100 didn’t have the power to ride the motorway, so I learnt the backroads instead.
The issue I have to complete is with the lettering: getting the right font, style and size, together with the perfect positioning of each label so that they can be read easily, with a minimum of overlaps with all the field-lines and lane-walls I drew. I’ll get there: once I know exactly what I want, I’ll be able to correct the maps quite quickly.
This has turned into a bit of a bonus – I only intended to signpost the Kickstarter – but I guess my fingers have been missing the keyboard.