These are micro-adventures for Covert Ops, typically around 1500 words or so. They are often 10 or so pages in length. They have no art (except maybe some silhouettes or simple stuff done in-house or through stock art) and often contain one or two mapped areas. They don’t use commissioned artwork; all Short Assignments will use the same basic cover page, but will have your mission’s name and your name on it, along with the DwD Studios and Covert Ops logos.
You should name the Short Assignment yourself. Feel free to call it something appropriate to the story or to come up with a totally unrelated mission codename (“Operation Snake Fire” or “Operation Diamond Hawk” or whatever).
DwD Studios will build a credits page and a table of contents page and do all of the layout work for you. If you are unable to provide maps of sufficient quality, we can do those too, but we need you to at least offer up some chicken scratches (if you don't have a scanner, a decent cell-phone-photo will do).
A Short Assignment is generally divided up into a Mission Background, three Sections (each of which is comprised of one or more Encounters), and is wrapped up by an Appendix. DwD will litter the document with “gamemaster tips,” which are boxed sections to help fill with layout and to provide our suggestions to help build memorable sessions (if you have an idea for a gamemaster tip, you can suggest it to us. It might not make it in the final print, but if it’s a great suggestion we’d be fools to ignore it!)
Compensation: When sold, the product will sell as a zipped archive of the adventure, a print friendly version of it, any/all handouts, and a readme file. It will sell for 1.99 and we'll split profits 50/50. Since the distributor claims 30%, that means you'll only get around $0.69 per sale. But if we sell around 145 of them you'll line your pocket with a hundred bucks! Plus, the product endures online as long as there is an internet, giving you long-term residuals. Build enough quality Short Assignments and it adds up.
General layout should look basically like this:
This is often the setup of the mission. It might be a mission briefing by Command, or a meeting with a contact. It might be in the middle of action from a routine prior mission that gets operatives involved on a larger mission.
This is often a journey to reach a mission objective, though sometimes this has its own objective. It might start with the operatives having been dropped into a keyed encounter map region, or might not have any map and simply be a journey.
This is usually the final mission objective area… it might be a big villain base, some kind of installation, etc. Often a really cool exotic locale, though could appear mundane. Typically results in the final encounter, but make the players get through some encounter areas to reach the climax, and try to make sure there is stuff for all operative types to do, not just those designed for combat.
This is where you should list all NPC stats (henchmen, master villains, minions, other major/minor NPCs, gadgets, animals, special rules, etc.) If you feel uncomfortable with this part, DwD can help you or do it for you as requested.
Operative handouts, maps, pictures, etc. will likely be placed within the appropriate section or pages in the document, but large handouts or maps or pictures should be provided as supplemental PDF or JPG images in the zip file provided to purchaser.
We'd prefer a Word document (.DOC or .DOCX), rich text document (.RTF) or Google Document link, but can also take other formats, just ask us in advance. Please don't format your document except by using header levels. You can have tables, but don't format them, just use the default unformatted tables. Don't bother numbering your pages, creating an index, changing margins or creating columns. Don't bother with fancy fonts. We want to do all that part for you so you can spend your time making missions and earning money. All we need from you is an adventure and maps. If you're playing the game at home, this stuff writes itself!
Although we reserve the right to reject a submission, we don't do it. Also, if you have an idea for a mission whose construction exceeds the three-act-play construction concept described in these guidelines, that's fine too, but we need to talk - just send us an email and we'll see what you have and how we can work it out.
We are eager to work with you!