When I opened up access to the v.40 documents a few weeks ago I termed it a "rough release." I still need to finish certain systems (e.g. antiheroes), write up more details in certain sections, and make a few copy editing passes.
The first two weeks I felt like I was constantly adding to my "to do" list. This list included everything I needed to do before I would make an official release of v4.0 with a pdf, linked table of contents, and index.
Then somehow over the past 1.5 weeks, that list has steadily shrunk as I finished items.
I am down to three items:
For the first time in weeks, finishing up v4.0 feels doable. I'm looking forward to creating the final pdf with official formatting and links within the document.
This is also the first version where I feel generally satisfied with the state of the campaign. I am sure there will be rule tweaks, need for clarification, etc., but overall I am actually happy with the game.
What Happens After Version 4?
Once version 4.0 is officially out in its formal pdf, I will step back from changing Karma for several months. I need to see how systems play out across multiple settings and groups. There are enough mechanics at this point, it will take a while to gather meaningful data.
During that time I will probably look into how I want to release Karma in a formal final version. (Not that a game is ever truly finalized.) I know that will include getting a group to do some actual plays on camera, looking into final art options, and deciding on my publishing venue/approach.
If I make any Karma content during that time, it will be in the form of example worlds, campaign guides, more GM tools, etc. Stuff that supports the fiction and GMs but doesn't touch the mechanics.
I also have several other games I'm juggling. Tides of Gold deserves an update based on editing and initial feedback. I really, really want to get a condensed playtest version of Pet Bridgade out...mostly because I want to roleplay as animals for a while. I have a half-finished boardgame design I would like to return to at some point and a computer game that needs some graphics work before it can really be played.
I also have a backload of video games I want to play, so I'll take some much needed downtime.
Overall, I am excited to get the next version of Karma out, and excited to mess around with other projects and hobbies as I collect playtesting data.