This is the first post for the development of my next campaign, likely not to start until 2012 or even 2013.
I find it very interesting to write that; it may not start until 2013. I remember campaigns I've whipped up and started in weeks. I don't think I've ever planned for a game so far in advance. Sort of mind boggling.
Anyway, like my three other campaigns I have running currently, I started an Obsidian Portal page for my upcoming game, titled "Another Longshot". Given that the original campaign centered around a Venator-Class Star Destroyer re-named the Longshot, I knew I wanted to bring her back for the sequel, and how. I have some plans and some plot elements that tell the story what happened to the Longshot. To help tease that, I went looking for some screen-captures from the Clone Wars cartoon. The episode "R2 Come Home" centered around the crashed Star Destroyer Endurance. After finding a pair of pictures that conveyed what I wanted it to, I took it into Paint Shop Pro, cropped it a bit, and added the title to the campaign.
(As an aside, this image should make the PCs from the old game either drool or twitch with dread.)
It's at this point that I start jotting down Ideas. Chapter names, themes, scenes I want to have, characters I want to use, planets I want to run adventures now. I just write them all down. Obsidian Portal has a great benefit that I can write these things down on pages that are "GM Only", pages only I can see and access. I'll be able to access these pages anywhere, on any computer. To the cloud!
Oooo...that reminds me, I've got some aerial encounters I want to run. Better write those down too.
At this stage I'm adding characters as either NPCs or as GM-Only NPCs. GM-Only NPCs are NPC profiles that only I can see. If you look at the entries of characters for my other campaigns, there are likely an equal number of NPCs that are GM-Only as there are visible to all; especially in my Order 65 campaign. There's a ton of soon-to-be-revealed characters in there.
So I have three NPCs right now; the first is a throwback to the previous campaign, B4-NDT, otherwise known as "Bandit". He was the astromech droid for the smuggler's ship in the previous arc. Part Astromech, part humanoid mechanic droid, Bandit had a tendency to start sentences in Basic but would occasionally switch to beeps and whisltles of the Binary language as he spoke. I don't have much else down for Bandit right now, just that I know I want to use him again as a connection to the previous campaign.