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  • Guntower Mike

Pandora's Log, Stardate: 23020705

So I looked up from another day on the coalface of Component Studio (yea, I know it’s nothing like as hard as coalmining, but just go with it, ok?), saved and dated the file I’d just completed – and realised: “OMG, it’s July!”

Where did the time go? I blinked and we’d just come out of UK Games Expo!

All of which is a very longwinded way of saying sorry I’m late, but I lost track of the time.

So where do I start?

Kris is hard at work, turning out the revised card art as fast as he can, which I then text up and convert into card files for the Demo Copies, PnPs and the Tabletop Mods I’m still trying to get right. The good news is that Component Studio seems to have solved the focussing issues I was having the with card text in TTS.

On the left is card text imported to TTS via Imgur.

On the right is similarly formatted text done in CS

You can see just how much sharper the CS files are. I suspect the colour of the text has something to do with it as well – and since our printers have just told us that the cost of different language copies in b&w is one quarter the cost of coloured text, we are busy converting all our cards to b&w text right now.

At the same time, we’ve been testing the new Noise system, which I have to say works much better than the old one. Cards now come in 3 different Noise flavours:

LOUD! Noisy ....and quiet

The crewmember who makes the most Loud Noise becomes First Target, with ties being broken by Noisy cards played and then quiet (or the last to make Noise in the case of a dead heat).

In tests, this has proven by far the simplest and easiest way to keep track of Noise. It’s still not perfect, and we still regularly get new players suggesting methods we’ve already tried and rejected as unworkable (like Noise trackers for instance, which people always forget to update). But with this method people don’t have to remember which particular Action they took at any particular time – they just glance at their face-up discards to see who was the Loudest this turn.

And now for a bit of fun…

This is the latest Shipmap drawn up by our super-talented and proudly geektastic artist Kris. Hidden onboard are at least 22 easter eggs that pay homage to the tropes we all know and love. How many can you spot?

We also had a fantastic time at UKGE. People loved the game and we got some great feedback. We even managed to generate a little bit of excitement prior to the event, as this fan shows:

Here’s a short vid about the game filmed at UKGE by Helle from Ludomania:

Here’s a longer, very slickly shot interview I did with On TableTop (gotta say, i really like this one):

And here’s a brief playthrough of a couple of rounds I did with Ludus Vulpes:

In other news, having done the maths, we’ve decided that we are better served ploughing our available funds into an ad campaign rather than going to Essen. So sorry Troels (and others), but we won’t be at a Euro con this year.

However, we do plan to run a PnP campaign to raise awareness in the coming months, once we have all the revisions in place and properly tested. So you will be able to get hold of a physical copy of the stripped-down demo game later this year – and I’m still working on Tabletopia and TTS mods right now.

We’ve also been going back and forth between various manufacturers gathering quotes, and the 3D BoxBoard is proving to be less costly than we feared. I don’t want to make any promises yet, but I’m pretty confident that we can bring this in at a price people can afford.

One final piece of news. As some of you know, my day job is making history programs for the likes of Discovery Channel, and the funding for my latest project has finally come through. While this is good news, it does mean that life is going to be even more full-on for me in the coming months. So if I occasionally go radio-silent, please bear with me – I’m still working on getting the game ready for a Q1 2024 launch: I just don’t have the bandwidth to do that, make a TV programme, and let you know every little detail as it happens.

That’s it for now. Keep your eye on those dark corners!


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