we are now officially behind schedule. Naturally, our original
timetable had some extra time built in, but we were hoping to
have the books mostly finished up by now and things are (as usual)
taking longer than it seems like they should. Of course, with
3 perfectionists on the team, that's bound to happen, and while
they may not be getting done as fast as we'd like, we're extremely
pleased with the quality of the materials we are producing. Currently,
the Martian Chess volume is virtually done, the IceT**ers book
is well in hand, and the Zarcana book is in the early stages
of layout work.
Traditionally, book formatting has been Kristin's purview,
but this time around Alison
is doing it, having recently learned to use Quark for exactly
this purpose. And Kristin is really glad to have the help, since
she's been just way too busy working on everything else that
needs to get done.
The main task that's been crushing our skulls this week was
getting the postcards I talked about 2
weeks ago stamped, labeled, and into the mail. We got the
postcards back from the printer at the end of last week, which
meant the pressure was on to prepare the mailing labels. But
this was no easy task.
We've done lots of mass mailings before, usually to a list
of 100 or so of our friends and relations, but this mailing is
an order of magnitude larger and the names and addresses of people
we want to send these postcards to were scattered across half
a dozen resources, ranging from our accumulated sales records
to business cards we've collected over the years.
Kristin spent several
days this week chained to her desk from dawn to dusk, working
to pull all this data together into a brand new, all purpose,
business-and-personal address tracking system. After designing
and building the new system, she extracted all the vital locator
data for our past customers from archived sales records. We've
used 3 different systems for electronic order collection over
the last few years, and the files they produced were all (of
course) in different formats.
Another database Kristin exhumed for address harvesting was
our old Hypothermia mailing list. Long time Icehouse fans will
remember that Icehouse
Games inc used to mail out a little blue newsletter called
Hypothermia; although these records are now so old that half
of them will undoubtedly bounce, this should still prove to be
a worthwhile source for addresses of people interested in hearing
about the new Icehouse
Anyway, it nearly killed her, but on Tuesday she printed up
over 1300 mailing labels, and the postcards are now in the mail.
If you're a regular reader of this site, chances are good you'll
be getting one in the next day or two.
As for me, my time has been fairly evenly divided between
helping each of them get those tasks done and working on getting
the material for the books (text, diagrams, etc) ready to go.
(Plus of course we had to stop for an evening to celebrate our
9 year wedding anniversary...)
But although the deadlines are looming and the pressure to
meet them is starting to make us cranky, things are coming together
extremely well and the 3 rulebooks are going to be really really
good. In fact, this whole product is going to be really really
good. We can't wait to get them finished up so that people can
start playing with them!
The beautiful new 3-D rendering of our signpost seen above
was done by the incomparable Dave Bondi, the guy who did the
game art for Icebreaker.
I haven't seen him since he moved away to LA a couple of years
ago, but he surprised and delighted us this week by sending us
this great new version of our logo. It's animated too - click
on it to see it move. Thanks Dave!