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Monday, June 13, 2011

This Week at ADB, Inc., 5-11 June 2011

Steve Cole reports:

The week before the week before Origins is traditionally the worst week of the year. Hard work, long days, and high stress are the norm for this week, and this will be one of the longest blogs of the year. Because color printing takes a week to get back and because any new rulebook has to be checked and proofread, most of the hard work to finish Origins products is done during this "week-before-week" each year. If everything isn't in the hands of the proofreaders or printers by seven days before the show, it's not going to make it to the show. This year will see six new products at Origins, a record for printed products, and more than most other companies (if not any other company). [Captain's Log #43, Starmada Distant Armada, Starship Aldo, Federation Commander Transports Attacked, Federation & Empire ISC War, and the Secret Product (an SFB E-module you never heard us talk about).

The biggest news of the week was that Secret Contract U was signed on Saturday. Expect a press release on Wednesday the 15th telling you all about this joint venture deal to create three major new product lines in cooperation with a game company that is as big today as SFU was in 1983 (and will be in 2012).

The weather this week was hot (90s or 100s every afternoon). The spam storm remained below 100 as the filters and firewalls held.

Nothing new was uploaded to e23 this week due to the workload for Origins. It's 90% certain that the next upload will be at least a week after Origins. Jean reports that we have 835 friends on our page on Facebook.

Steven Petrick had finished Captain's Log #43 (he does most of the hard work on that product) so he was mostly working on Origins Trip Prep, going through the pre-flight checklist. We put on a good show at Origins and that takes planning and preparation. We don't get there with everything we need because a magic wand created it on the spot; we get there with everything we need because Steven Petrick put it in the box.

Steve Cole worked on the new product releases. Of course, Captain's Log #43 and Starship Aldo are already finished, and Steven Petrick had done the "secret sixth product" before, leaving Steve Cole with only three major projects.

Starmada Distant Armada was mostly done the week before this. (SVC just had to lay out the 24 rules pages and write some ship descriptions.) Jean phoned in her final proofreading report Monday, and Daniel Kast kept pulling unneeded rules off of pages 7 and 8 and adding fun new optional rules. The Starmada ship card list was finalized Monday, the cards created by Daniel Kast, and two experts (Terry O'Carroll and Ken Rodeghero) checked them.

FC Transports Attacked was once thought to be the "product that isn't going to make it" but at this point we think it will. SVC processed the staff reports on the cards Monday and got Jean's final report later in the week. The rulebook was finished by mid-week and the ten scenarios on Saturday. The cards and cover go to press Monday and the rulebook will be printed on the 16th.

ISC War moved forward with the rulebook layout 50% finished (lacking only the "big scenario" which the staff is doing final editing on) and the SIT finished. (The staff has checked the rules and SIT.) All we lack is the "mechanical" task of formatting the 32 pages of ISC peacekeeping scenario, which will take a day. Most of the work remaining is for poor Jean, who will have to pull all-nighters to proofread the jargon and secret codes that the F&E staff use.

Besides the three new products, Steve Cole finalized negotiations on the U contract, updated three FC rulebooks to Revision 6 (Distant Kingdoms, Battleships Attack, Tholian Attack), checked proofs on the Captain's Log #43 and Starmada Distant Armada covers, did his part of the back covers for FC Transports Attacked and F&E ISC War, got press quotes for covers, talked with the die cutter, called wholesalers, and tried to find more caffeine and chocolate.

Leanna kept orders and accounting up to date, helped us get ready for Origins (she has to get the credit card machine working, the trophy ordered, and 30 other things), and got the Platinum Hat sign-up and Origins products on the cart.

Mike kept orders going out, rebuilt the inventory, got stuff ready for Origins, and managed customer service.

Joel did website updates, chased pirates, did the cover layouts, and helped Mike get inventory ready for the booth.

Jean managed our page on Facebook, helped get ready for Origins, and proofread the new products.