about the universe forum commander Shop Now Commanders Circle
Product List FAQs home Links Contact Us

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Steve Cole reports on the company and its year.

Truth to tell, this is the year I'd rather forget, but I'd rather think of it as the year that set up the best year we've ever had. The major injury to my leg (and the time lost on a big non-product project in the spring) cost us a lot of time, and the product schedule shows it, but I feel a lot better now. This year's products came in three batches:

THE LEFTOVERS: We started the year strong with a series of seven products that just didn't get finished in 2012: Reinforcements Attack, Boosters #34, #35, #36, Starmada Battleships Nova, Starmada Battles Admiral, and Captain's Log #46. You'd have thought that with that good a start, we'd have gone like gangbusters, and we planned to, until that slight misstep on a wet floor put me in a wheelchair for four months and restricted me to just a few hours a day in the office.

WHAT GOT DONE: This year didn't see a lot of new products done. We did manage to release SFB Module C6, Star Fleet Marines Last Stand, and Captain's Log #47. That's not nothing, and a lot of companies did a lot less this year. The time spent getting Jean Sexton out of the swamp she was in and into a new office in Amarillo was a good investment in the future, but the same amount of time invested in new products would have meant one or two more actually got done. Jean has, however, added a number of valuable if intangible elements to the company. This may be a good place to mention what a delight it has been to have Simone Pike at the graphics desk; she may be the biggest bright spot in the year.

WHAT DIDN'T GET DONE: This is the story of obstacles that arose (and while overcome, that took enough time to push them into next year.) Captain's Log #48 stalled when nobody sent in a publishable fiction story; I'm now working on a scary inside-the-ship combat tale about the most dangerous enemy who ever got on board. ACTASF, Starline 2500, and Traveller Prime Directive locked down under the ponderous weight of the Joint Venture approval process that has now been permanently streamlined, clearing the way for a flood of new products next year. (We also cleared the way to make the Starline 2500 line one we can be proud of.) Away Team Log is ready for press (the PDF was released in 2013) but wasn't big enough to release by itself. Tribbles vs. Klingons proved to be the biggest production challenge I have ever seen, but that was resolved and this is now being prepared for Kickstarter. Federation Master Starship Book is finished except for the graphics I was too mired in self-pity (over my permanently damaged knee) to do. No new ships for Starline 2400 were released but the first five for next year are being prepared by the CGI artists.

Maybe we should just call 2013 a rebuilding year? Nah, I don't like that, as nothing was broken. Wait, I have it, let's call it a Transformative Year. That works for me.