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Thursday, June 02, 2016


Steve Cole's thoughts on ADB and the future of the Star Fleet Universe.

1. A guy asked about posting "tutorial videos" for our games. We like it when people do that (and even give commendation medals) but you need to have us check the videos to make sure you aren't violating something somehow (or that you didn't make a rules error). Doing such videos to make money is not cool.

2. Recently, I needed something from an important individual in a non-gaming field. I called and explained to his assistant what I needed. A week later I called her again and was told that the boss was busy but she knew I had waited longer than I should have and she would try to get him to do it, since it took only a couple of minutes. Sure enough, the needed item arrived the next day, but it was wrong (he had forgotten one key factor that made what he did unusable). I called the assistant back explained it. She agreed that her boss had screwed up, but said that he was going to explode because he was so busy that once he "did a thing" he expected it to "stay done" and not bother him further. It wasn't so much that he had to admit he screwed up as he didn't want to have to do the same two minutes of work twice. I thought ill of the man until I realized that I did the same thing every week if not every day. Once, I was doing staff reports on a ship card for a Communique. The staff pointed out that I had done the fighters wrong, meaning I had to change the number of drone icons, the point value of the fighters and the ships, the weapons note about the fighters, and the number of drone tracks, all work that I had "done, and expected to stay done" but now all of that work had to be done over because of a mistake I made at the start. Admitting that I screwed up was the easy part; doing all that work over again in the face of a looming deadline to upload the Communique was much worse. But it was better to pay the price in minutes now than to put up with endless questions, errata, and clones of that mistake for  years to come.

3. The medical crisis in November and December of 2015 reminded us all of human frailty and that there is really no one who can do my job or Jean's if we're out for extended periods of time. We're arranging now to have Jean train Simone in some of her tasks (we cannot upload PDFs without Jean to do the press releases) and I make it a point to inform Steven Petrick of plans so that he can take command if I'm out of it.

4. Now and then I read someone accusing us of abandoning a product line. I can understand that anyone who likes one of our lines wants to see new products for that line as often as possible and gets upset if he doesn't see something every few months. I will point out that with Captain's Log (and I'm not ignoring the 14-month game between issues #50 and #51) we do something for every product line every year, and normally every six months. That said, here are some specific answers. We haven't done another Star Fleet Marines product because we haven't found enough material to make one worth doing. We haven't done new 2500s in a while because until we do ACTASF Book Two there aren't any good ones yet to be done. We haven't done RPG books because authors who signed up to do them dropped out of the project and new authors haven't been found (or dropped out as well). Sometimes what we consider a new product for a product line is not the one people wanted. Thus, the Master Starship Books are a new SFB product for some, and the "wrong" product for others. Federation Commander Scenario Log was a new FC product for some, and the "wrong" product for others. Real new products will be done this fall (so the schedule says) when we next print counters. Some products prove to take more doing than we expected when we scheduled them. Federation Admiral took a total rewrite to make it conform to the licensed universe. Klingons vs. Tribbles proved very expensive and Kickstarter proved to be a moving target that took more work to try than other products took to produce. ACTASF Book One took a lot of work to revise, and ACTASF Book Two could not be started until that was done. Starmada Rumors of Wars was delayed when ADB dropped the ball on sending Daniel Kast the needed materials and he was too nice to complain about it.