Well January has nearly come to a close, and its been an interesting month.
We had our 25th Anniversary lunch where Andrew, Gary, Stephen & I were all able to make it. Robert and Aaron gave us some messages from there respective parts of the world, and Robert even hoisted a beer from the UK. Gary turned up in the FSpaceRPG Armageddon 2001 T-shirt - his one is in far better condition than mine… seems there will need to be an upcoming anniversary when t-shirts get redone.
Attendees were given the FSpaceRPG Developer 2016 Resource DVD - basically a collection of 3.5GB of pretty much all the publications that have been released in the last 25 years, whether for FED/FSpace, tabletop, generic RPG, TMS, kids stories, poetry, fiction and non-fiction. A copy of the 2001 CD was also included, so people could see the process we made in our products in the 15 years since then. The 2015 disc label featured one of the paintings Julian Knap did for us, the first time we have used artwork outside Aaron’s and mine for a disc product.
Our lunch was held at the game’s ancestry pub home - Fork & Brewer (known back in 1991 as The Bond Street Inn). Many of those who now live overseas have actually played FED/FSpace at that pub back in the day.
We discovered a new wheatbeer done in a small batch called ‘Zest & Zealand’ - a brilliant citra wheat beer with what felt like hints of kiwi fruit. Great summer beer and one I’m glad happened to be available for our lunch.
At the lunch I showed off some game artefacts - the first typeset rulebook done in 1991 - an actual original copy used back then - the one Aaron drew a ‘Mr Egg’ on. And I showed off the Reference Manual v1.0 the printed book we used to launch alongside the 2001 CDROM. Some people may not have noticed that copy is actually a signed one by Aaron, Stephen, Gary, Philip and myself… it would be cool to get others to sign it in future.
Back in 1998 I gave out achievement award certificates to Aaron and Richard for their work in helping us prepare for our commercial goals we aimed for.
This year we marked achievement for two of our developers for their prolific work in writing complete product books - that being both Stephen Pritchard and Philip Warnes. Both have contributed significantly and both are working on new products for our release pipeline. Stephen accepted Philip’s award in his absence, but I hope that later this year when Philip visits, we’ll have an opportunity to present it in person.
Stephen took the opportunity to discuss some of his new product ideas, and I showed off the cover art progress I’ve been making for the forthcoming SeaLion Supremacy game.
While we were having lunch, we shared the love with a massive 70% off sale on the OneBookShelf network covering all our product lines. Mention of the sale made it into the DriveThruRPG newsletter for the week and we spread the word in Facebook, LinkedIN and of course our website. While the sale was for all our ranges, and I ran banner Ads, the 3 day sales resulted in sales across the FSpaceRPG line mainly. I’m happy with the result. Look to our 50% off across all of February…
During the month I also quietly updated the Concise Rulebook v4.2 to its 3rd printing and made exclusively available on OneBookShelf - adding a 25th anniversary badge, replacing a handful of images with the latest colorised versions and adding here-to-unreleased pieces of artwork through the book from artists such as myself, Aaron Barlow, Julian Knap, Ian Witham & Chris Carew. Expect more updates during the course of the year as I enhance the art further and add further content. We still have art from several artists that has yet to see the light of day - this year will be the year I reveal some of that past effort.
FED/FSpace has not just been an endeavour that stretches over a long period of time, but one that has involved so many people over the years, both as players, writers, artists and other activities. I feel privileged to have all these talented people along on the journey and am also amazed to see where all these individuals have taken themselves in their personal and professional lives in the years since.
As a team we are now spread over 4 continents that I know of - Zealandia (NZ), Australia, North America (Canada) & Europe (UK). We started as a pocket just here in Wellington, New Zealand - but our lives have meant we’ve spread out across the world, and the core team, while all over the place still comes together now and then to chat, celebrate, share and be part of a collective experience that has shaped us in various ways through our own personal participation in the project.
Thanks to all those people who got involved and I look forward to the next 25 years - and well before the 50th anniversary I hope to be spending 100% of my professional effort on this business project, not the part-timer that I’ve been most of it’s life. There was also mention by some people to get together for some actual gaming modules in future, and hold anniversary get-togethers somewhat more often. Lets see what we can put together.