Both at home and at work :-)
While I was away I received the signed contract from Dirk Liekens so I can now confirm that Sumeria (formerly known as Codename: Ancient) will be released in time for Essen next year under the Reiver Games banner. I've a brief comment on my website, but with no artwork yet it will be a while before the game is properly listed. I now need something to slot in early next year (potentially a UK Games Expo release), something cheap to make (like a card game) is the order of the day.
I've spent most of today overhauling the Carpe Astra rules based on feedback from Ted's blind playtesting held in the States last week. It seems to have been well received and the rules feedback is invaluable - writing rules has got to be one of the hardest parts of games design.
In other news, I sent the last of the proofs back to Cartamundi yesterday, they should have it finished in three weeks time. I'm going to close the pre-order list when I receive the sample back from them, from then on I'll only be shipping to shops and distributors. It looks like the US distributors want to see a finished copy before they order any, so it's going to be a couple of months at least before it reaches widespread US distribution. Boards and Bits seem interested though, so if they order directly from me, it might be available over there sooner. Yesterday I also uploaded the artwork to another publisher who is interested in making It's Alive! available in another language, hopefully I'll hear back from them fairly soon.
I've got to decide on a pricing structure for Essen too. I'm getting a couple of press enquiries, which include a request for my prices at the fair. It's a difficult line to walk, I want to offer a discount, to draw people in, but at the same time I need to be careful not to step on the toes of my other stockists. It's Alive! will retail at 19.95 EUR and be available in shops before the show, so I think I'd better be especially careful with this one. Carpe Astra is likely to be £20 / 25 EUR and won't be available before the show. I'm thinking full price for It's Alive! and 5 EUR discount for Carpe Astra (down to 20 EUR), with maybe a further 5 EUR discount if you buy both. If you've been to Essen, how does this sound? Too tight? Too generous? Likely to get me in trouble?