Tuesday, September 2

Carpe Astra - Coming Together

First, an aside: It looks like It's Alive! will arrive this week as planned. I think the earlier problems with arrival dates were down to dealing with an overly optimistic sales guy, since I've been dealing with the Production Manager, his estimates seem to be right on the money (if longer than I'd hoped).

Carpe Astra seems to be proceeding nicely though. I've got art coming from the artist all the time now, often with a few emails a day arriving. To whet your appetite, I've posted the logos for the six guilds (left to right: Traders, Settlers, Priests, Politicians, The Military and Engineers) below and an example tile too. The tile has the die-line superimposed. As usual, click on each image to see a larger version.

I've spent the day on Carpe Astra, first of all the meeting at the bank to secure finance (apparently I'm a 'valued customer', and my credit score with them is such that they were willing to lend me 40% more than I wanted at 4% less APR than their standard rate). Since then I've been creating guides for the artists, showing him the exact dimensions of the art I require, including the bleed (areas outside the item that the background needs to cover in case of cutting error), and margins (areas inside the item that the main content cannot enter, again due to potential cutting errors). I've been doing them in Adobe InDesign and then exporting them as JPEGs at the right resolution. The rest of the day I'll spend again in InDesign, this time laying out the various cardboard components on the boards that will appear in the box. I have to lay the art on one layer, and the die-lines on another, and obviously both need to line up! The German manufacturers say that I should leave 10mm between items on the boards, and between and item and the edge, but they've sent me an example layout (on which they based their calculations) which has probably 7mm between items, so I've asked them what to do. I can still make a start though, I can always tweak things later.


Steve said...

ooooohhh... getting excited now!
Hurry up!!! ;-)

Jack said...

Hiya Steve,

Me too! I've got the tile surrounds back from the artist now (there are five of them) and five out of six logos. I'll start laying them out tonight.



Leigh said...

Those logos look great...I too am quite excited! Although its probably not going to be out for ages is it?

Jason said...

Looks great so far. Have you started any outside playtesting? Having a group try to play the game with just the rules to get them going?

Michael K. said...

Jason's idea for an outside playtesting is good! Please do rework the rules first, as we found some holes in a session yesterday (I was amazed about how much had changed since my first plays). I will send you a report (much?) later today.

I don't know about usability in play but I really like the design of the tiles - a good idea to stay far away from the typical star field stuff. I do not like the fact, that the icons have the same "handmade" style as the rest of the artwork - I would prefer a contrast here - but that may be just me (their basic shapes are great, btw)

Jack said...

I'm hoping it will be available around mid-late November.

I'm going to do some blind-playtesting once the rules are finalised.

It has changed a bit hasn't it! I look forward to hearing how it went last night.



Mal said...

One thing I don't think anyone's mentioned yet - yay! for the rounded corners on the tiles. Should massively reduce my OCD tendencies by minimising the amount tiles catch on either when accidentally nudged. Nice attention to detail. :)

Jack said...

Hiya Mal,

The latest rules (which have changed since you last played it) have you placing the tiles with a small gap between them (like Hey! That's My Fish!) to make tile boundaries clearer, and to enable moving a tile more easily.

Of course, that's probably going to make your OCD worse!



Stasey N. said...

Awesome stuff, Jack. Been following your progress since I stumbled upon Border Reivers on the Geek.

Really looking forward to seeing it all come together.


Jack said...

Hiya Stasey,


I'll post some more stuff in a few days - At the moment I'm pretty busy with It's Alive! pre-orders and stocking orders.