You get emails asking if you've died.
I've been busy. And not busy. Last weekend The Wife and I went to Newcastle for a couple of days break. It was great, we got to hang out with our friends up there and just chill out for a couple of days. On our return we've been busy sorting out stuff for the house we're buying and I had to make an unscheduled trip to York.
Wednesday I had to go to York to collect the white sample of Sumeria which had been sent to my old address (I'd forgotten to inform the German manufacturers that I'd moved house). The white sample is a box, insert, punchboards and gameboard all covered with the correct paper. The punchboards aren't punched and there's no printing done, but it gives you an example of the size, weight and finish of things. Sumeria will be in the same size box as Carpe Astra and the board and tiles will be on the same 2mm thick, linen-finished card as the Carpe Astra pieces. I was really impressed by how professional Carpe Astra felt - the Germans really do a great job.
To make the trip up to York worth the effort, (there's six hours driving involved) I spent the night at Paul's, got to hang out with him and Lisa, play some prototypes and then the next morning I popped in to Travelling Man (the comics and games shop in York) and went to their Leeds head office. I used the trip as a sales trip - introducing Carpe Astra (which neither store had picked up yet) and Sumeria and enquiring how It's Alive! was doing. In the York branch, It's Alive! is apparently a regular seller - they always re-order it if it's sold out and it sells out fairly often. Since moving from selling copies personally at conventions and through my website to selling to distributors I've no idea how well things are doing - so it was nice to get some positive feedback from the shop floor. It was also good to be able to tell them that Carpe Astra had spent most of the last two weeks at the top of the BoardGameGeek Hot Games list.
On my return an email from Ted informed me that Carpe Astra has been added to Bruno Faidutti's Ideal Game Library and got an honourable mention in Mike Siggin's Sumo Awards. Two more pieces of information that would have been good to be able to mention had I known about them one day earlier! Still, I'm planning to do some more sales trips early next week and I'll be able to use that information then.
Things are now very busy - I've got to send the box art and the rules for Sumeria to the printers today (though I'm not going to be able to send them all today - the box bottom will have to wait until Monday :-( ) and my parents are coming to stay for the weekend this evening - so I've some preparation to do for their visit too. My dad used to be an art teacher, so I'll be able to rope him into helping with the box bottom design and the photo of the game over the next couple of days.