May 13, 2020: Company Status Report
As you know, the world has changed. With a dramatic drop in sales of physical games over the months of March and April, we've had to dig deeper into our cash than we would have liked, but we're holding on and our team continues to work daily at keeping the company on track and secure.
Since Steve's first update on how COVID-19 has impacted our team (see this Daily Illuminator entry), we've done all we can to continue creating games. In the terribleness of it all, we've had a few wins, and each has been thanks to the hard work of the Steve Jackson Games crew.
First up, thanks to Lisa's efforts, we secured an SBA PPP loan. This is a much-appreciated financial boost that will help us keep everyone employed and working for the immediate future.
We ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for two new books for The Fantasy Trip, and both Red Crypt – a solitaire adventure by David Pulver – and The Book of Unlife – a collection of monsters by Howard Kistler – are at print. The BackerKit survey is now open for those of you who missed out and wish to pre-order these two new books.
Speaking of The Fantasy Trip, we've created two new books for the game and both are offered in PDF and print in the Unlife/Red Crypt BackerKit survey. The Labyrinth Planner is a 48-page book for the GM to write in; use this when designing the entrance, rooms, passages, and other details of the labyrinth! A book for the players, the Deluxe Character Journal, is a 32-page 8.5" x 11" character record that is a larger, more-detailed version of the smaller Character Journal that is packed in the Decks of Destiny expansion. If you want to keep a detailed history of your character – or for those GMs who wish to fully describe important NPCs – this book is all set for your imagination and pencil!
Sean Punch took a look at the Labyrinth Planner for The Fantasy Trip and, after studing the pages and concept, created a Dungeon Planner for the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game. This isn't quite ready for release, but when it is, it will be released as a PDF as well as a print book through the GURPS On Demand program.
A lot of finishing work went into Car Wars Sixth Edition as Sam, Randy, and Gabby reviewed every component. Additionally, we approved about 90% of the miniatures to move into the tooling phase at the factory. The project is still on track to deliver to U.S. Kickstarter backers in November.
Warehouse 23 has started shipping physical orders (as well as Kickstarter rewards that were put on hold during March and April). Only one member of the team goes in at a time – and only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – to minimize risk, so packing and shipping games takes longer than it normally would. We are shipping at the moment, though, so now's the chance to place an order at Warehouse 23 if you've been looking to add any of our games to your collection.
Our ultimate goal at all times is the health and safety of our team, so at any time our plans could change if the threat of the virus grows in our area. We hate to be late in delivering orders, or to miss deadlines when creating new games, but we will do what we must to keep everyone as safe as possible. Despite what local officials may say, we're in no rush to move everyone to the office and will stick with the work-from-home approach for the majority of us for as long as we think it is necessary.
Thank you, everyone, for your patience and understanding as our operations remain slower than usual.
-- Phil Reed
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