State of the Starfire Universe: 2018

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State of the Starfire Universe: 2018

Postby Cralis on Fri 02 Feb 2018 03:55

Over the last few months I've received a number of emails asking me if we have made many changes over the last year or two. Now I get these emails from old timers that haven't been following the forums or who don't know about our Facebook page, but in the last couple of months I've had 11 different emails asking! And those of you who frequent these forums know that even I admit that circumstances over the last few years have made progress slow.

I wouldn't be honest if I didn't admit that, at times, circumstances has made it hard for us to move quickly with our projects. But looking back over the last year we've actually had quite a few things happen... especially considering our small size as a creative group.

I was watching the State of the Union address and had an epiphany that perhaps I should give at least one collective update a year so that anyone can see where we've been and get a little bit of an idea of where we are trying to go. So this is my first "State of the Starfire Universe", starting with where we are at the beginning of 2018.

So how was 2017? What did we accomplish?
Well... let's look at it by date.

Feb 20 - We released the Ultimate Starfire Package and Legacy Package available as complete downloads

Mar 2 - launched our War Game Vault store with all of 1st Edition Starfire immediately available

Mar 6 - Republished the 2nd Edition Rule Book and New Empires supplement

Mar 19 - Republished the Gorm-Khanate War supplement for 2nd Edition Starfire

Jun 1 - Quick Start Rules released on War Game Vault with a graphic cover for printing

Jun 16 - Quick Start Rules for Miniatures released on War Game Vault with a graphic cover for printing

Jul 9 - Re-priced all of our Shapeways miniatures to take advantage of the new prices for the detailed plastics, lowering prices by as much as 60%.

Jul 9 - We also released the first freighter miniatures, the Freighters Type 0, 1, and 2; the three smallest freighter hull sizes. At the same time we also released the TFN Frigate miniature!

Aug 8 - Released an update to the QSR Rules and the QSR Rules for Miniatures, fixing some typos, updating technologies and ship designs, and added a few templates to help players with blind spots.

Aug 26 - Released a Quick Reference Sheet for the Quick Start Rules

Sep 5 - Republished the 3rd Revised Rule Book, Imperial Starfire, and Sky Marshal #2 Classic Starfire products through War Game Vault with brand new covers with art work by Jack Southerland!

Oct 31 - Released the TFN Escort and TFN Corvette miniatures

Nov 30 - Republished the Crusade supplement for Classic Starfire

Dec 11 - Republished the Fourth Interstellar War supplement for Classic Starfire, featuring new cover art from Jack Southerland, showing off his vision of what a fleet of Arachnid Omnivoracity ships looks like!

Dec 12 - Released the 2nd Edition "Images of the Terran Federation Navy" calendar featuring 13 pieces of art from Jack Southerland!

Dec 17 - Republished the Insurrection supplement for Classic Starfire, also featuring new cover from from Jack Southerland, showing off his vision of the TFN Monitor!

Player Updates
I also want to recognize some significant updates made by our players! (And I'm not sure that I've covered everything for this year, so if I missed someone let me know and I'll update this post)

Jul 17 - Advance After Combat reviewed 3rd edition Starfire in their July Podcast!

Aug 8 - Xveers released a Starfire module to the Steam Workshop for the Tabletop Simulator!

Aug 26 - Lomn released his Solar Starfire Shipyard spreadsheet

Oct 4 - Buckaroo13 did a video review of our Starfire miniatures

And the players who have continued to update their fiction...
Moonsword - History of the Confederation
Xveers - deWulfe Universe
Zume - Terpla'n Campaign
VoidStalker - restarting his Voidstalker's Vigilantes

Ok great. But what's next? What are the priorities for 2018?

I have been trying to find the best path towards working towards some concrete goals. I've come to the conclusion that because we have been trying to do so many things, and the amount of time we can put towards the projects is variable, we need to narrow our scope and focus on a few projects in stages over the next year. Here is what we are going to prioritize:

1. Finishing the website update. We have templates created for the static pages, but we need to build the non-static parts of the website. We will start by releasing the new design in phases, starting with the static pages and then doing the non-static parts one at a time. Previously we had been looking at the entire project together, and where we'd like it to go in the long run, but we need to just start on small pieces and work it over time. This will enable us to take advantage of smaller units of work availability throughout the year.

2. Releasing the next version of Solar Starfire. We have been working on rebuilding several large sections of the rules. It needs to be done! But I made the mistake of thinking that we should wait to release another version until we got those parts done. We are fixing that mistake and releasing all of the non-rewrite changes... many many hundreds of them ...as soon as possible. We've already started freezing changes in place, shifting the rebuild changes into the next document, and finalizing the existing changes for this update.

3. "The" Super secret squirrel project. I've mentioned this several times over the last six months or so, and if someone paid close enough attention to some of the things I've said it's possible you might figure out what it could be. Either way, we are getting close to engaging our playtesters for final testing. When that happens we'll announce what we've been up to. I think it will make everyone's day!

Speaking of playtesters, prior to this happening I'm going to go through and review our playtest group. Some of the players have been disengaged for a while and we will need engaged playtesters. If you don't want that to happen, you might want to let me know. Except Procyon. I know his situation and we aren't ever letting him leave. Never sir, never! :twisted:

4. We are going to finish the re-publication effort of our older versions. At a minimum, we need to finish and re-release Galactic Starfire in electronic form, Alkeda Dawn, and First Contact. All of this is currently being worked on and some of those publications are already nearing completion.

5. Last, I need to prioritize working with the art from Jack Southerland. I've made some calendars, a few swag items like coasters, t-shirts, and even a few iPhone covers. There are many, many more possibilities but the online tools are a little tedious and time consuming to work with. The more we get this working, the more Jack will be inclined to add additional art work. That's only fair.

This doesn't mean that we are dropping everything else. We are still working with Otterman to continue expanding the Starfire miniatures, and in fact we have already put out TFN carriers in the last month (with one more coming...oh tomorrow?) We are still looking for a printer who can rebuild the 4-part maps at a price we can afford (at least, without needing to buy 2000 of them or something). And there are other smaller projects kicking around.

We do have some future projects that everyone would like to see happen. But we aren't in a place to work those projects, at this time, so I think it's prudent to focus on what we can do and break it down into workable pieces and get them done.

Looking back we got a lot more accomplished than it felt like, and we have a clear path to move forward.

Now if only I could come up with a catchy tag line to end this address...
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Re: State of the Starfire Universe: 2018

Postby coldsteel on Fri 02 Feb 2018 17:34

Cralis wrote:3. "The" Super secret squirrel project. I've mentioned this several times over the last six months or so, and if someone paid close enough attention to some of the things I've said it's possible you might figure out what it could be. Either way, we are getting close to engaging our playtesters for final testing. When that happens we'll announce what we've been up to. I think it will make everyone's day!

Speaking of playtesters, prior to this happening I'm going to go through and review our playtest group. Some of the players have been disengaged for a while and we will need engaged playtesters. If you don't want that to happen, you might want to let me know. Except Procyon. I know his situation and we aren't ever letting him leave. Never sir, never! :twisted:


I want in on this!!!!!
TFN: 1 BB, 2 BC, 4 CA, 2 CL, 11 DD
RPSA: 2 CV, 4 CA, 2 CL, 8 DD
civilian: 4 'FTx' (made FT out of 40K Imp Guard flamer tanks)
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Re: State of the Starfire Universe: 2018

Postby nukesnipe on Sat 03 Feb 2018 14:42

Cralis,

Thanks for the update. I think it amazing what you and the Crew have done with the Starfire Universe over the years, and I thank you for your efforts.
Regards,

Scott Chisholm
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Re: State of the Starfire Universe: 2018

Postby Cralis on Mon 05 Feb 2018 02:40

coldsteel wrote:I want in on this!!!!!


It's going to be a little bit until we get there, but if our final team isn't large enough for our playtesting needs... I will probably ask for volunteers. If/when that happens, that would be the time to remind me you've already asked :D

nukesnipe wrote:Cralis,

Thanks for the update. I think it amazing what you and the Crew have done with the Starfire Universe over the years, and I thank you for your efforts.


I am literally not able to do this without all of the SDS members and our active playtesters. Dazrand, Krenshala, Elminster, Dawn Falcon, and Procyon deserve as much or more thanks than me. There are other playtesters who are no longer able to be actively involved, and they deserve thanks too.

Dazrand deserves special recognition. Without Dazrand we'd still be trying to figure out how to build the electronic documents. In my opinion, he's the person who deserves the MOST thanks!

And then there is Marvin Lamb. I'm pretty sure that without Marvin Lamb, Starfire wouldn't have made it past the turn of the century. He was instrumental in Starfire's survival long before he bought the rights from TFG.

I have to give a special shout out to you guys who give extra. Lomn and his spreadsheets and Earthman Ernie, Xveers and our other story tellers who keep us enthralled with updates, Otterman and his incredibly awesome miniatures, plus Lynn, Charles, Buckaroo13 and all you guys who have run demo games and/or created videos. It's late and I won't remember everyone's names, so feel free to add your contribution to the thread. You guys are the best.

Honestly, everyone who joined this forum or our Facebook page, who bought the game, and who play the game -- ya'll deserve a big thank you. Without you, Starfire wouldn't have an audience of dedicated players. And that's just as important.

So I appreciate your kind words nukesnipe. But I would be remiss if I didn't share the appreciation with all of you who deserve it too!
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Re: State of the Starfire Universe: 2018

Postby Caplin on Mon 05 Feb 2018 19:28

I'm a casual Starfire fan, inasmuch as I have yet to really get a sustained game going, but I'm very enthused by what I'm seeing here, and I look forward to hearing more information on this squirrel project, whatever it may be. :)

Edit: if I can do anything to help with the new web site's accessibility, I'd be happy to give things a look in that regard. I'm working on breaking into the accessibility field professionally, and while there are probably no other Starfire fans in my particular situation, it never hurts to have an accessible web site.
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Re: State of the Starfire Universe: 2018

Postby Cralis on Tue 06 Feb 2018 17:43

Caplin wrote:I'm a casual Starfire fan, inasmuch as I have yet to really get a sustained game going, but I'm very enthused by what I'm seeing here, and I look forward to hearing more information on this squirrel project, whatever it may be. :)


It's a secret. Typed out by squirrels. On squirrel-sized typewriters...

Edit: if I can do anything to help with the new web site's accessibility, I'd be happy to give things a look in that regard. I'm working on breaking into the accessibility field professionally, and while there are probably no other Starfire fans in my particular situation, it never hurts to have an accessible web site.


I would definitely appreciate that. I know enough now to make sure alt tags are filled and to avoid complicated graphic maps and things that don't translate well. But when we start to roll it out, if any part doesn't work for you or if you find that we've forgotten a tag, etc., I would appreciate that help. I don't want to exclude anyone from enjoying Starfire!

Thank you!
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