Tuesday, 20 August 2013

SoulJAR Grows

Today is another day of big announcements for SoulJAR games. So I'm just going to get right to them.

SoulJAR Adds People

SoulJAR has been something I've wanted to do for some time now. The idea grew out of my work on Torn Armor with Alyssa Faden, Jack Cull, and jim pinto. As we all worked together, we discovered we had a synergy and always kept in touch after my work on the Torn Armor rules was done. jim pinto agreed to do the layout for Cairn gratis. Jack has been reading over the Cairn rules. And Alyssa has provided managerial advice over the last few weeks.

As we were all working together on an ad hoc basis, I decided to ask them if they'd like to make it more formal. Happily, all three of them jumped at the idea. So I am pleased to announce that SoulJAR just got a lot bigger, I have more resources upon which to draw, and I get to work with some of my favorite people.

SoulJAR is now Jack Cull, jim pinto, Alyssa Faden, and Ross A. Isaacs

For the time being, we eschew formal titles. We work best together as a commune anyway. So I can't tell you formal titles for their roles within the company.

Alyssa Faden has quickly made a name for herself in this industry as a great map maker, but she's also pulled off a successful Kickstarter for her miniatures boardgame Torn Armor. Coming as she does from the computer software world, and as a team manager, Alyssa brings with her significant business acumen and managerial skill. She will largely handle the business side of things from now on. But she's also a huge nerd, so if we can get her excited about a project that's a good sign.

Jack Cull is a strong writer who turns things around fast. He wrote the rules for Torn Armor, which I edited. He's got tons of great ideas, and he's good at turning them into words. Having someone on staff who can write is a solid plus for SoulJAR. He only speaks when Alyssa allows him to, so we call him "Silent Jack."

jim pinto. What can I say about him? Numerous awards -- Origins and ENnies. He's responsible for some of the best work out there, so he's got solid game design chops. In fact, he and I see eye-to-eye on a lot of things when it comes to games, so we quickly fall into a pattern where we instantly get what the other is trying to do. He's a terrific graphic designer. And, he produces. As fellow line developers, we both know the importance of setting a schedule and sticking to it. Lastly, he's managed three successful Kickstarter campaigns that delivered on their promises.

That last bit is important....

SoulJAR Launches "Cairn Bicycle Playing Cards"

We are producing a set of whimsical playing cards featuring the artwork of Jeff Laubenstein. These cards capture the style and tone of Cairn perfectly. Each card features artwork from the game -- so it's a deck of cute little mice, squirrels, and beavers. And, in fact, Jeff is so excited at the prospect of seeing his work in this format that he's agreed to produce more art for it (which means more art for the roleplaying game, too).

We are doing this for several reasons.

First, we wanted to share this gorgeous artwork with a greater audience and reach people who play a different kind of game.

Second, this will help defray the costs of printing the rulebook. While we have all agreed to kick in the money for printing, it would help if neither of us had to empty our bank accounts to do it. We are doing an initial print run of 1,000 copies of the physical book, and we're giving away some 400 copies for free. The Cairn Playing Cards will help offset the loss being incurred.

This will NOT, in any way, impact the rules production, release date, or manpower for the Cairn rulebook. The Cairn RPG and Bicycle Card Kickstarter are separate entities, while the additional artwork from the cards will only help the Cairn rulebook and bring it even more to life.

Naturally, I would never be so crass as to ask you to back this project while waiting on Cairn, but it is the right thing to do to let you know that it's happening, and why. Certainly, if you choose to back the Cairn Bicycle Playing Cards (and SoulJar's first Kickstarter), we would all greatly appreciate it. You'll get a wonderful deck of whimsical playing cards full of great Jeff Laubenstein art.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. SoulJAR means transparency (will anyone get that reference?!)

In sum, SoulJAR has added muscle to the staff, and we have a new Kickstarter. I certainly hope you decide to support our fledgeling little company. We have a lot of great stuff in the works in the background that I hope to be able to talk about soon. Seriously. I wish you could hear our conference calls.

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