Romance of the Nine Empires
AEG has been hard at work on completing the Romance of the Nine Empires 15th Anniversary Boxed Set, featuring winning decks from the five factions who placed in the 2012 tournament. You should have a chance to play it with us at Gen Con this year!
For card design, our original reward was "We'll add your name and a fictional history of the story event you won to the side of the card and feature it in a DVD and online slideshow." Thanks to AEG, we're now able to upgrade that reward considerably!
We have an announcement today for all backers ($250 and up) who are entitled to assist in the creation of a custom card for the physical game being produced by AEG. Due to the deadlines and schedule of production, as well as basic game needs, we were unable to accommodate non-screen-featured custom cards in the base box. However we are at work already on the first expansion for the game and all of your outstanding cards will be featured in this expansion!
You will be able to guide the development of the card based on your backstory. Keep your eyes open for an email with a unique code to log onto the AEG website and submit your card information, including your name and a record of which tournament you won.
We are beyond thrilled that our fictional game, created for a tournament in a movie, is now becoming an actual, playable release (with a scheduled expansion set!) by one of our favorite game companies.
Regarding your questions about pre-orders, we and AEG are massive supporters of brick-and-mortar gaming stores. We will be strongly encouraging those of you who want the game to purchase it from local retailers. As such, a separate pre-order system will not be available, but we'll be working with AEG to make sure that anyone who wants to play Romance of the Nine Empires will know where and how to find it, locally or online.
One bonus of our upcoming trip to Canada—and thanks for funding our latest Gamers project!—is that we'll be able to spend some quality time in Ontario next month with Nick Montgomery, our VFX supervisor for Hands of Fate. The fantasy world in the film is a combination of live action—shot in a greenscreen studio with a RED Epic camera—and card art painted backgrounds by Storn Cook. We've designed an animation technique based on The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. We're not quite ready to show sample footage, but it uses greenscreen footage as layered 2D elements that allow us to create dynamic animations that feel a lot like card art brought to life. You'll be the first to see how that is working in a backers-only update.
Steve Wolbrecht is writing themes for the film at this stage. We've had some great discussions about how certain story elements will pay off in future DG/ZOE shows and Steve is setting those future themes up as well so they can pay off later. Last week he and Ben did what's called a "spotting session" where they watched through the movie and talked about where to begin and end musical cues, what tone and mood we wanted for them, and how they'd fit into the larger soundscape of Hands of Fate. Several scenes are particularly tricky, as they'll have two different versions depending on whether you're watching what we're calling the "festival cut" or the "multi-linear extended edition."
Brendan Hogan, our sound designer, is working on the dialog edit for the sound mix. Every line gets special treatment, making sure it's balanced, extra noise is cut out, and that it all takes place in the same aural universe. Once that edit is completed we'll go over his list of places where our on-set audio wasn't good enough—for example, pouring rain on the soundstage roof when shooting The Shadow—so that we can bring our cast in to rerecord certain lines. This process is called ADR and is a normal part of audio post-production. The completion of the audio edit will allow Brendan and his team to dive into atmosphere (environmental sounds), foley (sound effects), and mixing (balance).
Meanwhile, Ben is tine-tuning the edit of the extended scenes, which greatly expand the Lodge and Joanna story, give us more Leo, and include a stunning three minute steadicam shot through thousands of Gen Con attendees as Lodge discusses the Firefly cancellation.
When are the first batch of rewards shipping?
Really soon, actually! Orcish/English dictionaries have arrived and we have one more load of JourneyQuest 2 rewards to get out the door today. As soon as those are out, we'll be diving into the first round of Hands of Fate rewards for anyone who elected to pay extra for split shipments. These will include extras like JourneyQuest, Gamers Live, miniatures, modules, and so forth. Look for those packages to start arriving within a few weeks!
NOTE: We have a new address management system and will email you to verify or change your address before we ship. We tested it for JQ2 shipping and it will be even better for this project. This means that you do not need to email us with address changes, but can manage your own account on an ongoing basis.
More post-production, a new trailer, poster design, and beginning to ramp up for our big Gen Con premiere. Plus, of course, we're shooting two tie-in Gamers miniseries next month: Natural One, a cyberpunk epic by Tom Brown and Christian Doyle, and Humans & Households, a "reverse" Gamers written and directed by Matt Vancil. You can pledge for DVDs and downloads right here until April 29th, when the campaign closes.
And finally, Matt Vancil has just announced his first Gamers novel… Pwned. Set in a fantasy MMORPG in the World of Fartherall, Pwned is based on an unproduced Gamers screenplay that would cost us too many millions of dollars to produce. It's a brilliant story! Matt's campaign is already more than 50% funded and you can check it out and reserve your copy of his novel here.