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Project Status Update - March 2020

by Charlie Plaine, Director of First Edition

1st March 2020

Greetings and felicitations, my friends. It's March 1st, and that means I'm here to bring you a brand new project status update. Historically, I have posted updates on the forums about our current projects, their statuses, and how they are coming along. The goal has always been, and continues to be, an open and honest dialogue with all of you about what we're working on, where the projects are in the pipeline, and what obstacles we're facing. Due to popular demand, I'm going to be continuing these updates as articles on the front page, though you can still visit the forum thread I've linked to discuss this and previous updates.

Current Projects

Let's start out with something new!

ANNOUNCING: Project Sheridan
STATUS: DEVELOPMENT
(Project Sheridan is a boutique-style expansion focusing on romantic partners as dual personnel.

A few weeks ago, we announced a surprise new card for Valentine's Day, Mr. and Mrs. Troi. We were happy to release this card as a gift to all of you, but what you don't know is that the original plan was to release an entire boutique expansion of similar cards. We had this idea late last year; in fact, I even asked for ideas in one of Decipher's Friday Questions. (There's usually a method to my madness, so keep in mind that your answers to Friday Questions might very well impact the future!)

In any case, we decided to see if we could quickly turn around a boutique expansion as a surprise, and Project Sheridan was born. It turns out this project, during this time of year, was a little to ambitious - there wasn't any way we could release it in time. But we realized we could release one card, so we picked one of our favorites and you got Mr. and Mrs. Troi. But the rest of the cards are still in development, and I'm sure you'll see them sometime in the future. James Monsebroten (Orbin) and I worked on this project together, because time was of the essence, and we will continue to do so.

The Neutral Zone a.k.a. Project G'Kar
STATUS: PRODUCTION
(Project G'Kar is the second expansion of Block #5, the Original Series block, and focuses on [OS] [Rom] cards and the Neutral Zone Region.)

Good news, folks! Though it took a little longer than we all would have liked, The Neutral Zone has officially entered production since our last update. What does that mean? It means the design is "done" and we've moved on pass proofreading to the Art stage. Johnny Holeava (jjh) and his talented team have been working on pulling images for some time, and Johnny is doing the long process of turning the cards into a finished, printable form. Once he's built the first file, we do a final round of proofreading, then he finalizes the file with finished art. It's a very exciting time, and it means the time until release is measured in weeks instead of months.

Overall, I think you'll find some really exciting stuff in The Neutral Zone. Not only will you see [Rom] [OS] cards, developing them into a fully realized and playable sub-faction, you'll see some cool cards and tricks related to the Romulan Neutral Zone itself. TNZ also develops and builds on the themes of the [OS] block, including a new Trope-style card that will make some people very happy to have a new deck building option. And finally, if you're not an [OS] fan, there will be some very fun cards for other themes that we can't wait to show you.

While we don't have a release date for you yet, rest assured our writers and designers are hard at work at writing articles so you will find plenty of content to enjoy when we do have a release date. In the mean time, I thought I'd give you a little bit of a spoiler. Granted, it's just in text form, but if you want to see a card that awaits you in The Neutral Zone, check out the link below.

Click here to see a text spoiler for a dilemma coming soon in The Neutral Zone.
[S/P] DILEMMA {ST: TOS}
[3] M-113 CREATURE
Last member of a telepathic, shape-shifting species. Craves salt. Will extract it, often fatally, from other creatures.
Place on mission. Now and end of every player's turn, kills one of that player's personnel here (opponent's choice; human if possible). Cure with 2 Exobiology here.

Project Londo
STATUS: DESIGN
(Project Londo is the third and final expansion of Block #5, the Original Series block, and focuses on [OS] [Kli] cards.)

I am really excited about Project Londo and the potential of new [Kli] [OS] cards. James Monsebroten (Orbin) and his team (Matthew Zinno [commdecker], Michael Moskop [comicbookhero] and Daniel Matteson [OKCoyote]) have done some great work theming this new subfaction, and this expansion is looking to add onto the themes established in The Cage and The Neutral Zone in a big way. The project is a bit behind (which is part of why the above Project Sheridan is in testing now instead of this project), because the entire team all got hit with Real Life at the same time. But it's given us the chance to follow up on even more themes from the previous sets, with new 23rd-century missions, new [Self] dilemmas, and more for themes you haven't seen yet coming in The Neutral Zone.

In any case, some extra hands have been brought in to polish up the cards, and this file should be heading to testers in the next week or two. The design team will be sitting down with Austin Chandler (DarkSabre), our Playtest Manager, to go over the goals of the project and help Austin develop a testing plan for the expansion. It will be fun to see new [Kli] [OS] cards in tester decks and then eventually in the wild. I still think this expansion will come out in the Summer of this year, but I'll let you know if that estimation changes.

Project Storm
STATUS: PRE-DESIGN
(Project Storm is a stand alone expansion based on the end of the Dominon War.)

Since my last update, Cristoffer Wiker (Smiley) has put together a team that's hungry to develop some new Deep Space Nine content. Andreas Rheinländer (Dukat), Daniel Matteson (OKCoyote), and Paddy Tye (KazonPADD) are exploring their visions for this project, which will be focusing entirely on the ten-episode final arc from DS9. Cristoffer has designed a new methodology for designing expansions, and we're looking forward to test driving it during the design of this expansion. I have no doubt the quality will be outstanding, and I'm eager to analyze the results of the new process when it's all said and done.

Our current plan is for this expansion to enter testing after Project Londo, with an estimated release of late 2020. It will be releasing between the Original Series block and the start of the subsequent block.

Unscheduled Future Projects

Project Viking
STATUS: PRE-DESIGN
(Project Viking is a boutique style expansion "booster shot" for the Vidiian affiliation.)

Project Viking is going strong! The design team of myself, James Heaney (BCSWowbagger), and Brian Sykes (Armus) has had a lot of discussions about the Vidiian affiliation and their needs and wants. At the same time, we've been carefully studying the current state of the game to see if we can define a theme and flavor for Vidiians that also put some much needed variety into the game's available deck types. I'm really happy with where we are, and I can't wait to get started internally testing once we finish up a few more cards.

This expansion is also an experiment, in two ways. It's a smaller, boutique style and will be using a new model we're calling the "booster shot." The idea is that all of the cards will be designed to give an affiliation - Vidiian, in our case - a much needed infusion of new cards. If there are themes that could use support, they might appear here. If the chosen faction needs thematic development, it will appear here. At the same time, we're going to try another new design and development methodology on this expansion. This is a different new technique aside from what Project Storm will be doing. The goal in trying new techniques in smaller settings is to give us data on what works and what doesn't, with the ultimate goal of refining and streamlining processes on all expansions.

It's too early for me to share more, but I will be explaining the differences we're using for these projects as they get closer.

Project En Garde
STATUS: DESIGN
(Project En Garde aims to provide a pair of balanced decks design to give great games against each other, and fit into modern tournament play.

Now that The Neutral Zone is done with design, I've tasked Niall Matthew (sexecutioner) to make returning to Project En Garde his top priority. He'll be revisiting the previous work we've done on building new "Duel Decks" - one [TNG] [Fed], and one [TNG] [Car] - and putting them in front of the rest of the design team soon. I'm very excited to get this project back up and running after a long delay.

That's all for now. I hope this information helps you understand where we are, and how we're constantly striving to improve. For any projects previously announced but not updated here, nothing has changed. In the mean time, please tell me what you like and don't like about this new format for these updates. What information are you missing? Do you want to see things presented differently, or organized in a different way? Sound off, and I'll keep working on making these better and more useful.


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