Monday, May 30, 2011

Phoenix Comicon 2011

This year's Phoenix Comicon was the best show we've ever had. We worked hard, laughed a lot, played Iconica, met new friends and talked with other indie artists such as Daniel Davis and David Petersen.

Our Booth Setup

Each year, my wife Larissa is such a huge help to me. We've been married for 15 years and I'm so proud to be her husband. I want everyone to know that without her support, guidance and critiques, I'd be lost on the high seas of my own fiction with no direction.

Here's a few quick thoughts, images and highlights of our show. (Next year, I promise to have a dedicated photographer taking more pictures! It's something I always forget about as the days fly by.)

Releasing Iconica Series 2

During the four days of the con we held demos of Iconica right at our booth and showed newcomers how to play. With the help of several Iconica development team members (thanks Adrian, Ryan, Josh, Kevin and Kirk), we organized games in the Phoenix Comicon Game Room at the Hyatt for newcomers and pros as well.

Iconica Box Sets
We had in reserve several Iconica Series 1 box sets for in-person sales and we brought lots of Iconica starter sets for newcomers. Yet we were not prepared for how well Iconica Series 2 would do. Things went so well with the Iconica Series 2 release, we sold out of our initial stock by Sunday mid-afternoon.

We're so encouraged by the diversity of people who have embraced Iconica's story elements, iconic imagery and gameplay style – children and tweens, Dads and Moms, young couples and yes, even hip grandparents.

Iconica supporters include scientists and military personal, as well as stay-at-home Dads and yoga instructors. We had a great time talking to gamers of all kinds from all different parts of the country!

Meeting David Petersen

For years, I've enjoyed David Petersen's work on MouseGuard, so it was such a pleasure to meet him and his wife Julia. Larissa and I went over to his table on Saturday to get his new book Legends of the Guard (and have him sign my existing collection of his books) and David was kind enough to talk with us for a while and even take a picture with me.

Eric Torres (left) and David Petersen (right)

While David is very proud of his work, he's a really cool, down to earth person. I have a lot of respect for artists and authors who remain approachable and wear their success lightly. I'm sure you've met people you feel the same way about too.

So What's Next?

Well, our Iconica vendor has promised to deliver a new shipment of Iconica Series 2 cards by this week. As soon as we receive it, we'll be releasing it online! Thanks for your patience on this. Hey, I guess this is what happens when you're working with small print runs and fresh content right?

After Iconica Series 2 is released online we'll focus our attention on completing and finalizing our custom shopping cart system. Even after we finish our own shopping cart, we'll still use Etsy. But we think having multiple ways to find our merchandise is probably a good thing!

As a heads up, you might be excited to know more about our next big project, which is a narrated book due for release this winter! Look for a more detailed update on this project within the next couple weeks.

Thanks to everyone who made Phoenix Comicon such a huge success for us! We're so grateful to have your support.

-Safe travels!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Iconica Series 2 Online Sales

Due to limited quantities (we make the game in small batches) and demand at Phoenix Comicon we're delaying the release of Iconica S2 online by several days while we order more stock. We just need to be sure we have enough stock on hand for in-person sales and commitments to local vendors as well.

One of the things we've learned by releasing a new Iconica series all at once (23 new characters) as opposed to two or three cards each month is we need to invest a bit more money/time once we go to press to prepare for all channels of distribution. As an indie publisher, these are some of the things you're just bound to learn as you go!

Thanks for your patience everyone. Series 2 is off to a good start and we're expecting record sales at Phoenix Comicon! If you have thoughts/questions please share.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

World of Rynaga - Explorer's Map

It's done! And it's just the beginning.

After 5 years, the first continent on Rynaga has been surveyed and captured in this 24x36 print.

Creating the Map

Writing, planning, drawing, more planning - this map has been a study in calculated refinement. It's great to be done, but knowing how we've set ourselves up for telling a meaningful story over the coming years feels just as good.

During it's creation, the Explorer's Map weathered two failed computer systems, survived its own journey on a misplaced USB drive and pushed my new computer to the limits of its processing power.

I can tell you this though: no single part of this project has been more meaningful to accomplish for me. This finished map is now a powerful symbol of our commitment to the Rynaga project and the stories which are yet to come.

Features of the Map

The first thing you will notice is detail, tons of detail. The map references 393 different locales and incorporates hundreds of individually placed icons which represent landmarks such as forests, deserts and ruined cities.

There's more. Beyond exploring the locations and iconography, traveler’s will learn more about Rynaga’s powerful sources of energy, amazing forms of wildlife and legendary modes of travel.

Throughout the map are hidden details, such as references to Iconica characters and cards, poetry, cryptic messages and even an all encompassing riddle. The bottom line: this map is a journey in of itself!

Start Exploring

In order for Rynaga to be real to our supporters, it must be real to us. This starts by creating a landscape worthy of great quests, like those of Lewis and Clark, Leif Ericson and Ernest Shackleton.

We hope this map will inspire hours of travel-by-imagination! Thanks for your support.

-Safe travels!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Month of May

It's our favorite month of the year. May means Phoenix Comicon!

Please make plans to visit our booth, which is #613. We plan to have brand new Iconica Series II boxed sets on hand, Iconica Series II Starters, the World of Rynaga Explorer's Map (limited quantities), Prelude books and other goodies.

We've been away from much blogging as we're working away on the new version of, due to launch this month. More details to come.

-Safe travels!