April 12, 2020: COVID-19, And Continuing As Best We Can
Last month, Steve posted a Daily Illuminator outlining our recent actions. At that time, most of our team was working from home, with a handful of staff staying in the building. Since then, Austin has gone into full stay-home mode, closing all nonessential business operations. We've moved everyone out of the office – and shut down physical shipping from Warehouse 23 (although you can still order digital releases; see below) – and we're all teleworking as best we can under the current conditions.
Over the last three weeks, while working from home, our talented and hard-working team has:
Accelerated our release of PDFs and GURPS On Demand titles. With most game stores and distributors shut down or working limited hours, the majority of our physical sales are at near-zero . . . so these two digital categories are more important than ever. The team tasked with producing these works have stepped up, and they're doing an incredible job under difficult circumstances.
Released free PDFs to help all of you stay entertained. Coloring books, the Melee game rules, and even new dice games have all been opened up as free PDFs. We hope that you are enjoying them!
Sent new titles to print. Set for release in late summer and early fall, these include a new Munchkin game and a few new expansions, new dice bags, and new dice sets. While we are forced to react to the shifting landscape today, we also want to keep an eye on the future and continue producing new titles for our catalog so that we have games available when stores reopen and shipments resume.
Held many, many conference calls. We've even managed to hold project pre-mortems through Skype, which has been a huge help in keeping new releases heading out to our friends at GPI for manufacturing. (You're unfamiliar with our pre-mortem process? Check out this Daily Illuminator post from 2015!)
Planned an online convention, set to run this coming weekend. See Steve's post for more on the event.
We're not clear how much longer we'll be working without a centralized office, but we are proud of our team and how they have managed to keep moving projects forward.
In the meantime, if you're lucky enough to have a local game store that's still operating (even if it's just curbside pickup), please consider getting a game or two if your finances allow. They can use your help – and so can the publishers.
-- Phil Reed
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