Author Archives: randall

Crossfire At The Printers!

Shadowrun 5 Crossfire Logo

I think that’s worth saying again. Shadowrun: Crossfire is officially at the printers!!! My head does it feel so good to say that.

Why all the delays? Well, as I mentioned in a previous blog, we got a little carried away in our excitement and enthusiasm for all of the awesome-sauce games we want to publish for Shadowrun. While the roleplaying game will always remain near and dear to our hearts, the universe is what makes it sing. And it’s high time that universe was experienced through a variety of ways, from card games to board games and more. Additionally, we tried hard—so very hard, across many months—to see if we couldn’t print this game domestically. But ultimately we finally had to admit defeat and print it overseas.

Crossfire Box Lid

Crossfire Box Base

We’ve used those delays to good effect, though. Going to print simultaneously with the core box is a Demo Kit (we used this last year at Gen Con and Origins, and we’ll be using it for various conventions in the future). Every retailer that orders a set number of boxes (the exact details are still being worked on) will receive a free Demo Kit to help push play in their stores.

CAT27700_Crossfire Demo Box

On top of that, Character Expansion Pack 1 is also heading to print. It includes 20 Character Cards (with new art), 1 each of the Basic Cards with new art, and a full pack of character upgrade stickers found in the core box. It’s a quick $14.99 purchase that instantly expands your play and campaign options.

CAT27700_Crossfire Character Cards CC Expanded.indd

Finally, we’ve got a unique Character Card promo with art by the brilliant Echo Chernik that will go out with every single purchase of the first printing of the box. (The exact nature of what the character is … well, we’ll share that sometime in the future.)

“So, it’s at print—what does that mean?” I’m sure that’s the very next question. Well, in a nutshell, this is what’s going to happen (some of you are aware of this process, but sharing it for those who don’t):

1. They’ll send us digital proofs of everything to review and we’ll either approve as is or ask for some tweaks before approval. (This process is already underway with a swath of files already approved.)

2. Then they’ll print out physical proofs of everything (including huge card sheets for all the cards) and ship them to us. It’ll take several hours to carefully go over absolutely everything to ensure the colors are correct, card backs are with correct card fronts, all pieces are there, and so on. Those should be in hand within the next two weeks; obviously we’ll share photos when they’re here.

3. A complete white sample of everything will be built and shipped; generally simultaneously with the materials above. That allows us to see the quality of the paper being used, to make sure everything fits where it should and the box quality is solid, and so on.

In both instances above, we usually ship everything back after the review, so there are some additional days in shipping of materials on both ends.

4. The printer says the manufacturing/printing will take 55 days. I’ve seen that swing by almost 14 days (almost always to the longer).

5. Then the entire print run will be boxed up, palleted and placed on a ship; couple of days of work there. It generally takes 30 days to transit to a US port. It’s another week (provided there are no customs hold ups, which happens about 1/10th of the time) to transit to the warehouse. Then another two to three weeks to be fully processed and shipped out to retail stores all over the world.

Where does that leave us? Well, if you do the math, it means it could be anywhere from mid July all the way into September. That’s why we don’t provide release dates until it’s at least sitting in a US port, and usually not even then; it’s much better to provide that information once the game is in our warehouse. That way once we say “The Street Date is X”, we know it will hit that date.

Will it be at the big conventions? Again, hard to say at this point. We’re hoping to have some limited advanced quantities available at Origins and then stacks-to-the-rafters at Gen Con. But we’ll need to get much closer to those two dates before we’ll know for certain.

Now, at this point we need to point out that we are well aware of today’s date, which means people might take this post with a troll-sized grain of salt. We completely understand how that would be the case. All we can do is share a preview card our crack staff recently put together, and present it to you this way—either the Character Card presented here is completely genuine, or this announcement is. We’ll let you make the call as to which you think is real.

CAT27700_Harlequin Front

CAT27700_Harlequin Back

Or just download the PDF.

As we move toward launch day for the game, we’ve got a variety of digital initiatives planned. Obviously we’ll continue to showcase art and cards on our Tumblr. We’re looking at producing multiple promotional videos that players can view and share, as well as a “How To Play” animation video. We’re also planning a “Digital Shadowrun” that’ll involved the community in digging out cards and rules, and perhaps getting people started in playing. A Strategy & Tactics Guide … the full demo kit … the full rules … lots of plans … but we’ll hold more specifics of the when and where until we start pushing things out.

Thanks to everyone that have so patiently waited for this great game. It’ll be well worth the wait for the endless hours of Sixth World card-game goodness coming your way!

Randall

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Crossfire Character Cards Preview

Shadowrun 5 Crossfire Logo

Thought we’d share a slew of pre-final Character Cards for Shadowrun: Crossfire. Not all of these will appear in the base Crossfire set; some will go into the base set, others will be included in a Character Card Expansion Pack 1.

If you’d like a close-up look at one of the Character Cards, check out our Tumblr.

Crossfire_CharacterSheets_Front

Crossfire_CharacterSheets_Back

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Run & Gun Cover

CAT27003_RunGun Cover_ForWeb

We’ve been sharing interior art over on our Tumblr and we’ll continue to do so…but time to unveil the cover!

I’ll admit it—I’ve reached the point where I’m a little intimidated. I know that when Victor Moreno is assigned to do a Shadowrun cover, he’s going to rock it. He’s going to take the art notes and find the Sixth World heart of them, making an awesome piece of cyberpunk goodness that absolutely brings the art notes to life.

Which means if there’s something wrong with the piece, it’s probably because there was a flaw in the art notes. So that’s the intimidating part—I need to raise my game to match Victor’s, or the cover is not going to look right and it’s gonna be my fault. With an artist of Victor’s talent (you can check out his work on the free GM screen wallpapers), that means I need to work hard to be sure I don’t bring him down.

Another challenge with the cover is that there is so much going on in the Run & Gun book, making it tough to select just what should be on the cover. After all, there are new offensive and defensive options, new weapons of all kinds, martial arts, explosives, and more—the kind of things that are tough to fit on a single coherent image.

But this is when the leadership of our glorious art director Brent Evans comes in. Back when we were planning Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, a group of us were gathered with a huge collection of Shadowrun sourcebooks spread out on multiple horizontal surfaces. The point was to look at cover art throughout the history of Shadowrun and decide what worked—and why. As Brent led us through analysis and discussion of the art, one thing that became clear was that character-focused art often leads to great covers. For Run & Gun, then, that meant not focusing on the tools and tricks the book contains, but the people who use them.

So the idea started to come into focus. The cover of Fields of Fire served as a major inspiration. It’s a great image of a tough-looking team ready to do business in a classic Sixth World urban wasteland. Since the cover of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition had more of a downtown setting, having an urban wasteland, Barrens-ish setting would be a nice change of pace. The team should look battered but ready, because that’s the condition shadowrunners are in about ninety percent of the time. And there should be a good cross-section of runners—not just different metatypes, but also different types of fighters. So we’ve got the pistol-toting dwarf, the ork who looks more inclined to hand-to-hand fighting, an elf ready to lay down automatic weapons fire, and a human loaded with explosives. Then we just have to put them in the Barrens and watch ‘em shine.

Naturally, Victor took the ideas in the art notes and made them better. One of the fun things about seeing the art come in after writing the art notes is to see how the artist interpreted the original idea, and also see what details they chose to throw in to make the image come to life. The Run & Gun cover is full of fun things to look at: the elf’s exposed cyberskull, the multiple arm scars on the ork from years of hard fighting, the cigar-and-cybereyes face of the dwarf, the roto-drone flaming out behind the crew, and plenty more. It’s a tough image of brutal people who look intent on surviving no matter what is thrown at them, which makes it pretty perfect for Shadowrun.

-Jason Hardy

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Shadowrun Digital Tools Box Poster

We’ve been sharing art from the Digital Tool Box (as well as other upcoming books) on our Tumblr…feel free to check that out.

However, Tumblr doesn’t allow a pop-up window and for sharing this poster I felt you really needed to be able to zoom in some on the details on the North American map (circa 2075). And of course, Echo Chernik’s marvelous cover on the back of the poster (from the Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware portion of the Digital Tools Box)…even better large!

Shadowrun: North America Map and Box Set Poster

Shadowrun: North America Map and Box Set Poster

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