SMOKE ON THE HORIZON YET?
Most of you who have been following my blog for any amount of time can attest to Catalyst’s desire to launch Leviathans in 2010. However, the giant champagne bottle will not be broken across any keels this winter.
Why the delays? There’s several reasons for this, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs.
First, Catalyst has been re-organizing internally and re-focusing on ensuring that all our current lines are fully supported and providing their communities the type of experience they deserve. While there’s still a ways to go, we’ve made some great headway the last 6 months in getting great products flowing again across the board, which is freeing up the bandwidth required to re-focus on new games.
Second, Leviathans is a monstrously complicated box game. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it’s true. I’ve been in the industry for over 15 years and I can pretty easily make a book (as most BattleTech fans know, I can make books that kill if they’re dropped on you). However, Catalyst is moving beyond ‘just books’ to become a company that simply makes cool games, whether card games, boardgames, or mega-box super-games (aka what Fantasy Flight is so good at; “looks at my groaning shelf and smiles”).
However, despite all those years of experience and even a few box games, they all pale beside what we’re trying to accomplish with this box set. The size and quality of the miniatures, the unique components that not only will make the game easier to experience but help accentuate the Steampunk/VSF aesthetics, the amount of printed material in the box…all of these have been…well, to be honest, kicking us in our respective rears. As such, even without the internal work-over, I’m not convinced we could’ve published this year and still present a boxed game we’d be proud of and that would help launch Leviathans as it deserves.
So what does all of that mean for the community that has been waiting so patiently? It means some more months of waiting. However, we are getting a solid handle on the issues that have dogged the product…and when it releases, it’ll be all the better for the time we spent to ensure we resolved every production issue.
One of the biggest issues, of course, and the thing the community has been asking about forever, are the miniatures: below are some low-rez, side-view CAD files for the British and French Type 4 BattleShips that’ll appear in the box set.
HML Leviathans (Type 4) British Battleship
Jean Bart (Type 4) French Battleship
The miniatures will indeed be plastic (high-impact polystyrene; i.e. HIPS), the highest quality available in our market. Additionally they will come pre-painted. However, the pre-paint will be very light and subtle; as appropriate for navy vessels. This will both allow them to look great right out of the box for play, but will also provide the painting community the ability to enhance the subtle pre-paint, or paint completely over it, with ease.
Finally, next to “what about the miniatures?!”, the biggest question being asked: when will it come out? Catalyst is currently geared towards launching Leviathans in late Spring/early summer of 2011, coinciding with the Origins Game Fair 2011 Steampunk theme. A perfect opportunity to wed the launch of Leviathans with the first of the major summer conventions (matching theme for theme), leading to a strong presence across the entire summer convention season.
In the meantime we’ll be rolling out some new PDFs in the future (very much looking forward to The Aftrican Campaign myself, not to mention exploring the Minor Powers), as well as some new fiction, and more. And as you can see from my previous blog, as the production delays start to finally wind down, we still continue to hammer on the game system until the moment that champaign bottle shatters on that keel.
Thank you all so much for your patience and most of all for your enthusiasm for a game I (and many others) have been shoveling coal over for a long time…smoke on the horizon isn’t too much further away…
See ya next duty shift!