Half time

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It’s hard for me to believe it, but we’re half-way through the DCU previews.  Today, I hope you’ll excuse me while I ramble a little about the experience so far.  We’ll get back to previewing cards tomorrow, I promise.

As I said in my first post, the experience of creating a 330-card set was eye-opening.  I know I learned a lot.  Even the number of things there was to learn was surprising.  When we finally decided to go through with the community previews, I expected to be able to sit back, relax and watch the show.

That’s not exactly what happened.  Instead, I am once again surprised by the number of lessons I had to learn.

First, there was the need to create this blog.  It was done completely on the fly and out of necessity.  After our first couple of preview articles posted, it became very clear we needed a central location for people to keep track of everything.  Having never blogged before, I took a crash course in all things blog.  It probably took me a full 48 hours to realize that wordpress provided an RSS feed without me needing to ask for one.  A month ago, I didn’t even know what an RSS feed was.

The previews have also brought about more lessons in card design.  Most of them have dealt with the editing process.  I’m still smarting over The Pack.  Sometimes, cut and paste is not your friend.  Thankfully, you guys have been quick in pointing out our missteps without raking us over the coals.  And by “us”, I mostly mean me. 

One of the things we’ve been doing this week is preparing for the final updates to the set.  Ideally, we’d have liked to have had the set 100% finished before starting previews.  But if we had done that, we’d have probably overlapped with the MEV previews.  We worried no one would care about an unofficial set when previews for an official set were happening simultaneously.  So, we opted to go ahead with our previews while we made the final adjustments.

On the whole, that’s worked out pretty well.  So far, The Pack and Green Flame are the only two cards we’ve previewed that have had to be completely overhauled.  There’s one coming out next week that will also get an overhaul before the set is released.  Several are getting fine-tuned.  For the most part, these are minor formatting issues.  But there are a few balancing tweaks in the mix as well.

The reaction from the Vs. community has been very surprising.  Overall, I can not believe how much the community has embraced this project.  I know it is no substitute for an official DC set released by the master game designers at UDE.  I know that now more than ever.  But most people seem to be taking this project in the spirit of fun in which it was intended.  I can’t wait to hear from some of you guys who actually play games with our cards.

I learned a lot of really mundane lessons.  There are procedural difficulties involved when complete strangers from who-knows-where try to collaborate on a project.  And then, when interest gets high enough, there are security issues to worry about.  These basic lessons in organization will really make our next project run smoother.

Speaking of the interest in the set, it has been the biggest surprise of all.  We had concerns about scheduling 6 weeks of previews.  A lot of us (myself included) didn’t think people would remain interested that long.  But the traffic to this site and all of the related preview articles has steadily gone up since we started the previews.  So, thanks to you all for coming back and checking in with us week after week.

Speaking of checking back with us, we’ll be moving on to a new team next week.  I’m really excited about this team.  They presented a number of unexpected challenges, but I like to think we pulled it off.  Just to give you a hint, this team shares some link with the JSA to the Lightning Saga storyline.  And like every team featured in the set so far, there is a connection with uber-writer Geoff Johns.

Before I go, I justed wanted to comment on the big announcement at Comic Con yesterday.  Is anyone else as excited as I am about the Milestone characters coming to the DCU?  I really look forward to seeing these new characters make their way into Vs.

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