Our ship came in today. 1,000 boxes of Kenakalan to clear customs and be delivered to SchilMil early next week. I did a stock take recently and we have managed to sell, donate and otherwise dispose of 250 of the 1,000 Komodos and about the same for Raid the Pantry. Now we are starting to re-focus our efforts into finding retail outlets outside NZ. Exciting times ahead.
Oh and guess what everyone will be getting for Christmas this year!
Now that my commitment to the University has completely stopped I feel more like a full-time Game Designer. Not a lot of time spent has been designing games lately though. What with sales visits, packing parcels up, laying up artwork for promotional meterial and new websites, theres no time left for games.
It's all good though. And the fruits of our efforts ripened today with the Kenakalan website going live. That game shipment is now mid-ocean on a cargo ship called Cape Manuel. Thousands of mischievous monkeys are headed for Auckland where a cosy warehouse awaits them.
Well I'm not sure how these things normally pan out but it seems like things are moving quickly and positively for SchilMil games. We've existed as a company for a bit over a year and had our first products available on sale in NZ for 3 months.
Yep. Watch your backs: the wicked monkeys are coming.
The team of Schil and Mil hurtled to the finishing line this week and uploaded all the artwork for Game no3 to the manufacturer. Kenakalan is Indonesian & Malay for Mischief. The subtitle of the game is "Monkey Mischief".
Here is a sneak preview of the box and one of the six player shop front boards.
Now I can get my life back but I've temporarily forgotten what it consisted of!
I've spent the last hour trying to retrieve this blog from its hijackers. The URL was redirecting to an advertisement site called kunoichi.info. It turned out it was caused by one of my sidebar widgets called "Show Recent Comments". I've no idea how that got corrupted as it had been there for a couple of years. I deleted the widget and all was well again.
In other news, am phsycially and mentally exhausted after a long week. Scanned 2,500 ancient slides to earn some dosh and then spent the weekend at Board Games by the Bay playing games and promoting SchilMil Games.
In recent weeks we've had some sucess with promoting Komodo and Raid the Pantry: an audio review on Radio New Zealand, two written reviews (in Australia and the USA), and an order for Komodo from Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand) in Wellington.
We are also making good progress with testing and planning the manufacture of Kenakalan, about which more will be revealed in due course. Now off to bed for a well-earned and long sleep.
Last Thurday fourteen months of toil, sweat, financial and emotional investment culminated in a truck that threatened to topple over and demolish our neighbours wall! Thanks to some quick reactions and wooden chocks, the truck was stabilised, the contents secured and ferried in many car bootloads into its secure warehouse.
Now I can happily say "The Games Are Here, Come and Get Your Komodos and Pantries".
Shameless promotional videos follow. The online store is live.The hard work now commences.
Thanks to modern technology, we've been able to track the progress of 'our' cargo ship, across the seas. The Cosco Yingkou is currently in Brisbane and is due in Auckland this Friday. Excitement mounts as our pallets of games get closer.
We've been extremely busy: fine-tuning the online store, seeing potential retailers and blogging from the Komodos' view (letters home to his mum).
All the retailers that we've had face-to-face meetings with so far have placed orders for one or other, or both games, including the gift shop at Auckland Zoo. This makes for a very positive atmosphere around company HQ (aka 'upstairs'). Now we just need to get the shipment through customs and into the warehouse (aka 'the shed').
Monday Julia and I went down to Hamilton for the day for the New Zealand Toy fair. Fairly small I think as these events go but a good learning experience and networking opportunity. Can't help thinking though that we'd be better off spending our money at a trade show in a bigger market, such as Australia or Europe.
Strange to think our creations are on board this ship.
A crazy weekend ....We took the chance for a half-price trip to Great Barrier Island on the car ferry. It started as a nice trip with blue skies and dolphins skimming alongside us until....we hit open water at the top of the Coromandel. My stomach heaved for the next hour as I locked myself in the loo and retched my way across the channel. I have never been so seasick in my life.
All well once we got there. Scenery beautiful. We walked into the bush for the hot pool in the river experience at Kaitoke, met some weird and wonderful Barrier locals and explored most of the island.
On Sunday I took the chance of a quick flight home (21 mins to North Shore airfield) instead of 5 hours in open water. This was a good move as I got home without upset and in plenty of time for a cuppa and change of clothes before heading to see Yes in concert. John unfortunately missed the show as the ferry was late.
The show was better than expected given that a) I've never seen them live before and b) only three of the band are original members. I was surprised to learn that the lead singer Jon Davison was having his first outing with the band. I filmed a few clips before I got told off by security. I've strung them together into a 13 minute montage here.
So 2012 is turning into quite a milestone year for me employment wise. After 19 years as an employee of Auckland University, I am now self-employed and focussing more time on SchilMil Games. I still do a little contracting to the Uni on a casual basis and do work also for FilmScan Imaging, but games are the main deal now.
Komodo and Raid the Pantry are in production right now: expected completion date is April 13th. We have written a long and thorough sales and marketing plan and can't wait to get our hands on the shipment so we can start beating down doors.
Other games under development include Kenakalan (Monkey Mischief). It is
a card game where you play a tour agent trying to construct tours of
Bali while wicked monkeys steal things and try to rearrange your
shopfront. Here is a sample of one of the cards we are busy designing -
there are 80 tour cards with different images on, eight of each of ten themes.
Back to the relative civilisation of NZ after a three week break in Bali. A good deal of time there was spent digesting Immodium and running to the toilet. John has sworn that our next holiday will be in Norway or Denmark! On the plus side, we did take some amazing photos of monkeys that will be needed for the game called Kenakalan (or Monkey Business) that I am designing.
SchilMil is keeping busy while we wait for the manufacturer near Shanghai to regroup after the Chinese New Year. Several new games are in the pipeline plus we are starting to prepare promotional material for Komodo and Raid the Pantry.
Here are short stop frame animations we've made for each game: