Earlier this week, we were treated to a visit from a pair of fantastic wayfaring pilgrims, David & Melody. This is their story...
When the chance came to travel to New Zealand for the first time and meet up with Melody to play in a TCG event in Auckland, I grabbed it with both hands. The event was pure, brilliant fun. However, there was another reason that we were both excited about this trip.
We knew that the Erik’s Curiosa office was nearby, which had our eyebrows rising and falling like the waves of the Tasman Sea! So we reached out to Erik Olofsson and asked if he would be willing to meet and, if so, could we even have a poke around the office. The answer came back, ‘yes!’ Oh baby, we are on!
So on Monday, the 27th February, we had breakfast and reminisced over the last few days. TCGs certainly bring great people and artists together! We then took a short drive across town, found the right building, went up the lift, and entered into a funky shared open office space. We signed in and tried to find Erik on the digital Visitor screen…..nothing.
“Did you spell it right? ‘Erik’, not ‘Eric’. “ ….nothing
“Try ‘Sorcery’“…..nothing OK, this was becoming a mystery.
The receptionist wandered off whilst we kept trying every variation of name we could think of. But then a looming shadow passed over us. We turned. A moderately tall man (taller than both of us anyway) in hoodie and shorts stood looking at us. It’s funny when you meet someone you have only seen on a small screen; they look 3-dimensional and almost the same, but not quite the same (kind of like cards that you have only seen on a photo on a screen). We were in the company of Erik, after we all introduced ourselves and shook hands, we were led through the open plan office space and into THE office.
We were suddenly surrounded by bright lights, with angels descending and ascending and harp music...
OK, the office was actually a fair bit smaller than we had imagined, but there were signs of something different…beautifully odd art on the top of shelves, framed foil sheets looking stunning, four computers at four standing desks, boxes of various TCGs opened and cards laying around for design reference purposes. Silver packs in a box! (we knew what they were), more boxes….and a locked cupboard.
Erik introduced us to Mike Haught and Sean Goodison, who were both working away at stuff like Beta image file preparations and reviewing community feedback on the new rulebook. We chatted quietly and then the questions started flowing. Erik talked about the progression of Kickstarter Alpha and Beta distribution, the potential impact of sample card prices, the art and their special relationship with artists. Then I asked the four million dollar question…“So where did the money go and why don’t we have our boxes NOW!” (Note: this may have been asked a little more diplomatically).
That’s when Erik wandered off with a key. He stood in front of the locked cupboard for a moment before turning around. He looked us up and down, stared into our eyes to see who would blink first. After a small eternity we all blinked at the same time. That’s when he turned back to the cupboard, bent over from his lofty height and unlocked it. Reaching in, he grabbed a small box and quickly shut the cupboard again.
Once Erik had returned to the table, he laid out actual glory before us. Beautiful, foiled glory. Fantastic looking hot-stamped embossing of the card names and text fields, all in the font that first caught my eye way back before Kickstarter even was announced. No touching was even considered (at first). They were earlier single-sided test foils, not the double-sided (foil one side, with full art on the other) versions that backers will receive. Stunning - definitely the highlight of the visit, the foils are more subtle and far more beautiful in person.
“Melody…why is he going back to the cupboard?”
Melody let out her customary, “WEEEEAARRRGGHHHAAAAA!!!”, which well jump-started my heart. It was playmat time! Laying out some alpha version 2-player mats, we were able to gauge the quality, and yes, they are excellent. Alpha symbol and all!
As we humbly asked for signatures, Sean told me how much he loves coming to work every day and I understand why, what a project to be involved in!
Then a whispered “REEEEE! David…he is going back to the cupboard again!”
Then two boxes of alpha pre-cons were plonked in front of us. Gifts from the Curiosa one. We were truly humbled. Then a bunch of Alpha version Rubble atlas cards were placed on top! Erik explained the difference between this version of the pre-con set and the Kickstarter pledge versions to come - these ones did not have the additional booster pack or padding that the final ones will have, so no sneaky spoilers were possible (boo, booooo!!!).
Eventually it was time to go, so our eyes soaked in as much as they could. On the window shelf were padded boxes, ready to ship to content creators. On a desk was a mini Severine Pineaux art display stand. Art books on the shelf…
Then, before the international meeting calls were about to start, we were asked to leave quietly with our loot and told not to look back lest we be turned into pillars of cardboard, wrapped in the plastic layering that prevents foil from curling.
Thank you Curiosa! Melody and I are now looking forward to the future of Sorcery: Contested Realm more than we ever were before.
~ David & Melody
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