Short story – I wrote an update on March 1st, and was really proud of it. I have a LOT to share (all good news), and spent a good 90 minutes putting the email update together. I wanted to grab a bite to eat before doing the final editing pass, and went to save the update, so I hit the save button. Our mail-list tool, Sendy, asked me to log back in. Apparently the session had timed out and the tool doesn’t auto-save so I lost EVERYTHING. I had no more time Wednesday or Thursday to write up another email, and had a flight to Los Angeles on Friday, so I rewrote most of it while in the air, but have not had time until Sunday to edit it and get it set out. I’m sorry this is getting out a bit late! Lots’s going on, so let’s get to it!
Goodbye TFN, Hello, Zombie Orpheus!
As you’ve heard, The Fantasy Network shut down on January 31st. The Fantasy Network was Ben’s brainchild. They had envisioned a world where independent producers and fans communities would come together to create and support cool projects. It’s disappointing that TFN couldn’t get enough forward momentum to grow. But, over the last 3 years we built relationships with some really great producers, and discovered a few things along the way.
One discovery is that there are producers who, like DG and ZOE, know how to build their fan communities using grass-roots efforts. This year, ZOE will be bringing several of these producers under the ZOE banner, in order to grow ZOE’s reach, and bring some new production talent into the pool. Keep your eyes open for more announcements in the weeks to come.
The New, Improved zombieorpheus.com
We are relaunching the ZOE website. In the next couple of weeks, www.zombieorpheus.com will be getting more than a facelift. We will be adding some new features, including improved video streaming and a store!
Everything in one place
Let’s admit it. Sometimes it’s a bit painful to find your favorite DG and ZOE content. That’s about to change. We are gathering all the videos and links and exposing them in a single experience on the ZOE website! And our Subscribers will continue to get exclusive access to subscriber-only content. This includes ZOE Supporters, Gumroad and Patreon subscribers.
Patreon, Gumroad & ZOE Supports
Ben had hoped that everyone would migrate their Patreon and Gumroad subscriptions to the ZOE Supporters subscription service run by TFN. By doing so, it would help contribute to TFN’s bottom line and make it easier to manage (in theory). We found however, that theres a lot of good reasons for people to keep using Patreon or Gumroad. SO, If you’re a supporter who has been contributing through Patreon or Gumroad, you may not have heard it enough over the last 2 years, but, THANK YOU for your continued support! For those of you who signed up for as a ZOE Supporters subscription on TFN, THANK YOU, as well!
If you have been a ZOE Supporters subscriber on TFN, note that we have migrated your account to ZOE. TFN is no longer collecting your subscription funds. If you see a note on your statement which says The Fantasy Network, rest assured that ZOE is the entity collecting those funds. We should see a name change on the statements in the next 30 days.
Frankly, I’m still sorting out how to best manage subscriptions, now that we are moving away from TFN’s management. We’ll have to sort that out over the next couple of months. It’s my intention to increase the value of your subscription, but thank you for your patience as I’m sorting it out!
The Canon Crowdcast + ZOE State of the Union
I’m a little embarrassed about this next one. Historically, the front-of-house work has been in Ben’s domain. I’ve kept to the shadows, running various operations, negotiating contracts, building relationships with different companies, and producing things as needed. The Canon Crowdcast was an effort 100% coordinated by Ben, and it was not on my radar. Truthfully, I can’t say I wasn’t aware of the Canon Crowdcast existence, but I can say that I didn’t remember that it was part of a subscriber benefit. Ben produced it and I wasn’t a part of it. That’s not Ben’s fault. It was how things operated at ZOE.
I’m fixing that now. This month we will be re-starting the Canon Crowdcast. We will start with a ZOE State of the Union. I will send out a notice when we plan on streaming it.
JQ4 is well underway. The directing and producing team of Moses and Ali, has been diligently working on Season 4. Together with the ZOE Executive Producing team (Elizabeth and Rennie), we meet every Thursday to ensure things are on-track and to address issues as they crop up. This coming week there will be script read-through with the JQ4 cast. We are all REALLY excited to get everyone into a single room (virtual or not) for the script read. It helps momentum and gets people excited. When will we start rolling cameras? We still expect to go into production near the beginning to mid-May. The team is trying to lock down the product team schedules and we will know more in the next few weeks.
Loads of progress. Orders have been locked, cards have been charged and addresses have been locked. The final numbers will be released to Gamerati in the next couple of days, and then Gamerati will begin the process of fulfillment. I will be talking with them on Monday to get an clearer idea of when things will ship. To repeat: On Monday, all physical goods and shipping information will be in the hands of Gamerati. (We needed to lock addresses and orders before we could get them that information. I had asked if they’d take what we had, and they declined, preferring to wait until everything is locked) Gamerati will take that info, give me shipping costs, I will issue funds, and they will begin shipping. WE ARE CLOSE. Barring some act of fate, orders should be going out this month.
Did you know this is the 20th anniversary year of the release of The Gamers? And what is going on with The Gamers: The Series, or Gamers 4? Lots of questions, and I really hope to have answers for you in the next couple of months! I can’t say much, but I can absolutely say that there is crunchy goodness in the works.
The ZOE Store
With the launch of the new website, we will be launching a new ZOE web store, where you will be able to purchase ALL available ZOE merchandise, including The Gamers, JourneyQuest, Demon Hunters, Strowlers, all the UDS content, books, music, movies, clothing, and other Print-On-Demand goods! You will also be able to add to, update, or cancel your ZOE Supporters subscription using the store.
If you didn’t know, every Monday ZOE hosts The Shattered Compass, a live stream RPG, DM’d by Bryce Bebop. We also host ZOE Game night on various Fridays. I do plan to announce more streams in the near future, so stay tuned.
On a side note, did you know that ZOE provides the technical directing for Peter Adkison’s Chaldea Studios? We are currently producing Actoroke and Studio Night (Streaming on Twitch/GenConTV)! if you haven’t checked out Actoroke, it shows on Wednesdays and is very fun. It often features actors from the ZOE community, past and present! It’s a fun production, and (Shameless plug warning) I am currently playing in the RPG session along with Bryce Bebop and Lexi Bennington and Megan Karimi-Naser. You can also see other actors and players from the ZOE community. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve worked with Scott C. Brown, Leila Blue Aram-Panahi, and Emilie Rommel-Shimkus, and that’s just a short list of the many people from the ZOE community who participate. Check it out!
This is a LOT of parse through, so I’m gonna wrap it up. There’s bound to be more things I missed, so if I think of something, please tune into the upcoming ZOE State of the Union later this month! (Stay tuned for more details)
-Rennie Araucto (CEO ZOE)