2014 New Years Business Chat

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Start: 7am 2nd January 2014 - Australian Time (Because that is where the logs were taken)

3pm 1st January Seanara's location time. (other states, Austalian and US can be calculated from this)



~JL = Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Jean = Jean Lorrah, Karen Mac = Karen Macleod, Aharon = Aharon Cagle, Ed = Ed Wilson, Seanara = Seanara Farris, Sieglinde = Linda


Pre- Business Chat:


Seanara Hi everyone.


~JL - OK, here we are, most of us. 


Seanara - Missing Ed still.


Sieglinde - When I did that the simegen biz dissappeared


~JL - Jean isn't on AIM -- you should all get on AIM for alternate communication if we need it.  I also have Facebook up


Seanara - Jean can get here, surely? It's just web browser.


Karen Mac - I see 3 tabs on my screen... My room, simegenbiz, simegenchat


Ed - THis is NOT Face Book.


Seanara - No, it's just the Web, Ed.


Sieglinde - Got it. I am Linda Robinett on Facebook.  I just called Kaires, she had forgotten again.


Aharon - Seanara, now your name is Dar brown.


Ed - That is a good thing. FB is fine for long talks, but for fast action like this - God NO!


Karen Mac - I closed facebook.  I didn't want interruptions.


Seanara - webchat or whatever. Although I see something about IRC in the URL.


Sieglinde - I am not seeing anything on simegen biz. What is the join thing again?


 ~JL - Ed   yes I have two browser instances open.


Karen Mac - I have everything in one browser


~JL - You need a # in front of the simegenbiz  --


Karen Mac - type / and what you need to write  simegenbiz, for example.


Aharon - Ruth from Loreful, apologizes for not being on today. She is traveling. Most of the team is out for today...so you just have me. Ha!


Seanara - Aharon, we're delighted to see you. :-)


Karen Mac - Good we have someone here, Aharon, from the team.


Aharon - Always delighted to be here! ;)


~JL  - Aharon -- I do expect that very few people will be around on NEW YEAR's (with holiday cheer, parade, football, family, and with the storms hard traveling) but the choice of this dead-space is deliberate.


Karen Mac - Jean has found us here.


~JL - I see Jean


Aharon - Yeah Jean!


Seanara - Hi Jean!


Jean - Okay--I now have all three rooms open. Hi, everyone!


~JL - Pretty neat little program. 


~JL - Linda -- ok, you're Sieglinde -- why can't I remember that?  I would have done poorly in a Royal Court where everyone has a zillion names.


End of pre-Busines chat




Jean - The Annual New Year's Meeting is called to order at 3:10pm CST


Jean - Aharon, would you like to tell everyone what you can about how the game is currently going?


Aharon - Absolutely


Jean - We all understand that some stuff is not for the public yet.


Aharon - Loreful is currently working on both Ambrov X and another game, a shooter/Real Time Strategy game that will launch in 2014 it has a name that is being trademarked but we refer to it internally as Project Astro Guard. The Shooter is not connected with Sime~Gen but is a Loreful IP, our hope is that the revenue from this game will assist both in fundraising and raising revenue for Ambrov X. If you want to support Ambrov X buying Project Astro Guard" will be a good way of doing that. Well be announcing more info on that game by March-April.


Aharon - Ambrov X is going through a re-brand. Now that we have a Pre-Alpha prototype to shop to investors, we are literally starting from square oneright now we are working on the Game Design Documentation. We cant announce dates on when you might see Ambrov X on the market but well do so when we get closer to a beta product. But it is still our priority and we are still working on it.


Aharon - Personally,  Im very pleased with where we are going with Ambrov X   in story, visualization and game design. Weve learned so much from our Kickstarter and our Marketing Test over the summer. Because of this, we are now going to ship a better product.


Aharon - I do have some results from the summer as well... We took the Pre-Alpha prototype to 2 Comicons in the local Cincinnati Area as a test. We also ran our Facebook campaign during that time July-Sept. 15,000 + (big plus) people were exposed to Sime~Gen and Ambrov X. 


We had thousands of tweets. We were placed as #1 on SlideDB.com (site for Mobile Indie Games) and we hit #2 on IndieDB.com (for PC Indie Games).  And as you might know we generated over 2300+ facebook likes. While we cancelled the Kickstarter (we just weren't getting the numbers and decided to change our strategy), we did connect with 1,000 people who donated. Here's one of our favorite tweets from someone who played the pre-alpha prototype "Played the pre-alpha build of @AmbrovX at Cincy Comic Con. Absolutely brilliant/fun even this early on. :D". There were a lot of those, which is promising.


Aharon - As far as development on Ambrov X. We are no longer using the Unity Engine for our games but have decided to use the Unreal Engine. It simply offers us a better end user experience. (Ill go into the points, if asked). But essentially, it allows us to make a much more beautiful game.


Aharon - We have hopes of an Ambrov X product on the market in 2014. But this will be determined by how we fair financially in Q1 2014. Otherwise this product will be pushed back into 2015. That product is our Origin Story Graphic Novel. We have an arc written for the story, that Jacqueline and Jean have not seen in totality yet. Thats how early this product is.  But we are committed to releasing Graphic Novels alongside the Ambrov X games. Our hope is to utilize them to fill in the blanks in the overall story or to tell unique perspectives that we cannot through gameplay.


Aharon - 2013 was a crazy busy year. We made some huge strides, as I hope everyone saw. And 2014 will be even busier with two games on our plate. It's all coming together, slowly but surely.

Aharon I see the chat about Graphic Novels. Obviously we had a HUGE nah...MASSIVELY HUGE response for this from the campaign and at the cons. So if you haven't like the loreful page on facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages...1597540 We'll be posting a lot of news there this year. And of course, we'll keep posting to the Ambrov X page.


Aharon - One final note on Ambrov X. The art you saw during the campaign was preliminary. We did the best with the resources we had. You can expect a broader more realistic vision in the future. Think Space Opera on a grand scale. So expect some new art this coming year.


~JL - Do you have a mailing list for people to join?


Aharon - And we are hoping to announce more on this Ambrov X rebrand in the coming year. Exactly WHEN though, I can't promise a date as of yet. We do have a mailing list, it's not very large. Most of you are probably on it. We are in the process of re-launching all of our sites and bringing everything under the Loreful.com name. Expect that in Q1 2014.Much more to come. Any questions? I can answer in #simegenchat


Jean - Exciting news, Aharon. The graphic novels are sure to draw lots of interest.


Aharon - Oh, there was actually an uptick in Sime~Gen novel sales during our campaign. Love that :D Jean and Jacqueline can speak to that.


Jean - Thank you, Aharon. Folks, if you have more questions for Aharon, please jot them down till we finish this business part of the chat. We're going to try to get through the announcements, news, and awards--then chat.


Jean - Sime~Gen Inc. is still plodding along. Financially, we came close to breaking even in 2013, and we certainly have enough income to keep going.


Jean  - The website has been somewhat simplified, and we have eliminated some out-of-date areas that were drawing no traffic.


Jean - As Jacqueline and I are now running the domain as well as continuing our other tasks--and neither of us is very good at tech stuff--we need to keep things simple for now.


Jean - On the other hand we are looking toward the game to bring new interest and new readers for the books in the next couple of years.


Jean - We did have an uptick of Sime~Gen book sales on Amazon when Aharon was promoting the game, but we still do not have the sales we keep hoping to reach.


Jean - Some of the books are out in audio--the more that come out, the better.


Jean - And there WILL be NEW books soon!


Jean - I am working on the next S~G novel, now titled THE NAMELESS, as one of the themes running through it is both all those forgotten heroes who never made it into the history books (have you noticed that a few hundred years later not only does anyone remember Abel Veritt, but Rimon Farris' son Zeth is never mentioned, only occasionally the conflation  of Rimon and his grandson, known only to scholars.


Jean - But even the scholars have forgotten Zeth.) THE NAMELESS takes place at The Genfarm, where of course their monument includes unknown numbers of nameless Gens who died keeping Simes alive before Unity.


Jean - But that is background and theme--the main characters are Bru Logan, who has a name he desperately wants to live up to, and Reeon ambrov Dar, who desperately wants to live.


Jean - This book works in time the way TO KISS OR TO KILL did, its beginning overlapping the last couple of months of a previous novel. That one overlapped ZELEROD'S DOOM. This one overlaps MAHOGANY TRINROSE.


Jean - Like TO KISS OR TO KILL, it is set in Gulf Territory, the only place where Bru and Reeon can exist and survive.


Jean  - I keep trying to clear time to write--and lie laughs and drops every sort of interruption into every day I attempt to clear. Nonetheless, I plan to have the book ready to submit by June, as Wildside wants it.


Jean - There will be lots of fun stuff in THE NAMELESS, as The Genfarm is in this timeframe Hollywood and Disney World combined. Reeon, a Dar martial arts expert, is hired as a stunt man and fight choreographer for films, and breaks out to become an interterritorial movie star. Bru is an engineer working on a nageric amplifier with plans to also invent a nageric recorder.


Jean - Bru's research eventually provides the science behind Sime~Gen space technology.


Jean - But of course as with anything I write, what is really important is the people story.


Jean - THEN there are TWO MORE book projects in process! Karen and Zoe are working on a publishable Concordance, and they will also be editing an anthology of S~G fan stories that Wildside has asked for.


~JL - Zoe has a report on that.


~JL - I think the President's report should go here?


Jean - The Concordance is intended to come out with the game. The anthology will appear once enough stories are available.


~JL - We haven't announced that yet. 


Jean - Okay--Jacqueline will now present the President's report.


~JL - We should start at the beginning.


~JL - Thank you, Jean.  I will go over some of what Aharon reported on the Game project, but we have much more.


~JL - PRESIDENT'S REPORT by Jacqueline Lichtenberg:  After concluding the Videogame contract with Loreful at the end of 2012, we spent 2013 supporting Loreful's efforts to create and run a Kickstarter campaign. 


~JL - That campaign had to be cancelled in favor of seeking funding by other means, despite the delight evident at the Sime~Gen Party at Worldcon where the sample video was displayed.   


~JL - As of this writing, Loreful is well on its way to setting up a funding process for the videogame based on Sime~Gen as they still see a market hungry for this kind of material.


~JL - Meanwhile, the summer of 2013 finally saw the organizing of a WIKI to form the basis of a publishable (and easily ammended and expanded) Sime~Gen Concordance. 


~JL - Karen MacLeod and Zoe Farris collaborated to create this WIKI from 3X5 cards that Catherine Filipowicz left to us and Karen kept secure for many years.


~JL - As Karen and Zoe were gearing up to take the assembled information and cast it into book publishable form, Wildside Press asked for it plus an anthology of fan-written stories. 


~JL - Karen and Zoe accepted the task of compiling that anthology from material posted online -- and they would like a couple more new stories to round out the collection.  The possibility of more anthologies is wide open.


~JL - Wildside also wants Jean Lorrah's newest novel - the one of many titles, finally becoming The Nameless, and they want it ASAP.


~JL - Concurrently, we have moved to consolidate the ownership of our various domain names onto GoDaddy, hosted with simegen.com for easier management. 


~JL - Wildside Press now has an employee whose time is dedicated to submitting to Audible, and we are expecting more Audiobook releases for Sime~Gen.  With that in mind, it will be necessary to re-contact fan-writers for the anthology and get contracts specifically permitting the various usages Wildside requires in their standard contract.


~JL - Finding people may be difficult, so the anthology editors are interested in finding new material. 


~JL - We expect 2014 will be a year of intense activity as we refurbish our domains appearance, and prepare to serve an expanding market.


~JL - So, as you can see, we are in the process of contracting with Karen and Zoe for these two book releases.


~JL - Zoe, who manages the SimeGen Group on Facebook, has a report on the Wiki which is the basis of the Concordance (two totally different formats for essentially the same material) and the opening for submission of a fanthology for Wildside.  Suggestions for a title for this anthology of fan stories will be welcome.


~JL - That concludes the President's report except to note that Loreful has demonstrated how exceedingly well they can target the messaging about Sime~Gen and draw new people into reading the novels.


~JL - During the campaign for the Kickstarter, I watched the graphs that amazon won't let me show you folks, and I could SEE when Aharon was releasing ads on Facebook by the jig up in sales.


~JL - So I have enormous confidence that we have the right product, and the right company to present that product to the right market.  The rest is what business folks call "execution."


~JL - And that concludes the President's report.


Jean - Thank you, Jacqueline.


Jean - Zoe, would you like to report on Facebook, the Wiki, and the Concordance?


ZoeFarris - Yes,


ZoeFarris - In February 2013 I posted  on the group that I was going to play with the idea of a compiling a concordance.  I already had a few pages started, now that I was retired and had time, and Jacqueline sad that the producers of Ambrov X had a Wiki page that was going to need pages of Sime~Gen terms etc.


ZoeFarris - The two projects merged and with the help of Karen MacLeod, Jaqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah, (The Team) I began to compile pages for the Wiki that Aharon Cagle had set up to coincide with Ambrov X the game and it grew quickly from there.


ZoeFarris - In four months we managed to add over 1000 pages of information related to Terms, Locations, Characters and other information related to Sime~Gen. There are illustrations and external links to the main Sime~gen site and plenty of room for more topics to be added as we move along.


ZoeFarris - Karen spent many hours writing up the information from the Index Cards that Jacqueline had hand written from the early days of the novels and with Jacqueline and Jeans input they checked and edited those 1000+ pages.   This is still a work in progress as is the nature of wikis and when Ambrov X is close to readiness Aharon and his team will deal with the cover page and it's overall look for the wiki


ZoeFarris - Two new projects for 2014---


ZoeFarris - Sime~Gen Concordance:  'The Team' will be working on the Concordance over the coming months. The Terms, Locations, Characters etc, will be from the published works as well as short stories by Jacqueline and Jean, and some of the fan stories.


ZoeFarris - Sime~Gen Anthology: The other exciting project  for this year is an Anthology of  Sime~Gen short stories also through Wildside. This will consist of short stories by Jacqueline, Jean and other writers of Sime~Gen . We will be calling for submissions on the Group and on the main page in the next few days. If you have a short story (10,000 words or less) that you would like to submit keep your eyes on the Group for information and details for submitting.


ZoeFarris - Many of the fan stories on the main site are too long for this project so we will be looking for new stories and hopefully the authors of our old favourites might be able to do shorter ones with the same characters that fans love.


ZoeFarris - In the next few days there will be submission notices on the fb page and the main simegen site.


ZoeFarris - I think that is it for now. Questions can be asked in chat after the business.


Jean - Thank you, Zoe. Next, Jacqueline will report on stock shares awarded this year.


Kaires Report (title inserted by Zoe)


Kaires - We had Sime~Gen parties at three conventions in 2013: Westercon (Sacramento CA, 4-7 July), WorldCon (San Antonio TX, 29 Aug - 2 Sep), and LosCon (Los Angles CA, 25 Nov - 1 Dec).


Kaires - All were hugely successful in that:  - many people said they came because they particularly love our parties.


Kaires - several stayed for hours at a time, engaging in lively conversation - At least 50 people came to each party (70 at LosCon) ...we gave out that many glittry stars on people's badges)


Kaires - Many thanks to Sime~Gen, Inc. for subsidizing a hotel room night for each one (I'm so glad to know the company is doing well enough to be able to do that...and that the JLs are willing to spend their money that way). For WorldCon, we also got subsidized for the electronics we bought to show the Ambrov X teaser.


Kaires-  Huge thanks to the people who helped, notably my friends Gahan & Stephen Thorp, and S~G friends Elizabeth Austin and Sieglinde. This year, for the first time, I managed to foist off the badge-starring to others so I could actually enjoy the party...and pour Ancient Egyptian Kool-Aid to those hearty souls who wanted to try it, and the doughty recividists who actually asked for it.


Kaires  - In 2014, we will have the usual parties at WesterCon (Salt Lake City UT, 3-6 July) and LosCon (Los Angeles CA, 28-30 November).


Kaires - The 2014 WorldCon in London (14-18 Aug), and EuroCon in Dublin the next week (22-24 Aug), don't allow room parties.  The main reason is that hotels over there are very serious about corkage fees, and don't include waivers in their contracts nearly as often as US hotels do.


Kaires - Sieglinde has been doing research for me on the possibilities. At the London convention, there's a major 'International Party' that we can join.


Kaires - As we learn more, I'll post to Facebook.


Kaires - That's it for now.


Jean - Thank you, Kaires.


Jean - Karen represented Sime~Gen at Darkover this year. She has a report next.


Karen Mac - Thank you, Jean.  I represented Sime~Gen at Darkover because Jacqueline and Jean had schedules that were too full for them to participate.


Karen Mac - I was on a panel about Jacqueline's writings and the importance of Sime~Gen.  I was also on a panel about Marion Zimmer Bradley, who was a mentor


Karen Mac  - to Jacqueline, and had a lot to do with the early S~G novels.


Karen Mac - There was a scheduled hour on AMBROV X, but no one attended --- and I had nothing to show them anyway, since Aharon had dismantled the website before then.  I did


Karen Mac - distribute Ambrov X flyers, and had a good reception in my panels... made a few new fans, and saw plenty of long time fans as well.  It has


Karen Mac - been mentioned that the new convention "ChessieCon" wants Sime~Gen for next year, as well.


Karen Mac - We also had a panel on vampires and shapeshifters, though it only barely touched on the Sime~Gen relationship.


Karen Mac - I hope I can represent Sime~Gen in the future, if called on to do so at the new convention.  This probably covers my report.


Jean - Thank you, Karen



Jean - Okay, Jacqueline--now stock awards.


~JL  - The Board of Directors met and voted non-voting stock apportioned as follows for work done in the year 2013:


~JL - Kaires 1                     Karen MacLeod 2     Lois Wickstrom 1     Ronnie Bob Whitaker 2     Zoe Farris 2     Eliza Leahy 2


~JL - Kaires for holding the Parties, and supporting many endeavors.  Karen for editing, chores, record keeping and the Wiki (not to mention warehousing a filebox of cards).  Lois Wickstrom for running websites that bring in revenue.  Ronnie Bob Whitaker (who isn't on FB so many of you don't know him, but you should) for keeping up as Registrar of the school, and various record keeping chores,


~JL - Zoe for the Facebook Group and the Wiki work.


~JL - Eliza for artwork which is being used on the wiki and we hope will be in the published Concordance.


~JL - That concludes the stock awards for this year.


Jean - Thank you, Jacqueline.


Jean - We're moving on to awards now.


Jean - The ones that seem to go on and on are Silver and Gold Yoyos.


~JL - I nominate Aharon Cagle for the Golden Yo-Yo.  Any seconds?


ZoeFarris - second


Ed - I'm in


~JL - Aharon Cagle has been nominated and seconded for the Golden Yo-Yo.  All in favor?




Seanara - Aye


Kaires - aye


Sieglinde - aye


Jean  -aye


Ed - Aye


Karen Mac - Aye


~JL - Aharon Cagle has been awarded the 2013 Golden Yo-Yo Award for doing over and over and OVER, until he produced the video we showed at Worldcon.


Seanara  - I nominate Karen MacLeod for the Silver YoYo, for all the work she keeps doing for Sime~Gen, as editor and otherwise.


Jean - second


Ed - 2nd


ZoeFarris - Aye


~JL - All in favor of Karen MacLeod for the Silver Yo-YO Award?


Aharon - Aye




Ed - Aye


Seanara - Aye


Jean - aye


Sieglinde - aye


ZoeFarris - Aye


Kaires - aye


~JL - Karen McLeod wins the Silver Yo-Yo for work done (over and over) in 2013.


Jean - Aharon, Zoe, and Karen--the Tech-Ton Award for the wiki.


~JL - Second 3 Tech-


~JL - Ton awards.


Ed - Aye


Seanara - Aye


~JL - Aharon, Zoe and Karen have been nominated for the 2013 Tech-Ton Award for wiki-work.


Jean - aye


~JL - all in favor?




Ed - Aye again


Aharon A- ye for Zoe and Karen


Seanara - Aye again


ZoeFarris - Aye for Aharon and Karen


Sieglinde - aye for all


Kaires - aye for all


~JL - All 3 nominees for the 2013 Tech-Ton Award have WON!!!!  Respect is due them!


Aharon - I'd like to nominate Jacqueline and Jean for the Nager Award for their immense emotional support to myself and the Ambrov X team.


Ed - 2nd


Kaires - YEH!


Seanara - Aye!


ZoeFarris - Those in favour?


Ed - AYe


Seanara - Aye again!


Karen Mac - All in favor, please vote.  About time they were nominated.


Sieglinde - aye aye Captain


Karen Mac - AYE


Kaires - aye with !!!!


Karen Mac - Looks like Jacqueline and Jean have won a NAGER AWARD.  Congratulations.


Jean - Thank you.


~JL - ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


~JL - That's the nager symbol, you know ~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Seanara - I'd like to nominate Kaires for another Nager award, for everything she's done putting on parties to support S~G.


Aharon - Second


Jean - second


Karen Mac - I'll second that.


~JL - Kaires has been nominated and seconded for the Nager Award.  All in favor?




Seanara - Aye


Jean -  aye


Ed - Aye


Karen Mac - Aye


Aharon - Aye


ZoeFarris - Aye


Sieglinde - aye


~JL - Kaires has won the 2013 Nager Award for her incredible calm in the midst of PARTY-CHAOS!!!  She manages the fields with aplomb.


Aharon - I nominate Ruth, Zoe, Karen and Kaires for the Digen award...handing out thousands of Ambrov X Flyers, all over the world!


Jean - second


Ed - Aye


Seanara - Aye


Aharon - All in favor?


Seanara - aye again


Karen Mac - Aye for all but me... for me I abstain.


Jean - aye


Sieglinde - aye for all


~JL - It has been moved and seconded that the Digen Award for 2013 go to Ruth Kostic, Zoe, Karen and Kaires for traveling to hand out Ambrov X flyers.  all in favor?




Sieglinde - aye


Ed - Aye

ZoeFarris - Aye for Ruth, Karen and Kaires


Jean - aye


Kaires - aye for everyone else


~JL T- he AYES have it and Ruth, Zoe, Karen and Kaires have won the Digen Award for Meritorious Service for 2013.


Jean - Does anyone have any further business for this meeting?


~JL - I think we've finished for this year.  Next year, lots of NEW BUSINESS.


Ed 2nd


Jean - All right--this year's chat is concluded. #simegenchat is open for questions and conversation. Happy New Year!


Karen Mac - Leaving the biz room then.  Happy New Year, all.



End Of Business