Producing NISEI: Tracking with Trello

Hello! I’m Extrac from the NISEI Production team, here with an update on our team’s ongoing work.

The Production team was established primarily for two reasons:

  1. To assist the other teams (Design, Dev, Webdev, etc.) in achieving their goals, providing a means of coordinating and streamlining the pipeline to help them achieve their outcomes in the best way possible.
  2. To help broadcast the great work they’re doing, both inside NISEI to help with coordination of overall output and outside of NISEI to give you, the community, a bit more insight into what’s going on with upcoming sets.

With regards to the second goal, we’ve opted to start publishing snapshots of our Trello boards on a regular basis along with a bit of context. We want to let interested parties get a view into where we are as a producing organisation and what steps we need to complete in order to achieve our goals. These boards are not meant to communicate delivery dates (these will be announced officially through other channels), nor are they meant to be a means of targeting the relevant teams. We want to publish these boards purely for informational purposes, and to help draw back the curtain a bit between NISEI and the general playerbase.

If you have any questions about these boards or the content therein please direct them to us at Production, and not to any teams they may/may not pertain to. 

With that intro out of the way, we’ll get started with our primary board:

The Production Management Board

Screenshot of a Trello board, with columns that read "To-do", "In progress", "BOREALIS BP- Art", "In-Progress", "Internal PM Work", and "DONE".
Click to expand.

This was our first board and the one we’ve been using both to get our feet under the table in the production and to start tracking work on the upcoming Midnight Sun Booster Pack

As you can see, there’s a lot of tasks dedicated to establishing the various teams’ needs and wants! We’re all new to NISEI in the Production team, so we had a lot of questions about the necessary steps between a set’s inception and it being in the hands of our players. This lets us chart the steps that need to be sequential and the steps that can be concurrent. For example, translation can be done in parallel to spoiler season, but art needs to be done before upload to printers can be started. 

We’ve also got some markers for art for the Booster Pack. The team has done great work here and is making good progress towards the release. We’re busy coordinating with the owners of the stages that immediately follow art’s completion to make sure they’re ready for their actions. 

The Midnight Sun Board

Screenshot of a Trello board. The columns read "Backlog," "To Do", "Doing", and "Done".
Click to expand.

With our focus on the Booster Pack for now this one is a little more sparse at the moment, but since the cards from the Booster Pack will also be present in Midnight Sun, we’ve begun tracking the full set’s overall progress here as well. Naturally, there is a lot more ground to cover for this full set than for the seven-card Booster Pack. We’ve separated the detail for art stages out into its own board (see below) but it is summarised here along with all of the milestones we must pass to get the first set of the Borealis Cycle out the door and into decks once art has completed. 

The Midnight Sun Art Board

A large Trello board for tracking the process of managing art commissions.
Click to expand.

With art identified as the key hurdle to overcome before Midnight Sun can be released, and given the complexity involved with sourcing the art, we broke this aspect out into its own board to track. Each illustration goes through multiple stages on its journey, from an initial art brief concept to finding an artist, negotiating contracts, and iterating on drafts until it reaches its final form. We’re tracking every stage of that here to allow us to identify areas of concern and give us an overall view of where each card and set of cards is. 

The Horizon Sets Board

Screenshot of a Trello board, with three columns: "To Do", "Doing", and "Done". It's tracking various aspects of three sets, codenamed "Bell-Tower", "Piggy-Bank", and "Squid-Island".

Midnight Sun is out of Design’s hands, but the Design team is certainly not resting on its laurels whilst the later stages of production progress. Design has made progress with ideation/initial design stages for three sets following the Borealis Cycle. This encompasses the overall mechanical side (any types of play they’d like to explore), the narrative side (the story of this set) as well as the individual card designs for each set. Once Design has completed wrap-up for a set, it is sent off to Development for playtesting and tweaking where changes can range from a complete redesign to minor changes, all to make sure it is not too far above/below expected power levels.


Having made it through the ice of production management boards, the eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that, in addition to Deep Dive, a second card in the Midnight Sun Booster Pack has reached art-complete status on the art board. So in the root of this article you find your prize for making it through:

Full-art version of Vladisibirsk Grid from the Midnight Sun Booster Pack.

Vladisibirsk Grid

NBN Upgrade: Region

Rez Cost: 3 – Trash Cost: 4 – Influence: 4

You can advance this upgrade.

2 hosted advancement counters: Place 2 advancement counters on another card in the root of this server that you can advance. Use this ability only once per turn.

Limit 1 region per server.

Illustrated by Kira Nguyen.

We’re pleased to present Vladisibirsk Grid, a new addition to NBN’s arsenal of fast-advance (or trap-enabling) upgrades. NISEI Narrative Director Anzekay shared this tentative flavour text for the card:

Straddling the banks of the great Ob river, this shining metropolis is a refuge for all amongst the ruins of climate destruction. Truly the ‘Ruler of Siberia’.

More will be released on the enigmatic setting of this grid soon.

That’s all from us for now, we hope this has given you a bit of insight into both what we’re doing in production and what we’re doing across the producing teams in NISEI. Our aim is to repeat this broadcast at regular intervals regardless of progress levels to keep our players up to date with where we are in stages of set production as we’re acutely aware this is something that the community has been looking for a bit more insight into. Please feel free to contact the Production team members in community channels like Stimhack Slack or Green Level Clearance if you’d like more info on these boards.

Happy netrunning!

Author

  • Extrac is a member of NISEI's Production Management team. He's a UK player that will one day install Harbinger with net damage when the Rules Team, the FAQ and reality itself stop disagreeing with him.