2010 was a big year for Championland. Most of the year was spent developing a video game version of the card game Pixel Lincoln. This is still in progress and very time consuming, but at the same time it’s really exciting. We also had our big Kickstarter campaign for Lines of Fire. We received the funding needed to produce the game in just 4 days, and by the end we went well above our goal. We shipped about 50 copies out to the Kickstarter backers and sold others at a few conventions since. The response has been very positive and I’m itching to make some additions/expansions to the game. Other than that, I worked on ideas for a handful of other games. Some are ready for production, some are still being developed. The usual issues of time and money have stood in the way, but it’s a new year and time for a new plan.
In 2011 I would like to try out some new things. I’ve been working hard on learning both C++ and Objective C programming. Ultimately, I’d like to create some iPhone/iPad/iPad/iOS/etc versions of some of my board and card games. Why? Because the production is very inexpensive compared to a physical version of the game. These will not replace the physical versions. I’d like to be able to offer both. An app version for free or very cheap, and the limited collectors physical version. In order to fund a physical version, I may go back to Kickstarter or see if anything comes out of the apps. Just like the Kickstarter funding, any money that I receive from these games is going right into the next one.
As for the actual games, here are the ideas I have. I’d like to see an app version of Lines of Fire, Famous Missions, and Starts With/Ends With. I’ve been working on unreleased games like Cafe Catastrophe (100% done) and Wasteland (75% done). And I have ideas, sketches, rules, and notes on about a dozen others. I have a spider themed roll and move game that I’d love to do something with. The next step is a really nice prototype. That leads me to something that I need to do in 2011 that I’ve never really done before.
I need to take my prototypes and actually do something with them. I’ve never really pitched a game to anybody and I still feel uncomfortable with whole idea. But I need to make some connections and take some steps in that direction.
And finally I would like to get this website in order. It needs an update and some format changes. I’ll be working on it very soon.
Got through my little Nov/Dec slump and now I’m back to working on games again. Here’s what we’ve got going on.
This is our little restaurant management game. That sounds super boring, but the game is pretty fun. During the draw phase, you can choose to help your own restaurant… or you can sabotage your opponent’s restaurant. It’s played using 2″x2″ cards, and I’m ordering them one at a time in bulk to save money. (Actually I’m not saving any, I’m just spreading it out over time) The artwork is mostly complete and the game should be fully assembled and ready for release around Feb/March.
Lines of Fire
Lines of Fire is a head to head battle game that also uses 2″x2″ cards. John Fisher is handling the artwork for this and it’s coming along really well. The style really matches the tone of the game. We’re probably about 80% done the artwork on these and within a few weeks I’m going to start ordering the cards. I would expect a proper release around Feb/March for this one as well.
A new format that I’m trying out is postcards. I want to make a handful of games that are fully playable using only the postcards (and maybe dice or household objects if needed). With these, I’ve been thinking about getting some other game designers on board too. Maybe a 2010 postcard game of the month club? That could be fun.
Other than that been working on Pixel Lincoln stuff, more Famous Missions ideas, and buying way too much Heroscape.
I’ve been researching the costs for packaging for upcoming games. The games are made using small 2″ X 2″cardstock tiles, with some extra components (dice, chips, etc). For some reason, I thought there should be a larger base tile for each game. These are either 2″ x 8″, or 4″ x 4″. With the larger tiles and components, I thought I would need a box. I also think a full color box would be a huge step in the direction I’d like to go with these. A box makes all of the difference in presentation. And unfortunately, I’ve learned that they also make all of the difference in cost.
Who knew that 500 4″ x 8″ full color boxes would cost almost $2000.00? I don’t even need 500, but that’s the minimum. Everywhere.
So I started to look at other options and it’s all just very discouraging. I could get some stock shipping boxes and print stickers, but I’d wind up spending quite a bit for all 6 sides of the boxes. And I would have to put all of the stickers on, which would be a major disaster. I could do the same shipping boxes and screenprint them, but it’s also pretty costly and lacks fine detail. I could assume that nobody cares about the box and just put 1 sticker on the top and save a lot of money. I can’t think of any other packaging options, especially non-conventional ones… so if anyone has ideas, please send them over.
All of this brainstorming leads me to think about my goals with these games. I know I want to make a bunch. I would love for other people to play them. I just always go for the DIY method and I think it holds me back a ton. The only people who know about the games I’ve worked on are my friends. I really need to get out there, but I’m so not the pushy businessperson-type. I wouldn’t know where to start, but I know that I do need to start.
On to the games…. I’m working hard with George (ideas) and John (artwork) on Lines of Fire. It’s looking really cool. Also working on a handful of other ideas that have been floating around for a while. And finally, I just got in my sample tiles for Cafe Catastrophe. They turned out perfect. I’ll slowly order more and eventually have all of the parts without spending too much money at one time. Now I just need a damn box!