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.
Our Kickstarter run has ended, and we’re now starting to get all of the parts for Lines of Fire. Within 2 weeks, I’ll have all of the components and we’ll start shipping the game out. We’ll have about 50 copies left over on the initial run… so if anyone would like to still purchase the game, you can use the links below.
USA with $3 Regular Mail shipping
USA with $5 Priority Mail shipping
More shipping options coming this week!
So we’re nearing the end of the Lines of Fire Kickstarter project and it went well beyond I ever expected to. We’re currently at $500, which is $150 more than the goal amount. I had intended to promote like crazy, and post more videos in the past two weeks and a few things (sicknesses, work, Pixel Lincoln, sicknesses, and more sicknesses) kind of took me by storm so I’m starting my last minute push right now.
I feel a little weird pushing it at this point, since we’ve passed our goal, but here’s why I’m doing it. Any extra funding is going to the next game project. The next game will either be Cafe Catastrophe or an unnamed underwater diving for gems game. They’re both fun and artwork is 100% complete, except the underwater game needs a name and a logo.
Another reason to buy it on Kickstarter is because you’ll save a few bucks and get a special playable card for Kickstarter backers only. I plan to sell the game for $12.00 plus shipping once Kickstarter is complete. Right now it’s just $10.00 and you get this awesome, playable, never before revealed card.
Also, we got the boxes and dice in. Everything looks great. Just waiting for the final cards and instructions and we’re ready to go.
That’s about it. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this happen. You guys are awesome.
I guess I shouldn’t have stressed so much about putting the game on Kickstarter. Today we’re at 93% and only $25 away from the $350 goal. But, I was worried about a few things.
1. Asking for help.
I never ask for help. If so, I really need it and I’ve exhausted all of my own resources. But for this game, it’s a little different. It’s not a life or death scenario. Life will go on if this game were to not be made. But I really feel confident about it and I want to take the next step in game design. I don’t want to go into credit card debt, or throw everything away due to financial reasons. So I thought about Kickstarter’s pledge system. I still stressed about it because I didn’t want people to think I’m being greedy by asking for them to help my creative needs.
2. Not reaching the goal amount.
I was really worried about getting some pledges and not meeting our goal amount. I thought it would be embarrassing to me and to the people who pledged, and it would definitely prevent me from giving it another shot.
Both of those worries are gone. After all of the support we’ve gotten from friends and fellow gamers, I feel really good. I feel super confident about this project, and I can’t wait to release this and start the next.
But of course, new worries have developed.
1. Monthly Gaming Project.
I went into this with the idea of a monthly gaming project. I have games that are ready for the next 3 months of the year. If we go above our Kickstarter budget, I’m going to start getting the next one ready. I do stress about the next game though. If I go to Kickstarter with whatever funding I don’t have leftover from Lines of Fire, is that being greedy? Doing projects back to back? I think it definitely sounds greedy, so I’ll keep thinking about how to handle it. Maybe I can go with a super inexpensive game idea next, and do it without any backing at all.
2. Meeting our goal amount.
I also stress out about if we pass our goal of $350. Do I continue to push the Kickstarter site? I think I will, just to help the next projects and to allow more pre-orders of the game with the bonuses.
I shouldn’t stress though. Things are really going well. Right now about 1/3 of the copies of Lines of Fire are called for and that’s really, really awesome. I’m at the point where I’m working on cover art and filling in all of the last minute details that weren’t even on my radar this time last week.
After going back and forth, and back again… I decided to launch Lines of Fire on Kickstarter. If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s a website where you launch a project and ask for funding. In return for the funding you will offer different rewards. For Lines of Fire, we’re offering the game and a few other things.
I hesitated about putting this on Kickstarter, but then I realized the worst case scenario is that the game doesn’t get funded. It’s worth a shot. Also I spoke with Jonathan Fisher last night (the artist for the game) and he said that he would offer some custom creature sketches for some of the pledges. This was an awesome idea, and I want one for myself.
So, if you’re interested, the Kickstarter link is above and right here: http://kck.st/dbGMdC. You can donate as little as $1. The entire budget is only $350, so the dollars really help! Also, if you know anyone that is interested, feel free to spread the word. It’s a huge help. Thanks!
I’ve partially decided to try an alternate method to try and release Lines of Fire and some future games too. I haven’t fully decided, but I’m getting there…
There was a big sale on custom cards last month, so I bought the 6 basic cards needed to play the Lines of Fire game. We still need a few things though. We need the base card (it’s a 2″x8″ castle card), a box (We’re using foil embossed kraft boxes) two 20-sided dies, and a few odds and ends (shrink wrap, instructions, etc…) It’s going to cost a few hundred dollars to get the rest of it together. Most of the cost is the box. My first instinct was to toss the box and just release a bagged version of the game, but I’m not sure about that. I feel like the game loses some of it’s charm when bagged. I found cheap(ish) boxes thought I could use them to brand all of my small card/board games.
The alternate method of funding is Kickstarter.com. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s a site where users will create a project and offer rewards for anyone who funds the project. There are a lot of really awesome projects already on there and it’s a great community.
I really, really hate asking anyone for anything. I never ask for help unless it’s absolutely necessary and although this isn’t quite asking for money, it’s close enough to make me feel a little weird about it. But, I think that if I can get a handful of people to contribute even just a dollar… it’s a step towards getting this game made. Contributors will get the game as well, so it’s also like a hopeful preorder system.
I also decided that if this is successful, I’ll keep it up. I thought that I’ll put a new game each month and give cool rewards to anyone who helps me out.
I’m curious what people think of this. I partially feel like it’s asking people to help fund my odd creative needs, but on the other hand it might be the next step in producing the games I’ve been working on. I think I’m going to try it. Worst case scenario, it doesn’t get funded and nobody has to pay anything. That doesn’t sound so bad.
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.