Lines of Fire on Kickstarter – 48 hours left!

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.

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Kickstarter is going really well.

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.


Lines of Fire – Now on Kickstarter!

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!


Monthly Game Project / Lines of Fire / Kickstarter

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.


Zombie game

I came up with a concept for a really simple Zombie vs. Human game a few weeks ago. I was trying to think of a business card style game (very few different card designs, with a lot of reuse) and somehow the zombie thing hit me. As an idea, it felt like a perfect fit. I then immediately thought of a title for the game; World War Z. Of course, within just a few hours I saw a trailer of a film with the same name. So, no title for now.

We playtested the game for the first time tonight and it turned out really awesome. It’s a super simple mechanic, which, on the first two games worked out really well. It was also a lot of fun, which isn’t always the case on the first trial run. A ton of unplanned scenarios came up and we added to the rules to cover all of the bases. Zombies won the game both times. First, they won by far and then the second game was much closer. Still need to tweak it to make it more balanced.

I’m going to keep prototyping the zombie game. Right now it’s a barely modified Scrabble kit. The only change was a little black marker, some dice and chips. Tomorrow, I’d like to make a nicer prototype to get a better feel for the game.

Other than that, not a ton going on. We’re waiting on the first set of Cafe Catastrophe cards to arrive on Monday. Can’t wait.


The most boring part of game design

For me, there are a few really exciting parts of game design, some average parts, and then there is one REALLY boring part. These kind of go in chronological order too.

EXCITING PART
The original idea is my favorite part. The moment you feel it click into place and realize that it all might work out.. is so awesome. It might be a mechanic or theme, or combination of both, but it just feels really good to know that you’re onto something.

The first prototype is a lot of fun too. I use cheap decks of cards, index cards, scraps of paper, or even computer printouts for early versions of games. Playing the game in this form is super important. It looks like crap and the mechanics need to speak for themselves, draw you in, and most of all.. work. I’ve saved most of the early prototypes of my games. Some look exactly like the final games and others are just cards with words. Those are my favorite.

The first playtests are great too. There is a level of excitement in those initial games that’s hard to match. Especially if everything is working out.

It’s all downhill from here.

AVERAGE PART
Creating artwork… more tests… researching materials to try and self produce the game… all of these are necessary steps and aren’t that bad, just a little tedious and frustrating. It’s like a “make it or break it” stage where most of my games are currently sitting. I’d love to continue but I’m not a real artist and I have very little money and very little time to get out and playtest. It’s easy to get stuck here.

But if you can get through all of it, you’ll make it to the worst part of all!!!!!

BORING PART
Typing out the rules to your game.

I hate this part so much. Think about how boring it is to read the rules before playing a game. Writing the rules is 1000X worse. In most cases I’ll have the rules written on various sheets of paper and I’ve also partially forgotten how to play. I’ll sit and stare at the paper until it all makes sense and then slowly type it out. It’s the most boring thing in the world.

That’s where I am with Cafe Catastrophe. I forgot some of the exact rules, but luckily found my notes from last year. I assumed the rules were lost and figured I could rewrite from memory. So glad I didn’t have to do that though, because there was one really fun bonus rule that I completely forgot. It’s not a gamechanger, but it definitely adds a little fun to each round.

As of tonight, I’ve typed up all of the rules. Glad to have that behind me. The next stage is to send the game off to print. I’ll be sending it off within the next few weeks and keep you posted about what happens after that. (SPOILER: it’s the promo stage, which is my weakest area…)


Almost satisfied with Cafe Catastrophe

Cafe Catastrophe is a fun little restaurant management game (doesn’t sound fun) that I’ve been working on for a while now. It’s almost complete. I’ve finished all of the card art and I’m now refreshing myself with the rules. I may or may not have written them out on my old computer. Can’t fully remember, and definitely need to start writing everything down.

But while I wait to see if the rules pop up, I’ve been rewriting what I can remember. I’ve got most of it down, there’s one gamechanger that I’m stuck on. Whether the cards are dealt face down or face up. It changes things drastically and I know that both weren’t considered before. Maybe an alternate set of rules or an all new game.

Anyway, the game will be ordered as soon as I find enough money, and I’ll definitely post more as we get closer to some real news.