The Road to Kickstarter #1
INTO THE TENDER WILDS WE GO
The road to Kickstarter has had a couple of false starts. No failures quite yet, but I did start building Kingdoms of Immacus way too early, and Zadarra got sidelined so Weavlings in the Wilds could start our Kickstarter Journey. Now that I'm about a month into the process, I can give some insight as to have it's all going.
I WAS NOT PREPARED
Illidan agrees. Even though I made some great progress on Zadarra's campaign, I was not working with any scheduled timeline in mind, so I kinda worked at my own pace and worked through the process. This time, I'm aiming for a summer release, and with April now at my heels, I'm not so sure I can pull it off and give myself enough marketing time. Needless to say, I've been hustling.
With limited me time, all my free-time efforts have gone into the campaign. I've managed to chip away at the beast, but the sheer amount of labor hours needed to do this is daunting. I don't think I can good work ethic my way to better timelines. I'm overwhelmed, and every little step forward in progress seems to be halted by one minor issue after another. Lately it's assets.
ASSETS COMING OUTTA MY @$$
I can't believe how many assets I have made over the course of the month, and I still feel there's loads more to do. Assets for banners, frames, the rulebook, the game box, the extra goodies, the pictures that convey information, the, the, the, it never ends! Keep in mind, most of this chaos is self-imposed. I don't need to make new assets to convey some information, but I feel personally, that's the direction I need to go if I want backers to give me the time of day.
At this point, you're fighting precedence. The moment one creator does something fancy, that becomes the norm. Then you gotta do it, and part of that is the assets. Sometimes I'm pretty bothered by the amount of non-game work I'm doing, but I think this is the nature of Kickstarter now. The Kickstarter page is very much part of the product you're trying to sell. Gotta have nice assets.
STRETCH GOALS STRETCHING MY PATIENCE
Initially, I didn't want to do stretch goals. Stretch goals are just code for more work for you to do. After looking at pricing and what we can do with Weavlings in the Wilds, I'm convinced stretch goals are the only way I can make Weavlings in the Wilds look the nicest it can possibly be.
Part of the hurdle with the stretch goals is the change of the box. Originally I wanted a cheap tuck box and keep things simple, but now I'm eyeing that really nice One Deck Dungeon-sized box, and I've talked myself into it. That means I had to redesign the box, make content that would justify that size, and build the project from the ground up.
The other stretch goals I'm working on is two expansion packs, more art, and maybe a Shadow Weavling mode? I don't know, that one needs more testing before I can commit to it. The physical appearance stretch goals will come directly from whether there is enough interest to deck the game out with better quality cards, a better box, and linen finish etc.
EXPANDING THE GAME WITH EXPANSIONS
I've settled on two expansions for the game (maybe one more if there is a re-print). Zadarra's Baubles and Brews will add 12 new trap cards, which are pretty darn fun to play with if I say so myself. You'll be able to mix and match these with the base game to deck build a little bit. Minor deck building, but this was something I wanted to toy with any way.
Star-touched Predators is the bigger one coming in at 21 cards. 2 new Beasties ( 8 cards each, 16 cards total) and 3 new Events. The Events mimic the base game (the milling needs to be there) with one bigger change to the sunlight card. In addition to the cards, there are 3 new abilities. Devour, which is an upgraded Chomp and a Beastie-exclusive ability for each new Beastie. I think the abilities scale the difficulty nicely for those who have mastered the base game. The expansions complement the base game nicely and the Star-touched Predators expansion uses mutually exclusive Beasties and Events to make the game feel different. There's nothing dramatically different, that's purposeful. I want to gauge how people receive this game before I go pulling the rug out of core mechanics for the sake of expansions.
THE PATH FORWARD
I'm all about my checklists. I don't always stick to them, but they offer me a nice organization of my thoughts. This week's goals are to finish up the game box, the rulebook, the expansion packs, and get some sketching in as well. I want to be able to send the game off to print to the Gamecrafter, so I can see how it all looks printed out. Rulebooks are one of those touchy components that look so different on the page than in real life. Even though the font is a "normal" size for Zadarra's rulebook, when printed it looked almost comically big, so I need to shrink that. Something I only noticed once it was printed.
Once the game is printed, and I receive it, then I can take the weight, get some logistics quotes, and then reach out to manufacturing to get some final final quotes on the game. I got the file preparation document from the manufacturer, so barring any major setbacks, the big boy goal is to get the final files to the printer as the Kickstarter is running, and I have a better idea on what stretch goals we're going to hit.
If the printed Gamecrafter version looks good, then I'll print more and send them off to preview/re-viewers and see what the reception is from that crowd.
A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE
One interesting side note is now that this Kickstarter has consumed my life, I have a small glimpse of what it would be like putting more time in? Doing this full-time? Something in between? As much work as it has been, it really has been a labor of love. It's so satisfying to work on something, check it off your list, and move on to another fun thing. Check back in with how I feel after a few more months of this. I know full-time board game work is the dream, it's just an extremely heavy lift to get there.