Friday, August 31, 2018

The first public Legends of Novus

I had the opportunity to meet with an individual today who wanted an early copy of LoN to use as a gift exchange with someone in Denmark.
I love the concept of a blind gift exchange to send something to someone elsewhere on the globe, and was very glad that I was asked to help this person with a one of a kind gift to send.
They won't get it for quite  some time, but when they do it will help with the chance for a truly random blind playtest/review from the recipient.

Here is a pic of the first game in existence for someone other than me,  exciting moment!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Updating Timelines

It has been some time since I reflected on my game development timelines, so now is the time...

What is done now:
  • Legends of Novus V3 Prototype... The game is fully playable in its current form, but very expensive to order individual units (approx. $80 USD plus shipping).  Next goal for this game (other then constant playtesting as time permits) is to demo it at FallCon on Sep 22nd
  • Duel of the Dragons is basically complete, with some finessing that could be done on Dragon abilities to balance out the power.
  • Both games registered on Boardgame Geek
  • Table booked for FallCon2018
What needs to be done
  • An important thing to work on for Novus is its Solo mode.  It is a proven, growing trend that I would be better able to serve players in if I could make this as an option.
  • Need to complete a How to Play video for Dragons and include in Kickstarter presentation
  • Finish the base video as well, including a brief introduction as myself and the company.
  • Send out personal letters with business cards.  This could be the key to initial backers as a personal touch, with a physical business card provided as well.
  • So much more than just the above, but the list is actually quite long if we actually 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The old fashioned way

Reaching out through social media, email, and video contact are all great methods to gain backers, and proven to work.
Today I made a commitment to send true physical letters to various game store  companies close to home, and some far South as well.  This was to help  get my business cards out to game stores prior to a KS release, and to develop relations and awareness with those businesses.
It is a small gesture, but with the direct letter and the business card included, with mention of why KS is important and how the money would be used, I do think its an important one.

I will send an update once I can determine how many people may have used the litter.  If sending out 40 letters means even 5 of them back the first project, then it is a worthwhile investment on creating and printing the letter.

The letter is below...

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Power of a Card

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to order some official business cards.
Originally I was just going to print them with each game order, and have them as poker cards.  Then one night I decided to look at a business card website and discovered a few benefits to purchasing from them.  The reasons are as follows:
  • Cost per card, even with embellishments, turned out to be cheaper than buying from GameCrafter or Drivethru cards.  It was $48 Canadian after taxes and shipping.  The other sites would be that price before shipping.
  • The embellishments allowed me to have a nice sheen on the front and a flat finish on the back.  This was ideal for highlighting my company logo/info while making the back of the card easier to read.
  • Vista had the option for a metallic finish on whatever parts of my card I wanted.  My logo happens to have a sword as a key component of it, which was the perfect place for a metallic finish.  I was very pleased with the finished result, which can be seen in the attached vido.
  • Giving out a business card at a con/event is handy as it actually fits in a wallet, instead of getting tucked into a game box and possibly never seen again.
  • Business cards are more commonly accepted with professionals as well, and is a great way to send out via mail to game companies.  Many business owners keep a business card folder and a poker card would not work there.
I am hoping these help gain some attention and make people look twice at the potential my game, and my company, will offer in the future.  Still a ton of time, labour, and investment will be needed to make this company work, but I am determined to make it a success (even if a minor one)!

Thanks for reading, hope you like the card!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Updated Box Art / Sell Sheet

After some edits and feedback I have updated the Back of the Box image for Legends of Novus.
Now it shows more recent card/gameboard files as well as component counts updated.

Still trying to come up with a slogan that makes people understand the differences in this game vs other fantasy games, something worthy of printing on the front of the box and using as the games "tag line".... really not sure what to go with at this time.

Today the Facebook site just hit 50 Followers!  After 6 months of development, image sharing, playtesting, and learning this is big accomplishment for such a new project.  The power of multiplication may start impacting the site (kind of like Instagram exceeding 300 followers now).  If each of the 50 followers had just one contact join in the next month then the count would exceed 100 (from other new joiners as well).
I am trying to showcase the game concerts and art in FB sites, Twitter, IG, and other avenues and hope this helps grow grow grow the following.

The next step is personal letters with business cards and sample game cards included.  This is a more expensive avenue, but the physical feeling of having a personalized letter, a shiny business card (with metallic sword finish ;), and a few sample game cards could convince game stores / owners to join the group, and may help gain KS backers as well.  So over the next few weeks I plan to create a list of game companies across US and Canada, create some letters, and plan to mail out by mid September asking them to join the FB group and the mailing list.

The game design battle continues!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

After Effects

Just when I thought I had most of what I needed to know under control, recently I discovered After Effects.
A fellow game designer (Chris Miles, Necromagis), showed me his KS video featuring distorted images / animations derived from his personal art for his cards and it looked fantastic.
My plan to keep it really simple was tossed aside, as I realized if I could spend a few days or a week figuring out this program I could truly amp up the KS video for Duel of the Dragons.
Nicula's art for the dragons is pretty awesome, so finding a way to animate them just a bit could gain a few more backers that are into that kind of commercialization.
And its fun to bring art to life!  A little frustrating at first trying figure it out, but still very cool.

I played around with the demon from Legends of Novus to test out some of the capabilities, and it is pretty awesome!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Its almost time to Kickstart!

Well, I've been working at two games for some time now, as you may see if you go through the chain of Blog posts.
In terms of time, it is actually very short compared to many game designers out there.  I am not sure if I have "put in more time" than any of them, but time is a matter of perception as it is based on productive and useful time.
Either way, it is almost time to Kickstart!  I've got the core design of the KS campaign keyed in now, with some cool images, identified reward tiers, and 4 levels of stretch goals.  In addition are the Gameplay video, the How to Play images, and a why to back entry.
Still need to create the actual Project Video, for that I need to spend some time playing with the photoshop video tool and find a way to make it visually appealing and still describe the game in less than two minutes.

For this game I want to do all of that stuff on my own, both for budgeting reasons and to really immerse myself in understanding how easy/difficult each of the tasks are.  Then when I go to prepare Novus I will know what I feel comfortable and capable of doing myself, and what I will need to reach out to others for.  With Novus, being a higher cost game with more components, it will also have a higher markup and can allow for additional expenses.

The long hours, the endless social media stream reading and participation, the need to remember Instagram posts and FB entries, watching out for BoardGameGeek, and then the designing itself is all very time consuming.  And then finding time to playtest and get others interested as well... so time consuming!

Fair warning to any aspiring game designers out there, you need to LOVE this hobby and this creation in order to keep up with it all!

The pic below is just an insert in the KS campaign story.  Much easier to modify those vs using the KS entry program.