Blank Samples, printing proof, and Gen Con
7 days ago
– Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 09:55:04 PM
A few hours ago a box arrived at the office. At this moment I had a small heart attack as I began to worry I had gotten the specification of the box slightly wrong.... Perhaps it was an offering of Toblerone from the manufacturers?
Luckily though, another box arrived shortly after!
With the panic over I started to open the packages.
For anyone wondering, yes, we are about to go through a whole load of photos of things that are still wrapped up.
Inside the triangular box was pages and pages of print samples, in fact there was a lot.
In terms of scale, for the following 3 photos you will see a 1 meter (39 inch) ruler for scale.
I'm starting to realise why it took me so long to prepare all the files...
It looks like it will be a long night as my flight to Gen Con leaves in just over 12 hours and I need to get this all signed off before I leave.
But let's not forget the other package...
For anyone wondering how big the final box is, hear is a comparison with Eclipse.
If you aren't familiar with the manufacturing process, these images are of the white samples of the game.This simply means they represent the final game without anything printed on them.
I don't have any of the non-printed items yet, so we're still waiting on the dice, bags, wooden tokens and so on, but there's still a fair amount in the box already....
So there it is! A good chunk of The City of Kings in sample form and now I need to get to checking it. I will try and put out more photos and go through things in a bit more detail when I return from Gen Con, but I am really short on time today.
Overall I would say I'm really happy with where we are at, we're keeping to the timelines and the samples are looking good.
I will be arriving in the US tomorrow and heading to Gen Con for the entire weekend.
I do not have a booth and will not be exhibiting, however I will be there with copies of The City of Kings and Rising Blades. I'd love to get a chance to have some of you playtest Rising Blades!
On Thursday I will be scouting out the event and get an idea of how things work, I'll then make a post on Board Game Geek in The City of Kings forums with details on how to find me and when.
I've been working on a new range of T-Shirt and will be wearing them all weekend, so look out for The City of Kings characters and you'll find me.
Surveys, production and Rising Blades
21 days ago
– Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 04:27:53 PM
It has been an uneventful few weeks for The City of Kings, the focus has been on checking proofs and signing things off which doesn’t leave me with anything exciting to talk about. I’m hoping we’ll start receiving some samples in the post soon and as soon as I do I’ll let you know!
Even though the surveys closed about a month ago I still have 200 people who haven’t filled them in, so I ask you, if you’re one of the 200 please fill it in now. I want to make sure you get your game and not having your details is starting to cause problems. If I still don’t have your address soon you will not be in the initial delivery.
You will have received several emails from BackerKit with the link, so please have a look.
Whilst there isn’t much to say, I can confirm at this point we’re still on track and everything is going smoothly. I’m eagerly awaiting our first complication!
I've also started paperwork with our 5 fulfilment partners to make sure they are ready and waiting when we need them.
In 2 weeks time I’ll be heading to Gen Con, in September I will be at EGX and DragonDaze, and in October I’ll be running a designer night at the Coffee and Dice board game café in Bournemouth and heading to Essen. I can’t wait!
Please note, at both Gen Con and Essen I wont be exhibiting but I will be carrying a copy of the game with me to show people.
For anyone following me on Facebook, Twitter or Board Game Geek you will have seen that I just announced my next game: Rising Blades.
Rising Blades is set in The City of Kings universe, 5 years before the events of The City of Kings board game but is not an expansion, it does not require the original game to play.
I will be slowly releasing details in the coming weeks so if you’d like to learn more, please subscribe to the listing on Board Game Geek. You can also help feedback on ideas and give me your thoughts in the Work in Progress thread where I'm discussing various parts of the game.
That’s all for now, hopefully I'll have a bigger update with some pictures in the next couple of weeks!
Chapter 4: The great machine
about 1 month ago
– Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 12:21:15 AM
As our adventure continues I find myself tired but excited, are you ready for the next chapter?
I am pleased to let you all know that The City of Kings is finished!
All design work has been completed, all stretch goals added, backer tiers signed off and playtesting is over.
Over the past 4 weeks I have worked over 450 hours, I have played The City of Kings 84 times, I have processed countless images and endless copy and I am pleased to say I am finally happy with where we are at! So now I’m going to sleep for a bit as the great machines over in China start warming up.
Now don’t get too excited!
There is still a huge amount of prototyping and manufacturing testing to be done, but at least it’s on its way! In fact, I’ve even started receiving the first proofs.
I thought it was about time I shared with you the 5 factions that were created thanks to the World Builder tier, I’m really happy with all 5 of these and hope you are too.
The Knights of the Façade
The Madara Collective
Boskel’s Deep Tinkers
Name that item!
Back in April I asked you to name 2 items that would be in the game and wanted to share the results.
Thank you to Christopher Clarke for suggesting Serpent’s Scale and thanks to QuoteStar for suggesting Tasteless Boots.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been working with Whatz on the quick set up trays and thought you might like to see some photos.
The quick set up trays are looking much better, the material is much stronger and we now have lids! Just please keep in mind the contents of the tray in the photo is still old prototype parts.
In 48 hours’ time, I will be sending the final files for the rule book to the printers and whilst we are still doing final editing and graphic updates I wanted to share with you the latest files.
I know a few people wanted to go through them one last time before I send them off and we’re running out of time so this is the last opportunity you will have to feedback on the rule books.
If anyone has any spare time I would be grateful for you to read through them and leave any comments, questions or issues you find here. Once we get to Friday any mistakes or issues you find will remain in the printed version of the rules.
To keep this simple, you can access the files here:
Please leave your comments and feedback in the BGG thread!
So with all that said, things are going well and currently I’m still confident in our February delivery.
The hard part (for me) is over and now we just have to hope manufacturing, shipping and fulfilment goes smoothly.
What could possibly go wrong…
Keep on adventuring!
Gen Con, Prototypes and all the things!
2 months ago
– Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 10:49:39 PM
It's been a couple of weeks since the last update as I'm trying to slow them down a little, there's a long way to go until delivery and I don't want to bombard you every few days!
With that said, what a crazy couple of weeks it has been and I hope you're ready for a big update!
Gen Con 50
I'm excited to say I will be at Gen Con in August! I really didn't think this would be possible but thanks to the amazing reception The City of Kings had at the UK Games Expo I had some opportunities arise.
At this point in time I wont be exhibiting and don't have any specifics planned, I've been asking around to see if I can find a table somewhere to run demos or at least do a show like I did at UK Games Expo but it's early days.
If anyone has any connections or ideas feel free to drop me a line.
Either way, I will take a copy of the game and look forward to meeting as many of you as possible!
A few hours ago a parcel arrived from China with our first sample of prototypes, I should make it clear this is the first of many and these images are only samples.
Action tokens and trackers
The first image shows the action tokens and trackers, you'll notice these now have slightly straight edges to help reduce rolling should they get dropped.
The blue colour is the tracker token and the other 4 colours are the player colours that will be in game.
Note. The purple is much lighter in real life but the photo doesn't show this well.
Fish and Item Parts
This is the final colour chosen for the fish and you'll see it now has a little fin, it's rather neat but my phone camera is the destroyer of all accurate representation it seems.
I'm really excited by the axe! For 2 years I've been using temporary prototype bits for our item parts and it's nice to finally have the finished product. I can't wait to get a pile of axes turn up!
Quick Setup Trays
This is a first sample of the quick setup trays, there are a few things I'm not happy with but it gives a good idea of the end product.
Note. All the tokens inside them are from the old prototypes.
I can finally get rid of the giant red and black standees that have been shown in all the photos as we're starting to get final versions of our transparent standees. They are much nicer looking!
Anti Knock Sheets
I'll put out some more photos of these in use later on, but I wanted to show people how transparent they are as I know a few people have been asking. So the top half of this photo is the character sheet and the bottom half shows the plastic sheet over the top.
There will be many more of these updates in the coming months but it's exciting to be putting the first one out there!
The stories, scenarios and quests in the game have now been through a third editor and I believe we've gotten to the final text (huzzah!). It's been a very long and painful process but everything is coming together.
You may be interested to know there are over 20,000 words of story/lore printed in the game (that's not including anything in the rule book).
A few people have been asking about the updated rule book and I wanted to cover this in the update. The changes to the rule book are mainly English corrections and graphics updates so I've not been prioritising putting this together for release. There will be no major rule changes or anything that will impact the playing experience. I will update again once it's been fully updated.
What are you actually doing?
A few people maybe wondering what's I'm up to so I thought it would be nice to cover this a little today too.
Since the campaign has ended I have been working a minimum of 14 hours everyday and often more, the only exception to this was travelling to and from the UK Games Expo. There are hundreds of tiny things that need to be signed off and worked on before the game can go to print and I have no intentions in taking my time.
Once the game is at the printers I'll rest, until then every waking moment is dedicated to getting this done. Here are some of the things I've done in the last couple of weeks:
- Worked through 4,800 suggestions submitted by editors for the text in the game and rule book (there's over 50,000 words to get perfect).
- Graphic Design for various elements such as the back of the character sheets and creature templates.
- Working with the world builders and game designers to finish their contributions.
- Playtesting the game designer scenarios.
- Preparing files for print - Planning punch boards and collating hundreds of components.
- Putting together spec documents for the manufacturers and working with them to create prototypes and samples.
- Chatting with retailers and distributors, seeking opportunities to print on a larger scale.
- Sorting taxes and accounting - There's a lot of paperwork to do to make sure all the money goes through the correct processes and we don't get stung by tax issues.
- Concepting elements for the "invasion" game so artwork can begin.
- Writing and designing the art book (it's just about finished now!).
- Setting up ISBN numbers and Barcodes.
- and a lot of other boring stuff!
Hopefully that gives you a bit of insight to the things going on, I'll update again in a couple of weeks and hope you all enjoy your week.
Important info: Pledge Manager closing + UKGE
2 months ago
– Wed, Jun 07, 2017 at 11:54:17 PM
Hey everyone, in order to receive your copy of The City of Kings I need you to fill in a short survey with your shipping details. This was emailed to you through Backerkit a month ago, and several reminders have been sent since.
If you do not complete this survey, I can't ship your games to you so please make sure you do it. I will be closing the survey on the 9th, so you have just a couple of days left!
UK Games Expo
I'm back from the UK Games Expo and what an amazing experience it was, thank you so much to everyone who came and said hello!
We had 196 come and play the game and hundreds more take part in the large demos and shows.
It was pretty non-stop and I'm very sorry to those who didn't get a chance to play! As well as the crowds we also had a lot of press and reviewers looking for a chance to play and I'm sure there will be some write ups and videos coming out soon.
I'll try and write up a blog post about the event soon with more photos and some thoughts but it's now back to the hard work! I'm pleased to say our manufacturers have started work on the prototypes and I'm hoping to get something to show you all soon.