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Tradewars ~ Homeworld launches today!

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questccg
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Onwards toward the 8th Stretch/Social Goal

We're moving forwards as the campaign nears to a close. We've unlocked 7 Stretch/Social goals - and we expect a NEW "Update" to share some more awesome news about another "Reward" tier.

It's not like we are expecting a "Bait & Switch" but more that the design of a new expansion has "crystallized". As such we want to OFFER it to existing backers and maybe attract some new ones. We're trying to be as transparent, because even I was not aware that the design would come to fruition so soon.

I had been talking about it for months now with Mike and Stan - but some elements of the expansion still had not became concrete ... until now.

So if you are following the campaign, expect more exciting news about the game... and the twist in direction this "expandable" game is taking!

Cheers.

questccg
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Well it's now officially up for voting

The latest Update now included a vote link to the survey for the "Tactical Core". This is a breakthrough in deck-building, since no game features a game board as a way of introducing tactics into the game...

Trying to innovate... Please share with us your thoughts.

Cheers!

questccg
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Here is more about the custom board

Here is the link to the KS Update:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/outerlimitgames/tradewars-homeworld-...

Please feel free to check it out - and especially cast YOUR vote for how you think we should move forwards with this expansion.

Cheers!

The Professor
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AI Development

For those of you, my fellow designers, who have ever thought about developing an AI for your game, I can tell you from first hand experience that it's a.) a lot of work and b.) a labor of love. Morten Pedersen, of Automa Factory fame invited me to write a guest thread for his blog, which we'll post later this week. I'll circle back later and provide the URL.

Cheers,
Joe

The Professor
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The guest post for Morten's blog

As promised, here's the link: https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/65733?commentid=7179585#comment7179585

Enjoy, and as always, I value your feedback.

Cheers,
Joe

questccg
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11 Stretch/Social goals unlocked!

Well our campaign has unlocked 11 Stretch/Social goals. If you want to get in on the action, consider pledging today or tomorrow as we are in our LAST 48 hours of the campaign!

We've still got a couple Stretch Goals that are available such as the Battle Front Scenario (which adds +36 cards to the game) and a box upgrade (which I will not reveal unless the Battle Front goal is met)...

But we're giving amazing value and you get a whole whooping amount of cards, scenarios, dice, expansions, minis (if you choose those), etc. For the price of those rewards, you can choose how much you want to spend. Heck a $29 USD base/core game set comes with all the Stretch/Social Goals. It's an amazing value... Or if you want nicer custom dice and another expansion or you want minis, you can upgrade to get those too - by choosing the $39 or $49 pledge levels.

Anyways for those who participated, thank you. Weather it be helping along the Social Goals, or sharing the campaign with friends, or even pledging a reward tier, we greatly appreciate the support.

Cheers!

questccg
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Last chance = 6 hours to go!

This is your last chance to get in on the action for "Tradewars - Homeworld". We have over 850 backers and are just shy of the $40,000 USD money mark. Our last stretch goal is better quality boxes and gold foil for the logo... Nice little additional perk that shows our game is quality made thanks to the backers.

So remember only about 6 hours to go! Cheers...

Rick L
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Will there be a way to get

Will there be a way to get the board an minis as an expansion later? It all sounds cool to me, but I don't know if I can get my wife to play it with me if it's a tactical battle game, but as a deck builder I think I can get to play it more often :)

questccg
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Tactical Core will come sold separately

I'm not sure about the Tactician reward - this features boosting starships with "bonuses" and there are only 20 starships included.

The "Tactical Core" will feature 60 miniatures and feature a full size 18" x 18" Tactical board. This will be purchasable separately.

If you want a card-based experience, I would say choose "Vanguard" at $39 USD. It's all cards and dice and features the Planetary Expansion which is a nice additional module to vary play (and add more strategy to the game).

Cheers!

Note: I will speak to Mike and Stan, but we could probably include the Tactical Layer with the "Tactical Core"... Just bundle 20 tokens and add some additional rules. Otherwise the minis are the same - and rules just need to vary a little.

Obviously you CANNOT play BOTH the "Guardian Module" with the "Tactical Core"... These will be mutually exclusive. But again can help vary game play too (more replayability)!

Rick L
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Cool - I'm already set with

Cool - I'm already set with the vanguard, just been debating the rest but good to know I can get the tactical core later.

questccg
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To be real honest...

We're just tightening the "Guardian Module" and it has some pretty cool stuff... Some similarities with features on the Game Board and still some differences too.

I've asked Mike, Stan and Joe if we can BUNDLE the two (2) together. I really don't see why not... So I'm all for having both these two "modules" as part of the same "expansion", to me it makes total 100% sense.

We'll see what my fellow co-implementers think...!

Cheers.

questccg
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2.5 hours left to go!

Only 2.5 hours to get a product that has over 12 unique Stretch/Social Goals!!!

Even if you buy the "Explorer" version for $29... You're getting a TON of additional content for the price. You are probably saving yourself about $20 USD ... that's almost 40% off the retail price!

Anyways if you have time, check it out... No harm in looking!

Cheers everybody.

questccg
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Less than 30 minutes LEFT!!!

Currently there are less than 30 minutes for you or a friend to grab a value copy of "Tradewars - Homeworld: Exterra Edition". It includes ONE (1) WHOLE Expansion (valued at $20 USD) FOR FREE. Plus it features Player Game Mats in addition to an Solo AI Campaign for those who like enjoy playing games alone...

You're really getting your mileage with even the least expensive game perk at $29 USD.

Like I said - time is ticking and there's hardly any time left to get your very own copy!!!

Cheers.

BHFuturist
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Congrats!

With just a few more minutes left! I love the spike up you guys got today.

I got the Vanguard version but that is great, and can't wait to see it come in the mail.

I am so glad people got in on this and helped to get everything unlock.

Good job!

@BHFuturist

The Professor
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Big Thanks!

BHFuturist,

Thanks for your pledge and that of nearly 1,000 others making Tradewars a highly successful campaign. TWHW spent more than two weeks on the Top 25 Kicktraq list, making it to the #3 position to nearly the entire campaign having our card illustrations on BGG's front page, I'm simply elated!

Cheers,
Joe

kevnburg
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Congrats!

Congratulations on the successful campaign! I remember seeing posts about progress with TWHW here and it's nice to see it succeeding. I need to make an effort to check this site more so I don't miss these sorts of campaigns. I'm sure there'll be another update here once the game hits retail?

On another note: Could you talk a bit about the scope of publicity work you did prior to launch to get good numbers in your first 24 hours? I'm considering a Kickstarter for my game Robot Rumble: The Unpluggening, and I feel that the extent of publicity work needed is one of the bigger areas I still need to familiarize myself with. Information on your experience with that would be a great help.

The Professor
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Have your Crowd on Day 1!

kevnburg,

Thank you for the kind words. While it's very cool to have a second published game, I owe much of the credit to Outer Limit Games for both of them, through whom much of the marketing was conducted. As strong fans of Jamey Stegmaier, we did a ton of homework well before we launched our first campaign, ensuring that we had support via myriad Social Media outlets, including but not limited to Twitter and Facebook. For TAU CETI, it was several months in advance of hitting the "Launch" button at KS and not too dissimilar amount of prep time for Tradewars.

Once your game is in a solid state, get it play-tested and then register the game at BGG. If it isn't there, it doesn't exist...period. Next, make sure you have something to show others, be it a short video (I stress short!), great graphic design, and/or illustrations. Like a fine meal, people first eat with their eyes. The most important part of pursuing a Social Media strategy is engagement, meaning unlike a commercial which just plays on the air (TV or radio), you need to regularly and frequently engage with those who may be a future Backer of your game.

If the game is at a point where you have a decent prototype (not completely polished, but not arts and crafts level), get it to a half-dozen reviewers, especially those well-known in the community of gamers. It's fine to have one or two that are less well-known, but you'll attract more with known entities at the beginning of this journey. Again, stay engaged, accept feedback, and slowly build a "buzz" around Robot Rumble. Also, regarding the prototype, I can only say fine things about The Game Crafter who is out here with great frequency...they produce some beautiful prototypes which you can use for videos and play-testers alike.

From the game perspective, define what makes Robot Rumble different. For instance, during my interview at Origins last year, I had to prepare for the inevitable question from Eric Martin, "What makes TAU CETI different in the space genre?" To which I replied, "TAU CETI is the only non-scenario-based 4X Coop space game." Coincidentally, that remains true. The coop part is something that surprised everyone as they never encountered it before. They were familiar with the likes of TI3 and Eclipse, both of which are competitive in nature, but a "coop" game was something new to the game space (if you'll pardon the pun). Find your niche, describe similarities and differences between and among existing games and describe the fun. Believe me, if people can sit down to a game of Brass and have fun, the designer has done something remarkable. In short, be remarkable.

I hope this primer helps and I wish you all the best on your KS.

Cheers,
Joe

questccg
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Two (2) roads to travel

kevnburg wrote:
On another note: Could you talk a bit about the scope of publicity work you did prior to launch to get good numbers in your first 24 hours?

I see that there are two (2) roads you can follow. If this is your first game and you are an unknown designer... Well if you handle all the campaign alone, be ready to get less than 250 backers. Because that's typically what first time creator manage to get. But 250 backers doesn't mean your campaign is a failure - on the contrary it's a "stepping stone".

The idea is when you Kickstart your 2nd game, you will have 250 backers who already know you and might support you again IF they indeed liked your 1st game...

The other alternative is to "partner" with someone who has already KS-ed a game and make awareness of your game to their pool of backers. This is what I did with Outer Limit Games. I knew they had a pool of over 1,500 backers and we ended up with just shy of 1,000 in total.

As Joe says it, on Day 1 you want HALF of your funding goal to be met. And then you need Social/Stretch goals to fuel the fire (so to speak). It's only when you reach the last 48 hours and people see what a great deal they get if they decide to back the game, that's when another spike in backers might occur... So it's a combo Day 1 and Last 48 hours.

Going with a smaller Publisher may allow you to "partner" with them provided you have "invested" in something. E.g. You have a game with artwork - mostly what the Publisher needs to do is handle the campaign.

What I have learned is that it take an ENORMOUS amount of work to run a KS campaign - and that I would have never made it had I tried alone. There are so many aspects to the KS campaign, you need a Full-Time Graphic Designer (In my case Mike from OLG), then you need someone to handle all the shipping from China, know how to quote for China, manage the fulfillment warehouses around the world, offer Pre-Ordering via a service like Celery, interact with backers during the campaign, answer questions and build a FAQ, etc.

There is a 3rd road that you can travel and that is KS-ing with "The Game Crafter". Basically your goal is 100+ backers and it's a goal under $5,000 ... which makes it a very realistic campaign - with a bulk order for fulfillment and all manufacturing and shipping is handle by TGC. This will allow you to "get wet" without too many headaches.

I often mention this - because it would have been my avenue had I not connected with the Strickland's and Outer Limit Games...

Cheers!

Update: Another reason why I say "invest" is because if you choose to go it alone OR with TGC - you will need to have artwork being done. You just can't put out a "vapor-game" (something that will never be made) because of the Accountability of Kickstarter.

The point with partnering is "sensitive": some publishers (the smaller) ones may want something with artwork already - and all they need to do is focus on the KS campaign. Larger publisher may only want the "game concept". But from my experience, it is easier to sell a "game" than a "game concept". I tried Sell Sheets and contacted several publishers...

I think it has to do primarily with the SIZE of the publisher. You want to peek the interest of the publisher in some way or fashion. Sometimes it's a good game with great artwork, other times it's a great game with average artwork, etc. There are multiple combinations that may work.

kevnburg
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Thanks for the insights

Thanks for the insights. I am getting a better understanding of the process now, and I see a lot of value in securing a partnership or at least a dedicated team to help manage things. Will need to look into the Gamecrafter Kickstarting options.

The Gamecrafter's non-Kickstarter "crowd sale" option (http://help.thegamecrafter.com/article/143-crowd-sales) is another good lower risk one, though I believe crowd sales don't manufacture additional copies for a traditional retail launch; I'll need to think about how important the traditional retail distribution aspect is to me.

questccg
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TGC is all about planning

kevnburg wrote:
Thanks for the insights...

The Gamecrafter's non-Kickstarter "crowd sale" option (http://help.thegamecrafter.com/article/143-crowd-sales) is another good lower risk one, though I believe crowd sales don't manufacture additional copies for a traditional retail launch; I'll need to think about how important the traditional retail distribution aspect is to me.

Actually the key with TGC is getting 100+ copies of the game SOLD on the KS. Why? Because they give you the deepest discount at that marker. So say your game price is $30.00 and you produce 100+ copies, that means each copy will cost $15.17...

So it just means that your $30.00 copies will get a KS "discount" of say $5.00 (which is pretty normal and acceptable). Your MSRP would then be about $30.00 (and 50% = $15.17)...

You can still get a SLIM "margin" on the $15.17 units (maybe make $5.00 or so...) and still allow you to sell direct to stores. Although TGC price points allow this - it will be near impossible to use distribution. The TGC price simply doesn't allow for the correct markup to make this happen.

But still you can sell to online stores, big FLGS that have both an online and brick & mortar stores, and even offer a $1.00 pledge for stores to contact you directly concerning buying for retail...

So it's very possible, but you have to PLAN for it. For example, if you sell 80 units, if you buy 20 more, you'll get the 100+ discount ... so this means you need to BUY "over the 100+ mark". Or after the campaign is over STOCK of 100 units at a time... What this means is that you would order 100 units to get the best discount. Then you can sell to stores from that stock and offer them the 50% retail markup.

Cheers.

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