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Battle Pencils | Trading Pencil Game

This will be my personal blog for all thing Battle Pencils, including my experience with The Pitch Project 2020. This publisher event has finally forced me to create a sell sheet for my game. In other blog entries, I will discuss my game's full battle system, why I designed the pencil layout the way I did, suggested set release schedule, etc.

Here is my most current sell sheet submitted to The Pitch Project:

Comments

This looks great! I hope you

This looks great! I hope you get some exposure for it.

Maybe a Minor Edit

Not saying this is necessary, just a psychological trick. Where it states "...if that player doesn't have any remaining pencils, they lose the game." ends in a negative. Okay for the rules, but since you're trying to market it, probably better to give a positive. Something like "...if that player doesn't have any remaining pencils, the other player Wins!"

Just thinking out loud.

Thanks. And that is a good

Thanks.

And that is a good point. Will change for the next version.

Maybe This...

"If your opponent has run out of pencils, you win!!!"

Personally...

I think it would be best to play like 5 rounds and the first winner to 3 wins.

WHY??? Because if both players have like 40 pencils the battles can go for very long. While I agree if you are in the business of selling pencils that may be good... But from a Game POV, it's always best to have a peak at the right moment (not too long and not too short). If it's too LONG the players will get BORED and if it's too SHORT people may get the impression that the game is too SIMPLE. In either case, the players would move on to ANOTHER game.

Again: "The first player to win 3 out of 5 rounds is Victorious".

Something along those lines... And instead of 45 ... Make it sold in packs of three (3). And offer them at a PREMIUM price point. Maybe like $5.00 each pack. I mean it's ONLY three (3) pencils...

Goodluck with this Game @Gregg...

Yes it’s a set of 45 pencils

Yes, it’s a set of 45 pencils distributed across 15 packs of 3 pencils (circle/triangle/square). Players can play with any number of pencils. As low as 1, but 3 or 5 seems to be the most common choices from blind playtesting.

Updated rules

I updated the sell sheet rules (in OP) to sound a little more informal with a mix of 2nd person perspective.

I also think I fixed the losing pencil's wording to not sound too harsh or redundant with the "end of game" sentence:

"If your pencil loses the battle, remove it from play and pick one of your remaining pencils to use for the next battle. If you’ve run out of pencils, you’re knocked out!

Keep battling until one of you knocks out the other player and wins the game!"

Peripheral Product Idea

A peripheral product idea for Battle Pencils would be standard college-ruled writing paper notebooks adorned with Battle Pencil mascots on the cover, and small battle numbers (and in later sets, symbols too) printed along the left margin of each sheet of paper.

You can play Battle Pencils anywhere, but you have the option to roll your pencils on a sheet of Battle Paper for chances at bonus power and abilities!

How it Works
Bother players roll their pencils on the paper at the same time.

If the end of your pencil that is closest to the left margin stops in between the same lines as an unmarked bonus number, cross out that bonus number and add it to your rolled number!

DIDNT MAKE TOP 50

I did not make the top 50 for The Pitch Project, so I won't be pitching this idea to the publishers of that event.

We'll see where I go from here.

I have updated the sell sheet

I have updated the sell sheet with crude images (I'm looking for an artist to update the sketches).

I am considering changing the current generic game name to PENAGERIE (pencils + menagerie) since you're collecting and battling pencils with characters on them. Thoughts?

Feedback

I absolutely love the addition of the "sketch" style drawings. They definitely fit in with the school-student vibe/theme and audience.

I'm not fond of the font choice for most of it, though. It seems alright on the sticky-note in the bottom left corner, but for whatever reason I don't like it on the ruled-paper background. It seems like a lot of text packed into a small space, making it harder to read.

As for the name Penagerie, do you think that would still work if you were able to go for some licensing deals with these? Personally I thought the name "Battle Pencils" worked well enough: it describes "what it is and what it does." Not sure if you need to go as far-out as your proposed title.

At first I thought ...

Oh no ... He wants to change the NAME!!! And then I was like... "Hmm... Maybe 'Battle Pencils' isn't the best of name...?"

Something came to mind. Your are "DUELLING"... So maybe "ANIMAL DUELS"???

Or checking on Thesaurus.com ... I came up with a couple interesting alternatives for "DUEL":

1. "Clash"

2. "War"

3. "Brawl"

Doing the same exercise for "ANIMAL" I came up with these:

A> "Beastly"

B> "Savage"

C> "Critters"

D> "Cattle"

Putting those together I get:

#99: "Savage Wars"

#98: "Beastly Clash"

#97: "Beastie Brawl"

And the winner is... ??? Given some synonyms and my own "thinking" ... That what I got! More below too following further reflection. Cheers.

#96: "Critter Clash"

I like kids code: "Are we going to 'Clash' tomorrow?!"

#95: "Savage Critters"

(Those are some that have just pop-ed into my mind...)

#94: "Carbon Duels"

A little more esoteric ... Graphite is a form of "Carbon".

#93: "Cattle Duels"

Maybe more "farmish"/Animal like...

#92: "Cattle Battle"

It's rhyme time! lol If others come time mind... "LEAD" as in Pencil Leads came to mind... But nothing as of yet (in terms of names...)

#91: "Cattle Draft"

This one is a bit "heady". Yes "cattle" = animals. But Draft could be like you are "drafting" something (using a pencil)...

#90: "Scribble Wars"

#89: "Battle Scribes"

As in "to transcribe" or people who write (eg. Scribes).

#88: "Animal Scribes"

I think this version is more understandable (animal vs. battle).

#87: "Ranch Wars"

#86: "Wrangler ???"

I like the term ... But have no clue what to pair it with...

#85: "Gaucho Marks"

This is a strong play on words... A Gaucho is like a Cowboy or herder and Marks ... Well the pencils make "Marks"!

#84: "Cattleman Wars"

Herding is the key... Maybe an abbreviated version: "Cattle Wars"...

#83: "Safari Duels"

This one is really original. Like animals like Giraffe or Lions are pretty good too.

#82: "Safari Wars"

This is a variant ... Instead of DUELS, I opted for Wars.

#81: "Safari Battles"

Another variant.

#80: "Zoo Keepers"

I like this one too... I don't have any variant ... But the NAME is one of my better suggestions.

Choice #1: I personally like "Critter Clash", "Safari Wars" and "Zoo Keepers" the best... So far those TBH are my best picks.

Expandability

I notice that a lot of questccg's suggested titles are connected to animals. But they aren't the only things that battle or compete.

Going in a different direction - perhaps one that can cater to a broader sense of licenses beyond animals and Pokemon-style creature combat...

  • Write Wars
  • Writer Fighters
  • Class Contest
  • Class Clash
  • WriTournament (this one's a stretch...)
  • Write Fight
  • Pencil Punchers
  • Pencil Powers
  • Draw Duel / Drawin' Duel / Draw n' Duel

The idea that this is a pencil that students will want to have anyway is a strength of this. I'd discourage you from linking it just to animals, because there are plenty of other types of opposing forces.

EDIT: as an aside, I typically stay away from words that could be easily-replaced by an insult or curse word. So maybe anything with the word "Class" should be replaced with something else...?

So sad... I really thought it was both a SIMPLE and FUN idea!

JewellGames wrote:
I did not make the top 50 for The Pitch Project, so I won't be pitching this idea to the publishers of that event.

We'll see where I go from here.

I don't know what their criteria was for "qualifying". But I thought that this game deserved a CHANCE. It's so "elegant" and "simple" ... It uses a tool that kids use in school every day. So why not during a break ... The kids break-out some pencils and "Battle" a couple rounds!

This reminds me a lot about "Tradewars" (before "TradeWorlds"). I sold about $800 USD worth of stock (I believe 30+ games) ... And then nothing more. It took me discussing with my Developer at that time (Joseph Pilkus III @The Professor) that he could maybe approach the designers of "Tau Ceti". Mike immediately took an interest and we were off-to-the-races.

Don't give up on this IDEA. You need to find the RIGHT person for this. A mom on the PTA board or a local fair in your neck-of-the-woods in LATE August (before school starts in September)...

let-off studios wrote:
...Going in a different direction - perhaps one that can cater to a broader sense of licenses beyond animals and Pokemon-style creature combat...

I agree ... This is a good direction too. "Battle Pencils" works in that vein... I would keep the name TBH.

Note #1: I don't know if you have a local Fair nearby during the pre-school months (August and September) ... I know of a mom who would sell "school supplies" at the local fair. She's quite the "hustler" and she used to make reasonable money doing so. Unfortunately I have lost touch with her and her family.

But knowing this... Could maybe interest KIDS at a fair (because usually there is not much for kids at fairs)... A Kiosk of Battle Pencils could maybe cost you a little and you could sell to KIDS. Maybe make one SET and sell 3 pencils for $2.00 USD. Pencils (standard ones) sell for $0.10 USD each... something affordable for the KIDS. It's still a BIG markup (6x) ... But they are SPECIALIZED pencils...!

In my neck-of-the-woods the pencils would need to be BILINGUAL. So I can't really help you much.

I think ... from what I understand...

You would need some kind of Notebook to go along with the pencils. MAYBE a "binder" ... And you could have each "combatant" on an insert you put into the clear pocket at the front of the binder:

https://www.staples.com/Staples-Standard-View-1-Inch-D-3-Ring-Binder-Bla...

That binder sells for $3.99 USD. Add a "combatant/character" in the cover's VIEW (Top of binder), it would be just a glossy sheet of paper. I know copies/print-outs of pages for the insert are not that expensive in bulk.

You could have each of the three (3) "combatants/characters" from your FIRST set (of 3 combatants). So you can convince them to buy the pencils and their FAVORITE "combatant" BINDER! You could make a COMBO deal!

Just some additional thoughts!

Note #1: Sorry, I forgot about COVID-19... This may not be the best year for Fairs and Flea Markets! But keep this advice handy, soon people with their vaccinations will be outdoors more and the Fairs and Flea Markets will open again. Who knows, maybe as soon as this summer! Just some perspective...

Note #2: Also those "binders" come in a pack of twelve (12) for $42.99. So all you need to do is buy in BULK at Staples, print some character sheets on some glossy paper and assemble them yourself...

I'd say that $3.99 per solo binder at Staples, means you can probably retail your own "customized" binder for $5.00. The challenge I am having is the PENCILS. I know you said three (3) symbols so three (3) pencils.

IF you could create FIVE (5) symbols and a SET of FIVE (5) pencils... Maybe that could sell for $5.00.

Making you combo deal $10 (blinder and 5 pencils). It comes as a premium but you are getting a GAME with the pencils, there are FIVE (5) of them and the custom binder with your FAVORITE "pencil character"... I think that to some it may be a bit pricey... But it's a PREMIUM product. Some kids will absolutely WANT it!

Just some food for thought. Cheers!

Note #3: If a family has a boy and girl... $20 for two sets of pencils and each getting a customized Binder... Is pretty reasonable. If you think about it. The whole "kit-and-caboose"...

Also about the "Binders"...

You can USE them as a PLATFORM to ROLL your PENCILS! So you put the binder down on a desk or table, and then you put your PENCIL above the top cover and drop it... And then it rolls down the Binder and falls onto the table (or desk)... stopping as it reaches the surface below.

Because binders are a bit ANGLED unless they are full ... But even then usually there is an angle... Just the pencil will roll slower...

Anyways you can "show-off the gimmick" for kids to see the pencils roll down and stop on the table below revealing the "value" of your "roll"!

This gives added value to the Binder ... While any binder will do, the cool thing is to have a "Battle Pencils" "Official Binder" to suit your character.

Best!

"PENCIL ATTACK"

If you don't like "Battle Pencils", my latest suggestion would be "Pencil Attack"... It's a bit more "PUNCH-Y"... This is in @let-off studio's direction (something more generic which allows more than just animals to spar).

questccg wrote:You can USE

questccg wrote:
You can USE them as a PLATFORM to ROLL your PENCILS! So you put the binder down on a desk or table, and then you put your PENCIL above the top cover and drop it... And then it rolls down the Binder and falls onto the table (or desk)... stopping as it reaches the surface below.

Because binders are a bit ANGLED unless they are full ... But even then usually there is an angle... Just the pencil will roll slower...

Anyways you can "show-off the gimmick" for kids to see the pencils roll down and stop on the table below revealing the "value" of your "roll"!

This gives added value to the Binder ... While any binder will do, the cool thing is to have a "Battle Pencils" "Official Binder" to suit your character.

Best!

Yeah, I actually already have a Battle Notebook concept. Each sheet of paper in the notebook can be used as a battle arena. There are bonus numbers and abilities randomly placed in some of the rows of the paper's left margin. Players roll their pencils on the sheet of paper; if the pointed end of a pencil stops in the same row as one of those bonuses, the bonus is applied to the pencil's roll for that battle. The better bonuses are in the middle "contested" section of the paper (to encourage pencils to crash into one another going for the higher bonuses)

I understand what you are looking for...

To "license" the idea to someone who will DESIGN and MANUFACTURE the pencils and handle the sales. But TBH I've never been able to just take an "idea" and "sell" it... As with any "business" it requires a REAL "commitment".

I know you have other "game ideas" too... I've seen some of them as you have advertised them on BGDF.com and asked for comments/feedback and such.

But TBH, I think you would have to BRING this game to market yourself. No one is really interest in the "concept" that YOU need to PROVE! That's why I was sharing "PRACTICAL" ways of testing the market. And the way I see how to do that ... Is instead of having YET ANOTHER "custom" component... Your "notebook" concept ... Is to go with something more ACHIEVABLE like my Binder concept. It would cost $3.60 USD to buy in bulk of 12 Binders and another $0.15 to print out a gloss 8.5" x 11" cover sheet and just place it in the binder. Then the cost is $3.75 and you can sell them for $5.00 USD. You make $1.25 USD per Binder.

Now I know $1.25 USD per binder isn't great ... But it's REAL numbers. And not some imaginary "licensing deal". If it costs you $1.00 USD to make a pack of 5 custom Pencils... And again you charge $5.00 USD ... You make $4.00 USD per Pack.

If you BUNDLE the Binder + Pencils, you make $10.00 USD or $5.25 USD in PROFIT. It's over 100% markup.

Again you'll say making $5.00 USD is peanuts. But if you SELL $1000 USD on 2-day weekend at a Fair or Flea Market... That means 100 SALES in two (2) days. IDK, maybe you have OTHER things to do with your life ... And you can't commit to two (2) days during a weekend...

The bottom line ... Is that you need to BRING this concept to market YOURSELF. If you manage to make some SALES... Maybe someone ELSE might notice and THEN you MIGHT get a "licensing deal" or a Publisher which has better distribution that your SOLO efforts.

I know, I know... Some designers are just able to SELL their IDEAS to Publishers who do all the work to bring the effort to TERM. From my experience ... That's never worked for me. I need to take it from IDEA to PROTOTYPE to PRODUCT and get it in the market ... And then MAYBE see IF some Publisher might want to pick-it up and resell it. The Fair or Flea Market are REAL VENUES. It shows that you believe in your IDEA and want to COMMIT EFFORT to make it succeed. Making $5.00 USD a sale in PROFIT is not too bad... And $1000 USD over a weekend is reasonable. It pays for a months RENT and FOOD. You have 3 more weekends in a MONTH to maybe make like $4000 USD in a MONTH.

Granted some periods are better for sales than others (Just before School or During Summer Holidays) ... But let's say you sell 6 Months worth and that on average you move about $4000 USD a month. That works out to be $24,000 USD a year. Again this covers RENT and FOOD (or your mortgage) and you have the ENTIRE week to work on other things (like your websites or other games, etc.)

The point to this whole comment is that YOU need to MAKE EFFORT. Small growth and PROOF of the concept (Kids like the game or maybe just want to collect and TRADE!) You've got a lot of room to manoeuvre with.

I say 6 months because Fairs and Flea Markets are usually closed during the Winter Months. But 6 months out of the Year they are open. And with reasonable EFFORT ... You can "squeak out" some finances and have the rest of the time to figure out "What's NEXT"!

If you look at things this way. Sure it's small potatoes... Until SOMEONE NOTICES... And says, YEAH we know you've been HUSTLING and trying to get this concept out to the kids. You've got some sales and you've proved the MARKET. We'd like to go National and help spearhead the sales of your concept in the USA (for example)...

But it's going to take YOU to MAKE it a reality. NOT someone else. If you get what I mean. From my experience this is the REAL way to make a concept WORK. Start small but dream BIG. And try to make it a REALITY in some shape or form that takes the IDEA and makes actual finances from it.

I know you're still Gun-ho about the "licensing deal" and it may happen but wouldn't you rather spend like 8 days a month SELL the concept and making REAL money that goes towards your family needs ... And then work on other things the rest of the week!

Sure beats most things that I know OF... Meaning I'd rather sell pencils on weekend and see how much I can get for them. And know that I've made someone happy because they spent $10 at my booth or table-space.

Cheers and I hope you do pursue this idea... Because it's simple and elegant ... And there could be a market for it!

Look at it THIS way...

If your FIRST Year has only two (2) Product SKUs:

1. The Binders with the Custom Covers and you can have BLACK, BLUE, RED and PINK binders (for girls and boys).

2. The 5-Pack Pencils

That's YEAR #1.

In your SECOND Year you can ADD a Product SKU:

3. Arenas/Notebook Separators

And this could be like 5 different "arenas" and "subject dividers" which could probably cost $1.00 USD to make and you can SELL for $5.00 USD and make some extra money from ALL the customer who bought into the FIRST year concept ... But have come back and NOW you have something else for them!

Not to mention in Year #2 you release a NEW set of 5 Pencils to buy and use/collect. So another $5.00 USD meaning that return customers could be looking at $10.00 USD to be current with the game!

TBH this could be a real business which generates some REAL revenue.

And making it a REALITY could help PITCH the project to other players in the business. If you can keep growing the concept from YEAR to YEAR with maybe ONLY ONE (1) NEW SKU per year... You've got a growing business with the possibility of re-occurring sales.

Cheers Gregg (@JewellGames) ... Just offering your some perspective.

Also ...

In Year #2 ... You can make up to $20 USD in terms of sales for those who want to "buy-into" the concept.

1. $10.00 for 2 5-Pack Pencils
2. $5.00 for the 5 Arena/Dividers
3. $5.00 for a "Custom" Binder

Or if there are several children in the Family... Some people won't like the concept... They'll think it's too Capitalist ... But I say offering something DIFFERENT to kids and parents. Something UNIQUE too... For ATM the only source to buy is from YOU.

Again another POV. Best.

And for all those critics "out-there"...

I am not driven by money. But IF we enjoy "working" with people like Artists, Illustrators, Graphic Designers and Fiction Writers ... Well it costs money to "contract" all these people out. So IF you want to continue in this business... You need to find ways to make "revenue". You don't have to make $100k a year ... But if you have a mortgage or a small family, you need to bring in monies to sustain your expenses and living.

Saying something like you can make $24k in about 100 days or less... Is just a way of approximating possible revenues that are REALISTIC and can be understandable.

So if anyone thinks that I am driven by money ... The answer is: "Yes, we all need to make money if we are expected to pay our mortgages, pay our car leases, pay for food, etc." And if you primary source of revenue is MAKING games... Well congrats to you... If you can make ends-meet. That is amazing and you are one super person.

We also have more projects we want to bring to market. Again more monies required to get the right people on-board and all the time and effort put into these concepts... IF we are not doing this as a "Hobby" ... Well then money needs to be "talked about" and put into the "equation" in: "How well can a concept sell and where can I sell it???"

So my goal is to convince everyone ... That if you have a concept YOU believe will work... PROVE IT. Don't spend 10 years of your life designing something that you know will never come to market. Spend a year or two doing that... And then TRY to see IF you can finance it and earn something with it.

That's the TRUE proof-in-the-pudding. Trying to make it happen... And seeing if you can be capable of making the concept work for you and your Family. We all have obligations... I personally think if you can MAKE something and make a LIVING off of it... You'll probably be more happy than if you work a 9:00 to 5:00 job each and everyday.

Again that's only my POV. Others may feel differently. Cheers!

Got someone to make the sell

Got someone to make the sell sheet sketches for cheap.

Here is their first draft of the game start illustration:

Wow those sketches look great for your Sell Sheet

Is this for the Sell Sheet? Or for the rulebook?? I think these are to replace some of the sketches on the Sell Sheet, right???

They look very good so far. Are they going to be colored or just black outline (to give it a more "sketched" out look)?!

Best of luck with the "concept". I didn't want to say "Game" because they are also pencils and so it sounds more like a "premium product" so I used the term "concept". Cheers!

I have updated the sell sheet

I have updated the sell sheet with the new sketches (and made a few other changes).

Better Text, Better Copy

I think your font choices and the copy you added specifically about licensing make this much stronger.

Dr. Lew mentions in one of his video lectures that "kids nowadays," don't create the stories themselves anymore. Instead, it's licensed properties and IP that children participate in. Like all the licensed LEGO bricks sets out there, a set of -Battle Pencils- would be infinitely more attractive to the younger student if it had characters they knew of and enjoyed.

I have young nephews, and I know that since they grew up with programs like "Paw Patrol" and "Pippa Pig" and more recently shows like "Teen Titans Go" they would definitely enjoy seeing the characters they know on their school supplies.

Added color to the pencil type symbols (and band).

I added color to the pencil-type symbols (and band).

Note: The "Lightning T" next to Erasuarus's 65 is the TIEBREAKER! ability. His 65T would beat (instead of tie) any 65 without a T next to it.

Not shown here is the AVENGE (A) ability. Any number next to an A is temporarily boosted by 10 power during the battle after losing the previous battle only.

A complete sell sheet overhaul with color

Excellent Revisions

The sell sheet is looking ace, Gregg! Nice work. :D

I am potentially changing the

I am potentially changing the name to "Petcils" to be more family-friendly and unique. This also is more universal for kids that just want to collect their favorite Petcils and not actually battle with them.

The publisher could include "Battling Pencil Game" caption with it if desired.




Battle Pencils logo (with abstract pencil) for reference:

Hmm... Not sure about that!?

This clearly signals that the "pencils" are made to be PETs. And the logo with the PAW just adds to the confusion. I know you were not 100% certain about "Battle Pencils" name.

My idea would be to name it "PENC!LS".

IDK about the logo or the stylized name (like your "Petcils" logo). That's for you to figure out. Maybe you don't need the image portion, just the name.

I'm just trying to offer you something more clear and understandable. TBH for me, the name "Petcils" make me think that it's a product for animals like Pencils for Pets. I get you wanted the collectible aspect maybe reflected in the name... But I don't think "Petcils" is the right name for it.

On the other hand "PENC!LS" might be more intuitive. Just sharing some of my thoughts on the matter... And I know you wouldn't have posted about this name if you didn't want "feedback"... So those are my thoughts...

Cheers and hopefully you can figure out the best possible name for your Product.

Not A Unique Direction

Apologies in advance if you don't want this kind of direct criticism.

Personally speaking, (as in, this is all my individual opinion)I think your recent move to Petcils - although the name is a clever play on words - is a move in the wrong direction.

  • The concept of the battling pencils is removed from the game name, which initially told us "what it is and what it does."
  • It now limits the licenses that are amenable to the name. For example, super heroes - licensed or otherwise - are no longer consistent with something so close to animals.
  • Your game is now considered just school supplies with an animal theme tacked-on, and the game aspect is no longer obvious. If anyone manufactures Pokemon or Yu Gi Oh pencils, you are likely seen as a knock-off of them even when they lack your battle concept.

I do agree that it does seem more family-friendly. Can you explain what you mean when you say this is more unique? Maybe that's where I have the most issues.

Again, this is strictly my personal opinion and I'm ignorant of your thoughts on why the change should happen. Maybe I just liked the original concept much more than the direction you're now headed, and it's all on me.

Well Hey

Looks like questccg beat me to the first bit of feedback. :)

Well I understand his angle...

The "Battle" may be considered "too confrontational" and parents may NOT want to encourage their kids to be playing "battle-oriented" games. EVEN if that is the very trend of today. Why do I say this?

Because Marvin (from the NerdLab) has his card game "Mind Bug" supported by Richard Garfield. Here is a KS link for those who are curious:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nerdlab-games/mindbug-first-contact

So I understand WHY(?) you might want to separate the pencils from the battl-ing.

But still I thought something like "Carbon Duels" might be a good alternative, it's like "carbon" (lead) and "duels" (inferences battles). Again I'm not telling you to use this name...

I like what "@let-off studios" said ... And I don't think "Petcils" is really leading you where you want to go (Honestly).

I personally like "Battle Pencils" because the nature of the game is explained. Who cares about those pacifist parents who won't buy the game for their kids. If a lot of kids in school start collecting and playing, well maybe they'll be the "late adopters" in the bell curve of NEW and EXCITING products.

One thing that I thought about was the amount of rounds to be played to win a victory. Also the number of pencils required to purchase is another factor. Why do these two (2) aspect "bother" me???

Because it's for kids. Which means it needs to be priced around $5.00 USD. For what??? Maybe three (3) pencils. But this sort of breaks the information on your Sell Sheet which states SIX (6) pencils. It also seems to lean towards too LONG of a game for kids with short attention spans.

So you would have to invest $10.00 USD to get six (6) pencils and play in a way that doesn't bore the players. That is a bit pricey for KIDS.

Also kids might like "Clashing" together by rolling their pencils against each other... "Pencil Clash" is another one of my name ideas...

But I agree... "Petcils" is not the way to go (for certain!) Again this is my opinion but "@let-off studio" seems to agree too.

Hoping you can come back to us with some new and improved ideas by which to market your dueling concept! Cheers.

I'm just upset about how DIFFICULT it is to SELL this "concept"!

I don't get it... From the Sell Sheet alone "somebody" should be interested! This game is simple, exciting (clashing of pencils), has tension (who wins?!) and to me seems like something "inexpensive" kids can collect... I'd picture a VAST amount of editions with all kinds of concepts from heroes, animals, dinosaurs, popular cartoons (Bugs Bunny, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Lab, Spongebob, etc.)

I really don't get it. From all the designs I've seen over the years ... This "concept" seems to me to be the MOST "expandable" in terms of content and if priced well (at the $5.00 USD mark for maybe 4 Pencils) ... Should sell like HOTCAKES!!!

WTH is wrong with this World??? I'm truly disappointed with "Dual Dice" but I am more disappointed as this "concept" has not been picked-up by anyone! Sheesh!

Funny how most of us are designing games for kids ... and

There doesn't seem like many people making games for them nowadays. People are designing for 18+ crowd with a focus on Board-centric games that display large and very attractive looking center pieces for their games.

But a simple concept like rolling a pair of pencils ... is what? Too simple?! It's for kids dummies. Not strategic enough? It's about the thrill of competition not pure strategy. Not enough depth! There is strategy is which pencils you use to defeat your opponent.

And why is it there seems to be KS BOOM IN GERMANY???!!! What's going on. All the KS Backers seem to be hanging out in Germany and making their creator projects successes. It's like KS maybe 5 years ago (in the USA)!?!?

Meanwhile the USA is doing what? TBH IDK. They say people are staying more at home watching ads that say they can become rich by selling products on Amazon or being affiliates and all kinds of "get-rich-quick" coaches/personas who are telling people to forget working and you should focus on your own business to succeed in the USA nowadays.

It's insane. IDK what to think about it TBH! Sheesh what a World...

Thank you!

Thanks for all feedback and comments about the name. I'm not planning on officially changing the name per se, just testing the waters. Same with testing a change of the three default icon types to Burst/Shield/Star.

You can play with ANY number of battle pencils. So, if you and I agree to just play 1 v 1 and done (like secretly during class!), so be it. If we want to play 3 v 3, we can do that too. The example on my sell sheet just happens to have the kids agreeing to play 6because that's what the artist drew lol, but 3 v 3 (one pack per player) is fine too.

I think the lack of interest is my fault. I haven't made too many videos for Battle Pencils, nor attended conventions (due to life events and money constraints) or reached out to the right people. I'm best in person (or video) when I can explain more about the game in detail (its more than a gimmicky cheap cash grab), but haven't sold the pitch well enough to get to that stage.

I really need to improve the sell sheet to better convey that there is a balanced battle system under the hood that not only provides a fair, fast, and fun gaming experience, but also has a bit of strategy in there too. Yes, it's a game of luck, but more advanced players that strategize and play the best pencils for each situation should win more often than players that don't.

I don't recall whether or not I have done a deep dive here or other platforms on how I design the pencils, how the battle system works, and what the intended gaming experiences are, but I need to.

Btw, I know these new

Btw, I know these new products (a few days old) are sold as a toy, so it's a little more forgiving to have "Battle" in the name over a hybrid school supply/game, but its crazy how expensive these are and how little substance there is to the (RPS) game:

Battle Cubes

Something to think about...

While Duels are cool ... It would be interesting IF MAYBE you could play like 4 Players at the SAME time. Granted this would probably PUSH your strategic engine to it's limits and maybe need some kind of OVERHAUL (maybe only minor)...

I was thinking about "Pick-Up Sticks" ... And then my mind got me THINKING about something ELSE. Something BETTER!

And this lead me to see some kind of TURN ORDER in conquering a Multi-Player Game... How many 6 people or maybe 8 people or more...

This got me thinking to have a LARGER PLAY AREA ... And led me to THIS conclusion. Let me explain using 4-Players. So the four (4) Players each lay down their Pencils they want to "Battle" with. Pencils are rolled, clash and then produce each a RESULT. Now I said "Turn Order" which means there is a Player #1 who goes FIRST. What he/she does aim to do is KNOCKOUT one of the other player's pencil... If they cannot do this, they are eliminated. Then in Clock-wise fashion, the second (2nd) player gets to compare his roll value and determine who he/she will knockout NEXT. In the END there will be ONE (1) Player left STANDING and he/she is the Winner of that Round!

Some PRETTY COOL STUFF with this style of gameplay.

I know it is DIFFERENT from what you currently have planned... But it freaken opens up the game to more players "clashing" together. This IMHO is VERY COOL and definitely will resonate with more people.

It's a MULTI-PLAYER game that is 50% the same like your Duels... But there is MORE STRATEGY in this multi-player game in that you have do decide who to defeat each turn in the round and it can lead to more analysis in figuring out what is the best player to knock-out and pass your turn to the next player in the game.

Think about it... I would see TREMENDOUS potential in "clashing" with more than 2-Players and maybe even dare to go on BEYOND 4-Players too... Of course the round's playtime increases let's say to 2 minutes per player. So two (2) players can take 4-5 minutes which 4-Players can take 8-10 minutes to play.

Again ... Think about it. I know you have YOUR "Sell Sheet" ... I'm just thinking something with MORE Players could help yield more popularity. Heck maybe licensing Pokemon Brand and Monsters ... Would be an amazing way to go for the initial sets. Kids LOVE everything Pokemon. If I had to my say in how I would manage this concept, I would try to see how much a Pokemon License would cost. (Update: could not find a way to license Pokemons they are simply not sharing it any longer)

Oh yeah, I personally prefer "Pencil Clash" over "Battle Pencils" but again this is my personal preference.

Anyways the whole Pokemon licensed could be real COOL. But it seems like it is now impossible to get a license.

On another note, I had the idea that the LENGTH of the Pencil affects how the SCORING is determined. So when you use the pencil, if the lead gets thin and you need to SHARPEN the Pencil and that results in forcing you to sharpen and CHANGE your stats... This is something else that could be VERY cool for the CONCEPT. I know ... you may be HAPPY with the current design... But think of it as an exploratory exercise.

This way it would promote the USE of the pencils to get different STATS. If you want to discuss this further, just add a comment to let me know if this would be of interest.

No point in me pitching a more DYNAMIC STAT engine ... seeing as I don't know the details of your own. But I definitely have some (good - to me) ideas that could improve the quality of the pencils.

Cheers mate!

A different approach to battle

Let's for the sake of argument we agree that each pencil has one (1) symbol tied to itself at the very top, just below the character art.

Below it there are symbols six (6) symbols: circle, square, triangle, diamond, heart and star.

At the start of game, players choose their pencil. Everyone the rolls simultaneously their pencil to clash with the others.

Once this is done, the first player choose an opponent to defeat. If there is no one he/she can beat, they are eliminated and MUST sharpen their pencil. Same goes for the player who gets beaten!

Next player to the right clockwise is the next player whose turn it is gets to choose his conquest... Etc.

What this does is that NEW pencils are obviously more POWERFUL because they have all symbols. But each time you are conquered, you become less and less powerful until you require another pencil if one has no more stats...

Either way there is only one player left standing in the end.

This way playing costs something (sharpening of the pencil) and you are effectively permanently WOUNDED!

This is great because it leads to USE and obviously purchasing more pencils! Yay... The circle is complete!

I know this is your game, I'm just trying to make it more exciting for everyone... The publisher who picks this up now sees that there is a reoccurring revenue stream from my proposed enhancements...

I said 6 symbols because I don't know how many you can fit on a pencil... That would be your job to figure out the limit.

Maybe it's 8... So Spade and Clubs...

But you get the idea... You battling and losing makes your Pokemon weaker.

Tell me what you think. Cheers.

P.S.: I'm just trying to make your concept more appealing. I think your version may be too simple and not commercial enough...

I know, I know...

You will ask: "If you sharpen the symbols away ... How does it work???"

So here is the SECRET: if you have a circle and your opponent has NO circle, he/she is automatically beaten.

This is very important... Why??? Because when playing in groups (4+), players will strategize to figure out if they should beat stronger opponents FIRST and then improve their odds on "future" turns.

But the circle would be complete with this slightly more complex system of play.

Again let me know what you think... I'm thinking this version might be slightly more clever and attract more gamers.

Regards.

I will definitely need to

I will definitely need to playtest this extensively and see what the kids think. Appreciate the support and suggestions!

In the meantime, I just whipped up the structure of a new website (maybe 10% done) in the past 2 hours. So, it's not mobile optimized at all and the content is still a long ways off, but it does have the "how to play" information from the sell sheet: Battle Pencils

The website looks to be coming along!

I think it's good you've moved to a "webpage" format. Although the "Sell Sheet" was "nice" ... You need to abstract the METHOD OF PLAY away from the "Sell Sheet" and focus on DESCRIBING the game. What I mean is that usually Sell Sheets include a brief description of game play but not all the rules. Maybe that is why you didn't become one of the finalists (or semi-finalists) on "The Pitch Project"...

Maybe you should focus on more "general" explanations rather than in-detail game rules. Not a Step-by-step approach. More like something LESS explicative:

questccg wrote:
Each Player chooses a pencil per Round. Next all players simultaneously roll their pencil. The first player chooses which player he will knock-out on his turn. If he/she fails to beat any opponent, they are knocked-out. Play continues clockwise to the next player. He/she must also choose to knock-out an opposing player ... Repeat until there is only one player left standing. That player is the victorious player!

This was MY version... I'm just explaining that you can EXPLAIN the game without explaining ALL THE DETAILS. And you do this to build interest and Publishers may get curious HOW exactly does it all work. But the secret is to keep most of that information CONFIDENTIAL and NOT on the "Sell Sheet".

Like I said, take my advice "with a grain of salt". But I'm just trying to generalize a bit so that there are more QUESTIONS than ANSWERS on the "Sell Sheet". Notice I didn't explain about the "pencil sharpening" in my description of play. Just the general FLOW.

I think that is how you should design your webpage for the game. Keep it a bit abstract and don't expose the exact method of play immediately. Let people wonder a bit. This will avoid the disappointment that someone may read everything and think it is too simple.

Okay enough of the advice ... It's YOUR product and page. Do it as you see fit ... But just keep the ideas I've proposed in the back of your mind...

Cheers "@JewellGames".

Here's what I mean

This is a GOOD "Sell Sheet" that I've been holding onto for quite some time. This shows you "Mechanics", Components, the goal, the hook (something unique and cool...) Anyhow my point in sharing with you this Sell Sheet is that a Sell Sheet is not meant to describe the method of play. Probably if you manage to describe HOW-TO-PLAY in one page... Most people may think the concept is too simple.

Your GOAL is to SELL the game... NOT explain how it is played. Ideally a GOOD Sell Sheet would leave the impression of more questions than answers. What do I mean about this???

Take for example MY method of play:

Players sharpen their pencils each time they are defeated possibly making their pencil weaker for the next battle.

That would be MY HOOK! Why? Because it explains something INTERESTING about the game:

"So SHARPENING your pencil makes it WEAKER... Hmm... Interesting!"

But this leaves the reader wondering:

"Hmm... I wonder how the pencils get weaker???"

Asking therefore more questions about the game... And increasing their interest in the product/game.

This would greatly improve your sell sheet if you focus on SELLING the CONCEPT not explaining all the details as to how it is played.

Again I just want to help you out... I really LIKE this concept. If I was a SALESMAN, I would offer to Publish your game. But I SUCK at sales. Really not "my cup of tea", I'm a much better DESIGNER.

Best of luck(!?) with your concept. I doubt you need luck ... You just need someone with salesmanship who can buy into it! And more and more, I think ALL of need this too... Hard to find because they are so "independent"!

Yep, that is the plan moving

Yep, that is the plan moving forward. Going to make the website, and then distill the best elements of it down into a new sell sheet. For starters, the seel sheet will feature two battling pencils like so:

I think that seems like a good approach...

But I would offer you up another VERSION:

Show both pencils as seen, put in the middle a "Clash Bubble" you can make it Yellow with a Black brush outline and put on one side 72 and on the other 65. Lastly keep the "Crown" at the top of the winning pencil.

Why do I recommend this???

Exactly going to ABSTRACT the HOW and force people to WONDER... Ask themselves a question or two... Like okay somehow they "compare numbers"??? Without explicit references to the two "icons" and arrows going from one to the other.

Try to keep some MYSTERY. Don't give it all away at first glance. Wait for someone to e-mail you ASKING how the point system works.

Again this is YOUR game... Do as YOU see fit. I'm just recommending things because I honestly feel like it's a bit TOO SIMPLE with the existing rules. But the important part is NOT ME, it's what YOUR Publisher will think...! Think about what I am saying and see what you think is best.

Look my Dual Dice got almost 100 Followers BEFORE the KS. Out of that only about 10% became Backers (10/100). My lesson learned is holding back is good. The problem is afterwards when people KNOW the CONCEPT... Are they STILL interested???

That's something I cannot tell. That's the market who will decide.

But again I know you want to keep it simple so do as you see fit... Cheers!

Here's what I mean

Or something like that... I know what you are going to say: "Won't people wonder how we get both values???" The answer is YES ... But we explain this in the rulebook or rulesheet (if you can manage to get it onto a PDF page - two sided).

People are still going to think it's simple: 2-values, the higher one is the winner! It is very simple in its essence.

If you added like 3 MORE symbols and values to DOUBLE their amount... This could add more complexity. Why have 6 symbols??? Because I was thinking like in Pokemon: their RPS system has like 16 classes... So 6 would be better and then if you add the whole "pencil" sharpening to it, pencils become weaker as they trim off a symbol and its values. Adds value to the Publisher because there is the need to re-supply with a pack of 4!

Also ...

I noticed that each pencil has the SAME Order of symbols. I would propose that in a game where there are symbols to MATCH, the ORDER should be different. Let me explain "why".

Imagine you have Pikachu and his strongest symbol suit is STAR (Yellow). Then the opponent has a Bulbasaur whose strongest symbol suit is SQUARE (Green). The Bulbasaur's LAST symbol would by the SQUARE vs. Pikachu who last symbol is STAR.

Why? I know you kept them in the same order to make it simpler... This is what makes some characters stronger versus others. And because each symbol has 6 values... It's still possible to MAYBE win with a strong roll. And generally speaking you keep the STRONGER Symbols towards the upper-part of the pencil. So the TOP 3 Symbols are stronger than the BOTTOM 3 Symbols but still ... The player can WIN with the bottom 3 Symbols (it's not impossible).

You'd have to figure out a balance ... And I would suggest that each SYMBOL have one TOP VALUE (the highest for that symbol)... So that 6 TOP VALUES which improve the odds of defeating an opponent.

Moreover when you sharpen a pencil, if it loses a SYMBOL ... Then it is weaken because it no longer can battle all 6 other symbols. Which may not matter depending on what pencil each player plays.

But you should be getting that the COMPLEXITY of the design would take form ... However essentially it would be no different than your 2-player rolling.

Again these are just some thoughts.

I just wanted to demonstrate what could be done... I especially like thinking in terms of Pokemon... Because it's a way to see IF you can find someone for the pencils.

What I mean if you get a Licensing Lawyer interested ... He may be able to negotiate a deal with Pokemon Intl. because he is versed in licensing... And you can have a partner who is interested in getting the game OUT-THERE. Maybe even state that:

Quote:
"I (Gregg Jewell) am looking for a Licensing Lawyer who wants to bring to market a Pokemon version of this FUN game for school children..."

If you get what I am trying to promote...!

More on the order of symbols

While you may currently figure it's easier to keep them aligned... The truth is this is NOT factual. Why? Because if you go from weakest to strongest symbol ... This makes it easier for the kids to play and strategize.

Believe me there is a whole lot going on for just comparing two values. I personally like the Pokemon concept and/or licencing.

Let me know what you think as the designer... Best!

questccg wrote:While you may

questccg wrote:
While you may currently figure it's easier to keep them aligned... The truth is this is NOT factual. Why? Because if you go from weakest to strongest symbol ... This makes it easier for the kids to play and strategize.

Believe me there is a whole lot going on for just comparing two values. I personally like the Pokemon concept and/or licencing.

Let me know what you think as the designer... Best!

I'll be starting a Designer Series in January 2022 that will explain my current design philosophies while also soliciting feedback and discussion of different proposed concepts. So, I can bring some of these suggestions up. I'll be trying to build a follower base this upcoming year.

Btw, this is the intro video I am working on for that series (very limited animation experience):

The Making Of Battle Pencils Intro Video
Sound Warning!

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