So, in my ‘year ahead’ blog, at the Open Day in May, at Adepticon and in a few other places I spoke about the Kickstarters we’ve planned; both the projects we’re actively working on, and others that might come up in the next few years. I covered a few topics and asked lots of questions. There were some great ideas thrown around and as always, a lot to think about.
We have found that it is best to keep several options running at a time and keep investing in them all simultaneously, because some projects develop quickly while others find themselves running more slowly, perhaps because of technical difficulties like tooling or rules glitches. Back in January, I thought we might get four Kickstarters into this year (one of them being a mini-Kick for Kings of War with a small updated battle book rule set). I don’t think that four will be possible in the end; it feels like three will be more than enough for you and us to cope with! Originally we hoped to ship Deadzone back in June or July, and only as two shipments. It has ended up being three deliveries (ouch!) – the second has all shipped now. The team are taking a few days to recover and by the end of this week will be straight on to Mars Attacks.
However, we did seem to have a bit of success in September :)! Dungeon Saga (DS) got the most backers Mantic has ever had. That was really pleasing to see. I think we used a lot of our experience to position it to be as open to new backers as possible. It’s accessibility will bring people into miniature gaming (or it seems in many cases back into it – from when they used to play HeroQuest all those years ago!!)
The other pleasing thing about Dungeon Saga – obviously other than the nearly 6000 backers and +$1m total – was that the average spend was right down, over $100 lower than our “normal”. This means that the huge total was spread across more shoulders – the result: everyone still gets lots of great models and extras, Mantic is able to get on and tool a full range – but with the highest backer number Mantic has ever achieved it generally meant more people putting less in each. I am aware that backing a Mantic KS can leave people short of food and water and other such non-essentials but we said that we wanted at least a few of the KS to be lighter on the wallet and generally that seems to have been the case with DS. That said – I am aware of more than a few spectacular exceptions to this theory!
Thanks to everyone who backed it. We have a sensible amount of time to develop this game, and I would appreciate your feedback at every stage of development. As always Mantic will be putting out Alpha and Beta rule sets for testing and opinion. I have really high hopes that DS will become one of the staple products in every boy’s (and girl’s!) toy cupboard – a games with tactical play, great plastic soldiers and a challenging baord game – but also something it is a pleasure to take out and introduce new gamers to.
So, what else is going on? Well as usual, lots! If you want to hear the latest stories (and lots that I am not actually supposed to say but probably will!) then get along to the Open Day on the 29th November at the Mantic bunker. For those of you where that’s a bit too far to travel how about we do one of these hangout thingies online? Anyone have the technological know how to make that happen?
The latest thoughts are that revisiting Deadzone would be popular – giving us a chance to do the Veer-myn in a skirmish setting, and also revisit the first 6 factions – making sure each one has some hard plastic basic troops – which would help with you-know-what 🙂
And because this would be an expansion kickstarter it will be just an update set, not a game itself, so it should not be too heavy on the wallet – unless it goes crazy again, but that is in your hands not mine! I think this will be the next Kickstarter, allowing us to get on with tooling those hard plastics and Veer-myn asap. More on that soon. I would hope we could have some Alpha rules for Warpath out during that KS too, so you can get out your existing models and have a try of the wargame.
We will also do a quick play Deadzone guide and a reference sheet – and in a year’s time when it ships we could put out an updated rulebook with stats and info for every faction, plus any errata and other areas that need clarification. That would give everyone an updated game that can build on the solid base it has already got – and with quicker easier rules to get started an easier game to introduce to potential gamers. Finally how about getting a few more scenery sprues done to add to the Battlezones to add more depth and interest to that?
So if this gets you excited let’s have your ideas for the new units you would like to see for the existing factions (and ones that would work well in both the skirmish and wargame settings would be even better) and also send us ideas for what you’d like to see on the terrain side too. What is the range missing? What could it do with more of? Let us know in the comments below!
Finally, we have a great back story that is all about the Veer-myn outbreak on a dying mining planet and the large local Space Station, so we can to further develop the warpath universe too.
What else? Well, Alessio is working with a group of fans on Kings of War (so now is the time to let him have your ideas and suggestions for new units). We will look at getting the Abyssal Army, the hard plastic Abyssal Dwarfs and some of the missing units from the existing armies sculpted and tooled – and who knows what else if it goes further 😉 Anyone up for the Nature Army? I see a lot of these being scratch built.
For sure KoW will not be until 2015 and a few months in, but we’ll try and get on Deadzone by November-ish.
Ok, well that should keep us all busy for now – I am back off to play Mars Attacks where I am currently 2 down vs. my son!!!
Thanks for reading,
P.S My excuse for being 2 games down because somehow a gremlin got into the rulebook and caused a typo. This means in scenario 2 it says 6 Martians, but it should say 16! Fortunately we found it before the games were sealed (but after they were printed) so every game has an errata sheet explaining that, but I just thought I’d let you know.