Hey everyone! Aly and I have been looking at the next step for Ars Victor. I want to share what we've been working on, and hopefully get some feedback as to our sanity.
Kickstarter is a "crowd funding" site. It lets independent creative-types fund projects with lots of small backers. Backers are usually rewarded with whatever the project produces -- in this case, a copy of Ars Victor!
We think we can run a Kickstarter project to fund a print run of Ars Victor, and give copies of the game to our backers. How big of a print run depends on you!
I've put together a quick poll on Google Forms -- please let us know if you'd consider backing us on Kickstarter!
Poll: Ars Victor Kickstarter
Read on to delve into the depths of our madness...
|He was considering a KS project for a new bridge.|
What... is your quest?There is no question in my mind that Ars Victor is a fun game. Our reception at Gateway last year and our first review confirmed it. The next steps? Exposing more players to the thrill and tension that is Ars Victor.
To make that happen, we want to do several things:
- Print MOAR Copies! People keep asking us how they can get the game. While you *can* print-and-play, it's not easy: it's a big game! On top of that, we've run out of all our demo units, and can't even send copies to reviewers.
- New Art! After a lot of input, we decided that we want to get new art for Ars Victor. The existing art is functional, but it could be better. Instead of relying on my inept art direction, we're looking to hire a professional to do it right.
- Tournaments! The launch tournament really highlighted how fun Ars Victor is in a competitive setting. We want to run that event at local game stores wherever we can, and give away copies of the game as prizes.
|So... Much... Peril|
There is much peril!We have a good idea of what we need to do. I'm getting quotes from our printers, receiving proposals from artists, and planning a tournament schedule. There's a lot we can do, and I think a Kickstarter project can fund it.
hand-assembled by deranged gamers
(pictured: stunt gamer, not actual)
Printing OptionsWhen it comes to making more copies of Ars Victor, we have a couple of options:
- Print on Demand. We can currently print copies through Victory Point Games, the awesome folks who did our first demo run. They're set up to print individual copies (by hand!) The downside: it costs us roughly $60 to ship each game. That makes it really tough to fund anything, if we're giving these away as rewards.
- Volume Printing. It seems like the minimum run for any of the "big guys" is 1,000 units. When we hit that point, the cost-per-game goes down... dramatically. Now, that doesn't mean we need 1,000 backers -- we just need enough backers to pay for a minimum run. We don't make any money, but we end up with a garage full of Ars Victor games.
Getting New Art
We've published our Request for Proposal on two web sites: BoardGameGeek and Game-Artist.net. I'm also reaching out through other connections. We have received several proposals, but we have yet to choose one. We're still open to receiving new proposals, so if you know anyone, send them our way!
Either way, we're getting a good idea of what we can expect to pay for the new art. Bids have started at ~$1000 and gone up. It seems like there are enough artists willing to work on some sort of contingency schedule. Finding the right artist that fits in our project is going to be critical.
|We will build a giant wooden rabbit|
and fund it on Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter Plan
Aly and I have done a bunch of research on Kickstarter game projects. When we compare our social media stats (Facebook friends, views & likes on BoardGameGeek0 with those of similar projects, it looks like we're at the bottom of the ladder. We could probably fund a small project, but it's going to be challenging to hit $10,000.
The great thing is that we can structure our project with different levels of success. This lets YOU, our loyal fans, choose how much of this project we can fund. Is there only enough support for a couple dozen Print-on-Demand copies? OK. Is there enough demand for new art and a large print run? We can do that, too!
Basic Project Goal: $2,500
This is what we need to raise to accomplish the bare minimums. It would get us another half-dozen demo units. This will let us get out to more reviewers, and run tournaments at local game stores and conventions.
Rewards: At this level, we're using Print-on-Demand to get our Premium backers a copy of the game. We should also be able to ship a "Print-and-Play Upgrade" kit to our Regular backers.
Stretch Goal: Art
Depending on the proposal we accept, our next goal will be $5,000 or more. At this level, we can pay to have all of the art redone by a professional game artist. We will be able to get art that can sit comfortably on the shelf next to titles by Days of Wonder or Fantasy Flight Games.
Rewards: We're still using Print-on-Demand, but we're shipping with beautiful new art! I'm creating a Strategy Guide to give away to backers of all levels. We're also creating new, unique unit counters for our Premium backers.
Stretch Goal: Volume
The final quote from the printer will tell us what this target is, but it's going to be over $9,000. Probably over $15,000, actually, but I just wanted to say OVER 9000. When we hit this goal, we're able to order a 1,000 unit print run.
Rewards: Things go crazy nuts. All the Regular backers now get a copy of the game! For the Premium backers, we go apeshit, and give them tons of extra stuff. We're looking into stained wooden boxes, engraved dice, hardcover rules and strategy guides, extra counters... even an extra copy of the game!
|What kind of miracle are we talking about here, exactly?|
Think We'll Make It?
I'd love to get your feedback on our plans. If we get enough support, I'll try to fund as much of the art as possible on my own. If this is a horrible idea, then I'd love to know before we start. :)
Please fill out our Kickstarter poll, and let us know what you think!