Dark Web Kickstarter launching July 11, naming contest for Evil House

Dark Web has had some delays but we are finally approaching launch time! The game will contain 128 beautiful ASCII-art cards with a basic pledge level of $14. Because there are so many cards and the price point is so low, our funding goal will need to be fairly high, for us anyway: $3,000. This means we will need 100-150 backers just to fund the game so any help getting the word out will be greatly appreciated.

Additionally, to keep the funding goal at $3,000 instead of even higher, the game will start out using mini cards rather than standard size playing cards. Our first stretch goal at $4,000 will be to increase the cards to standard playing card size, but of course the game plays just fine with the mini cards. If the game funds we will likely also raise enough to increase the card size, but you never know.

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"Evil House" naming contest

In addition to this, we are planning to launch another card game with the placeholder name "Evil House" in October. This is to deliberately coincide with Halloween as the game is about a young woman named Claire searching for her missing brother James in a haunted house.

Evil House is a cooperative push-your-luck game for 3-5 players. Players take turns as Claire each round, and the other players are the friendly spirits of her ancestors (the house belonged to her now-dead grandparents). At the start of the game each player chooses one word, and they will use that word for the rest of the game to communicate information to Claire about what is in the house. For example, if their word is "beware" and they draw a ghost card, they might say "bewaaaarrre...." like a ghost to communicate to Claire what it is they drew.

Our two front runners for the name of the game are "Claire, Beware!" and "House of Whispers" but we aren't in love with either of those. If you have a name suggestion let us know, and if we end up using it you will be credited in the rule book!

Dark Web coming to Kickstarter in June!

Prototypes of Dark Web, the latest title from Spider-Goat Games, have been ordered and will be sent to reviewers soon!

Dark Web is a game of computer hacking in the 1990s. A small band of freedom fighting hackers team up to take down the evil Moore-Ally-Good Corporation. Search the servers and download as much data as possible to incriminate them, but be wary of digging too deep as you might be locked out! And also be wary of your "teammates", as there may be a corporate spy among you.

The game consists of 128 mini cards featuring some very lovely ASCII art. A few samples have been included below. See the game's page for more!

New Games in the Works. Playtesters Needed!

SGG will be publishing a new game very soon but first we need to confirm the fun. That means we need playtesters! We have three games which we are currently mulling over to decide which is best and, above all, we need to be sure the next game we publish meets our quality standards.

So what are these games? All of them are card games roughly the size of Martial Art, each with its own unique play style and theme. These games don't have official names yet and those below are placeholders, so if you have an idea for a name then by all means let us know!

If you are interested in playtesting any of these games for us then by all means let us know!

ASCII Hacks

This is a game of computer hacking set in the 1990s. A small band of freedom fighting hackers team up to take down an evil corporation. They only meet anonymously over computer networks to conceal their identities, but there's a problem -- one or two of them might be corporate spies!

ASCII Hacks is a game of hidden player rolls and pushing your luck. Search the servers for priceless data files to incriminate the corporation, but be careful not to go too far and have your connection shut down! And above all be careful who you trust as you may not all be on the same side.

Below is some preliminary artwork for the game.As you can see we are using ASCII art, hence the name!

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House of Whispers

England, 1940. Claire and her little brother James flee the bombing of London to stay in their late grandparents' abandoned mansion in the countryside. During their first night in the house Claire wakes to find James missing. As she begins to search for him she realizes the house is haunted, but luckily the spirits are not all unfriendly. The ghosts of her ancestors are there to whisper into her ear the dangers that lie ahead so she that may avoid them.

House of Whispers is a cooperative game in which one person plays Claire and the rest play the friendly spirits. As a spirit, communicate what information you can to Claire. As Claire , you must make the right decisions to avoid the terrors of the house!

 

Viking Raiders

Set in the Viking Age, this game is about raiding and settling. Raid different regions of Europe using your longships and skilled crew. Collect resources that allow you to upgrade your ships, explore the world, and build settlements throughout Europe!

The following is not our official artwork, but it will give you an idea of the layout of the cards.

That escalated quickly!

Wow, the Kickstarter campaign for Martial Art really went out with a bang! This game far exceeded our expectations in the interest it generated. Judging by the way it accelerated over the last few days, it's obvious this game has hit on something that's highly desired by gamers right now.

This is the funding graph for Martial Art. Notice how it never really levels off and how it spikes big time at the end. In contrast, below is the funding graph for Gangster Dice.

This is what is called an inverse bell curve. It surges at the beginning, levels off in the middle, and spikes again at the end. As you can see, for the middle 2 weeks or so of our campaign we were getting virtually no pledges. Many Kickstarter funding graphs look like this.

So why did Martial Art stay so strong for so long and finish with a bang? To be honest we're not entirely sure, but we have a few ideas.

  1. Never underestimate the power of beautiful art As I've said before, art is king. Art is what draws people to your project. I asked a lot of backers what it was that drew them to the game, and I don't think a single person mentioned "gameplay" as the main allure.
  2. We ran BGG ads for the entire campaign Board Game Geek ads have again proven themselves to be worth the money. If they didn't convince people to back right away, at least people were being made aware of the game.
  3. We engaged our backers as much as we could People appreciate attention and are drawn to passion. Every one of us at SGG displayed that passion for the duration of the campaign, whether it was demoing the game to friends or chatting with folks on tabletop game forums.

Hopefully we can build upon this game's success and continue to learn and grow for future games. For now though, we have a card game to produce. =)

Martial Art on Kickstarter: A summary, and what we have learned

A welcome surprise

The Kickstarter campaign for Martial Art is nearing its halfway point and we are blown away by how well it is going. We have already passed 150 backers (Gangster Dice only had 120 total) and financially we have greatly exceeded our expectations.

Because we now have a much better grasp of the monetary aspects of Kickstarter and game publishing than we did when we were producing Gangster Dice, the success of this campaign should allow us to continue to put out great games without having to dip into our own pockets to fund the projects, which has always been the dream.

A quick rundown of our backer summary shows just under 250 copies currently pledged, which means it is not unreasonable for us to think we might end up with 500 or more by the end of the campaign. This means we may be able to print 1,000 copies or even more and see if a distributor wants to pick up the game and get it into retail stores.

What are the main takeaways?

We have learned a few things about what to do right in a Kickstarter campaign by the surprising enthusiasm we have been met with for this game. These are very good lessons to learn and are important to consider for the future.

  1. Art is king - It cannot be stressed enough that the presentation of a game is at least as important as the gameplay itself. While Martial Art saw extensive design, development, and playtesting in an effort to make the gameplay as compelling as possible, ultimately it has been the art that has attracted people to our project. Resurrecting some of the most beautiful art pieces of feudal Japan was one of the best decisions we ever made.
  2. Low-priced rewards make it easy to pledge - If you are browsing Kickstarter and you see a game that catches your eye, it is much easier to put down $14 to a fairly unknown publisher for a small game than it is to shell out $50 for something large and complex to produce. Going back to point #1 about the art, I have spoken to many backers who aren't nearly as interested in the gameplay as they are the art. When they get their games and find out that Martial Art is as fun as it is beautiful (at least that's what we think) then they will be that much happier.
  3. People respond well to passion and appreciation - In the board game industry, where games are created to bring people together around a table, it pays to get folks emotionally invested in your game. It also pays to show them your genuine appreciation for the faith they have put in you to deliver. Before the campaign I was in touch with some great groups of people to playtest the game and get their opinions on development, and they sure didn't disappoint. On that note, a big thank you to everyone who helped us with this game!

As I write this there are 16 days left in the campaign. It will be an exciting experience to see what Martial Art can achieve by the campaign's end!

Martial Art Kickstarter Campaign Launches June 21!

We at SGG are very excited to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for Martial Art will be launching on Tuesday, June 21. We have been blown away by all the positive feedback this game has received from our play groups and we can't wait to share it with the world!

Martial Art official page (check out the cards, they look amazing!)

Below is a link to our first official review. One of our playtesters described it as "a light card game that is easy for casual gamers to learn and enjoy, with enough strategic depth to challenge hard core players as well." This is exactly what we had hoped it would be, as the game was originally designed for gamers to play with their significant others or as a filler.

Martial Art review by Guild Master Gaming

How do you resolve a tie in Martial Art? You can use the method in the rules, or...

How do you resolve a tie in Martial Art? You can use the method in the rules, or...

A Look into the Future
We love making games. We love it so much that we already have more games in the works for our next project if Martial Art is a success.

The frontrunner is a game in which the goal is to survive a haunted house. It is a small card game, the same size as Martial Art or possibly a bit larger.

The story for this game is a girl named Elizabeth and her little brother James have gone to stay in their grandfather's old house. The first night they are there, Elizabeth wakes up and James is gone. She must now search for her brother in a haunted house filled with dangers that are slowly coming to life.

This haunted house game is currently our best prospect for a third game. We have had other ideas and made other prototypes but this one is the strongest so far. We hope to bring you some good news about it in the coming months, but first we must get Martial Art printed. We hope very much that you will support us in our efforts to produce this game!

Martial Art Prototypes Printed and Sent to Reviewers

The prototypes for Martial Art have arrived and they look amazing! They are very colorful and feel really good in your hands. It's strange playing with such nice cards after months of using sleeved card stock. :)

Each art piece is a historic Japanese artwork printed in high definition on 300 GSM cards. 300 GSM is the standard for quality playing cards.

The cards were printed by makeplayingcards.com. We hadn't ordered from them before so this was partially an experiment, and they more than lived up to our expectations.

Also under experiment was the decision to forego card borders so that the art could go all the way to the edge of the card so as to allow the fullest image possible. As you can see, this worked quite well.

The rule booklet also turned out wonderfully and the print quality is exceptional.

We managed to pack all the rules into a tiny booklet that fits nicely inside a tuck box, without leaving out any crucial details. The only downside is that we could not fit card clarifications or FAQs in the booklet, but we will post them on this website.

The Kickstarter campaign will be launching June 12 or June 19, depending on how quickly the reviewers get to the game. We hope to see you there!

All Games are in the Mail!

All the Gangster Dice games are on their way to backers! To everyone who helped make this game a reality, thank you so much!

When you receive your games and check them out we would love to hear from you regarding component quality, artwork, gameplay, or anything you would like to discuss. Please feel free to post your thoughts or questions here on our website, on BoardGameGeek or on our Facebook page.

We will be launching more games next year and possibly an expansion for Gangster Dice, and we really hope you will put your trust in us again to deliver a solid game. Thanks again!

Games Assembled and Ready for RinCon!

We spent Saturday assembling the Gangster Dice games and we are very pleased to announce that they will be ready for RinCon this weekend! Anyone who comes to this local Tucson gaming convention may pick up their game here. We will also be demoing Gangster Dice from 11am to 3pm in the main room!

After RinCon we will begin shipping the games out to the awesome folks who backed us on Kickstarter. US backers can expect to receive their games within a couple weeks!