Lyssan - Cry Havoc, and Let Slip the Printers!
Friends, I have big news for Lyssan today: We're headed to the printer. At very long last. The opening half of our bill is paid. Soon, the presses will be firing up, the die-cutters to punch out the cardboard pieces will be carved, and the molds for the castles made. And then Lyssan will start rolling from idea into reality.
Well, not quite so fast.
First, there's the Art Approval Process. Starting January 3rd, when the fine folks at Panda Games' Vancouver office return from their New Year's soirees and confirm that the payment cleared, they'll take a look over all the files for the game, and tell us everything we did wrong. This is too dark, we didn't leave enough margin here, are you really sure you want to push the art quite so close to the edges and on and on. We go back and forth until everything's settled. I'm told this usually takes between 10 and 30 days.
Once that's done, they hand-make one copy of the game, overnight it to me, and if everything looks right, I give them the thumbs-up and THEN things really start to roll. All told, from the first payment until the game lands in the Port of Oakland, I'm told to expect it to take 4 months, plus a bit more because Chinese New Years falls during the print run. After it lands and customs gives Lyssan the stamp of approval to come into the country, there's 5 miles between the docks and my loft. And from there, a little more than 400 copies go right back out. To you all!
And What Castle Glowers Down From the Horizon?
In the last couple months leading up to this, while Allan worked and reworked and reworked the graphic designs, I've had time to take a hands-on role in sculpting the castles. Frankly, with all the rush to get the art ready for printing, I had expected to need to delegate the castle sculpt, and in so doing, end up with a generic medieval edifice. An upshot of the endless map reworks that stalled us this long is that I got the time to do the castle model myself, and be certain it stayed true to the Dark Ages aesthetic that runs throughout Lyssan.
And there it is. The shape of this fortress is slightly precocious, as one would expect of the greatest citadel of an era. The curtain wall is thick and stiffened with towers. But there is only the single curtain, the back wall is curved to follow the line of the hill the fortress sits atop, and the merlons imply a fortress not yet grown to the giant scope of later ages. It's an edifice with one foot in the century to come, but still rooted in the designs of the wooden hill forts that dominate its age.
The layout takes elements from several 11th century ruins. Out of the many dozens of castles I looked into, the ones still up had typically been modernized, knocked down, rebuilt, burnt down, and built again. Whatever their 11th century core was had been lost. It seems the only castles that stayed true to their Dark Ages lines in central Europe were the ones that were knocked down once and left that way. There are bits and notions from Rotenhan, Old Sarum, and most of all Auerbach here: Castles that were mighty in their day, then left to gather moss after a fall.
You: Game Designer
And that is the art for the first of the backer designed promo cards! This is "Salvation", designed by Sir Norbert Barrion and illustrated by the ever excellent Marek Madej. With salvation, a priest can persuade a knight or nobles to set aside their swords and take on the robes of the clergy. It's an elegant mechanic to add new possibilities in the game, and a sneaky way to open a hole in a rival's battle lines.
One last bit of news before I head to my own New Year's celebration: Lyssan will be sharing a convention table with fellow Kickstarter David Fooden, and his creation Oh My God There's an Axe In My Head. Expect to see us at KublaCon, Origins, GenCon, PAX Prime, and Essen in 2012!
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Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
Squire - An invitation to the print-and-play beta of the game and your name & title recorded on Lyssan.com as a founding supporter. Included with all higher levels of support.
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Knight - All hail! You just pre-ordered the game, plus additional special cards that won't be in the standard edition. You'll have your copy for less than the retail price, and it'll ship out in the very first batch. (Domestic shipping included. International orders, please see the FAQ for details.)
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Baron - All of the above, plus an 11 x 14 print of some of the best art from the game, signed by the designer and artist. OR a second copy of the game, including the bonus cards. Your call.
Pledge $175 or moreYou selected
Sellsword - For the retailer: At least 4 copies of Lyssan. The actual number will be your actual pledge divided by the actual retailer rate. (TBD) As a bonus for being a kickstarter supporter, you'll get the promo pack of bonus cards with each copy to pass on to your customers.
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
Duke - Everything the Baron gets, and I'll ship you a pre-pre-release copy of the game as soon as funding completes. This is a copy like the first-wave beta testers use: The pieces are silk-screened, then laser cut from matboard. The board is silk-screened canvas. It's a few-of-a-kind artifact from the creation of the game.
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
King - As the Duke, plus deluxe wooden pieces for the game. Also adds laser-cut province hexes so you can build your own random maps.
- (60 days)