Dark Horse Expansion
It is hard to believe two months have passed since the last update, but time has really flown by. On the positive side of things, a majority of the recent prototype testing for the expansion has been fairly smooth. With that being said, we are moving to the next stage, i.e., "alpha" testing.
I have heard designers describing various phases of their project in different ways. I am a software engineer by trade, so I lean towards a more standard software/application approach to my design process and testing. So in that regard, my game designs have a conceptual stage where the general setting and basic game mechanics are decided upon. If that seems to gel, and I have the time, I will take the design to the "prototype" stage where play test materials are created and I begin documenting my mechanics more thoroughly. On a side note, I lean towards heavy documentation as I have many different designs and ideas in various stages of development. Most of my designs have full outlines, and mechanic break downs where I analyze what is going on in each design.
The final steps in the prototype stage is the first clunky play tests and basic refinement of the mechanics. When the smoke clears, and the game has been revised, it is usually a green light for the alpha stage of the project. I wont bore you with the other stages until we get there, but I did want you to know that the expansion is now in the alpha stage. My intentions are to involve the Insiders Group participants at this stage and together we will carry the design to the final "beta" stage. On that note, I just recently fired off some play test materials to a few select people for some outside feedback. Once I am comfortable with how the prototype mechanics are received then I will fire off play test packets to everyone involved in the Insiders Group.
Finally, I would like to offer you a sneak peek at some prototype hero/villain cards. Players will be able to hire these characters based upon their overall reputation in the game. The expansion adds a Reputation track and certain actions within the game will increase or decrease your reputation. You will notice that Bat Masterson has a white hat icon beside his image. This represents players needing to have a +3 reputation whereas Jesse James requires you to have a -6 reputation. Another interesting twist in the game is that players having a high or low reputation will suffer different consequences.
Lawmen add various interesting abilities that will help players, while Outlaws will be able to negatively affect opponents and also rob from various locations in the game, e.g., Train, Bank, Stagecoach, and Wagon Train. There is also a third type of neutral character that does not require a player to have any sort of reputation status.
You will notice that both character cards below have symbols at the bottom of the card. Thematically, the gun symbol represents how fast the character is with a gun and the cross-hairs shows how accurate the character is. The star-burst icon represent how tough a character is and improves their chances in surviving a gun fight. The combat system is simple, straight forward, and will not bog the game down.
Some players may be concerned that the characters will drastically change the play style of Dark Horse. In advance, I want to reassure everyone that the expansion additions allow players to control the pace of what is going on. If one group wants to lean towards Outlaws and gun fights they can do that. Other groups may decide to exclude Outlaws all together, thereby removing gun fights. It is safe to say that there will be various options and mechanics that players can experiment with in the expansion.
Things are starting to ramp up so the updates will be more frequent from this point forward. We have full intentions on firing up the Kickstarter campaign for the expansion sometime this Summer after the Insiders Group has finished.
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Collectors Card - I appreciate your support and everything counts to making this game a reality! At this level I will be sending out a collectors card. The card will feature artwork from the game and include a generic section on the back that thanks all the supporters from Kickstarter. Your name will also appear in the rule book as a Kickstarter supporter. All other reward levels include this reward. Please check out the "Reward Disclaimers" section in the project description for additional details on the rewards below and for info on international shipping.
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Local Gamer - This is the same as the $40 reward below but I will meet up with you somewhere in Colorado Springs, CO and hand deliver the game. If you would like to choose a higher level reward and you live in Colorado Springs I will reimburse you $10 or more depending upon the reward level. ****** ( EXCLUSIVE ) ****** All supporters at this level or higher will receive a limited edition character called "The Kickstarter". This card is for supporters (only) and there will be no other way to obtain this card after the project ends.
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Signed Copy - This reward includes one copy of the Dark Horse board game. By supporting the project here on Kickstarter with your pledge of $40 you are in essence pre-ordering a copy of the game and will not be charged unless this project reaches its funding goal. You will also receive all items listed in the $10 pledge. Once we have received the game we will ship your copy to anywhere in the United States.
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Expansion Preview - This is exactly the same as the $40 reward but you will receive a black and white copy of certain portions of the expansion game for Dark Horse. This reward also entitles you to take part in play testing the expansion, receiving play test emails, and working with the Knight Works group on the expansion project. Your name will also be listed as a designer in the rule book as well. Last but not least this reward entitles you to free shipping, in the United States, for the expansion once it is released.
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Two Copies - This reward is exactly the same as the $40 pledge but you will receive two copies of the Dark Horse board game. If you would like the games shipped within the United States you can specify two different locations if you add $10. If the games are intended to be gifts I will also include a short message of your choosing inside the box.
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1 backer Limited (19 left of 20)
Designer Chat - This special reward includes everything in the $60 pledge but also adds in a one hour chat with the designer of the board game. If you would like to email or talk with me about the overall board game design process, have me review any game ideas you may have, proofread a rule book or play test a copy of your game, or just chat, its your call. I will be accessible through numerous ways such as Skype, Cell Phone, Email, etc. If you would like me to spend additional time with you please contact me thru Kickstarter so we can discuss.
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Three Copies - This reward is exactly the same as the $40 pledge but you will receive three copies of the Dark Horse board game at a reduced cost. All three games will be packaged together and shipped to anywhere in the United States for free.
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2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)
Design Your Own Card - This special reward is limited to the first ten backers and includes everything listed in the $60 pledge. Everyone who takes part in this reward will work with the game designer to create their very own Action or Progress card for the upcoming "expansion" game. Your name will be listed as the card designer on the card and in the rule book for the expansion. You will also receive five copies of the specific card you design and a FREE copy of the expansion once it has been released.
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Six Copies - This reward is exactly the same as the $40 pledge but you will receive six (6) copies of the Dark Horse board game at a reduced cost. All six copies will be packaged together and shipped to an address within the United States.
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Lifetime Copies - This special reward includes everything you would receive in the $60 pledge but also entitles you to receive one copy of every game that Knight Works produces in the future which includes free shipping to anywhere in the United States. You will also be included as lifetime play tester. You will always receive a print & play test version once any game we produce goes beta. We will contact you whenever any of our new games are available to verify your address. All international backers are welcome to participate in this reward but will need to pay the actual shipping costs, with a $10 discount, for each game that is released in the future.
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4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)
Caricature - This reward includes everything listed in the $60, $80, and $120 reward, which means three copies of the game, plus I will add your portrait as a caricature to one of the Action cards in the "current" Dark Horse board game. I will work with you to name the card and come up with flavor text for that card as well. You will also receive five additional copies of the card with your caricature on it and an 8 x 10 FRAMED PRINT of the artwork on the card!
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1 backer All gone!
DELUXE REWARD - This ultra rare reward is limited to one person and includes a custom wooden boxed version of the game as shown in Update 10. This box will be delivered within 30 days of the project closing which means you and only you will have the Dark Horse game with finalized art two months before anyone in the WORLD. This special reward also includes the "Lifetime Copies", "Caricature", and "Design Your Own Card" reward! This means that you will be receiving three printed copies of the game when it is available, plus the custom wooden boxed version of the game. NOTE: If you would like to create your own reward that does not include the options above please send me a message.
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1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)
Game Night (Driving) - I will drive up to 200 miles from Colorado Springs, CO to hand deliver you six copies of Dark Horse and host your game night. Pizza, chips, drinks and other assorted goodies will be provided by me for up to twenty guests. If you would like me to talk about the game design process, play test some of your custom games, teach everyone Dark Horse, or just join in the fun its your call.
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0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
Game Night (Flying) - I will fly out to your hometown, hand deliver you six copies of Dark Horse and host your game night. Pizza, chips, drinks and other assorted goodies will be provided by me for up to twenty guests. If you would like me to talk about the game design process, play test some of your custom games, teach everyone Dark Horse, or just join in the fun its your call. This offer is only valid for the continental United States. If you would like to participate in this offer and live in Hawaii or Alaska please add an additional $400.
- (45 days)