Once upon a time, there was a game designer. His name was Jay Little. Jay's done some cool stuff in the past, some stuff you've heard of: Blood Bowl Team Manager, the expansion for Cosmic Encounters, and the X-Wing Miniatures system. He even created the 2d20 RPG system (used by the Star Trek and Mutant Chronicles RPGs) and the narrative-dice system used by the little-known Star Wars RPG. Then Jay came up with a crazy idea. Why not take the idea of hand management, toss in some resource management and some bidding, and give it a historical setting? Hand AND resource management--AND war?? He wanted gamers to suffer and the best point in history for that? Well, that's the Thirty Years War.
And from that came "THREE YEARS OF WAR". The game covers (shockingly) three years of that war with players playing minor dukedoms and fiefs struggling to survive as the big empires and kingdoms of Europe march their armies across the continent destroying cities and pillaging the land in the name of profit and religion. The goal of the players is to survive, collect Food and Money, maintain an Army and hold on to your Lands...or add to them--this is war, after all, and better others suffer than you!
This all takes place over the course of twelve turns (each representing a season) and 60-120 minutes of real time. It's not hard. Jay's introduction to the game on video is an easier way to learn than a big written explanation:
Here's the intriguing thing--some more back story: I first ran into Jay and the game while I was working for a different company. I liked playing the game, thought it had potential then (and it's better now). There were opportunities during play for sharp short-term tactics, but once you're familiar with the 'feel' of the game, a long-term outlook and strategy becomes important, too.
Really though, what appealed to me was watching a game where everyone was failing miserably, their dukedoms in ruins, players collecting "DOOM" markers like Skittles and Pez candies--and everyone was having a blast, even in their own country's misery! I haven't seen many games where it's enjoyable to watch yourself get crushed by plagues, famine, or siege. Everyone wound up with a *negative* score. Most games when that happens, you put it on a shelf and never touch it again. The people playing? They begged for a chance to play it again--and all six of them stayed right there and played it again. It was the loudest table in the place and when that second game was over, there was another group waiting to take their place who'd stood around watching the carnage, all wanting to suffer for themselves--or see if they could do better.
For me as a gamer, I love games where you get such a compelling result that you just have to turn around and play the game again. That's the sign of a great design.
But, this is Kickstarter, so let me give you some more persuasion.... First, a sample of the card and token art that's complete:
Everything on the cards is based on symbols, so language won't be a problem. We're trying for some subtle historical relevance here as well. The cards are associated with seasons. Since this is a war about Christianity, three of those seasons have icons symbolic of the religion--an Easter lily, a fish for the Fisher of Men, and the Star of Bethlehem. It doesn't affect game play, but I think backers and players appreciate it when products pay attention to small details like that.
Even though the theme is the Thirty Years War, you shouldn't be frightened off by that. This isn't a wargame, this isn't something where you need to know about the war. This is meant to be fun for everyone. You'll get an appreciation from the game for the misery of that war--and hopefully, there will be some extra historical information included in the game so you can learn about the war as well as some of the art choices we're making for the game.
So...I started the Dietz Foundation and convinced Jay I was the right person to produce this game (and I'm thankful to Jay for his trust--he's an amazing designer to work with...so I need your support so he'll work with me again--and again). Jay gave me his last 'finished' prototype and I brought it home and coerced my wife and children to play it with me (one son is a gamer, the other two kids and the Mrs., well...I'm working on that). My wife and the two non-gamers ground their teeth but agreed so we could say we'd spent some family time together. We started playing. Rats and locusts started being tossed around and one hour later, my wife says, "That was fun. Want to play again?" Yup, a non-gamer with no knowledge of the time period wanted to play again. So did my daughter.
So just a quick review of the possibilities here for you helping us out:
If you back this, you're going to get a fun game. It's pretty quick and you can play it with kids or adults with all ages enjoying the game. History/fun for kids+adults/plays fast...perfect.
$10,000: It seems small, but we'll upgrade the pieces included from plastic to wood.
$16,000: Instead of the basic dukedoms that come with the game, we'll include four more nations with their very own custom rules and differences.
(We'll be trying to add more if/when we reach $10,000 or so)
Risks and challenges
Dietz Foundation Games is a new company and this is the first project for it. It takes a lot for a backer to support a brand-new company. With that said, for 20 years, I ran Jolly Roger Games (until it was sold to Ultra Pro), so I have maintained my business contacts for production. With old KS projects, I kept backers informed as I received news, so that there was never a fear that the project would fail.
Just as important, I've set the target for the campaign at the level necessary to get it through the printing process. Those costs have already been calculated, so with KS backers' help, the game *will* see the light of day!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)