Nerd Con, New V&H! Prototype, & Play Mat Prototype
Good morning, ladies & gentlemen!
We know we've been quiet for the last few months, but that doesn't mean we weren't plotting and scheming about the future of Villains & Henchmen! We're very excited to announce a few cool things coming up in the month of August, and we wanted to get your feedback regarding our next fundraising effort!
First off, we've got another convention looming on the horizon! Nerd Con is a great event, catering to the many types of geek- and nerd-dom! In addition to being almost brand new (this is only its second year!), it's also incredibly local - located at Escondido, CA's Center for the Arts, it's only a few miles from where we live!
While it has a relatively small tabletop gaming presence, we'll be on-site to help represent the board game community! More details on our booth number & location will be available closer to the event, so stay tuned for that!
One of the coolest things about Nerd Con is that Samson, our lead artist, will be at the V&H! booth with us, and he's offered to do some cool sketches for people as they play demos! So if you want a signed original sketch - a true V&H! exclusive! - come play a game or two at Nerd Con! :)
Nerd Con will be August 26th - 28th, and you can find out more details here: http://www.nerdcon2016.com/
New Prototype for Villains & Henchmen!
We got a lot of feedback during our latest round of demos and play tests. Pretty much all of that feedback centered on the prototype itself, rather than the game play. As such, we made some changes to this newest prototype, which we'll have in hand for Nerd Con!
We've added a significant amount of new art (only a few cards remain to be illustrated), but most importantly we've improved the font and icon colors to increase readability and reduce confusion. We've also fixed up some card text to make certain powers more clear, and we tweaked the balance on a couple of powers just a tiny bit.
The end result is a much nicer prototype, and we can't wait for fans old and new to see the improved Villains & Henchmen!
Play Mat Prototype
As most of you probably remember, we added an option to get a vinyl play mat as an add-on to the game mid-way through our first Kickstarter campaign. At the time, we didn't have any concept art to show, which was a misstep on our part.
But now we have a first prototype for a full-color play mat, designed by our lead artist Samson. The play mat isn't a necessity for playing the game - it's just an accessory that adds some extra visual "oomph" and helps keep things organized. The game can still be played completely without the play mat.
Anyway, we'll have the prototype on-site at Nerd Con as well, so you can swing by and take a look at it with the game all set up and laid out! We'll also be posting pictures of it after the event, once we've had a good look at how it works with the game and "tested" it thoroughly!
Our Next Crowdfunding Effort
If you're reading this, you already know that our initial Kickstarter effort didn't succeed - we weren't entirely ready for the campaign, and the game wasn't as far along as we had expected at that time. But we gained a number of new followers via the campaign, and we did have almost $8,000 pledged to the project, which was pretty darn close to our funding goal!
As we've worked on revisions and whatnot over the last few months, we've been trying to figure out what our plan is going forward. We still have a few more things to finish up (finalizing the last few pieces of art, doing the box art/design/layout, getting the rule book squared away). But we're fast approaching the point where V&H! will be polished, packaged, and primed, and all that will remain is getting it printed and published (no more alliteration, I promise).
Right now, we've considering two options:
1. Another Kickstarter campaign - this allows us to use the Kickstarter platform, which is fully developed, stable, and offers comprehensive options for meeting our campaign needs. It's a tried-and-true method for raising funds for projects like ours. The drawback is, if we don't reach our goal, we don't have any funds available to print the game, meaning nobody gets it. Also, Kickstarter is a monster of a platform - board game projects run by established publishers, or featuring popular IPs, frequently rake in hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars, and it's tough to compete with that as V&H! is our very first game.
2. A preorder campaign - this would be run through our website and would accept Paypal and credit card payments, providing us with the ability to actually get the ball rolling as preorders roll in. This has the advantage of not needing to meet a specific goal, and we don't have to pay a 10% fee to Kickstarter. Of course, the website might not make for the best platform to run such a preorder campaign - we wouldn't know until we tried. And, of course, it means that our fans/backers would be paying immediately without knowing whether we will reach our expected goal until the campaign closes (but, since a specific goal isn't an absolute necessity going this route, that may not really be a problem).
Either way, we'll be offering stretch goals and add-ons for the base game as part of the campaign. We'll keep the game priced similarly regardless of the platform we use, as well, so one won't cost more than the other.
We would greatly appreciate your feedback on this matter, as you're the most important decision makers in regards to how you purchase games - we're happy to oblige the majority. Thanks in advance for your help & suggestions!
Oh, and if anyone knows of good YouTube channels or other board game review websites, feel free to let us know - we can always use more avenues for promotion!
And, of course, please follow us on social media if you haven't already. You can find us at:
Thanks very much for your support thus far! We're looking forward to seeing folks at our upcoming events, or interacting through KS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even email! :)