Production is under way! Revised sample photos, PAX Unplugged, the map of the Dark and the final character stories.
Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!
Thrilled to start this update with an announcement that we hit an important milestone in Unbroken’s journey from Kickstarter to your collection. Today we have submitted the final print files to the factory and that means that the production has now started! Here are some photos of the revised pre-production sample that we have received from the factory that has most of the upgrades described in the last update incorporated:
This was an important sample to receive because it demonstrated the need to revise several files going into the game (pushing back the production a little bit). We had heard loud and clear from the backers asking us not to rush anything in the last update, and we left no stone unturned. Golden Bell and I spent a collective thousand hours on these editorials with a whole team of editors, artists, proof readers, and more!
Specifically relating to the production – we asked for the linen finish to be more prominent (it was barely noticeable in the original sample as many backers noted). This resulted in several images, including the box cover becoming too dark, so quite a bit of work was done rebalancing the colors and brightness. Taking the cue from backer support in the last update we decided to take the time to get the game looking perfect (and as a result applied more upgrades visually, like increased use of iconography to refer to things like Conditions and Weapons in the game). We’ve also added a Quick Start Guide which we hope will be something that will guide you the Dark safely and easily.
The Golden Bell team poured over all the details to make sure everything that makes its way into the box is of highest quality. We did this with the help of committed backer proofreaders - thanks so much to all those who contributed their time and eagle eyes to making the game perfect! Their contribution will be acknowledged in the rulebook. I also had a lot of oversight and communication with Marc through this process of this final editorial leg of the trip and felt that we caught some little things that could make a big difference.
The print run should be finished towards late November – we will keep you posted on this progress in the next update where we will turn our attention to the early production samples, freight shipping and local fulfillment. At that time, we will also be able to provide more precise time estimates for reward delivery – currently expected in late January of 2019. My thanks again for all the positive comments and support we got from backers on this slight time shift - I am certain that the upgrades the game received will be absolutely worth it.
Here is a 25-minute video of Marc and Rob going through all the contents of the Unbroken box – embedded for your viewing pleasure. I think my favorite new part there is the embroidered bag – looking great!
Top 100 Solo Games on BGG
Every year the excellent 1 Player Guild on Board Game Geek runs a People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games contest. I found the 2017 results to be a very comprehensive and meaningful ranking giving a good idea for the current preferences. The voting for the 2018 contest is now live! I encourage you to participate by compiling your own list of Top 20 solo games and sending it in via GeekMail to the organizers (see detailed instructions via the link). If you had a chance to play Unbroken and enjoy it - featuring it on your list would be a huge help in drawing more attention to the game, so any mentions are very much appreciated! Voting closes on Nov 4.
I'm curious how well the game is going to do - think we have what it takes to crack the top 100 this year? I certainly expect Unbroken to feature much more prominently in 2019 when people have the chance to receive, play (and hopefully enjoy) the game!
The map of the Dark
One thing that I am very grateful to Marc from Golden Bell for is his insistence that the caves of Unbroken must be mapped out. While initially I was hesitant to make these into a more or less concrete setting – I am happy that we worked on it, because the end result is something that I’m rather proud of and a big help in establishing the Dark as a tangible, breathing place. Here are a couple of “in progress” images to show you how I started drafting this map (I haven’t done this before but I do love looking over RPG maps drawn by awesome artists out there like Mike Schley).
The end result of the map was further enhanced by the graphical treatment of the multi-talented Jon Meller (who is also composing the soundtrack as you’ll recall from the last update, he’s made a lot of progress and is already 26 minutes into the score. Him and the rest of the Golden Bell team are perfecting all the little nuances of the score and sound design now). The look we ended up is something I’m rather happy with:
The map represents the locations of many of the encounters that the game contains as well as the environments where the player is likely to face most of the monsters contained in the game. The map is featured in the rulebook (one of the many things we could fit in now that we made it bigger) and also appears on the back of the poster. Hope it helps your immersion in the world of Unbroken!
The Fox Token
While we originally planned to have custom-shaped tokens – the detail on the outlines of the resource icons quickly made it clear that it wasn’t feasible (you’ll recall we included a nice velvet bag,embroidered with the Unbroken Logo, in every game as a replacement upgrade). However, we wanted to have some way to include even a part of that original promise in the game, and the Golden Bell team has found a great way to make it happen!
The fox representing the Cunning resource (which in itself is a cheeky reference to the logo of my company, Altema Games) is one of the simpler shapes among the icons so this particular one was possible to manufacture. This die-cut wooden token will be included in every game – it will be used to track which Phase/Step of the game the player is on – moving the Fox token along the Reference Sheets will make sure you always know where you are and don’t get lost.
This purpose of the fox as a way to not get lost in a dizzying underground labyrinth might or might not be a hint to its important role in the world of Unbroken, but I probably already said too much :).
The revised Monster Cards
Much like the Encounter, Skill and Condition cards featured in the last update, the Monster cards are also going to be enhanced with flavor text, intended to bring the foes you will face to life, give these cards more personality and context that was requested by so many backers.
You spoke, we listened and did our best to implement something special. Here is an example of how it will look like:
Since the game received several upgrades since the release of the initial Print and Play - we will be providing a revised Print and Play that contains all the upgrades. The timing of this release will be clarified in the next update.
This flavor text is a result of great work by Marc and Rob from Golden Bell with input from myself. Of course, the monster stories provide an even further in-depth look at the inhabitants of the Dark for those who want more!
Speaking of stories - here are the final four character backgrounds. We hope that these helped flesh out the protagonists of Unbroken and give weight and meaning to their struggles!
A reminder that the entire set of Monster and Character Stories can be found here. I would love to hear your impressions of these now that the entire set is done. Which one was your favorite and why?
Now that the work on all Monster and Character Stories is complete – I am turning my attention to a piece I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Specifically – the Strategy Guide for Unbroken, one of the Stretch Goals that we have unlocked back in April. I am thrilled to offer players some tips to maximize their survival chances and to put on paper the strategies that work best in specific circumstances against particular enemies. I think the players will find it useful and I can’t wait to hear about all the strategies the people will come up with that I didn’t even think of :).
New York Comic Con and PAX Unplugged
Huge thanks for all the backers who stopped by the Golden Bell booth at New York Comic Con earlier this month to check out Unbroken and say hi. The support and excitement we received means the world to our team and meeting the people who made it all possible is great! Here are a few photos of happy backers checking out the pre-production prototype.
Golden Bell is going to have a booth at the upcoming PAX Unplugged in Philadelphia (Nov 30-Dec 2) and I am thrilled to let you know that I am going to be there. Please stop by to say hi - I would love to personally thank you for your role in the incredible success of Unbroken and your ongoing support, patience and excitement. More specifics will be provided in the November update.
IndieGoGo CampaignWe keep getting lots of inquiries about late pledges for Unbroken now that both the Kickstarter and the BackerKit have closed down. In order to provide a final opportunity for people to get their copies of Unbroken from the first print run that we have launched - the Golden Bell team has put together an IndieGoGo campaign that will allow pre-orders that will be shipped same time as all your Kickstarter rewards.
Our friends at Lunarbaboon
A quick note to address concerns about a recent promotional message that was sent by Golden Bell about the Parenting is Easy campaign. I apologize if receiving the message resulted in any frustration for you.If you would like to not receive any further messages with information about Golden Bell’s projects – please use the “unsubscribe” button on the message you received – it is instantaneous and automatic. It will not interfere with you receiving the Unbroken project updates. Golden Bell does send out “Mini-Unbroken” updates like the message showcasing things like the new art of Unbroken by Rachel Korsen a couple weeks ago, which won’t always be detailed in full project updates.
Golden Bell was grateful to receive constructive comments from backers regarding their marketing policy. They will be revising it to make sure it is more transparent and clear in the future, with an obvious opt-in, and does not result in frustration. Thanks to all who contributed their voices to the conversation.
In the meantime – being a huge fan of the work that Lunarbaboon does – I am super excited to see the campaign for his board game, Parenting is Easy, doing so well! I invite you to check it out and consider supporting it – he even drew this special comic to help the people who really want to get under his skin :)
We are going to focus on ensuring a quick and high-quality production run – the next update will be posted in mid-November, right around PAX Unplugged (reminder - I hope to see you there!).
The next one will detail PAX booth information, production updates (hopefully with photos), delivery timelines (current estimate - late January) and translation status (now that we can get that going).
During production a member of the Golden Bell team will be going to China to oversee the Unbroken production and make sure that the result is a high quality product for our backers. In the meantime – please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions you might have, share your excitement in the comments and play some awesome games!