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Survive against all odds facing monsters and other perils in a dark fantasy tale. A quick (20-30 min), tense and unforgiving solo game.
Survive against all odds facing monsters and other perils in a dark fantasy tale. A quick (20-30 min), tense and unforgiving solo game.
16,531 backers pledged CA$ 598,384 to help bring this project to life.

Production is under way! Revised sample photos, PAX Unplugged, the map of the Dark and the final character stories.

Posted by Artem Safarov (Creator)

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!

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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:

Click on the image to access a larger version
Click on the image to access a larger version

 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!

Character Stories  

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 Campaign

We 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.  
The campaign launched today - I invite you to share it with your friends who might have missed the Kickstarter but would still want to grab a copy of Unbroken.


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 :)

Click on the comic to open the full-size version
Click on the comic to open the full-size version

Next Steps  

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!

Dan O, Dave Save, and 226 more people like this update.


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    1. Golden Bell Studios Collaborator on

      @David Martin I wanted to first thank you for such a heart felt response. I did want to apolgoize for the brief absence as I wanted to be able to sit down properly and write you a message. I have been traveling, and convention season is wrapping up for us this coming weekend at PAX (well till text year). It seemingly never ends because we have our Tradeshows then our Conventions for consumers it's chaotic. Anyway....I digress. Echoing what Artem has said so eloquently, it does in fact take a lot of self-reflection and courage in order to publicly post an apology. I again am sorry if any of our motives were misconstrued as malicious but I can assure you that is not the case. We understand that people can get upset, or even angry at situations, but I am sorry that something we did had spiraled into that feeling for you. The Unboxing video indeed was fun, we'll probably do another with Artem when we get to see each other for the first time in person this week at PAX, that will be fun! No one is ever 100% wrong, we all can do better and strive to be the best at what we each do, so we can all use this as a learning experience to improve both of our respective roles for a brighter future that brings more light and love to this amazing community. Thanks again to you and everyone else who continues to support Golden Bell, Altema Games, and Unbroken! Hope to see you all at PAX Unplugged this coming weekend :D Best Regards, Marc

    2. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      @Telgar - the update will be posted next Wednesday - just waiting on a few photos from the factory to include. In the meantime - I post regularly in the main Comments section to provide the most important information - refer to that for the most up to date progress. Thanks for your patience.

    3. Telgar

      Update mis-novembre you said? Mmmm? Well we are november 25th.

    4. Jaime Robertson

      Congratulations, the game was #99 in People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games contest

    5. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      @Daniel We are excited to get the game to you early in the new year! Yes, the Print and Play will be updated with the most up to date assets - the timing of that will be clarified in the November update.

    6. Missing avatar

      Daniel S

      Thanks for the update. Getting anxious for delivery. As a side note, will you be updating the Print and Play with the flavor text and artwork updates?

    7. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      @Jon Thanks so much, appreciate your excitement!

    8. Jon Simpson on

      So excited about this game , it looks great so happy you kept the fox icon ..

    9. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      Hi Umberto. It's covered in the update - we are only able to start these now because a) there was quite a lot of additional text written for the game (the flavour) and the entirety of the files were only finalized this Tuesday (made no sense to start translation before when things could still change). French is already under way with other languages starting soon. Next update will provide timelines for the availability of these.

    10. Umberto Milo on

      Hi, news about translations?

    11. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      @Jennifer we did increase the size of the box to fit all the core cards with the medium and small ones sleeved. So everything should fit!

      @Mikko we are comparing the number of games in our collections that do this in the main comments section - apparently there are a bunch, although they are certainly in the minority. You can always orient it with the side promoting the upcoming Unbroken expansion facing you for most optimal viewing experience :)

    12. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      Wow. I am just in awe of how much courage and self-reflection it takes to post something like this. You have my deepest respect.

      The night when all of these comments were being posted my 11-month son was having a pretty bad sleep so I was up a bunch of times and every time I got up I got notifications of more and more of these messages pop up - it dismayed me that anything related to my project could lead to such a negative experience for a backer. Needless to say I was relieved when we had a chance to talk it out to everyone's satisfaction.

      I am so very grateful for all the passion you have shown for both Cauldron and Unbroken and sincerely appreciate your support. Please do not give anything in the past a second thought - I hope you have an exceptional experience with this campaign going forward and I'm proud and grateful to have your support as a backer.

      Glad you liked the unboxing too - vertical format aside, Marc and Rob did an exceptional job with it!

    13. David Martin on

      @Artem, Golden Bell Studios and the Unbroken community- I wanted to formerly apologize for my behavior a couple of nights ago. I do feel Golden Bell Studios intentions are good when looking at the big picture and I'm truly sorry for my behavior.

      While everything I brought up I felt was true, I know that Golden Bell Studios are only human and can/will make mistakes. I can see now how my anger, while I felt was justified at the time is, is ultimately not productive and quite scary... I'm sorry Golden Bell Studios, Artem and any backers that I made feel uncomfortable during this time.

      This video and update is a great reminder to me why we are all doing what we do. Unbroken and Cauldron both look great and I'm blown away by the quality of everything show cased here. It was great to see the passion during the unboxing of everything and I now more than ever truly believe that my anger was misplaced. Passion is a double-edged sword. I am proud to say that Artem and Golden Bell Studios are both using it to fuel an epic game! I'm ashamed to admit that my passion about law lead me to something destructive and not conducive to this wonderful community. I'm in the wrong, 100% and take full responsibility for my shameful actions.

      I'm excited...let's all continue to make this project the very best it can be!

    14. Missing avatar

      Mikko Vikman on

      @Artem I don't have any games that have promos of other games printed on the box. When you open the box they will be visible. I also often use the box and lid as a temporary storage for the items (tokens etc.) not currently in use so they are always somewhere near on the table. Oh well, maybe it's just my OCD... I'll just have to live with it... :)

    15. .j.e.n.n.i.f.e.r. on

      The box looks full of goods, I'm loving it!
      It will fit cards with sleeves?

    16. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      @Rojopal See you! Golden Bell people tell me we have some Unbroken goodies for backers, so you are likely to walk away with some extra swag :)

      @Sunny I am glad to be able to do this - thankfully the volume permits this approach :). I want to make sure I get to thank and interact with people who made this all possible.

      @Mikko Thanks! Keep in mind the promos are on the insides of the box only and are not visible for the majority of the time. Many of the boxes for games I own have the same and thinking back about it - I rarely see these.

    17. Missing avatar

      Mikko Vikman on

      Everything look great except force feeding those ads for other games by printing them on the sides of the box. If you want to advertise the games, simply put a leaflet inside rather that messing up the box art with out-of theme and unnecessary ads.

    18. Sunny Neuroshima on

      I love how the creator responds to everyone's comments by addressing them personally. I've posted comments and questions on other Kickstarters and been ignored, so this is refreshing. Cannot wait to have Unbroken in my hands.

    19. rojopal on

      See you at PAX!

    20. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      @Dan Hardesty Thank you! See you in Philly!

      @JKP Yes, the video was from Oct 9-10, so some of the comments are slightly outdated, but should still provide a good preview of contents.

      @Keithustus - Thanks! I have to admit - the Abomination is one of my favourites, it just has such a weird and detailed illustration.

      @Karim - really appreciate your excitement! This was a lot of work but we're certain it results in a product that we are proud of and one that the backers enjoy.

      @Alvaro - I'm glad to hear the fox is getting some love :). Thanks for your kind words!

      @Scott - I sincerely appreciate it! We put a lot of work into these!

    21. Missing avatar

      Scott Stewart on

      Your updates are fantastic! Thank you.

    22. Alvaro Cubas on

      This was a very positive update! For me the highlights are the revised manual (a vast improvement from the print and play rules) and believe it or not... the FOX token!!! That is a godsend! I've had playthroughs where you just had to leave the table and then come back having to remember your turn place. And that resource track is spot on! You just have to slide back and forth the token. Very well done, @Artem and the folks at Golden Bell! I'm already looking forward to the expansion. :)

    23. Karim on

      I'm about to BREAK from all the excitement contained within me after going through this update. Thanks to you and the GB team for putting such tremendous Effort in to this every step of the way! :D

    24. Keithustus on

      HOLY CRAP that monster art and card look fantastic! Now I can’t wait until delivery.

    25. JKP

      Looks great!
      The video must be old since its asking for proof reading help and talking about bigger bag when all that must have been done already for it to be in production now. Confusing :)

    26. Dan Hardesty on

      Awesome update and great news about PAX. I look forward to seeing you guys there!

    27. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      @Graham we'll check but we have already doubled the # of sheets on the scorepad to 20.

      @Blodhemn - I am very excited for that add-on as well!

      @Stijn - the portion of the project taking place in China (manufacturing and initiating freight shipping) should wrap up in December 2018 - well in advance of the New Year celebrations.

      @Gregoire - thanks! we are very excited for how everything is looking as well!

    28. Grégoire Monteil on

      All the components look great, the art as well, great job guys !

    29. Missing avatar

      Stijn Lamers on

      Is Chinese New Year accounted for in the late January deadline?

    30. Blodhemn on

      I was also going to ask for a full printed lore book on characters/monsters/etc. And already answered :-) Cool that this will be an option next KS

    31. Graham R

      Would it be possible for the scorepad to be double sided?

    32. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      @Kehlenschnitt That is humbling to hear. Thanks so much for taking the time to provide such encouraging feedback.

    33. Kehlenschnitt (Miremarsh Stumpy)

      Fantastic update, map looks awesome and I really appreciate your dedication in delivering a perfect and top-notch game. I have never played a solo game before, so I'm more than happy that I've backed this one. You and Golden Bell have done a tremendous job and more than once gone the extra mile. Personally, I'm glad the delivery date got delayed, as already mentioned previously by fellow backers, I would hate to have this game getting lost during the X-Mas postage chaos. So yes, I'm absolutely fine receiving the game in late January (or February in case of small hiccups during production or shipping). A big thank you for everything you've done so far and for always being in the comment section, answering questions and spending time with the community.

    34. Florian Kastell

      The Chasm Chimbable on the painted map looks a bit weird. Maybe make it a bit more rough and spiky or should it resemble a mouth, or let it blend in with the surroundings a bit more.

    35. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      @Keith Not yet. We are going to be able to offer more specific timing in the next update.

    36. Missing avatar

      Keith Ayotte on

      You had mentioned that the print and play were being updated with the new art work. Do you know when the new files will be ready and released.

    37. Missing avatar

      Ryan Rowland on

      @artem that sounds great! Ignore my last message, I posted that before seeing your reply in case my original comment wasn't immediately clear!

    38. Missing avatar

      Ryan Rowland on

      I mean professionally printed in a similar fashion to the rulebook. It would've made a great lore section in the rulebook itself.

    39. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      @Ryan - we are planning to have a full lore / art book with all the stories and setting info available as an add-on to the expansion campaign.

    40. Missing avatar

      Dave Save on

      Making the bag large enough to hold the game is a fantastic idea!

    41. Missing avatar

      Ryan Rowland on

      Is there any chance of a printed compilation of the character/monster stories?

    42. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      @Jorune that sounds awesome - I hope you will share some photos of that with us!

      @Dyne1319 - The main reason we removed the individual slots from the trackers was that picking up and putting down small cubes was not a pleasant tactile experience, bordering on frustrating, whereas sliding these along the indented rows feels natural and easy. The rows keep the tokens in place 90% as well as individual slots and reduce likelihood for production errors and frustration in physical manipulation of game components. I hope you will agree once the game gets to you and you have a chance to take it for a drive.

    43. Peter "araziel" Cruickshanks

      Me too, I've seen it in plenty of other games, and really liked that idea, so sad to see it go.

      P.S: Does the Dungeon Dice image on the box actually mean we might some day get rewards from the The Lost King KS? :P
      Gave me hope.

    44. Dyne1319

      Disappointed with the player boards that each spot on the tracks is not cut so that the cube cannot shit when on a track at all.

    45. Jorune

      I’m gonna print that map on my Unbroken game mat.

    46. Artem Safarov 2-time creator on

      @J Mann as much as I'd like to - no. I already have a personal trip planned for January and with two little kids at home I try to limit my travel.

      @Occam I believe the first message Golden Bell sent was focused on Unbroken - it was giving samples of new art (that didn't fit into the previous update) and contained an invitation to proofread the rules. Thanks for your kind words - I hope the map is going to be a cool addition and look forward to the "light" as well :)

      @Anthony - We will make sure we get an excellent product to you! Thanks for your support.

      @Brian - Based on my work experience I try to keep the project updates to a certain frequency and length to not inundate people. I think the extra channel of receiving the additional non-essential info through e-mail works.

      @Frank - thanks for your help with the proofreading! Marc tells me your feedback was awesome! I'll look into making a summary PDF - great that so many people want it. And even though it's a nice try - no, since the production is under way - the box contents have been finalized. Trust me, it's a VERY full box already :)

      @Monkey Biscuit Thanks! The final product promises to be worth the wait. We went back and forth on these symbols. I found myself not liking them initially, but they really grew on me - I think as with any icons once you internalize the meaning - it becomes a quick and easy way to get information.

      @Kyle Thanks! I think the chance of copies at PAX Unplugged can be described as "slim to none" - it's very close to the manufacturing period and unless we REALLY beat our timelines - the games will be in freight at that time. You can definitely stop by to check out a finished copy that we'll have for demo purposes.

      @Freddy - Thank you! We do what we can to meet and exceed backer expectations.

    47. Freddy

      This game keeps getting better with every update!

    48. Kyle LaBonte on

      Awesome! Looking forward to it!
      Is there any chance you'll be bringing copies with you to PAX unplugged if production is done in time? It's an unlikely shot in the dark, but I figured I'd check!

    49. Monkey Biscuit on

      I am excited for this. I have avoided playing the print and play so that my first experience will be with the actual final product.
      One small dislike for me is the Condition and Skill icons on the new monster cards. They don't seem to fit in with the rest of the design in my opinion, and should retail the same single colour style as the others.

    50. Frank Calcagno on

      ...BTW, the indigogo funding would not, by chance, contribute to the $100k goal for an extra die would it?