The First Game Proofs
Hey everyone! Last week was big for The Perfect Heist: I got the first proofs from the printer to review and approve for final production. And I've got photos to share with you.
This is the complete game printed flat. Shows: Loot deck (top left), the Main deck (bottom left), the Pro deck (top right), the box art (below the Pro deck), the game board, the rules, and game pieces. The black die is not shown.
The proofs are sample prints of every element of the game. Each large sheet you see above is 1 deck of the final game. They're printed on a bright white heavy plastic and not the final cardstock, which is off-white and light cream colored.
As you can see, essentially all text is white knocked out of color. This posed a rather large problem when I first handed the art assets to the printer. As a digital artist, I had forgotten one key difference between digital printing and offset printing: printing small white text is very hard to do well. Largely because in offset printing you lay down 4 colors in succession. That's 4 chances to get the alignment slightly wrong and then you've got color bleeding into the white text.
Well, I didn't come this far to have blurry text. So, I spent a week completely redesigning and re-laying out every single card with bigger type, and clearer design. And while I was at it, I improved some of the card art. The Sabotage cards now sport a wicked bullet hole. This was something I tried out in the B&W prototype and decided would look fantastic in the final product.
And I believe the extra work has really payed off. My printer (Delano Services) has done an amazing job. Everything looks fantastic.
This is the box front and the rules. I'm very excited with how this came out, but disappointed by one thing: the printer accidentally printed the wrong box bottom. It was a simple mistake. Just one among 3 gigs of files I delivered. But sadly that's another delay, because I'll have to wait for them to print it, ship it to me, I'll sign off on it, send it back… probably a full week. And that's assuming no errors. This is the price of perfection, I guess. It seems to be measured in weeks.
The Specialty cards came out fantastically well. They now sport some of the textured explosion I designed for the box art.
The Event cards got a little makeover as did the Hidden Agendas. I redesigned them to stand apart better from the other cards and to ensure that the "Play Immediately" tags stood out better. Not huge details, but I'm compelled to sweat the small stuff.
Now, here's one hold-up: I haven't received a proof for the custom insert yet. From what I understand, I should be receiving 2-3 proofs to choose from. And once I get them and approve one, it will take 5-6 weeks to complete the order. But as of now, I don't have an ETA for when those proofs will get to me.
So, honestly at this point I don't know when they will be able to finish manufacturing. I'm keenly aware how long this process has taken, and how excited everyone is to get their copy. No one more than me, I assure you. I started this project about 8 years ago now. I'm out-of-my-mind excited for it to be finished.
But hey! Here's the new gameboard:
A couple things to note: it's designed to fold in half (on the line right before the "Professional" space) and the deck and discard piles now sport the final iconography for their respective decks. The crosshair is the Main deck and the diamond is the Loot deck. Each card has the icon corresponding to their deck in the bottom left corner.
Here's a fun one: the Special Thanks section of the rules. Thank you so much everybody. There are 4 pages of this! Pretty unbelievable. It took me two days just to pull out everyone's names from the Kickstarter surveys and stick them in the right countries/states in alphabetical order. I had to do it about 3 different times because my sorting kept going wrong. And I did my best to be sure that anyone who moved was listed in the new, correct location.
Finally, here is a little 3D simulation of the final product. It shows off the box (with the correct art), the board, cards, and even the custom box insert.
If you're interested, here is a gallery to the FULL SIZED images I showed above. There is way more detail: https://copy.com/GRHJNNLt6FTEtBHr. This gallery is hosted with the file sharing/syncing service that I've helped to architect and design. If you want to know what I'm doing when I'm not finishing the game, it's designing Copy.
We just officially launched the service last week. I host 100% of my game production files on it. It keeps them backed up, safe, and lets me revert back to old versions of files when I need to. Josh, my character artist, uses it to send me his massive Photoshop files. And I've used it to send all the final production assets to my printer. If you've ever used Dropbox, it's like that. But better.
Check it out while we're still throwing away free space at people as part of our launch party: http://Copy.com
Anyway, I thank you all for your continued support and patience. I'm working hard to make The Perfect Heist live up to your expectations and mine as well.