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A board game of cooperative card-driven tactical combat in a persistent, ever-changing campaign world. 1-4 players, 30 min. per player.
A board game of cooperative card-driven tactical combat in a persistent, ever-changing campaign world. 1-4 players, 30 min. per player.
4,904 backers pledged $386,104 to help bring this project to life.

Play Testing and Other Exciting Things: Post-Kickstarter week 6

Posted by Isaac Childres (Creator)

Hey residents of Gloomhaven!

To tell you the truth, I don't have a lot of progress updates this week. Things are moving along, but there's just not a lot of specifics to tell. Plus Josh has been sick all week, and last weekend was my wife's birthday, so we spent a few days in Chicago.

Here's another piece of item art for you:

I also wanted to let you know that I received the metal master figures for all the characters except the Mindthief and Cragheart back from the mold maker yesterday and they look great! Miniatures typically take the longest time in a production process, so I'm going to get these to my manufacturer as quickly as possible so they can start working on them.

There is a whole lot of other Gloomhaven-related and Cephalofair Games-related stuff going on, though, that's not directly tied to production, but I wanted to spend the rest of the update telling you about all of it.

Play testing

All right, so the big thing is that I am ready to start play testing advanced scenarios and advanced character powers, and I am soliciting your help.

How it will work is, if you are interested in help play test, you'll want to read the following list of warnings and criteria. Then read it again. Become intimately familiar with it. Get to know it on a personal level. And then, if you're fully comfortable with it, send me an e-mail (cephalofair at gmail) titled "Gloomhaven Play Testing."

I may not get back to you right away, but, as more stuff gets uploaded to Tabletop Zen, I'll get more and more people in on the process. As long as you followed the above paragraph, I'll get back to you eventually. Okay, here's that list of warnings and criteria:

  • Spoilers will happen, so you'll need to be okay with that. The scenario setups will be text-free, so you don't have to worry about spoiling the story, but you'll be playing advanced characters and advanced scenarios.
  • All play testing will be done on Tabletop Zen. It's just easier for me and easier for everyone else because you don't have to print out reams and reams of cards. So you'll need to be familiar with Tabletop Zen or willing to become familiar with it. If you don't like the implementation and refuse to use it, then play testing is not for you.
  • Tabletop Zen becomes kind of clunky when you are playing solo and trying to manage multiple hands of cards at once. I'm not saying you shouldn't play test if you can only play test solo, but you'll have to deal with the clunkiness.
  • This isn't play testing the mechanics of the game, but rather testing the balance of the characters and scenarios, so that will be your focus.
  • Detailed accounts of all your sessions will be requested, so you'll need to be willing to do that. There's a forum for all of that.
  • Some amount of dedication will be required. Ideally you will be playing over multiple, multiple sessions. If you do one play test and drop off the face of the earth, that is less helpful to me. The more you play, the more familiar you become with the game and the mechanics, which allows you to provide more valuable feedback.

Okay, cool, I guess that's it. I hope to hear from you if you're interested!


So the next exciting thing to discuss is some upcoming conventions!

First of all, I'm going to be at BGG Con in Dallas for a large part of next week. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be going. I'm going to give Rahdo a big hug for his glowing Kickstarter review. I'm going to play lots of games with my friends Josh and Brandon from the Brawlin' Brothers podcast, as well as my friend Brendon who runs Tabletop Zen, and loads of other awesome people including any of you who will be there.

It's going to be a blast!

Sorry, I got a little excited there. I guess the important part is that I'll be bringing along a couple demo copies of Gloomhaven and I'd love to show it to you guys. I'll even show you some of the advanced character sculpts in person if you're not afraid of spoilers.

The grand pipe dream I have for the con, though, is to take one day and run a number of scenarios back-to-back for the same group of people, campaign-style. It would probably take upwards of 8 hours because I'd like to get at least 4 scenarios done, but it could go longer depending on people's willingness and how early we start.

I have no idea if there is any interest in this, and it is totally cool if there isn't - I'm going to have a great time at the con either way - but if it does sound interesting to you and you'll be at BGG Con, send me a message through Kickstarter, letting me know what days you'd be available to do it (either Thursday, Friday or Saturday). If enough people respond, I'll try to coordinate a day that will work for everyone.

Also send me a message if you just want to get a normal demo in. Like I said, I'll have multiple demo copies, so there should be no problem running a campaign and a normal game at the same time.

But wait, there's more! Gloomhaven will also be making an appearance in the EU at the Vienna Spielfest this weekend. Long-time play tester and all-around helpful guy Marcel Cwertetschka will be running a demo copy tomorrow and Sunday in the "Austria Convention" area, so go check it out! (Marcel's specific directions: "The section is downstairs, in the left big hall, and within the hall on the left side at the end.")

Perdition's Mouth

If you don't remember, Timo Multimaki, one of the designers of Perdition's Mouth, agreed to create a scenario for Gloomhaven as a stretch goal, which we handily destroyed pretty early on.

In exchange, I'm designing a scenario for Perdition's Mouth, which just launched on Kickstarter a couple days ago. You should go check it out. I'm excited about contributing the the game, but they've gotta get to $80,000 first!

Forge War

Sorry for another plug, but I just wanted to mention briefly that the second print run of my first game, Forge War, just hit store shelves after being sold out for many months. It's a pretty heavy Euro, very different from Gloomhaven, but it does still place a heavy emphasis on deep decision making and tactical planning, so maybe you'd like it?

Phew! Okay, see? I told you there was lots of other stuff to talk about. I promise next week I'll have more production-related stuff for you. 

Remember to let me know if you're interested in play testing or demoing the game at BGG Con! Later!

yardswimmer, Michael Paal, and 36 more people like this update.


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    1. Leonce on

      Thomas is so right. Thanks for your great updates, Isaac!

      The helm looks absolutely stunning! Alexandr puts so much detail in every item.

      Best wishes to Josh, hope he gets well soon!

      Belated Happy Birthday to Kristyn!!
      I discovered her site through you and very much like her work. She seems like a great person.

    2. rashktah

      Yes, this looks awesome. Can't wait to receive this.

    3. Gem Abed on

      @Isaac, do you feel a sense of gloom because you will never be able to play your game spoiler-free?

    4. Thomas More on

      @Isaac, you are thanks again

    5. Isaac Childres 4-time creator on

      Oh, gosh, I spelled his name wrong. Sorry Timo!

      Thomas, I'm glad to bring positivity to Kickstarter!

    6. Missing avatar

      Marcel Cwertetschka on

      Hey Isaac, greetings from Timo Multamäki, just met him and his team today at the Vienna Spielefest!

      Any Questions regarding Gloomhaven at the Spielefest can also be directed towards me =)!

    7. Thomas More on

      It's so good to visit your page, Isaac, calm and cheerful. I have been checking out Ghostbusters, full of toxicity because of a bit of lateness and Black plague, same thing for lack of updates. Generally, it seems that Kickstarter often brings thé worst in people, whining and intimidating. Well that's it. Thanks for this update, it's interesting to learn game production from thé inside. Have a good day!

    8. Dominik Kanzian on

      oh man... now i know what i have to see tomorrow :-)
      gloomhaven in austria :-)

      thats awesome!!!!

      greetings from austria!