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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.

Lots of Stuff: Post-Kickstarter week 14

Posted by Isaac Childres (Creator)

Hey there, residents of Gloomhaven!

How is everything going with you? Are you having a good 2016 so far? I'm pretty tired, but that comes with the territory when you're trying to get a massive board game project done in a timely manner.

Sometimes I sit and reminisce about working on Forge War, where I came up with a solid set of mechanics, tweaked it a bit, and then was largely done from a creative perspective. I was done with the mechanics for Gloomhaven ages ago, but there always seems to be more stuff to do, more items to make and events to write.

Not that I'm complaining! It's great fun, but I get stressed a lot about whether I'll be able to get everything done in a timely manner. I want to get you guys your games!

So what have I been up to exactly? Well, as I said last week, I spent some time planning out every detail of the game to get a comprehensive and accurate list of components to the manufacturer, which has been done, so that's good.

That also means I can give you a fairly accurate estimate of the number of cards in the game for those who want to try to sleeve it all. Are you ready?

There are:

  • 668 standard size (2.5"x3.5") cards and
  • 962 mini Euro size (44mm x 68mm) cards


Those counts might change a little bit, but they should be pretty accurate.

For those of you who maybe don't want to sleeve all of that, but maybe just some of it, I can break it down a little more for you:

  • 504 player ability cards (standard) (shuffled in short rests)
  • 140 event cards (standard) (shuffled when new events are added)
  • 24 career goal cards (standard) (shuffled once)
  • 454 attack modifier cards (mini) (shuffled once or twice per scenario)
  • 232 monster ability cards (mini) (shuffled once or twice per scenario)
  • 252 item cards (mini) (not shuffled)
  • 24 battle goal cards (mini) (shuffled once per scenario)

I hope that info helps!

I've also been working hard getting events written and laid out in the card templates. The events have been a major hurdle for me because of the large amount of writing required.

I have summaries of them all written, but I've been hesitant to go in and do the actual writing. I've spent the last 2 days working on nothing but that, though, and I've got about 30 completed so far. That seems like pretty good progress to me, so hopefully by next week I can tell you that that hurdle is behind us.

Except for the editing, of course. But I have officially hired on a professional editor to help out with that, so that shouldn't be too much of a hurdle either. He's taking a look over the rule book now, but soon he'll be looking over all 1630 of those cards as well. Should be a good time.

In other corners of Gloomhaven production, Josh has sent me the template he's made for the scenario book, which is looking pretty good.

I know that's probably unintelligible, but you can find a bigger version here. Not all of it is final, but I think it is looking pretty slick!

Álvaro is of course still hard at work on the map tiles. He has about 2/3 of them done at this point, which is great. He'll still need to work on the overlay tiles after that, but that should take less time.

So, hey, is a feeling of anticipation coming over you? Like, would say you anticipate getting a box of Gloomhaven goodness delivered to your doorstep? There is a thing over on BoardGameGeek where you can vote to such effect. Nominations are open for another day, so get in there while the getting is good. Then there will be an official voting period after that, so I will probably bother you about this one more time.

But that is all I have to say for now. I hope reading these updates bring you some amount of good feelings to keep you warm during these winter months. I will talk to you again next week!

Oh, right, and what are your feelings about the new header image for the page? I like it, but my wife says it's too busy.

yardswimmer, Jeffrey Williams, and 63 more people like this update.


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    1. Annowme on

      Isaac! Sweet update. Please please please take your time and don't feel the need to rush! Great game months later is far better than unbalanced, unfinished game months earlier (or on time).

    2. Bryan on

      I feel awkward for pointing out things like this, but the tab on the "Requirements" and "Goal" items on the Scenario Book template don't sit well with me. Perhaps one of these two suggestions may work? Humbly offered: or - thanks for listening. :)

    3. Missing avatar

      David Di Muro

      Only 1630 cards? Sheesh ;) great work but it is kinda freaky thinking how it will all be organised in the box if it's sleeved. Or even not sleeved. I'm sure you're thinking if that

    4. ionas on

      Superb. How much artwork is there on those... thousands of cards?

    5. James Charlick on

      You're very welcome Isaac. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    6. Isaac Childres 4-time creator on

      The cards are 280 gsm grey core. I wrote an update about it during the Kickstarter... Here it is:

    7. Missing avatar

      Tom on

      I'm simultaneously excited about the number of cards and worried the quality of card stock will be abysmal. What is the card stock quality going to be like, Isaac?

    8. Isaac Childres 4-time creator on

      Okay, I changed the header image to the box art. Thanks to wonderful person James Charlick for helping me see the error of my ways and fix them.

    9. John Dominguez on

      Take your time to make this the best game possible. I appreciate your hard work to make the game great.

    10. Daniel McKay on

      @Isaac - grammar error on the last line of the scenario booklet; says 'you're target', should be 'your target'.

      I don't want to be the grammar nazi. If you want a hand with proofreading I am an English teacher. Let me know :-)

    11. Missing avatar

      Alex Florin on

      Wow that is a lot of cards.

      I'm not sure what your plan is for the box insert to hold all the components but it would be great if it accommodated sleeved and non-sleeved cards. IMO the most simple thing to do is to provide long card lanes with stand alone cardboard dividers (like the Sentinels of the Multiverse box). The lanes could be long enough to handle sleeved cards. For non-sleevers, you could provide a bit of foam to fill in the left over sections of the lanes. That would be cheap and would work great.

      That seems to me the most economical and efficient layout, without having to muck about with a complex plastic insert, like Pathfinder. That one was over-designed and would spill all the cards if you tipped the box.

    12. RavenMad on

      Holy moly, that's a lotta cards! :) Every thing is looking and sounding great, Isaac - I sure am anticipating! Great work by everyone so far.

    13. Missing avatar

      Dominique Brunel on

      I'm agree with all Leonce said.

    14. Gem Abed on

      @Issac, that's an insane amount of cards. I am excited to not sleeve them (save for hero decks [in use]). As for the header image, your wife is wrong. It is nice and it stands out among all the white ones out there. I hope you keep it, or update it with other non-spoilery artwork from time to time.

    15. Leonce on

      Thanks for the update (again)! It is so great that you keep us posted with all the progress and news. Your transparency, honesty and entertaining way with which you share the design process every week is outstanding.

      I am no designer but working in arts and I know that a creative process always comes with hurdles, phases of ups and downs and needs breaks and rests sometimes. Creativity is nothing which can always be easily accessed and retracts when being forced.
      Please take your time with the game and the writing process! I gladly wait a couple of months, even a year (ok, I exaggerate a little bit here :D), if that is what it takes to get the best result. The scenarios and the (flavour) text and story around them are a very, if not the important part of the game. I hope the scenarios will let us experience the world of Gloomhaven, let us know fragments of its deep history, the wonders, dangers, dark corners it inhabits. Immersion into a new and yet unknown world is what I am hoping to experience with Gloomhaven (besides awesome tactical combat ^^) and I think the scenario texts will play a big role in this.
      I am a sucker for lore and I guess I am not the only one. This doesn't mean I want as much as possible and obviously explained in every scenario, but I hope to experience the lore of Gloomhaven through the texts and details hidden in the events or stories. The lore and history is already there in your head that is for sure, I mean you even created a story for the history of the world's currency ^^.

      For the storybook template example I really like what Josh is doing here. I have no problem with the icon system to mark the enemy quantities, it may need explanation but looks much nicer than the letters in the beta version. I am wondering if the different text passages (introduction, conclusion etc.) will need a clearer seperation or highlighting.

      Looking forward to the next update!

    16. Missing avatar


      Thanks for yet another awesome update to keep me excited about Gloomhaven!

      And the header image looks pretty nice, but I always miss the clean white look of a kickstarter without one.

    17. Greg Krywusha

      +1 on your wife's thoughts. It so strongly saturated in busy, it makes the game box seem muted. I'd got with (what others have said) magnifying part of the image of the box possibly.

    18. Ravendas on

      I'm a stickler for sleeving, but I might just do the player powers for this. Standard sized (aka cheap), and cards you hold in your hand for long periods of time means it is a high priority.

    19. Isaac Childres 4-time creator on

      Montgomery, to play the game solo, you will need to field at least 2 characters, so you'll still be using the 2-4 player setup.

      Thanks for all the comments regarding the setup designations for the monsters. That is one of the things that we are definitely still tweaking. We are concerned about the visibility of using numbers and letters and think it is better to go with shapes and colors, but we're still working out the specifics.

    20. Missing avatar

      Smud on

      First of all I like the new header... Yes, it is busy, but the game is even more busy, so it's good ;).
      I have to agree on J. Gillespie's comment. The setup should be as clear as possible. The icons in the preview aren't as intuitive as they may seem. That's just a minor issue, so no big deal, but clear numbers could be easier to understand.

      Please Isaac, take your time to develop this game! I just recieved "Dungeon Saga", which could have been a good game, but they skipped at least 1 year of playtesting... This way all advanced rules are just bad and felt like early beta. In my opinion that's the worst that could happened to a game. So please take your time for Gloomhaven, I don't care for delays!!! Just have everything tested probably and if you need more playtesters, please ask. My english isn't the best but I'm a experienced player in various tabletops (from pen and paper over board games to various miniature war games). :)

    21. Missing avatar


      J. Gillespie is right, that symbols on monster setup should be easier to understand with the player count. It seems the new version is a step backwards on intuitveness. I would recommend using shapes for symbols, square for 4player, triangle for 3player, circle for 2player. Color red the shape or put a "E" inside shape to designate elite.

    22. Missing avatar

      Michael J on

      Wow, that's a lot of content. You should get like 10-15 interns.

    23. Jacob Gunness

      Isaac, don't burn yourself out on all this writing. If you need more time, please take a little more time so the quality doesn't suffer :)
      (And yes, it *is* busy!)

    24. Jedra7609

      I'm a sleever, but I think you might have cured me!

      Yes, the header is a little busy and the game box looks like it was just pasted on, which it probably was! Make the box stand out a bit, while still making it part of the scene - some subtle shadowing might do the trick.

      Thanks for the update though - looking forward to this!

    25. James Charlick on

      I agree with your wife (as every right-thinking man knows is best yet refuses to admit out loud, or even on occasion in private to oneself), the header is too busy.

      Why not use a slice of the high-res cover art? It is a stunning scene after all. I have PM'd you a link to a Photoshop mock-up on BGG by the way. I hope you don't mind.

    26. Jim Saxon

      She is right about the new header image for the page!

    27. J. Gillespie on

      Thanks for the update, Isaac. A few thoughts:

      After playtesting and going over in my head all that you needed to do with stories and scenarios I was thinking how overwhelmed you must be. Press on and if it's late that's one hundred times better than if it's on time and rushed.

      I'm really worried about the setup icons for 2-4 players. I think the design on this game has been incredible but the setup icons are just as unintuitive as the lettered location design (i.e. Top left equals two players, but how why do users remember that?).

      The problem is that when you adjust to a design it feels more intuitive than it is. The reality in this case is if I'm picking up the rulebook for the first time I have no idea what those symbols mean. What's worse is when I do learn what they mean, the design doesn't relate to the meaning so it's easy to forget, particularly because the symbols look so similar.

      I recommend changing the black and white symbols with simple circles with "2", "3", "4" inside. If an enemy is elite the circle with the number in it is red. If an enemy doesn't spawn for the player count, the numbered circle is blacked out for the picture.

      Looking forward to more playtesting and ps, it's a little busy. :)

    28. Duncan A. Doherty

      Goodness glaciers, that's a lot of cards...and a large chunk of change to properly protect them all. The things we do for our hobby :).

      As for the header image, I like it as well.

    29. Montgomery Box on

      One thing I noticed again with the new scenario layout. You list the game as being for 1-4 players, but the monster setups are only for 2-4. What do you do for 1 player games?

    30. Missing avatar

      Nathan Smith on

      Very excited. I bet more people are going to be jealous they didn't back :)

    31. aron aka jello on

      Happy New Year, Isaac! Looking good, as always.. and that is a truly massive pile of cards. Wowza!

    32. Missing avatar

      Gary Colgrove on

      That is an AMAZING number of cards!