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A tablet-based assistant for Ad Astra's 3D space games.
A tablet-based assistant for Ad Astra's 3D space games.
A tablet-based assistant for Ad Astra's 3D space games.
350 backers pledged $15,942 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Ad Astra Games AVID Assistant

$15,942

350

Current Stretch Goal

There, uh, aren't any.  I have four stretch goals for Attack Vector support, but I think that's better served as a second Kickstarter once we've got the coding for this one done.

Right now, I'm enjoying a beer, and just kinda blinking into space...

Met Stretch Goals!

Wow.  Just...wow.  I'd had no idea we'd reach these last two stretch goals on the last day.  Seriously - I'd hoped for a surge, but these last three days have generated a bit over $6,000!  

Thank you all!  Spread the word - there's still some great backer rewards here, and the more funding this gets, the smoother the development cycle will go; having a bit of a cash reserve to cover blind alleys is a good thing.

Freeeeedommmmm!
Freeeeedommmmm!
And now, we bring enlightenment to the masses!
And now, we bring enlightenment to the masses!
Set Vectors for Awesome!
Set Vectors for Awesome!

 Mode 2 plotting is funded. This has turned the project from an AVID Assistant to the Squadron Strike Assistant!

Mode 1 Plotting: Achieved!
Mode 1 Plotting: Achieved!

 Mode 1 plotting handles movement modes for universes inspired by Star Trek or Star Wars.

iOS Goal Met!
iOS Goal Met!

The iOS version is technically trickier to produce than the Android version. The iTunes store costs more to get into, which is why the fourth stretch goal is higher than the third one.

Our Androids Dream Of Exploding Spaceships...
Our Androids Dream Of Exploding Spaceships...

With this stretch goal, we'll run the existing app through Cordova and make an Android version. This means that you won't need an Internet connection to load the tool, and it will appear as a $1.99 download in the Google Play store. Project backers at the $5 and higher level will be given an option to download it for free.

Multiple Bearings Unlocked!
Multiple Bearings Unlocked!

Our second stretch goal was tracking and shooting multiple bearings - this requires re-working some of the user interface from the example video, but isn't a significant coding hurdle (like getting coordinates translated for the previous one). We'll have you tracking up to four bearings at once. In addition to this, the old third stretch goal (free web version) has been rolled into this stretch goal. 

Achievement Unlocked!
Achievement Unlocked!

Our first stretch goal added an additional control to the AVID Assistant. This control presents live-rendered images of a box miniature in a tilt block, color coded to match your AVID color, pulling the orientation from the AVID itself.  We'll also add a second view that puts the box miniature in an AVID ball, with any bearings shot showing up in the appropriate AVID window.  

To see a mockup of the feature in action, see the video below!

Our Story So Far...

I'm Ken Burnside. I've published 3D space combat boardgames since 2001, and I currently publish the Origins-award winning Attack Vector and Origins-finalist Squadron Strike. I am also the designer of Saganami Island Tactical Simulator, and worked on Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander.  I'm working on Squadron Strike: Traveller as this Kickstarter runs.

I love space combat, whether it's the genre-defining realism of Attack Vector, the epic sweep of Traveller, or the simple fun of recreating a battle from a favorite movie as a convention game. As long as we're all blowing up spaceships, everyone wins.   

If you love space combat like I do, you may own one or more of my games. And you may despair of sharing that love with other gamers--the ones who say "3D? No way."

I'm here to help, with the AVID Assistant.

All of these games use a play aid called the AVID, or "Attitude/Vector Information Display." The AVID, a top-down view of a sphere set in a hexagon, is a combined orientation manager and firing arc solution. It takes all of the spherical geometry and trigonometry of moving and shooting in 3D and simplifies it down to something a human being can play.

The AVID Assistant automates much of the record keeping for Pivots and Rolls, like you see here:

Course change! New heading, 270 by plus 30! Mark!
Course change! New heading, 270 by plus 30! Mark!

Over thousands of demos, I've found three categories of players: those who "get" the AVID from the word go, those who need to take a few repetitions before the lightbulb turns on, and those who can't quite make it work for themselves.

This project is a computerized version of the AVID. For people who already play my games, it makes managing multiple ships easier and speeds up play. It removes errors in orientation, and it moves some of the head-bendy conceptual tricks from your brain to buttons on a tablet or phone. For people who've tried to get other players to the table, the AVID Assistant removes all of "am I doing this right?" questions from newbies. 

I'm in an unusual place here. I've taught the AVID and tilt blocks to people ranging in age from five (like the little girl here) to seventy-five.

She does not show two dimensional thinking, Captain...
She does not show two dimensional thinking, Captain...

I've got a functioning, tested program already. My development team and I have put a lot of work into it, and it handles the three basic functions of the AVID, including heading changes (shown in the first image up above), shooting bearings (shown here)

Target bearing at 30 degrees off our prow, declined by 60 degrees!
Target bearing at 30 degrees off our prow, declined by 60 degrees!

and mapping bearings to firing arcs.

All Guns!  Fire!
All Guns! Fire!

To see the AVID Assistant in action, I've got a video walkthrough linked in here

If you're already a fan of my games, even these screen shots should have you excited. If you haven't played my games, but are interested in learning how, this just made picking them up and playing them a lot easier.

As much as the program already does, I want it to do more. The Kickstarter funds I'm raising go to cover development costs, and later funding targets will add more features, including stand alone apps for Android and iOS.  I'll add those as the campaign progresses!

With your help, I want to release this to the world and make playing my games easier.  Remember: if everyone's blowing up spaceships, we all win!

Challenge Coin Image

Atttitude Makes All The Difference
Atttitude Makes All The Difference

Funding Targets & Stretch Goals

At $5,000, I more or less cover the cost of development done to date.  Everyone who contributes will get a password-protected URL that they can use with any Android or iOS-based device.

We are re-evaluating the stretch goals we had planned!

The first Stretch Goal will be posted tomorrow - don't worry!  It's one of the ones that was down here earlier.   However, we'll have screen grabs, and it'll be at the top of the page.

Risks and challenges

The most basic version of the AVID Assistant is done. It runs in a web browser. We want to add features to it, and make packaged apps for Android and iOS and put them up in the Google Play and iTunes app stores.

If the Kickstarter funds, all backers at the $5 level and above will be given a password-protected URL that they can point their web browser to for the current version.

We anticipate that each of the funding targets that involves extra coding will take about a month to six weeks per added feature; we've done test builds with Cordova, the tool set that converts web-based apps into Android apps. We're still learning how to do this for iOS, but it's something we've seen done, and suspect it won't be too difficult.

The backer rewards have all been sourced with vendors we've used before, and Ad Astra Games has a good track record of shipping merchandise in the US and to Canada. We expect that we'll be placing the orders for apparel items shortly after the Kickstarter ends, with a three-to-four week production cycle, followed by a couple of heavy shipping days.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Innocent Bystander:

    Don't have $5 to spare, but want to help out? Every dollar matters! At this level of support, and all higher levels, you'll be able to see the project updates as they happen.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Project Backer:

    We'll add your name to the backer's list that appears in the product. You will also get access to the web URL for the basic version of the AVID Assistant when the Kickstarter ends.

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    Box Mini Stiffeners (Legacy)

    This is a set of box miniature stiffeners, cut out of mat board. When you assemble them, put a 1/8" ball bearing inside them and glue them together, then fold your box miniature around them. They make box minis a little denser, and they rest more easily on the tilt blocks. With the ball bearing trick, they hold box minis quite securely.

    This set matches the mix of box miniatures used for Birds of Prey and the Squadron Strike boxed set, with 3 Large, 7 Medium and 2 Small box miniatures.

    You will need one of these for each countersheet you want to reinforce, so increment in multiples of $10. Once you add more than 6 of them, please increment in multiples of $12 to cover the additional shipping.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Box Mini Stiffeners (New)

    This is a set of box miniature stiffeners, cut out of mat board. When you assemble them, put a 1/8" ball bearing inside them and glue them together, then fold your box miniature around them. They make box minis a little denser, and they rest more easily on the tilt blocks. With the ball bearing trick, they hold box minis quite securely.

    This set matches the mix of box miniatures used for Attack Vector: Tactical as of 2014, Airborne Alert and Fighter Sweep. If you have an older printing of Attack Vector, use the Legacy box mini stiffener set. This set has 2 Large, 5 Medium and 5 Small box miniatures.

    You will need one of these for each countersheet you want to reinforce, so increment in multiples of $10. Once you add more than 6 of them, please increment in multiples of $12 to cover the additional shipping.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Minis Grab Bag:

    Four minis from the minis grab bag. All the benefits of the above, plus I'll grab four minis from the bins here at Ad Astra and send them to you. Backers will be able to specify which product line, but I'll be picking the minis--they'll all be pretty cool, though.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Attack Vector PDF Bundle:

    All the benefits of the $5 contributor, plus I'll also send a copy of the Attack Vector: Tactical PDF bundle, which is the rulebook, setting book and SSD book of the boxed set.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Squadron Strike PDF Bundle:

    All the benefits of the $5 contributor, plus I'll also send a copy of the Squadron Strike PDF bundle, which is the rulebook, setting book and SSD book of the boxed set.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Still From the Intro Video as Wallpaper:

    At this backer reward level, you get all the benefits of the $5 contributor, plus we'll pull one of the frames from the intro video - with at least two spaceships in it - and send it to you with a personalized thank-you message to use as a desktop wallpaper.

    Your still will be unique - nobody else will have one exactly like it. (Well, except for me and Charles Oines, the artist who did the animations).

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    Single Challenge Coin:

    At this backer reward level, you get all the benefits of the $5 contributor, plus I'll strike up a set of 100 or more challenge coins depending on interest. The first challenge coins will have the blue AVID on one side, and the Ad Astra logo in black and silver on the other, with the motto "Ad Astra, Per Ardua" around the rim.

    Check back for updates. Challenge coins are very popular; I want to do one for crew members of the ill fated ODFSA Warspite, replacing the AVID with a 3/4 prow on view of the Warspite. If enough challenge coins are chosen as backer rewards, I'll do more of them from the Ten Worlds universe.

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    Relativistic Rock tee shirt:

    My first product for Ad Astra was the infamous Relativistic Rock tee shirt, and it's been off the presses for over eight years. Contributors at this level get the benefits of the $5 contributor, and a newly printed Relativistic Rock tee shirt. If you want multiples of this, contact me for the additional pricing and shipping.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Logo Baseball Cap:

    All the benefits of the $5 contribution, plus you'll get a ball cap with your choice of the Ad Astra, Squadron Strike or Attack Vector logo on it. All caps will be black or navy.

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    Joint PDF Bundle:

    All the benefits of the $5 contribution, plus you get both the Attack Vector and Squadron Strike PDF bundles.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Three Challenge Coins:

    At this backer reward level, you get all the benefits of the $5 contributor, plus you'll get three challenge coins. The first challenge coins will have the blue AVID on one side, and the Ad Astra logo in black and silver on the other, with the motto "Ad Astra, Per Ardua" around the rim.

    Check back for updates. Challenge coins are very popular; I want to do one for crew members of the ill fated ODFSA Warspite, replacing the AVID with a 3/4 prow on view of the Warspite.

    If enough challenge coins are chosen as backer rewards, I'll do more of them from the Ten Worlds universe.

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    Embroidered Polo:

    All the benefits of the $5 contribution, plus you get a polo with your choice of the Attack Vector, Squadron Strike or Ad Astra logo on it. All polos will be black or navy.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Boxed Game:

    If you've heard of my titles, but don't own one, or if you own one but want to get another, this is the reward level for you. In addition to the benefits of the $5 contribution, you get a Deluxe copy of Attack Vector or Squadron Strike (your choice) shipped to you, with my autograph on the title page of the rulebook.

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Boxed Game and PDF Bundle:

    If you've heard of my titles, but don't own one, or if you own one but want to get another, this is the reward level for you. In addition to the benefits of the $5 contribution, you get a Deluxe copy of Attack Vector or Squadron Strike (your choice) shipped to you, with my autograph on the title page of the rulebook. This also includes the corresponding PDF bundle.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Embroidered Fleece Jacket:

    Your choice of logo (Ad Astra, Attack Vector or Squadron Strike) embroidered on a fleece jacket, in addition to the benefits of the $5 contribution.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Your Name On A Ship/Character:

    We generate a lot of scenarios, and in addition to the benefits of the $5 pledge level, we'll name a ship or a point of view character in the scenario lead up.

    This can appear in any product, and you'll get a copy of the product your name appears in.

    The extended delivery date is to ensure that we have enough time to fit you into a future product, and this is a conservative estimate.

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    I Teach The Game Via Skype or Google Hangouts:

    This gets you the thank you for the $5 contribution, and also gets you a 3 to 5 hour training session in the game via Skype or Google Hangouts, for you and your friends as I walk you through the basics of the game.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Get a Ship Class Named After You:

    We will name a ship class after you in the Ten Worlds or the Diaspora Setting; if you'd like a Traveller ship class named after you we can ask Marc Miller if that's OK with him. You'll get a copy of the product your namesake appears in.

    If that ship class ever has a miniature made of it, you'll get a copy of that miniature pack when it ships.

    The extended delivery time is to ensure that we have enough time to fit you into a future product, and this is a conservative estimate.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    I Design Four Squadron Strike Ships, Just For You:

    In addition to the benefits of the $5 contributor, I'll stat out four ships for you in Squadron Strike. You'll need to provide the art for the SSDs.

    The four ships should be two ships from two different factions. You'll be provided with the ship design spreadsheets and PDFs of the ships, so you can expand them out as you see fit.

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  22. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Aluminum Attack Vector AVID Cards:

    Our vendor that makes the acrylic flight bases can also do laser dye sublimation on aluminum, and laser-cut the pieces to trim.

    This would be two (2) AV:T Ship Control Cards, dye sublimated on both sides onto 0.045" thick aluminum. They can be written on (and erased) like the laminated cards, so they're practical as well as durable. Each would weigh about 3.2 oz.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Aluminum Squadron Strike AVID Cards:

    Our vendor that makes the acrylic flight bases can also do laser dye sublimation on aluminum, and laser-cut the pieces to trim.

    This would be three (3) SS Move Cards, dye sublimated on both sides onto 0.045" thick aluminum. They can be written on (and erased) like the laminated cards, so they're practical as well as durable. Each would weigh about 2.15 oz.

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    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    Aluminum Attack Vector AVID Cards (Full Set of 8):

    Our vendor that makes the acrylic flight bases can also do laser dye sublimation on aluminum, and laser-cut the pieces to trim.

    This would be eight (8) AV:T Ship Control Cards, dye sublimated on both sides onto 0.045" thick aluminum. They can be written on (and erased) like the laminated cards, so they're practical as well as durable. Each would weigh about 3.2 oz. The entire package would be about 1.5 lbs.

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  25. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    Aluminum Squadron Strike AVID Cards (Expanded Set of 12):

    Our vendor that makes the acrylic flight bases can also do laser dye sublimation on aluminum, and laser-cut the pieces to trim.

    This would be twelve (12) Squadron Strike Cards, dye sublimated on both sides onto 0.045" thick aluminum. They can be written on (and erased) like the laminated cards, so they're practical as well as durable. Each would weigh about 2.15 oz. The entire package would be about 1.5 lbs.

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Funding period

- (34 days)