The three artists I have working on the graphics have kindly provided me with some samples to show off. Please know that these are merely prototypes and are by no means final, but you'll no doubt appreciate these sneak peeks!
What's next? Well, the sculptors are working on additional infantry poses (such as the Viet Cong with an RPG and so forth), and these are inherently more laborious, so it'll be a little while longer before I have more samples after this update. Of course, all the additional miniatures are adding to the production schedule's timeline, although I am still endeavoring for September. Still too early to tell, but we are actually making very fast progress if you think about it. In a month's time, we have gotten quite a lot completed already, and I am not letting a day go by without moving the ball a little farther down the field.
I would estimate the Vietnam map to be (roughly) 75% finished, and the WW3 map, which is a much simpler game and a simpler-looking map by design, is 90% finished...it just needs sprucing up, but the foundation is all there. I don't have a good handle on how long it will take the sculptor to get the other new infantry poses done, and they might cause the most delay with the production of the actual game pieces, but at least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
In the meantime, we are working on box art. The image shown in the kickstarter page will probably not end up being the actual box art, as it is a licensed work, though I DID have permission to license it for purposes of this game, but no official agreement has ever been signed, so we are exploring some different looks that are arguably more emblematic of a "strategic" Vietnam game rather than what might be misconstrued as a tactical game. I hope to have something by the end of May to show off, however.
I will have a set of mostly-finished rules for the WW3 game by the end of May for everybody to review, and that game will effectively be done and ready, conceptually speaking. The designer and I will be displaying the Vietnam game at the Expo convention at the end of June (using prototype components, of course), after which some outside playtesting is expected to begin ("outside" meaning that other people will playtest the game without our involvement, guidance, or help). Once we have that settled, the work on the solitaire rules will start (while all these other gears and cogs are working away).
It's my expectation that all the game piece sculpts will be finished before then, and so once all the graphical elements are in place, we will start making arrangements with the factories to prep our files, review them, send us samples for corrections and preview, get approval, and queue them all up for the day when we push the big green "Go" button and start cranking these out.
But we're some time away from that. For now, I primarily wanted to show everybody the sample map and sample event card so you can see that the aesthetics of this game will be every bit as beautiful as I had promised. Man, when you lay out your Vietnam map on the table, you will be in the Nam! I will boast that I think we'll have the best-looking Vietnam map of any game to date or since.
Comments, critiques, observations, questions, and accolades are all equally welcome! Let me know how you think we're doing, the good, bad, and the ugly.