Jess Worby here. I made the art for Guts of Glory. We of the Guts team are totally floored at how supportive you have all been, and thank you from the bottoms of our hearts, or, in Jesse's case, dorsal tube. The three of us have worked closely together for countless hours and it means a lot that you all have decided to help make it a reality (not the apocalypse, the production).
The road up to this point has been an adventure, but stay tuned, because the future holds some amazing stuff. Read on.
We are opening up a new reward tier!
For $65, we have decided to offer up a "grab bag" including concept art, sketches and unused art from the game.
Illustration often involves a lot of unseen steps, and this project was no exception. I may be biased, but I think this is an incredible deal—you are getting some interesting looks behind the process of creating the game and some not-too-shabby original artwork (unframed), and you're getting it for $30 (plus a signed and numbered copy of the game, which is $35). Pieces available include alternate art for the glory cards, sketches for an unused version of the box art, the "Cute Stomach" art from the promotional pins (!), the very first concept art that didn't end up getting used for cards (a rusty pipe! a sentient fridge! a dirty gym sock!), and much more. Seriously—even I, who tend to be a typically self-deprecating artist, think this is a deal and a half.
Also, a bunch of you have asked about Guts-related holiday gifts since the game itself will not be produced until next year. Just for you, I am going to create a special holiday card to be sent to the person of your choice. We apologize that the game itself will not be ready in time, but hopefully this little token of our appreciation will whet your appetites enough until you receive you glorious game box in March. The greeting card will contain a note about the game they will be receiving and a link to a print & play version of the game. This option will be available for all backers $20 and up—we'll get the info from you in the post-funding survey.
(Behind the Scenes)
I would like to take a moment to tell you about how things came together from my angle.
Zach and I have wanted to collaborate on something for a while, but the type of stuff I do didn't make much sense with any of his past projects. Those of you who know my work know that "sleek", "pixel-based", and "minimalist" are not really my style. But then, a few months ago, Zach had an idea for a board game (a board game, I say!) that seemed up my alley. "The artwork needs to be kind of creepy and weird…" he said, "so do you want to take a hack at it?" Flattery will get you everywhere.
I was excited to finally get to work on something with Zach, but there turned out to be a caveat: he needed the art done (about 30 card illustrations and a couple of giant mouths) in 10 days for No Quarter, the NYU Game Center's annual game exhibition. "No problem," I said, ignoring my quickening pulse.
Zach had already started conceptualizing some of the cards at this point, so we sat down that night to sketch them out, brainstorm more cards, and establish a general narrative and tone for the world we were in effect creating. We ended up staying up late and having a total blast. I sketched out about 30 cards in my sketchbook and we laughed at our stupid ideas for hours, which is always a sign that you are on the right track. I love this part of the process almost more than making the actual final drawings. Super fun.
The next morning, Zach gave me some interesting news: the printing was going to take longer than expected, so actually he needed the art in three days. I cannot remember the look on his face at this point; I just remember sitting down to start drawing. A couple days later I was finished, and slept the sleep of the dead.
While I was drawing, Zach, Jesse and some friends playtested like there was no tomorrow. Eventually, we realized that it was actually pretty good. Zach and Jesse started talking about the possibility of actually producing the game on a mass scale, and maybe using Kickstarter to do so. The game was well-received at No Quarter, and we decided to go for it. Jesse came on board to help develop the game and the rest is history.
When I say I "made the art" for the game, I'm actually not telling the whole truth. I may have drawn the pictures, but many of the ideas and editorial changes that vastly improved them came from Zach and Jesse. Likewise, I have been a part of the design and development processes. I have learned a good deal about game design, production planning, and running a Kickstarter—this was not a normal Art Director / Illustrator relationship. It was more fun.
Aside from the box art, some revisions and new ideas for cards, that is my story. Yes, there are six fingers on all of those hands. Yes, we tried to work in a little comics sequencing with the Tires of Doom. And yes: those are men's underpants on that bottle of hot sauce. Your eyes are not deceiving you.
On a side note, all of you politically aware types should check out 52 Shades of Greed, another illustrated deck of cards that I contributed to. They are running a Rockethub fundraiser to get it made. It has some great art and a good message.
I love you all like a box of spiders, and I don't care how many chews it takes to get to you.
Jess (+Jesse +Zach)