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The Blue Bomber blasts his way into the board game world!
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Jasco Games

2,639 backers pledged $415,041 to help bring this project to life.

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Approval Process

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Greetings Blue Bomber Fans!

As I mentioned in last weeks update, I was going to talk a bit about the approval process for the game pieces, and some artwork.  I'll be showing off some artwork that I don't believe we've shown before for the board game.  One of the biggest time consuming part of this board game has been the approval process.  The producers of the game in Japan are very meticulous about all things Mega Man, and that shows nowhere like the approvals process. 

That's not a knock though, because their attention to detail helps make the game look that much better, and makes it certain that it's the best product we can put out for you, the fans!

The Process

At the beginning of the process, we had discussions about what exactly we were able to put into the game.  To start, we were wanting to create the best possible experience that we could that would emulate the game.  However, we also wanted to make sure that the game was expandable over time.  Some of our original ideas didn't really fly with that, and originally the game didn't even have a game piece component.  The things that were continual were the fighting through robot master levels and the customizable deck components.  We did a massive brainstorm a long time before the Kickstarter ever launched, and we started the process of talking to people who had experience creating game pieces.  After that, we had a conference call with Capcom, and explained our ideas.  Originally, they were hesitant at the scope of our game, but we discussed things, sent them preliminary rules and some very basic graphic ideas.  Then we got to wait.  They submitted the whole idea to people in Japan, and after some back and forth of us answering questions we finally got the go ahead. 

We still wanted to make sure that Mega Man fans would be happy with our endeavor.  We needed to promote the game, which is when we started doing graphics for Gencon.  With the turn-around time for some of these, some graphics were started in very early July.  We already had a bunch of artwork from the comics, which was a good place holder for things that we were eventually going to upgrade later.  We had a great fan showing with the Mega Man Collectors tins, which were also a first for our company, and we were thrilled that things went smoothly with Capcom.  But we had yet to go through an artwork approval of any sort with them, because the tins were entirely using Archie comic work because it was needed for a quick turn-around time to get the tins out.

However, at Gencon, our partner, Ninja Division had already had two test sculpts to show us which we were able to show off.  These actually were entirely new, we hadn't seen them, but it was more of a test run to see what their sculptors can do.  We were thrilled, and they were two little treasures.

Who remembers these guys?
Who remembers these guys?

The Miniatures

 So what all goes into a miniature?  We'll take on Mega Man in this instance. 

The first sculptor we got really nailed the Robot Masters, but his Mega Man figures were not quite what we were hoping.  He was close, but there were issues with the face that didn't seem to be able to be fixed. 

A solid start as we can see.
A solid start as we can see.

There were several things that needed to be corrected on this model, and this was even before Capcom saw it.  We were aware that they were probably going to come back on plenty of things.  We had gotten both color renders and black and white renders, so we went to make our comments.  We got another revision (version D) at that point, and continued to make tweaks.  Since Ninja Division was our contact for this project, our approvals process generally went something like this:

  • Miniature renders delivered (Day 1)
  • Jasco goes over the model.  At least two people looked over the model to check for quality (Day 2-3)
  • Comments made to Ninja Division (Day 4)
  • Ninja Division delivers comments to sculptor (Day 5)
  • Sculptor generally has a specific day reserved for each project, so we have to wait for that day. (Day 6-12)
  • Sculptor delivers new render to Ninja Division (Day 13)
  • Ninja Division delivers new render to Jasco (Day 14).

At that point, we repeat the process until we were comfortable with delivering to Capcom for their comments.

 With revision F, we had this:

We submitted to Capcom, and then they gather all the items to submit for their approval, and it's between 7-10 business days before we hear back from them.  

Here's an example of comments that we sent to Ninja Division:

Only one or two comments...
Only one or two comments...

As discussed above, we eventually decided that we would switch sculptors on Mega Man.  The other sculptor had already taken on Rush and Roll, and we really liked his ability to take on those characters.  So we decided that we would have him start with the Blue Bomber.  This of course, added time to the approvals, as we're now starting from scratch. 

The new sculptor decided that he was going to start with a non-posed figure, so that we could get everything out of the way detail wise, and then he could pose it afterwards several times.  This was to speed things up so that there weren't tons of revisions to the final model.  Little did we know that wasn't entirely how it was going to work out, but it certainly did help.

So there he was... just standing there!
So there he was... just standing there!

And in response, Capcom sends something like this:

 This was fairly typical early on for Mega Man.  He was by far one of the hardest of all miniatures (except for Ice Man!). 

As one can expect, with all these revisions, it was taking it's time.  The only pieces that were approved right away were some of the simpler minions, like Tackle Fire and Octopus Battery.  The rest had a lot of little tweaks. 

Our last comments from Capcom on Mega Man before he was approved:

 From the start of Mega Man approvals with the new sculptor, which Capcom's initial comments were in January of 2014, the Thumbs Up Mega Man was the last to be approved.  He was not finally approved until the end of July!

Artwork

So one of the things we wanted to make sure was that we had awesome artwork.  We spoke to one of our favorite UFS artists who we really enjoy working with.  His name is Eduardo and he does this guys (read: the guy writing this update) personal favorite UFS artwork.  However, I was not aware that the guy was a huge Mega Man fan.  But, Jason, the boss man, showed me this piece of artwork that Eduardo had done for fun:

Not Capcom approved! (Obviously)
Not Capcom approved! (Obviously)

 You can see Eduardo's Deviantart gallery here.

I was sold! So we talked to him and he jumped at the chance to do some artwork for us.  The cover was our first priority, and here are the ideas he came up with:

For the uninitiated, number 4 was the chosen one!  Which one is your favorite?  You can post in the comments.

Also, we were needing new Robot Master artwork for the cards.  We knew we were going to use Capcom artwork or the cover in the cases of Protagonist cards, but the Antagonist cards were something else.  We needed them wide, so that we could put them in our frames.

Here's the artwork as it's approved:

So there you go!  If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments and we'll do our best to answer!

Colored Game Pieces, Status of Graphics Approvals

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Greetings Blue Bomber fans!

It has been a busy few weeks, and first off, let us apologize for the time between updates. 

The Big News

The first and foremost we have a big update today!  Originally, I was going to talk about the approvals process, because we've heard people talking about the delays in the process and we wanted to touch on the subject so people understand why things can take so long.  However, something was dropped on my desk this week.  Well, two things really.  But while both are Mega Man related, only one was board game related, and sure the part that is more exciting to people. I'll touch on approvals in a future update.

Samples Arrive

So as I arrived for work on Tuesday, I had a feeling it would be a good day.  Sun was out, wasn't too warm in sunny Vegas, and while I'd say that my Monday wasn't as easy as I hoped, Tuesday was met with great gusto.  Then the UPS man came into the office and dropped off a box.  From the writing I could see immediately that it was from the printer.  They had mentioned that they had done a lot of work right before the new year and wanted to get us samples before they shut down for the Chinese New Year.

I attacked the box (carefully!) with the vigor of a child at Christmas with his first present.  What I opened was pure gold.  Every single Mega Man miniature, carefully hand painted for color placement and to show the colors we had discussed.  While not everything is correct, seeing it in the flesh I'd say most of it is very close. Which leads me to part two of this exciting story:

Meeting with Capcom

So on Thursday morning, I (as in the guy writing this update) had a breakfast with our licensing rep from Capcom.  They were in town for something entirely unrelated, but I jumped at the chance to meet them and show the game pieces in person.  Here's a photo of what they saw:

My God... it's full of miniatures...
My God... it's full of miniatures...

It's interesting to see people's reaction on projects. It's always something to see a computer rendered picture, it's another to actually hold it in your hand.  To quote Capcom: "The quality of the Mega Man figures were amazing."  They finally were able to see in their hands what we were trying to do, and said that the level of detail was more than they imagined. Both reps immediately pulled out their phones and asked to take pictures.

The extra benefits is that we were able to talk production and schedule.  They said that they're going to do everything that they can to help us get this out as soon as possible. 

Segue into the next part of this update:

Status of Graphics

Graphics have gotten about 95% approved. They asked for them, due to time constraints to be just dummy text for the last few updates, unless it's something simple like say, legal lines.  While we snuck in some text on things, for the most part we obliged.  I'll be including some of the graphics on this update.  The things that we have now are pretty small, and will be approved once all the final typesetting has been completed.

The things which require some additional time at this point are some of the images on the dice (we've gone back and forth with them on these a couple of times), some logo placement, and some artwork placement and removal on some things. 

However, I'm hopeful that we will have the final rulebook in your hands in the next few weeks all nice and pretty!

So on to the photos!

Color Samples Photos

To whet your appetite, I'm going to show some of the photos that I've taken of the new game pieces in all their glorious color.  This is at my desk, so please excuse the lack of backdrop and everything, we just want to get these out to you as soon as possible.  We have to get a space for the miniatures to be photographed for Capcom as well.

Please note: These models are hand painted, and very close up.  I'm including a size comparison with a quarter so people can see how big they actually are. The "Thumbs up" Mega Man is the one that we compared as the base size for all models, and he stands 4 cm tall.  The largest, Yellow Devil is 10 cm tall.  These samples are for color placement, and therefore when it's finally gotten the color tooling finished, the lines will be sharper.

The base model that will be in the game box
The base model that will be in the game box
From the side
From the side
#Wilydomination on my desk!
#Wilydomination on my desk!
Don't test his fuse!
Don't test his fuse!
I'm sure he has a sharp wit.
I'm sure he has a sharp wit.
A 'shockingly' good piece if I do say so myself!
A 'shockingly' good piece if I do say so myself!
Who turned on the furnace?
Who turned on the furnace?
Get to the choppa!
Get to the choppa!
Who left the fridge open?
Who left the fridge open?
He's slick!
He's slick!
I've… seen things you people wouldn't believe…
I've… seen things you people wouldn't believe…
I'll stand on my own some day.
I'll stand on my own some day.
Is there a doctor in the house?
Is there a doctor in the house?
Housekeeping!
Housekeeping!
Woof!
Woof!
Also known as "Winions" in some circles...
Also known as "Winions" in some circles...
Size Comparison
Size Comparison

Graphics

As noted above, most of the graphics have been approved.  So I'm including new box images, cards, card backs, protagonist cards, boss cards, and a myriad of other things.  Hope you enjoy!

The pre-constructed deck back
The pre-constructed deck back
The pre-constructed deck front
The pre-constructed deck front
Rulebook Page
Rulebook Page
Antagonist Card Bomb Man Front
Antagonist Card Bomb Man Front
Antagonist card back - Bomb Man
Antagonist card back - Bomb Man

The rest of the antagonist cards will follow suit, with the symbol and art and title changing of course.

Protagonist card front - Mega Man
Protagonist card front - Mega Man
Protagonist card back - Mega Man
Protagonist card back - Mega Man

These will have artwork and titles that reflect the different characters.

In a future update, we will show the typeset items, other parts that are completed and approved, and the new artwork we have for the Robot Masters.

Long story short, it's very close.  

Finishing the Pre-Tooling steps

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Greetings backers!

We do apologize for the lack of updates.  The person who writes them (me!) was out for the holidays, and while no vacation actually survives without work, there was even more catching up to do afterwards.

What have we been doing on the Mega Man Board Game? Good question.  Speaking with the printer is our first and foremost priority.  Since our last updates, we have gone through and put in numbers for units ordered for all things, given more detailed color sheets for each character, and been making notes and comments on game pieces.

We'll talk about the Mega Man models in a paragraph, as we have discussed with the printer on various ways to make them stand.  Since they were sent as just a model (if you remember from previous photos, some didn't have feet that would be flat to the ground) and therefore we had to explore how to exactly make them stand on their own on the base.

First we'd like to touch on the time frame.

Discussing with the printer what they told us in August, was what we can term as "true at the time."  This was when they told us that we have to just send them the 3D files and they would create everything from there.  However, when we gave them the files, they in turn told us much later that we should have them printed domestically, and then we'd send them directly to the printer.  That was done, but that apparently shuffled the queue a bit, and therefore it wasn't until recently that they went through their dismantling and building of each miniature so that they can be molded and tooled correctly.  This is good in some ways, because we were able to provide a very high-quality print of the model, and we had a lot more control than if the printer in China was doing it.  However, it now has apparently delayed things at least a month or two. They have said that tooling and everything needed before the model creation will be done before the Chinese New Year, but that month we were trying our best not to hit is apparently looming now.  So we're hopeful that it's early Q2 at this point, but we'll keep you updated as the printer gives us more.  Obviously, everything hinges on how fast color approvals go, but we're trying to get those in as soon as possible.  We're unhappy that it's another delay, but once again we'd rather get things right and to you in the best quality that we can.  We appreciate your patience on the matter. 

Mega Man Poses:

So most of the Mega Man poses didn't need anything special, however, most of the models we had to do visual inspections of each one put in a base to see how it stood, if there were any imperfections in the reproduction process, and anything else that could potentially be an issue.  This week, we're going to cover Mega Man specifically, and just show you how things progressed on models that are posed in a difficult way.  We had to have a discussion with Capcom about how the feet interact with the base itself, to make sure that they understood that detail in the feet would be lost, because if there's something we've learned in our dealings with licensors is that it's best to keep them in the loop as often as possible.

Mega Man Running:

With Mega Man running, the biggest thing was that the printer initially kept the foot flat.  Not the worst thing in the world, but we had to explain where the peg needed to be afterwards.  Don't mind the pen marks, we were told those are only used by the engineers for unrelated things and don't have anything to do with the model itself.

Close, but no one looks at the ground like that! Well, sometimes I do...
Close, but no one looks at the ground like that! Well, sometimes I do...
Yay Photoshop corrections!
Yay Photoshop corrections!
Interesting solution! We were told that the piece that his foot rests on would be clear. But...
Interesting solution! We were told that the piece that his foot rests on would be clear. But...

 The "but" is that this didn't keep the aesthetic we wanted.  Also, we noticed that they had not put the design of his foot that would be upright back.  So we had to say it in corrections!

Yay!
Yay!

Mega Man No Helmet

Did you know one can actually be confused on Mega Man's hair color?  Oddly, I have two pieces of "approved" artwork that have different hair colors!  And, still took me a few days to get from Capcom which the actual approved version is.  However, none of that actually affected any of the images you are about to see.  There was no Mega Man hair colors harmed in the steps of this game piece!

I think I tripped?  Catching myself before I fall? Not sure.
I think I tripped? Catching myself before I fall? Not sure.
Seriously, Photoshop can be just like Superman some days.
Seriously, Photoshop can be just like Superman some days.
Once again, came back with the transparent support
Once again, came back with the transparent support

 See notes above about the transparent base.  Same thoughts here. 

Yeah! Mostly...
Yeah! Mostly...

 We've asked if we can actually just have it stand on the front peg, instead of needing both. We're waiting to hear, but we also said based on time if it required both for balance purposes, that we'd understand and keep it there. 

Mega Man Jumping

Mega Man doing his best Neo impression
Mega Man doing his best Neo impression

 Wow. OK, well, guess the photo of how he was supposed to stand got lost somewhere.  Seriously, was waiting to see some ripples from bullet time going over when I saw this. But I digress...

Seriously...
Seriously...
Closer?
Closer?

 OK, points for effort.  However, put the stand on the wrong leg, and let's go with just a peg!  There was actual discussion of whether or not he should have a stand like Peng or Octopus battery, but it was decided to keep him on the base completely.

Yeah!
Yeah!

So there you have the journey of the 3 Mega Man poses that were an issue.  Next time I'll go over some of the other issues that we ran into during the engineering part of the process.

Until then...
The Jasco Team

Robot Masters, Holiday Season

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Greetings Blue Bomber Fans!

Printer Updates

We have finalized with the printer on estimates and everything, and they have started the tooling.  There was some talk about trying to save money with resin on the minions, but after they saw how many models we needed, they said it needed to be plastic.  For the record, we have over 70,000 of the base Mega Man model being made. The lowest count model is Yellow Devil which is 2700. 

Robot Master Photos

We have been late with the pictures of the Robot Masters, so we do apologize for that.  Here are the Robot Masters themselves, again, the pictures have been adjusted for brightness.

 The Holidays

So the person who mans the Kickstarter (me!) is going to be out of the office for two weeks.  There will be people in the office for basic operations and shipping packages, but the Kickstarter will probably not have the consistent checking that it has had recently.  However, when I'm back on the 5th, I'll be sure to respond to messages and post more updates as needed!

Minions!

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We have been in contact with the printer.  They have received the 3-D prints of our models, and they're going to move to the next step of tooling.  We're needing to adjust some of the packaging now that we have actual sizes, but since the general look is fairly set, it should just be simple adjustments. 

So last week, we showed off up close shots for the Mega Man family game pieces, and this week, it's Proto Man and Minions!  Again, these have been considerably lightened to show some of the surface detail that might not be able to be seen with our incandescent lighting. 

 Corrections:

Not all corrections are done by the place that does the 3-D printing.  For instance, with Met, Capcom instructed us that we have to make sure that his helmet stripe and plus are as close to the helmet level as possible, so not very raised, and not lowered.  So we are having the place that produces the model put a material on the model itself so that it fits with Capcom's wishes.