Hi everyone! While we’re entering the final stretch, we wanted to let you know about the latest progress on the board game. We’re happy to announce that the final graphics have been submitted to Capcom for their review. We've gone back and forth a few times and we’re hoping that everything is good to go this time around. Once we've gotten the final approvals, we’ll be releasing the rule book for the game.
Also, sometime next week, we’re going to be showing off a special unique game piece. We’re excited to show off more of the game and we hope you’re excited as well!
We’re happy to announce some news for the board game. While it might not be the most exciting update, we wanted to keep you up to date with the latest information as we get closer to our release window. Today’s update comes in an episode of The Joffice, our podcast. We receive the white sample of the Mega Man Board Game box. The white sample lets us ensure that all the components will fit safely into the box. As we note in the video, there will be some changes, but we just wanted to share so you can start to get an idea of how it will all come together. Enjoy!
It’s been a very busy few weeks for us here at the Jasco Office. Obviously, there’s been a lot of UFS related news on our Facebook feeds, but some have asked about board game news. We’ve held off mostly because we’ve been busy working on the game to get it finished! Some good things to report, after working through several weeks and weekends, we have a few topics to cover today,:
Graphics and Typesetting:
The typesetting is essentially done. We’re going through adjusting type here and there (little things like spacing letters that run together, reviewing items for design reasons like widows/orphans and numbers, and a few other mundane things. We’re hoping that it will be in approvals very early next week. As we typeset, we realized while discussing with play testers that there was some confusion on cards, so we’ve adjusted graphics for some things which does mean approvals will look those over, but we’re hopeful that it doesn’t slow us down. Once the graphics with typesetting are approved, we’ll be able to finally send out the rulebook that our backers have been waiting for. We’re really excited to get this whole thing out the door.
Plastic production has started, and the second round of color approvals have started. To might right, we actually have a pile of game pieces with the new colors how they’re going to appear in the box. Capcom has received them, and forwarded them to Japan for approvals, and we’re hoping for a positive result, as we discussed what colors should be used quite extensively to try and save time. The new pieces we have were painted with the tooling process and so therefore what things should look like in final production. They will all be in their own plastic bag to preserve the paint during transit.
The printer is busy making sure that all the components are going to fit in the box that they’ve talked about. They’re producing what they call a “white sample” where they just take blank white paper and cardboard and put it together and make sure all the components fit comfortably. We’re trying to gain ground on production time which is why we’ve asked them to start production of the game pieces. We’re hoping for no real adjustments on packaging, although since it would only adjust size a small amount, it shouldn’t require an extra round of approvals if anything was to change, only if the design actually changes significantly from the images.
As this part of the board game is now winding down, in our down time we’ve been discussing the next expansion of the board game, and what the plans will be. We’re probably looking to Kickstarter for the expansion, however, internally, we agreed on several things, most notably that we’d like to get more production done up front. We’ve decided that we will have the game complete and the scope better defined for the future, but also to avoid potential delays that we’ve experienced with this project. We have learned quite a bit on this Kickstarter. Being this is our first board game, we’ve gotten advice from everyone we could, and while we padded the schedule for approvals, we have learned a lot along the way. So when we have a firm feel for Mega Man 2 Expansion, we’ll have more info for our backers. Also, we’ve got some special plans for Mega Man in the future that allow you to use the board game pieces for other things. Stay tuned for more info in the coming months!
Sorry for the delay in updates. It's been a whirlwind of events in the office: getting ready for GAMA, getting colors approved, finishing typesetting, and going over production models with a fine-toothed comb to make sure that they're good to go, getting colors approved, and finishing typesetting.
Update on Typesetting:
The game is about 85% typeset. As we write this, we're doing final edits for grammar and making sure stuff makes sense in the rulebook, but not to waste time we're doing the layout as we speak and will make edits as needed. Only a few things remain, Boss cards, Protagonist cards (i.e. The good guys!), and a few other things, as well as the finishing touches on the rulebook, obviously. As soon as the Rulebook is approved, we will be sending out the link in an update for folks. We're excited to get these things to you. We know you've been more than patient, and we really appreciate this. It's been quite the experience getting this game together and watching the process start to come to a close and get to print.
Update on Approvals as they stand:
Several of the miniatures have been given the go ahead; anything that the production model and colors matched. Capcom wanted the flesh tones more pale, and decided that some colors were off. Going back and forth, I sent them what I felt could be a better replacement, and they gave me some and approved the others. Now we're waiting for updated color models so I can send those back into Capcom.
If all goes smoothly this weekend, we're hoping that everything will go back into approvals on Sunday night. Hopefully Capcom will give comments quickly. Since the graphics were approved with only slight changes, such as move a logo here, remove art there, we should be in the final steps. The printer is busy looking over box contents and preparing what they call a "white sample" which is where their engineers create just a blank box with all the stuff inside to make sure that everything fits. They'll amend any dies that need to be changed, then we fit the graphics and off we go!
So we didn't show off minion models in the update with the color samples. Well, not entirely true, Big Eye pushed his way in there, as well as Yellow Devil. And they were in the box. But I digress! I have a soft spot for Sniper Joe personally, but they're all so cool they fit into every game!
If you pledged a level that gets a photo in the rulebook, we need that photo ASAP! Anyone who does not get a photo in by the end of next week will be missing out on their chance to be immortalized in the rulebook.
So it's a short update this time, mostly because we're wanting to get back to getting this product out the door and everything finalized!
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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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:
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!