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!
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:
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!