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$2,891 pledged of $20,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Jake Dluhy
$2,891 pledged of $20,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

Warscribe is a campaign management app for any tabletop wargame that supports two or more people. Do you enjoy world building games like Total War, Civilization, or Settlers of Catan? Do you want to create cinematic conflicts not just between armies, but between nations? Warscribe runs campaigns where each player can build an empire, keeping track of gold, vision, armies, and buildings. But growing empires will inevitably clash, and when they do your battles will be fought with the blood, sweat, and tears of miniature soldiers!

I played in my first campaign at the age of 10, and by the time I was 12 I was happily making alliances and backstabbing my way across the campaign map. Ever since then, I've loved the idea of taking the battles that I play and putting them in a larger context. Maneuvering armies, building cities, and negotiating with my fellow players makes me feel like with each battle, there's a larger game at stake. Not to mention, each battle can draw inspiration from the surrounding area on the campaign board. Fighting near a river? Make sure your tabletop board has a river running through it!

But they have their problems. It can be tough to coordinate all of the players, their moves, and their battles. People have lives, and the extra work that goes into running and participating in a campaign is often too much. Players start to lose interest, and then suddenly the whole campaign grinds to a halt.

If the problem is the work of coordination, the best way to handle that is make a computer do it. Let an app keep track of the different players, where their armies are, who's fighting whom, and how much gold you have to spend. As a player, it's just like playing a video game. You tell the app where you want to move your armies and what you want to build. Everyone does this simultaneously, and then if two moves conflict (for example if two armies try to move into each other's territory) the computer randomly decides which one gets precedence. But then when it comes time to battle, players meet up and play their favorite wargame to decide the outcome!

And it's all online, so while you're not playing you can scheme and plan before meeting to duke it out on the tabletop! In short, Warscribe makes it dead simple to run a campaign.

But it's not about creating a single experience with rules that everyone has to play with. The one thing I've learned is that everyone has different ideas, and they're all unique and interesting! I want to create a platform for tabletop wargamers to craft the campaign experience that they want. This might mean a lot of rules, with harsh consequences for defeat. Or it might mean a lighthearted King of the Hill game that forces everyone into one big brawl. The Warscribe system will work for either one.

For example, you can choose whether or not you see the whole map or just your own territories.
For example, you can choose whether or not you see the whole map or just your own territories.

Additionally, I want players from all kinds of different games and genres to be excited about Warscribe. From fantasy to sci fi, historical to cyberpunk, I want every game system to feel like they can use Warscribe for their campaigns. To that end, I have programmed the app so that the underlying game structure can stay the same, while different themes are applied on top.

Space theme vs. Medieval theme
Space theme vs. Medieval theme

 

I already have a lot of ideas that I want to add to the app as options for a campaign. You'll see features like army upkeep, reinforcements, army losses from defeat, attaching static lists to armies, generated maps for a battle, etc... But I have a theory, and my theory is this:

 

Everything I've thought of, someone else has already thought of, plus a good deal more. This Kickstarter is a chance to gather together a community of the most passionate and creative people in the world and give them a chance to design their ideal campaign experience.

My role will be software engineer/product manager as I take feedback from all of the backers and incorporate it into the application. Backing this project will give you a unique chance to drive the design of Warscribe. My job will be to facilitate the discussion amongst peers as we figure out exactly what will get implemented. I intend to give everyone a voice and a chance to be heard, but it's important to remember that this is a community project, and your exact vision might not be the final product.

I have already launched a minimal version of Warscribe, available at https://app.warscri.be. With it you can create a campaign with a generated map and invite players to join you.

The flow for creating a campaign
The flow for creating a campaign

Each turn involves a move phase where you maneuver your armies, a battle phase where you play your tabletop games and report the results,

Reporting a battle after playing on the tabletop
Reporting a battle after playing on the tabletop

and an admin phase where you can build settlements and armies.

Building an army at a city
Building an army at a city

Although these will be options in the full release, at the moment details like army upkeep and losses are hardcoded in. You can read more about it here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oCCM5MowOCH6RX9AaXALceklVG-tdDEvphvlri2aeAY/edit?usp=sharing

Lifetime access to Warscribe

The purpose of this Kickstarter is to create Warscribe, and the rewards are all some variation of access to the app. Everyone who backs the Kickstarter with a pledge level of $20 (or early bird $16) or above will be able to participate in the alpha/beta testing stages and have access to the group discussion where we can talk about what features and options we want to implement for the app. They will also have lifetime access to Warscribe after it is officially released (the post-Kickstarter price will be $25).

And because I want you to be able to play with your friends, even if they're not smart enough to get Warscribe (yet), you will receive 5 guest passes that can be used once to allow any person access to play a campaign with you.

Finally, for $250 you receive Warscribe and 2 hours worth of video calling with me. We can talk about anything you'd like, but this is a perfect opportunity to pick my brain, give more specific feedback, or just talk about your latest campaign!

$10 Add-on: 1 reusable guest pass

Although I would love everyone to have access to Warscribe, where players are running several different sized campaigns at once, I understand that often there is a single organizer who is drives a campaign. Whether this is with a small group of 4 players, or it's a store running a campaign of 10+ people, I want to empower organizers to be able to repeatedly run campaigns.

So as a pledge add-on, for every additional $10 pledged, you will receive a reusable guest pass for your friends. For instance if you have 4 reusable guest passes, you can run a campaign with 4 extra non-Warscribe members. You will not be able to run another campaign with the same guest passes at the same time, but as soon as the first one finishes you can start another!

You can purchase as many as you want, and every 8 you buy will drop the price by $2 (the first 8 are $10/each, 9-16 are $8/each, etc... to a minimum of $6/each).

I’m a software engineer with 3 years of experience building and shipping web applications. I have skills ranging from 3D programming within the browser to designing the database schema to hold the data. As I mentioned above, I've been hard at work for the last 4 months building out the initial version.

The funds from the Kickstarter will be used to support me for the next 6 months as I work full time to enhance the app and implement features requested by the community. It will also be used to source artwork for the game, as well as pay for the server costs necessary to host the application.

Risks and challenges

As this is a purely digital campaign, I am fortunately able to avoid the risks associated with shipping/manufacturing/production. However, software comes with it's own unique challenges, which I have tackled before and am confident I can tackle again.

1. Delivering the software to the backers: As Warscribe is entirely web based, as long as you are using an up-to-date mainstream web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari) there should be no problems accessing the app. In fact, you can go to https://app.warscri.be to see that it's already working!

2. Delivering the software in a timely manner: I am well aware that when any software engineer gives you a time estimate to finish a task you should double it. I have already tried to factor in a buffer when considering how much time to allot to the alpha/beta period, and I am confident that 6 months of full time work is enough.

3. Too many conflicting ideas: As I mentioned above, my role will be not just as a software engineer, but also as a product manager as I balance the desires of all the different backers. My goal is to create a game that everyone will be happy to use and enjoy. It's important to remember that in order to do this, some ideas might not make it in to the released app. I hope that backers come in with the expectation that they will be heard, but the final product will probably not be their exact vision.

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  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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    Pledge US$ 2 or more About $2.00

    Interactive Thank You Page

    All project backers will have their names added to a 3D interactive thank you page on the Warscribe website.

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    Pledge US$ 16 or more About $16

    Join the Campaign (Early Bird)

    Join me in creating a new way to enjoy tabletop wargames! Contribute your voice to the development of the game through alpha and beta versions all the way to the release. Backers will be choosing options they want to play with, themes they want included, and will have early access to the game as it's developed.

    Backers will also receive lifetime access to use Warscribe as much as they'd like once it is released.

    Finally, backers will receive 5 guest passes they can use for non-Warscribe members, so that you can run campaigns with your friends.

    Includes:
    • Alpha and Beta access to Warscribe (March 2018)
    • Invite to Private Group for Game Feedback and Design (March 2018)
    • Lifetime Access to Warscribe after Release (September 2018)
    • Guest Passes for Friends (March 2018)
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    Limited (44 left of 100) 56 backers
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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About $20

    Join the Campaign

    Join me in creating a new way to enjoy tabletop wargames! Contribute your voice to the development of the game through alpha and beta versions all the way to the release. Backers will be choosing options they want to play with, themes they want included, and will have early access to the game as it's developed.

    Backers will also receive lifetime access to use Warscribe as much as they'd like once it is released.

    Finally, backers will receive 5 guest passes they can use for non-Warscribe members, so that you can run campaigns with your friends.

    This is 20% off the post Kickstarter price of $25!

    Includes:
    • Alpha and Beta access to Warscribe (March 2018)
    • Invite to Private Group for Game Feedback and Design (March 2018)
    • Lifetime Access to Warscribe after Release (September 2018)
    • Guest Passes for Friends (March 2018)
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    5 backers
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    Pledge US$ 64 or more About $64

    Party Pack

    The more the merrier! Tabletop wargames are all about playing great games with your friends. This pledge will give the backer 4x the 'Join the Campaign' pledge.

    Includes:
    • Alpha and Beta access to Warscribe (March 2018)
    • Invite to Private Group for Game Feedback and Design (March 2018)
    • Lifetime Access to Warscribe after Release (September 2018)
    • 20× Guest Passes for Friends (March 2018)
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    2 backers
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About $250

    Virtual Meet and Greet

    Not only will backers receive a 'Join the Campaign' Reward, but they will also have the opportunity for 2 hours of video chatting with me to provide feedback, give opinions, and tell me about their experience.

    Includes:
    • Alpha and Beta access to Warscribe (March 2018)
    • Invite to Private Group for Game Feedback and Design (March 2018)
    • Lifetime Access to Warscribe after Release (September 2018)
    • Guest Passes for Friends (March 2018)
    • 2 hours of video meet and greet (March 2018)
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    Estimated delivery
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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