It’s been a while since our last update on the progress of GAR, so it’s about time for another update. First, let me pass along the latest news that I have from Richard, the designer and project manager on the project:
“I've been working with Brad on the redevelopment of GAR and Alethea has been helping me to revise the layout of the cards. Soon we'll have a complete list of art assets we'll need from Tarol and Danielle for the final artwork. Next on the list is to get an official quote for the production run from the printer. But, at the moment, we're working out the spoiler list for the final set of design changes that we've made to solve the problems that came to light before and during GenCon.”
Many of you probably realize that based on the time that it takes to manufacture a game, this means that we’re running late for December delivery. By not having the final design and quote ready by the end of August, we’ve been running on borrowed time for delivering it when we promised. So, with the status of the design of the production materials still being finalized, final release of the game is going to be delayed beyond December. I’m very sorry to have to announce this and apologize for not being able to deliver the game when we promised during the campaign.
Here’s why - as we tested the game further during the campaign and afterwards we discovered that the design we placed on Kickstarter wasn’t quite ready and it needed substantial redesign work to get it to the game experience that we promised you. We opted to continue to work at it (with the hope that we could stay within our initial timeline by finalizing the layout and reward designs in parallel) to make it better rather than print what we had, but we have missed that window. Ultimately, this means we will be able to deliver what we promised at the cost of when we promised it. And, we feel bad that we could not do both.
To provide some context for the issues that have led to this unfortunate delay, I can tell you about my own experience with GAR. In July, I got to sit down to my first game. I was pretty excited, I had been talking to both Rich and Brad about the game for quite a while and seen the videos of Rich, Tarol & Danielle playing it initially in April. I had looked at the cards and rules, but I hadn’t yet actually played it.
We chose our characters, shuffled our decks and got started. I went first. By the end of my first turn, I was essentially eliminated. I had chosen not to cooperate and one of my opponents was playing Kore. Kore attacked and killed one of my characters then played a card that allowed his partner in crime, Minmax to do the same.
Since I hadn’t played before, I was a clean slate. I approached the game from a direction that no one had tried before, and took myself out in the process. In hindsight, I definitely played sub-optimally, but the ease with which my party was destroyed by me choosing not to cooperate led all of us to question the set of options built into the game. After talking things over it seemed unlikely I was alone in not wanting to have to be diplomatic all the time. That being the case, the game needed a substantial revision.
No one wanted any of you to have the same first game experience that I had.
We have been reworking the game all summer in order to solve this problem. We brought GAR to GenCon to test out one solution and, then again, to Comicon in NYC with a different set of revisions. The process has been nerve-racking and exhausting, especially once we knew that we had passed our deadline for delivery. But we have kept at it to make sure that the final game play experience will be fun for everyone who plays the game, even those who don’t want to be friendly all the time.
Fortunately, we have the final design at this point and even though we are still working out the final spoiler list to provide to the printers, these revisions and refinements have simplified the rules significantly, shortened the time it takes to play to less than an hour and eliminated the unfun parts of GAR which we saw during the demos.
All so that the game you get is the one want and the one we wanted you to have all along.
Those of you whose pledges come with prototypes, we will be in touch once the new components are ready.
Any questions or concerns, please shoot me an email (email@example.com). Technical, i.e. website, questions can go straight to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you haven't logged into evertidegames.com please do so (support or I can help if you need it). Now that we are over the revision hump, updates should come more often, but if you need something please reach out.