In this campaign, I am asking for your help not only to manufacture a new "mini-pack" for The Little Flower Shop, but also to raise funds for a second print run of this fine game.
As explained in more detail below (see "Kickstarter Philosophy" at bottom of this page), Dr Finn's Games is transitioning to a new business model that relies less on Kickstarter campaigns and more on investing personal funds to manufacture the games and sell through normal distribution channels worldwide.
That said, I still need your help to mitigate the financial risks involved. So, if you would like to help me continue designing and publishing games, please consider backing this project.
Before I tell you about the new "Mini-Pack" being offered here, let me introduce you to the base game, in case you are not aware of it.
The Little Flower Shop is a simple game to learn, especially if you are already familiar with "pick and pass" card drafting games. Despite it's ease of play, you must make a surprising number of interesting decisions. And, by the end, you'll have a pretty flower shop window to look at.
The game lasts 3 rounds. Players begin each round with 7 cards, they choose 1 to keep and play, then pass the remaining cards to another player. From the received 6 cards, they choose another and pass the rest. Play continues in this fashion until all cards have been used and a new round begins.
The cards include vases, flowers, hanging baskets, money, and orders. The primary goal is to find flowers that match your vases and to earn money to buy and hang baskets. The player who best maximizes their shop window earns the most flower power wins the game.
The game also has a solo mode. Here's a video of a full solo game that I made with a prototype prior to the first Kickstarter campaign.
Clarification on Versions
The only difference between the Kickstarter version and the retail version is that the "Flower-Filler" promo pack is included in the Kickstarter version. If you pledge to receive a copy of the base game during this campaign, you will be getting the Flower-Filler pack (hence, the "Kickstarter version"). There should be no difference between the first and second print runs, except that the first print runs are already made and will ship in July. I say "should" because I am using a different manufacturer, though asking for the same components.
The Mini-Pack is being offered here for the first time. It's a 4-card mini-expansion that includes 4 copies of the same card (i.e., the "surprise" card). The surprise cards are shuffled in with the deck, like all the other cards. After drafting the card, you discard it and draw a random card, which you keep and play in its place.
This is not an earth-shattering variant, but just a cute little touch that can add a moment of "surprise" to the game. Should you take a known card that's not so good or take a chance at drawing a random card?
NOTE: The Mini-Pack cards are manufactured by a different manufacturer than the base game. Thus, there might be some slight differences in card texture and colors. For gameplay, this really should not make a huge difference. A discerning eye might be able to see that one of these cards is in a hand, but because all the cards are continually passed, it's does not have any real strategic impact. Also, just remember this is a light and fun game!
The Potpourri Pack was offered in a previous Kickstarter campaign and is now offered again. This variant pack adds an interesting twist with the simple addition of 12 potpourri cards. At the start of the game, each player receives 3 potpourri cards. Using the same drafting mechanic as the base game, players pick a card and pass, then pick another and pass. After the second pass, each player has 3 potpourri cards, which provide opportunities to earn money or increase their flower power.
Some potpourri cards give you specific goals to gain a benefit. For example, one card says: If you hang 3 baskets during the game, score 1 additional flower power. Other cards give you a special power, such as: Discard 2 cards and draw 2 cards.
The Flower-Filler Promo Pack was offered during the original campaign for The Little Flower Shop. The pack has 8 cards: 4 flower bonus cards, 3 filler bonus cards, plus 1 instruction card. At the game's start, a bonus card of each type is flipped showing the popular flower and filler for the game. Players score bonus flower power for displaying the popular flowers and fillers in their windows.
Some reward levels include a copy of the game from the first print run (already made) while other levels include a copy from the second print run (soon to be made, which this campaign is helping me do!). Although the second print run will be made by a different manufacturer, there should be essentially no difference between them. I am asking for the same quality of components and using all the same artwork. I am offering the second print run copies at a lower price because of the added wait time to receive the games.
Here are just some reviews of the base game. There are no reviews of the new Mini-Pack, given that it is not intended to dramatically change the game, but simply to add a nice little touch to the game.
For those outside the U.S., I apologize for not being able to offer you the base game. If my business continues to grow, my games will be distributed worldwide and you'll be able to pick them up for very reasonable prices. So, if you'd like to help me get my games sold near you and also be able to get the special Kickstarter promo packs, you can pledge for $1 now and purchase a pack later.
Please believe me when I say that I have tried all sorts of methods of international shipping and distribution, but my efforts resulted in financial losses and way too much time spent. If you live outside the U.S. and like my games, I think the end result will be good for you -- you'll be able to buy one of my games through a retailer near you.
For those of you who have backed Dr Finn's Games in the past, you know that I have been trying all sorts of things to make my games and campaigns more appealing to a greater audience in Kickstarter.
I've had 19 successful Kickstarter campaigns and am thankful for all the backers who made that possible. However, I've yet to have a huge breakout campaign and I've spent numerous years implementing ideas believed to promote increased success: duty-free shipping, Facebook and BGG ads, BGG contests, well-planned stretch goals, upgraded components, and the list goes on.
At this point, I no longer wish to compete on Kickstarter. By this, I mean I am not going to be guided by the kinds of expectations that are now prevalent on the platform, such as unique and upgraded components (such as metal coins or minis), elaborate videos, highly refined and detailed Kickstarter pages, and the like.
I am not saying these things are bad. I am simply saying that they are not what I am trying to do and I know this will turn off a large number of backers who want to back specifically to get these kinds of things. And that's ok.
What I am going to do is focus on making the kinds of games I make: shorter, filler-like games that make you think, have good artwork, and decent components. And, if you look at reviews of my games, you'll find that they are fun.
In short, I am not promising you any flash or claim to be providing a one-of-a-kind gaming experience. But I can offer you a fun and pretty game that has received glowing reviews. And, as a special thanks, you can get the Kickstarter exclusive packs for The Little Flower Shop.
For those interested, my longer term plan is to both self-publish and to work with more established publishers (with whom I am now in negotiations). For my self-published games, I am working with a "consolidator," who is essentially a distributor to distributors. The consolidator is confident that most of this second print run of The Little Flower Shop can be sold to distributors and retailers worldwide. But, the profit margins are slim and there is still a good amount of risk. So, that's why I am asking for your help. This will be the first time I have had a second print run of a Dr Finn's Games' game.
All packs will be sent by USPS first class mail. Most games will be shipped separately from Amazon, though some may come by USPS directly from me. Depending on your level, the rewards will be shipped either in July or December (as determined by whether you are getting a copy from the first or second print run).
Risks and challenges
Game manufacturing and publishing contains a number of risks. For this project, the greatest risks follow from the fact that the packs will be manufactured in China and shipped to the U.S. The most serious threat in this regard concerns quality control over the manufacturing. A more likely threat, though less serious, is the possible delays involved. Dr. Finn's can mitigate both of these concerns. First, I will be using a manufacturer who has produced good results on card projects in the past. Second, I have successfully completed almost all of my Kickstarter campaigns right on time or even early (only 1 project was a few weeks late). If any delays do unexpectedly occur, backers will be notified promptly.
If you receive any rewards that are missing items, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and replacements will be promptly shipped. If the item arrives damaged, you'll receive replacements for whatever is damaged. Please send along a picture, as I may be able to get reimbursed from the shipper. For the past few projects (after switching manufacturers and shipping companies), we've had a very low defect rate (less than 1%).
Refunds are not usually given, unless there is a failure to deliver the games you've requested. However, if you are completely unsatisfied with any game, please contact me and we can discuss it.
Unlike many Kickstarter campaigns, Dr. Finn's Games has a great track record of being on time. Of course, unexpected things happen and there is chance that the game will not be shipped on time. I will keep you updated if the unexpected happens.
If you provide an incorrect address or fail to update your address and a shipment is returned, it is your responsibility to pay for the re-shipment.
Please read the shipping section above.
After this campaign you may receive updates on Dr. Finn's Games' other projects. However, such updates will be infrequent.
By backing this project, you acknowledge and accept the risks and challenges just stated.
Thanks! Dr. Finn's GamesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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