Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between the earlier version of High Frontier and the version in this kickstarter?
Every single component in the game has been updated, if you include the Colorbilnd friendly change of colors for the factory cubes and claim discs. The biggest changes are:
- Learning Path that include Space Diamonds (a fully playable game that teaches you about the map, movement and the fuel strip) and Race for Glory (an essentials only version of the game that will teach you how to use your operations in order to industrialize the solar system and win the game)
- Modular structure where the base version is less daunting both in rules complexity and price, where you can tailor the experience better to your taste.
- Continuous release of new modules by reworking the rules to work more as a game system
- Every word in the rules have been revisited and weighed towards the living rules and tweaked where needed, by a 10+ team of game and space industry experts. This work has in different constellations has been going on for a year.
- The Colonists have changed a lot in their mechanics to a more interesting, balanced and stable contribution to the gameplay.
- All factions have unique abilities and there are a number of new cards in the patent decks that had less than 12.
- The map has many small tweaks done to it.Last updated:
Module 0 is a stretch goal, that has unlocked and thus will be included for free in the core box.
Module 1 and 2 are part of the Kickstarter from the start.Last updated:
Yes. It will be a neoprene map. After the the kickstarter you will be able to add it in the pledge manager.
About the large map:
We want to make components that you players want to have in the game. The large map were in the plans for the future and since you really wanted it, we are happy to be able to make it available for you already in this pledge manager.
We have chosen to go for a neoprene solution for a number of reasons
- A divided board is a solution that requires a precision that manufacturers of large quantities cannot provide. Longpack has told us this and we have seen it in HF3 and also in other games that have similar solutions. Many of these examples have alignment issues and many buyers have been unsatisfied. The number 70% has been mentioned as an approximation of how many boards that will have various issues. This does not live up to the standard we want in our games.
- The HF map is very sensitive to alignment issues with many connections in various angles that needs to align.
- A combined board have a tendency to become separated and the gap can be annoying while dragging components on the board.
- A neoprene mat makes it easier to pick up cards and small tokens from it.
- We have images of a test print on neoprene. The result is crisp and show enough details for the map to look very good in our opinion, here's an image of a test print: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1XSUnDRcXNIoAFBL7XaYLFWHmI6w-Lgt2.
Some people like the new map but some have expressed their strong concerns for various reasons. And we want to be attentive to all as much as possible and at the same time follow our own vision and expertise. Having read your concerns we have decided to:
- The map will be reduced in size to 900mmx1350mm to fit on more players’ tables
- The price of the player mat will be reduced to 45 USD in the pledge manger because the size is reduced. MSRP will be reduced to 49 USD
- We will in addition to the neoprene addon also publish the map on Zazzle. (Note that the price there is set by Zazzle. Their price for a paper poster, of a size similar to the neoprene map, is close to our price for the neoprene map).Last updated:
HF4 has a multi step introduction through playable games of less complexity that teaches you the concepts of the full game, step by step, while playing at the same time.
Space Diamonds is a lightweight family-friendly race through the solar system. It is a standalone game. It uses the standard map from High Frontier, but has its own set of rules, its own rocket cards, and unique objective tokens.
Race for Glory is the "essentials only" High Frontier, excluding Events, Supports and Radiation Hazards. It is equivalent to Basic in previous versions of High Frontier. It is not a standalone rulebook, but instead references the Core Rulebook in detail. It uses its own set of two-sided cards. Race for Glory also includes a comprehensive tutorial that teaches you the rules of “essentials only” High Frontier via a discursive approach.
High Frontier Core Rulebook is the standard version of High Frontier. It includes deeper simulation layers than Race for Glory, with rules for thermal control, power requirements, solar flares & Radiation Belts, Glitches, hazardous operations, LEO debris, budget cuts, and more. It uses its own set of two-sided cards.Last updated:
More or less every component in the game has been reworked and updated. since High Frontier 3. So if you want every component that changed, getting the Core box is the way to go. You will get all rulebooks, the new busted/glitch markers, the punch-out board with Space Diamond chits and more as well as the updated play mats with fuel strips and the player aid. With the upgrade kit you will be playing with the old map, the old cubes/disks/beads etc and the old cards. There will be some discrepancies relative to images and abilities in the rules but the rules has preference and it will be fully playable, since it is equal for all that play using this setup.Last updated:
Yes, you will also be able to add some of our other games to your pledge. After the campaign closes you will have a chance to update you shipping address, add items to your pledge and manage your pledge through a pledge manager. You will be able to change address and update your pledge until mass production is completed and shipping from manufacturer will start.
All backers from all levels will have access to upgrade their pledge after the campaign ends.Last updated:
Yes. If you want to add more copies of the games to your pledge, just increase your pledge amount accordingly via “Manage your pledge”. After the kickstarter is over we will send out a pledge manager in which you can fill out how many games you’ve pledged for. Actual shipping costs will be added during the pledge manager.Last updated:
Yes. See question above about adding more copies.Last updated:
We are looking for more localization partners, but at this point no more language versions will be included in this Kickstarter campaign.Last updated:
The update pack does not include the cards and map, nor anything from either module 1 or 2.
What has changed in HF4:
-the cards (especially in the modules, but also in the base game)
-the cardboard components (playmat, solar cycle board, etc.)
So if the upgrade kit would contain all new material, the only thing you would keep are the wooden components of earlier versions. And in a way not even them since the player colors have been altered to serve all three kinds of color blindness. If you want the full HF4 experience, then you should just buy HF4 with the 2 modules.
With the update pack, you can play a "HF2.5 or 3.5" with HF4 rules on HF2/3 map and cards. Some may find it a bit awkward, but it is certainly playable.
We offer it because of many requests that has been made for it to be an option.Last updated:
In the development of High Frontier we try to find the best balance between quality and a good price for the Core box. We really wanted to make this price low enough for many to participate in the adventures in our imaginary future solar system industrialization. At the same time we want to release high quality games when it comes to the components. If you have played our latest versions of Greenland and Neanderthal for example, this is what we aim for.Last updated:
All games on https://ionsmg.com/collections/game that are not sold out.Last updated:
We are proud of our work in this area of proof reading. There are 4 misprints found in Bios:Origins (or technically 5 since one of them applies to 2 cards). Given the amount of rules, cards and components in Bios:Origins this is good. Of course, zero errors is the goal but at the same time, being professional about it, we have to acknowledge progress and level of success. And 5 errors in the 10ths of thousands of potential errors that could have occurred in Bios:Origins is a really good level, and an improvement relative earlier projects. To take an example in High Frontier 4 All: The database for High Frontier 4 all has a bit more than 100 fields for each post (card) and there are 204 cards atm (may end up being 199 but it is more or less 200) This result in 40000+ locations to proof. Only in the cards. Plus about 150 pages of rules with many illustrations and examples. This is roughly 100000 instances of potential errors. And add to that a number of languages you end up with half a million instances or more. Almost no books, films, games or other published media are 100% error free but at ION:SMG we put a high amount of effort into finding the errors, even in relation to others.
We have improved our proofing processes over time, and we have improved them even more for High Frontier from before (and all KS backers are invited in this process as one of the instances). Zero errors among all these instances is a goal but not something we can be certain to achieve. We take this process very seriously and I think we do a good and increasingly better job at.
We have taken many steps to minimize the risks of proof errors. Here are concrete examples of the major ones:
- The game files are organized in a more strict way in our cloud based file storage
- There is a “pass-the-baton” workflow that we try to keep stricter now. Or pass the boulder as Phil says.
- We are sending the games to Heavy Cardboard for preview which give them an external hard test.
- We have three external specialists that review all components and rules in two different waves during the development process
- We make extra copies of the samples to have more people be able to check the games for errors.
- We invite all backers to proof read all rules and components prior to sending the final version to the printer.
- And of course, we all have a heightened awareness about proof errors.
Regardless of how many steps you take to prevent errors, errors will occur. The games we do are quite complex with many components and rules. We are all human after all.
(Maybe HAL would do it better… ;)
But we are really trying hard to minimize errors.Last updated:
Our policy is to:
- have games we offer on KS in good quality from start
- not have any unique KS editions. What is unlocked here is unlocked for everyone.
- not have important game sections be excluded/dependent on stretch goal unlocks.
- offer a good amount of stretch goals so that the backers that follows campaigns they backed can experience relatively frequent unlocks
- offer a game that has a sensible weight, so that you who buy (now and in the future) it does not pay unreasonable amounts in shipping.
- make High Frontier a game that has a relatively low price tag for its core game, to make the initial step to buy it accessible to more people.
The combination of these ambitions have some effects. Just to mention one: Good quality from start and frequent stretch goals means that the number of steps for component quality upgrades are limited and thus have to be in small increments. Cards for example does not come in thicker quality than 350 gsm normally. There are not that many steps from decent quality cards to 350 gsm.
If we were to double or quad our initial components, increase sizes and replace wood and plastic with metal and glass for example, we would end up with a very heavy game, with 6mm boards and a footprint in the game shelf that is very big. Many players appreciate size efficiency and lower shipping from smart component quality choices (=not unnecessarily heavy). Which we think is an important factor.Last updated:
The water/isotope beads are not stackable as they are done now. We have tested both variants in playtests and players have preferred the rounder, more droplet like qualities of the beads over the stackability of disk shaped tokens. Comments have included that
- they feel better when handling them
- there are more to the point simulation wise
- disks have a tendency to slide apart when stacked anyways (unless they are made of wood)
- they look better in the map and on the boards when they are beads
- they look more like the water icons which is good for visual consistencyLast updated:
When we started creating the new version of High Frontier we soon came to the decision that we wanted to make a game that reach more players than the earlier versions. Here is a list of the most important considerations and choices we have made in order to fulfill this vision:
- The obvious: print enough copies and keep printing the game as long as we (including Phil) feel that it is a game we want to keep making available.
- Make the rules more accessible through introductory game modes, and scenarios. This include new components and extra cards.
- Make the rules more accessible through a well developed layout where examples and rules tips are organized clearly and where there are more art and image material than earlier.
- Collaborate with Heavy Cardboard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U85YvfeDI4E to bring players well produced rule explanations.
- Rework the layout for consistency, card-splayability and clarity in where information is presented.
- Make the game modular so that you can tailor the way you want to play it. Just Core. With a certain Module of your taste. Or as a complete, advanced all-in experience with all modules (which will increase in complexity over time)
- Open up for publication of material from players. High Frontier have many dedicated fans who make house rules and components. Now we want these great creations to have a chance to be published for real. We have set up a structure to accommodate this.
- Make the Core game less expensive. So that someone new to High Frontier does not get repelled by the Core box's price tag
- Make the components of the game more attractive and easier to digest for a standard boardgamer audience.Last updated:
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