Arena: Grand Champions is a competitive, turn-based strategy board game where 2-4 players choose from a cast of diverse heroes to fight and become the next Grand Champion of the Arena. Each bout is a struggle for survival where the players will form fragile alliances only to turn on each other when the time is right. But beware, the contestants aren’t the only dangers in the arena. At the whim of the crowd -- the arena master will let loose traps and wild monstrous beasts from around the realm to claim the life of even the greatest warrior. Anything goes in the Arena, and each contestant must be prepared to do whatever it takes to claim the title of Grand Champion.
Welcome to the Kickstarter campaign for Arena: Grand Champions, and thanks for checking out the project. We are HiDDEN, an independent game studio based out of Northeast Tennessee. We had the idea for Arena during a production class in college. During that semester, we worked hard to make a really fun and unique experience. When the time came to turn in our project, it was a hit. People loved playing it and told us that "This should be something I find in a store." That is exactly what we aim to do. We have been working hard to refine the visual aspects of the game so that the aesthetics and layout of the game pieces are the best they can be. We have been refining and improving our rules so that the game is easy AND fun to play. We have also been remodeling our own custom models so that you can hold a beautifully sculpted character in real-life.
In order to really push our project to its final stage of completion, we need your help. We want to make the boards, cards, and game pieces out of high quality materials. We want to be able to develop new game modes, characters, and challenges to expand the game experience. We want to produce game pieces that can stand next to the best models found in your favorite tabletop games. By contributing to our campaign, you are helping an extremely passionate and talented team bring an awesome board game to tables everywhere.
Every single copy of Arena: Grand Champions in the Standard Edition will ship with the following items:
- Game Box
- Rule Book
- Folding Game Board
- 4 Gladiator Character Cards
- 12 Maneuver Cards
- 12 Event Cards
- 1 Leader Token
- 23 Event Tokens
- 4 Dual Dials
- 4 Gladiator Cardboard Standees
- 4 Pillar Cardboard Standees
Please note that in order to get the 3D miniature characters and pillars, you must buy at least the enhanced edition of the game.
The army of the Empire is disciplined, vast, and well-trained, with its reach extending into most corners of the known world. Most officers treat the various Imperial campaigns as games that, when played correctly, yield fancy homes and cushy jobs. Some, however, see Imperial expansion as a necessary taming of a chaotic and violent wilderness. The Soldier had such conviction. Whether fighting the rogue Dune Lords to the South East or reigning in barbarian raiders to the North, the Soldier has always been a part of the action. He's earned many spoils from his victories and perhaps even more scars.
He may have retired after a few more years but never got the chance. He should have seen it coming. That little rat was only the commanding officer because his father was a Grand General. The “boy's” thirst for glory and disregard for his men's lives became too much for the Soldier. He called the noble out in front of the other officers and humiliated him. The next week, some missing slaves were found buried near the Soldier's squad's field barracks. They had been mutilated in the most heinous ways. The Soldier and his squad were court-marshaled. They were sentenced to life in prison, and he was thrown in the pit of the Grand Arena. With every new gladiator and beast he slays, he wants revenge even less. His blade has seen too much blood. Once he becomes Grand Champion, he'll put the sword away forever.
The Soldier is a tank in the arena, focusing on defense above all else with his great shield and heavy armor. He is also a master of control, allowing him to hinder his foes' attacks and find even the smallest openings to strike.
Magic and those that use it inspire curiosity and fear in those that do not have the talent for it. It is for this reason that many magic users keep to themselves or even hide their abilities. The Enchantress was no such coward. She is a brazen force of will unlike anything the world has seen yet. Being a magic user earned her no amount of true friendship, but she didn't need that anyway. The minds of lesser beings were so easy to twist.
This earned the attention of the Emperor himself. She was tasked with creating an answer to unruly civilian populations in conquered lands. If only she had known that even this power-hungry man could not commit to true control. Years of research and preparation lead to the unveiling of her accomplishment, crippling the minds of an entire city. The assembly of trained killers and corrupt politicians did not react as predicted. For her “heinous and vile crimes against life” she was thrown into the pit of the Grand Arena. She would have to fight her way to the top, something she knows is well within her ability. As if these animals could keep her from her destiny, for she is the apotheosis of magical prowess.
The Enchantress has extensive magical abilities. She can mind control other gladiators to attack themselves or others. She can also use a disabling spell to exhaust or wound them before they can get close.
Barbarian villages have always existed outside the edges of the Empire, worshiping old gods and fighting among themselves. Life is difficult for these king-less clans, but they live their lives to the fullest. The Barbarian hails from one such village.
Fighting is commonplace among the clans of the wild, and this lead to the hardening of the Barbarian's body and the strengthening of his soul. This ancient cycle of war and feasts was shattered, however, when the Empire arrived full-force. This violence was nothing like the traditional warring of the clans. The Empire seeks complete and everlasting dominion over the world at any cost. The Barbarian's village was one such cost. He lost everything that day. His home was destroyed. His family was taken. He was even denied the death of a warrior.
Captured and caged like a beast, these little men taunt him and force him to fight in their blood game. When he hears the gates open and the crowd cheer, he seethes. If they want blood, they'll get blood. First in the Arena, then through the streets of this devil city. Every gash and broken bone just give him more rage-fueled strength. He will win, for his lost home, for his fallen brothers, and for his stolen family, or he'll die trying.
The Barbarian fights with an unbridled rage on the arena floor. He attacks with no concern for his own safety, charging his enemies and relying on his strength to kill his opponents before they can even touch him. And if his enemy does hurt him, his blood lust will only increase.
The Empire is large enough that many do not care or notice when a person dies. Even brazen assassinations are normally forgotten within a few years. The Assassin made her living off such carelessness. The process was simple and effective. A client need only give the Assassin's friend and employer the information on the target and the proper amount of blood money. Then they simply waited to hear the “tragic” news
If only the last job had been so simple.
The job was like any other. Sure, there was some extra risk with the target being a noblewoman, but it was nothing the Assassin couldn't handle. That is, until the city guard were waiting at the vantage point for her. Try as she might, they were two steps ahead. She might have wondered just how they had gotten wise to her plan if a particularly stiff looking meathead hadn't given her a single silver coin before taking her away: her employer's calling card. Not only had she been set up, she'd been set up by her most-trusted friend. In the holding cells of the Grand Arena, her mind returns to her next target. Funny that she'd never actually wanted to kill anyone for free until now. Time to make an escape. After that, she would savor her next kill.
The Assassin prefers quick movements and strikes to take down her foes. Her daggers allow her to close any distance and stab before retreating out of range. She also carries a bow for engaging enemies at a range. As someone that needed to make quick and stealthy getaways, she has the agility to jump over other combatants and obstacles.
Monsters & Traps
The game-makers of the arena pull out every stop to keep the crowds cheering and the gold flowing in. They have captured a variety of creatures to help in the slaughter of their combatants. A gang of goblins wield daggers and prance around their prey. A pair of captured minotaurs see only smaller creatures to kill. There are even rumors of a subjugated demon lord that the game-makers save for very special events. If the contestants and the various monsters weren't enough, the game-makers of the Grand Arena have designed an array of gruesome traps to help the blood flow and keep the crowd cheering.
Of course, if people are really passionate about the game and are screaming for more, we are more than happy to oblige. Our initial goal will help get complete and awesome copies of the game out into the world. We can always add more, so we have devised some stretch goals that will make the game that much better, if you so will it. The stretch goals are vague for now, but we will flesh them out as the campaign progresses. Check those out and consider helping us achieve even more awesomeness!
We believe in quality and transparency. You can have faith that we will do our very best to bring you the best quality product we can. This section will outline how different parts of the board game are made.
When we first designed the prototype for Arena: Grand Champions during college, we wanted to get it as close to a professional-looking board game as possible. We did research on which companies could get us a good quality prototype of our board game. We found a web-to-print company based in the United States. We sent them all of our art and chose our printed components. A week later, we got all of our printed pieces and they looked great. They are made of industry standard materials that you would find in your typical board game from a brick and mortar retailer such as 60pt chipboard and 305gsm card stock. Through these services we can get professional quality game pieces while keeping the cost low, which saves you money.
While we can produce great models with our in-house 3D printer, there are companies that have access to much more robust machines capable of producing very high-resolution prints. Therefore, every digital 3D model we produce will be thoroughly inspected and prepared for printing before we ship the files off to a third party printing service so that they can produce a very clean result from the start. Once we get them back, we will go to work cleaning them up to perfection and molding these master models. We will make silicone molds that we can cast perfect copies from using Smooth-on resin. That way, you get perfect game pieces in a sturdy material that will last for a long time.
Where We Were and Where We are Going
We made the prototype of this game with the full intention of making everything about it much better once we funded the game. Of course we only had so much time in class and were doing it partly for a grade and partly to establish a prototype and proof of concept. What you see in the initial campaign is not the final quality of our product, and we wanted to show you an example of how we plan to create new designs and improve the game. Below, you can see our first 3D model of the Barbarian character and the new model we have designed. As you can see, it is much more detailed and redesigned to better match the character. It is safe to say that almost everything you see from our prototype will change in some way to make the game the best it can be. Keep checking on the campaign and our social media accounts to see updates as the game is made.
You should know what your money is going toward, especially on Kickstarter. You have the right to know what you are paying for. As such we will try to be as clear as possible in this section to outline where money will go for the project.
First off, if you are buying a copy of the game, most of that money goes toward getting the game made and sent to you. Remaining money will go toward buying other rewards like the shirts and posters. We also need some initial funds to buy the master 3D prints, molding/casting materials to make copies, and other one-time production tools/materials. Other places your money could go include buying shipping materials, miscellaneous consumable supplies, paying third party artists for their beautiful work, and a little to us so we can take the time off work to focus on making this game the fun and quality product we have promised you.
For a full breakdown of what our budget looks like and how much money will go toward different areas, see the lovely pie chart below:
We want to keep your cost as fair as possible. As such, we will be doing shipping charges once the campaign ends to ensure you don't overpay. The exact shipping method we use will have to be determined once we have a better idea of how many copies we are selling. If we sell enough to qualify for bulk discounts and shipping through our print distributor, they will handle shipping just the board game to your door. Being a large business, they can handle shipping in a more cost efficient manner. Any rewards that we personally make such as the miniatures, shirts, posters, and busts will be shipped by us in the most cost efficient manner possible.
The costs below are if we are shipping the game to you ourselves and are estimates to help you get an idea of what you might pay.
United States - $13.65 to anywhere in the United States
Please note that these estimates are based on a copy of Arena Grand Champions in box size and weight shipped using a USPS Flat Rate box. We are going to look into alternate methods of shipping to help bring the cost down for our backers and get you our game for less.
If you like what you see, please consider donating to the campaign and help us meet our goal. We are really excited for this game and hope you are too. We are committed to bringing you the best product we can make. Thanks again for checking out the Arena: Grand Champions project and we hope to hear from you soon.
If you would like to see some of our work we have done so far or contact us, visit our website below:
Or follow us on social media from the following links:
Thanks again for checking out Arena: Grand Champions!
-The HiDDEN team
Risks and challenges
Here at HiDDEN, we are dedicated to making the best possible games to play. After all, we enjoy good games ourselves. We have met with several outside individuals who play a lot of tabletop games to test our games mechanics and rules in order to make sure every play-through is fun and unique. We also will work with professional manufacturers to make the highest quality product for you to enjoy.
This is our first physical game that we are producing and manufacturing ourselves. As such, we have and will continue to work extremely hard tweaking our game, seeking feedback, and then tweaking it some more. This game has been in development for about a year and we have done an extensive amount of research on production methods and the best way to deliver a quality product at a fair price in addition to making the game as fun as possible.
We are a very small team who are just getting started and don't have the greatest resources available right now. We are ordering all of the game components except our miniatures through a U.S. based printing company that will print as many games as we need. As for our 3D game pieces, we are enlisting the services of a third-party service to 3D print our incredibly detailed models on their best laser printers. Once we get the "master" models from them, we will proceed to clean up any imperfections left from printing and mold them so that our castings are perfect.
We are doing plenty of research on how to produce the best castings for your game pieces. We will make certain that every model produced is without blemish or we will make another. We want you to be 100% satisfied with what you buy from us. If the game reaches a level of success where we can no longer keep up with handcrafting every copy of the game ourselves, we will do extensive research on outside manufacturers to help keep to our shipping dates. If we aren't happy with the quality of these manufacturers, we will find a way to get the job done with as few delays as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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