8-Bit Swordsman: Clash For The Prism of Punishment
A tribute to the 8-Bit RPG era. Battle across a variable tile set with bows, beam shooting swords, curses, and more!
(The 2nd part and conclusion of my 8-Bit Intro video, after the phone interruption:)
UPDATE: 8-Bit Swordsman now has a facebook page! Check it out for updates and samples for light playtesting and Print-N-Play! https://www.facebook.com/8bitswordsman
UPDATE 8-26: As mentioned over the weekend, for every 5 backers at the Full Game pledge level, I will add more printable card/tile samples to the Photo Albums on the Facebook Page!
Welcome to the 8-Bit Swordsman: Clash For the Prism of Punishment Kickstarter!
The world and theme revolving around 8-Bit Swordsman is that it’s a quest or contest between 2-4 players to earn the Prism of Punishment, a relic that awards it’s bearer untold power. However, the Prism only awards this power to one who has earned it through a trial by bloodshed, and so the game is set up in an arena style-like format. The Overworld map on which the players battle across is represented by double-sided tiles (one open-area side, 1 rubble side in most cases), and the cards which the players use to move and battle each other include various Equipment and “Curses” that are designed to pay tribute to rpgs of the 8-Bit era.
There is more details concerning the components and exactly how this contest plays in the following videos and sections, but the basic Objective is to be the first player to achieve 15 Points (and hopefully avoid the “Curse: The Second Journey” card!)
Besides the neat box, 8-Bit swordsman comes with the following components:
Map Tiles: These represent sections of an Overworld on which the combatants move and battle across. They are all double-sided in order to allow a different playing surface for each game, 1 side of which being an open area side and the other being either a Player Start side or a Rubble Field side. A standard game uses at least 9 of the 12 tiles, but all tiles may be used in order to create a larger map.
Note: While the original design was intended to be set up in a square grid for gameplay, the rules can still be applied to a tile battlefield set up in almost any connected formation. Setting them up to mimic labyrinth maps from various games in this era could be one such example.
2. The Equipment/Curse Card Deck: This 72-card deck represents the equipment and weaponry that players use to attack the other players and score points. There are 2 primary types of cards, each of which are color coded in order to set them apart during gameplay. The green bordered cards are Equipment cards, which are the inventory of adventurers and include Swords, Beam-shooting swords, Boomerangs, and other cards inspired by the rpgs of this time period. The other card type, the Curse Cards, are bordered in red, and are used to sabotage other players while occasionally awarding additional points for “Style”. Their titles also are an attempt to poke fun at situations that occurred in these games.
3. The Player Tokens: The tokens which represent a player are wooden human-like figures. There are 4 different colors, 1 for each player.
4. The Instruction Manual: A little booklet/pamphlet that is a couple of pages long. It will also include a page or two for listing the backers of this Kickstarter campaign who purchase a full copy of the game!
As mentioned before, the objective of 8-Bit Swordsman is to be the first player to score 15 points. Points are awarded in 1 of 2 ways: Either by successfully attacking an opponent with an Equipment card, or through points awarded by playing and banking a Curse card (points in this way are awarded either as an Insult to Injury, so to speak.)
After the game is set up and everyone has been dealt their starting hand of cards, the first player begins the game by choosing a card in their hand and either playing it immediately or laying it face-down in front of them for later use (strategies can be formulated in this way, as you can have multiple cards laid out in front of you.) After this step, the player then uses the card they played from their hand, or one that is already laid down in front of them, and follows the movement and attack commands listed on the card (while not all of the commands have to be used in order to play a card, they must all be followed as they appear on the card.) If the player successfully attacks an opponent without being countered in some way, that player banks their played card into their Score Pile for its point value (specified on the bottom of each Equipment card). Finally, after cards, attacks, and any Curses that have been activated are resolved, the current player discards the remaining cards in their hand and draws a new hand of 3 cards for the following turns and their next one.
Now for some more specifics concerning the cards themselves. Equipment cards can only be played/activated on a player’s actual turn, but most Curse cards can be activated in any circumstance during which their triggering condition is met. While multiple Curses can resolve at almost the same time, only 1 can be played per player for each triggering condition, and they resolve starting with the last one played. Also, concerning strategizing and playing face-down cards, there are reasonable limitations to this tactic in that a player is restricted to a maximum of 3 cards face-down at a time and only 1 of them can be a Curse.
Finally, some last notes concerning the card text: in most cases, card actions are written in a funny looking slash-command format resembling that of older computer programming languages. This was yet another attempt to jab at and recognize older computer and 8-Bit rpg games, as many of them did use slash commands in order to interact within these games.
Project Information and Funding Goals:
The Funding Goal was calculated to allow funds to be used to print a decent run of these, plus a little extra to account for shipping International orders (International Backers: Please read the Shipping Section!). It also accounts for the various transaction fees applied by Kickstarter and the other parties involved in crowdfunding transactions.
Shipping rates have been calculated using USPS Flat-Rate shipping for US orders (roughly $6-7). This gives me a safe number to go by when setting the game price and accounting for shipping fees.
While up until now I have been nervous on this subject, after experimenting with a couple of other Kickstarter campaigns I believe I am ready to approach this, but it will require some help from my International supporters as well in the following manner.
As already mentioned, the Pledge Level for a full game copy includes the US shipping rate. For me to provide for an International Backer and be confident that my set price is correct, what I ask of you is that you send me a message that refers to "8-Bit Swordsman", your desired Pledge Level (sample or full copy), and include your mailing address (I would need to ask for this at the end of a successful campaign anyway.) I can then run that through a shipping calculator with my publisher, and will reply to you with the additional amount necessary to complete your game order, rounded up to the nearest dollar.
In using this method, this allows me to provide to a worldwide market, and international backers will not be charged any extra for the game itself, just the additional amount necessary to cover its shipping.
Risks and challenges
While gaining interest can always be a hurdle, I believe that by providing a strategy for providing to a world market for this Kickstarter will help overcome that problem, and I have been as straightforward and honest as I can concerning my shipping methods and funding requirements.
Ideally, I would like to have my backers playing their 8-Bit Swordsman copies before the end of the year, but by the time the campaign ends and the funds are available for production I am aware that I may be dealing with the beginning of the Holiday season mail. That or a larger than anticipated interest could potentially delay production, but I intend to complete the Supporter pages for the Instruction Manual and get the order placed for the game copies as soon as the funds are made available and Backer feedback has been submitted.
- (30 days)