Here are some of our plans for the campaign relaunch of Small World 2.
Before commenting, please keep in mind that:
- we want this campaign to be simpler, not more complex, than before
- we want this campaign to succeed, but not by relying on exclusives
- we will be reading all comments and criticisms (especially the thoughtful ones ;-)
- but we won’t be able to accommodate everyone’s wishes and special situations
OUR NEW CAMPAIGN GOAL
Our new campaign will focus on funding the port of Small World 2 to Android Tablets and Steam PCs. Our goal is to raise $ 150,000 to help finance the development of Small World 2 on:
• Android tablets with the following specs:
- Screen size: 1024x768 or better
- Android 4 ("Ice Cream Sandwich") or newer
- 512 MB RAM or better
• Kindle Fire tablets
• Steam PCs with the following specs:
- Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
- Dual Core 1.6 GHz or better
- RAM: 1Go (XP), 2Go (Vista), 2Go (Windows 7 & 8)
- Screen: 1024x768 or better, supporting OpenGL 2.0 or better
- Sound card, Internet connection for online gaming
Provided we hit our goal before the campaign ends, we will deliver Small World 2 on these platforms within the next 12 months.
WHAT ABOUT SMALL WORLD IPAD PLAYERS?
The iPad rewrite of Small World is well underway and will ship later this summer (2013). This new version will retail for $ 9.99 (vs. $ 6.99 for the current version) on all platforms, including the Apple App store.
This new version will feature asynchronous online play, using our own in-house servers, 3 - 5 player maps and a host of other improvements. All existing Small World iPad users will receive a free upgrade to Small World 2.
The Be Not Afraid... expansion will be released at the same time as Small World 2, and sold as an in-app purchase, similar to how Cursed! and Grand Dames are sold in the current app.
There are additional rewards (Kickstarter bonus pack, board game goodies, etc.) you may want even if you already happen to own Small World for iPad, so read on....
We will offer different campaign tiers:
- Our primary reward level ($ 15 - Skeletons level) will give backers of this campaign a copy of the game on 1 platform of their choice (Android tablet, Kindle Fire, Steam PC or iPad) AND a free copy of the Kickstarter backers digital bonus pack - a set of 3 new races & 3 new powers developed by Philippe Keyaerts specially for our Kickstarter campaign.
- Backers who pledge at higher levels ($ 40 - Goblins level; $ 60 - Orcs level; etc.) will receive additional physical game goodies (6 player cardboard map, hardcover encyclopedia); Some of these goodies may become available at retail later, but only later and only at higher price points.
- Existing Small World iPad players who are only interested in the Kickstarter backers digital bonus pack will be able to pick it up without buying a 2nd copy of Small World iPad, by pledging at a new $ 8 - Tritons level.
- Existing Small World iPad players interested in some of the higher reward levels will be able to choose a different platform (say Steam PC) for themselves OR to donate the copy of Small World 2 for iPad they receive to a friend while keeping the Kickstarter backers digital bonus pack for themselves.
THE KICKSTARTER BACKERS BONUS PACK
- The Kickstarter backers digital bonus pack will be treated as an achievement linked to your online account in Small World 2. This means that once you get it, you will be able to play it on all platforms you own Small World 2 on.
- People who discover the game after our campaign has ended will get a chance to play with the Kickstarter backers digital bonus pack, but only when they join an online game started by someone who already owns this pack.
- In addition, and to stay within 3rd party guidelines on some application stores, we may end up making the Kickstarter bonus pack unlockable through some other means - but the requirements to do so might be difficult or time-consuming (e.g. winning 1,000 online games of Small World 2).
To help broaden support for this campaign beyond owners of an Android tablet or Steam PC, we plan to offer a handful of items as “à la carte” add-ons anyone can tack onto their own pledge.
If you are a board game player of Small World, for instance, and do not care about any of our digital stuff, but wish to own a cardboard version of Philippe’s new Kickstarter bonus races & powers, then consider pledging at the $1 - Pixies level and add $ 9 to your pledge, for a total of $ 10. You will receive a copy of our Royal bonus; Or increase your pledge to $ 31 and receive the Kickstarter bonus pack AND our insanely cool “I backed a Troll” t-shirt; etc.
THE DESIGNER'S OATH OPTION
A major draw of our earlier campaign was the deluxe Small World Designer Edition.
We don’t want this high-ticket item to overrun this campaign; nor do we want to run a separate campaign on Kickstarter just for its sake; and while we agree that its limited nature will be part of the appeal for some (there will only be a single production run of the Designer Edition ever made), we have decided against entirely shutting out people who’re not aware of this campaign or not willing to pay up for it unseen.
So we will make this edition available at retail, in late 2014, through a single, limited quantity, production run.
But we’re offering Kickstarter backers a unique option, while taking some of the bite off of paying it all upfront.
If you select the Designer’s Oath as an add-on (i.e. add $ 80 more to your pledge), we will prepare you a unique, numbered copy of the Designer Edition, signed by the author and the developers of the game, and specially engraved with your name.
This spare-no-expense, limited Designer Edition will ship to you in 2014, at least 3 months ahead of any retail release; your copy will be one of the only signed and numbered ones (retail copies won’t be signed, numbered, or personalized), and it will be yours for $ 80 less than the planned $ 400 retail price of the Designer Edition. Backers who take the Designer's Oath will pay a total of $320: the $80 reservation payment through Kickstarter when the campaign successfully closes, plus another $240 just before we customize your Designer Edition in late 2013/early 2014.
International customers will be able to take this Oath as well, by adding an additional $ 50 to their pledge for shipping fees and taking responsibility for any custom or import fees, as well as any taxes (including VAT) their home country may impose on this shipment. International copies of the game will ship through the US Postal Service - Priority Mail International.
We are looking at the feasibility of offering (non-numbered, non-signed) copies of the game at retail outside of the US, as well as at the possibility of shipping Designer Oath versions to European customers from our usual European warehouses. If we manage to do so, please be aware that the MSRP of the game in Europe will be significantly higher - probably € 400 instead of $ 400 - because of the increased shipping costs and 20%+ VAT we will incur as a result.
The last 10 days have been interesting. We passed the midway point toward our initial goal; and if we didn’t change anything, we believe we’d successfully fund this campaign. Whether we’d hit our $300,000 Android stretch goal is more in question...
BUT, it’s clear that our campaign was messy and confusing, leaving many people out and disappointing others.
- Making the goal of the campaign the funding of a new ipad version we had already decided to do was wrong.
- Having Android as a stretch goal was a mistake. We underestimated people’s reluctance to fund a platform that might not happen.
- Making the designer edition the centerpiece of the campaign’s rewards left people wondering “whether we were trying to fund the software or the Designer Edition?”
So we’ve come to the conclusion... It’s time for a re-boot.
What does that mean?
- Tonight (Thursday January 24) at midnight EST, we will cancel this campaign.
- We will immediately go back to the drawing board to create a new campaign, that will launch in mid-March.
- This new campaign will focus on a single goal: funding an Android tablets and Steam PC version of Small World 2.
In the meantime, we will continue to read comments and post updates on this page after the campaign is cancelled. We want to hear what you - backers and critics alike - have to say.
With your input, we’re confident our next campaign can be a success for all!
The Humbled Trolls of Small World
P.S. Don’t worry, the Designer Edition won’t disappear. We are thinking of a new way to offer it to people more simply.
Here's a visual guide of the rewards backers will receive at various pledge levels. Graphics for pledges at the $30 level and above have been updated to reflect the recent addition of the Royal bonus.
As in prior updates, all illustrations are iconic only, not actual representations of the rewards themselves. For instance, backers at the Heroic level will receive more Army sets than are depicted on the pledge level; the Print Artwork of the Orcs level won't be the one depicted here; the Designer Edition's box won't look like this; etc.