It is the eve of Carnivale on the magical Victorian isle of Ludobel, and you are all invited to the fantastical festivities!
In the card game Belle of the Ball, players take on the roles of party hosts, seeking the best mix of guests to make their gala the greatest by the end of the night. In order to ensure that they stay one step ahead of the other hosts, players will have to carefully watch the growing line of guests at the door, inviting those in that seem to share passions with partygoers already inside, all the while handing out their precious stash of Regrets to those who should seek delight elsewhere. Of course, other hosts may find it advantageous to invite a rejected guest inside just to collect their accumulated Regrets for later use.
Hosts may also choose to ignore the competition for guests and instead try to earn the favor of the Belle herself - the muse of the festivities whose mirth, mischief or mayhem can make or break any party.
The cards and components will be of the same high quality as in Carnival and The Great Heartland Hauling Co. The box size will also be the same, so you can easily take it with you to your next soiree!
Belle of the Ball is a game for 2 to 4 party-goers, ages 10 and up, and designed by Daniel Solis. You can learn more about Daniel's design process, as well as the full development life of Belle of the Ball, on Daniel's personal design blog.
Belle of the Ball will feature a ton of cards, most with unique and stunning art from award-winning artist Jacqui Davis. Here's what you'll find inside every copy of Belle:
- 60 Guest cards, representing five representatives each of the 12 counties of Ludobel. Each guest card is unique - that means 60 different character portraits from Jacqui!
- 27 Belle cards that describe a certain action that the Belle can perform, divided into three categories: Mirth, Mischief and Mayhem. Players can use all three categories or mix and match to create a custom gaming experience!
- 3 double-sided score cards for tracking how well each players' party is faring during the game.
- 8 wooden scoring discs in four player colors - and more, with use on special scoring cards, are planned if we reach our stretch goals!
If you'd like to dig deeper into Belle of the Ball, you can download the simple rules here. If you have the time and wherewithal, you can also download the full Print and Play files with the rules for the base game right over here. Just bear in mind that we're still refining things a bit to make sure they are the best and clearest they can be. The final rulebook will also contain variants and advanced scoring for the more hardcore partiers! We can also make the rulebook larger to incorporate some expansion ideas that have been in development for awhile - if funding for our party goes well!
Belle of the Ball takes place on the magical Victorian isle of Ludobel - a wondrous place filled with rich history and loads of whimsical characters. The guests that players invite to their parties are comprised of residents from one of 12 counties on the island. The attire, title, and sometimes even the name of each guest reflect the culture and contributions of each county.
Designer Daniel Solis likes a good story and his award-winning work on Happy Birthday, Robot, Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple and numerous other role-playing and storytelling projects are reflected in the tales of Ludobel. Look for project updates that will feature more about the counties, people and history of this wondeful isle!
Dice Hate Me Games has been blessed with some of the best backers on Kickstarter. The enthusiasm and support of those backers have made it possible to not only produce our card games Carnival and The Great Heartland Hauling Co., but also to quickly sell out of the initial print runs. Honestly, if we had known, we'd have ordered more! But, that's the nature of the business - sometimes you have to be cautiously optimistic.
Since we've had such demand for both games since selling out, we thought that the Kickstarter campaign for Belle of the Ball would be a perfect opportunity to fund a second print run for both titles. Since they are all produced by the same manufacturer, we will be able to combine production times and shipping, cutting costs and getting all three titles to the market at the same time.
With each of your pledges to Belle of the Ball you are essentially lending your support for the birth and rebirth of three games - so now you can feel three times as good for being so awesome to us!
Achieving our base funding goal ensures that we're able to produce Belle of the Ball (and Carnival and The Great Heartland Hauling Co.) at the quality that you've come to expect from Dice Hate Me Games. Now that we've reached overfunding, we have some cool ideas to expand the game!
Our first stretch goal for $30,000 has been reached! We're now able to introduce a whole new set of guests... who weren't invited to the party! These party crashers are Grifters who don't call any particular county in Ludobel home, but prefer to wander about from party to party, spreading their particular brand of mischief. For more information about the Grifters, please see project update #2!
Since this campaign is also a way for Kickstarter backers to pledge for Carnival and The Great Heartland Hauling Co., we also have a stretch goal just for them - and we've reached it! Since we've hit $35,000 in funds, every copy of Carnival will include the Sideshow expansion and every copy of The Great Heartland Hauling Co. will include The Badlands 5th player expansion! More info. on these expansions can be found in project update #2.
Our $40K stretch goal is a very special "inspansion" for Belle of the Ball! We can now include the County Pride variant card inspansion - a set of 12 double-sided cards representing the 12 counties of Ludobel that introduce variable player powers and advanced ways to score!
The image above is just a sampling of the County Pride cards, and you can find more info. on this inspansion in Project Update #4. We'll be unveiling more County Pride cards, including information about the various Counties and their rich culture and history, over the course of the campaign.
We've reached our next stretch goal at $48K! This one is a tad smaller than the County Pride inspansion, component-wise, but definitely not in scope. We'll be adding two more features to Belle of the Ball: A special Belle's Favor variant card and more scoring discs to allow players to play the "Epic" variant and add a 5th player while playing in "Classic" mode! Be sure to check out all the details on this stretch goal in Project Update #7!
Thanks for helping us to bring more to Belle of the Ball - keep spreading the good word and let's keep this party going strong!
"I’m very pleased with Belle of the Ball. It played well with all our groups and left everyone satisfied. Dice Hate Me Games has another great game here and I’m pretty sure they know it." - Cyrus Kirby, FatherGeek
"Quick enough to get a game in without feeling rushed, strategic enough that there is the occasional pause to figure out the best move. It’s a great balance of luck and strategy." - Ken Grazier, Geek-Craft
"The instant I picked up the cards for Belle I was hooked on the concept and look of the game! Belle was my favorite game at UnPub 2013. I played it three times and each time it was unique and enjoyable. Even though Belle focuses on the individual player's decisions, it is super interactive and enjoyable for serious gamers and party gamers alike!" - Lesley Louder, ChalkboardGamer
"Belle of the Ball is fun. Simple as that. The art is slick, the names of the guests had our group laughing, and the game play is fluid. This is a nice game to breakout with pretty much any group of people - it's simple yet maintains a level of strategy that anyone can engage with. Definitely glad this got to the table at GenCon." - Charlie & Matt, Sizzlemoth
"My husband and I had the opportunity to play Belle of the Ball during GenCon. Out of the many (many) games we played it is one of two we continuously gush over. It's easy to understand, quick to set up, laugh out loud enjoyable, and gorgeous. Hats off to designer Daniel Solis and well done to Dice Hate Me for picking another winner!" - Annisa Jones, Tangerini
"I loved playing Belle of the Ball. The theme, art, graphics and mechanics blend into a wonderful package worthy of placement on any game shelf. I am excited to play this with family and friends! Cannot wait to get everyone announcing their invitees to the ball!" - Brian Frahm, frahminator
"Belle of the Ball is the best game for couples since Lost Cities!" - the_FlyingSheep
Kickstarter provides a platform for direct consumers to get Belle of the Ball shipped directly to their door before it hits the store shelves. As a retailer, though, you may reserve copies of the game through Game Salute.
Without our Kickstarter Backers, Dice Hate Me Games would not be able to bring quality games to market. To show our respect and appreciation, DHMG promises that backer copies of Belle of the Ball will be shipped out before copies are available for purchase at retailers or conventions. DHMG also pledges to keep all backers informed at every step in the development, printing and delivery processes. We love staying in touch with all of our supporters, so please never hesitate to contact us with questions and concerns.
Hello again! Can you all believe that two years after the launch of our first title, Carnival, that we're here presenting our sixth Dice Hate Me Games title? These past couple of years have been an overwhelming experience, and I'm humbled by the support from everyone that has been along for the ride since day one - or joined us along the way!
I'm very excited about Belle of the Ball, and I think you all will have so much fun throwing your parties - especially when announcing your guests! Daniel Solis has poured out his heart and put all of his extremely creative mind into this project for over two years, and I couldn't be more proud to offer it to all of you.
Thanks in advance for all of your support - now come on in and let's get this party started!
All the best,
Risks and challenges
As with any project that involves the production and manufacture of a good to be delivered, there is certainly a real chance for hiccups, delays and more than one or two gremlins gumming up the works along the way.
Luckily, we have a few projects under our belt, and have dealt with many of those snafus and gremlins. We have a good working relationship with two of our overseas manufacturers and have become accustomed to their protocols, communication styles and general idiosyncrasies. We try to plan for all contingencies, and we've been fairly successful with that in our past projects.
We've learned a lot these past couple of years. The last Dice Hate Me Games project - VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game - was successfully funded last month and is currently in production. Things are going smoothly with that project, so far, but it still falls well within the risks and challenges category since we are still awaiting dice samples and file approvals. We are vigilant and resourceful, however, and will keep on top of that project while we promote and prepare Belle (and Carnival and The Great Heartland Hauling Co.) for a hopeful production run. If there's one thing we've gotten good at it, it's multitasking!
We won't lie - stuff happens. Delays can occur. Sometimes you have to go back and forth on color samples six times just to get the color right, and even then the color isn't perfect. But what we do promise is that we will hold ourselves to the same high standards we expect from other board game publishers, and we will be completely honest and open with each of you every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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