You — What? How? I Just Can't Even... WOW!
So, I wake up today and I'm flabbergasted. (Flabberghasted? Hm, no. But I am visited by a Flabberghast! Sounds like some kind of Nevernever threat. Spooooky.)
- We've broken $100k in 33 hours of campaign-time!
- You hit the Expansion #1 Fan Favorites stretch goal at $102k while I was getting the kids ready for school!
- You are so, so enthusiastic while I am still so, so sleepy! (Yaaawn...Well, at least that's one of us with a ton of energy right now.)
No Excuses This Time, Hicks
Yeah, that's fair. I'm awake. I'm awake! I promise.
You Were Pretty Confusing About The Expansion Pricing, Fred
I didn't mean to be! But I should've been clearer, it's true.
An expansion for DFCO contains 2 player decks, 2 book decks, and some additional Side Jobs cards. That's a single thing. That single thing is priced at $10.
(It's not $10 per deck within the expansion despite my apparent best efforts to make it look like that might be the case — holy smokes, that would just be horribly overpriced!)
And now that the Fan Favorites expansion has been funded, all you need to do to make sure you'll get it is add $10 to your current pledge level, as described on the last update.
After the campaign is over, when we launch the BackerKit a few months from now, we'll give you the opportunity to explicitly select the expansion, but you don't need to do that now. Allocating the funds with your pledge will sure help us reach our goals, though!
How Come The Expansion Isn't Free?
It's a separate product with a separate price. We're extending the product line, and we need to do that sustainably, which means we can't take actions that will undercut the price of the game and its expansions for retailers.
As a game company we absolutely need to keep our retailer relations healthy; they're our lifeblood outside of crowdfunding, constituting a significant majority of our company-sustaining income. It's smart business and it's smart for the future of the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game.
Plus, giving away real products with real prices for free could run into some serious contractual problems with our license for the Dresden Files.
So, we've got a lot of motive to play this smart, as much fun as it would be to do this for free. For now we're gonna run the campaign that makes for the best, most stable & well-deployed product launch possible. A strong entry into retail will serve the game, the designer, Jim Butcher, us, and, ultimately, you better as it will increase the chances we'll eventually be able, in later months & years, to do more for this game than the Kickstarter alone enables. The books will keep coming, and we'd like the game to keep coming too if at all possible!
All the Same, Aren't You Asking For Too Much?
Well, let's look at this first $100k.
$10-12k's set aside for payment processing fees (3-5%) and Kickstarter's cut (5%) and setting up BackerKit (1-2%).
$25k or so is set up for the combined designer & author royalties.
Art budget (especially with the extensions and all you funded yesterday), including licensing existing works, etc, gets us up into the $20k-or-so range as I recall.
So let's say out of that $100k, $60k is pretty easily quickly spent already. That leaves us with $40k to produce, manufacture, and deploy two new products to fulfillment centers, before we can start shipping those things to you.
Not to mention, the more backers we pick up, the greater the likelihood we'll need to increase the size of our print run of the core game at the very least, so we need to pad in some $ in our goals to account for the increase in capacity of manufacture. We're starting at a minimum print run of 5000 units per product. With over 2400 backers, almost entirely focused on shippables, nearly half of that minimum run is already claimed, and it would be sheer folly for us to hit distribution with only a couple thousand copies available. So we've gotta increase our manufacturing costs to accommodate.
So, with an eye on making sure we don't harm Evil Hat in the process, so the company can actually be there to get your games to you (and make new ones), I think our pricing is pretty much on point. If you disagree, that's fine! But I've got the checkbook and the bank account and so I've gotta make these decisions, even if it makes a few people unhappy. :)
Well Jeez, Will We Be Getting Anything For Free Here?
The digital print & play files?
Free hugs next time you see me?
Well, here's the thing. The current "circle" you see on our campaign front page, with all the stretch goals, is what I like to think of as the circle of essentials. (In fact I'm gonna label it as such when I update it after posting this update.) Before we launched, we weren't sure we were gonna hit all of the goals on that circle, so it's the only circle shown; the only one we felt certain of. After yesterday's performance... well, it sure looks a lot more likely we'll complete the circle, and summon the full product line (fingers crossed that's not a statement full of hubris). Still, for the health of the product line it made and continues to make sense to focus on those essentials first, before we get to some extra fun stuff.
We definitely have some extra fun stuff ahead. Some added benefits for everyone. Maybe even a few more cards or even full decks. But that's in a second circle of goals (the "circle of gratitude") which we'll get into then, after the first one is complete.
If you're not willing to back simply on the potential for us getting to that second circle, hey, I get it. You don't have to! But maybe consider "starring" the Kickstarter and coming back when there's 48 hours left to see where we're at, if you're more oriented on getting second-circle stuff instead of the more essential (to us) first-circle stuff we're currently working on.
Speaking of that first circle, I've updated the graphic.
I See A New Stretch Goal! Speak Of It Now, Mortal, Lest Ye Vex Us!
Ack! You're — my apologies, Winter Lady. I had no idea you were a backer. Let me get right to that.
Our next stretch goal at $132,000 is the Helping Hands Expansion!
With new book decks Proven Guilty and White Night, you'll get even more variation in your options for play. As a pair of decks, these ones are particularly interesting in the Showdown, where you'll only get to spend Fate and roll for either Cases (in Proven Guilty) or Foes (in White Night). If you want to defeat your Foes or clear your Cases, you'll need to do so before you get to the respective Showdowns. And that's just the added challenge of the Showdowns for this deck — each one has its own new challenges, obstacles, and card interactions to give a different texture of play, as every scenario deck does.
But, you're probably most excited about the new character decks. And these ones are great! Both have an interesting relationship to the core game's Michael Carpenter deck.
Sanya's deck has a Hand of Hope Stunt that pulls a case close and adds clues to it — a kind of inverse of Michael's Stunt that knocks a foe far away and adds hits. It's that moment in the novel when Sanya shows up, helps an injured Harry get up on his feet, and says something Russian and profound that triggers a breakthrough on the case. And as the Knight of Hope, Sanya'sTalent offers a simple but powerful benefit of increased Fate Point payouts when discarding for fate, helping everyone on the team breathe just a bit easier.
Molly Carpenter's deck, meanwhile, mirrors her dad's in another way: like Michael's Talent, hers must be "readied" by a discard before it can be used. On a subsequent turn, you can flip the readied card back over to alter one of the dice you roll when you play a card. About half of Molly's cards involve a dice roll of one kind or another, so this is a powerful engine for optimizing your plays. But perhaps even more potent is her stunt, which lets you copy another player's currently-unused stunt! Need to double up on Harry's foe-finisher or Karrin's fate-harvester? Maybe summon an extra (if illusory) pack of werewolves to chew on injured foes, or get your Toe-Moss on to play the top card of your deck? Grasshopper is here to to help. Whatever your team can do, she can do — the power of a Talented Holomancer.
Speaking from personal experience, both decks are a ton of fun to play and add exciting new options and strategies as you take on your scenario of choice.
After this stretch goal? Jeez, can't we get to that later? I bet you've detected a pattern, though... and don't worry, one of the characters in the next one knows how to make this look good.
Some of you have asked if we can preview the expansion content in more detail. Right now that's tricky. The art for the expansions is currently underway, and with the rights being murky for some of the placeholder art we've used in our prototyping, we're reluctant to put a preview in front of you right now. Rather than invest a bunch of time in going in and stripping out the placeholder art, we're figuring on sharing the more detailed preview with you once we've got the art for each expansion in. That may mean some of this will come to you in updates after the campaign is over, but hey, that'll also make sure we're checking in with y'all regularly and getting you updates on the whole thing's progress, so that's a kind of win. What's the line Harry uses with Molly? Ah, right — patience, Grasshopper.
And that's it for today's update. We've cleared a ton of goals already, coming so far so very, very fast. We've got our feet planted and just two more components to complete before the circle of essentials is complete. And who knows, maybe we'll clear both of those in super-short order! I sure hope that's the case. I have things... such wonderful things... to show you yet.
Thanks so much for your support. We simply wouldn't be making this all happen without your help. Team Dresden is awesome. Parkour!