The Circle of Essentials is Complete! The Circle of Gratitude Begins!
FUEGO! We've hit $162,000 and that means our third expansion is funded and the Circle of Essentials is complete! Thank you! That's totally awesome. I cannot believe we got there in 63 hours — what a world we live in. A world on fire, as it were...
Anyway! Tyler Walpole is working on the Thomas Raith art right now, LIVE, and you can check it out here while he keeps the streaming going:
I think that's about it—
Hm? Was there something else?
Wait, nope, the circle's all done... updated the graphic... crossed the i's, dotted the t's...
My face! My wonderful face! Why? Why did you—Oh! ... OH! Right, the next circle!
(Please make the burning stop.)
Let's Have It Then.
So for our next big sequence of stretch goals, we want to make sure the benefits are all about you. We have ten goals in this circle — ten Obstacles, as it were — which, as you clear, will each reduce the shipping costs for every backer by $1. (That's not all, but bide a moment while I talk about the math.)
This one was a bit brain-breaky to figure out. To make this work, I need to account for costs to implement new rewards, keep track of any reward factors that cause costs to scale the more backers we get, and take into consideration royalty payouts, added manufacturing capacity, and Kickstarter, credit card, and Backerkit fees.
After all that's taken out of the funds generated, I need to make sure that this doesn't turn into a big pile of expenses the company can't afford to pay out of pocket, so I need to work up a reasonable model for predicting (or at least educated-guesstimating) the number of backers it'll take to reach these goals, and the theoretical maximum number of backers the project might get. For each $1 we knock off shipping for everyone, we're knocking $1 off for all future backers as well, so they need to be taken into account, up to a point. Our biggest previous Kickstarter to date topped 10,000 backers, so we decided to use that as our target here. All in all that amounted to — at most of the next ten stretch targets — an increment of about $20k per step if we wanted to do this stably, safely, and without undermining the project or the company.
So with that in mind, here's the Circle of Gratitude graphic. I'll talk more about what's on it (and what's not) further below.
So here's how this works:
- Each time you clear an Obstacle (as listed above), the obstacle converts to a star.
- Each star reduces shipping costs by $1 for every backer getting a shipment. (If we reach all ten stars, that'll mean free shipping in the USA, and a $10 reduction on all international shipping rates.)
- Certain numbers of stars unlock one of the stones on the circle, as indicated, providing an additional backer benefit along with the reduction in shipping costs.
- Every star includes some additional benefit, even if it doesn't unlock a stone; we'll be releasing high resolution digital copies of the game's art in the same folder that's linked in Update #1 as we hit those goals, as indicated on the table in the above graphic.
Right now, we're revealing two of the stones, and we'll reveal the third and fourth stone soon as we're able to. (Both involve a certain some approvals first.)
The First Stone: Achievements Checklist (1 Star)
Eric Vogel has gone through the game's design and come up with a series of achievements for you to strive for in your gameplay as an added challenge. Now it's not just about winning; it's about hitting those goals, too. Use it to track how you're doing taking on some of the trickiest and most thematic elements of gameplay. We'll include this in the downloads folder when you unlock the first star in the circle.
The Second Stone: Infect Susan's Deck (5 Stars)
When we reach the fifth star, not only will you have a bunch of digital art files to play with, you'll also have three exclusive variant Attack cards for Susan's deck.
A bit of background here: as we thought about how we'd do a Vampire Susan deck, and we realized we'd keep a lot of her current deck the same. Since doing a full Vampire Susan deck seemed like a bit of a waste, we decided that rather than fit her vampiric (or pre-vampiric) self into a future expansion, we'd give you a taste of Red Court venom through this Kickstarter.
These three variant Attacks will replace her current Attack cards whenever you're looking to have her "vamp out." They'll make her attacks more potent, but more risky—after all, when she really goes full black-eyed-and-toothy, someone's gotta be there to help her calm down. Design and playtesting is underway, and we'll get into the details once we've validated the gameplay mechanic, but rest assured, it'll have "teeth".
And yes — we'll definitely have Tyler Walpole do a new piece of art for this card. I'm personally excited to see fangy susan with her Order of St. Giles tattoos in full effect—the art Tyler did for Susan's deck is among my favorites in the game so far.
And that's it for now!
I need to go update the front page of the campaign, and get a few hours of rest before you all inevitably make me update the graphics again. :)
Don't worry, I won't post an update for every single 'star' we get done; if something unlocks, I'll do my best to get it into the download folder on update #1 ASAP.
Thanks again, so much, for making this game the best it can possibly be when it launches in early 2017! Looking forward to giving you guys some fun new stuff to play with in the goals ahead.