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Play Harry Dresden & his friends in this tense, strategic co-op card game from Evil Hat, based on Jim Butcher's NYT bestselling novels!
Play Harry Dresden & his friends in this tense, strategic co-op card game from Evil Hat, based on Jim Butcher's NYT bestselling novels!
8,616 backers pledged $549,486 to help bring this project to life.

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The Circle of Essentials is Complete! The Circle of Gratitude Begins!

Posted by Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions (Creator)
57 likes

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...

I'm burnin, I'm burnin, I'm burnin for you
I'm burnin, I'm burnin, I'm burnin for you

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: 
https://www.twitch.tv/bloodofdragons

I think that's about it—

Fred.

Hm? Was there something else? 

Fred!

Wait, nope, the circle's all done... updated the graphic... crossed the i's, dotted the t's...

FUEGO!

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.

"Ow! Ow! It hurts to be this good!"

Posted by Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions (Creator)
49 likes

So I announced the second expansion this morning (less than twelve hours ago) and thought, heyyy, that's got me covered for the day. There's no way these guys are gonna keep it going strong enough to hit this goal before I turn in for the evening, so I'm in the clear until Thursday!

Man, do I love being wrong.

Pricing II: The Clarifying

I've been asked this several times now, so I'm sure I keep goofing it up somehow. :) Let's try again: 

Each expansion (you've funded two of them so far) is priced at $10. That's $10 for the first expansion, and $10 for the second. (It's not $10 for each deck in each expansion, and it's not $10 to get both of them.)

We're about to announce a third one. The third one will be priced at $10 as well! And to make things super clear, shortly I'll put up two new reward tiers that you can jump to if you're interested in getting the core game + all three expansions. (Seems pretty likely y'all are gonna push just as hard for that third one as the second — normally I'd wait to offer such a tier until the third's funded, but I think you'll all feel better having a nice clearly priced reward tier to select!)

My body is ready. What's next?!

This third expansion will be the last expansion we have planned for this Kickstarter and once funded will complete the set of stretch goals called the circle of essentials. We'll then start on a new stretch goal circle, the circle of gratitude, where we work on doing a bunch of stuff for you, our lovely fund-makers, as a way of making things more awesome for you. 

Retailer backers, rest assured, if you have a customer preordering the game through you as a part of your store's pledge, we'll make sure you can convey circle of gratitude benefits to your preordering customers too, one for each copy of the core game you're getting. We're grateful for you as well, after all!

Speaking of the circle of gratitude, here's what it looks like now.

I kicked in to a burning ring of fire / went down down down / and the funds kept going higher
I kicked in to a burning ring of fire / went down down down / and the funds kept going higher

!!!

I know! Right? That's a LOT of fire!

But Also: !!!!!!!!!

Yes! The Wardens are coming, the Wardens are coming — our third and final expansion (for this campaign) is the WARDENS ATTACK expansion!

"Everyone else who lets me ride on their dinosaur calls me Carlos."
"Everyone else who lets me ride on their dinosaur calls me Carlos."

This brings us up to books 10 and 11 — Small Favor and Turn Coat, maximizing your options for play and offering new ways to ensnare and complicate your heroes' lives. But the real stars of this expansion are the two new player decks, Wardens both: Regional Commander Carlos Ramirez and Captain Anastasia Luccio herself!

Anastasia Luccio's deck is all about strategic plays and decisive moves. Overall her deck is focused most strongly on taking on the challenges that decide your ultimate win-or-lose fate, and nowhere is that more apparent than with her two "on the table" cards. Use her Captain of the Wardens talent to go after the toughest challenges you face, whether they're Case or Foe. Flip her stunt to Focus Our Efforts! from one Case or a Foe to another, maximizing your chances of clearing them off the board.

And as you might expect, Carlos Ramirez's deck is just plain swashbuckling fun, at its best when he's taking on Foes or clearing Obstacles. On the battlefield, a Young Hotshot Warden like Ramirez knows that knowledge is power; his Talent lets you remove a Clue from a Case to land two Hits on an injured Foe. And as a Warden, Carlos has always Got Your Back, using his stunt to allow an ally to reclaim a card from their discard, letting the team deploy its greatest strengths a second time.

Let's Do This!

I couldn't agree more. Thank you all SO MUCH for an incredible first two days! I can't wait for you to reach this next goal, so we can begin the circle of gratitude because, man, I am feeling really flippin' grateful right about now. All of us are, here at the Hat.

So, thank you, Paranetters. You're the best there are. Onward, to $162k!

Praise be! Praise be!
Praise be! Praise be!

You — What? How? I Just Can't Even... WOW!

Posted by Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions (Creator)
44 likes

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?

No?

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.

Hunka burnin' hunka!
Hunka burnin' hunka!

Fred?

Yeah?

Fred!

What?!

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.

What's Next?

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!

I said, PARKOUR!
I said, PARKOUR!

My Stretches! What Have You Done?!

Posted by Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions (Creator)
47 likes

All my precious preannounced stretches, in flames! In FLAAAMES! What have you done?

Wait, the stretch goals are on fire and it's not your fault?

And this is a good thing?

Oh. Okay. Well! Let's have a look, then.

Hell's Bells! Look At What You've Done!

You:

  • DESTROYED our $48k initial funding goal in under 13 hours.
  • ANNIHILATED our $64k art-expanding stretch goal in just 3 more hours.
  • OBLITERATED our $72k foe-art-booster goal in just over 3 more hours.

That's a whole lot of fire and mayhem, folks. (I knew I liked something about you.) And it didn't even take the whole day to do it!

Feel the burn!
Feel the burn!

Stars And Stones! What's Next?!

Next up are our expansions for the game. Here's what's true about each expansion:

  • 2 new player decks
  • 2 new book decks
  • 5 new Side Jobs cards
  • That makes 55 total cards
  • Priced at $10 each
  • At just a few ounces each, will not increase your shipping cost to add to your shipment

You can add an expansion to your pledge simply by increasing your pledge amount by $10 (assuming you're already getting the main game). 

  • To do so, go to the front page of this project and click on Manage (blue button in green box).
  • On the next screen, click the blue Change Your Pledge button.
  • On the next screen, increase the amount in the "Pledge Amount" box by $10. 
  • Then click Continue.
  • Confirm your changes with the Confirm button and you're good to go!

(The same process works for adding another copy of the core game; just add $39. Outside the USA, more copies of the core game will increase your shipping cost, billed later, though. While we can handwave a few ounces, handwaving several pounds is a bit trickier.)

If things go well with the funding progress from here, we could make it up to three expansions total before the campaign is over. That's not to say we'll stop at three expansions forever (especially if the game performs well in distribution after release), but that's as far as we can comfortably go with things we can have ready to ship to you by our delivery target!

Fred You Keep Talking But You Haven't Shown Me The Next Expansion Yet

Yes.

Yes, that's true.

Fred!

Hm?

Expansion!

Right!

I'm gonna show you one, and I'll announce the next one as we hit the prior one, until we've got all three covered. Cool?

Fred, Don't Make Me Fuego You.

Okay, okay! Don't get hot about it.

Our next stretch goal at $102,000 is the FAN FAVORITES expansion!

That's right, Thomas and Butters are coming to Chicago!
That's right, Thomas and Butters are coming to Chicago!

Thomas Raith's deck is butt-kicker best at clearing obstacles and taking down foes. The deck features a slightly higher average Fate value per card, giving him potent discards as suits his family's wealth. The killer app? His Inner Demon stunt lets him play the top card of his deck for free. If luck's on your side, it can be a real game-changer. 

While Thomas kicks butt with his beautiful, perfectly formed bod...

Mmm... Thomas...

Where was I? Oh!

... Waldo Butters' deck uses his incisive intellect to take advantages and investigate cases. Not making enough progress on your cases? With his talents as a Forensic Pathologist, Waldo can turn your hits into clues. (And yes—you'll get to play a Polka Will Never Die! attack with this new deck, too.)

Round all that up with two new book decks based on books #6 and #7, Blood Rites and Dead Beat — along with a few more Side Jobs cards — and you'll add tons of new team combinations and hours more of potential for play. And, yes: we'll have Sue in there (as a potent Advantage card—she'll be our signature image for Dead Beat's advantages, in fact), along with plenty more Foes (individually illustrated thanks to the latest funded stretch!), Cases, Obstacles, and Advantages arrayed in new, exciting, dismaying ways. :)

I Want More.

Of course you do! And as soon as we knock this stretch goal out, believe me, there's more coming. But, please, mercy! I need a little breather before I get the next set of graphics ready for you. :)

And so, thank you all again, so much, for your support so far. This has been an incredible first day, and it's not even over yet. 

Let's do this!

Here's Your Early Look

Posted by Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions (Creator)
42 Comments
47 likes

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