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Bark, sniff, and lick your way through the apocalypse to save the hoomans you love!
Bark, sniff, and lick your way through the apocalypse to save the hoomans you love!
Bark, sniff, and lick your way through the apocalypse to save the hoomans you love!
2,145 backers pledged $175,080 to help bring this project to life.

Expansions are printing! Plus, custom doggos and shipping timelines.

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Hi hoomans!

It was a busy October for our small team! In just a few months we managed to get the GDBZ base game to press, plus our two expansion packs: Weird Smells and Unlikely Allies. We’re overjoyed to have hit our target print dates. Since then, we’ve been hard at work processing over 1,000 custom dog cards. 

Expansion Packs and Production Videos

Check out some of the finished expansion pieces below!

Sneak peek: 3 of our unlikely allies!
Sneak peek: 3 of our unlikely allies!
Weird Smells: Find new friends and unlock new tricks!
Weird Smells: Find new friends and unlock new tricks!

We’ve been working closely with our printer every step of the way, for both the base game and the expansions. We’ve been on Skype or the phone with them almost every day—sometimes multiple times a day! It’s clear the people who work at Community Printers are having a fun time with this project. Check out some of the behind the scenes videos they’ve shared with us below.

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Watch as the rulebooks are stitched together! (46 seconds.)

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Here you can see the bottom of the box and the tray insert get cut out by the metal die-line. They're doing that 5,000 times! (46 seconds.)

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Meet some of the people assembling the game! (33 seconds.)

The team at Community Printers has been working nonstop getting these games ready to ship. The amount of communication they’ve been able to offer us is second to none, and we feel so lucky to have a printer who’s just as invested in the quality of this game as we are. 

Custom Dog Cards

We’ve also been hard at work on your custom dog cards. The custom cards are a tricky business, and we’ve been tackling all of the quirks they’ve thrown our way. Because all the cards are the same size, one too many characters can cause a cascade that pushes all the text off the card.

Everyone did a great job filling out their cards. It’s just a quirk of design that even two sentences with the exact same word count can have very different lengths. Like this:

Luna 

Cuddly, good, kissy, smart

Luna 

Vivacious, exuberant, lovable, voracious

Both descriptions for Luna have four words, but the second would push past the bounding box on Luna’s card!

This means that each card requires a careful eye to make sure your words fit.

Laying out Oliver Pickles. This one has lots of overset text, but Oliver is still a very good doggo.
Laying out Oliver Pickles. This one has lots of overset text, but Oliver is still a very good doggo.

We’re still hoping we can complete layout on all custom cards before our printer’s holiday shipping cutoffs, but we also want to acknowledge that that window gets smaller by the day. As you know, we’re working round-the-clock to get GDBZ to you. We know that for folks who backed at levels that included custom cards, these cards were an exciting bonus. While we’re working our tails off to get those cards out by the holidays, each card needs a design pass. At the end of the day, we’d rather those cards arrive after December than you receive a card that says something like: Luna: She’s a very goo—

We’ll have more updates soon as we continue processing through these doggos! In the meantime, we’re so happy to have completed every single piece of the base game and the expansions and we can’t wait to send those your way! 

Current Shipping Plan 

If there’s a delay with the custom doggos, that does not mean there will be a delay with the shipping of base games and expansions. Because of how the custom doggos are being printed, we will plan on shipping those separately from the base game and expansions. And we are currently on target to send the base game and expansions to everyone by the start of December.

If you planned to have the custom dogs as part of a holiday gift, we'll make sure to get you something that you can use to let your gift receiver know they'll also be getting custom dogs very soon. We’re not at that point yet, but we want to be intentionally thinking ahead, making a back up plan, and making sure we are transparently communicating with everyone! The goal right now is still to ship the custom dogs in time for the holidays, but if that is delayed, we'll let you know as soon as possible. 

Thank you for being on this journey with us. We can’t wait to get you this game.

Woof woof,

Brian, Hannah, and Evan

Good Dog, Bad Zombie has gone to press! (Behind the scenes video!)

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Hello hoomans, Hannah here!

With production now moving at a rapid clip (or is that yip?), we’ll be sharing frequent shorter updates to keep you looped in to the process!

So, let’s start with the big news: We’re happy to announce that the Good Dog, Bad Zombie base game has officially gone to press, with your custom dog cards and the expansions soon to follow.

The base game has gone to press. Custom dog sheets and expansions are next!
The base game has gone to press. Custom dog sheets and expansions are next!

Here’s a peek at what some of the final press sheets look like, all laid out and ready for printing!

Energy cards, player dog sheets, and hooman cards.
Energy cards, player dog sheets, and hooman cards.
Dog tokens, laid out for press.
Dog tokens, laid out for press.
Zombie tokens, laid out for press.
Zombie tokens, laid out for press.

Brian also had the chance to meet with our printer in-person to look over some of the printed elements of the game. Working with a US-based game’s manufacturer has been such a privilege. Because they have a hand in every element of the printing process, we can do things rarely seen in board game printing, like add thematic illustrations to every single surface of the game.

Brian meets up with Ross of Community Printers in Chicago!
Brian meets up with Ross of Community Printers in Chicago!

When you open up the GDBZ box you’ll see that there are almost no unprinted areas. The underside of the top of the box, the divider that keeps the pieces in place, and the box tray have all been lovingly customized to look like Central Bark! So that means when you rescue hoomans in the game, you’ll bring them back to Central Bark—and when you put the game back in the box, you’ll be putting it away in Central Bark.

What you'll see when you open GDBZ!
What you'll see when you open GDBZ!

Note: These pieces don’t represent the final quality or thickness of the game’s pieces. This is a low-res/paper version of the box. This look over was to focus on things like edge bleed and image placement and alignment, especially on assets like the game box, where every side needs to line up just right!

Behind the scenes video of production

Community Printers, our printer and assembler, sent us some behind the scenes videos of their work to make 5,000 copies of Good Dog, Bad Zombie. We thought we'd share that with you! Check out the short video below!

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We're so thankful we have such an amazing partner manufacturing this game with care, love, and joy.

What’s next? 

We’re wrapping up layout on the Weird Smells and Unlikely Allies expansions, which will go to the printer by the end of this week, and we’ve begun layout on the $75 and above “Play the Game as Your Own Dog” cards. These cards represent a bulk of the work for the entire project and we can’t wait to ship them your way.

Timeline

As of our last conversations with our printer and manufacturers, we’re still on track to get you these games by Christmas. We’re thrilled with the progress and we’ll have more updates soon!

Best,

Hannah (with Brian, Evan, and Lupin too!)

Clarifying Pupdate on Energy Cards and Custom Dog Sheets

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Hi hoomans, Brian here!

Have you ever confused 900 people all at once? Well, on Saturday, I was taking my dog Lupin for a walk when I realized that’s exactly what I’d done. Woof!

Clarifying Information

On Saturday, we sent out an update featuring the game’s revised Energy Deck. We also asked $300-level backers (who have dogs in the Energy Deck) to review their illustrations if they hadn’t had a chance to yet.

However, in our excitement to share the new look of the energy cards, we worded the update in a way that made many $75 - $150 level backers think we had sent them their custom dogs to be reviewed. As a result, many were rightfully confused, because they had not received any custom dog sheets.

If you’re one of those people who will be getting custom playable dogs from the $75 - $150 backer levels, or from backerkit add-ons, we want to make sure you know that you do not need to do anything further. We have not begun laying out the custom playable dogs yet. That’s one of our big tasks for October.

With over 1,000 custom dog cards getting created, we will not have an opportunity to review those cards with every backer individually. That said, if you have special concerns about your photo or if you're worried it won't render well on the card, you are more than welcome to reach out to us at makebigthings@gmail.com. We will work with you to make sure the photo and custom dog card look their best!

We’re going to be giving our all to these custom playable dogs. Each photo will be individually modified to fit into the game’s style and placed on an illustrated background. Backers will receive digital and physical copies of the customized sheet and accompanying token, along with a letter of thanks! We hope you find the result as cool as we do. :)

Here's our demo image from the Kickstarter campaign of what your custom dog sheets will look like! We have since made some improvements that will allow us to make your dog image even bigger. We'll share those in a future update!
Here's our demo image from the Kickstarter campaign of what your custom dog sheets will look like! We have since made some improvements that will allow us to make your dog image even bigger. We'll share those in a future update!

Thanks for working through the confusion with us!

We’re sorry to those we confused. We’re so excited to get you this game, as well as the two expansions and your custom dogs. We’re grateful for everyone who reached out and chatted with us, as it reaffirmed to us how enthusiastic people are to get the game and their custom playable doggos. Good Dog, Bad Zombie has an absolutely amazing community, and it really means a lot to us to be making something people care this deeply about. We were delighted to get the chance to connect with many of you individually and hear about how you’re looking forward to getting the game.

Also, I’d like to apologize to my dog Lupin, whose walk was cut extremely short on Saturday when I realized what had happened. I’ll buy you a new chew toy to make up for it, buddy. We can practice taking on zombies!

Best, 

Brian

Lupin says: “Make Big Things is thankful for everyone that worked with them through the confusion. They’re only hooman!"
Lupin says: “Make Big Things is thankful for everyone that worked with them through the confusion. They’re only hooman!"

Debuting the Updated Energy Deck and Your Custom Dog Illustrations!

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Hi hoomans!

We’re excited to share with you a first glimpse of the look of the new energy cards in Good Dog, Bad Zombie. We’ve been working our tails off to finish everything to send to Community Printers, our ethical, sustainable, and US based printer! They’ve been collaborating diligently with us to have everything prepared in time to ship for the holidays, and we’re so delighted to be working together.

But without further ado (arooo?), we are excited to share with you some early glimpses of the illustrations in Good Dog, Bad Zombie:

Energy Cards

Below is a sneak peek of some of the Energy cards (there will be 64 total, each with a unique illustration) in the game! These are all dogs submitted by you, our backers (at the ”Have Your Dog Illustrated into the Game” level), and that were lovingly illustrated by Evan Rowland and Fox Desfleurs, who did so much incredible work to make them possible.

Here’s what the cards looked like before:

Our playtest energy cards used the same repeating art for each of the different card types.
Our playtest energy cards used the same repeating art for each of the different card types.

And here’s what they look like now, featuring some of your dogs:

Our new energy cards are much more dynamic and exciting to play with!
Our new energy cards are much more dynamic and exciting to play with!

We’ve heard from a ton of people that they are really happy with their dog’s illustration in the game, and we’re so happy about that! But what if you’re not loving the illustration we sent you? That’s okay! There’s been a couple people already that felt that we haven’t quite captured their dog’s spirit. We’ll do our best to make adjustments to the illustration within reason to make sure you’re happy with it.

If that’s the case for you, please respond with your thoughts to the email we sent you with the illustration; that will ensure we see, track, and respond to your request. But please do so as soon as possible, with Tuesday, September 25th, at 5 PM EST being the last possible time we can accept those requests.

Thank you for sharing your dogs with us to breathe life into this game. (We’re saving hoomans from the undead, after all!)

We’ll have another update for you soon, showing off the updates and improvements to the other parts of the game.

Best, 

Brian, Hannah, and Evan

September production update: A doggone busy end to summer!

Posted by Brian Van Slyke
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Hello hoomans!

Summer is now behind us and while fall hasn’t officially begun, the leaves here in New England have already started to change. 

We've been using this time to make considerable progress on GDBZ! Below is a diagram we’ve put together showing our progress on getting materials to our printer - and we’ll dive into how we made that progress below!

We’ll share shipping timelines later this fall, after the game goes to print!
We’ll share shipping timelines later this fall, after the game goes to print!

Rulebook Sit-downs and Layout

In August, our game editor Joshua Yearsley ran a number of rulebook sit-downs. The goal of these sitdowns was to make sure that people actually understood the rulebook! With Josh’s insights, we were able to make some solid improvements.

Josh hosted multiple sit-downs and got great feedback!
Josh hosted multiple sit-downs and got great feedback!

He suggested final edits based on those sit-downs. Here’s a sample:

Josh added comments to the draft rulebook after every rulebook sit down.
Josh added comments to the draft rulebook after every rulebook sit down.

And in turn, we’ve been hard at work on the rulebook layout!

A page from the GDBZ rulebook, mid-layout.
A page from the GDBZ rulebook, mid-layout.

The layout is now nearly complete. We’ve got a few more diagrams to go, then it’s off to the printer with this lovely little book! 

Components Ordered 

Another August project was making decisions about the final components that will be going in the game. This was a big project! While it’s not possible to get every one of our pieces manufactured in the US, we’re trying to source as many of our components from quality US-based suppliers.

We chose Chessex dice because of their commitment to consistency and quality:

Image of green Chessex dice, from the Chessex website. The game will come with the 20 sided die pictured here. When you roll the die, you add zombies to the board. We thought it was a nice color match.
Image of green Chessex dice, from the Chessex website. The game will come with the 20 sided die pictured here. When you roll the die, you add zombies to the board. We thought it was a nice color match.

We’re also working with a manufacturer to create our custom scent tokens:

Scent token mockup for our manufacturer.
Scent token mockup for our manufacturer.

And we spent a lot of time going back-and-forth about color choices for the game's tokens, making sure the colors we chose weren’t duplicated between different types of pieces, and that those colors contrasted with each other and with the board.

We decided on yellow for the bone tokens, and dark red for the feral token! Not pictured is the golden color we chose to come with a special bone token in the Weird Smells expansion. We'll share that in a future update.
We decided on yellow for the bone tokens, and dark red for the feral token! Not pictured is the golden color we chose to come with a special bone token in the Weird Smells expansion. We'll share that in a future update.

T-shirts off to the printer! 

Finally, the order for your limited edition GDBZ shirts is off to our screen printing company. After ordering two different shirt samples, we just really, really liked the darker, forest green tri-blend shirt featured on the right. The fabric was much softer, the green was richer, and the shirt generated a ton of compliments whenever we took it out on the town.

First shirt printing on left, second printing (with a darker and softer shirt) on the right.
First shirt printing on left, second printing (with a darker and softer shirt) on the right.

The printer estimates roughly a two-week turnaround for the shirts, after which we’ll be shipping them to you!

Missed ordering a shirt but having second thoughts? We ordered a few extras in all sizes. If you’d like to hop on the GDBZ shirt train, click here: 

https://good-dog-bad-zombie.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

Your Pups!

And now, what we're all here for: Pictures of your dogs! 

Here's Oliver, defending the couch from any zombies that would even think about sitting down.
Here's Oliver, defending the couch from any zombies that would even think about sitting down.
Rocky is looking proud!
Rocky is looking proud!
Here's Nala, who backer Carly H. has told us passed on in 2013, but who remains very much loved by her hooman  <3
Here's Nala, who backer Carly H. has told us passed on in 2013, but who remains very much loved by her hooman <3
Snow says, "Whatcha doooooin'?"
Snow says, "Whatcha doooooin'?"

We’ll have another update soon as we close in on printing deadlines. In the meantime, stay tuned!

Brian, Evan, and Hannah (and pups Lupin and Waine, too!)