*** UPDATE ***
The Kickstarter project has closed but pre-orders for the game will be collected until it is released sometime in November of 2011. The chance to receive the limited edition "Kickstarter" character card has passed but we will be offering some interesting promotions to encourage pre-orders. Please check this site for more information and to place a pre-order: www.knightworks.net/darkhorse/
Dark Horse is a board game set in the Wild West with an average playing time of 30 to 90 minutes. The game puts one to four players in the role of a character in charge of a small territory in the old west. Some examples of the characters in the game are Banker, Cowboy, and Tracker. Character have various abilities that give them advantages in the game as well as a starting bonus of some sort. Each player collects and uses various resources to build towns, cities, and rails to grow their territories. Players start the game with one city and two towns with the goal of growing out their territories to include additional towns, cities, and railroad connections throughout the areas that they control. The objective of the game is to collect the most victory points when the game ends. Players do this by expanding their territory, collecting gold, and obtaining Influence Points from certain actions on the game board. Players will need to watch each other’s progress as the game can end in several different ways.
The game contains the following components. (Estimated)
- 12 City tokens
- 32 Town tokens
- 50 Rail tokens
- 12 Six sided dice
- 95 Wooden resource cubes - food, wood, ore, and gold
- 20 Resource hex tiles & one special tile
- 22 Action cards (including event cards)
- 28 Tokens - 10 Wild Die, 6 Engineer, 6 Loan, and 6 Stock tokens
- 2 Reference Cards
- 6 Character Cards (Plus, exclusive Kickstarter character for supporters only.)
- 1 Sheriff Card & 1 Event marker
- 1 Game board (22" x 22")
- Rule book (Full color 12 pages)
Game Board (Estimated)
(Update: I will have new artwork for the territory map early next week.)
Summary of Play
Each turn players roll two colored dice and place those dice on a specific action on the game board. The game has built in actions and tokens that allow players to manipulate their dice in certain ways. So players will have to decide whether to use these actions or limited tokens such as the Wild Die tokens to modify their dice. This allows players to use a majority of the dice rolls that come up each turn to further improve their position in the game.
The game promotes fast play as each player takes turns placing one or more dice on only one action per turn. Actions can include but are not limited to drawing cards, collecting resources, building additional towns and cities, and taking special actions such as the Sheriff, Mayor, Trader, or Tycoon. Some actions, such as Rail Baron, require a certain natural die roll while other actions require that your dice add up to a certain value. Players gain influence points during the game by taking specific actions which counts for a players overall victory points needed at the end of the game. Players will also need to focus on building their railroad connections as efficiently as they can to maximize their score at the end of the game.
Why We Need Your Help
Designing board games is a unique hobby in of itself. Once someone feels that they have an excellent idea the realities of how hard it is to publish a game slowly set in. I have dabbled with serious board game design since around 2000. The first game that I self published was produced by hand. My wife and I printed, cut, collated, laminated, and boxed all of the components for the game. The game materials, pieces and printer ink costs me roughly $16 per game and I only charged $32 for the game. Not to mention each game took over two hours to produce. I ended up selling roughly 75 games before my supplies ran out. I learned very quickly that producing games by hand was tedious and really not something that I wanted to do in my spare time.
This is where the Kickstarter community comes into the picture. With your help I can print a small run of games that will look professional and be delivered 100% assembled and ready to go. I am initially looking at producing 500 copies of the Dark Horse game. If the funding ends up being considerably more than I will increase the print count and reward everyone with some additional limited items.
How Pre-Orders Work
All projects at Kickstarter do not charge backers until the project has hit the funding goal. If the Dark Horse project reaches the goal then Knight Works will receive the funding within 14 days of the project end date. At that point I will contact the printers, and send them all the files and information that they need. Based on the printers estimates it will take approximately 3 to 4 months to receive the game. Once I have the game I will send out a survey through the Kickstarter site to collect all the addresses for shipping. I will then perform some quality control on the boxes and then ship them out within a few days.
By supporting the Dark Horse project at the $40 or higher level, you will receive at least one copy of the game once the printing has been completed and received. At that point I will ship the game and any extras you receive from the various rewards to your home.
How Shipping Works
Customers in the United States will be sent the game(s) free of charge. This includes Alaska and Hawaii. Due to the significant cost to ship a package overseas I will need to ask for international supporters to include additional funds to cover the expense. Note: If you live in Canada take 40% off the shipping prices below.
- One Game - Please add $20 for first class shipping (or) $28 for Priority Mail.
- Two Games - Please add $38 for Priority Mail.
- Three Games - Please add $48 for Priority Mail.
- Six Games - Please add $80 for Priority Mail.
- ($30 and up) - Once I send out the survey collecting address information I will also ask each supporter if they would like their game(s) signed. I do not want to assume that everyone wants their copy signed.
- Expansion Preview - (Add $20 to any reward to include this option. Add an additional $10 on top of the $20 for each Expansion Preview copy. For example, if you want two games and both games to have Expansion Previews then that would be $20 + $10 = $30) This special reward starts giving back the day the project closes on June 21st! You will have access to behind the scenes development and feedback on the expansion right away!!! This reward entitles backers to receive a majority of items from the future Dark Horse expansion but this does not include all components. The components you will receive will be printed on plain card stock in black and white. If everything goes well with the current Dark Horse project than we expect the expansion to be ready for printing towards the end of the year. Please Note: All expansion materials will be beta test copies and may differ from the final product. This reward entitles you to free shipping for the expansion game but you will still have to purchase the expansion.
- Designer Chat - (Add $20 to any reward to include this option.) This offer does not take into consideration any additional costs that may be involved in making contact with you such as international long distance calls. These costs are the responsibility of the backer. Please Note: I will need you to sign a non-disclosure agreement if you wish to talk about your specific game mechanics and ideas.
- Design Your Own Card - The title of the card, ability, and flavor text must be in-line with the expansion game mechanics and theme. Once the card has gone through play testing, artwork will be commissioned for the card based on yours and the designers inputs. I would like to give everyone who chooses this reward as much freedom as possible however the card needs to fit into the game, i.e.: no zombies, elves, space ships, magic, etc.
- Lifetime Rewards - The print and play files will be black and white beta test components which means that the cards may or may not have artwork. By choosing this reward you agree to not distributing the print and play files. Further details will be provided when you receive the first print and play files.
- Caricature - The caricature artist is a professional who has been doing these sorts of illustrations for over twenty years. The photo(s) supplied must be of you with a normal expression and no costume/makeup applied, ie: Halloween makeup, etc. I will send out a message to the backers of this reward a few weeks before the project closes. If I cannot contact you within one week after the project closes I may need to include your caricature in the expansion game for Dark Horse.
Please check out our page at Knight Works. Once the Kickstarter project closes this will be the main way I will be posting updates and news items, so click "Like" on Facebook if you want to receive future updates.
You can also follow me on Twitter at: @knightworks
- (45 days)