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ndp Microgame Issue #2: Vesna Thaw's video poster
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Nuclear winter is over. You are a pilot, your robot assembled from the wreckage of the old Soviet Union. What can you rebuild? Read more

Chicago, IL Games
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This project was successfully funded on March 24, 2012.

Nuclear winter is over. You are a pilot, your robot assembled from the wreckage of the old Soviet Union. What can you rebuild?

Chicago, IL Games
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About this project

(Update: All Maps Unlocked!) New Goal! Maps by Tony Dowler! Artist, game designer and cartographer Tony Dowler is on board to create maps of various subregions of post-soviet post-apocalyptic Russa , for up to 3 maps describing the world of play. These will be hand-drawn artifacts from within the game world, to help guide your imagination as you come up with your pilots and their goals. The map(s) will be included in all versions of the game (PDF, print, Kickstarter-backer only), so everyone benefits!

You can see some of Tony's other projects at his website. I particularly recommend his rad fantasy dungeon project Year of the Dungeon.

Maps Will Be Unlocked at:

  • $900 for the first - DONE!
  • $950 for the second - DONE!
  • $1000 for the third - DONE!
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Update: add $5 to your pledge to get a copy of issue #1: Witness the Murder of Your Father and Be Ashamed, Young Prince. Check the reward descriptions below for details.

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Nuclear winter has come and gone. The vestiges of Russian civilization survive in underground bunkers, built a decade ago in preparation for the possibility of atomic war. You are a pilot, one of the few brave (or foolish) enough to take to the surface encased in the safety of your robot, a machine scrapped together from the remnants of the industrial Soviet state. What will you be able to rebuild?

What Is This?

Vesna Thaw is a light-hearted table-top story game about giant scrapheap robots and their intrepid pilots. 3-6 players take on the role of some of these pilots, and use their creativity and cunning to try and rebuild out of the ashes of nuclear desolation.

Of course, there is giant robot fighting action, as well.

The game itself is GM-less and semi-competitive, with a strong scene structure. Through a series of Color, Action, Conflict and Robot scenes, each pilot does their best to surmount the odds (and Hazards thrown at them by other players) in order to pursue their own goals. The game is designed for the characters to generally succeed over time, and the end comes when a pilot finally goes out in a Blaze of Glory. Getting to a Blaze of Glory can take 1-3 sessions of play.

This game was originally written for a design contest called Reversed Engineer, where each participant was asked to create a game based on a randomly-assigned character sheet. I was assigned this character sheet, and was especially inspired by the idea of drawing your robot. Every game still starts with the players collectively drawing the set of robots that they will be playing with!

The original rules of the game are available to read here. It has been extensively revised and updated for publication.

Where Is It Going?

This is the second issue of my microgame series. ndp microgames are available as full-color magazines, as well as digital PDFs. The first issue is Witness the Murder of Your Father and Be Ashamed, Young Prince.

The game is written and layout is underway. This Kickstarter is meant to enable me to commission a piece of original color cover art from designer and illustrator Amma Aning Odum (with a little extra to account for transaction and Kickstarter fees). She has already begun sketches (as you can see in the video), and once the funding goal is met she can move on to color and finalization. 

Once the art is complete, the game will be published via the print-on-demand magazine service MagCloud.com. It will cost $5 for the printed magazine and $2 for the PDF.

What Do I Get Out Of It?

  • $1 and $5: All contributors will get their copy of the game sent as soon as it's available, with free shipping for the print magazine. Also, the ndp microgames PDF library is open to anyone who buys any of the games, so it's like you're getting Issue #1 for free!
  • $10: The limited-edition backer-only version of the game will includes snapshots of the art commission process, from initial sketches through each stage of approval, with associated commentary.
  • $25: Because everyone loves giant robots, contributors at this level and above can commission an illustration of their dream robot, to be included in a Robot Gallery section of the game! Amma will illustrate your robot from your verbal description or sketch. Your description will be included as part of the process in the Kickstarter-only magazine, with your permission.
  • $35: All of the above, plus I will create an aluminum plaque engraved with your illustrated robot commission, plus a short dedication, as a special thank you. These will look really cool!
  • $50: All of the above, plus Amma will provide a signed full-color print of the cover art for the game.
  • IN ADDITION: A number of folks have asked about getting issue #1, Witness the Murder of Your Father and Be Ashamed, Young Prince. If you add $5 to any pledge level, you'll get a copy shipped (for free) along with your Vesna Thaw reward! I'll confirm the addition with you when I send out backer surveys at the end of the Kickstarter. 

What's the Big Picture?

The first ndp microgame issue was a big success, and I want to continue making them! Your support enables not only this specific project to happen, but also my continuing micro-publishing efforts.

Thank You!

FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    21 backers

    PDF of the game as soon as it's available.

    (You should know buying any ndp microgame opens the whole PDF library for you, so you will also get the first issue, Witness the Murder of Your Father and Be Ashamed, Young Prince, for free!)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    12 backers

    Print magazine + PDF of the game, as soon as it's available. Free shipping worldwide!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    42 backers

    Special Kickstarter-only edition of the game, featuring extra pages of art process and commentary, + PDF. Free shipping worldwide!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    6 backers Limited (9 left of 15)

    Special Kickstarter-only edition + PDF.

    Plus, you get to design your own robot to be included in the game! Send in a verbal description or sketch, artist Amma Aning Odum will illustrate your robot idea, and it will be included in the games Robot Gallery.

    The Robot Gallery will be in the general release version of the game, and your inspirational idea will be included in the Kickstarter-only art-tastic version, with your permission.

    Free shipping worldwide!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)

    Kickstarter-only print + PDF + Robot Gallery commission.

    Also, a rendition of your Robot Gallery submission as an engraved aluminum plaque will be created as a special thank you! These will be large-post-card size (5"x7"), and can be engraved with a short message of your choice.

    Free shipping wordwide!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Kickstarter-only print + PDF + Robot Gallery commission + aluminum plaque thank you.

    Plus, a signed print of the cover art by artist Amma Aning Odum!

    Free shipping wordwide!

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (15 days)