As of this moment, I have canceled the Lantern Festival.
This was a very hard decision to make. It comes from a place of utmost respect and dedication to the brand... not common sense or practical business money-making logic.
Everyone is being issued a $45 refund (per pledged lantern festival) via paypal. We are covering the -11% kickstarter fees that we lost from funds collected during the 2012-2013 campaign. If you do not have a paypal account at that email address, you can easily set one up by following the instructions on your refund email from paypal.
WE DO NOT SUPPORT THE SALE OF PLEDGES. If you sold your pledge or bought a pledge from another individual, you must contact them. We can only send the refund to the official email address we have on file.
If you have any issues, need help, would prefer store credit or would simply like us to keep the money and waive your refund, please visit our support page at kingdomdeath.com/support for more information and to contact us.
I was unsatisfied with the expansion. It failed to live up to the Kingdom Death standard. In the future, it is likely that I will create another product that uses the same miniatures but it will not be the Lantern Festival I pitched in the 2012 - 2013 kickstarter. I love Kingdom Death and the sad fact is that we are all stuck with a crazy creator!
There are a lot of reasons. Most importantly, it failed to live up to my expectations.
That’s not a good enough reason!
I agree. I’ll elaborate. It all ties back to the essential experiences that make up Kingdom Death: Monster. Overwhelming odds, tactical strategy, evolution, surprises, accessibility, hard developmental choices and building survivor miniatures. Lantern Festival had some, but NOT all of these things.
It was pitched to EXTEND the current timeline, meaning only the small fraction of players who completed the core game could enjoy it, killing its accessibility. Most of our player base has yet to finish playing all the current expansions, which makes extending the main campaign in the way the Lantern Festival was pitched, a less than ideal choice.
Since there were no armor sets (just the twilight cloak), it led to a significant lack of accomplishment and not much evolution. The game felt incomplete when you weren’t chasing a new armor set or making hard decisions about the best gear you could make from a hand of resources. It left Lantern Festival without that feeling of evolution.
KD:M is a series of hard-fought, uphill climbs and moments of respite to recover or push the development of your settlement. Imagine a titan’s staircase. Your gaming group is trying to tackle it. After a vertical climb, you get an easier horizontal walk to recovery and start to plan the next vertical challenge. Lantern Festival lacked those horizontal moments, wherein you made major developmental choices that would affect the overall outcome.
Without all those elements in concert, it could never be a proper encore to the spectacular performance of KD:M.
To be a proper encore It would need to be more like a new core set, with the focus of the settlement shifted to be more macro, dealing with a developing town instead of a small settlement. Since that is not what was pitched, nor is it what we worked toward on its first development cycle, I am refunding everyone instead of releasing content I can’t stand behind. The realization of what this particular part of the Kingdom Death world needed to be, was simply to large in scope for the funds that were raised to create it.
Lastly, it was also just plain crazy to write a game extension BEFORE the game and its tons of expansions were in the hands of players playing the game.
Call it vanity, creator responsibility (or lack thereof), or proof of my utmost respect for our fans and player base. This was a very hard (and very expensive) decision to make. I could have just put something “all-right” out and kept the money.
When playing it safe, pulling punches and putting out content that doesn’t make me pee a little with excitement becomes the norm. I’ll let you know to the tune of “Sellout” by Reel Big Fish, silly trumpets and all. I’ll “skank” my way over to the bank and slam dunk the deposit box!
Now onto the rest of it.
Last campaign, we kickstarted the plastic production of many single miniatures. Some of these were included in the Survival Level reward box and others, like the Messengers and crossover projects were pledged for separately. We created challenge scenarios and released a PDF collection of them with the promise that we'd later print a physical card pack of the final versions for their gear. The challenge scenarios ended up having little to do with the core KD:M experience and while many fans appreciate them, it was clear that future development should be steered in a different direction.
We started a new round of plastic production, re-introducing several of the models again, but this time with much more interesting and campaign involved rules. I promised that we would put together a card pack that contained these new assets, for fans that already have the miniatures from the first campaign.
SO! We will be combining all of this stuff + the newly developed gear cards and assets from the miniatures that are still missing them (the messengers, etc) Into one larger card pack that will be available on our store as promised. Because I want to ensure all the content is meaningful, we were not able to complete them all in time for this update. But I expect to have it ready early next year. It is going to be printed by a more reliable printer so that the card sizes and weight remain consistent with the game cards.
This is the last outstanding part of our campaign. Although I admit I am mixed to classify it as such, since its all NEW development based on player feedback from the game and the expansions all being out in the wilds for some time. Ultimately making it more work, but better quality than it would have been. The price of the card pack will be our raw cost + shipping. We are not aiming to make a dime off of it.
They Await The King T-shirt
We created tshirts to commemorate the cancellation of the Lantern Festival! If you would prefer Kingdom Death to keep your $45 and put it towards future developments, please feel free to pick up a shirt or 2! We appreciate, how much you appreciate us and our dedication to quality without cutting any corners.
Joe has put together a pretty fantastic 100 page digital art book for our $1+ pledge level! We decided to keep it focused on the core game and to show off assets that were cropped or printed on the smaller side of things. Download it here!
Kara Black Paiting Guide
Video Painted by Elizabeth Beckley and filmed by Eldritch Studios LLC, we present our “upgraded” Kara Black flesh tone painting guide as a video!
Aya Painting Guide
The Aya Painting Guide by Alberto Gil Lopez.
Flower Knight Painting Guide
The Flower Knight painting guide by Thomas David (the incredible talent who sculpted the miniature!).
Starting from that fated campaign launch day in 2012 this has been and continues to be one incredible journey. With the help of thousands of people, I made my humble dream into a reality. How many would-be creators get the chance to realize their (insane) ambition? To work, and work and work and work and work and struggle, struggle, struggle. Refusing to accept anything but the best that could be mustered! It was intense, incredible and soul wrenching all at the same time.
I used to imagine it was just me, on a desperate personal journey. Sword at my side and lantern in hand. There was an overwhelming enemy to defeat and I had no idea how to find it or how to beat it. Would it consume me, or would I somehow just barely, scrape by with a win.
As the campaign came to a close and the work really began, this image in my mind began to change. At my side were loyal companions, poor souls I had convinced to join me on this journey that would most likely end in madness or death (Anna, you are the fucking best).
It’s not often I get the chance to stop, take a breather and turn around. And here I am, doing it right now and again, that image in my mind has changed. It’s not just Anna and a select few at my side, there is an entire army at our backs. (That’s you guys, the backers and the fans!)
Sure there are dissenting voices and moments when I wondered if the entire thing was worth it. There are also those that have picked up my spirit, streamed endless game sessions online, painted their entire set better than i could dream of, created fan art, made online comics, written an in character diary, or greeted me at gencon in Kingdom Death cosplay, or shown me their White Lion tattoo! It’s way bigger than a humble creator such as myself could ever expect it to be.
And so I face ahead, the future of Kingdom Death, with thousands of eyes on my and our small teams back. The feeling of so many people watching our next move is intense. I can’t speak of confidence, whatever money could be earned or lost, or what place KD has or doesn't have in the gaming world at large. As of this moment, all I see is an open horizon of excitement filled with countless possibilities.
Thank you so much for the past 4 years. Thanks for playing my game. Thanks for making a huge line day 1 of gencon and getting me in trouble with convention security!
I AM NOW READY FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS!!!!!!
KD:M Kickstarter 2
On November 25th, Black Friday. We will be launching our 2nd Kingdom Death: Monster campaign. The focus of the campaign will start on a reprint of the sold out Kingdom Death: Monster core set with an 1.4 ruleset. (Current version of the game is 1.31). An upgrade pack with the rulebook and updated cards will be available for existing fans.
Beyond that my lips are sealed. Except for this tiny teaser of course.