Slowing down for Quality
I am delaying the project.
This has been an incredibly hard decision to make. Sticking to the timeline and fulfilling the entire project on time was paramount. The backers (you guys!) would be thrilled and the final product would be just in time for new buyers during the holiday shopping season. And I think we all know, that is a big deal for the future of KD.
Kingdom Death fans have been supporting this project for a long time, we consistently sell out of our resin stock and not only did they push me with emails everyday to run a kickstarter… once it was live fans became backers and smashed thru every previous record. During the course of the kickstarter campaign we expanded the planned game from a single 12" x 12" box to a 12" x 24" box, 11 game expansions + over 21 single figures! That's HUGE!
I decided long ago to match fans enthusiasm by offering my absolute best. Today that same decision has led me here. To ensure that the entirety of the project is the absolute best I can offer, I must delay it. Additional time will be spent on play testing, expansions, and plastic production. This includes a return trip to China to oversee the final 2-3 weeks of production in person.
If there is any one to blame for this delay, blame me and my absolute refusal to compromise the quality of Kingdom Death. A brand built entirely by fans and now thousands of backers. I have never before rushed anything to market or compromised the vision for this project.
This kickstarter has been an amazing opportunity for Kingdom Death and we will not squander it by simply rushing to the finish line.
After touring and evaluating many options, a deal was struck with an incredibly talented factory and we decided that Kingdom Death deserved the best. Essentially, hard plastic kits on sprues, just like GW and many other companies.
The factory is so impressed with Kingdom Death, they are treating it as a true portfolio piece. Not only has no expense been spared, including staffing up their team and buying a new half a million dollar machine to cut finer mold detail. Their commitment is the real deal, they are pushing themselves to their creative and technological limit to produce these minis and I would have it no other way.
A part of this very time intensive process includes scanning every single precious hand-sculpted miniature and painstakingly re-touching them with digital tools to optimize each sculpt for plastic production.
Of course I have photos to share! But please keep in mind that they are not final and still open to more scrutiny and mastering.
Hard plastic costs considerably more than PVC, both in mold and unit cost. The core game has swelled in size so much that the retail value will rise quite a bit to reflect the value added. When the game is released it will be in the $150-$200 range. That is simply the reality of covering costs on the much larger deluxe box, nearly 700 game cards printed with premium materials, record sheets, game book, two game boards! ( the showdown & hunt board ), tokens, and the huge number of hard plastic miniatures on sprues inside the box.
Some of the larger monster, Lion God, Sunstalker and maybe the Gorm. Might still be best kept in PVC. A direct benefit of the delay is running even more tests to determine which material would best suit them. A hard plastic Sunstalker would be dozens and dozens of parts and spread across a stack of sprues!
During the campaign, many backers requested that we come up with an icon for every monster to help further distinguish card types from each other. Instead of making just an icon, we went ahead and designed a full gorgeous crest for every single monster in the core game and every expansion monster. The crests will grace the back of the monsters unique decks and will also appear as an icon on the front of their cards. And yeah, I am totally making a t-shirt of the butcher crest.
The story event system and the new timeline have been so well received by play testers. We are refining it further and adding more. The originally planned 19 full page illustrations for the game book has blossomed to well over 30. ( maybe around 40?) Many of the expansions are getting an art boost too. Details will come down the pipeline later. Here are some quick WIP shots ( these actually just came in 5 mins ago! ) of some of the additional illustrations going into the core game book :
Core Game Miniature Upgrade
Because of the delay, A few more things have been squeezed into the game. Hector Moran has treated us with a physical version of the masks from the mask maker shop. Originally we never planned on sculpting these, since they are neither weapons nor armor... but they were just so cool I couldn't resist! These large masks can be added to your survivor kits or used in hobby projects. I'll post the rest when they are finished up.
Oh that reminds me, I don't think I've shown the artwork for the Mask Maker yet! Here it is below.
How long is the delay?
Initially fulfillment was planned for Q4 2013, with operations beginning late November. Now we are looking at Q1 2014. I will have a firmer date once everything is loaded onto cargo boats and headed for our warehouse.
Poots' Crappy Painting!
Part of the process of quality checking the plastics… is actually taking a brush to an assembled kit! I want to ensure that the details are not too soft and get obscured by paint too easily. I am in no way a good or even great painter, but even I can tell the difference between a challenging detail and one that not polished enough on the manufacturing end. Faces need to be crisp and edges need to be sharp! Here is a photo of my WIP hard plastic dragon sacrifice that I have shared with the factory. Maybe when I finish It I'll share it with you guys again.
I appreciate everyone's tremendous support. I'm still very grateful for this incredible opportunity. It has been a little crazy at times and it certainly has had its challenges. Doing right by the brand and keeping the quality high is the right choice. By popular request, we will be updating more frequently with smaller updates so we can bring everyone along with us as we wrap up.