About this project
For those visiting High Heavens for the first time, we are currently shooting for the 5th Stretch Goal: an expansion pack that includes plastic minis for the 12 Egyptian gods.
Created by award-winning video game industry veteran Ryan Lesser (Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Beatles:Rock Band, Dance Central...), HIGH HEAVENS is an expandable board game that utilizes lessons learned from 15 years of video game creation and a lifetime of playing board games.
HIGH HEAVENS sets the players in the clouds, fighting for ultimate power above the earth.
Basic game mechanics focus on battle strategy and tactics. An additional layer of chance is added with the shuffled card deck. This makes the game less predictable, giving the new player a fighting chance against the seasoned warrior and makes it ultimately more fun. The base set pits the Norse pantheon vs the Greek pantheon. Each pantheon contains 12 deities (chipboard as base, plastic minis as a Stretch Goal), 12 Divine Powers cards, 2 ten sided dice and the homebase (Asgard or Mount Olympus). Playable in an hour or less, this game has been painstakingly crafted to use the fewest rules possible. It is easy for new players but has tons of depth for those that want to get better and better. It has been described as Magic: The Gathering meets Chess. Here is a link to the current pre-production rulebook: http://bit.ly/ZooX4c
The HIGH HEAVENS core game design is complete but the game needs your help. Future expansions are unfinished and can include YOU, the Kickstarter community. In the higher reward levels you can earn the chance to not only develop future expansions but also get hands-on time with a prototype to playtest and add your feedback. You can help make HIGH HEAVENS even better! Great games need playtesting, and those participating in the upper tiers will have real impact on the final game.
- There are two ways to win: destroy the enemy pantheon, or destroy the enemy's home base. This allows for even greater variety in gameplay without loads of complication.
- Like in video games, each god has a Health Meter in the form of stacking chips below them. This clear meter shows the players very quickly what gods are in what state. The higher the stack, the healthier the god. Get it? High Heavens!
- The red chips are Health but there are other chip colors denoting other powerup modifiers like Armor (gray), Power (orange), Disabled (green), etc. When a deity falls, their powerups stay behind, waiting to be picked up by others! (I can't even tell you how awesome this is when it happens, you just have to try it!)
- All characters are unique. Their abilities and special powers are matched to the mythos surrounding that deity.
- Each pantheon is crafted to play differently than the other, allowing for varied play styles and replayability.
- Within each pantheon, killer combos can emerge by combining the powers of 2 or more gods for maximum destruction!
- Variability comes into play when you draw a hand from a deck of cards. These cards show you who you are allowed to play. Otherwise, it is all up to you and your brain-grapes. For those that dislike any randomness at all in their boardgames (I feel ya'), use the simple, fun, alternate rule called Omnipotence that removes any inkling of luck.
- The cards are designed with some novel and useful elements. All important data resides on the left side of the card so that crucial data is at a glance while fanned out in your hand. There is also flavor text that envelops the player in the mythos, relating the legends surrounding each god to the powers and abilities given to them in High Heavens.
- To really engulf the player, the game will ship with a soundtrack of original music to play High Heavens to. This will undoubtedly be filled with distorted, thrashy guitars and massive drums!
- Suitable for ages 8 - 1,000,000,000,000
HIGH HEAVENS is mostly a one-man show. I have been working like CRAZY to make it complete. It has been lucky enough to go through game testing with a group of professional game designers thanks to my friends and co-workers from Harmonix. The game is designed and the final art is near completion with the help of a few fellow Harmonix artists like Carly Sanker and Lauren Saint-Onge. However, while this game has been given a top shelf treatment in gameplay, art and testing... it lacks complete funding to bring it to fruition. I am personally funding a significant portion of the project but making physical things that travel across the globe is costly. HIGH HEAVENS has been priced out at the manufacturer and is raring to go. With your help, it will become a fan and family favorite for years to come!
If you have read this far, you probably want to know EXACTLY what gods are in this bad boy. Within the base set, the pantheons "stack up" as follows:
NORSE: Odin, Thor, Loki, Tyr, Freyr, Hel, Heimdallr, Idunn, Magni, Baldr, Vidar and Hodr. The Norse pantheon rages into battle aggressively, using Dwarven forged weapons like Gungnir (Odinn's spear that travels far and never misses) and Mjolnir (Thor's hammer), melee powerups and the ability to go BERSERK!
GREEK: Zeus, Cronus, Poseidon, Hercules, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Athena, Ares, Asclepius, Hades and Hephaestus. The Greek pantheon battles a bit more defensively and manipulates both board and enemy gods. They can forge armor (thanks to Hephaestus), get stronger by eating other gods (aw Yeah Cronus!), build architecture for protection and cause earthquakes.
I will be posting new cards as they are created, as details on the miniatures and their sculpts.
If all goes well, the core set will receive multiple upgrades in quality of components, special components and even expansions. This means that I am hoping to focus a good amount of the Stretch Goals (though likely not all) on the CORE SET... which is a reward at Pledge Level DEMIGOD ($55) and above. For example if the first Stretch Goal for custom stacking chips is achieved, all core sets receive the upgrade. I have Kickstarted a few projects that filtered Stretch Goals into every box and I loved the quality of the final product!
Please help to kickstart HIGH HEAVENS so that this core set (and expansions) can make their way to peoples' gaming tables.
Pandora's Box is a separate expansion to the core game, introducing 24 limited edition, detailed resin miniatures to the game of High Heavens. The resin minis will not be included in the core set, though hopefully the plastic versions will (if we hit the stretch goal). The miniatures team consists of all the same dudes that modeled the minis in Zpocalypse and Aftermath (since that was me and my fellow artists!) which coincidentally are also the modelers that did Big Daddy and Little Sister from Bioshock, and lots of Guitar Hero and Rock Band characters to boot. Please read the Risks and Challenges section for info on what will happen if this goal is reached.
Please note that some backers have been recommending use of www.comgateway.com as a way to avoid large international shipping fees. I have not used them personally but they are highly rated on the web. Please follow the link to learn details, but basically they give you a US address to mail to and therefore receive free shipping from me, but then offer highly reduced rates to international destinations.
WILD POWER GAMES
Wild Power Games is the new offshoot to my already established Wild Power brand, including Wild Power Records, the record label that I used to release my band Megasus' first LP. If we are lucky here on Kickstarter, Wild Power Games can continue to release expansions for High Heavens as well as new games, in the future. Wild Power Games has already teamed up with Greenbrier Games (Zpocalypse) to ensure that High Heavens is well produced and well published.
Risks and challenges
As the miniature-figure modeling lead on the successfully kickstarted Zpocalypse, I have knowledge of the bumps in the road that production comes with. I am doing my best to minimize these but production and shipping are wildcards.
The game is fully designed and much of the artwork completed. The rules have gone through playtesting so I am confident that there are no non-production hitches on the horizon. I am collaborating with Greenbrier Games again, this time as co-publishers, which gives me an amazing foundation as they have now fully shipped their record-making Kickstarter from last year.
For full disclosure, the "Pandora's Box" stretch goal is very exciting to me as I am a huge fan of sculpting, painting and playing games with miniatures. Greenbrier Games and Wild Power are researching specific pricing for the miniatures with our factory. Funders should know that if I am lucky enough to reach this Stretch Goal and the miniatures are produced, it may have a slight delaying effect on the shipping of the core set, as they will need to ship from the factory at the same time. I feel that it is worth it and hope that you will too!
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