Update Posted by Jonathan Liu, Designer
We sort of hit a plateau this week, but we just broke through the $10,000 mark (as of this writing, late Monday night) so we've unlocked PennyGems! If you're interested in adding PennyGems to your order, here's what you do: Click the "Back This Project" button (or "Manage Your Pledge" if you're already a backer). Choose the reward level you want (this can remain the same if you're already a backer, or you can increase or decrease to a different level). Then add $20 for each sheet of PennyGems you'd like to order, and add that to the "pledge amount" shown at the top. For instance, if you just want the HOKE'S ON YOU decal and one sheet of PennyGems, then you'd select the $5 reward level, but type in "$25.00" in the pledge amount at the top.
Our next stretch goal is for the ROOS-free bits at $11,000. But don't forget that if we can get 500 backers at the $25 level or higher, every copy of the game will have a LOT more components! Remember: for the Double Your Fun goal, it's not about having a few high-level backers; it's about getting more people involved.
To that end, now's a good time to tweet about the project, post it on Facebook, and hit that "Like" button just under the video on the front page. Tell you what: we've got 909 Likes right now. If we get up to 1,000 Likes, I'll unlock another mystery stretch goal, one that's just for fun.
Meet the Artist: Daniel Lieske
I first heard of Daniel Lieske when I came across his Wormworld Saga Kickstarter project. Wormworld Saga is an online graphic novel about a kid entering a magical world, and it has some of the most gorgeous digital paintings I've ever seen. Daniel ran a Kickstarter project basically to turn this labor of love into a full-time job. It was the first time I'd seen somebody doing a project of that nature, with details on specifically how he'd arrived at the numbers he had, the timetable for creating the next chapter of the book, and so on. The Kickstarter also funded an iPad app, and the way the comic is structured (one long endless scroll) is ideally suited for the digital medium. It was also one of the first I backed at a premium level, so I could get a big print to hang on my wall, and I simply love looking at Daniel's artwork. Here are a couple samples of his artwork from his portfolio:
Daniel has run two successful Kickstarter campaigns thus far and Wormworld Saga continues to dazzle. Even if you don't spend a dime, you can still read the entire story for free online at WormworldSaga.com, but the app is worth getting for the behind the scenes info and sketches. I'm thrilled to have Daniel on board Emperor's New Clothes—not only is he a fantastic artist with personal experience in Kickstarter, but he also has some thoughtful things to say about board games:
"In Germany we have a special relationship to board games. Here they are called 'Brettspiele' (which literally means 'board games') but also 'Gesellschaftsspiele'. The latter term isn't so easy to translate because 'Gesellschaft' means 'society' but also 'community' and 'companionship'. Basically the term 'Geselschaftsspiel' expresses that people come together in real life and share some quality time playing a good game. In my eyes Emperor's New Clothes brings a whole new dimension to this shared experience and emphasizes the 'society' aspect of the 'Gesellschaftsspiel'. I'm very happy to be able to contribute artwork to this project.
"Emperor's New Clothes was the first board game ever I've created artwork for and I wanted this gig to be something really special. I'm working as a digital artists for nearly 15 years now and my workflow turned purely digital over a decade ago. However, back in my beginner years I started with real paint on a real canvas using real brushes. I didn't touch these for a very long time now but for this project I decided to dust off my old tools and travel back to the good old days.
"It was a humbling and at the same time gratifying experience. I almost forgot how complicated the traditional techniques were. Today I pick any color I want from Photoshop's color palette but with real paint you have to carefully mix each and every color and this really makes you think about what you are painting. I think I can say that my artwork for Emperor's New Clothes is among my most thoughtful artwork. The great digital painter Craig Mullins once wrote 'Think more, paint less!' I guess this project brought me a little bit closer to grasping these words of wisdom.
"Here you can see my palette. The key to traditional painting lies in the layout of the different colors to make mixing easier."
For more of Daniel's work, you can visit his website DanielLieske.com.
Kickstarter Lesson #1,427
I've been learning a lot about Kickstarter this month—it's certainly a different experience being on this side of a campaign, even with all the projects I've observed as a backer or through interviewing project creators. As much as I expected it to take a lot of time, I think I still underestimated that it takes a LOT of time. Really. So for those of you considering running your own crowdfunding campaigns, let me give you this piece of advice that I don't think I've seen anywhere else yet: probably the best time to run a campaign isn't when your wife (or you) are seven months pregnant. Trust me on that one.
And speaking of timing, it's also a good idea to remember that your life doesn't pause when you run a Kickstarter project, and your Kickstarter campaign doesn't pause when you do things like, oh, go camping for a few days during your kids' spring break. I managed to set up my campaign so that during the last week and a half, I'm mostly unavailable for about a full week.
This weekend (March 22-24) I'll be at PAX East, running demos of Emperor's New Clothes at the Game Salute booth (and trying to sneak off to meet a lot of people to see all of their cool projects too), which means that I won't be posting regular updates during that time. Feel free to follow the official Hoke's Games Twitter feed @hokesgames or my personal Twitter feed @jonathanhliu, though since I don't have a smartphone we'll see how much I'm actually able to post during the show. And if you're attending PAX East, please stop by and look for me and give the game a try!
Following that, I'll be, well, camping for a few days. I have no idea if I'll be able to get any signal of any sort while I'm out there. I'll try to have a few things written up prior to PAX that Game Salute will post for me in my absence, and if we have any more media coverage from PAX or otherwise, we'll try to get those onto the site as well. But I won't be able to respond to comments or emails until I return.
And not long after that comes The End. Stay tuned!