About this project
Thank you, everyone, who helped make this campaign a success!
Missed the chance to get in on the ground floor with the Kickstarter campaign? Once printed, Hero Brigade will be available online via the Game Salute Shop or one of the other listed online vendor sites, or you can order it through your local Friendly Local Game Store!
Father Geek Review
"Hero Brigade is a lot of fun, challenging, fast, and gives the players a lot of choices. But not once did I feel or observe from our players that the amount of choice was a crushing weight on the players’ shoulders. Each card is like a miniature tool box. Often times, the right tool needed is clearly identified and the player knows exactly what to do. This is incredibly empowering and it’s a great feeling that each card you draw is useful." - Father Geek
“I really, really like how this game looks and what it’s about. Reminds me of other superhero games we have played, but none of them are like this.” - Liam (age 8)
Dice Tower Preview
Heroic Deck-Building & Card-Battling
Those are a bunch of cool words and terms to string together, but what's the frequency, Kenneth? As you've no doubt inferred from the art, this game features comic book heroes and villains. Pow! Biff! Socko!
Hero Brigade is a fast-paced, 2-player, non-collectible card duel game with a comic book hero theme -- commonly referred to as "fp2pnccdgwacbht" or "F-P-two-pink-seed-gwakt" in gaming terminology -- with one player in the role of the valiant Heroes (Hooray!) and one player in the role of the dastardly Villains (Boo!).
Players take turns recruiting Mercenaries and other assets from the common Resource Deck, deploying characters to form their Party, and playing cards for one-time game effects. At the conclusion of the Play Phase, the players enter the Fight Phase and take turns beating each other up! Pow! Biff! Socko!
Tiger-Mother is a free unlock to celebrate Mother's Day! She will be included with every copy of Hero Brigade at the $35 pledge level or higher. See Update #17 for more details.
If the Zucchini People Games, LLC Facebook page reaches 200 Likes, I'll release a free card for all pledges of $35 or higher!
See Update #23 for more details!
Two Bonus Mercenaries - I know it's premature, but I've started designing the Hero Brigade expansion already. At $7,500, two of those cards will leak early and will be included with every copy of Hero Brigade at the $35 pledge level or higher. In order to keep the Resource Deck at 50 cards, you can substitute out two other cards of your choice or at random. See Update #9 for more details on Bro and Fist.
Solo Variant - "I don't want anybody else." Rules for a single-player variant will be hammered out and included in each copy of Hero Brigade at the $10,000 mark. See Update #10 for a sneak peek at the solo play variant in action.
A new Hero appears! Two copies of a brand new Hero card, Citizen Beta, will be included with every copy of Hero Brigade at the $35 pledge level or higher. In order to keep the Hero Deck at 20 cards, you will substitute out 2 copies of a base set Hero. See Update #12 for more information on Citizen Beta.
A new Villain appears! Two copies of a brand new Villain card, Big Brain Brett, will be included with every copy of Hero Brigade at the $35 pledge level or higher. In order to keep the Villain Deck at 20 cards, you will substitute out 2 copies of a base set Villain. See Update #13 for more information on Big Brain Brett.
Three More Bonus Mercenaries - Oh, two new Mercenaries for the Resource Deck weren't enough for you? Okay, tough person, what about THREE new ones for each $35 pledge level and higher of Hero Brigade? Can you handle that kind of heat? See Update #18 for more details.
A new Hero appears! Two copies of a brand new Hero card, Little Maple, will be included with every copy of Hero Brigade at the $35 pledge level or higher. In order to keep the Hero Deck at 20 cards, you will substitute out 2 copies of a base set Hero.
A new Villain appears! Two copies of a brand new Villain card, Armakillo, will be included with every copy of Hero Brigade at the $35 pledge level or higher. In order to keep the Villain Deck at 20 cards, you will substitute out 2 copies of a base set Villain.
See Update #21 for more details!
Hero Deck (20 cards)
Villain Deck (20 cards)
Resource Deck (50 cards)
Stretch Goal Components:
10-sided die x10 / HP counters - unlocked at $22.5k
Start-of-Turn Marker x1 - unlocked at $22.5k
Counters x5 - unlocked at $25k
Play-Mat x2 - unlocked at $30k
Most cards can be played in multiple ways. For example, each character has two sets of abilities which vary based on whether they're in your Party's Front Row or if they're in your Support Row. Each character can also be used for a specific Play effect. Players should always have interesting and meaningful decisions ahead of them!
I also wanted to flip a few standard gaming conventions on their heads. In most card games, drawing extra cards is amazing and has neglible or absolutely no drawbacks. Hero Brigade enjoys a Mo' Cards, Mo' Problems approach. Each time you have to reshuffle your deck, you have to permanently remove the top card of your deck from the game. You also permanently lose cards off the top of your deck when your Party's characters are defeated.
You lose the game if you can't draw a full hand of 4 cards!
This also greatly affects the standard practice of trying to permanently remove all of your terrible starting cards from your deck. After all, you want a smooth deck experience full of bombs and power cards, right? Yes, you can do card-drawing to pull extra threats and solutions in Hero Brigade. Yes, you can remove unwanted cards from your hand and discard pile from the game. But don't come crying to me when you run out of cards. I will gladly drink your delicious tears. If they are of a particularly fine vintage, I will bottle them for later consumption. I will then sell those bottled tears to other tear-connoisseurs (Connoitears?) and turn a tidy profit from your abject misery.
You also can't exclusively focus on relentlessly acquiring the best cards for your deck because you simultaneously have to develop your board position in order to defeat and fend off the other Party. You also lose if your Party is empty at the end of the Fight Phase! Decisions, decisions!
Here's a link to the most current version of the rules. They will be formatted and cleaned up by a professional graphic designer before the game ships out to you!
Here're some videos of me playing the game with my friend, Colin, who is participating in local play-testing efforts. We are dorks. Sorry.
Keep in mind art was only about 50% complete at the time these videos were taken with prototypes that were printed from The Gamecrafter. All of the final game art has since been completed and the card design template improved.
Hero Brigade Video 01: Character Cards
Hero Brigade Video 02: Sample of Play
Hero Brigade Video 03: Full Play-Through
Please don't judge the game by my concept scribbles that were utilized during the filming of these videos!
It costs money to hire artists and graphic designers, found a company, pay for lawyer's fees, print out prototypes, and use on various other associated start-up costs; I mean, basically, the shoe called, it wanted its shoestring back. What? I guess it's an anthropomorphic shoe that can talk. It's magic, okay? Yes, and it was somehow able to enroll in a cell phone plan. Look, it's a family plan and someone helpfully set the phone to speaker. Alright, just forget the shoe.
Bottom line: Even with a limited budget, quality is of paramount importance to me; so while I spent frugally, I never cut any corners, and I hope that it shows in the final product through superior design and artwork.
The best printers also demand large orders in the thousands. That's tough, if not impossible, to fund out of your own pocket if you don't have a trust fund. P.S. I don't.
Word-of-mouth advertising can help spread the word, but it'd be wonderful to actually have a legitimate marketing campaign to help sell the game and spread it far and wide. Again, Kickstarter can make a giant difference here.
I'm even hoping the Kickstarter does well enough that it allows me to immediately start work on official variants and expansions for the game. More cash on hand is more money I can re-invest back into the business, so that means new teams of Heroes and Villains for a possible expansion and opens up the possibility of variants for 1, 3, or 4 players as well (included as Stretch Goals).
Zucchini People Games, LLC is proud to partner with Game Salute through their Springboard program for Hero Brigade. Game Salute will handle all of the logistics of bringing the game to market through their Featured Fulfillment program (receiving, warehousing, secure storage, picking, packing, shipping, tracking, sales to stores all around the world, customer service, and more). We're also pleased to participate in Springboard Local Support to show our love for friendly local gaming stores across the world.
Extra Copies: Within the US, if you would like an additional copy of the game, please add $25 to your pledge for each extra copy of Hero Brigade. If you would like to add an extra copy of Hero Brigade that has the 10 promo cards and is eligible for Stretch Goal card unlocks, please add $35 to your pledge instead.
International Extra Copies: Outside of the US and Canada, please add $55 for each extra copy of Hero Brigade. It will come with all 10 promo cards and any eligible Stretch Goal card unlocks. This includes the price for shipping as well ($35 for game + $20 for shipping).
For Canada, please add $45 for each extra copy of Hero Brigade. It will come with all 10 promo cards and any eligible Stretch Goal card unlocks. This includes the price for shipping as well ($35 for game + 10 for shipping).
$1 - Citizen - Thank you for your support! Please keep an eye on updates, and don't forget that you can always adjust your pledge level later! Winky-face!
$5 - First Responder - Print and Play (PnP). All pledges at $5 and higher will receive Print and Play files for Hero Brigade! Can't wait for the actual game to ship? We've got you covered!
$25 - Sidekick - Get the full Hero Brigade card game! Exclamation points!!!
$35 - Hero - Get the full Hero Brigade card game and all 10 Promo Heroes and Villains featuring variant artwork. These promotional cards will be exclusive to Kickstarter and conventions. Note: Stretch Goal unlocks for extra cards also begin at this tier.
$105 - Base of Operations - Retailer Exclusive! 6 copies of Hero Brigade, plus 1 free demo copy for your store (that's 7 copies total), and 6 sets of all 10 variant art Promo Heroes and Villains to distribute as you see fit (60 cards total)! You will be asked to provide proof that you are a retailer in order to be eligible for this pledge tier. These promotional cards will be exclusive to Kickstarter and conventions.
$500 - Galactic Hero - Kickstarter Exclusive! You get a copy of Hero Brigade, a Hero Brigade poster, all 10 variant art Promo Heroes and Villains, and your name in the Kickstarter "Thank You" section of the rulebook.
Plus! Plus, plus, plus, you will get to design your own Hero Brigade card alongside the creator. We'll collaborate on that card! You'll receive a signed copy of that card, of course, and everyone else will get to enjoy it later as it will be included in the first Hero Brigade expansion or it will be part of a small limited run of 10 copies exclusive to you, your choice!
Promotional cards will be exclusive to Kickstarter and conventions.
$3,500 - Cosmic Hero - Kickstarter Exclusive! You'll get a copy of the game, the rad poster, all 10 variant art promotional cards, and a mention in the rulebook. You'll also get to help design your own card like the Galactic Hero and choose whether you want that card to be a part of the first expansion or an exclusive run of 10 copies just for you! These promotional cards will be exclusive to Kickstarter and conventions.
I'm also going to come visit you and teach you the game! (Please don't murder me in my sleep.) I'll hang out with you and your friends for two days and play Hero Brigade and any other games you may want to teach me! I'm a fun guy, honest! I can provide and be responsible for my own travel and lodging, so you don't have to worry about that! I can only be shipped within the US for this reward, sorry. My passport's valid but my wife would probably be mad if I left the country without her.
"That is inherently noble."
Note: Stretch Goal card unlocks begin at the $35 pledge tier but all components Stretch Goals in the $22.5k - $30k range will be added to all copies of Hero Brigade. Additionally, the $35k art Stretch Goal will apply to all copies of Hero Brigade.
Five More Bonus Mercenaries - You know what? Just take all my ideas. That's fine. It's cool, really. We'll still be friends. At this level, five additional Mercenary cards will be added to each $35 pledge level and higher of Hero Brigade. Details on these cards can be found in Update #26.
Component Madness - "I've had this ice cream bar since I was a child!" At this level, the stretch goal components will start to be included in every copy of Hero Brigade. Either 10x 10-sided dice or a selection of HP counters will be included at $22.5k. I got used to using dice to tracking characters' HP, but some testers have expressed a preference for HP counters as dice can get knocked around during play. We can take a poll and discuss this as funding approaches this Stretch Goal.
Also at $22.5k, a Start-of-Turn Marker will be provided with each copy of Hero Brigade.
At $25k, 5x Counters will be included with every copy of Hero Brigade!
At $30k, 2x Play-Mats will be added to each copy of Hero Brigade!
Variant Art - Each copy of Hero Brigade will include all of the existing promotional artwork! I will commission a third set of all-new artwork for the base set of Heroes and Villains to fulfill the Kickstarter pledges and to hand out at conventions!
3 & 4-Player Variants - Rules to accommodate 3 & 4 players will be ironed out and included in each copy of Hero Brigade. Scha-wing! Yeah, you get Wayne's World-ed. When's the last time that happened?
Atomic Design (graphic design)
Show your support! Strut your Hero Brigade e-swag!
All avatars are sized at 250 x 250 which should re-size nicely for either Facebook or Twitter or whatever new thing you use that I'm too tragically unhip to understand. Right-click to save and you're ready to go!
Heroic Desktop - 1920 x 1028
Villainous Desktop - 1920 x 1028
Kicking it Forward:
Risks and challenges
I originally had three huge paragraphs here about potential challenges with warehousing, shipping, and distribution but I was able to wipe them off the face of the internet due to partnering with Game Salute, a company that has a proven track record with those exact things.
Now the main manufacturing challenge is finding the right printer for the right cost. I'm currently sitting on 3 final quotes from different companies, all well-known printing companies with a strong gaming pedigree. Ordering from China has its advantages, but shipping comes at a premium. Having Game Salute by my side will be a boon, though, especially with coordinating the shipping effort from the printer to the Game Salute warehouse.
The art is completely done, and I have been playing this game non-stop over the past couple of months with my friends and people at local gaming stores to ensure that it's well-balanced and fun. The biggest game-related hurdle remaining is laying out the new cards in the new format and making sure everything is nice and consistent across the board. I will be continuing to work with a local graphic designer to make sure we do the best job possible.
I also want to make sure that the rules for the game will pass the test of the strictest rules-lawyer in the land. I've set the bar high, but I want to release the most professional product possible. Once the rules are set in stone and they incorporate all of the new elements from the final card design, I'll engage the services of a professional graphic designer to whip them into a clean crisp layout.
At that point, I'll need to get everything ready for a smooth hand-off to Game Salute. I haven't worked with them before, but they have a great reputation and I'm looking forward to the experience.
I've set what I consider to be a conservative fulfillment date. I think I can get this game out the door before November, but I wanted to build in some time to accommodate for any unforeseen delays: Printing issues, shipping delays, mole-people uprisings, etc. I am confident in Game Salute's ability to handle or help with these issues, so the onus is on me to make sure everything is ready to hand off to them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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