Thursday, March 3, 2016

Villages of Valeria Kickstarter

Re-reading my last post about Villages of Valeria aka Deckville, I see that I promised to post here when the Kickstarter campaign started. I completely forgot to do that!

The campaign ended just a couple of days ago, and I'm delighted to report that it was a huge success. We needed just $8,000 to fund the project, and wound up with over $200,000! We will be shipping over 7,000 copies to backers, before the game even hits the store shelves. Here are the final results:

We never expected the campaign to be this successful. We had to scurry in mid-campaign to find new stretch goals to offer. Each new goal seemed to be achieved almost the instant we put it up. By the halfway mark, we couldn't offer anything more because the game box was full and within a flea's weight of being too heavy to ship for the pledge amounts we were asking.

Daily Magic Games is nothing if not resourceful. A new pledge level was announced that would get its backers a "Deluxe Box", with room for still more content. The necessarily higher price compensated for the increased shipping price, and of course all backers were notified and allowed to upgrade their pledge to the Deluxe Box if they wished to do so. And then more goals were set, allowing us to put even more content into that bigger box.

In the end, backers got their choice of the standard or Deluxe box, each with lots of extra Building and Adventurer cards from stretch goals. There are three new 12-card expansions (one was a Kickstarter exclusive), and two new mechanisms (Events and Monuments) were added to the game as part of the expansions. Cards were upgraded to top-quality stock, coins were upgraded from cardboard to printed wood. And all backers will be able to download a high-quality digital art book, containing artist Mihajlo Dimitrievski's wonderful artwork without the game's text and iconography blocking the view. (I'm excited about that one myself; the art in this game is fabulous.)

As I write this, we are putting the finishing touches on the artwork and the rules. The goal now is to deliver the product to backers in September 2016, and to retailers a few weeks after that.

I have to give a tremendous shout-out to Daily Magic Games. DMG did a simply amazing job: helping improve the basic design, adding theme, engaging a wonderful artist, promoting the game to reviewers, working the social media, and using their previous successful Valeria: Card Kingdoms campaign as a springboard for the Villages of Valeria campaign.

And I also have to give my profuse thanks to my enthusiastic playtesters. A lot of people kindly tried out this untried game when it was still incomplete, but I am particularly grateful to two groups. One is Helen's and my old gaming group down in San Jose: we miss you guys! The other is our new gaming group up here in Oregon: the gang at Off the Charts Games, and its amazingly welcoming owners Lynn and Ron Brown. Off the Charts is a great place; you should definitely stop in if you're in the area.

What a ride this has been!