January Update 2 - Getting Closer

Dear friends,

A lot is happening these days.

Here is an update on the status, a few more words about the In-Laws story, a plea for your votes for the most anticipated game of 2017 and some thoughts regarding the future after the Kickstarter is fulfilled.  

Status

We are done migrating the cards to a spreadsheet based system that lets us make changes to the graphical design much more efficiently. It took almost a week of my time, but it will save us a lot of time in the next couple of weeks when we are proofing everything and polishing the graphical design (and when we eventually need to localise the game). 

Here are some of the changes we have done (or are doing):

- We will go from left-right arrows to up-down. This will increase usability dramatically (evident from all our playtests).

- Clean up of the language. It should be more clear who is the subject of a card and who is affected by the different game effects. 

- Clean up of the formatting for effects. Everything is becoming more readable.

- Updated symbols for the three decks.

- Updated reference numbers for all cards.

- Higher contrast on all cards to increase readability.

- Added line in the bottom of each card as reminder for effects that influence future rounds.

- More tight and consistent layout of the cards (because all will be based on the same Master with text merged in from the large spreadsheet).

We have also changed the board layout and are happy about how things are lining up. The graphic designer will finalise the board design on Monday.

 

Work-in-progress mock-up of the new board layout. Not final art! You can now play the Story Cards directly on the board (in the middle grey part).

Work-in-progress mock-up of the new board layout. Not final art! You can now play the Story Cards directly on the board (in the middle grey part).

Work-in-progress mock-up of the new board layout. Not final art! You can now play the Story Cards directly on the board (in the middle grey part).

Speaking of Monday; I wanted for some time to make the print and play files ready for the play test group on Facebook, but didn’t make it during the week as I had hoped. The redesign process took all our time and was more pervasive than we anticipated. We didn't want you to spend time on printing and cutting everything and then redo it all again shortly after. Given that the redesign process is soon finished, we can safely distribute a new version of the print and play files. They will be up on Monday. 

We are still polishing up the last scenarios, LGBT cards and so forth and I expect we will fine tune everything until we send the files. No reason not to spend the time we have :) But we are getting there and I feel good about making our deadlines. 

We have a good dialogue with the manufacturer and they are ready to begin production just after Chinese New Year. The production will take about 30 days and so will shipping. This means that we are still looking at a May shipping date. We will of course update you if we slip out of that window, but right now things are looking good.

The In-laws Love Story

The In-laws Love Story (scenario) that we have been spending a lot of time on is SO cool. So, I have to spend some time telling you some more about it. It is very complex and definitely not for the beginners, but once you have played everything else a lot and want to take it to the next level, this is it. 

In this story you must balance another set of traits representing your parents. You must also manage a power struggle between the two families, with your own family in the middle. The more influence you giver either pair of in-laws the more you risk if you don't fulfil their trait goals. Avoiding giving them influence (especially when you also need to fulfil your own needs) is however going to be a challenge.

You must navigate these new mechanics while at the same time trying to complete a completely different set of Story Ending cards. You will also have a whole new stack of cards to draw from for this scenario, with cards that really makes things quite difficult. I know we have talked a lot about it, but I feel that it is has come together in the best way and that it was very much worth the time it took to develop. 

I’m excited for this, I hope you are excited! And speaking of excitement…

What happens after the game is sent to you?

Once we have the game out to all you guys, we will send a large number of games into distribution (of the base game sans most Kickstarter stretch goals). We are meeting very good upfront demand from retail. All this thanks to your help!

We will also be selling the Kickstarter Love Stories as single Story Expansions. 

We have much more in the pipeline. Many more stories can be told within the game and we hope to get the opportunity to develop and make more new stories for you to play. I have an idea to make a site where you can share your best stories (or maybe just on a BoardGameGeek guild?) and build a community.

Further down the line we hope to make this game the first game in a trilogy of games about love and life. 

For all this to happen we need to have a good beginning with this game. You can help us in many ways - and you have already done so. You can talk about the game on BGG. You can Like us on Facebook.

Thank you so much for backing us and thank you for reading this.

I will send an update against Monday with votes for backer created Story Cards. They deserve an update for themselves (and there is already a wall of text here). Then a new one again next week showcasing more of the updated design (including the insert that has changed... again) and with impressions from all our playtests (we are testing almost daily with both new and experienced players of the game).

A lot is coming together these days!.

Thank you, 

Jacob E.