March update - Further delayed, more content

Hi everyone. 

A long overdue update from us.

In this update: 

  • Production 
  • Much added Content
  • Final box contents
  • Graphic designer 
  • Timeline

Production 

As you can maybe tell from our lack of updates, we have been quite busy with getting everything ready. We have hit several problems along the way unfortunately. This doesn’t mean that the game is in any danger of not getting released. It does however mean that we have to delay the game further. This is incredibly frustrating to us and to you. To be honest, maybe we should have seen this coming. 

Jacob J has started working close to full time on his real job again to sustain his family and pay the running expenses of the company (remember; all the funding from the Kickstarter goes directly to the game. Nothing is taken out for other purposes). He works almost every evening and weekend on the game and is thus barely seeing his family in order to finalise the game. 

I know for a fact that when Jacob J chose to Kickstart the game he did believe that everything would be complete much sooner. But his ambitions, the complexity of the project as well as personal circumstances means that creating all the content has taken much longer than that. 

Much added content

We have now gotten to a point in the process where we are looking ahead of the release of the game and into the game’s expansions. This is important, as we want to ensure that the modularity of the base system works and can sustain the stories we want to expand with. Some parts of the original game have changed as a result of this. In some ways you are getting version 1.5 of the game.

All the content you have unlocked in stretch goals will eventually be part of expansions (as we have announced during the kickstarter). Originally we envisioned that each Love Story would be a small package of 4 chapters and 10 supporting Scenes. Along the way we learned that this probably wasn’t enough. We have tested and retested the scenarios and have just recently concluded that we needed more content to support each story’s unique narrative. In addition to that we decided to add extra cards beside that to create variety. These are some costly business decisions, that we felt were difficult to discuss in the open. 

We have now decided to go with packages that contain 30 Scenes. The format of those expansions will be a scenario (what we call a Love Story) consisting of 4 or 5 chapters, 20 scenario specific cards (with mechanisms that work only with that expansion) and 10 additional cards that will be thematically appropriate to the expansion, but can be playable in any scenario. This is much more than we anticipated in the Kickstarter. The decisions were costly because we didn’t want you guys to be left out of any extra content. We felt it would be wrong to give you three half expansions. 

One backer was so kind to sponsor additional 10 cards for all of you as part of his generous pledge (we will return to this at a later stage). The rest we have chosen to donate ourselves. This is a significant amount of extra cards that you will get that weren’t part of the Kickstarter campaign in any way. 

We know that some of you would rather have the game sooner. But we hope that this can be a consolation for the delay.  

As we said before: We do not want to compromise on the quality. This also means that we don’t want to give you incomplete expansions.

Final box content

During the Kickstarter we promised (and you unlocked) a lot of content. But since then we have chosen to upgrade and change some things:

During Kickstarter: 162 Story Cards (now called Scenes). In the final version: 200 Scenes. 

We will add in an extra set of card holders to go with the in-laws Love Story.

We have also added in 7 cards that will be explaining everything you need to know about each Love Story. One of these cards will be placed on the board during gameplay for easy reference. These cards will also act as a sort of divider for each scenario. We have moved away from using envelopes to store the Love Story cards in as they took up a lot of space and made it more difficult to find the right one. We will have a good solution for storage of the Love Stories in the the box insert.

We have chosen to upgrade the choice tokens from wooden components to some good weighty poker chips. This gives the action of making a choice a good physical heft making it feel more significant.

Another change (one that we are  still considering) is the finish of the board and the cards. There was a stretch goal that promised linen finish, but after trying out different finishes we are leaning towards using a matte clean finish. We feel that this aesthetically fits better with the rest of the game. If we choose to go with this we will improve the components in other ways. We are considering if we can use UV finish to accentuate some things on the board and the box (UV finish can't be used on linen finish).

Another change from the KS is that we have decided not to add 24 extra traits. Adding extra Traits would ruin a precious balance in the game, making it more likely for both players to get similar traits. This would ruin some of the gameplay dilemmas that are important. We thought it could be relevant to add other mechanics to the trait cards, but this just added unnecessary complexity without adding more fun. Instead most of the 24 traits you unlocked will be occupations instead. We feel that more variety in occupations add well to the thematic experience of the game.

We have also changed the size of the character cards and the Story Ending cards (now Destinies). These cards will be the same size as the Scenes. This means that all cards can easily be stored in the insert as there are 2 sizes instead of 4. We also think that it is fitting that the cards that decide how you end the game shouldn't be smaller than the cards you tell the story with. 

Speaking of the character cards. We promised 4 extra of these for the Love Stories you unlocked. We thought this was relevant for the new mechanisms in the Love Stories. While we have been developing these Love Stories we haven't found a use for these extra character cards.

We are also adding a reference card for each player.

Finally we will also add in a tutorial Love Story increasing the number of Love Stories you get from 6 to 7 with the tutorial Love Story being replayable as a shorter Love Story (something that many have requested). This will also include around 22 tutorial cards that will teach you the game while playing it.

In case you are interested the added components means that the MSRP of everything you get will be $100.

Approximate final box content of Kickstarter version:


Base game to be sold at retail:
Quad fold board.
Box size rulebook.
2 card holders in player colours.
2 character cards in player colours.
2 sets of 4 poker chip choice tokens labeled a, b, c, d. One set in each player colour.
2 sets of 40 choice point tokens in each player colour. 35 small tokens with no print, and 5 tokens with 5 printed on them.
2 reference cards.110 scenes.60 features.48 Occupations.44 Traits.
4 Love stories.
22 tutorial cards.
All cards in the game will come pre-stacked from the factory making the tutorial possible.


Content that will eventually be released as expansions :
3 Love stories.
2 tokens for keeping track of in-law influence.
2 card holders for in-law traits.
60 Love story specific Scenes.
30 Scenes usable in any Love Story.

Graphic designer 

Another reason for some of the delay is that we found it difficult to find the right graphical style for the game. We had a great look on the prototype. But with a bigger board and a bigger box as well as the need for improved readability on the cards we needed to change some things. This has led to us bringing a new designer on board to help us with the aesthetic design. He will help us with updating all illustrations and graphical elements, so they are in perfect harmony and look beautiful. This might seem marginal for some. We already had a design that in many ways worked well. We do however want to make it really awesome. 

Timeline 

I mentioned that the game will be delayed and I will outline a new schedule here to give you an idea. 
- Mid April: Content completion.
- Mid May: Proofing done. Graphical design done.  
- End of May: Print files done and send to the printer. 
- Mid July: Printing done.  
- Mid August: Shipping to backers.

We anticipate that the game will go on general sale just after you have gotten the game (only the base game). Further down the line we will release the expansions that you already have. 

Even further down the line, we want to release more expansions so those with a KS version also get more content. We have some great ideas already and anticipate to crowdsource ideas from the community as well. 

That is it for now. 

Thanks, 

Jacob and Jacob

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