Future Content, Resin Kit Update, a Partner Slaying it, and a Crazy Pigeon?

July 07, 2021 13 min read

Hey everyone! Brooklynn here.
 
As summer goes into full swing, I wanted to touch base with everyone and give a status update on future content, plans, and our trajectory for future products.
 
Shipping has been a crazy intense experience this time around. Between Covid, a larger project, and a new shipping partner, the process has been difficult. Luckily, we've taken care of the vast majority of backers. Those still waiting for content, both domestic and abroad, are being taken care of on a case by case basis.
 
Meanwhile, our store launched, perhaps a bit per-maturely. Even so, we've taken care of the majority of orders for all products (Sans-Resin Kits. More on that later.)
 
Despite these challenges, Alex and I are happy to see our backers get Middara. We hope that moving forward we can learn from our own mistakes and make future deliveries go smoother.

 

KS1 Promo Pack Questions

One quick update about web orders. Some customers were missing the KS1 Promo Pack from their order. 
 
With the campaign fulfillment, coupled with the enthusiasm for our "Web Launch Bundle",  our inventory on the KS1 Promo Packs was running dangerously low.
 
We've resolved the issues with all orders missing the KS1 Promo Pack and will begin shipping these out again starting this weekend.
 
The bad news is that we are totally sold out of the KS1 Promo Pack as well as the Art Book.
 
We're putting together another print run of these items right now and hope to have them up for sale again by October / November at which point we will offer these add-ons by themselves, as well as in new Bundles.
 

Lupercalia Resin-kit Update!

 

We've always seen Resin as a way to add support for a larger product line. Small packages that can be done in bite-sized production runs that allow us to pursue some of our more niche desires for Middara. These Resin kits are a way for us to produce short stories, small side expansions, or further expand upon ideas that don’t fit the bill in current plastic production products planned.
 
I’ve been working hard setting up a local supply chain here in the states. One that can turn Resin Kits around in short order, with little mistakes, and maximum quality. While challenging, I’m pleased to announce that it’s going well, albeit a tad bit slower than expected.

Getting it all ready to ship!
Getting it all ready to ship!

Currently, we have enough Valentines Resin Kit’s currently made/cast to fulfill all orders. Additionally, the cardboard has been prepared and kits are being packaged at our domestic resin manufacturer.

Once boxed, these products are being sent out to our fulfillment center in the United States and the EU. From there, they will ship to customers. This means that if you ordered Lupercalia (Valentines) Resin Kits from our webstore, your order should be shipping out in the next three weeks.

 
As we near the actual shipping date, we will make sure to release an update here on Kickstarter that announces they’ve officially begun shipping to customers.
 
This is three weeks later than anticipated. There have been growing pains with setting up this supply chain for Resin, but we hope that future kits will be able to ship upon their announcement/web sale as opposed to two months after.

Printed, packed, and shipped in the USA.
Printed, packed, and shipped in the USA.

 

Kickstarter Resin-Kits

We ran short on kits during the KS fulfillment. To fulfill outstanding orders, we air-shipped an emergency re-supply. They have since arrived and shipped out to customers. Anyone still waiting on these are part of a minority we’re working to still have fulfilled.
 
In short, these kits will see regular re-stocks based on demand.
 
Note: For those who already have the kits, or might be planning to get them, you can find a breakdown of all the parts and how they fit together here.
 
The Lupercalia Kits will also have these added within the next two weeks and can be found at the same link.

Build Guides Available

Lessons Learned

While there are plenty of business savvy people who don’t mind selling products ahead of supply, this is something we found very stressful. For the sake of expediting customer orders, and our own sanity, we’ve decided to double down on our webstore to ensure that the product for sale reflects the actual stock of said product.
 
This means that all future orders will ship within 7 - 10 days of being ordered, not months later.  Any pre-orders will be clearly marked as a “pre-order” with a ‘very’ accurate shipping date marked.
 
Furthermore, we’ve moved to hire a full-time guy to help out with customer support. 
Succubus Publishing is a very small company, something we take pride in, but to move forward with Middara at the pace we’d like to move at, we decided to start reaching out to those in our social circle for help.
 
Which leads us on to the next topic….
 

A Crazy Pigeon

PigeonPete Reporting for Duty!

We’ve hired a full-time designer and community guru to help us meet deadlines for Middara products looming on the horizon. As a brainchild behind Middara, it’s been hard for me to let-go and accept outside help. But collaboration with others is going to be required for me to hit deadlines and meet, not only your expectations as backers, but my expectations as a creator.
 
For these reasons, I want to introduce Pigeon Pete, or as others may know him in the industry, the one and only Pete Walsh!
 
He wanted to introduce himself and give all of you an update on what he’s been working on.
 
These regular design updates are something we’re going to be working towards at least once a month. We feel that this will give a good amount of time for our designers and developers while also staying in touch with our customers.
 
Without further ado, Pete!

****

Hey everyone!

I’m super excited to be writing this to you all as a new member of Team Succubus!

Some of you may know me already and for those that don’t…

“Hi, I’m Pete!”

Up until recently I was the resident Pigeon for IDW Games, the lead designer and resuscitator of the Adventure System (TMNT and Batman The Animated Series Adventures). Since finishing up with IDW Games I have been working hard behind the scenes with Brooklynn and Alex bringing new ideas to the upcoming Bounty Packs.

 


Firstly, I recently finished my initial work on the Cave Sickle Queen. Can I say I get shivers down my spine with excitement for you all to see and play it?

I have tried to give the Bounty Pack a totally fresh feeling while still keeping it the Middara you know and love. Some of the areas that stand out the most and the things you have to look forward to are:

 

  • Unconventional layouts and tile setups.

  • Multiple paths to the center of the hive.

  • New and exciting monsters!

  • Terrifying alternate AI cards for monsters you already know and love!

  • And some... creative Easter eggs.

With closed beta testing on the horizon, hopefully you all get to play it soon and can find yourselves boots deep in the feeling that you’re on Char, LV-426 or Klendathu being surrounded by a horde of dangerous bugs!

Brooklynn and I have different design mentalities. Something that can be a great boon when striving for variety in a game as large and expansive as Middara! We both agree that this can be a huge strength to Middara’s trajectory and future.

While trying to keep spoilers to a minimum, these are two layout examples of what I’ve been doing different from what you might see designed by Brooklynn.

Claustrophobic passages!

First, I’ve used the Passage Tokens to interconnect sections of the tiles. This really gives a claustrophobic feel as you squeeze through tight zones that connect into new unexplored areas. This can emulate that nest/hive feeling. By using the Passages this way it will also keep ranged and magic using Adventurers on their toes due to the lack of line of sight.

Unconventional Tile Arrangements!

Second, this also gave me the idea to use the tiles in an unconventional way, not lining them up orthogonally with each other really opened up the potential combinations and play space.

 

In the above map layout, you can see that the way tile UM5 connects to the others creates a perfect corridor when connecting obstructive terrain walls. This opens up an entirely new way to connect and use the neighboring obstructive terrain to shape rooms.

 

As you play through the Cave Sickle Queen, new and seasoned adventurers will be kept on their toes with unfamiliar encounter layouts that can't always be anticipated.

Bug Bombing Ahoy!

 

My favorite part of these two encounters is because the Bounty is a hive with maze-like twists and turns, they are actually part of the same section of the hive, just approached from different areas.

 

I made sure that between both of these encounters the tiles and tokens have an identical cross over point between them both. If you’re lucky enough to have two sets of tiles you can even lay the whole map out which is an awesome thing to do.

 

In this way, we have really captured the feel of continuity between encounters and travel. You’ll really feel like you’re delving into a continuous cave full of creepy bugs.

For the sake of continuity!

Another small but important running change coming with the Cave Sickle Queen is separating and expanding on the ALTERNATE tag for Combatants.

 

We’ve had a lot of players confused by how each and every Combatant marked as an ALTERNATE card is used. Putting such vastly different rules on the back of each card isn’t optimal and can lead to a lot of confusion.

 

By separating Alternate Combatants into three different tags (Alternate, Variation and Scaling), it allows for easier comprehension of rules and grants a ton of new design space to expand on and create new Combatants.

Click for Teaser Rules

You can click here to see the current hosted rules for the Cave Sickle Queen. There are in depth depictions of how this tag now interacts as well as new rules associated with additional terrain and some addendum to the current rule book.

 

In short though:

 

  • Alternate: Brand new Combatant Cards that can be used as Alternate Spawns in place of existing Combatant Cards.

  • Variation: Existing Combatant Cards with brand new Variations or versions of their printed AI.

  • Scaling: Stronger versions of Combatant Cards that are spawned depending on the current Loot LVL.

    So small, so deadly.

    Of course, we haven’t gone through official beta testing on the Discord, so until then, these rules are all subject to change.

    If you want to be part of that playtest, don’t hesitate to DM me on the official Middara Discord!

    Right now, I’m almost done going through the Pit Boss Bounty Pack. You can expect a content and teaser update for that product later this month.

    Thanks again for having me! As a community focused person myself, I am excited to chat with everyone and keep exploring Middara together. I promise to always do my best, bring you new and exciting mechanics, focus heavily on the theme and of course, always listen to the community.

    You can find me on Facebook and the Middara Discord Channel @pigeonpete.

    Creepy Creeper Creeping.

    Progress Report

    Brooklynn here, again.

     
    I wanted to give everyone an update on our current status on delivering Wave 2. We want to stay transparent as we move forward with expanding the Middara universe. We have a lot of surprises for everyone this year. Many of which we will be announcing in late Q4. However, between now and then, we’re working hard to organize and push out quality content at a steady pace.
     
    The below 5 Phases of product creation represent the broad stages we go through when determining the trajectory of our upcoming products. These phases arenotequal. For example, Phase 1 takes up a significant amount of the time when creating a product. While Phase 2-3 can be done rather quickly.

     

    Key and Pipeline

    (Note:Each phase represents simultaneous processes that are being completed.)

    Outline and Planning

    • Phase 1
      • Outline: Our outline is created alongside our flowchart. It details what happens, why it happens, and is the first and perhaps hardest step in preparing a product for writing. It details everything from our component list to our art requirements. It represents a huge milestone towards the completion of any of our products. 
      • Flowchart: Complex stories require complex flowcharts. These charts are used to keep track of our story, player performance, player choices, encounter outcomes, flags, and most importantly, a way for everyone working on Middara to keep track of where they are when working on the massive story.
    • Phase 2  
      • Component List: Once the above is finalized, we move to commissioning art for every card and getting a solid quote from a manufacturer.
      • Writing: Pros are written. Our massive 100k word count happens here. While it sounds like the hardest part, it actually is very straight forward with the previous steps finished.
    • Phase 3  
      • Card/Tile Design: Each and every Item Combatant, Tile, and Discipline in our component list is designed during this step.
      • Art Commissioned: Every illustration and CAD is queued for completion based on the component list. Many parts of this process are completed as possible from using the Outline from Phase 1.
    • Note: The final CAD files are sent to a manufacturer to prepare ahead of time upon a quote and price being agreed too. This saves us time by allowing our manufacturer the ability to do casting months ahead of sending digital files for cardboard. Editing: The Writing from Phase 2 is queued for Editing using a professional company.

    It starts to come together

    • Phase 4  

      • Card/Tile Development: An in-house pass by our developers. We catch outstanding balance issues, glaring nomenclature issues, and double check setup lists/mechanic interactions.

      • Encounter Design: Every Encounter is designed based on the outline and using our finished and designed tiles and cards from Phase 3.

    • Phase 5  

      • Encounter Development: An in-house pass by our developers. We catch outstanding balance issues, glaring nomenclature issues, and double check setup lists/mechanic interactions.

      • Closed Beta Testing: After a single in-house pass of the entire product, we share the designs with our community for public testing. This has shown to catch many issues as well as change some existing designs to something funner or more clear.

    Completed and ready for prime time!

    The current progress of each product on our Kickstarter is listed below. We’ve made great strides in moving forward in a short period of time. The largest project, Unintentional Malum Act 2 and 3 have seen some of their biggest areas reach goals this month. With some of the aforementioned help hired, we hope to make some serious progress at break-neck paces in the coming months.

     

    Some Dungeon Delving

     

    • Unintentional Malum: Act 2 & 3: Phase 1 Completed. Phase 2 being prepared to begin. Many aspects of Phase 3 such as CAD’s and Illustrations are completed to various degrees.

    • Pirates of Elenia: Phase 1,2, and most of 3 are completed (waiting on some initial designs and some artwork. Phase 4 is currently underway and queued for completion after Bounties of Elenia 1 and 2.

    • Bounties of Elenia 1: Cave Sickle Queen: Preparing for Phase 5. Closed Beta Testing is planned by the end of this month.

    • Bounties of Elenia 2: The Pit Boss: Phase 4 is finishing up this week. Preparing for Phase 5. Closed Beta Testing is planned by the end of this month.

    • Bounties of Elenia 3: The Collector:This product is wrapped up in Act 2 and 3 development. It will be completed at the same time as Act 2 and 3.

    • Trail of a Princess #1:This product is in Phase 2. It’s queued for completion and design. Phase 5 is intended to occur at the end of August.

    • Unintentional Malum: Token Upgrade Pack:This product makes up the bulk of the miniatures unlocked on our Campaign. Due to its nature, it’s outside of the scope of the above phases. Instead, it’s completion is on track for submission to manufacturers by the end of this month.

    *Products not listed in the above list will be announced at a later date. While many are under development, we want to ensure they can be packaged as intended before announcing them. We will ensure that this list is revisited and shared during Q4 of this year.

     

    *We will provide a visual progress report in the near future.

     

    A Partner is Slaying It!

    Wild Assent Cross Promotion

     

    Before I sign off, I wanted to give a shout out to our friends over at Lazy Squire Games. Wild Assent got an expansion and they're running a Crowdfunding campaign right now!

    I've been playing through my own copy the last two weeks. The miniatures are really great and the passion the that the owners have for their games is incredible. I'm always a sucker for story telling games.

    I'm excited to announce that Nyx herself is riding into battle in Wild Assent!

    Note: Unless we say otherwise, all of our cross promotions are purely altruistic in nature. We do not make any money off of our cross promotions. Instead, we simply love to support and work with awesome people in an awesome industry. 

    After all, the rising tide lifts all boats.

    This figure is available through their (Lazy Squire's) Crowdfunding campaign, provided by them, and contains no mechanical content for Middara .

    Wild Assent Nyx Cross Promotion!

    Wild Assent is a 1-4 player RPG board game with solo/cooperative and PvP game modes, beautiful miniatures and thrilling gameplay. The Lavon Rising expansion adds more heroes and creatures and a compelling story-based campaign with multiple endings that you won't need to rearrange your life to finish.

    The Lavon Rising Expansion adds a 100-page decision-based narrative campaign book with multiple different adventures that give the feeling of a large scale narrative campaign (with impactful choices that affect the story and its conclusion) but without needing years to complete them. Lavon Rising also adds new mechanics such as equipment specializations and paths to customize your seekers in the Hunt mode and the ability to field XL creatures in the Arena mode.

     

    Quick FAQ

    • Will Resin be made in plastic eventually? 
      • Yup. But only as time and Resin content permits. Resin works well in small batches, but the amount of product SKU’s and moving parts makes individual plastic lines sprawling and something we don’t want to do. Instead, we are waiting for a larger quantity of releases so that we can do plastic all at once. We envision a plastic product line that follows our resin in a way that makes sense for the board gamer and is also easier for us from a logistics perspective. We expect to move forward with this sometime after we’ve solidified our current Kickstarter promises such as Wave 2.
    • When will the Lupercalia Resin Kits get delivered? 
      • This month. Depending on where you live, as soon as the 20th, as late as the 31st. When we start shipping to customers we will let everyone know here on KS and via our Newsletter.
    • Are Resin Kits or other projects by Succubus Publishing slowing down the progress of current Kickstarter promises?
      • Nope. We’ve expanded our operations by reaching out to professionals within their own fields to help us hit our design timelines, production deadlines, and ability to create and expand the wonderful world of Middara.
     

    Where can I find support for Middara?

    Have Shipping Questions?

    • Shipping/Replacement Questions (USA): help@funagainlogistics.com
    • Shipping/Replacement Questions (EU): info@fulfillment-europe.de
    • Shipping/Replacement Questions (UK): info@fulfillment-europe.de
    • Shipping/Replacement Questions (Rest of World): info@fulfillment-europe.de
     

    brooklynn lundberg
    brooklynn lundberg



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