November 10, 2023 8 min read
Hey backers! We’ve got quite a bit done in the past couple weeks and we’ve got another progress update for you.
Let’s jump right into it.
Brooklynn and Kris spent a good amount of time last week reviewing and polishing the first 7 Encounters in Chapter 6, making sure they work as intended and aren’t totally busted.
While working through the more beefy Encounters in Act 2 and 3, they came up with a new rule that will help Encounter prep and setup be less daunting.
This new Encounter rule is called Curiously Hidden Rules and is really quite simple.
The rule is: Do not read anything under the Curiously Hidden Rule header unless instructed to do so.
We’ve been injecting a ton of narrative-focused and interactive hidden text into the Encounters of Act 2 + 3 which makes some of the Encounters look really big. However, most of what makes these Encounters look so big is all the possible choices and variable outcomes hidden beneath the Curiously Hidden Rules header.
These passages of hidden text can be a combination of prose, dialogue, and decision-making. Typically, players won’t be reading through all of this during an Encounter. However, it will mean that two groups who play through some of these Encounters will end up with radically different outcomes.
Using Curiously Hidden Rules will let players bypass a whole chunk of initial reading, knowing that when the time comes, they’ll be instructed to read from them eventually through gameplay.
This lets us incorporate many narrative elements by showing instead of telling.
Check out the example of Night Raid in Chapter 6.
This Encounter takes up 12 pages (what??) and looks daunting as hell… until you realize that 85% of the Encounter setup is hidden text under this new header that you don’t need to worry about and will only ever read if explicitly instructed to.
To be fair, Night Raid is probably the largest Encounter we’ve ever made, and may ever make. So this is definitely an exaggerated example to make a point.
Encounter Design Milestones
We’ve got our other full time designer Kris helping Brooklynn knock this project out. After reviewing the Encounters above, he got right into design and finished up two full Encounters last week.
We’re obviously moving way slower than we should, but the truth is that we have a lot more of the design of this project completed than we’ve shown off.
Many of our designs have been teetering on the precipice of completion and awaiting an organized review by the right people before we could consider them “complete”.
In the last week we’ve finished the design and layout for 9 Encounters from Act 2 and 18 Encounters from Pirates of Elenia with the design and layout completed.
Next steps are to do an internal review and then package them for playtesting.
The Encounters are:
Combatants, Adventurers, Conduits, and Command Cards
This past week, we finished the design on 8 Command Cards and 4 Combatants / Espers.
Command Cards (These cards are upgraded and scaled Command Cards of all the party members in the game)
Zafir is still pending…
Combatant / Espers
Chugging Through The Remaining Art Assets
This past week we completed a good amount of straggling assets for this project, from Adventurers, Items, Adventure Book splash art, and sculpts.
Here’s what we got done.
The old Hogrifar sculpt was alright, but underwhelming. It needed more FBE (final boss energy) so we opted for a re-sculpt and we’re happy with the results.
We also had a sculpt from Pirates that fell through the cracks so we took care of that as well.
She’s one of the pirate mooks you’ll become very familiar with when playing through that Adventure Pack.
We also finished the scaling and adjustments on 9 more sculpts. Remember, the pictures shown are rough 3D prints and aren’t cleaned up. The real deal will look way better.
Yaoguai (Act 2)
The Pit Boss (The Pit Boss Bounty)
The Collector and The Dodand Axe (The Collector Bounty Pack
Blighted Cave Sickle (Pirates)
Nail Vessel (The Collector Bounty Pack)
Murder Advocate (KS2 Promo Pack)
Circe (Kickstarter Cross-Promotion Pack)
Zeke (Kickstarter Cross-Promotion Pack)
This past week we checked off 7 more pieces of art meant for the 5x6 cards and Initiative cards.
These really won’t look great until we get them laid out on their cards, so we’re going to hold off on showing the art on this update.
Turned the boxes green on 11 Items.
Adventure Book Splash Art
This week we checked off two pieces.
Chapter 6: The Middle Passage
Chapter 7: Padric’s Dream Inn
We also got samples of the Epic, Legendary, and Mythic dice.
Our feedback to the factory on this batch is that we want to increase the saturation of the FIRE and YELLOW dice by about 20%.
We’re trying to keep everything as color-blind friendly as possible. We are running into the issue where we’ve basically used all the distinctive pantones to the point where colors are starting to get close to each other.
We’re also looking to get some samples of these dice with pearl, glitter, and translucent effects. We’ll keep you posted.
We may just stick with the OG opaque style, but we’ll see.
For this 3rd print run of Act 1, we’ve changed factories. We were naive to assume that reprinting this game would be as simple as transferring the files and the plastic molds and hitting print.
Especially considering that Middara is a complex amalgam of terabytes worth of InDesign files, packaged PDFs, Illustrator files, and STLs. For a new factory to go through all this took months and months longer than we’d hoped.
Our initial deadline for delivery was August and here we are approaching November.
With our last update, we were excited to show off the new box and insert / organizer without thinking through how that might piss off a bunch of backers that already own the game because they wouldn’t be getting said box or insert.
We’re always trying to improve the product, especially on the cusp of a new print run. In retrospect, it makes sense why people were upset and we’re sorry. Unfortunately, there’s really nothing we can do about it now.
We know a lot of you want the box and the insert to pimp out your 1.1 version. But creating a new SKU that is just an empty box and an insert is not feasible and is very susceptible to getting totally owned in transport.
With that said, we will do our best to engineer an insert for Acts 2+3 that will hopefully make up for the frustration that backers are feeling right now. We’re trying to figure this out.
The thing is, combining everything from all three acts into one box will surely blow out the bottom cardboard so we’ll need to really work with the factory to figure out a plan.
The other option is to go with a third party.
We have an official organizer for Act 1 through Folded Space.
We’ve contacted them, and by sacrificing our royalty on it, we’ve put together a deal for all backers that want this insert.
If you’re interested, you can find the insert here.
During checkout, use the code KSDISCMDDR1 and get 20% off the purchase. This will be valid until November 30th.
This puts the price at about $39 or €37 (plus shipping).
The big Act 1 box is something we can’t replace, but this Folded Space insert will do everything our insert will do, and fits perfectly into the Act 1 box, and honestly, looks cooler.
Delivery Dates for Wave 1 + Tiles
The boats are moving and the timelines for docking are the same as what was stated in our last update.
US - Nov 4
CA - Nov 11
EU - Nov 11
AU - Container has been unpacked
Asia - At the fulfillment center, ready to ship
We’re withholding fulfillment until these damn tiles are reprinted and air-shipped to each warehouse.
Right now we have color samples of the tiles heading our way from the factory that we should receive this week.
Once approved, we’ll go right into print and promptly ship them out.
We’ve been told that once approved, the printing process of these tiles will take 20 days. With air travel, we can expect Wave 1 to start fulfillment toward the end of November.
Lupercalia 2022 + 2023 Resin Kit Delivery
Our local manufacturer has also doubled as our shipper and has been struggling to get everything out in time.
Here are the latest delivery dates they’ve given us for these kits:
US - Currently fulfilled
EU - Oct 21 - Ships to EU fulfillment center
AU / CA - Oct 28 - Ships to AU and CA fulfillment centers
All regions will be shipped out to their respective fulfillment centers by November 30.
This project has been a bumpy ride due to some things that were out of our control, but mostly due to our own follies.
Regardless, we’re doing our best to take it one day at a time, crack down, and get this organized and finished.
Most of all, we want to keep up communication with you, be transparent with you, and maybe for once, hit a deadline.
Thanks for sticking with us and we’ll talk to ya soon.
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