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GEN CON!!! + Kickstarter Update

Gen Con 2016 is coming up next week. I hope everyone got a ticket and is going cause I am!
I have been going to Gen Con every year since 2014. I only started going after forcing myself to spend the money. It was the best decision I ever made, and one that I wish I had made years before then.

At Gen Con you meet with fellow board gamers and video gamers. It is a gathering of similar minded individuals with similar passions. There is a lot to do at every Gen Con ~ something for everyone. My friend who went with me for the past 2 years would go to try out many of the games he helped kickstart. He is a great supporter of the arts and a good man. But we wouldn’t get to hang out much since I would go there for networking reasons.

My first year I spent all 4 days going to every seminar related to business I could find. I would then talk to the speaker afterwards (if possible) and suck up all the knowledge I could get. I met many inspiring characters and got lucky enough to make long lasting connections. Many of which I am hoping to see again this year. So if you do go, don’t be shy, make some new friends or business partners. Again there is everything for everyone at Gen Con!

Kickstarter update: Got my quotes back, and got some volunteer help reviewing my tiers. Once we think it is ready, I’ll be sure to post about it again!

Keep on playing!

World of Anastroc is coming to Kickstarter

Today I decided to announce that King Steven’s Games will be attempting its first ever Kickstarter: World of Anastroc!

I asked many of my game testers which idea should be kickstarted first? Originally, World of Anastroc was off the table. It is a trading card game, and trading card games are a unique beast. They require more artwork than any other game, they are a lot harder to balance and make rules for, plus you have an expectation to make expansions on a regular bases.
However, everyone was wishy-washy with the other concepts. They admitted to loving the other games, and I believe them, but what they really wanted to see made was Anastroc.

With much thinking (and crunching financials) it seems like a tall order to fill, but I say give people what they want! If everyone is ready to buy a box, then better get those boxes to the shelves! Another nice thing is that right now the trading card game industry is made up of three titans (whom do not need mentioning). Each of them have very strong attributes about them, and it makes them fun in their own way. At the same time, they all share some common flaws which my game addresses. In addition, we will be going for a different marketing strategy with how our boxes will be sold which I think will make players very pleased~ more details to come.

It is going to be a large goal. But if successful I know we will have a beautiful game that is a fresh game style that will bring hours of fun! Featured as the icon for this blog post is the artwork for the back of the cards made by a talented artist who has worked very hard for me. I hope all of you are as excited to see more of her works as I am (and if you can’t wait for spoilers then go ahead and check out her profile site here)

This is all for now, check back often for updates!
Keep on playing!

Pixel Pop Success!!

Pixel Pop St. Louis was last weekend and I am still recovering from all the excitement. There are so many creative people in our area!  There were a lot of video games, but that only helped our booth stand out as we were one of the few non-video game companies there.

We demoed our flagship product World of Anastroc, and another brand new board game (which I cannot say what it is atm).

Needless to say World of Anastroc was well received by the public. I got to demo the game to someone who had never played a trading card game before and he understood all the rules within a few minutes and went on to beat me! That was exciting because it showed that my goal of making a simple yet challenge trading card game worked.

What really surprised me was our newest game. I wanted to demo it out and get feedback, this was the perfect place to do it. It attracted many people to play our games, while just making other people laugh that it exists (in a good way). Let me put it like this, I’m a numbers guy, and I kept track of how many played which game, this game got played more than DOUBLE of Anastroc!

We also gave away a bunch of stuff, we gave away food for beating the demoers (which I could have advertised better; live and learn). And a cool T-Shirt of Machine Emperor X! It made my day when several gamers came back to try to win the drawing; particularly one young gentleman who came back several times. Ironically he also won the shirt, which made his day.

I think my biggest success from the event was when I saw people laughing and enjoying the games I created. When I demoed about my umpteenth time, I was getting to the point of saying, “Look…I win…yay…can we be done now?” But then I realized that while the flavor of the game got stale with me, these people were tasting it for the first time, and they were loving it! That was motivational. It also helps when people say they would buy it in a heartbeat if possible.

While I love making profit through sales, it was really just seeing everyone having a good time that made the hard work and investment worth it. That is why I will continue to do what I can to make this company great.

Pixel Pop Time!

Big news! I will be hosting my first vendor booth at Pixel Pop St. Louis this weekend! September 12th-13th!

I have had very little time to focus on this event because of sooooo many life changing events happening recently! I got a new full time job, going back to school for my masters, and still working on games and trying to get this business running into high gear. I had no idea running a business would be so hard. If you really want a well functioning business you have to devote your entire evening to it sometimes for weeks at a time, and then you will have moments where there is nothing to do but wait for weeks at a time.

Lesson: Never start a business without a back up plan, or at least another source of income. If you do so anyway, then you better stay creative!
I hope to see all of you at the Pixel Pop event! I will be demoing some of my games, including a brand new one only a week old! Not to mention giving away a cool T-Shirt! Posted here:

Machine Emperor X T-Shirt

First of our many T-Shirts to come!

Back Story – Back Story – Back Story

To quote a wise man:

“The Back Story is the why he does what he do.” –Dr. Doofenshmirtz (evil scientist from Phineas and Ferb)

Although a fictional character, the line is genuine. It is important in games to have back stories if you want your players to be drawn in for years to come. Many games base themselves on simple concepts such Clue (figure out who killed the host, where, and how), some games go into great detail such as Magic: The Gathering, where they actually produce novels to go with each set of cards they print. This gives the players a sense of what is happening, why they are doing what they are doing, and what to expect.

 

In my Summoners the Board Game, the story is very simple, you are a wizard, you don’t like competition, go eliminate that competition.  In my World of Anastroc TCG, it is founded on a story that feels like it is ages old now, with so many plot twists that even Alexander the Great would have issues. That what leads to this post today, the importance of back stories but also to smart on how to use them. For example, in World of Anastroc TCG, I need to be able to get across to the players what is happening in the world at that current moment, and be able to guide them gently through what is happening during the time of the set. So in the first set “Beginnings” I designed it to act like a prequel to what the real story is about to be about.

 

This means the Necromancer is introduced and the destruction of the Land of Chaos. Also that there is tension between Representative Malgear and the other 8 Representatives. It gives hints about an “Oskota Clan” but doesn’t go into detail because they really are not important at that time. Machine Emperor X is the boss of machines (and a self-obsessive jerk) which I think is made clear in his flavor texts. The Forest Council is having issues of losing a bunch of land, but it doesn’t say to whom. What we can be sure of though is that a young elf named Fysi is up to something (this is made bluntly when you see she is the only Minion that cost a star fragment).

Lucky for me, setting up the back story for the game was easy because I have thought about it so many dozens of times and began to write short stories about them. What is more challenging is the set “Fate Begins” which goes into:

Tthe Necromancer’s failure to invade the Republic because Archi warned the Representatives about him, and told them how to defeat the evil sorcerer. But the only reason why they took Archi’s advice is because Malgear betrayed the rules of the Republic which is, no action can be made by the Representatives without certain majority of approval; Malgear saw how long it would take for the other 8 to discuss the matter and knew the Necromancer would win if such time was wasted.

This lead the 8 to be angry at Malgear, not just for breaking the law but also for showing them up. So with the advice of their advisers and the Order of Agnatia, they arrested Malgear on accounts of treason. Archi and the gang busted Malgear out of jail, fled to the towns he saved where he would be safe by popularity. However, Herna and her son Tor were captured in the process then held for ransom ~ Malgear for the two of them. The 8 were hoping Archi would betray Malgear in order to save his friends. Instead, Archi went to the Necromancer, begged for help, in which the Necromancer agreed if afterwords, Archi would provide him with 10,000 corpses. Archi agreed.

The Necromancer invaded the capital so Archi could save his friends. Little did they know the Oskota Clan was in that same capital, so they fought against the Necromancer’s invasion. He killed 3 leaders one of which was Grimtasha. The Republic was about to fall until Cardinal Frederik cast one final spell and vanquished the undead army. Archi, Herna, and Tor were able to escape. As for Archi’s end of the deal, he provided the Necromancer with 10,000 corpses ~ all of which were dead rats. 

This doesn’t even touch what is going on in the Machine Empire or the Forest Council! Can you see the challenge? The way to work it out is by making the cards with the most flavor text commons, and have their effects reflex the comment. This way the player is more likely to get the key cards to your story line. If the player cares enough they will begin to piece the story puzzle together; if they don’t, well at least you made a funny card which they can enjoy.

More on this another time. Until then, keep on playing and stay productive!