Battle Royale: Combat Part Deux

Hi Everyone,

Per a followup from our last update, here is the Combat Video that highlights the basic combat for Battle Royale. If you had the chance to check out the last update, this pretty much covers the same thing but in a bit more detail. We’ll also work on posting a quick video of two people actually in combat, using the rules you’ll learn here:

http://youtu.be/08QJRS8IQJ8

Board Game Geek Convention

In other news, if you hadn’t heard, we’ll also be attending BGG this year and will be at Booth#315. We’ll be demoing a few of our games (Fairytale Games: Battle Royale, Dragon Tides, Martial Arts the Card Game) as well. If you’re able to make it out to Dallas to the event, we’d love to see you there!

Sacred 40 Pictures from Backers!

Looks like the raffle winners have finally received their winnings. Some of these backers have graciously taken some photos to share with all of you. As more pictures come about, I’ll consolidate a list so you all can see. Feel free to ask these backers what they think about them in our comment threads!

Refund Deadline!

Melissa has been hard at work in getting things processed. We’ve already had one wave of refunds in the queue. Per our previous update, the deadline for all refunds are by November 1st. If you do have a refund request, please e-mail mellissa@artisticjustice.com . This is very important as this will be the only way for us to consolidate and process your request. If you had already been contacted during the first phase, please be patient as more than likely you have been approved and will receive confirmation this week.

For those have inquired, we’re planning on tallying up the refund pledges after November 1st to see what numbers and quantity are. Depending on the results, we’re thinking about offering some of these extras pledges to backers who are still interested or have missed the Lion King pledge. I’ll let you all know what we decide after the 1st.

DISCLAIMER: The following is not related to the Battle Royale campaign, per se, but may be of interest. It’s an optional read.

Just to follow up from last update regarding offering Snow, Goldielocks, Hua Mulan, and Red as part of a Fairytale Angels add-on to incorporate into the Bruce/Brandon Lee tabletop game, Dragon Tides. We wanted to make use of the minis so that they could be used in yet another game, giving your minis more diversity and playability. A lot of you are for it, but because there were about a quarter who were not, we decided against doing so. Instead, we will incorporate 4 characters from our Minis Campaign (non exclusive) to be used in Dragon Tides. Most likely, they will be Brunhilde, Esmeralda, Briar Rose, and Cinderella. Included will be their signature move cards and character boards which will make them playable in Dragon Tides.

Thank you so much for your suggestions and as mentioned, the intentions for bringing this last time was to be as honest and open to you all as I can.

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Battle Royale: Combat

Hi Everyone,

Good news and bad in regards to the videos we were rendering last night (Combat and Game Setup). My version of Final Cut Pro Studio failed and I need to acquire myself a new one on Monday for a fresh install. I tried several times today to fix the issue, but my Mac basically told me it wasn’t going to give me any breaks. So, to not be a complete loss, I’m going to at the very least, try to translate what was on the video, as graphics in today’s update. Once I get my shiny new software installed on Monday, we’ll be back up and rendering again so I can do the post (which might make even more sense after seeing the same idea now).

Ok, first off per my previous update, we did away with “Easy Mode” for combat. I am utterly thankful for that because it played like an afterthought and it was never the focus of gameplay. Unfortunately, some at GenCon were thrown into the misery of Easy Mode, to which I am cringing with terror that that was your first impression of the game 😛

Character Boards:

When you start the game, you will:

  • Choose your character and get their Character Card
  • Get your character’s Character Board
  • Get your character’s 3 Tactic Cards
  • Draw 1 card from the Bonus Deck

In this example, we’ll choose Red Riding Hood

So with this, let’s grab her Character Board and give you a tour through it:

On the top, you’ll see the character’s corresponding name as well a their portrait in the near center. On the left, are the areas where you’ll put your trait tokens and reputation points. On the bottom right, you have your Item Slot where you’ll place equipped items. Keep in mind that an item must be equipped in Quest Mode (Before Combat) before being able to use it during battle. So you can’t be in combat and hope to grab a Jade Sword and equip it while an opponent is beating the snot out of you.

Ok, let’s talk about the top areas:

HEALTH – This is the amount of health you start the game with. In this case, Red has 20 health points. There are some characters that may have more or less, though the amount of health points can not exceed 30. This is VERY important because your traits correlate with your health.

So in this example, when you start off the game, you will receive 20 trait points to distribute any way you want on the left (excluding “Reputation” since that isn’t a trait). A good practice is to see what kind of traits are needed by Red to utilize her card ability or Super Move before distributing traits.

In combat and quest mode, you might use traits to play ability, item, action card, or super move effects. Keep in mind that by using traits, you’re essentially using your health points. And if your health reaches Zero, your main character dies.

MVM: (Movement)You may move up to that many spaces in Quest mode.

FCT: (Faction) This is the faction you belong in. In Red’s case, it’s the Mercenaries. Besides the symbol signifying the faction, the colored horizontal bar also correlates with the faction.

WEAK/ELMT: (Weakness/Element) Certain characters are weak against things like Fire, Ice, Holy, Dark, and Lightning as well as also emit those elements. For example, if you use a Fire attack against a character weak against fire, your attack will gain a +1 ATK bonus against them.

Ok, before we get into the Signature Moves and Super Moves, let’s talk about the essence of combat.

Combat Gameplay:

Whomever initiates the attack in quest mode begins combat as the attacker. When you begin, you and your opponent draws 5 cards from the Combat Deck. The combat deck is a shared deck you’ll both use during the duration of combat.

Before we get into an example, here are a few types of cards you’ll encounter in the Combat Deck:

You can play your Heal card from your hand, anytime during combat. It’s a bit random but adds to the suspense of your gains.

This is a cool card for you to remove nasty poison or stun status on you as well as give you a quick 3 trait gain. Even if you don’t have any status ailments, you can throw this down for a quick health/trait boost.

Unlike our early iteration, Escape is now more strategic and less on luck. If you’re trying to leave battle, you have to figure out just how many trait points you want to invest in the escape. Remember, you do not regain health just by leaving combat, though your opponent cannot attack you while you both are on the same location on the map area. So if you’re running low on health and invest only a couple of trait points, beware that your opponent might invest 2 or more to prevent you from escaping (and wasting your initial trait invested).

When you begin the game, your three Tactic Cards are considered dormant. They will be tilted horizontally until you play this card during combat. Once you do, you can select any of your tactic cards and ready them. From there, you can play your readied tactic card any time during combat (depending on what it does). Or you can save a readied tactic until your next combat (it isn’t necessary for you to use it once you ready yet during that combat).

These are your main combat cards. Each card will have their own title, like Ice, Jumping, Slash, etc. All of these cards will have an active ability you can use. Some are attacks (spending a trait to do 1-3 ATK damage), some give you choices to add status effects to attacks (like Bleed, Break, Ice, Fire, etc), and some give you character switching abilities.

TURN ORDER:

Ok, let’s say I’m initiating combat and am attacking. Both my opponent and I drew 5 cards and this is my hand:

Since it’s my Attack Phase, I can play an attack. Since this is my first combat, let’s say I have my initial 20 health points, so I can utilize 20 trait points. Looking at my hand, my “Fierce” card looks like the best deal. I can spend 1 trait to do 3 ATK damage. I’m about to play this attack then I notice my Signature Move/super Move area of my Character Board:

Oh wow! I notice that if I have a “Fierce” + “Slice”, I can play a “Spinal Chop” and deal a total of 5 ATK damage to my opponent. There are advantages and disadvantages of doing so, but since I can do this WITHOUT having to play any trait points, let’s do it!

As well, I take a look at the Super Move (each character has different signature/super moves). In case my Health Point is 5 or below, this can me my desperation move where in this case, I would only have about 2-3 health left in hopes that the two cards I search for will win me the game before I’m killed.

Ok, so I play my Spinal Chop. Since it’s now my opponent’s Reaction Phase, let’s see if my opponent can defend from my attack ….

Whoops! Looks like they can. But since they can only defend from 2, they will take 3 ATK damage. Another option they can do by playing BLADE, is by spending 1 trait, they could have caused “Knock Back”. Meaning, if I had multiple characters in my party, they could have forced me to switch my main character (the one I’m using for combat) with one of my supporting characters (any from my party). This would essentially screw me up, especially if I was saving cards for a strategy specifically with my current Main Character (in this example, Red.)

Ok, so they finished reacting and it’s still my attack phase. I can now play another attack, use other cards (if I had heal, cure, escape) or pass. But looking at my hand, I’m going to spend 1 trait point to play Running,which is just 1 ATK damage. But, I’m also going to play Poisoned, adding a Poison status to my attack. If my opponent defends with a card, then attack to defense damage calculates but poison does not get through. If my opponent does not/can not defend, then it’s considered a “successful” attack and they now have the Poison Status applied to them until they can remove it or until combat ends.

Now with only 1 card left in my hand, I will pass and it is my opponent’s offensive (while I’m on the defensive). We both draw up to 5 cards before they begin their attack. Each person’s attack phase is called a Turn. A Round is a complete set of turns. So if I initiate and attack first, then you attack…. the beginning of my my turn (the second time) is called a Round. This is important as some cards effect Rounds or Turns.

But what if you’re stuck with cards you don’t want even if you draw up?

When both players are drawing up to their 5 cards, you can spend 1 trait point to discard a card you don’t want before drawing up. This is called “Burning” cards.

Pressing Attacks

Here’s another thing you can do when attacking. Let’s say you attack for 3 ATK damage and an opponent plays a card that defends 3 ATK damage. Stalemates suck. So you can actually Press your attack by spending X number of trait point more to add more weight into the attack. If the defending player wants to, they can still hold their ground by matching exactly the same number of trait points you added. You then can still add more trait points and then they can react in kind. Basically when both players stop adding trait points, the attack/defense resolves.

Turning Tail

At the beginning of your full round, you may attempt to “Turn Tail”, basically escaping to end combat. Doing it this way instead of playing the escape card is very risky and costs you 1 trait point. THIS is the dice roll from the previous iteration of Escape. So you and your opponent roll a die. If you lose the roll (lower value loses), you end your turn and discard 1 equipped item (if you have any). If you win, you can end combat just like that.

Advanced Rules

During combat, you can also use your character’s ability (if it states it is a combat related ability). As well, any Action Cards you have in your hand, you can play during combat, depending on what it is. Items may have buffs or abilities that can be played by using trait points as well.

As well, there are different types of status effects that you’ll encounter on Combat Cards and Special Moves:

  • Bleed: Roll a die and add that value to your attack
  • Dizzy: Your opponent discards 1 combat card from their hand at random
  • Break: Your opponent discards 1 equipped item card
  • Pierce: Your attack ignores any 1 piece of armor opponent has equipped
  • Poison: You opponent has Poison Status. Meaning, at the beginning of every turn of combat, they lose 1 Health Point until Poison Status is removed or combat has ended
  • Stun: Opponent cannot attack or use super moves for 1 round.
These status effects are stackable, so you may find that a combination of combat cards with other abilities may lead to triple bleed or double pierce. Can you imagine stacking several poison status effects on an opponent? Yikes!

In addition to these rulings, we’ll go over other aspects of combat where other players may join in or effect battle from the outside. As well, we’ll also go over battle against NPCs (minions/bosses).

Although the video would have made this experience a lot easier, this guide may be a good reference point for when the video goes up. Once again, sorry for the software issues. Looking forward to getting Final Cut installed and rendering again in the next couple of days.

——————————-

Disclaimer: The following is not FTG card game related per se, but might be of value to you. Do not read if you are not interested.

Ok, so as you all know, we are currently running the campaign for Dragon Tides, an Action Minis Game officially starring Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee: (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/682539325/return-of-the-dragon)

Though currently funded, I would like to have an add-on in the campaign that will allow for 4 Miniatures from the Fairytale Games to crossover into Dragon Tides. These will be the EXACT same sculpts and minis from what you are getting in the Sacred 40 for Snow, Red, Goldielocks, and Mulan (or instead of Mulan, maybe Pocahontas). What this will add to Dragon Tides, is that it will come with the Character Boards and signature move cards that will make these 4 characters playable in the game. I’m telling you this because I have not posted it on the main page of the campaign and wanted to let you all know before I do so. I rather let you know first before posting it as a live add-on in an offchance that I might accidentally create any misgivings or misunderstandings for the intention.

Well, we don’t mind but do we get anything for being ok with this?

Absolutely! This crossover will be an add-on in the Dragon Tides campaign. But if you’re a Fairytale Games backer (Battle Royale or Minis Campaign) and you back Dragon Tides, you’ll get the Character Boards and Signature Move cards for these 4 characters for FREE as a thank you. In other words, there wouldn’t be any need for you to get the full crossover addons since you’re already getting those minis anyway (unless of course you want doubles).

Here’s the idea behind it:

So basically, this gives you even more uses for your minis if you’re also interested in an Action/Arcade game like Dragon Tides. With your blessings, I’d like to post it on Monday.

General Discussion and a Disclaimer Topic

Hi Everyone,

Still waiting on some new proofs to come in. For those interested in painting, I just assigned a few of the Sacred 40 minis I had at hand (manufacture proofs) to be professionally painted. I should have some in before BGGcon (November 19th). Once I do, I’ll take some photos and post them here for you to see. It’s the same painter who did our Beast, Cheshire Cat, Hook, Red, Little Mermaid, and Monkey King. Really looking forward to sharing those with you.

Also, at BGGcon I’ll also have some new Manufacture Proof minis to show you (like the ones you had a sneak preview of in the last photos), such as Jabberwock, Slenderman, Zombie Jack and Jill, etc. Once I get those, I’ll make sure to take a bunch of photos and.. who knows. Depending on how many I can get my hands on, there just might be another raffle?

Disclaimer: The following is not Minis Campaign related per se, but might be of value to you. Do not read if you are not interested.

First off, for those interested in the Basic Combat rules of the Battle Royale card game, please check out the Fairytale Games: Battle Royale update just made.

Ok, so as you all know, we are currently running the campaign for Dragon Tides, an Action Minis Game officially starring Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee: (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/682539325/return-of-the-dragon)

Though currently funded, I would like to have an add-on in the campaign that will allow for 4 Miniatures from the Fairytale Games to crossover into Dragon Tides. These will be the EXACT same sculpts and minis from what you are getting in the Sacred 40 for Snow, Red, Goldielocks, and Mulan (or instead of Mulan, maybe Pocahontas). What this will add to Dragon Tides, is that it will come with the Character Boards and signature move cards that will make these 4 characters playable in the game. I’m telling you this because I have not posted it on the main page of the campaign and wanted to let you all know before I do so. I rather let you know first before posting it as a live add-on in an offchance that I might accidentally create any misgivings or misunderstandings for the intention.

Well, we don’t mind but do we get anything for being ok with this?

Absolutely! This crossover will be an add-on in the Dragon Tides campaign. But if you’re a Fairytale Games backer (Battle Royale or Minis Campaign) and you back Dragon Tides, you’ll get the Character Boards and Signature Move cards for these 4 characters for FREE as a thank you. In other words, there wouldn’t be any need for you to get the full crossover addons since you’re already getting those minis anyway (unless of course you want doubles).

Here’s the idea behind it:

So basically, this gives you even more uses for your minis if you’re also interested in an Action/Arcade game like Dragon Tides. With your blessings, I’d like to post it on Monday.

Filming Update

Just a quick note to let you know that filming went well yesterday for both the Setup and the Combat. We’ll be editing them shortly!

As well, for those international packages that were prizes from the GenCon raffle, they have been sent! You should have them between 8-10 days. As well, there was 1 domestic one that I found had not been shipped out. You should receive it between 3-5 days. One thing you’ll notice is that we ended up going with UPS because even after our issues with FedEx had been resolved, they were being… difficult… with what they promised us in credit. Long story short, we took the refund we received and applied it to UPS. Please let us all know once you receive them. I’m sure everyone here would be excited to see some photos 😉

Have a great week!

An Update in the Right Direction

Hi Everyone,

For those of you who’ve read the Fairytale Games: Battle Royale update just posted (about 10 minutes ago), you’ll find a items in this update that are the same. But, please note that we have added new topics and removed irrelevant topics to make this update tailored specifically for this campaign.

To be honest, I don’t even know how to begin this update. There are so many questions that need answered and concerns to address. But the end result I’m looking to accomplish today, is not to write a few magical paragraphs of what you want to hear, rather a recap of what’s happened since GenCon, a factual and current status of the Fairytale Games: Battle Royale project, and a very realistic solution to deliverables and issues we’ve been having/had. What I do not want to do is to come across as trying to excuse myself or the team for our mistakes. Every intention is to move forward with you all to a more productive and organized set of goals.

Now for those of you who are here just for the stats, please scroll down to the section titled “Production Timetable”. This is my sincere public disclaimer because I do not want to alienate anyone who has no time to “read a book”.

Because of the communication situation (or lack of) that we have caused, I want this update to be candid and honest, which is going to be a moderate read. The following is a table of contacts for a quick reference point in case there are certain areas you’re interested in reading now, and some you want to skim over until later.

This update is a compilation of several questions that have come up in the comments, inboxes and our 12 other forms of contact.

TABLE OF CONTENTS (Really!)

  • I. Our Candid Story
  • II. The Problems
  •     a. Internal Issues
  •     b. E-mail Blunders
  •     c. My Own Self Discoveries
  • III. The Solutions a. Professional Guidance b. Individual Roles
  • IV. Product Timetable
  •     a. Deliverables
  •     b. Video Content
  • V. Moving Forward in Production
  •     a. Rulebook
  •     b. Demo Kit Remastered
  • VI. Shipment VII. Rumor Mill
  • VIII. Refunds
  • IX. Other Popular Topics
  •     a. GenCon Raffle Winner Questions
  •     b. Battle Royale Campaign Disclaimer
  •     c. Pledge Manager
  •     d. What happened to Box Set 9
  •     e. Box Set Names
  •     f. Backer Survey
  •     g. Exclusives
  • X. Finally Some Fun Stuff

THE SUMMARY

Though I’m going to attempt to discuss in depth various topics, I’d like to also give you a quick bullet point list of the main items:

  • To rectify our communication and production problems, ALL team members have quit their current jobs last week and are working full time with Artistic Justice Games. This is great because now replies, updates and responsibilities are delegated evenly within the company. Meaning, quick response rates!
  • Address Changes: For any new address changes, please contact Noelia at E-mail: noelia@artisticjustice.com (Subject Line “Address Change”)
  • Refund Requests: Melissa will reply to refunds and will address these requests case by case. Please e-mail Melissa@artisticjustice.com (Subject Line “Refund Request”).
  • Timeline & Deliverables: See Google Doc http://bit.ly/FTG_Schedule
  • Demo Kit reworked starting Oct. 20th and finished before November 19th.
  • New Videos and PDF of rules begin filming/revising starting Oct. 20th and finished before November 19th.

Of course this only covers a portion of the topics here, but this might be everything you need. For the full story, read on!

OUR CANDID STORY

We were in over our heads. Not by the amount of projects, but because of our inexperience overall. To be honest, we entered the Battle Royale campaign ready to produce a game, a small startup flagship game for our new company. What evolved, was an entire Fairytale Games Universe with so many moving parts that we had yet to fully understand. I was overconfident being fueled by excitement that I didn’t begin to comprehend just how much work would go into every facet of this project. And that was just one of the problems.

To give you some insight, we were and are not a huge company. We began our gaming company with 6 people. It wasn’t even a full-fledged company at the time, rather 6 friends who wanted to create a Martial Arts game together. But because business and financial obligations got in the way of creativity and dedication, we disbanded. Not wanting the dream to die, I bought the rights to the Martial Arts Game and since became the sole owner of Artistic Justice Games.

But before that pivotal point, I was starting to build Artistic Justice Games and hired on 4 others who would help with all current and future projects (this was during the Battle Royale Campaign.) The 4 team members that came on board were knowledgeable in various things, but none of us had the deep understanding of the tabletop/boardgame industry as we should have had. Heck, we barely understood Kickstarter! But, we had an office nevertheless and together, we felt we could do it.

I think during the Battle Royale campaign, we learned the most. We learned about connecting with backers and listening. Communication was on the up and up because all of us were working around the clock in shifts, to make sure questions were addressed and answered. We saw the camaraderie and passion many of you had for the game that it motivated us to really pump up the campaign to make everyone happy. We decided with whatever extra funds I had to start Artistic Justice Games, we would use that as cushion to allow us to take a huge loss to create something more than a fanbase, but a culture as well. That’s what we wanted… a community of excited friends and family who shared a love for games and the universes we created.

When Battle Royale ended and the dust settled, things hadn’t sunk in yet. We honestly thought we would cap the campaign at $40k and have about 6 items to produce, not 16. Never had we envisioned that we would surpass all of our remaining stretch goals in 3 days… $90k raised in a few hours on the last day, rewarding all backers with minis! In fact, we were all on cloud 9 based on all the support we had. It was HUGE! Not because of the monetary side, rather the feeling that we were united with 1,300+ people. What we should have been thinking at the time was let’s start scheduling artists and figure out our timeline ASAP.

Because of the suggestions of 100+ backers, we decided to run a follow-up campaign to add more minis in the game. We did this because of two reasons. One, we were still shopping around for the best sculptors/manufactures for our initial Sacred 40 minis, and having more minis to offer a production company would be more attractive for a working relationship. And two, we were also still extremely pumped with excitement from the first campaign, that we wanted to do the fanfare by expanding the minis you could play in our newly unlocked core editions of the game. This was also a great way for us to expand on the stories of our universes!

During the few months before the minis campaign, we met the great people at Greenbrier Games and were introduced to their team of experienced sculptors. There was a perfect synergy between companies as they had the same spirit and ideals we had, and they knew their minis. Needless to say, the minis campaign was a success with all of your help and theirs, paving the way for a tremendous Kickstarter experience once again.

After a week of rest when the minis campaign concluded, we realized something. We had to produce 4 years worth of game releases and 109 miniature figures in one year. Optimistic, we felt that if we worked hard enough, we could do it. At that point, we should have taken a step back and spoke to you all about how we felt. Instead, we didn’t want you all to worry and we had a lot of confident in our turnaround ability. I mean, 3,000+ cards? Pfftt… easy! And of course, the problems started to grow from there.

THE PROBLEMS

Internal Issues: It should have hit home in the very beginning when 5 of my Martial Arts friends disbanded during the Battle Royale campaign, leaving me to figure out what to do with protecting and producing the Martial Arts Card Game. Since then, we’ve had a few issues that hurt us from the inside that you should be aware of.

We added and lost 3 members of our team during this year and a half in addition to the martial art buddies.

The first member handled our accounts. A swift kick in our butts was that we realized that the sole person we felt could handle our vendor accounts and expenses did a poor job recording everything and after leaving, left us with a month of a calculation mess to sort through. Some artists were waiting for pay, while others were overpaid. There were some vendors given deposits for proofs and other items, while others were not starting on anything because they weren’t given their balance. A lot of hold ups with production were unknown because I was not only trusting, but also dependent on him dedicating himself to the company.

The second member was Alex, a different Alex. This was utter confusion among backers and ourselves as several upset backers said I had personally promised different things or were handling issues immediately. Unfortunately, I had no idea what these things were as other team members who got repeated notes misunderstood it to be me as well or were at the most, confused as to who knew what. The main reason this was an issue was that we had our first MAJOR communication breakdown. There were over 200+ Kickstarter messages and emails that were never answered, several were repeated e-mails that were from backers increasingly more concerned over issues that we never replied to. Once Alex was let go, the rest of us had to dig through everything, to make sure responses were getting returned. I know a lot still slipped through the cracks and I sincerely apologize for that. It was an utter nightmare.

The third member was Vicktoria who became the charge of our graphic design layouts and art direction. She actually passed away in an unfortunate car accident. A drunk driver hit her when she was traveling between her home to meet us in Houston. This guilt has been plaguing the office and myself (we named the Dragon Tides character after her if you were wondering). Since Viktoria’s passing, I had taken up the role of graphic design and layouts for everything. Because of serious trust issues after all of these events, I couldn’t get myself to hire anyone new and though I knew I was past my limits, I still continued to horde these assignments to get them done and to keep track of them. This is not how to project manage or run a company.

E-mail Blunders: What’s the worse thing you can do to a deep cut? Cover the wound without treating it. What we ended up doing, was scrambling to trying to get out of this communication mess by adding more ways for people to contact us, inevitably, making things much worse than it was. We ended up with 17 ways for you to contact us by; e-mails, website, facebook, different campaign comment threads, individual update threads, kickstarter inbox, the list goes on. All our messages were scattered so broad that e-mails were lost to no surprise and things were not getting done. (Ironically, this will be one of our solutions in the Solution section.)

My Own Self Discoveries: I’m a nice guy. I’m not just saying that to be cheeky, rather that is also my biggest flaw. In all positive intentions, I want everyone to be happy and hate conflict if it isn’t necessary. So why is this important? During the campaign I was so excited about the involvement with backers and the growing number of fans, that I opened the flood gates to endless possibilities. This hurt the company by over-burdening our production and left a lot of gameplay mechanical issues because of wanting to incorporate EVERYTHING that people were excited about. Worse off, I didn’t think to realistically calculate the time involved to make things happen while the campaign was in motion.

Secondly, because I take it personally to make people happy, I try to force compromises upon myself, alienating everyone by accident. For example, because of the recent decline in updates, many of you voiced your opinions about wanting to hear something, even if it’s to say we’re alive and working. When I did that, another group were upset that they didn’t want garbage updates, but just hard facts or don’t bother at all. Because of that, I made the wrong choice and started hording information to give huge updates when enough information was available. This led to information not being frequent enough and sounding too pliable versus useful. I was getting hit on both sides, making everyone unhappy. I took it personally and ended up in a rut about it. It made me afraid to even post a comment, because of fears that either side of the coin would be upset and post a lot of negativity.

Another example would be the information spread between both campaigns. There was a time where I consolidated both campaign information and posted to both campaigns. Several backers from both projects hated that and brought it to my attention in the threads, emails, and on different forums. Looking to change, I decided not to add the other campaign information and was later scolded for hiding information. I tried to change my methods again and add links, which seemed to work until a few backers demanded that the Battle Royale campaign should not be about minis (Even the Sacred40). But I didn’t agree with that and instead, put a disclaimer at the bottom of the page, that said… if you don’t want to hear about the minis in the Battle Royale campaign, don’t read further. Those who didn’t read the disclaimer sent me very angry messages about still including minis in the updates.

None of this is your fault. It is because of my personality flaw that I now realize that I just can’t make everyone happy. And that’s a good thing. Instead of being wishy-washy and trying to please everyone at the same time, I need to focus on the campaign deliverables, production and setting strong standards internally with Artistic Justice Games and how we handle communication as a whole.

For the duration of the past year, I was out with pneumonia/bronchitis for a month and had a few personal losses. I want to apologize for bringing them up to you all during those time because I know they sounded like excuses. I thought that I was being open, giving you an insight of what was wrong, but I didn’t realize that to those who wanted solid production schedules, it sounded like I was asking for sympathy. This was never the intent and I feel bad for bringing it up during that time.

Another really shameful thing that I’ve been doing is promising the world when backed against the wall. Whether it’s a defense mechanism or just plain stupidity, I now wholeheartedly admit that this does not solve any problems, rather makes the kettle a lot hotter. It’ll take some time, but please note that I understand this and will only make realistically deliverable and scheduled promises, versus a “let’s all be happy” kind of promise. If I can’t do something, I will tell you. If something takes longer or isn’t part of my immediate schedule, I’ll tell you. I don’t want to continue having people I care about believe that I’m stringing them along on purpose. So let me work on being more open to you all and more honest with myself at what we can and cannot do at times.

And finally, I realize now that I cannot juggle so many things at one time. I WILL implode, as you have seen with the campaign management. I did so because the rest of the team, like most indie companies have full time or part time jobs to facilitate their paychecks and insurance. About the beginning of the year, I couldn’t afford a hired staff and they were all willing to work based on just wanting our company and projects to succeed. But, I had to understand that they were not readily available at the normal hours and could only help at late night. Trying to be every role in the company when you’re not a master of each of them is not the way to work. I proved that to myself by letting you all down at different points this year. I do not have a full time job, but my livelihood is based on freelance design projects I can get. I let the stress from that plus taking on every responsibility at one time crush me. Finally, after finally taking the team aside to meet about this deterioration, we came up with some positive solutions!

THE SOLUTIONS

Wait, before you start, I heard this update was supposed to be last week… What gives?

I had been busy working on freelance graphic design project to help offset the costs of several refunds that had been processed since none of the funds towards the production of Battle Royale can be touched.

But this isn’t the big news.

As we said, we are an even smaller independent company with only 5 people now. But because our team has seen this disorganized mess internally get worse and worse, this last week they all quit their full time jobs to join Artistic Justice Games FULL TIME in order to dedicate 100% to all of you and to relieve a lot of burden and responsibilities I was trying to juggle. Now this wasn’t a spur of the moment thing… they had discussed with their families and friends and decided about a month ago, bringing it to my attention. I did not want to say anything until it happened or else I’d be promising empty again. But this last week, I along with the team tied off loose ends to help transition them back into the company.

So… what does all this mean to you? Quick communication feedback and replies. No more “fairytale time” and completely efficient work schedules. As well, we now have a setup and new structure that we’re going to adhere to.

We have professional guidance… finally! 

As I mentioned, during GenCon I met a lot of great publishers who were experienced and had walked the same path as I am doing now. A lot of the advice they gave me was to guide our team to a more productive workflow. I don’t know if you ever heard of a project managing methodology called KanBan, but this is AMAZING. It’s very easy to use, completely idiot proof (yes, I need this), and has already been integrated to our production as of last week.

What this entails is a very visual way to manage our deliverables, making sure one person does not juggle an unrealistic group of responsibilities and delegating fit roles with their respective worker. This is a way where we can see the timeline of what has been done, what needs to be done, and in the priority of what should be done. Structure; organization; and efficiency. This is what we have been lacking that the new KanBan process will help us make sense of.

In addition, our new collaborators and friends have been very open to us and will guide us with questions on everything from vendors, manufacturing, timelines, layouts, distribution, conventions, tournament play, gameplay, playtesting, and the industry as a whole. We are not alone now and are extremely happy about this!

Individual Roles of Artistic Justice Games 

As mentioned in our Problems section, one of the biggest flaws in our entire internal process has been the distribution of responsibilities. Now that we have a full team working here, we’ve restructured our communication and responsibilities as such.

Alexander: My new role is to oversee the company as a whole. That means, making sure that we are hitting deadlines and making decisions that affect the growth of the company as a whole. I’ll still be in and out of the comments, but will leave more of the communication to the team that will specifically handle this. For any Company Wide questions (collaborations, gameplay questions, product availability, inventory or concerns) please e-mail: Alex@artisticjusticegames.com 

Belle: She is now responsible for everything Create A Card Related (Backer Cheesecake, Tarot, Game Cards, Miniatures). When we get to shipping and fulfillment, she will be the person to contact. But as of right now, ONLY contact her for card creations (with the subject line “Create A Card” and what kind of card it is). Her e-mail is: Belle@artisticjustice.com 

Melissa: She is the marketing person, but for the time being, she will handle everything Refund Related. Please e-mail her for any requests at: Melissa@artisticjustice.com (Please subject line with “Refund Request”) Noelia: For now, her sole responsibility will handle Address Changes. If you have an update, please e-mail her at: Noelia@artisticjustice.com (Please subject line with “Address Change”)

Jack: He is the project manager to Dragon Tides and will ONLY be working on that project to ensure that those responsibilities are separate from anything in FTG Universe. (No e-mail provided at this time)

With the exception of Jack….. Belle, Melissa, and Noelia will be frequenting Kickstarter comment and update threads along with the KS inbox. I know this is frustrating given that I’ve had you all send e-mails to so many different accounts before, BUT now that we have dedicated people answering and looking out for e-mails, this is the best way moving forward. This will allow us to help your much quicker… realtime. So please disregard all other e-mails as we will disable them soon.

IMPORTANT! To keep things organized, do not use the Kickstarter inbox as your first point of communication as we are less likely to view it in a timely manner. Instead, per your questions, please contact the correct e-mail above. And to help us, please, please, please do not send an e-mail and copy all of us. We do not want to have stacks of misplaced e-mails since it will prevent us from getting to you quickly.

PRODUCTION TIMETABLE

Deliverables: We have the Google Doc available. Please keep in mind that this is a work in progress and will be updated actively. You can see the Battle Royale, Minis Campaign, and the Artistic Justice Games internal deliverable schedules. In the next few days, we’ll flesh it out more with the card count list of the other games as well.

http://bit.ly/FTG_Schedule

I know there will be a lot of discussion about this, but at the very least, I want this to be as realistic and honest as possible for you all. If you’re able to read the rest of this update (maybe not at one sitting), please feel free to ask us any questions or allow us to address any concerns.

Video Content: We now have a set schedule for filming everything. This is also located on the Google Docs on the last tab (FTG_Internal_Backer_Deliverables). Anything we do in-house to supplement our games and needs will be listed here. Separate from the Battle Royale campaign, we have a few videos we are planning this year for this campaign. For a quick reference:

  • 1. Our Minis: Quality, Features, etc > November 13th filming > Before Nov 19th finish
  • 2. Super Fairytale Fighters 2 > November 13th filming > Before Nov 19th finish
  • 3. Fairytale Lores > December 1st filming > December 8th finish
  • 4. Trinity Ball > December 15th filming > Dec 22nd finish

MOVING FORWARD IN PRODUCTION

Demo Kit Remastered: 

So what happened to the Demo Kit promised? I can honestly say it didn’t work. Because the game was made to play out as an entire game, have a quarter of the game did not work playability wise and I was nuts to think that was a good solution previously. This was super frustrating and during the rush to GenCon, I had no solution. But, during GenCon, we playtested Fairytale Games: Battle Royale using the Easy Mode gameplay. There were three issues at the time… the game masters had different understandings of the easy mode rules, the stats on the card were from the initial alpha prototype so the ratio of ability/quest/trait costs to activation was all over the place, and the MOST IMPORTANT thing was…. Because we didn’t focus much on Easy Mode (since the game was playtested by advanced mode), it was broken and played like an after thought at times. Feedback was very informative and we realized something…. Let’s scrap Easy Mode all together! Doing so did a number of positive things. One of which, was it made a Demo Kit possible. So what we’re doing now graphically changing the layout for all the Battle Cards so and Character Boards so that they reflect these changes. We will have this done by next week so we can begin filming.

We will begin working on revising this October 20th with the goal to have this available and posted before BGGcon on November 19th.

The Official Rulebook:

After we make the necessary edits, removing any mention or visuals of Easy Mode ever existing, we will post this up. Plus, we will need to remove all of the names of people who are refunded from the “credits” section of the book. We will begin working on this October 20th with the goal to have this up and posted before BGGcon on November 19th. This will help you play the demo kit if we can coordinate this correctly.

SHIPMENT

Right now, we are deciding how to handle this since we have a combination of Battle Royale offerings as well as the Minis Campaign items. We’ll bee coordinating with Greenbrier Games next week to figure out a solution to this, based on the projected factory shipment dates (meaning when they’ll ship to our warehouse). I’ll keep you updated on this one as soon as I know more.

THE RUMOR MILL

There have been a few things we’ve seen in comment threads that have gotten information jumbled up or needs to be demystified. Let’s take care of those issues here.

Are you putting Dragon Tides ahead of Fairytales in Production? No. The Fairytale Games team is not in charge of anything Dragon Tides related. Jack and his team will be working with the manufacture, art, and production end separate from our own schedule. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a chance it comes out ahead of our schedule. But, since the Fairytale Games team is now fully dedicated to the production schedule, they will be doing everything they can to make deadlines to expedite the projects. When dealing with our vendors, our different teams will be working with them on separate occasions so they do not interfere or have to wait for each other.

But I heard that Dragon Tides will be your “Debut” game at Dragon Tides? Yes, the goal is to have Dragon Tides as ONE OF THE debut games for Artistic Justice Games. By GenCon of next year, we intend to have a lot of the Fairytale Games items complete and of course, Martial Arts: The Card Game to coincide with Dragon Tides’s retail launch. This is more or less the debut of our company, rather than just a couple of games.

Is this campaign a “Grab and Go” where there’s no product”? Uhhh…. No. As a few backers mentioned, if this was, it would be a very elaborate and expensive one. If there are questions of work that has been done, please refer those to our websites: www.artisticjusticegames.com and www.thefairytalegames.com as those are great resources.

REFUNDS

Ok, if you’ve read the paragraph above, we now have a dedicated team member working on just refunds. That means, you will get responses much more quickly if you send a request that way. Please keep in mind that refunds are determined by a case by case basis and though we are able to approve a full refund, this will be minus the 10% that Kickstarter/Amazon has taken and is unrecoverable to us.

To be honest, all of our resources for this campaign is tied up into production. That is 100% of all funding money as well as about $140k of our own. We have to put a cap on when we can stop considering requests or it will bleed us dry before we can print everything. We’ve already knowingly gone over budget, but for every refund request, I will have to personally take on graphic design freelance jobs to recover this extra money outside of our funding. So keep in mind that I am but one person and a refund’s quickness is also determined by when I can complete projects on the side.

This said, it is to our every intention to issue you a refund if your request is reasonable. The deadline for refunds for the Fairytale Games: Battle Royale campaign will be by November 1st, 2014. Once again, please e-mail: Melissa@artisticjustice.com with the subject line “Refund Request”.

OTHER POPULAR TOPICS

I’m a Gencon Raffle Winner but haven’t received my prize! We received a few messages about this and visited our local FedEx office to find out what happened. None of our tracking numbers were registering and we didn’t know why. Apparently, if you hadn’t received your package, it’s because you are an international winner. Why is that? Because FedEx here is super incompetent and lives to make my life miserable. So what we found with their manager, is a box of international packages that were not shipped out. They were just sitting there in a loading box UNDER THEIR FRICKN’ SHELVES!!! So anyway, we got things straightened out. On Monday (or Tuesday), I will be resending out these packages, this time with the quickest possible method of shipping…. compliments of FedEx. When they give me the tracking number, I’ll check while I’m there and will also send the winners an email with this confirmation. I am terribly sorry for this inconvenience but at the very least, we figured it out and there was a simple solution. After, we are NEVER going to that location again.

For US winners, you should have all received your packages as those tracking numbers worked. If for some reason you did not, please contact me at: alex@artisticjusticegames.com since this will be my responsibility. When you all do receive your winnings and have a chance, could some of you post some photos online so other backers can share the experience with you? That would be very awesome!

Fairytale Games: Battle Royale Campaign Disclaimer For all intents and purposes, anything related to the Battle Royale Campaign, Backer Creations, as well as any of the card or book related materials not newly introduced in this campaign, will only be posted there. Sacred40 information will still be on this update thread.

We’re going to keep this thread as clean to this campaign as possible, although I hope you understand that we also reserve the right to sub-spotlight anything of importance from our company or our collaborators at the VERY BOTTOM of our updates with a disclaimer before the content (like what we have been doing the last few updates). If you do not want to read about items past the disclaimer, it’s ok since there will not be any Battle Royale information past that point.

What is going on with the Pledge Manager? I still have questions! Now that we have people dedicated to facilitating questions and concerns (finally), you can send all Pledge Manager related questions to: pm@artisticjustice.com and Melissa will help you with any issues you have. She will work with Greenbrier Games on issues that are more technical in order to make sure you’ve been taken care of. Remember, address changes need to go to noelia@artisticjustice.com with the subject line “Address Change”.

What ever happened to Box Set 9? In case you missed the news, we completed Box Set 9 and for Big Bad Wolf and above, you will receive the complete box of: Sir Mordred, Briar Rose, Spartacus, Slit Mouth Woman, Baba Yaga, Lilith, and Knight

What are the names of these boxed sets? In order, they are: Origin, The Arc, Retribution, Fallen, Shade, Pendulum, Broken, Madness, and Expanded. To find out which minis are in what set, please review the Google Doc on the Minis Campaign tab: http://bit.ly/FTG_Schedule

Did we send out backer surveys for THIS campaign? No we didn’t. The reason being is that we are using the Pledge Manger to act as an extension of your Kicktarter account and a consolidated place where we can host your shipping and pledge information. We won’t be sending out backer surveys through Kickstarter for this campaign.

What do “Exclusives” mean? What we’ve learned from this campaign is that the term Exclusive means a lot of different things to each of us. What we didn’t do was to initially determine and state what it was, causing us about $20k in extra costs with the Sacred40 minis that we are producing in a true exclusive color. To define what Exclusive means to us now and moving forward, it will mean that we will print a very low run of that item (the minimum our manufacture will allow us to). Whatever overage we have, we will only make available Exclusives will never hit retail directly through us. Once those overages in our inventory are gone, that’s it. We will never reprint them again. If there is a demand for an exclusive gameplay item, the most we will do is print it a variant of it with different artwork, colors, layout or poses (depending on what it is).

Also, per this campaign transitioning into the Minis Campaign, thank you all once again for working with us through the “exclusivity” blunders and allowing for some items to be available to the minis campaign ☺

FINALLY SOME FUN STUFF!

So as you saw on our Google Doc, we just got in our Vac Trays and Boxes for the Sacred40 Minis today! We went through several iterations on the box design to get the window large enough to show the minis. As well, each box has the specific minis that belong to it, which differs from our initial proofs. Check them out here!

Did you see the bottom? It’s a bit of a teaser, but we have Jabberwock, Slenderman and the first 2 box set manufacture proofs in! VERY exciting ☺

With this, I sincerely want to reiterate our intentions to improve how we represent ourselves as a company and as individuals. We are all not completely dedicated to Artistic Justice Games and you all so within time, I am confident you will see a difference.

We are all very fortunate and happy to have you a part of our games universes and will strive to bring back the excitement and positive energy that was once the foundation of our campaigns and friendship.

Sincerely,

Alexander and the Artistic Justice Games Team

An unofficial update

Hi everyone, this is just a pre-update to let you know that I’ve been working on official and informative updates for this week for both FTG campaigns. To help organize the information, please refer to this thread for the minis campaign items that are new to this campaign. Anything that was created from the Battle Royale campaign, please refer to those threads.

Looking forward to updating you on the campaign items and what has been happening these past 25 days.