Production Update & Shipping Charge Processing
4 days ago
– Sun, Apr 18, 2021 at 04:40:01 PM
It certainly has been a productive month since the last update. One important note, and then some exciting details below.
⚡ Important Detail - Backerkit Charges ⚡
Thank you all for completing the pledge manager and entering your shipping information. Please note, Backerkit charges all of the shipping charges at once when the pledge manager is closed. These are not 'new' charges, they were the same shipping charges entered when the Kickstarter survey was completed. I'll be charging credit cards this Wednesday, so be aware that a credit charge will show up from Backerkit that day. You can change your address right up until the product is ready to ship, so no worries about that!
⚡ Production Update ⚡
Now onto the fun part! The pledge manager closed and all print assets were submitted to the manufacturer at the end of March. Some revisions were needed for the file layouts and bleeds, which have now been completed and approved by the manufacturer...which means...Creation of the pre-production prototype is underway!
I should receive the pre-production prototype in ~3 weeks. Pending approval, we are right on the tail end of the planned fulfillment schedule to begin delivering this Summer. How the pre-production prototype arrives will determine if there might be some delays. That being said, my focus is on delivering the best game experience possible, even if it takes a little more time.
Aside from the print assets, miniature samples created with the actual steel production molds arrived last week. They look great! Several months ago, before the molds were created, we thickened Leonidas' spear, Master of Ceremonies' thyrsus (staff), and Atalanta's bow & arrow to make them sturdier and avoid breakage. I put the last two rounds of pre-production samples through 'the rigors,' and I'm thrilled with both the look and durability of these!
The miniatures came out great, but I wasn't fully satisfied with the first round of dice made with the production mold. While it is important that these look amazing, it's also vital that they are easily readable on the table...so the gold color has to be rich and dark. On the original samples made with the production mold, the color was less rich than the laser cut samples I posted pictures of, and the coloration was also inconsistent.
Thankfully some adjustments were made quickly and the second round came out great! They are very close to the original laser cut samples I posted pictures of and a bit easier to read on the table.
Here is a comparison - the dice on the bottom are the ones made with the actual mold:
That is it for now! I'm expecting to share two updates in May...one to unbox the pre-production prototype and one to present the automated solo mode to the world. Let me know if you have any questions in the meantime!
⚡ March Update - PM Closing Soon! ⚡
about 2 months ago
– Thu, Mar 04, 2021 at 01:58:48 PM
Wow, time is flying by. Here we are in March already and making lots of progress. 🤩
Backerkit Closing March 15th!
The files are nearly complete and ready for the manufacturer, meaning the order quantity will be locked shortly, and pre-orders on Backerkit will no longer be available.
Since you are already backers (thank you!), this doesn't affect you unless you were on the fence about the manticore meeples or purchasing additional copies of Kleos. You will be able to update your address at a later time through Backerkit if needed. HERE is a link to Backerkit in case you wanted to take a look.
Most of the files are locked and in their final templates. The miniature molds are being produced, and I should receive new samples created with the final molds by the end of the month. The dice are finalized as well (and look amazing!) as seen in the last update.
I'm filling in the card templates for manufacturing this week, and then hope to finish the rulebook files next week. At that point, all of the files will be submitted to the manufacturer and production will begin.
At the moment, we are on schedule for fulfillment in Summer 2021. There are a multitude of reasons that delays could occur, but I am hopeful that we will stick to that schedule.
I expect to receive a proof copy of the game in April. If that is 100% good to go, we will move forward with manufacturing on time.
That said, at the end of the day, delivering on time is my second priority. My first priority is making Kleos the best game it can be, so you enjoy getting it to the table again and again.
Creating a rulebook is an absolute beast! I have spent hundreds of hours and had many, many sets of eyes on the rulebook, and I am happy to say it is almost done.
Almost...mainly because I want it to be as perfect as it can be. It functioned well for blind testing early on, but I believe each round of updates has been an improvement in clarity and accessibility.
The last step is a graphical update - replacing the early versions of each card shown in the rulebook with their final version (also there is one graphic that is being updated). HERE is the near-final version if anyone would like to take a look. Please feel free to send me a DM with your thoughts.
A number of you have already taken the time to proofread the rulebook. Thank you so much for your time, and your recommendations have certainly made an impact! My main goal at this point is only to catch any potential major issues / opportunities for improvement before it goes to print.
New Reference Cards!
These were created to help people choose a god that fits their playstyle in their first game. Also, Dionysus is a bit complicated and the most asymmetric of the 5 playable Olympians, so I wanted a way to signify that for new players. The quotes from mythology were (of course) my favorite touch. 😉
Other Crowdfunding News!
Another exciting project launched this week that I am quite passionate about. It is called Theurgy, and much like Kleos, the theme and mythos shines through the mechanics of the game. I am in no way associated with the project, other than I had a chance to play with the creator on TTS, and it was an absolute blast.
Click HERE to check it out! The creators have done an amazing job with this campaign, and who knows, we might even have a surprise for everyone sometime soon!
Thanks everyone! That's it for this month. I hope to have an update later in March with pictures of the new miniature samples and exciting information on the Kleos expansion!
Hope you are all keeping healthy and well,
⚡ Pre-Production Dice and Mini Samples! ⚡
3 months ago
– Wed, Feb 03, 2021 at 12:16:02 AM
Today's update is especially exciting as we move toward production. The pre-production engraved dice and miniature samples arrived and they look great! 😃 Here are a few images:
So, what are the next steps? I'll be filling out templates for all of the paper/cardboard files this month. With Chinese New Year just around the corner, the manufacturer will be closed for most of February. My goal is to have all of the paper files ready for their review once they re-open.
Then, a full pre-production copy of the game will be created prior to production, just to be safe and make sure there are no issues. Pending approval of the pre-production sample, I am hopeful that production will begin in April. 😃
Last but not least, I expect the pledge manager to close at the end of February. I think there are only ~20 backers that have not filled in their shipping information. I want to make sure that everyone is set to receive their pledge, so I'll be reaching out to anyone on that list by e-mail and/or Kickstarter message this week.
⚡ SOLO UPDATE ⚡
A lot of work has been completed on the solo AI, along with some help from a fellow Kleos backer. Patrick Goepfert play-tested Athena's AI several times, and had so much great feedback that he is now listed as co-designer for the Athena solo mode (thanks Patrick!). It is running smoothly at all 4 existing difficulty modes, and Patrick will be creating an intense Champion mode...for the most hardcore players.
The AI scripts are simplified and each god now has an 'Olympian Advantage' ability unique to the solo mode, that fits their play-style and ramps up the challenge.
At higher difficulty levels, each god will have stronger starting setups or special rules that often tie to mythology. For instance, at the Olympian difficulty, Athena starts with Bellerophon in play riding Pegasus. This will be a nice touch for any mythology fans, since it was Athena that led Bellerophon to find and tame Pegasus in the first place.
Athena's solo AI will be sent to the graphic design team this week. I hope to have a very pretty solo guide to share by March. Also, I'll be looking for play-testers on TTS as well, let me know if you are interested! In the meantime, I'll be playtesting Hermes and hope to have his solo challenge ready shortly thereafter.
That's everything for today! If you are interested in updates for the Kleos expansion and want to be involved in the development process, be sure to checkout the Kleos Facebook Group HERE as well.
⚡ Solo Playtesting & Production Update! ⚡
4 months ago
– Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 05:41:50 PM
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a nice end to this strange and challenging year. Thanks again to each of you for being a part of this journey, and I look forward to getting Kleos to your gaming table in 2021!
It has been a busy month moving toward production, finalizing design layouts and components, and working on automated solo play. Updates follow for each topic, along with links to the solo automated rules for Hermes and Athena!
⚡ Let's start with solo play! ⚡
As you know, I originally planned to create scenario-based solo content, where you play through the stories of Greek mythology BEFORE creating a solo automata version of the Kleos rules.
After chatting with many of you and reviewing feedback received through Backerkit and during the campaign, there seems to be much more interest in solo play against an automated opponent following a play-style similar to the base game. So I decided to switch priorities. 😄
I've been working on the rules and scripting for a couple of months now, and I'm happy to announce that automated Hermes and Athena are both ready for solo playtesting! Artemis and Ares are scripted and just need some additional testing/tweaks before sharing, and I'm saving Dionysus for last.
I've played many games against Hermes and Athena, testing each potential matchup, and the scripts are working great to capture the unique playstyle of each god. That said, I would love some feedback from other playtesters to make sure the scripts and rules are clear for others. Also, there are 4 difficulties...want to check that the Beginner level works for beginners and the higher difficulties are also suitably challenging.
CLICK HERE for a link to the solo rules for Hermes and Athena. If you have any comments, please feel free to add them directly to the document or reply to this e-mail / message via Kickstarter with any feedback you may have. Once this is tested and in a near final form, it will be graphically laid out in a similar style to the rulebook and the Perseus solo scenario released during the Kickstarter.
Also, the wonderful Aaron Williams just updated Kleos on TTS to include the latest layouts and full game rulebook if you want to try out the solo content or play with your friends!
Lastly, HERE is a link to a brief survey if you decide to playtest the solo content. This is a work in progress, and any feedback is much appreciated. If anyone wants to try it and wouldn't mind if I joined to watch the playtest, that would also be much appreciated!
⚡ Finalizing Design Layouts ⚡
CLICK HERE for a sneak peak at what I believe is the final rulebook. As any game designer can tell you, creating a rulebook is very challenging...but finalizing it is grueling! 😂 This has probably gone through hundreds of iterations, and I'm really happy with where it is. Also worth noting, Char at Irrgardless did an amazing job with the graphic design! Please feel free to review, and I'd love to hear your feedback. You can reply to this e-mail or feel free to send me a message via Kickstarter.
I would also like to ask for your feedback on the reference cards - images of each side follow. For those of you that have played the game, are there any other details that should be added? Are there any details that are unnecessary? Once your feedback is added, our talented graphic design friends at Irrgardless will update the fonts & layouts. Thanks for helping to make Kleos the best it can be!
Also, the cards files are all set in the final card frames. I'm going to do a very careful final review of each stat and detail on the cards this week and I'll share a few images in the next update.
⚡ Production Update ⚡
The first payment has been made to the manufacture, and we are moving forward with tooling for the miniatures and dice. This is the longest part of the production lead-time, so we will get a head start in January, and then move onto the other components after Chinese New Year. I'll be sharing pictures in future updates as more information becomes available. If there is anything you are particularly interested in, let me know in the comments!
Wishing you all a great start to the new year!
⚡ Final Art Complete! Next Steps ⚡
5 months ago
– Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 10:05:40 PM
We are moving steadily toward production, and I expect to lock orders in mid-December! Thank you to everyone that completed their backer surveys already. To anyone that may have missed it, I sent a reminder e-mail a few moments ago. The e-mail will be from Backerkit (my Pledge Manager) and might have arrived in your Junk/Spam Inbox. There are ~20 core backers that have not completed it yet. Please be sure to fill out the survey if you pledged for a copy of Kleos, since these shipping details are necessary to deliver your game. Also, if you pledged at the $1 tier and would like to upgrade, now is your last chance!
Most importantly, the final backer sponsored art is complete!
We have a couple of small edits to make, but I expect all of the artwork to be approved within the next week. I've sprinkled a few samples throughout the update. Shout out your thoughts in the comments! These will be included in the alternate art pack of cards that comes with each and every 1st edition copy of Kleos. Thanks again to all the higher pledge tier backers that supported this awesome extra content for everyone!
Alternate Art 'Dionysus'
Also, the custom box insert has been approved by the manufacturer with some minor edits for production. It was great to see everyone's excitement for that surprise addition, and I'm thrilled with how easy it will make setup, cleanup, component organization, and storage!
Alternate Art 'Artemis'
What's coming up next, you ask? Now that the art is nearly complete, the wonderful design team at Irrgardless will be finishing those last few card layouts, and we'll be locking design files for production.
Also, we are moving to pre-production with the manufacturer, which will involve tooling and any necessary production updates for the miniatures. The miniatures have the longest production timeline, so we will be starting that process in December to stay on our delivery timeline with planned delivery next Summer.
Alternate Art 'Epic Hangover' 😂
I hope all is well for each of you and your loved ones, and wish all of our American backers a wonderful Thanksgiving on Thursday. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, thank you all again for your support and excitement for all things Kleos!
Alternate Art 'Hounds...err..Cats of Artemis'
Wishing you and yours all the best this holiday season. Next update to come in mid-December!