Hey there everybody,
I’ve got some cool news today. Something that I’m really seriously geeked about.
But before I share that with you, I have to take care of some business. And that means sharing a little bit of bad news.
- The (kinda) Bad News:
Luckily, this news shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s already involved. If you backed the NOTW Kickstarter last year, and you’ve been reading your e-mail, you already know the Kickstarter isn’t shipping on time.
I’m sorry as hell about that. But I’m afraid there’s not much I can do on my end. At this point, all the production, logistics, and shipping is being handled by Albino Dragon. There were over 11,000 orders, and it’s taken longer than all of us would like.
Rest assured that the parts of the kickstarter I do have direct control over are being taken care of as quickly as possible. Those of you who were lucky enough to get into the tiers that included a the prototype jot should have already received it, as I personally mailed all of those out before Christmas.
The only part that’s still up to me is signing the bookplates.
So. Many. Bookplates.
You know what the best part of signing 4500 bookplates is? Nothing.
Okay, that’s not really true. They actually turned out really nice, and I know they’re going to make y’all happy when you get them. But you honestly have no idea how numbing it is signing several thousand of them.
I got these toward the end of January, and I’ve been signing them ever since.
At first I had a vague fantasy of signing all of them in one long 18 hour marathon. Unfortunately, I discovered signing my name 300 times in a row without a break caused a blinding pain to shoot up my arm, making me want to die.
And here’s the thing, I use that arm for a lot of things. Important things.
So, rather than flirt with carpal tunnel and potentially destroy my ability to type, I’ve been doing them in small batches over the last couple weeks.
As of last week, I’d sent about 2300 of them back to Albino Dragon so they could start shipping packages as soon as the other items end up at the warehouse.
(Edit! Only 20 minutes or so after posting this blog, I had a few people on facebook tell me they *just* got shipping notifications from Albino Dragon. So it looks like packages are moving toward backers at this very moment. Huzzah!)
As bad news goes, it’s not that bad. Everything’s still moving forward. The cards are going to look great, the poker chips will be cool, and the bookplates are beautiful.
But it does make my good news today a little awkward….
- The Awkward News:
Any of you who have spent some time on kickstarter know that a project shipping late isn’t that uncommon. Especially when the overall kickstarter ended up being about six times bigger than any of us expected.
Here’s the problem. Months and months ago, game designer James Ernest dropped me a line. He’d created a new card game, he explained, and asked if I’d have any interest in incorporating it into my world.
For those of you that don’t know, James is the owner and head game designer for Cheapass Games. I’ve been playing his games for over 15 years.
Though a monumental effort of will, I kept my cool. I told James I was flattered, but I needed to play the game first to make sure it was a good fit for my world.
He sent me the rules, and I played it with a few friends. It was brilliant. Easy to learn, but with some good strategy. You can bet on it. You can play for drinks (or Sounten.) In 30 minutes everyone was mocking each other, cursing our own bad luck, and talking shit.
It’s exactly the sort of game you’d see people playing in the Eolian.
I told James I thought it was a great fit. “My people will love it,” I said. “But I can’t feel good about launching this project until my other Kickstarter ships though.”
“How about February?” James asked.
“Perfect,” I said.
But things didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped. And by the time I knew the NOTW kickstarter was going to be shipping late, James had already brought other people onboard and scheduled his launch. There was no good way to move things around.
- The Good News:
Despite my Midwestern guilt and the awkwardness of having these kickstarters overlap, I’m still really excited.
Not only is the game designed by James Ernest, but the art is going to be done by Shane Tyree. He did the NOTW deck with Albino dragon. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to working with him again:
The previous kickstarter was a deck of cards *about* The Name of the Wind. But this is something different. This is a deck of cards *from* the Four Corners. It’s the deck of cards that Kvothe and Wil and Sim would sit down and play with at Ankers.
A few details:
- This isn’t a standard deck of 52 cards. It’s a pyramid deck with 55.
- It’s got ten tens, nine nines, eight eights, and so on.
- The point of the game is to avoid pairs. To simplify this all the cards of each number have the same picture. (So there’s one Tinker, two Amyr, three nobles, etc etc, all the way down to 8 Bandits, 9 Beggars, and 10 Ruh.)
- The one exception is the sevens. We hit one of our early stretch goals, so the sevens (Calamities) are each going to be unique. I’m sure the savvy among you can figure out why.
- Folks were clamoring for an Adem mercenary in the deck, so we’re going to put that in. It’s probably going to replace the courtesan.
Honestly, there’s a lot more I could tell you about the decks, but I think I’ll save that for a later blog.
For now, I’ll just keep it to two things:
1. We’d like to do some other decks from my world, too. A Modegan deck. A University deck. A Faen deck….
James is hoping to bring in decks from other worlds, too. Like a Girl Genius deck done by Phil Foglio. I would love to see that.
But those need to happen as stretch goals. That way James can cover printing costs and afford to pay the artists.
That means the more people jump onto the kickstarter early, the more decks we’ll all have to choose from.
2. For those of you who like awesome things: Here’s the link.
Later Space Cowboys,
P.S. Okay. One final thing. When I was talking with James last night, he mentioned that as a game designer, the thought of designing a game like Tak was really interesting to him.
What would you guys think about us making that a stretch goal in this kickstarter? Is that something you’d like to see?