Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Future

Obviously, it's been almost a year since the last post. After the unsuccessful Kickstarter of Hero Dice, I became side-tracked with other projects. During the past year I've also been spending time finding ways to rework the game so it can be made for lower costs.

There has been some progress on that front, but it's still taking time to work out all the logistics. Unlikely a new Kickstarter will launch this year, but hopefully next February. It all depends on what can be decided on between me and the manufacturer. Soon as more is decided, I will be sharing it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kickstarter and 2nd Chances

So if you have been following us on social media, or checked out the Hero Dice Kickstarter, we ended up canceling the campaign. There was an incredible amount of feedback from people who liked the idea of the game, but unfortunately it cost too much. We didn't take into consideration the view of what else players can get for the price we were asking, instead of our game. It was a mistake to miss that point, and now we're going to go back and fix it.

On the positive-side, people did seem to like the idea of the game from reading it. Far as it goes, that is itself a win. Knowing people had interest and will want to come back brings a lot of strong hopes moving forward as we go over how to improve the price. Those that did back us were great supporters. Also want to thank those that cancelled their pledge. While it's upsetting to have people cancel, everyone who did responded to our messages and gave us important feedback that was incredibly helpful.

Another positive is the people who reached out to us on social media with ideas and suggestions. It was wonderful to have people in the community wanting to help us succeed.

Now the heavy issue: the price. We're in the process now of talking with our manufacturer about the price and what we can do to bring it down. From some initial back-and-forth we already have a solid idea of where some things can be changed, or improved to give us a better cost which would mean a lower price for backers. It really is looking hopeful we can cut the base price of the game by at least $20. And that's while adding more dice to it and making it more worthwhile!

Soon as we have more definitive numbers we'll be sharing that on social media. Plus we're in the process of creating a better quality of prototype set. While it is costly, we want the relaunch to be huge when it happens early next year, and that means reaching out to more reviewers who do videos. It's a top priority to make the game look even better.

While many would feel defeated and pack up, we are not giving up on Hero Dice. A lot of love and time has gone into it already, and it does seem clear people enjoy playing it. We are going to find a way to make it more accessible from a wallet standpoint. Hopefully more good news still to come!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Gameplay and Experience First

Below is part of a blog post I shared on BoardGameGeek. Feel free to check out the page here and follow us for updates!

So if you read my previous post, you know what initially made me want to think of something with dice. For this time out, I'd like to talk about how I came up with the way Hero Dice plays.

Once I knew that I was going to move ahead with trying to make a dice game, my focus was on how is the game going to play. From working in video games, I've always been the type of designer who wants to make solid gameplay. If the game experience isn't fun, then it doesn't matter what the theme or wrapper is the game.

At this point it's been years since I thought of a tabletop game, so just thinking of gameplay wasn't as easy for me. Instead, I tried to think about other tabletop games, and not how they play, how moments in those games made you feel. What was the experience like? How did you feel playing the game? When did you feel that way while playing? And that brought me to Munchkin.

Now if you've played Munchkin, you know that it's really easy to play it as, well, a munchkin. I didn't want to go all the way on that end of the game. What I love about the game, is when you can have a crazy, intense battle that can change the stakes and outlook of the game entirely based on planning and strategy. It can be casual, and simple fun, but it can also be bombastic depending on what sort of players you have playing.

So I started working from that, and breaking down Munchkin as well as a few other games I liked and had the same experience at different points. It was tricky thinking up how to apply principles of those games to a dice game, where obviously you can roll well or badly at any point to change things. Those games did teach me a lot about balance though.

Balance is so difficult to make happen, and especially in a dice game where random "luck" can play a huge factor. I ended up cycling through various possible player abilities in the game until I found a grouping that really worked well in terms of balancing to meet the needs for the battle experience I wanted. Each player can have 1 of 6 possible abilities, but I tested out 10 different possibles, in several combinations. I wanted to perfectly hit the feeling I was going for.

At a recent playtest there was one particularly large battle, and afterward someone said it sort of reminded him of Munchkin. I was so happy and excited to know I found what I was looking for. If you analyze the game and how it plays, it's really quite different from Munchkin, and the other games I had been looking at for balance. Still, it felt fantastic to know after all the time I spent on balancing the game, I did it.

Now I don't want to think the game is just Munchkin in dice form, because it really isn't. There are so many differences, and I've had a number of playtests that didn't create that moment. In fact, one memorable time was when two players realized they could both win so were constantly helping each other out through the game. Once it came to the end though, every other player formed together to stop them. Likewise, another time I saw a pair doing that, and one back-stabbed the other in a creative way at the end to pull out a single victory.

The game can easily be played with depth or high strategy, or it can be played casually, and just enjoy rolling the dice. From where I stand, or sit in this moment, it feels like a success.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dungeons & Dragons & Dice

About a year ago a friend of mine was organizing a board game group to play a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. It had been a few years since I had been in a campaign. Well, actually several years since I'd played. Seemed like it would be something really fun to do after so long.

One Saturday we all got together at a friend's house so we could create our characters. We were all rolling dice to select backstories, race, class, motivation, job, etc. - everything you imagine rolling for a campaign. There was a good deal of writing across the 3 pages with content to fill in on both sides. It was a fun, long afternoon.

The whole time I was adamant about sticking to whatever I roll from the dice, no matter how silly the combination. I was having fun the with the idea of rolling everything about the character. While I was writing everything down it got me thinking it might be fun if the dice themselves had something about them that could symbolize a character feature and then keep that with you to display.

Now that would be a bit difficult in a DnD campaign that can run multiple days unless you can leave everything on a table undisturbed. Still, the idea of dice with iconography for my character stuck with me and I began thinking more about it. What kinds of dice would I have? What sort of iconography would I want to represent features?

Thinking about all of this led to what would become Hero Dice.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Print & Play Sticker Sheets

When the game is released one Print n' Play option we're going to be offering is a free download for sticker sheets that can be applied to your own dice at home. You can see some photos below of versions with and without certain elements as we'll be breaking down some components for different versions.


Now these particular sticker sheets include some expanded elements for the game that we wanted to test out before considering for inclusion in the Kickstarter. We came up with a small add-on idea for the game that just expands some of the strategy by giving characters Classes. Due to the costs of making that we're going to be making it a stretch goal during the campaign. Since it is a small add-on it doesn't warrant a full Kickstarter all its own in the future and would rather people see what ideas we have coming down the road should the game succeed.



You'll notice some sheets include numbering and others do not. In case you have numbered D10's at home you're all set, but we added numbers to one version for those with blanks or designs on dice. It doesn't take away from the game which way you go.


Here you see some of the stickers for a promo exclusive expansion where players take on the role of an enemy character that is not normally playable. Why make it possible? Well, in playtesting we had a lot of people commenting how different it would be to play as a Bandit, and wonder what it would be like. It changes a fair bunch of how you handle playing against others.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hero Dice

Excited to announce our first game, Hero Dice! It's a dice-based, light role-playing game where players roll their own character and then explore dungeons.

Each player has a die for Race, Class, and Ability that they roll at the start of the game to determine their character. Also a die to keep track of Fame and Infamy - goal is to reach 10 Fame before anyone else and become the most famous Hero.

Players take turns rolling a Dungeon die to explore and find something. You'll battle other Heroes, gain Fame, gain Infamy, and battle Bandits. Winning battles allows you to earn more Fame, which you can spend as necessary to help you in battle. With Infamy, you can acquire Companions, and the spend it to give them attack bonuses as they fight on your behalf.

More details will be coming on the game soon! In the mean time, feel free to check out the game's main page here at Skies of Dice!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Paletton for Color Palettes

Adding a Resources Links section on the right sidebar with Paletton as the first site to be on it. When it came to figuring out the color palettes for the Skies of Dice art and art for our first came, the site was fantastic. It provided some great colors to pair with it and design.

For the record, this is not a solicited post. I'm not even sure who I would contact about it.