November 5, 2013

Breaking the Shrink

I had the pleasure of driving four hours yesterday to hand sign a modest number of copies of Hegemonic for Kickstarter backers with Minion Games. And a special thanks to Jeff, a local KS backer, for helping out during the signing bohnanza. Regardless, this was also the first chance I’ve had to look at the finished product and to break the shrink wrap off my own first game box. A surreal yet humbling experience seeing the culmination of many people’s hard work and diligence in seeing the game come to fruition.

If you’ve been following the Kickstarter campaign (or participated in it), you no doubt have caught a glimpse of the logistical and timing challenges associated with making games. It all sounds quite straightforward and easy on paper – yet the realities and timing considerations are myriad. The signing event took place at a warehouse/shipping/packing where Kickstarter orders are being organized, packaged up, and shipped out – and there is a lot to consider in how to best accomplish what amounts to 1000+ custom orders. It was all cool to see – especially the giant tower of games on pallet that represented ~400 copies and only a fraction of the total volume. Crazy!

400+ copies of Hegemonic on a glorious pallet.

So what do I think about how the actual game turned out?

I’m very happy with the final quality, fit, and finish of the game. Hegemonic is a DENSE box – which I personally love. I can’t stand oversized boxes and Hegemonic is pretty compact considering all the componentry that makes up the game. The custom plastic tokens turned out really well and the quality is great. The mini’s are very crisp and well-formed out of a hard plastic – no flex or bendy parts or spurs of plastic to be found. Really, really nice. The quality of the boards, tokens, and cards is also wonderful – very thick and chunky with a nice linen finish effect.

By far the nicest physical feature, in my opinion, is the dual layered player board. One of my close friends and pseudo-developers for Hegemonic was always plagued by his sleeve hitting the board and sending all his meticulously lined up tokens flying. No more! The pieces drop right into their little recesses as planned and I can visualize my friend jumping up and down with joy right now. So thanks to the backers for hitting that stretch goal in our campaign!

I ended up bringing home about a dozen copies of the game from the warehouse. I picked up Kickstarter orders for some family and friends that backed the project, so I’ll get to put on my Santa hat and do some special deliveries around my home, which will be fun. After that, in a few short weeks, is BGG.CON where I’ll be present and demo’ing Hegemonic in the Demo Room starting on Thursday afternoon. I hope to see you there and do please stop by to check out the game, ask any questions, or just say hello.

And what I’m REALLY looking forward is my next local game night – where I can sit down with my group of friends, many of whom where there at the inception of the game, and play Hegemonic. But I will be playing it not as a designer, or a tester, or a developer, or a graphic artist, or a demo’er – but as a gamer. Maybe this time I can concentrate on the game and try to, you know, actually win

Thank you all for your support and encouragement! Stay tuned!

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