Will you help me with The Daughters of Verona?

edited January 2012 in Directed Promotion
I have seen some interest in my game The Daughters of Verona, and consider going forward with it and making a Print-on-Demand release.

I might go the Kickstarter/IndieGoGo-route, or I'll just finance the whole thing myself, depending on how much it will cost to get the help I need.

I need the following:
- An editor. The game works, the rules are fine and clearly written. But they need the hand of a native speaker to get flow and to remove the final wrinkles in the text.

I could use some help with the following:
- Cover art/logo for a box. I could do it myself, and it will be OK. Or I could get some help and it would look great!
- Design of the cards in the game. I have done it myself, they are OK. I could get some help and they would look great!
- Spreading the word of this awesome game. I have done it myself and I'm not doing a good job.

Are you interested in doing any of the above?

The current version of TDoV will remain free for download, but it is a bother to print and assemble all the cards. I think more people would get to play and enjoy the game if they could just buy a ready to play kit.

wilper.wordpress.com/the-daughters-of-verona/

Comments

  • Asking for help is a very sensible thing. I wish I'd be as smart myself.

    What's your time-frame on this? I am interested in helping out due to general interest, being pleased by While the World Ends, and because I'm hoping to get you to come to the Spiel later on with your new game in tow. However, I'm in the middle of a brutally scheduled project now, and won't be any use to anybody before the spring.

    Also, regarding productization, how much of a plan do you have on what you want? You're making a boxed set? Is there a POD printer that does boxed sets, or are you thinking of a small print run which you'd compile yourself?
  • I would like to have the game ready in time for people to give it as X-mas gifts this year. So there's no real hurry, the development is done and "all" I need is presentation.

    Yes! I would like a box set. There's a company called Superior POD that does them, box cards, manual everything. And while it is not cheap, it is cheap enough that I can do it that way and sell it at a reasonable price. At least considering my rather modest expectations on the profit side of things :-).
  • Looking over the materials, the game is pretty similar on scope with Montsegur. It'll be a few weeks of work for a team to productize once there's a plan - call it a month. So yes, not a tight schedule by any means, surely it'll fit in several people's calendars. Also easy to make it to the Spiel if you'd like ;)

    Boxing it is a good idea, too, I'm not fond at all of cardgames where I need to cut the cards out of a book before play. Probably a pretty small and compact box, akin in size to a book. Pricepoint somewhere around 20 € would be good, I imagine.

    How about the game's art: are you planning to stick to stock material, or are you hoping to attract an artist to work on it? My first impression would be that this is a game that doesn't need much in the way of original art, as long as the graphic design is of quality.
  • Posted By: WilhelmI would like to have the game ready in time for people to give it as X-mas gifts this year.
    The target audience of the game includes people who aren't necessarily into RPGs already, but should be. :-) Amateur theatre enthusiasts, people interested in early literature, SCA-ites, English majors, Shakespeare lovers and people who enjoy romantic comedies and would like to play games about them.

    The game plays a bit like theatre, and a bit like a role playing game (i.e. it is a story game, with a friendly presentation).

    (I think the cool story gamer kids may have more fun with My Daughter, the Queen of France , but at least I think that TDoV is more accessible.)
  • Posted By: Eero Tuovinen

    How about the game's art: are you planning to stick to stock material, or are you hoping to attract an artist to work on it? My first impression would be that this is a game that doesn't need much in the way of original art, as long as the graphic design is of quality.
    The existing art is taken from the Public Domain, so I can use that as is. And I think the characters look rather nice.

    I might "pad" the game with a set och character cards in modern clothes, for those who want to play generic present day romantic comedy and "modern remakes of Shakespeare", but art for those could be random portraits from stock photographs. That wouldn't be much work.

    As for the other deck and manual, no, the game doesn't need much art.

    A pretty cover would definitely be first on the agenda for an artist, but I'm sure I can find some stock/Public Domain art to use there as well if I need to.
  • In case you're interested, the sort of "padding" or rounding-out material I all but expected for the game would be a tragedy mode ("Kings of Albion", eh): a different set of character and event cards set in England instead of Italy, evoking the other well-known half of Shakespeare's oeuvre. Maybe a slight bit of rules changes to account for the variant genre. It seems to me that this sort of "double feature" would make the game-as-product more appealing, as it'd map a wider range of possibilities, all without actually increasing the scope of the game as a design all that much; you even say it in the rules text, that rules chassis pretty much does tragedy with minimal changes already.

    (Having a substantial addition to the print version, whatever it might be, seems like a good idea regardless, as it'd be sort of a perk for people who support you by buying the print edition.)

    And for what it's worth, I agree that the game carries well with public domain art. Needs graphic design to make the cards etc. look slick, but that's surely something you'll find help with.
  • Posted By: WilhelmI would like to have the game ready in time for people to give it as X-mas gifts this year. So there's no real hurry, the development is done and "all" I need is presentation.

    Yes! I would like a box set. There's a company calledSuperior PODthat does them, box cards, manual everything. And while it is not cheap, it is cheap enough that I can do it that way and sell it at a reasonable price. At least considering my rather modest expectations on the profit side of things :-).
    I'm having huge problems with superiorPOD at the moment....they look impressive wih their claims, but they are pretty bad on customer service and promptness. If you're going to use them, and plan to have the products out by Christmas, make sure you have things to them with a couple of months up your sleeve. Just a warning.
  • vulpinoid: Yes, I'm aware of their problems with timing. OTOH, I haven't seen any complaints on the quality of the products, once they finally arrive.
  • I shall throw my hat in the ring for art.
  • Posted By: George CotronisI shall throw my hat in the ring for art.
    Cool!

    (Also, I didn't know you did other stuff than horror. I think I've only seen horror pieces from your desk.)
  • I see the problems people have had with Superior POD, I've been waiting for months now on answers to some questions I sent. But the project doesn't stand still.

    I'm reworking the appearance of the cards a bit. And I'll convert the three page rule "book" into a two-sided sheet that can be folded and shipped with the game, inside the box holding the cards.

    I still haven't decided if I should do an IndieGoGo run, or just do the initial test prints and then leave the game on Adventure game source. But just for argument's sake:

    If you were in the market for a card driven story game of Shakespearean comedy. What would be a reasonable price for such a game? (72 color cards and instructions in a small box). Knowing that you could just download, print and assemble the game yourself in an evening.

    If you were buying it through a crowd funding site, what sort of upgrades could push you into going into higher tiers?
  • I don't know. 20 bucks, maybe? I tend to buy things at that price. 30 bucks would seem a bit expensive.

    Hard to say. It's usually an impulse thing. And at a con, with a beautiful box in front of me, I'd easily pay 300 NOK (50 U. S. dollars).
  • I'd love to smooth out the rough English edges for you. I'm a native speaker and a stickler for grammar. Failur would be unpossible! =)
  • 15-20$ makes is a decent present-friendly price, I think. At that price I'd probarly buy it at oppourtunity, instead of "waiting for the best time". I might also buy as gifts to friends, though the 5-player sweet spot is a downer when it comes to non-RPG'ing friends (as it's no fun in getting a game you'd never be enough to play...)

    I'd love to see and have a Print Version, though the game is easily played with just the (laminated) print-outs.


    UserClone: *smile* :)
  • Long overdue status update.

    Nothing has happened. Yet! I got some collaborators, but since I couldn't specify what I wanted I couldn't get any real help.

    Now I know what I want!

    And I reached that state after watching an unsatisfactory stage play. I posted about it on G+, but for the benefit of those of you who haven't circled Wilhelm's games in development I reshare it here.

    Games could teach you how to write comedies

    Yesterday I went and saw the spex at the local university. Spex is a Swedish and Finnish tradition of student amateur theater comedy, with song and dance numbers. Sometimes they rhyme.

    As spexes go, the first act was ok. The second act was horrible. There was a whole scene about how the king failed to eat a sandwich, and while some found it funny, it didn't carry the story forward one iota.

    And after the final scene I was left with a vague feeling of dissatisfaction. The bad guy had died (drank her own poison by mistake), the princess and the builder were married (sort of, suddenly they had been married when they entered the stage for the final scene), and the obligatory historical 'fact' had been revealed. (This time it was why the Taj Mahal came to look the way it does.)

    Yet it didn't feel complete. Something was missing. And that something had been missing in several spexes I had seen in the past.

    The bread-failing widower king got arrested, leaving the love stricken maid behind, all alone. The bad guy prince became the new king. And then the final curtain dropped.

    WTF!

    Let's look at that again, this time with The Daughters of Verona in mind (or for those of you who have missed this free storygame of Shakespearean comedy: Five act Elizabethan comedy).

    The bread-failing widower king got arrested, leaving the love stricken maid LOVER behind, all alone. The bad guy prince BLOCKER became the new king. And then the FINAL curtain dropped.

    They only got as far as half way through the third act of their five act story. We never got to the resolution. That's why we were left feeling that something was missing. And as I think back on the other spexes I've seen in the past and haven't liked, they suffer from similar problems in the script.

    The prince turned king was a bad guy, we can't leave him there in a position of power. He should repent, be sent away or in some other way corrected. The poor servant girl lover should get her match up.

    Then we would have felt satisfied with the story.
    I want to make TDoV into a tool to show people "how it should work". And it should be fun, and the game should look like a playbill.

    To do that I will need a pretty cover for the book. And I will need at least 10, but preferably 16-20 character illustrations. Full body, color, in period clothing. But not very high in detail, just enough so that the "audience will recognize the characters on stage by what they're wearing".

    And then we'll make new cards with those portraits, and the first part of the book will explain the background of the story The Daughters of Verona, and the characters. Just like a proper playbill. And then the rules will be in the back.

    I think I'll make a DeLuxe edition with cards and five copies of the playbill rulebook. Enough to sit down with four of your friends and play the prepared "intro adventure" with this lovely artifact. (The game is perfectly playable with just one set of rules, but having a book each will make it more attractive to gamers who want to play with mundanes.)

    How will I go about doing all these things? I have no idea. I don't know who'll help me, what it will cost, or when it will be done. But now I know what I want!
  • edited June 2012
    Just a short update on the current status.

    Good stuff
    • Prices must have dropped a bit at SuperiorPOD. When I checked the prices the last time it seemed hard to get the price down to the level the customers expected to pay, this time it could be done.
    • After speaking with Meguey it seems Independently Fulfilling can help me with distribution.
    • Rewriting the text to make the game friendlier to people who haven't surfed the indie waves the last five or ten years is progressing nicely.
    • Apparently there are whole parts of the web dedicated to Shakespeare enthusiasts. I have not approached them yet, but when I have something to show I'll do that, and get some input from the other side of the fence.
    • I have some tentative discussions with an artist willing to do the interior artwork at a cost that the project can reasonably carry.
    • Several gamers have shown interest in helping me with the editing. The bork bork bork-level of the final product will be lower than first expected.
    Bad stuff
    • Shipping of the final product is manageable through IF. But the shipping of proofs from SuperiorPOD can definitely break the budget if it turns out I make many faults and we'll need several iterations.
    • Should I go IndieGoGo and "kickstart" the project? Then I would need loads of tiers and extras at higher levels and stuff, and I have no idea of what I should/could offer. The tragedy hack proved unfeasible, the structure of the game will not lend itself very well to the changes needed.
    • If I kickstart the project, I must make a video promoting the game, I know nothing of such matters.
    • The deadline for completion in time for Xmas season is closing in fast, and experience shows that if I don't get this out the door in time I will probably lose interest and there will not be any game at all.
  • You are so thorough in your assessment of the process, and that gives me hope that you will carry this through, Wilhelm. Good going!
  • edited August 2012
    An actual play report of TDoV has been posted on UK role players. Also, after playing with numbers, and reading Swedish tax regulations, it seems I'll be able to sell around 100 units. If I sell more the bureaucracy grows way beyond a casual side project. Now, I wonder if there's really a market for that many, but it's good I caught that before it could become a problem.

  • After enlisting the help of two German editors the game has finally been sent off for a test print.

    I ended up using the old art, it feels fine, it was very nice even if it was a bit uneven.

    I was right about shipping costs, they are INSANE these days.

    Box art, and a peek inside the book can be seen on G+.
  • Great news!

    We had loads of fun during a play test version of this. Make sure you save a copy for me Wilhelm.

    Cheers

    Toad
  • edited August 2012
    23 days and counting. However, I did get a note from Superior Pod that they would look at my order today.

    Everything I've heard about customer service from SP has been true.

    I'm hoping that the same goes for quality.
  • It took 30 days for Superior POD to get my order printed and shipped. When it arrived there was a printing error, which required another week of discussions to resolve.

    Anyway, the printing problems are resolved now and the cards are stunning! I have sent a review copy to IPR for consideration. I hope they will be able to help with distribution, as shipping from the US to Europe and then back again will make the game VERY expensive.

    The current guess at a price point leans towards $50. This is much higher than I had hoped, and it will turn away most of those who have shown causal interest. There are many hands along the way from the printer to you who want their cut, not much I can do about that.

    I'll wrap up the project and get the game out there for those who want it. The free edition will remain available from my web site.
  • Tick-tock. X-mas is getting close. Today I made the order for TDoV at Superior POD, which will ship directly to Indie Press Revolution.

    It will be a VERY tight fit for those of you who want to put the game under a tree for yourself or a loved one. But it is not impossible that SPOD will pull through.

    (I still have a few copies left from the release party, if you're interested give me a whisper.)
  • edited November 2012
    A friend of mine got TDoV yesterday, and I must say that I'm impressed by the quality of the game, just by looking at it. I had a really awesome game with While The World Ends last weekend so I'm really looking forward to test TDoV soon, because even if the theme doesn't sound that fun for me, I'm pretty sure I will still have a good time playing it. :)
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