WRITTEN BY: JESSE BERGMAN
Hello everyone! Welcome back to the Blog… I know we have been radio silent for far too long around here, and for that, I must apologize. Going through a leadership change can be very difficult as you work towards learning parts of our business that had been done by another person. Additionally, your regular work doesn’t stop because of that, so needless to say my to-do list continues to grow while I fall behind in so many other things. While we haven’t been sitting around here at Punch-It, our outreach and communication have been too sporadic for my liking.
I’m hoping to fix that very soon as we can start sharing more information with you over the coming months.
BATTLE FOR SULARIA AND THE ALPHA PROGRAM
By all intents and purposes, the Alpha Program is doing a great job of keeping players interested in the future of Sularia. However, the reality of the program is such that we just do not have enough interest in the program to be doing monthly updates. In fact, since the Alpha Programs inception, we have received feedback from precisely three players on cards in the pool. One of our hopes with the program was that our Alpha players would try the cards and relay back to our concerns and feedback, a sort of final check against the cards before they would enter into the Omega Program. Because the input has not been high, we are going to bump the frequency of the Alpha Program down to once every quarter.
This means that your monthly Alpha Program Promo will transition to quarterly promos. Additionally, we will be no longer doing them as pre-orders. This means I will order a set amount for the quarter and they will exist to be purchased until they are sold out. Now you may be saying, but Jesse I thought you were going to set up recurring billing so I wouldn’t have to visit your site. While I would love to integrate that service, most providers that provide recurring billing incur additional expenses that at this stage in the Alpha Program are just not feasible. If the program grows and we find that we are selling through the promos faster and faster, then we will most definitely be looking at ways to improve the process overall.
For those of you with January Promo Card orders, those orders will begin shipping this week. I appreciate your patience as we work through the Alpha Program rework.
The Print and Play Alpha Program files will update to now include three Faction Specific Cards and one Mercenary Card from the set. If you downloaded Foundation Series Pack 1, you would need to re-download it when I submit the new file later this week. This will increase the length of the file, but it will also make it easier for you to get more cards to work with and see the set in greater detail.
Alpha Program prints by Punch-It
We will begin using a Print on Demand service to offer copies of our Alpha Edition packs here soon. This service intends to provide you with the convenience of having the cards printed on the official Battle for Sularia card stock. Please understand that these kinds of services are not as cost effective as retail services and we will continue to offer the free print and play for those of you that want to take the time to print and cut and sleeve the cards. I will have more details for you on the printing service in the next few weeks.
PUNCH-IT ENTERTAINMENT AMBASSADOR PROGRAM
We are working very hard to develop and Ambassador Program and alongside an Organized Play Program. Below you will find a link to sign up for our Ambassador Program. What do we see as Ambassadors for Punch-It’s games? If you are a content creator, podcaster, streamer, YouTube Content creation, etc.… then you should apply for Ambassadorship with us. If you are someone interested in running tournaments, demos, and other in-store events, then you should apply for Ambassadorship. We see the first step is to gauge interest in our audience for becoming an Ambassador. Once we get that sorted out, then we will set up an Ambassador only meeting across Google Hangouts to discuss how the program may operate. We want to build a fantastic program that can grow and scale with the success that comes from your support.
If you are interested in becoming an Ambassador, follow the link below and submit your application. A few minor things of note, we will not have more than one Ambassador per store, and Ambassadors will need to maintain their Ambassadorship.
GREAT PLAINS GAME FESTIVAL
Last month we went back to one of our most favorite local cons here in Lincoln. Great Plains Game Festival is quickly growing into one of the Midwest’s premiere cons. With nearly 450 attendees this year GPGF has increased by almost 150 people since the first time we attended 5 years ago.
Battle for Sularia and all of its accessories were on display and available to purchase, and I wanted to thank all of our friends that stopped by the booth to say hello and chat. We weren’t just hawking our wares at GPGF, but we took the opportunity to show off 2 of the 3 prototypes we are working on.
Play testing games is a lengthy and somewhat arduous process that can be difficult on the outside looking in to see progress on. But I’m delighted with the results and the feedback we received from our friends that stopped by to play the games.
I know you are all probably asking, what two games did you show? We are only using working titles for these games at this time, but the first game is Sularia: A Deck Building Game and the second is tentatively called Hunt.
SULARIA: A DECKBUILDING GAME
Sularia: A Deckbuilding Game is a traditional deck builder game where players will be purchasing cards from a market row and adding them to their decks to play. The unique hooks we are currently testing are a quest system where both players are competing to complete specific tasks on quests in a lane. The player that completes the three required tasks such as play a unit, play a site, and deal 3 damage will win the quest and the victory points. The second unique hook to the game is players starting decks are asymmetrical. Meaning that instead of everyone having 7 resource cards, 2 attack cards, and one particular card. Each player will have unique starting cards and abilities. The third and final hook for this game involves players playing cards into a permanent battlefield. In a traditional deck builder, players play out their whole hand and do whatever the cards say. In our game players will be playing out their full hand but they will be resolving those cards into play as permanents on a battlefield. We will have much more to talk about with this game in the coming months, but early feedback has been, and we are moving into phase 2 of development on this game, which will require us to start designing iconography and begin making card tweaks and changes. Based on feedback we want to also do a bit more work to quest system as well.
Hunt is an ambitious project and a freshman design concept for our in-house developer Neil Mohlman. I will be helping Neil through the design and development process and will be his co-designer on this title. Hunt in a way could be considered a dungeon crawler board game, but it has some unique aspects that push it beyond a traditional dungeon crawler game. Hunt will be a legacy game when finished, but we are currently focused very much on the core gameplay loop. The basic premise in Hunt is that you and up to 3 other friends will be exploring a dangerous forest full of natural hazards and ferocious beasts, on the hunt for one deadly creature. Set in a high fantasy setting, Neil pitched the game to me as a board game version of Monster Hunter. Our initials tests at GPGF were very encouraging as we are testing the core exploration and boss fighting mechanisms. Exploration of the forest is done procedurally by the players, and they will be collecting research on the monster they are hunting, crafting material, and encountering all of the above bad things. Combat is done through a set collection mechanism, and exploration will feel very similar to Betrayal of House on the Hill. There will be much more to talk about in the coming months on Hunt, but this game is massive and ambitious, and it will take quite some time to fully develop.
Well, that was a lot of information to share, and I hope you all enjoyed it. I will be doing individual blog posts for the Alpha Edition cards later this month to get us caught up. We will also begin slowing transitioning this site to help us be multiple games-centric versus just Battle for Sularia. That process will most likely take many months to complete, so please pardon our dust as we make the changes and transitions.
Until next time!