<![CDATA[Mystic Tiger Games - Blog]]>Sun, 15 Oct 2017 21:02:05 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Developer Diary: The Waiting Game]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 03:35:04 GMThttp://mystictigergames.com/blog/developer-diary-the-waiting-game2504651Happy news! The batch of 1000 copies of Manaforge is officially complete! Yay! I recently received an email from the factory saying that the entire set of games is manufactured, assembled, boxed, wrapped, and ready to ship. I'm definitely happy about this, because it's taken significantly longer than I expected to get to this point. Now I can only hope that I make up a little bit of that lost time with the next phase.

The next phase of the journey is shipping seven pallets of board games from the factory in China to the fulfillment center in the U.K.  I've been talking with the company that is handling the shipping, and it seems like all everything is all set. I just have yet to hear any solid confirmation that the games have gone out. I will be pinging the shipping company again over the coming week, just to be sure.

One other interesting note is that two other games are getting shipped along with mine. Same source factory, same destination. Hopefully having three companies leaning on them will be an incentive to keep the process moving, and with a little bit of luck it will end up being cheaper for everyone involved.

Next stop, the U.K.!
<![CDATA[Developer Diary: Almost Done?]]>Sun, 01 Oct 2017 19:33:54 GMThttp://mystictigergames.com/blog/developer-diary-almost-doneIt's been too long since I last posted. Again. Oh well; I'll get the hang of this consistency thing eventually. :)  There have been a lot of developments since my last post, tho:

Production Proof

Around the end of August, I received the production proof copy of Manaforge! Yay! Finally got to see what the production version of my game is going to look like. Overall, I'm very happy with how it came out. Here are some photos:
Overall, this looks great! My thoughts:
- The box is nice and beefy; about half an inch thicker than my prototype, and a fair bit more sturdy.
- The rulebook is easy to read, but a few of the pages look a little washed out. It's not consistent, tho, so I'm thinking it's just a by-product of it being a pre-production copy.
- The chipboard containing the gem tokens is nice and thick; these look good and will hold up well to heavy use.
- The player mats are a pleasant surprise. While my prototype had good but floppy heavy paper, these mats are as thick as the gem tokens, meaning they will hold up well to punishment. Plus, the corners are rounded! It wasn't my intention to have the mats that way, but in retrospect it's a great idea. It makes them even more resistant to damage.
- The gameboard looks good. Oddly enough, it's actually slightly lighter than my prototype version. But I'm still happy with it.
- Love the anvil token! I was especially concerned about this, because while I saw the shape of it earlier, this is the first time I've seen it painted its proper color. I was hoping for a little darker of a color, but overall I'm happy with the silver color and don't think it's worth trying to change it.
- The dice look great! The symbols are sharp and easy to understand. I was wondering about how some of the symbols aren't centered, but that is a byproduct of the manufacturing process and not something that can be improved. I'm also thinking that the gray 'wind' color and the blue 'water' color are kind of similar, but just like the anvil color its a detail that's not worth changing. Besides, the dice are always discernible by the symbols on the anyway; the game is meant to be color-blind friendly.
- The cards are great! Bright, vibrant colors on sturdy cardstock. The cards in Manaforge aren't shuffled much, so these will hold up a very long time.
- The cardboard insert for the box is simple but does the job. Especially since I will very likely be doing an expansion for this game (hint hint), I wanted to have the extra room to grow.

Manufacturing Complete?

Over the past few days, I've been busy coordinating between the factory in China making my games, and the shipping company in the U.K. The chatter I've been hearing from the factory indicates that my batch of games is either done, or is very close to it. It sounds like they're setting up the final details for the shipping, which indicates to me that they have something that is just about ready to ship. :)  I'm still waiting for confirmation, but the batch of games should be heading to the fulfillment center soon. Yay!

Good thing too, because this is taking longer than I expected. I built some extra time into my Kickstarter shipping estimate, and I've already burned through all of that. While I wanted to start sending games out to backers in November, at the moment it's looking like it will be early December instead.

BackerKit Lockdown

In BackerKit, the company I'm using as my pledge manager, locking down means finalizing all of the game orders. Once I've done that, people can no longer change their pledge level or order additional copies of Manaforge. I wanted to start this process a week ago, but at the moment I'm wrestling with trying to get more people to complete their surveys. Right now I'm at 95% of the surveys completed, which is very good. But I would really like that number to be at 100%.

I can just manually close out many of the incomplete surveys. A large number of them are from people that just pledged $1, giving them access to the pledge manager. If they haven't upgraded to a full copy of the game by now, then I figure they are not going to.

I also have a few pledges that failed, meaning that Kickstarter was not able to charge their credit cards for the pledge amount. I have emailed those people to remind them that I need payment information if they are going to receive their games, but since I haven't received any funds from those people, if I don't hear back from them, I can go into the BackerKit system and just cancel those pledges. Nobody loses anything.

Then there are the problem pledges. I have three people that pledged for a full copy of Manaforge, and they were successfully charged for those games on Kickstarter. So, I have their money already. I want to send these three people their games, but they haven't completed their surveys, meaning that I don't have their addresses. I've tried sending Kickstarter messages and emails, but haven't received any replies yet. I guess I will hold onto copies of Manaforge for these three, in case they do eventually show up, but I don't know what else I can do for now.

Suicidal Cabbages

I've also put some work into my other game prototype recently. If you're in the Orlando area, there will be a playtesting session at the Coliseum of Comics in the Orlando Fashion Square Mall, Saturday October 14th from 11am to 7pm. I don't know yet exactly which time slot I will be getting, but I'm sure I will be there. Come on over and try making some coleslaw! :D

And that's it for now! So close to finishing the manufacturing phase of this journey, and starting on the shipping phase. I will post again when I have more solid information.
<![CDATA[Developer Diary: The Waiting Game]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 04:45:30 GMThttp://mystictigergames.com/blog/developer-diary-the-waiting-gameBah. It's been over a month since I've last posted. The time is really flying by. However, there hasn't been a whole lot of developments since the last time.

I'm still waiting for the news that my games are being manufactured. I know progress is being made, because I recently received a photo of some prototype dice from Manaforge:
Yay! It's great to see my game coming to life like this. Overall, I'm very happy with how these look. There are a couple of flaws though.

- The colors of the 'wind' and the 'water' dice are more similar than I'd like; you can certainly tell them apart but it's not an instantaneous thing like the other dice colors. I don't think this is really something I need to fix, but it does bug me a little.
- The 'gem' icons don't appear to be perfectly centered on the die faces. I'm not 100% sure where the problem lies here. It could be the way they're using the dice asset files I sent them, or it could just be a glitch of their manufacturing process. I've spoken with them about it and I'm hoping they can improve it.

All things considered, these still look very good. I just want everything to be perfect. :)

The latest time estimate for Manaforge is that the entire batch of games should still be completed before the end of August. This means that I'm still on target for shipping the games to backers around the beginning of November. 

<![CDATA[Developer Diary: Back From Hiatus]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 06:07:45 GMThttp://mystictigergames.com/blog/developer-diary-back-from-hiatusSo…  it’s been a *very* long time since I last posted. About four months, it seems. I guess it’s time to get back onto that particular wagon. Things have been very busy since my last post. Here’s is a rundown of what’s been going on:

In case you haven’t been watching, Manaforge funded on Kickstarter! It was looking very uncertain there for a while; the slump in the middle of the campaign was brutal, with a couple of days where the campaign’s dollar pledge amount went down due to a rush of cancellations. (I think that was about the time that a couple of other high-profile campaigns launched.) But due to some advice by Kickstarter expert Daniel Zayas and lots of hard work from my graphic designer Justin Lynch, we managed to give my campaign a makeover and get it back on track. In the end, it was a huge push in the last 48 hours of the campaign that got it over the finish line. It was close; we only overfunded by a few hundred dollars. But that was enough.

On to manufacturing! Since the end of the campaign, I’ve been working with MeiJia, the Chinese company that will be printing 1000 copies of Manaforge. It’s been a lot of back-and-forth with them, trying to get the game asset files formatted correctly for their production process. That work was also hindered by some last-minute changes to a couple of the game’s cards, with accompanying changes to the rulebook. However, as of about a week ago, everything has been submitted and accepted, and we’re just waiting for our turn on the production line. At a maximum, the manufacturing will be completed by the end of August, though I expect it should be done well before that.

In other news, Dice Tower Convention 2017 was last weekend. Five days of non-stop board games! This was my second year attending this particular convention, and it was even better than last year. Last year was a flurry of meeting new people and trying to hold demos of Manaforge. This year I decided to take it easy; just reconnecting with old friends, meeting new ones, and playing lots of new games. I did a few Manaforge demos as well, but only to people that specifically asked for it; I didn’t have a dedicated demo space or anything. Still, I got to show the game off to a lot of people, and I think I scored a couple of extra pre-orders in the process.

Finally, with Manaforge on auto-pilot at the moment, I’ve had time some free time to myself, catching up on several other projects that I’ve had to put on hold due to the Kickstarter and accompanying flurry of activity. One of those projects just happens to be the next game in my queue, Suicidal Cabbages. After a break from thinking about it, I’ve come up with a couple of ideas as to how the game could be improved. In its current incarnation, the game is okay but not great; it will need quite a bit of work before it’s ready to be released upon the world. But at least I have a path forward now.

That’s it for the moment. I know I need to get back into the habit of posting; my goal is to post here once a week. Here’s hoping. :)
<![CDATA[Announcement: Manaforge Is Live On Kickstarter!]]>Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:27:57 GMThttp://mystictigergames.com/blog/announcement-manaforge-is-live-on-kickstarter1
Mystic Tiger Games is happy to announce that our first game, Manaforge, is now live on Kickstarter!

Click here to view the campaign page:

With fair market pricing, cheap shipping, completed artwork, streamlined rules, several glowing reviews, and a large base of eager fans, we're confident that Manaforge will be successful!

Head on over to our Kickstarter campaign page and help support our project today!

Thanks everyone!
<![CDATA[Announcement: Artwork Complete]]>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 04:01:41 GMThttp://mystictigergames.com/blog/announcement-artwork-complete
All 92 cards, together for the first time
Mystic Tiger Games is proud to announce that the artwork for Manaforge is done! All 72 item cards and all 20 item cards are now illustrated! Each illustration is completely unique as well, with the exception of three cards. (The three Mana Prism cards share their background art but have different numbers of prisms pictured.)

With this out of the way, Manaforge is one step closer to being a reality. Not only does this reduce the amount of time needed before the game's files can be sent to the manufacturer, but it also reduces the Kickstarter goal amount, as funds for the artwork are no longer needed.

Manaforge launches on Kickstarter on March 27th! Are you ready to start crafting?
<![CDATA[Announcement: Kickstater Preview Is Available]]>Sat, 11 Mar 2017 15:53:14 GMThttp://mystictigergames.com/blog/announcement-kickstater-preview-is-availableThe preview page for our upcoming Kickstarter campaign is now available for viewing! Take a look! Feedback is always welcome.

<![CDATA[Announcement: Manaforge Launches March 27th]]>Thu, 02 Mar 2017 05:16:03 GMThttp://mystictigergames.com/blog/announcement-manaforge-launches-march-27th
It's time! Mystic Tiger Games is happy to announce that we will be relaunching our Kickstarter campaign for Manaforge on Monday, March 27th, 2017!

With a lower funding goal, lower priced pledge tiers, and artwork 100% finished before launch day, we're certain that Manaforge will be a much more attractive product to prospective backers. We hope that everyone will be ready to join in as soon as we launch.

In addition to launch day, we will be having Learn and Play events at a couple of game store locations in the Orlando area in the week prior to the launch. We're working on possibly having food for the participants and prizes for the winners! Come on over and show your support for Manaforge!

Stay tuned for more updates! We will be posting more announcements as the final pieces of artwork and the Kickstarter page are completed and the launch events are finalized.
<![CDATA[Announcement: Prototype Con 2017 Demos]]>Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:13:59 GMThttp://mystictigergames.com/blog/announcement-prototype-con-2017-demos
The playtest schedule for Prototype Con 2017 has been released! Both Manaforge and Suicidal Cabbages will be available to play at the convention, complete with rules explanations.

Suicidal Cabbages will be available to playtest during Session 4 of the convention, Saturday February 25th from 2PM until 5PM.

Manaforge will be available to playtest during Session 5 of the convention, Sunday February 26th from 10AM to 1PM.

For the full gaming schedule at Prototype Con, please look here:

If you're in the Kissimmee area this weekend, we hope you'll stop by the Flamingo Waterpark Hotel and check us out!
<![CDATA[Developer Diary: Prototypes In, Prototypes Out]]>Sat, 04 Feb 2017 18:24:19 GMThttp://mystictigergames.com/blog/developer-diary-prototypes-in-prototypes-outThere have been several new developments since I last posted. Most of them good. :)

I recently received the new batch of Manaforge prototypes. Yay! Ten new copies of Manaforge to play with. I have to say, though, that these copies aren't quite as good as the last ones. The colors are a bit off (they changed their upload process to take RGB files instead of CMYK), the rulebook is flimsy (somehow it lost the high-quality paper setting, even though I'm sure I checked it), and some of the indented dice have bulges on one side that make them unsuitable for rolling. Oh well, it's good enough as is.

Out of the ten prototypes, five of them are already gone. Four of them were shipped out to game reviewers; I'm going to be getting more review videos for my relaunch. One copy went to my family up in Michigan. (Live near Kalamazoo? Email me and we'll see about setting up a demo.) I think I'm going to hang onto 3 or 4 copies, to be able to do demos and create my own tournaments and such. Still, that leaves me with a spare copy or two. Not sure where those should go.

I've started work on the Kickstarter page for the new campaign. There's nothing there to see yet, it's just an empty page with some pledge tiers. I'm planning on opening up the KS preview link before the launch, so people can give feedback, but it will be a while before we get to that point.

Artwork for the game is rolling in on almost a daily basis. At the start of the year, Manaforge needed 21 more pieces of artwork. As of right now, that number is down to approximately 10. The game's art will definitely be completed before the Kickstarter launches; I'm estimating all the cards will be ready around the beginning of March.

As far as a launch date, I'm currently targeting March 27th. Note that this is a tentative date at the moment; I'm still worried there might be some glitches with coordinating reviews and advertising and such. Still, that seems like an attainable goal and it's likely I will finalize that date before the end of this month.

Last but not least, Prototype Con is coming up later this month! Mystic Tiger Games will definitely be there demoing a prototype version of our other game, Suicidal Cabbages. Depending on the availability of demo time and space, we might also be showing off Manaforge. If you're anywhere near Kissimmee on February 25th, please stop in and see us!

And that's it for now. I'm hoping to have a couple of images of the new cards up soon. Stay tuned!]]>