We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 5)
Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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We are taking the plunge!

After more than three four years of planning, research, design work, playtests, discussions, etc., we are ready to introduce our first board game, Three Kingdoms Redux, to you. I am also setting up a company, Starting Player, to publish the game. Artwork for the game has just been completed, bar some loose ends. Manufacturing will follow shortly after.

As you can tell, we are thrilled and excited to be sharing this piece of news with fellow board gamers! Here is the story of our journey...

Links to other parts of our story:
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 1)
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 2)
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 3)
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 4)


Subscribe to this geeklist to be informed when we update our story.

Links:
Three Kingdoms Redux
Starting Player
Three Kingdoms Redux Game Rules
Three Kingdoms Redux Compendium
Geeklist discussing historical perspective of Three Kingdoms Redux
Geeklist discussing artwork of generals of Three Kingdoms Redux
Geeklist discussing artwork of state enhancements of Three Kingdoms Redux
• The all important Significant Other:
Keng Leong Yeo
Singapore
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小富靠勤,中富靠智,大富靠德。
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1. Board Game: Blindside [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:12904]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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More Blind Playtesting (September 2013 to January 2014)

We were invited by Eric Teo of Push Your Luck Podcast to his home on 7th September 2013 for board games and a spot of playtesting. I also overcame part of my fear for dogs that day, due to Eric's very friendly and playful dog, Comet.

We are grateful to Tan Kok Hinn, Chew Boon Longe and Eric Teo for their time and feedback that day:

A few members of the local gaming club that we board game on every Thursday evening also asked us for a try of Three Kingdoms Redux. We managed to do so in early December. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Charles Chua Yong Lun, Dave Perry Sam, Ho Wan Yu and Michael Tan.

In a series of events reminiscent of Liu Bei's three visits of Zhuge Liang, we had been unsuccessful in meeting up with Adrian Bai for a playtest a couple of times. We finally managed it on 16th January 2014. Among the feedback Adrian gave us, he suggested including a short list of tips/reminders for new players towards the tail end of the rulebook. It is something we are planning to take up thumbsup.

A big thank you to Adrian for coming to our place after work just for a playtest meeple:

Summarising the above, here are the additions to our growing list of first-impression playtesters (in alphabetical order):

• Adrian Bai
• Charles Chua Yong Lun
• Chew Boon Longe
• Dave Perry Sam
• Eric Teo
• Ho Wan Yu
• Michael Tan
• Tan Kok Hinn

I think all the playtesting over the past few years is getting to my Significant Other. This is his impersonation of Zhuge Liang, with the iconic Kong Ming fan, sending out his troops into battle. shake:
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2. Board Game: Chinese Word Building Game [Average Rating:4.83 Unranked]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Calligraphy MkII (December 2013 to January 2014)

Halfway through the state enhancement cards' artwork, we realised belatedly that the three Chinese words Mr. Ong wrote for us, 魏吳蜀, wasn't going to be sufficient for our purposes. We needed the words 分合 for the two state enhancement decks' card backs, Separation and Unification. We would also like the Chinese name of the game, 三國得志, to appear on the game box.

The oversight certainly got us kicking ourselves. shake gulp

That was until my Significant Other recalled his old university friend, Chiew Yen's offer when we showed the generals' card backs to her a few months back. Her father-in-law, Mr. Lee Hwee Sing, learnt and used to write lots of Chinese calligraphy as a hobby. He stopped when Chiew Yen gave birth to her first son and her in-laws took over the daytime care of their grandson. Chiew Yen mentioned that her father-in-law would be keen to help should we ever need more Chinese calligraphy.

Now was the time to take up her offer! For the sake of consistency, we requested for the three words of 魏吳蜀 as well. It took Mr. Lee a few weeks of practice to get back his calligraphic mojo. Here are his version of 魏吳蜀 on the finalised general card back and the state tokens:



Our artist, Ray had cleverly cut up the words into half to make up the four-sided state tokens. The original idea for the state tokens came from my Significant Other, whose inspiration came from the peace tokens of the 7 Wonders: Cities expansion.

It therefore looks like we will not be using Mr. Ong's calligraphy. Please accept our sincere apologies, Mr. Ong. blush

As an aside, we note that Mr. Ong's font looks very different from Mr. Lee's. Here is Mr. Ong's attempt at 蜀, which we used in an earlier version of the general card back:

Some research revealed that the font Mr. Ong wrote with is known as 隸書, read lǐ shū, whilst that Mr. Lee wrote with is known as 楷書, read kǎi shū. lǐ shū was used from the Warring States period to Jin dynasty (just after the three kingdoms period) while kǎi shū became popular towards the end of Han dynasty (just before the three kingdoms period) and continued to be widely used for quite some time thereafter. Most interestingly, the first known master of kǎi shū is a civil official that served under Cao Cao.

So it looks like both font types would have been suitable for our board game from a historical period's perspective.
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3. Board Game Accessory: Love Letter: Heart Tokens
Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Artwork for Tokens and Markers Completed (December 2013 to January 2014)

The artwork for all tokens and markers of Three Kingdoms Redux were completed in late-January. thumbsup It was a month and a half behind schedule, again primarily due to our requests to Ray for numerous minor adjustments. Ray has been very patient with us. blush

Here are the illustrations of the various markers and tokens in Three Kingdoms Redux:



Click through the pictures for descriptions of the pictures and what they will be representing in the game.

Ray also drew and coloured the state enhancement card backs after completing the tokens and markers. Mr. Lee's calligraphy makes another appearance :
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Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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20 Most Anticipated Board Games of 2014 (November 2013 to January 2014)

In mid-November 2013, we discovered that Luis,
Luis Fernandez
Venezuela
Caracas
Miranda
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had put in a nomination for Three Kingdom Redux in the 20 Most Anticipated Board Games of 2014 competition. Although it was an informal competition, we were still rather excited that a BGG-er and fellow gamer was excited enough about our game to put up a nomination for it. It was also a good opportunity to let more board gamers know about the game.

For most of the nomination period, we were sitting on the edge of the top 50, until a late spurt pushed us firmly into the top 50.

As we have not carried out much marketing and promotional work for Three Kingdom Redux yet, and this not being a Kickstarter project, we were under no illusion that we would do well. And we didn't.

Nonetheless, we were still thrilled to make it into the final 50. cool

A special thanks from us to Rick Vinyard,
Rick Vinyard
United States
Las Cruces
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for organising and running this competition.
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5. Board Game: Zodiac [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Chinese Zodiac (November 2013 to February 2014)

Amidst all the excitement on artwork and deliberations on distribution, we still managed to squeeze out some time for our second game's development. Some time back, we had been exploring an idea based on Journey to the West. It has since been sitting at the back of our minds.

Towards the end of 2013, we hit upon a few other game mechanics. These did not seem to fit with the Journey to the West story nor any of the Four Great Classical Novels of China well. Looking beyond the novels, and given that Chinese New Year was around the corner, my Significant Other suggested the theme of the 12 Chinese zodiacs.

I spent some time hand-making a simple prototype. We have since had a few preliminary playtests with it. The first mechanic we tried did not work out and was thrown out. The second mechanic was much more promising. We have been fine-tuning it since. At the moment, it is largely a card game, with a small board and 12 tokens. The 12 tokens are for the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, of course.

One thing we did forget during this hectic period was Starting Player's first birthday (4th December). My Significant Other only remembered it during mid-December, as he was preparing for his impending in camp training. Heh.
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6. Board Game: Reporterspiel [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Session Report (November 2013 to February 2014)

Until recent playtests, we always had a camera on hand and took pictures at the end of every round of gameplay. It was done for analysis purposes. Based on these pictures, I wrote a concise report for each playtest, recording any issues identified and each general and state enhancement card's play percentage. This helped to identify cards that needed adjustments.

Since posting the draft rules, we have always wanted to write up a detailed session report to illustrate gameplay. This may clarify any doubts BGG-ers have after reading the rules.

We finally found time in November for an initial attempt, basing it on the pictures of one past playtest. Halfway through preparing it, we realised we needed more intermediate pictures of gameplay to be able to track the resources more precisely. gulp We gave up on that first attempt, feeling a little crestfallen.

That coincided with a lull in playtesting due to my Significant Other's ICT. When he was back in early January 2014, playtesting restarted and we made sure we took more photographs for every playtest. We eventually picked playtest 188 for the detailed session report.

After which my Significant Other went about re-playing that game, and taking even more precise pictures of gameplay to post on BGG. That took up a couple of days of the Chinese New Year holidays period. Here is a picture of how playtest 188 ended:

And here are links to the session reports:
Playtest 188 (Rounds 1-3)
Playtest 188 (Rounds 4-6)
Playtest 188 (Rounds 7-9)

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I have spent some time preparing a better quality session report based on actual game component pictures. You can download the full session report via this link:

Playtest 188 Session Report (20mb)

We had planned to upload this session report file onto BGG as well, but we are unable to meet BGG's file size limitations (5-7mb).
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7. Board Game: 3D Game Board [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Artwork for Game Board Completed (May 2013 to March 2014)

Our prototype's game board takes on the form of a hexagonal shape (see picture of previous item above). It was a natural by-product of our game design process, as we needed a quick and dirty way to represent the three states and the three borders between the states.

The game mechanics stabilised by mid-2013, and led us to start planning for artwork. That led us to revisit the issue of the game board's shape and size. Our original intention was to retain the hexagonal shape. Mainly because it looked unique and can be a great selling point.

As we dug deeper, we discovered that the six triangles required to form the hexagonal board brought along with them a whole host of difficulties. goo

The biggest issue was size. The prototype, which is already on the small side, cannot fit into our planned square box (medium square size, 29.5 by 29.5cm). We tested a few adjustments and found that we would have to remove the bid order, action order and round tracks in the middle of the hexagon to be close to fitting the six triangles into the square box. To retain these three tracks and to include the military VP track on the hexagonal game board would require very large triangles, which implies a humongous game board and game box. robot

We realised that storing triangles in a square game box leads to wastage of space. Up to half of the space will be wasted; To get what I mean, visualise an equilateral triangle in the smallest possible square.

Another common feedback we received from first-impression playtesters was the direction of the wordings and icons. With the hexagonal game board, they were facing outwards in all directions. A new player looking at an action space on the opposite side more often than not experiences some difficulty.

All of the above considerations led us to move away, albeit a little reluctantly, from the hexagonal to a rectangular shaped game board. By the time Ray was ready to work on the game board's artwork in February 2014, we had long made up our minds about its shape.

We placed a lot of importance on the game board's functionality. For a start, Ray did a series of rough sketches to demonstrate where the various main spaces will be. We selected the sketch we liked most and Ray proceeded to fill in the details. We were very picky and requested for multiple tweaks along the way, but Ray as always was patient with us. blush Here is how the final rough sketch looks like:

The above process took approximately two weeks. When we arrived at the version we felt met the functionality requirements, we printed out a full-sized copy. After which we arranged and squeezed in a couple of playtests in the space of one week using the rough sketch as the game board, to satisfy ourselves of the game board's functionality and to gather more feedback.

Our findings from the playtests:

• Setup time has reduced, because we no longer need to piece six pieces together in a specific order.

• All the spaces are enlarged, in particular the action spaces and each state's spaces, so that the pictures and icons are more readily visible. There is also ample space for placement of general tokens. This is not surprising, since the rectangular game board's total area is larger than that of the hexagonal game board.

• All the wordings and icons are facing in one direction, towards the Wei player. Wu and Shu players sit on the left and right of Wei respectively. Feedback received from the different players playing Wu and Shu was positive: They were able to read and understand the action spaces easily. This was probably helped by the previous point, i.e. larger game board size and larger spaces.

• The bid order, action order, round, military VP and rank tracks are at the opposite end of the board, facing all three players. Our playtesters found them easy to refer to.

In short, we were very happy with the functionality of the rectangular game board. Indeed, my Significant Other preferred it over our prototype game board. With that, we gave Ray the go ahead to fill in the details. Another two weeks of feedback and tweaks followed. By the end of it, the game board has morphed into this beauty:

The sharp-eyed amongst you may spot the outline of China inverted in the background of the game board. Or rotate the game board 180 degrees and you can see China the right side up. Wei is naturally occupying the northern part of China, Wu the southeast and Shu the southwest.

The final step was colouring, and it took longer than envisioned. It was not because Ray took a long time to complete the colour, but because we needed many testprints and playtests to satisfy ourselves.

The initial version is that on the left. We liked its vibrant colours, and so did many of our playtesters. However, as our playtesters took a closer look, they commented that the icons of the 12 action spaces in the centre of the board are difficult to make out. It's not an issue for seasoned players like us, but they certainly would be for new players.

We therefore requested Ray to try a different hue on the background, to make the icons stand out more. He tried a lighter version, which is the version in the middle you see above, as well as a darker version (not uploaded). More playtests ensued and there was a distinct preference towards the lighter version.

As we concentrated on playtesting with the lighter version, we also received feedback pointing out that the lighter background made the title of the action spaces less visible. With that in mind, we made another request blush to the ever-obliging Ray to try darker colours for the action spaces' names. Black worked out well, and that's the version on the right.

There were a few minor tweaks to it, but the game board was born. Aesthetically, we certainly prefer the original version on the left. However, the final version on the right has a better balance between aesthetics and functionality, and that's what a game board needs.

Last but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Hugues Richard:
Hugues Richard
Canada
Quebec
Quebec
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He discovered Three Kingdoms Redux fairly recently, but has since spent much time looking at the artwork closely and reviewing the draft rules. He has pointed out many possible areas of improvement to us, many of which have been incorporated.
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8. Board Game: Three Kingdoms Redux [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:868]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Artwork for Gamebox Completed (March to April 2014)

By mid-March, Ray was in the home stretch with just the game box artwork left. We had told him of our preferences for it a long time back. In particularly, we did not want the focus to be on individual character faces, and prefer to draw attention to the three states and the various parts of managing a state instead.

Ray drew a few rough sketches for us and we picked the one with the foreground that shows the most activities found in the board game. Colouring took a couple of days, after which Ray added the board game name, company name and logo, our names and his own.

Some of you may notice Mr. Lee's calligraphy making a third appearance. Ray also took the initiative to write the English form of our game's name in a similar calligraphic style, to match the Chinese form. We are really happy with how the names turned out.

A testprint to check that everything is ok, another obligatory check with our playtesters, and we present to you the finalised game box front:

The box front art depicts the three lords sharing the same skyline, but separated by their clashing ambitions. They look in the general direction of their territories, and also overlook the various activities they need to excel in to fulfill their ambitions of re-unifying China. I was joking with my Significant Other that Cao Cao is tilted somewhat towards the right, because he couldn't get over his heavy loss at the Battle of Chi Bi (Red Cliffs).

The game box back and box sides were also completed at the same time. Ray used some of the icons from the game for the summary information on the box sides and box back, which was a nice touch.


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And with that, the artwork for Three Kingdoms Redux is finally complete! What was initially planned for 8-9 months took a year. Ray has been most obliging and patient with our requests throughout the year. We are grateful for his hard work on the project.

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A Special Plug for Fantastic Fox

We found out via a conversation with Ray during the artwork planning process that he is also embarking on a project of his own, known as Fantastic Fox. We would like to take this opportunity to plug his project to BGG-ers who may also enjoy comics and illustrations. Fantastic Fox is a crowd-funding platform for comic artists and illustrational content creators. Here are other weblinks for those of you who are interested:

Fantastic Fox facebook
Ray's blogspot

Ray once told us he admired our perseverance with Three Kingdoms Redux and board games. We would like to say that the feeling is mutual with respect to his work on illustrations. thumbsup
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9. Board Game: Scripts and Scribes: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:4179]
Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Rules and Scribus (March to May 2014)

We had previously maintained the draft rules in Word, and uploaded a PDF version on BGG. As the artwork was being finalised in late March, I started work on replacing the prototype game component pictures in the game rules.

I found out previously that for printing purposes, we needed 300dpi resolution. We also needed non-standard paper sizes; the game rules will be 28 by 28cm. More research led to us finding Scribus, which is free and met these requirements. I therefore read up and learnt Scribus on my own, in anticipation of moving the rules into it.

This piece of work was to take me much more time than I expected, despite having learnt the basics some weeks earlier. robot In particular, the number of pictures involved slowed down the file opening and navigation speed, as well as increased the PDF file size significantly. We also took the opportunity to review the rules a few more times, ensuring that the language used in the general and state enhancement cards are consistent with those in the game rules.

My Significant Other spent several of his April weekends sieving through the cards and rules, time and again. Ray was ever-accommodating and made changes to the cards whenever we spotted inconsistencies or typos.

Finally, by late April, the final draft rules were ready. The original intention was to upload them on the Starting Player website, as well as our draft game rules BGG filepage. Unfortunately, the latest draft version 3 was way too big (42mb) based on BGG guidelines. I have therefore only uploaded a copy on our website. Interested readers may access the rules via this link:

Version 3 of the Three Kingdoms Redux rulebook (link removed, please see below for link to finalised game rules)

The only parts that require updating are the links for the compendium, session report and videos.

In late April, we found a thread by Erik Capps offering rulebook reviews. We sent in our request without hesitation and held our breath. Erik got back to us promptly after two weeks, giving our rules the thumbs up with only minor changes. We would like to thank Erik for taking the time to review our game rules for free. We understand he has received many requests but still managed to complete the review of our rules in two weeks.

Erik maintains a website known as Rulebook Review, where he reviews rules of board games. It is a great service for budding board game designers like us. meeple
Erik Capps
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Milan
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We are liaising with the manufacturer and hope to start on manufacturing soon. If you spot any typos or errors in logic, please let us know soonest. We have tentatively set the cutoff date for final feedback and changes as 18th May 2014.

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We have since finalised the rules based on the final feedback received. A big thank you to all who spent time doing so. It is much appreciated by us. thumbsup

We have lowered the dpi for the background and game board pictures, thereby decreasing the file size to just 24mb. Rest assured that the version sent to the manufacturer is still of the required quality, i.e. 300dpi.

Click on this link to download the finalised Three Kingdoms Redux game rules (24mb).
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10. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:224]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Serving the Nation V (July 2014)

Early July 2014 saw my Significant Other going for what he believes will be his final ICT(in camp training). As with previous ICTs, he brought along Hive and Love Letter. And as with previous ICTs, Hive proved to be the bigger hit among his buddies.

He told me that during one particularly intriguing Hive session, the game attracted 4-5 onlookers and three of them were putting their brains together to try and beat my Significant Other. He put up a vigorous defence that led to lengthy discussions among the trio on the best moves. The game took an hour or so. In the end, the draw was accepted.

My Significant Other also met a fellow boardgamer during this ICT, i.e. someone who already owns a board game collection and knows quite a number of eurogames. They had a couple of boardgaming related conversations, which did make time pass that little bit faster. Of course, my Significant Other also shared our designing and publishing story with him.

And that brings an end to my Significant Other's annual ICTs. A Singaporean male's reservist obligation ends at age 40 and he is looking forward to hitting the big four O soon.
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11. Board Game: But Wait, There's More! [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:3065] [Average Rating:6.78 Unranked]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Digital Proof (June to August 2014)

We signed the contract to manufacture Three Kingdoms Redux with Panda Game Manufacturing on 27th May. After taking care of some paperwork and making the first payment, we sent the required PDF files to them a week later.

We were briefed that the manufacturing would consist of three major steps:

• Digital Proof
This is when the publisher uploads/sends the softcopies of the game component files to the manufacturer, who will carry out several checks. The checks include format, size, allowances (known as bleeds) etc.

• Pre-Production Copy Check
The manufacturer produces one pre-production copy and snail-mails the physical copy to the publisher for checking. The pre-production copy includes colour prints and plain-coloured game components. These will be for the publisher to check that the dimensions and colours are correct.

• Mass Production
Once the pre-production check is complete and the publisher gives the go-ahead, the manufacturer will begin mass production. Shortly after mass production begins, an advance copy of the game will be sent to the publisher.

We received feedback from the Panda team on the digital proof after a week or so. Some minor changes were required, e.g. the tokens have to be slightly bigger. With the ever-professional Ray's help (we cannot praise Ray enough for his work over the past year), we completed the changes in less than a week and resent the updated PDF files.

After which we waited... and waited... and waited... gulpsnore

Perhaps it is because we are new to the entire board game designing and publishing process, but we certainly underestimated the amount of patience required for the entire process. We were on tenterhooks during the last couple of weeks.

Finally, on 14th August (yesterday!), we received confirmation that the digital proof is complete. Yay! laugh PandaGM is moving on to prepare the pre-production copy and we should be receiving it in the coming weeks.
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12. Board Game: Gotta Be Quick! [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Pre-Production Copy (August 2014)

On 25th August 2014, less than two weeks after completion of the digital proof, we were informed that the pre-production copy was in the mail! wow The time taken to produce the pre-production copy was lightning quick in comparison with the digital proof and we were pleasantly surprised by the speedy progress. meeple

We were also provided with a link to track the package and were taken aback for a second time: The package weighed all of 6.7kg! surprise It was sent by expedited mail and arrived on the very next day, much to our delight.

Here are some pictures we took of the colour proofs and mock-ups:

Mock-up of one copy of Three Kingdoms Redux. This was for us to check the dimensions and material quality. A copy weighs 2.2kg, primarily due to the six-fold board and six punchboards.

Mock-up and colour proof of game box. The two boxes at the back are the mock-ups while the colour proof is in the foreground.

Mock-up and colour proof of game board. The two boards on the right, one of which is folded to show the thickness, are the mock-ups while the colour proof is on the left.

Mock-up and colour proof of general and state enhancement cards. The pure white and duller prints are the mock-ups and the brighter coloured sheets are the colour proofs.

Mock-up and colour proof of punch boards. The 12 boards at the back are the mock-ups while the colour proofs are in the foreground.

Mock-up and colour proof of game rules. The two booklets on the right are the mock-ups while the colour proofs are the big sheets on the left.

Mock-up and colour proof of player aids. The six sheets on the right are the mock-ups while the colour proof is the single big sheet.

I spent most of the next two days checking through the mock-ups and colour proofs, with my Significant Other chipping in whenever he has the time. We completed the checks on 28th August 2014, with everything checking out fine.

We took another deep breath and gave PandaGM the go ahead to start mass production on that same day.
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13. Board Game: Singapore-Go [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Distribution Revisited (August 2013 to September 2014)

In April 2014, with artwork nearing completion and manufacture looming, we revisited the issue of distribution.

Boardgaming-related fulfillment/distribution companies
We sent out more e-mails to follow up with the fulfillment/distribution companies that had replied to us previously. We also found a couple of others we missed out the first time round and sent them exploratory e-mails too.

Unfortunately, the response was decidedly cooler this time. Many did not reply. soblue Of those willing to take on Three Kingdoms Redux, the quantities discussed were rather low. It is understandable, given we are a new company and this is our first board game.

We did receive prompt and very helpful replies from a few parties. Notable mentions include Aldo from Impressions Game Distribution Services, and Daniel from Spiral Galaxy Games. Not only were they patient with our queries, they also gave us much advice and options to help us along, even though it became clear towards the end of the discussion that they may not be able work with us. For that, a big thank you meeple!

Amazon.com
We also explored the option of fulfillment via Amazon. After reading through various documents, we found out that we need to open a selling account with Amazon if we wanted to use their fulfillment services.

As we are non-US tax resident, we will be subject to a withholding tax of 30%. There is no double tax agreement between Singapore and USA with the exception of a limited treaty for shipping and aircraft income. The implication is, we will be taxed twice, once in USA and again in Singapore. Including the referral fee and all related fulfillment costs, we will be operating at a loss.

Although we are under no illusion of making much profit from this project, we are hoping that we can at least break even. It would have been great if we could use Amazon’s fulfillment service to handle the delivery to end customers, but the above issues pretty much ruled that out as an option for us.

Bookdepository
More research led to the discovery of bookdepository.com, which offers free delivery worldwide to end customers. That sounds like a promising option to explore if it means monetary savings for our customers. However, we were disappointed to find out subsequently that they only deal with distributors instead of individual publishers/designers. That ruled out this option for us as well.

Non-boardgaming fulfillment/distribution companies
We thought we should cast the net wider and tried checking out the non-gaming fulfillment companies situated overseas.

However, further research led us to customer complaints on the service quality of these companies, which worried us. Given that we are a small business located in Singapore, it may be more difficult for us to contact these companies to rectify possible issues that may arise.

A number of these fulfillment companies also require a minimum quantity of deliveries per month. We are unable to commit to that, since this is our first board game. After weighing up the pros and cons, we decided not to take the risk and put this option on hold.


In the midst of all this gloom, we visited Zac from a local retail shop, Toytag mb. We have been long time customers of his online shop when it was known as BOGAS mb. He subsequently rebranded it and opened a shopfront. During that informal meetup, he shared with us much of his experience in setting up Toytag mb and gave a few suggestions on how we could distribute Three Kingdoms Redux.

One of Zac's suggestions was to distribute it ourselves, via our own website. It was an intriguing idea that led to me researching on storage costs, setting up a simple online shop, and shipping costs. This solution has the following advantages:

• We will be able to ship directly to board gamers from around the globe. This may lower shipping costs to some of the end-customers, particularly those in Asia and Australasia. In addition, we are planning to subsidise part of the shipping cost for all regions to lower shipping costs for our customers. This subsidy will be especially significant if end-customers purchase in greater quantities, e.g. 6 copies, in a single order (perhaps arrange with friends and/or boardgamers from their immediate locale).

• Our marketing plans depend crucially on when the final product is ready. By distributing Three Kingdoms Redux ourselves, there is less time pressure for us to market/promote the game quickly. We have been planning a series of small "events" to promote the game over a sustained period. Distributing it ourselves makes these feasible. With fulfillment companies/distributors, we will be under pressure to sell out the game in a shorter time or risk having the remaining unsold copies thrown away.

• Following on from the previous point, we will have more time to approach reviewers and to send out copies of Three Kingdoms Redux for their review. The reviewers will also have more time to prepare their reviews.

• Customer service will be managed internally. We hope this will shorten response times to our customers, especially since we are also managing the game's storage ourselves.

• Bundle deals/Freebies: We retain the flexibility to include unique item(s) together with the board game for our online shop's customers. For example, we are exploring the possibility of including a booklet containing and explaining the illustrations of all the generals for customers who buy from our online shop.

But of course, every plan has its drawbacks, and so does ours:

• Customers further afield, e.g. US and Europe, will experience a longer wait for the game to ship from Singapore (10-14 working days), compared with buying from a local store.

• Shipping costs to US and European customers from our online store for small quantities, e.g. 1 copy, will be higher than via a US-based and European-based distributor respectively.

• We will have to store the board games locally. Our initial plan was to store it at home, as we have space for more than half of the planned copies. A number of friends also volunteered some of their home space to us. My room with my parents' has remained empty since I got married, and my parents are more than happy to let us use that. However, further research revealed that this was against the regulations. We stay in public housing (known as HDB flats), and various types of home businesses are allowed. Storage of goods is unfortunately not one of the types of allowable business activities. soblue

We have since turned to self-storage. Research led us to many such options, some of which are reasonably affordable and more importantly, close to home. We plan to go with one of these.

• Setting up an online shop requires a bit of time and effort, and incurs another layer of cost. After researching the available options, we have decided to go with Shopify. I discovered quickly that Shopify is quite user-friendly and setting up an online shop via it is thankfully straightforward.


Considering all options and the accompanying information we found for them, we decided that the pros outweigh the cons for the self-distribution option. The key point that tipped the scales was the easing of time pressure to market and sell out the board game.

With that, we took another collective deep breath gulp and made the fateful decision.
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14. Board Game: Advance [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Advance Copy (September to October 2014)

On 27th September 2014, a month after approving the pre-production copy, we received notice from PandaGM that they are sending us two advance copies of the final product! zombie On the morning of 30th September, we received an e-mail containing a link to track the package. We found out quite excitedly that the package was already in a sorting centre in Singapore that morning. The package arrived before noon that same day. meeple

We conducted a final check and e-mailed PandaGM we were happy with the final product. No further adjustments were required for the mass manufacturing.

Alas… it was also around this time that I fell ill. It wasn’t a serious illness, more of a series of persistent colds that I just couldn’t seem to shake off. Any planned picture taking and video making using the advance copy had to be postponed until I recovered. soblue

It was only the second week of October that I more or less recovered, though I was still very careful with my diet for quite a while.

Here are some pictures we took of the advance copy:

Box front

Side view of box. Dimensions of the box are 29.5cm by 29.5cm by 4.3cm

Box back

6-fold gameboard

Cards in shrinkwrap. The game’s cards are shrink-wrapped into 4 packs. We wanted to keep the gamebox as slim as possible to save space for fellow boardgamers.

General cards

State enhancement cards

Punchboards front

Punchboards back

State-related tokens

Non state-related tokens

Game rules and player aids front

Game rules and player aids back

We also presented the second copy to our friend, Lip Ghee, who has been such an enormous help to us throughout the game development process. He was thrilled to receive the copy, even removing the shrinkwrap and requesting that both of us sign on the underside of the cover for him. blush

The very first Three Kingdoms Redux game using actual game components was played between Lip Ghee, his wife and another friend who had helped us with a couple of playtests right at the beginning. Pictures of that historical moment:

The first three players of our game!

Situation at end of game. Lip Ghee playing Wu was in a strong position for most of the game. During the final round, he made a critical error in assigning the wrong general on a bid and gave Wei (his wife) a very narrow 1 VP win.

Manufacturing is expected to complete in the coming weeks and we have been making preparations to store and sell the game. Here are two pics that the manufacturer sent us:

Gameboards waiting to be packed

Game cards waiting to be cut

Game boxes ready for packing

Cutting the game cards

Packing the game cards

Edits: To include pictures sent to us by Panda Game Manufacturing.
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15. Board Game: Video Village [Average Rating:5.12 Unranked]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Video Production (June 2014 to February 2015)

Right from the early stages of playtesting, we have considered the possibility of making videos to teach and market Three Kingdoms Redux. Indeed, my Significant Other had learnt and made two Hive videos using Windows Live Movie Maker way back in 2012 with that in mind.

By mid-2013, we were starting to make more concrete plans for the videos. Finding a suitable venue and the right equipment were our main headaches. We do not have good enough equipment for the video shooting and our home is not exactly conducive for video shooting due to the background noise (we stay next to a main road).

There were also not many options available for us. We could either hire a professional to do the videos for us or rent a quiet place and the equipment to do it ourselves. After some research, I found both options to be rather costly, something a small setup like us cannot afford to bear. soblue

During one of our playtesting sessions with Lip Ghee in May/June 2013, we shared our difficulties with him. He suggested that we can use his home for the video shoot and he has the necessary equipment to lend to us. Lip Ghee's home is much quieter compared with ours. He is also a self-taught photographer and has quite an impressive looking camera. We were pleasantly surprised by the offer and of course jumped on it! laugh That certainly solved a major part of our concerns. We were therefore left only with the video scripting to think about.

As we have professed many times in person and in this series of geeklists, we are truly grateful to Lip Ghee for all his help rendered throughout the development of Three Kingdoms Redux.

Once artwork was completed and the necessary files sent to the manufacturer in June 2014, we started working on the scripts. We eventually finalised the scripts and arranged for a trial video shoot in early October 2014. The venue of the trial shoot would be at Keng Chiong's office premises instead. Keng Chiong is another friend of ours and Lip Ghee's. He was also one of our playtesters at the very early stage. His office premises is also very quiet and unused on certain days of the week; for the curious, Lip Ghee told us a neighbour bought a pet parrot recently and his home is no longer suitable for video shooting .

We decided to conduct a trial shoot to test the camera angles, subtitling and whether Keng Chiong's office premises was quiet enough. Only a few simple takes were therefore planned for that day. My parts required memorising substantial amounts of text. It was also my first time in front of a video camera. Despite practising my parts repeatedly before the shoot, I still ended up making multiple mistakes, primarily due to my nervousness. After many re-takes, they decided to leave the room for me to handle the scene alone blush.

After the trial shoot and Lip Ghee, his wife and Keng Chiong sat down for a game of Three Kingdoms Redux. It was the first game of Three Kingdoms Redux with actual game components. You can see pictures of that historical moment in the previous geeklist item.

The trial shoot's videos turned out really well. Lip Ghee's superior camera led to high quality images and clear sound. It also turned out that Keng Chiong's office premises was a suitable place for the video taking. With that, we arranged for the actual shoot a week later. Over the next few days leading up to the day of the shoot, I rehearsed my parts of the script for the umpteenth time gulp.

Happily, due to the experience we gained from the trial shoot, the actual shoot went very smoothly. We managed to complete the shooting for the entire first video (game components) within a day. We spent the next few days editing and adding captions to the video. The video was completed on the 24th October and we uploaded it the same day. You can view the video below or via this link.


We shot the video for game setup over the course of two days and completed its editing on 19th November. You can view the video below or via this link.


We started drafting the script for the video for gameplay many months ago. We started the shoot in October 2014 and completed it only in early January 2015. gulp Editing took another three weeks and we were finally able to upload it on 30th January. You can view the video below or via this link.


We also thought it would be a good idea to produce a short video to showcase the limited Generals' Illustration Booklet. This was shot together with the gameplay video. Lip Ghee's wife happened to be around that day and obliged us with a cameo appearance in the video. laugh

For some reason, I was pretty nervous with my Significant Other and Lip Ghee's wife sitting next to me and sped through my script. My Significant Other said it made the task of editing all the more difficult. whistle You can view the video below or via this link.


We are not planning on producing any more videos in the near term as we would like to spend more time working on our next game ideas. Nonetheless, if anyone has suggestions/ideas for future videos, we would like to hear them. No promises that we will have the time to produce them though. ninja
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16. Board Game: Pack & Stack [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1799]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Self-Storage (January to November 2014)

Once we were more or less sure of distributing Three Kingdoms Redux ourselves (see previous geeklist item), we started hunting around for a suitable self-storage space to store the games when they eventually reach Singapore shores. My initial research indicated an increase in the number of self-storage companies in recent years, which was good news for us as it afforded us more options.

Our initial plans involved stacking the carton boxes on top of one another directly on the floor to save storage space and costs. My father advised us against it shake as there would be moisture absorbed into the cardboard boxes in contact with the floor. The bottom layer of boxes will eventually deteriorate. He suggested leaving the carton boxes on the pallets instead, so that there is a layer of air between the bottom boxes and the floor.

With that information in hand and re-jigging my plans, I started contacting various companies to enquire about their storage services and to obtain quotes. After a series of correspondence, we zeroed in on a few companies. They are near our place of residence and the rates offered are quite reasonable. With this shortlist of storage companies in hand, we were ready to contact them once the timing was appropriate, which depended heavily on the manufacturing progress.

In late August, after receiving and approving the pre-production copy, we decided that time has arrived. We picked the first company on our shortlist, Lock + Store, to visit. Lock + Store has a number of branches in Singapore and we chose to visit the branch nearest to our residence.

We met a Mr. Toh during that visit. He was extremely helpful to us thumbsup and shared a lot of information regarding shipping and logistics (he has substantial working experience in logistics). His timely reminders meant there were quite a number of things we needed to check with our manufacturer regarding the shipment before we could proceed. At that point in time, that particular Lock + Store branch also did not have any units of our required size available. We were advised to e-mail them again as they were in the midst of expanding the storage space to include another floor.

More e-mail correspondence with the manufacturer ensued. Based on the information we received, we concluded that the Lock + Store branch we visited was not suitable, primarily because of its smallish loading area. We decided to visit the next nearest Lock + Store branch, which Mr. Toh had mentioned was their main branch and was much bigger.

To our surprise, we bumped into Mr. Toh at the main branch too. He explained he was only standing in for a colleague in the previous branch we visited. We were certainly happy to have him serve us again as he already understood our requirements. He brought us around to view some of the suitable units and we were pleased with what he had recommended. The main branch was huge, with spacious loading and unloading bays. We were also quoted competitive prices. To top it off, the main branch is right next to the port, which hopefully meant less delay for the container to reach us after clearing customs.

In early November, we received the welcome news from Panda Game Manufacturing that the games have been loaded and are on a ship heading for Singapore. We were even provided a link showing that the games were loaded on the APL New York, which was steaming through the South China Sea. APL New York is expected to reach Singapore in mid-November. zombie

As soon as we received these exciting news, we hopped over to the Lock + Store branch to finalise the locker rental. The ever-dependable Mr. Toh was on hand again to provide more assistance and advice to us on what to expect on the delivery and such. We completed the paperwork in no time. Here are some pictures of the self-storage space:

Lock + Store: Our chosen self-storage facility

Our Lock + Store locker for Three Kingdoms Redux (open)

Our Lock + Store locker for Three Kingdoms Redux (closed)
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17. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:634]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Unstuffing (14th-15th November 2014)

On the night of 14th November, we noted that the container ship carrying our games, APL New York, had reached the vicinity of Singapore. We spent most of that night glued to our PC and refreshing the screen. blush It eventually moored at about 11+p.m. and we had to tear ourselves from our PC monitors to go to bed. We knew we were in for a long day the next day and needed the rest. We made sure we had packed all essential items, e.g. pliers, before turning in.

On the morning of 15th November, we were up early and had a quick breakfast. Then we waited anxiously for the phone call from the shipping company. Eventually, I got restless and decided to set off first. My Significant Other stayed behind to complete other work. On the bus trip there, I finally received the phone call, upon which I "activated" my Significant Other and my family (my dad, mum and brother).

The container reached the self-storage facility half an hour after the both of us were on location. Some pictures of the container carrying our 4 years' worth of hard work:


The first step after accepting the container was breaking the seal on the container. We only found out about the seal a week before the shipment arrived. Lip Ghee, who was more experienced in logistics than us, helped us buy a suitable pair of pliers. My Significant Other took them out and started working on the seal. 10 minutes later, he was perspiring profusely and still at it. Just when we thought it would never happen, the seal popped. surprise I took the top of the seal home as a keepsake:

Opening the container doors was a minor challenge in itself. We eventually managed it after some fiddling:

And there before our eyes, laid 4 years of our hard work. I couldn't resist taking a few more pictures of them before we commenced unloading:


After figuring out the ramp, another minor challenge that took another 10-15 minutes of enquiries with the self-storage personnel and some trial and error, we were finally ready to unstuff the container. We found out that the process of opening the container and moving out the goods was known in logistics as "unstuffing".

My Significant Other went to work with the borrowed pallet jack and gingerly unloaded the only single layer pallet. After some huffing and puffing, the pallet was out. *Phew* It was at this juncture that my family arrived. Boy, were we happy to see them! My dad’s work involves logistics and he is quite proficient with the pallet jack. My brother was also younger and stronger than both of us.

Between the three of them, they coaxed out the first double layered pallets (two pallets stacked on top of each other) and moved it into our self-storage locker. The tricky part was getting the two pallets down the ramp. With the slope, there was concern about the top layer toppling and they also had to manage the momentum built up as it rolled down the ramp.

Just as they were about to attempt the second double layered pallets, a forklift came around. The driver was stacking a few empty pallets, which he completed in no time. He then signalled to us to step aside and he would move all the pallets down the ramp for us. Imagine our relief, gratitude and joy! wowmeeple We couldn't thank the driver enough and he modestly waved it off, saying it was ok. Here are pictures of the unloaded double layered pallets:


We spent the rest of the morning and half the afternoon moving the double layered pallets into our self-storage space. A big thank you to my family for their help! My brother provided much needed muscle to move the double layered pallets into our locker. My dad was a great help in manoeuvring the pallets into position, as there wasn't much extra room in our locker. By 3:30p.m. we were done and our locker was packed to the brim:

We then needed help with moving the rest of the carton boxes containing some game stocks, all of the illustration booklets and spare parts back home:

Two of our friends, also playtesters of the game, Suting and Joon Hui, came to our aid. We don't own a car and Joon Hui drove his to move those carton boxes back to our home. It took two trips but he was ever obliging. Joon Hui later remarked that it was the least they can do after we have entertained them for many a weekend afternoon with Agricola with Farmers of the Moor (their favourite game) and other eurogames. cry

With that, everything was in order:

We were dog-tired that evening; my Significant Other laid on the couch the entire evening, like a walrus on a beach.

A few minor details here and there to take care of and we will be ready to launch Three Kingdoms Redux. After some discussion, we set the launch date as 20th November 2014. We have prepared a press release and you can download it via this link.
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18. Board Game: Three Kingdoms Redux [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:868]
Christina Ng
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Game Launch!!! (20th November 2014)

Three Kingdoms Redux is officially launched via Starting Player's online store! meeple

Special Deals for the launch:
d10-1 Free limited edition illustration booklet for each copy of Three Kingdoms Redux purchased (see pictures below and while stocks last).

d10-2 Free or lower shipping cost for bulk purchase (minimum of 6 copies), depending on the region.

d10-3 Special shipping rates available for Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, China, Japan and South Korea.

The board game accessory item for the Three Kingdoms Redux: Generals' Illustration Booklet has been approved. Here are some pictures of the illustration booklet:

Front of illustration booklet

Start of Wei section

Start of Wu section

Start of Shu section

Back of illustration booklet

Edits: Inclusion of illustration booklet accessory item link, pictures and title, which I missed out in my haste blush

Further edit: Change of our online store website to startingplayer.com, effective 3rd March 2017
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Game Reviews (June 2014 to current)

We started researching and putting together a list of reviewers to approach when the manufacturing dates became more certain. When manufacturing eventually got underway, we wrote to the list of reviewers and were excited to receive a few positive replies.


Heavy Cardboard

One of these was Heavy Cardboard mb, a podcast hosted by Edward and Tony. Their podcast focuses on the discussion and review of heavier board games.

We sent Heavy Cardboard a review copy in October 2014. Almost immediately after receipt of the game, Edward started twitting about the game. They played it multiple times before embarking on a very detailed review of Three Kingdoms Redux. Our game was featured in Episode 12 of their podcast. meeple

They also uploaded an unboxing video of the game:


A couple of months on, in February 2015, Heavy Cardboard announced its picks for the runners up and winner of the Heavy Cardboard Golden Elephant Award for the Best Heavy Board Game of 2014. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that Three Kingdoms Redux was chosen as the 1st runner up by Edward and 2nd runner up by Tony in a podcast. modest

Another year on, in January 2016, Heavy Cardboard recorded a Top 50 board games up till the current point in time for the team. Three Kingdoms Redux made it to the Heavy Cardboard team's top 50 list! cool

There was a change in hosts in early 2016, with Amanda taking over from Tony. In August 2016, the new Heavy Cardboard team recorded a new Top 50 episode so that Amanda may put on record her top 50 games. We were happy cool to find out that Three Kingdoms Redux made it to her list as well!


Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Robert Florence of Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a feature on their website known as Cardboard Children. He has been writing about board games via that feature since September 2010.

His feature dated 24th March 2015 is titled Cardboard Children – Three Kingdoms Redux and is of course about our game, Three Kingdoms Redux! meeple

We are especially touched cry by this bit:

"When I saw that it was available, I considered – for a moment – getting in touch to ask for a review copy. But then I saw that this was a small company, with no great distrbution chain, and I bought an imported copy. I figured that, at the very least, it would be interesting to see what an attempt at a Three Kingdoms board game might be like. I didn’t expect to play a game that would easily shoot straight into my top ten games of all time list."

In February 2016, we found out that Three Kingdoms Redux has been named by Robert Florence as his Board Game of the Year 2015. The announcement was made via an article titled Cardboard Children – Best Boardgame Of 2015.


TechRaptor

Travis Williams writes a weekly column for the TechRaptor website. He has been reviewing board games via the column since October 2014. The subject of his column dated 14th July 2015 is none other than Three Kingdoms Redux cool. It is titled Three Kingdoms Redux Review – Grand Strategy.

Key excerpt meeple:

"The copy of Three Kingdoms Redux used for this review was purchased by the author."

In mid-January 2016, we found out that Three Kingdoms Redux made it to the number 3 spot of the their top 5 board games of 2015 list modest, as announced in the TechRaptor Awards – Board Game of the Year 2015 article.

Another key excerpt:

"Three Kingdoms Redux could easily be renamed to “Three Player Excellence.”"


Punching Cardboard

In our ongoing search for potential reviewers, Edward of Heavy Cardboard recommended the Punching Cardboard team mb, consisting of Jim and Eric, to us. We therefore hopped over to the Punching Cardboard website and gave them a listen. They have a slow and easygoing going style, discussing board games that tickle their fancy but not restricting themselves to any genre or type. Jim and Eric also infuse their podcasts with discussions of whisky and music.

We found out from a few podcasts that they enjoy heavier games too and decided to reach out to them. They replied positively and a copy of Three Kingdoms Redux was duly sent in August 2015.

A few months later, the podcast containing the review of Three Kingdoms Redux was published, in Episode 78 - Playing Guitar on a Dateless Night. The segment dedicated to Three Kingdoms Redux was over an hour long surprise!

Forward a few more months to December 2015 and we discovered we have made it to both Jim's and Eric's top board games (new to them) of 2015. This was announced in Episode 83 - All Ramshackle and Worry Free. modest

We were then further surprised by the re-visiting of Three Kingdoms Redux by the Punching Cardboard team in September 2016. This time, Jim and Eric discussed at length a recent play of our game. For the record, Jim won playing as Shu .


iSlaytheDragon

Alex Singh writes for iSlaytheDragon. During the US group order that we ran from September to November 2015, Alex had signed up for a copy before cancelling his order shortly after ninja. To our surprise, he wrote to us explaining that he couldn't wait and had gone out to purchase his own copy surprise.

We are happy to report that he loves Three Kingdoms Redux and has named it as his choice for Game of the Year 2015.

Key excerpt:

"What if I told you that there was a game from a first time design/publishing team, that takes up more table space than a game like Agricola or Power Grid but comes a box 1/3 the size of Ticket to Ride? What if I told you there was a game that is as beautiful as it is thematic? What if I told you that it was a game about war but doesn't use dice or other random elements to resolve battles? What if I told you that it's 2015's game of the year?"


-------------------------------------------------------------

A number of reviews has since been written, a few from regular board game reviewers and many from fans. Here is the full list:

Maintaining Delicate Balance of the Tripartite States
by one of our playtesters, Tan Wei Liang (BGG account: XRemX)
Heavy Cardboard Episode 12 - Three Kingdoms Redux
by the Heavy Cardboard team (BGG accounts: eapeas, tonyfryer and amandau)
Review after my first play
by Blake Morris (BGG account: morrigambist)
Three Kingdoms Redux - An Outstanding Gem
by Abram Bachtiar (BGG account: dragonagb)
Cardboard Children – Three Kingdoms Redux
by Robert Florence of Rock, Paper, Shotgun (BGG account: biglime)
Welcome to the Redux
by Dan Thurot of Space-Biff! (BGG account: The Innocent)
Three Kingdoms Redux - Full Review (after over a dozen plays)
by Mike Scott (BGG account: skir)
Tell me about : Three Kingdoms Redux
by another of our playtesters, Alexis Wong (BGG account: alexisW)
Three Kingdoms Redux Review – Grand Strategy
by Travis Williams of TechRaptor (BGG account: NerdyRaptor)
Board Game Brawl Quick Review - Three Kingdoms Redux
by Nick Meenachan of Board Game Brawl (BGG account: TheKillShirt)
The Good, The Board and the Trying to Be Consistent: Episode 27 "Heavy Games",
The Good, The Board and The Heavy Gamers (not talking about Jonathan): Episode 39 "Three Kingdoms Redux",
The Good The Board and The Backers: Episode 84 "P500 vs Kickstarter" and
Ep2 Decision Points Three Kingdoms Redux
by the The Good, The Board and The Ugly team (BGG accounts: josefsallen, trenttsd, altorn_achm and eva01iastate)
Three Kingdoms Redux 三國得志 (in Chinese)
by Rogerjj of 宅貓的桌遊櫃 (BGG account: rogerjj)
Three Kingdoms Redux - Vídeo Reseña - La K Ludi K (in Spanish)
by Ricardo Vilachá of Oceano de Juegos (BGG account: karallan)
jPlay walks through Three Kingdoms Redux - EP1 and jPlay walks through Three Kingdoms Redux - EP2
by Markus Weihrauch (BGG account: JoystickZ)
Episode 78 - Playing Guitar on a Dateless Night and
Episode 96 — James K. Polk was a Very Fine Barista
by the Punching Cardboard team (BGG accounts: Keenanja and wavedog98)
A quick review from a first-time reviewer
by Fred (BGG account: freddo123)
A Sweeping Epic
by Emmanuel (BGG account: supamanu)
Three Kingdoms Redux - Part 1 - The Quick Overview,
Three Kingdoms Redux - Part 2 - How To Play,
Three Kingdoms Redux - Part 3 - Sample Gameplay and
Three Kingdoms Redux - Part 4 - The Review
by Michael Von Kirchmeyer of Off The Shelf (BGG account: Grumsh)
Three Kingdoms Redux – C’est Le Cao Cao! (in French)
by reveur81 of Ludovox (BGG account: reveur81)
First impression of TKR (Wei, Shu & Wu - who?)
by E. T. (BGG account: extraterrestrial)
Fascinating Gameplay: A historical simulation in disguise
by Jordan Ackerman (BGG account: rutherford82)
In Which Three Kingdoms Compete for Supremacy over the Dragon's Scythe in a Sea of Clouds * New Reviews for SCYTHE and THREE KINGDOMS REDUX and Initial Impressions for SIMURGH and SEA OF CLOUDS * Plus More and More Games!!!!
by Milena Guberinic (BGG account: milenaguberinic)
Jugando a cosicas (LXXXVI). Three Kingdoms Redux. (in Spanish)
by César Gómez of 2maracasD10 (BGG account: cgbernardino)
Review: Three Kingdoms Redux
by Chris Hecox of Geeks Under Grace (BGG account: koreanpenguin)
冷门桌游 《三国得志》 (Three Kingdoms Redux) 长开箱+测评 (in Chinese)
by Su Shaojie (BGG account: hohosurgeon)
The Long View - Three Kingdoms Redux
by Geof Gambill of The Long View (BGG account: ggambill)
with special guest Andrew Denison (BGG account: eva01iastate)
Initial Thoughts from the Bottom Shelf and
Final Thoughts on Three Kingdoms Redux from the Bottom Shelf
by Alex Singh of Bottom Shelf (BGG account: singhalex)
Episode 11: Have You Heard The Good News?
by John Middleton and Jeff Pratt of Between Turns (BGG accounts: middletonner and vladdswrath)
Three Kingdoms Redux - Before & After
by Jeffrey Webber of Meeple Leaf Reviews (BGG account: kalmarian)
"You'll find I'm full of surprises." and
thebrandt reviews Three Kingdoms Redux
by Brandt Sanderson of Portal Gaming Podcast (BGG account: thebrandt)
Three Kingdoms Redux Review
by Craig Cillessen of Miniature Market
Calvin’s Corner – Three Kingdoms Redux<---Latest addition
by Calvin Wong of Ding and Dent (BGG account: sigma83)

We would also like to put on record our heartfelt thanks to all reviewers who took the time and effort to write about our game. meeple

We will be updating this geeklist item as and when new reviews of our game are released.
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Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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BGG Contest (August 2013 to 1st-7th December 2014)

We made plans to advertise on BGG and budgeted for it back in August 2013. Two options were available: buying ad views and running a BGG contest. We plumbed for the latter.

During manufacturing in mid-2014, we started preparing for the contest in earnest. We first wrote to Chad on the possibility and costs of running a BGG contest. His replies were prompt and we received all the information we needed in minimal time. Via him, we also found out that we needed a design for the contest microbadge. Both of us are not good microbadge designers. shake Thankfully, help came in the form of
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The science of history is a great bulwark against the stream of Time; in a way it checks this irresistible flood, it holds in a tight grasp whatever it can seize floating on the surface and will not allow it to slip away into the depths of oblivion
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Here is the contest microbadge Daniel designed for us: mb

Shortly after the official game launch on 20th November 2014, we got in touch with Chad again on holding the contest in December 2014. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the first week of December was still available and was allocated to us.

The BGG contest for Three Kingdoms Redux ran from 1st December to 7th December 2014, seven days in all. There were a total of 3,145 participants. You can find out who won via the Starting Player "Three Kingdoms Redux" Contest! WINNERS! thread. Congratulations to the three winners!
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21. Board Game Designer: Yeo Keng Leong
Christina Ng
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Designer Diary (March 2013 to December 2014)

In early 2013, we found out by chance that BoardGameGeek News posts designer diaries of new board games from time to time. Sounds like a great idea! I started digging into my past playtest reports and putting together a rudimentary designer diary. We would continuously update and polish it until November 2014 when the game was launched.

We wrote to Eric Martin in late November 2014 for permission to post designer diary on BoardGameGeek News, which he kindly acceded to. meeple

Here is the link to the just published designer diary:
Designer Diary: Three Kingdoms Redux
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22. Board Game: Groups [Average Rating:3.75 Unranked]
Christina Ng
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Group Orders (July to December 2015)

Due to our geographical location, shipping of our game overseas can be costly, particularly to the North American and European regions. We tried to alleviate this by offering a huge shipping discount for group purchases. Despite that, we observed that group orders were still relatively rare. We understand that it takes time and effort to co-ordinate such group purchases. We therefore started to explore the possibility of trying something similar to GMT Games' pre-order system. If we are able to gather group orders before shipping the games in one shipment to a local fulfillment company, we will be able to achieve a significant shipping cost reduction.

That initial idea led me to start researching for a system that would allow us to gather orders first without charging our customers until a particular minimum required quantity is reached. In the midst of our research, we sought advice from Wendell, whose replies were helpful to us. Thank you Wendell! Eventually, we found Celery and it meets our criteria.

The next step is to find fulfillment companies that we can work with. While surfing, I came upon Jamey’s blog, where he shared his experiences on working with the fulfillment companies of various regions. Jamey is also a boardgame designer, who has designed a number of games such as Viticulture and Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia. I certainly appreciate the information that Jamey shared via his blog! thumbsup I wrote to some of the fulfillment companies to obtain quotes before deciding on the company to work with.

With most of the preparation work completed, our last big decision is the timing of launch of the group orders. There are distributors and retailers that have taken in stock of our game to sell to their local customers. We thought we should find out about their stock levels as well as communicate our intention for such a group order first before going ahead. A number of the distributors and retailers replied to us and we are grateful for their support and feedback.

EU Group Order
We are going to launch the group orders by region, with the first region being EU member countries. We found out fairly recently that a handling fee was also charged by the courier company to the customer when they perform the custom clearance. With such a group order, customers from EU member countries are able to order the game at a much lower price without the need to incur additional custom duty/VAT/handling fee as the game will be shipped from within the EU.

The launch date of the EU group order is set at 1st September 2015 and it will remain open for two months.

For those who are interested, you may visit our Starting Player website for the EU group order. (Note: URL no longer in use)

The EU Group Order has ended and all orders were delivered by 3rd December 2015.

USA Group Order
The launch date of the USA group order is set at 7th September 2015 and it will remain open for two months.

For those who are interested, you may visit our Starting Player website for the USA group order. (Note: URL no longer in use)

The USA Group Order has ended and all orders were delivered by 3rd December 2015.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Subscribe to this geeklist or the Three Kingdoms Redux game page on BGG if you would like to be notified of future group orders in other regions. Do help us spread the word on the group orders! Thank you! meeple

Edit: To indicate that the group order URLs are no longer in use.
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23. Board Game: Three Kingdoms Redux [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:868]
Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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To be updated when there is further progress on Three Kingdoms Redux...

P.S. That's the artwork for Sima Yi 司馬懿, a key strategist and military commander of Wu Wei 魏, on the left.
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