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Crowdfunding: Kickstarter» Forums » General

Subject: True Messiah, board game of surreal religious horror -- now on Kickstarter! rss

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Craig Stern
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True Messiah is a strategy board game of surreal religious horror--a fever dream of deck-building, board control, and tactics. Dali meets Dune by way of a nightmare.

2-4 players, 60-120 minutes.


Check out the Kickstarter!



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Magic Pink
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You had me at the awesome theme, lost me with the UndeadViking review.
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Craig Stern
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Hey Magic Pink! Out of curiosity, what about the UndeadViking review lost you?
 
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David E
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Sinister Design wrote:
Hey Magic Pink! Out of curiosity, what about the UndeadViking review lost you?



UndeadViking has been the subject of some controversy here on BGG, because he does paid reviews and thus some people consider him "untrustworthy."

It is not a big deal to most people, but there is a very vocal contingent that has strong feelings about him and basically seems to be boycotting any game with an UndeadViking review.
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Craig Stern
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Ahhhh, gotcha.

I'll say this: given the option of paying money to be reviewed or not, I'd obviously prefer "not." (I like my money staying right where it is, thanks!)

There's a reason why guys like UV are in the board games ecosystem right now, though. From what numerous other developers tell me, KS backers, by and large, won't spend money on an unreviewed board game; which is really bad, because there are shockingly few outlets that are willing to cover a board game in any capacity before it's been manufactured (let alone review it, let alone do so before it's been successfully Kickstarted!) Certainly not for a solo indie developer like me. And of those few that will, I'm sure you can guess how many are willing to do so for a game like mine, with a theme that isn't "family-oriented."

Anyway! I don't want to turn this thread into a debate about UV. I just hope that if you don't care for UV, you'll be willing to look at all the other stuff I went to the trouble of putting up there and make an informed judgment about whether or not you'll like the game, regardless of UV's opinion.
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Michael Bechard
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Quote:
Inspired in part by the works of Zdzisław Beksiński


Hhhhhhhell yeah.devildevildevil

Who did the artwork?

Thanks,
Michael Bechard
 
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Craig Stern
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Thanks Michael! I handled the art direction; the art itself is by a bevy of talented artists. Namely:

Chenthooran Nambiarooran
Rostislav Zagornov
Franklin Chan
Tim Barton
David Hammond
David Mann
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Brendan Riley
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Sinister Design wrote:
Ahhhh, gotcha.

I'll say this: given the option of paying money to be reviewed or not, I'd obviously prefer "not." (I like my money staying right where it is, thanks!)

There's a reason why guys like UV are in the board games ecosystem right now, though. From what numerous other developers tell me, KS backers, by and large, won't spend money on an unreviewed board game; which is really bad, because there are shockingly few outlets that are willing to cover a board game in any capacity before it's been manufactured (let alone review it, let alone do so before it's been successfully Kickstarted!) Certainly not for a solo indie developer like me. And of those few that will, I'm sure you can guess how many are willing to do so for a game like mine, with a theme that isn't "family-oriented."

Anyway! I don't want to turn this thread into a debate about UV. I just hope that if you don't care for UV, you'll be willing to look at all the other stuff I went to the trouble of putting up there and make an informed judgment about whether or not you'll like the game, regardless of UV's opinion.


Writing as another indie developer, I have found this to be absolutely true. That said, our group decided a long time ago not to call anything we paid for a "review." I don't think it hurts to call it a "preview" though.

One thing you could do is post a gameplay video, so people can see what it's like to play the game. Your instruction video is pretty great.

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Nathan Ehlers
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It definitely hurts that UV is the only review on the page. There are others you can quickly locate through bgg or looking at the top funding board game kickstarters. Some kickstarters have half a dozen independent reviews or previews or however you want to spin it. The most common reviewer I see pop on kickstarters is actually Rhado (Richard Ham). Not having him there, but having UV just tells me you quickly googled who you can pay to slap on your KS page.
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Craig Stern
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Thanks Brendan! As it happens, I'm in the process of shooting a bunch of more detailed "how to play" videos right now, so hopefully backers will get a better sense of the game's intricacies as the campaign goes on.

Nathan, I understand your concerns. However, I actually emailed dozens of different people about the game--Youtubers, websites, podcasts, and so on. I spent many hours Googling, trawling BGG, and searching Youtube to find these folks, and then supplemented my own list with James Mathe's public list of board games press for good measure.

Of all the places I emailed, Polyhedron Collider was one of the few that responded, and they actually did ultimately do a preview of the game (without demanding payment, I might add!) You can read the full thing here--I didn't link to the full review on the KS page, however, as I think they made a couple of serious mistakes in their analysis (most notably: failing to see the advantages of going early in the turn order, and not knowing to counter a turtling player).

Note that I messaged Rahdo as well, back in mid-July, via BGG's messaging system--he responded the same day, very politely:

Quote:
hi there, I took a look, but i'm afraid TM is not the sort of game that we tend to go for, as we generally avoid PVP direct conflict games. I wish you the best of luck with the campaign!


For better or worse, UV and Nick Meenachan were, in fact, the only two Youtubers who responded to me and were willing to produce a video preview of the game. I wish that this weren't the case, but hey: it is what it is.
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Daniel Drickman
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Sinister Design wrote:
Thanks Brendan! As it happens, I'm in the process of shooting a bunch of more detailed "how to play" videos right now, so hopefully backers will get a better sense of the game's intricacies as the campaign goes on.

Nathan, I understand your concerns. However, I actually emailed dozens of different people about the game--Youtubers, websites, podcasts, and so on. I spent many hours Googling, trawling BGG, and searching Youtube to find these folks, and then supplemented my own list with James Mathe's public list of board games press for good measure.

Of all the places I emailed, Polyhedron Collider was one of the few that responded, and they actually did ultimately do a preview of the game (without demanding payment, I might add!) You can read the full thing here--I didn't link to the full review on the KS page, however, as I think they made a couple of serious mistakes in their analysis (most notably: failing to see the advantages of going early in the turn order, and not knowing to counter a turtling player).

Note that I messaged Rahdo as well, back in mid-July, via BGG's messaging system--he responded the same day, very politely:

Quote:
hi there, I took a look, but i'm afraid TM is not the sort of game that we tend to go for, as we generally avoid PVP direct conflict games. I wish you the best of luck with the campaign!


For better or worse, UV and Nick Meenachan were, in fact, the only two Youtubers who responded to me and were willing to produce a video preview of the game. I wish that this weren't the case, but hey: it is what it is.


For most I don't think the issue is using this or that person, it's the disclosure part of it. Use Undead Viking if you want but require him to disclose it as a paid preview. I'd personally gain respect for you or anyone who had this requirement of the people they pay.
 
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Craig Stern
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I'd like to--but of course, then I'm back to that whole "you need reviews" thing. If I can find another Youtube personality willing and able to give the game a fair and detailed review without charging for it, then believe me, I would be more than happy to place that up on the project page in place of UV's! I do still have an extra review copy available to send out, so I'll see if I can make it happen.

In other news: I'm pleased to report that True Messiah has reached 100 backers and is now 20% funded! Not too shabby, I'd say, for being halfway through Day 2.
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Shane
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This looks fantastic.
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Craig Stern
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Thanks, man! Much appreciated.
 
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Michael Bechard
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Thanks for all the info, Craig, and I'm glad that your project is off to a great start. One thing I would like to see is a copy of the rules. There's the 3 minute how-to-play video, but I'd like to actually read the rules that will come with the game and digest the details at my own pace. I think others would like this too.

Any way you could put a link to the rules on the KS page?

Thanks,
Michael Bechard
 
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Craig Stern
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Hey Michael! The rulebook is actually linked directly below that 3-minute video on the Kickstarter page; folks seem to be missing it, though, so I think I'll edit the project page to make the link harder to overlook!
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Markus Weihrauch
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Really cool theme and nice looking artwork (what I could see so far). Hope it'll make it!
 
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Craig Stern
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Thanks Markus--me too!

Speaking of which: things have begun to slow down a bit, but we're still doing pretty well. By my count, we'll hit 25% funding if we get just 12 more backers. (If you're on the fence, why not take a moment to check out the new "how to play" videos I just posted and see if you want in?)
 
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Ryan Boyle
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This looks really good man. Best of luck with the campaign.
 
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Craig Stern
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Thank you, Ryan! I appreciate that.
 
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Craig Stern
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Another update! I showed the game at ValorCon this weekend, where we had a tremendously positive response. We're now more than 31% funded--things are going rather swimmingly.
 
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Lawrence
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A few notes:

Under "The Premise"
Quote:
Without resort to a shared external reality, civilization crumbled like a sand castle in the tide.


This sentence doesn't make much sense. Perhaps "resorting"? Bad grammar tends to be one of my personal flags that show a lack of attention to detail.

---
Like others have mentioned, the UndeadViking review isn't exactly very reassuring. If you aren't able to get some of the more prominent reviewers (Rahdo, DiceTower, etc.), it might help to release a decent PNP so other BGG users can try it out and write their own reviews. Personally, I only back card-based games that have PNPs (Evolution, Hero Realms, Mottainai to name a few).
 
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Craig Stern
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That's not bad grammar, actually--see: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/resort+to

I should know--my degree is in English.
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Brendan Riley
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Sinister Design wrote:
Another update! I showed the game at ValorCon this weekend, where we had a tremendously positive response. We're now more than 31% funded--things are going rather swimmingly.


Glad it went well, sorry I missed it!
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Claudio Coppini
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I don't understand all the fuss about UV.

Can't people just watch his runthrough of the game leaving out his personal comments?

Anyway, game looks great but...any solo mode planned??
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