zombie fight or flight

Third Backing Weekend: Results and thoughts!

With 59 votes Zombie Fight or Flight is the big winner of our third Backing Weekend.

zombie fight or flight

The process:

This week we promoted the poll only to our facebook page and to the STARTUP Board & Card Design facebook group. We also tweeted @nadanull_games a few times about the process.

We notified all creators (again we knew no one in person, neither did they know about the voting).

The poll had an immediate reaction, as the winning game got over 20 votes in the very first hours.

The thoughts:

Again we can’t overstate how important a role social media play when running a crowdfunding campaign: Even if you think that you have planned every possibility and every aspect of the process, maybe a stranger shows up out of nowhere and puts your game in a poll! Being alert is crucial in supporting your work in every possible channel.

Thanks to all participants and to our growing audience. We wish the best to all four wonderful projects towards their funding goal.

See you next backing weekend! 😉

kickstarter I am a backer badge

Backing Weekends 3

Here we are another Friday evening, looking forward to supporting a fresh game on Kickstarter! Let’s have a look on this week’s menu!

backer2

 

necronomicorp

 

-NecronomiCORP – The office survival horror game.

Old Ones in an office? Cool! Great illustration, very high tower, we like!

 

 

 

 

zombie fight or flight

 

-Zombie Fight or Flight

We are feeling zombified this week! Add some drinking and custom ceramic jars in the recipe, and you’ve got us!

 

 

 

cave people

 

-Cave People – The Card Game

Me find food…me evolve…me like honest video…me give monies to flipflop wearing caveperson.

 

 

 

 

pompeii wrath of vesuvius

 

-Pompeii: Wrath of Vesuvius

Secure your financial stronghold on Pompeii before the volcano goes boom. …We support!

 

 

 

 

 

So who is going to be the winner this week? You choose.

VOTE HERE

berghain

Second Backing Weekend: Results and thoughts!

This weeks’ backing weekends drew to a close. With 34 votes Berghain was a clear winner.

succesful backing

The process:

Similar to last week we put up an event on our facebook page and spread the word as much as possible throughout the weekend by posting in relevant  facebook groups, tweeting around the competition and posting in our timeline.

The thoughts:

This week’s poll made me think about the importance of social media when running a Kickstarter campaign. It is vastly important to be alert and ready to motivate your audience 24/7 during your campaign. No matter how good your project is you must make sure people know about it and what better way of doing that than a strong presence in all the social media channels. You as the creator know who your target audience is, so let them know that you are here.

Thanks to all participants and may all 4 wonderful projects get to their funding goal.

See you next backing weekend! 😉

 

tightrope walker

Doubtful Web Design

Today I will share with you the trouble I have in creating this web/blog/journal.  If you are a frequent visitor to this site, (I can’t imagine that there are many of you at this stage; but kudos to those of you who are), you’ll soon notice that things in this site tend to move around a lot…Especially if you visit us around midnight it really is a case of now you see me now you don’t, (I like to live dangerously- live editing the site? Yes. Down for maintenance? Nah).

There is a good reason for that and that is that I don’t really know what I am doing! I am merely trying out what works best as we go along…

At this stage in our game publishing endeavor the powers that be, (yes that is you Marilena), decided that it makes no sense to make a normal company website that goes:

“wow look at us we are the most amazing company in the world that you’ve never heard of and we are going to publish the most amazing game that you’ve ever played but we can’t show you anything yet cause nothings ready!”

Fair enough. I can live with that, company website three weeks work scraped no problem, I am cool… I am a creative overlord I can handle going back to zero .

Well as is evident in the text that you see meticulously placed in the front of the page this is more of  a daily journal on what we do everyday on our way to publishing our greatest game of all time saga. So no easy static page for you to make Konstantinos…no we have to make a frequently updating one.

Whining aside well yes it is a perfect idea and since we decided to be as transparent as possible in this whole thing it is the only way to go….So back to our main topic and in an eruption of honesty I was a bit skeptical of if I could actually deliver…Design overlord yes, but a bit of a rusty one nevertheless….Let’s see…apart from being a religious reader of smashing magazine what have I done webwise in the last 5 years…hmmmm zit nothing nada…well at least it goes with our glorious name…Lets go back a bit more in time…hmmm I can handle my html and css and do a mean flash but wait nobody uses flash anymore…css3? What is this 3 thing…why 3… oh HTML apparently has gone up to version 5…hey you can make stuff move with it now..no wonder they scraped flash…good riddance it wasn’t even working on apple devices plus it was a malware infested wormhole….  Ah since I want to make a blog I must be a madman not to use some form of cms…Hmmm I did work with drupal a couple of years ago maybe I’ll go with that…oh wait wordpress have this cool aceesibily ready feature…but no Konstantinos you’ve always frowned upon wordpress for being a ready made piece of junk that you can’t customize to your hearts desire…go with Drupal…Drupal is your friend you can use drupal to fulfill your wildest aesthetic dreams and climb on the pedestal reserved for geniuses such as you…Yes my dear self but wordpress  comes with accessibility build in and you have a 3 year old daughter…How long will it take you to build accessibility into drupal?drupal vs wordpress

….Ok self we shall go with wordpress and try to dismantle it as much as we can.

 

After this long soul searching and moments of self doubt I believe that we have the core of the site ready function wise. Design wise it doesn’t look so bad but give me some time oh cruel frequent reader and it shall improve….

I quickly found out that this accessibility ready thing was not so ready after all and there is work to be done on that aspect…I used a really nice paper like background for the main theme of the page, (I will make it a bit lighter in due time), from the amazing subtle patterns site.

The nifty posts carousel that greets you on the front page is an adaptation of the really amazing owl carousel, I need to tweak it a little bit to improve the accessibility for keyboard navigation, but it is on my things to do list.

…Ah I see that I have fallen into a web accessibility banter throughout the post…I do that because we feel it is important and because well since transparency is what we do here well we want our site to be accessible so we put a lot of thought into it.  For those of you interested on the subject I use AChecker to check my site for errors and I highly recommend it. Designing an accessible site really is more a practice of common sense rather than trying to be super technical. For example my owl carousel comes through clean but I know it needs some work…so I’ll fix it…The rather useful wcag guidelines can be found here,  and if you give it a quick skim you’ll see that it is all rather reasonable…Ah you’ll also need a good hex color contrast checker. I use the one by WebAIM.

[Mental note: I really need to change the color the web links hover state is. And yes unforgiving one my icons are not tagged properly I shall work towards it…]

logos

I think this post is beginning to grow a bit into a book…I’ll stop here and next time I shall discuss with you the epic saga of the facebook share button and the dreaded featured image resize…Also if you are good I shall discuss how to surgically remove via the force of a single php line the horrid gravatar build into wordpress. Adios

until sunday logo

Artwork Decisions

Today after a week of careful consolidations we reached a difficult decision regarding the game’s artwork…We were presented with two equally beautiful and equally impressive proposals for our game’s artwork by Spiros and Chiara from untilsunday.

until sunday logo

We were very happy that both proposals captured the spirit of our game and we honestly had an extremely difficult time selecting which one we will go forward with.

Spiros on the one hand, coming from a classical art background came up with some amazing hand drawn artwork which had a lot of thought behind it, (I was really amazed on his explanation on how he selected the colors on each category and the fact that you could find meaning behind his every stroke).  Chiara being a graphic designer came up with something equally impressive and we particularly liked her use of geometry in convening meaning…

We finally decided to go with Chiara’s proposal as we feel it is more accessible to a wider audience.  We also decided that we will keep Spiros artwork for an alternative version of the game, (maybe a Kickstarter stretch goal) as it is really a shame for such beautiful work to stay locked up in a drawer. Worst comes to worst I’ll get Spiros to frame his artwork and hang it in the office. I promise that in due time I will post both artworks for you..

tanto cuore deck building game poster

Essen Spiel 2016 – Day Three

Day three was really a big blur. Well it was crowded…actually crowded is an understatement. It was more like trying to squeeze an elephant as garnish in a B52 shot.

The above video from monkey butt game clearly illustrates my point.

The fact that it was going to be crowded dawned on me the moment I set foot in the subway. There was cue to get in a cue to get to the actual lane the train was leaving from. When you were in the lane you also had to que in a que that led up to a que to board the train. It took at least a good hours wait, before I managed to place myself on the about to board the train position.

crowds flock to Essen Spiel
The crowds flock to Essen Spiel.

Also driven by an inexplicable impulse I decided to leave all of my shopping for my last day in Essen, (this was a huge mistake, please dear reader avoid making the same choice at all costs). Saturday was so overwhelmingly busy that I found it impossible to locate any of the games that tickled my fancy the previous days but the most important thing is that I could not for the love of God locate the game I had singled out for my daughter.

Word of parenting advise: If your three year old asks: -Daddy did you buy me a game?
Never ever under no circumstance reply yes to that question, unless you have the actual item in your actual possession.

After a lot of effort, I managed to find the games I had singled out for my dear offspring, thus sporting a smile best befitting a man who’s just escaped the guillotine, I proceeded with my favorite pastime of generally loitering around and buying games for me and my friends.

I bought a couple of Lovecraftian coins from the excellent Drawlab entertainment and was chuffed to find out that CIV6 is coming out…Besides the actual games on display I was also amazed to see quite a lot of really cool illustrators showcasing their talents and made a note of Bjorn Barends whose work I really liked.

Also at the same time I made a mental note to kill the triangle from our logo…..Do you see a triangle in our logo?…If you do, it is only because I haven’t killed it yet! Triangle = mystical occult connotations stuff blah blah…NO…out you go triangle…Hello circle-rectangle or something else…Boss can I kill the triangle? I don’t know why I did the triangle in the first place…I must surely have been drunk.
[update: The boss likes the triangle…The triangle stays…apparently I am even lower in the chain of command than I thought.]

I also bought this really cool war game that looks like a cross between RISK and CIVILIZATION. It is called Leaders and is made by Rudy games, (check it out here). It combines a board game with an app to enrich the gaming experience and I cant wait to get home to give it a spin.

I also got my hands on Zmans pandemic: reign of cthulhu, (here ).
Cthulhu is cool…Zman is cool…me wanna play!

I was also really impressed by all the people going around in character. We had pirates, orcs, full on goths, warriors, puppies and even Army of Lovers type nurses pushing around steampunk dudes, (well maybe not the puppy dude…I don’t know…no offense to anyone but not my thing).

Train of thought makes handbrake stop at the Tanto Cuore stand… A manga inspired deck building game…The game is beautifully illustrated. They sell it in character. Verdict: WIN-WIN!

Also more words of advise…bring hard cash as most sellers won’t accept credit cards. I still beat my head against the wall for not being able to buy this drug smuggling game I came across…I looked as if the god of cool had materialized in the form of a boardgame. I must remember who the publishers are and how the game is called.
[edit..It is called DEAL: The American Dream, read about it here.. ].

Deer Lord party game logo
Deer Lord…The game

And also must not forget to mention DeerLord , although not my thing in terms of game type, (party game), I must give it to them…they had the graphic design really pinned down..I wouldn’t mind buying the game, even if it was only to decorate my living room.

Well that was it for my first year…I managed not to get too lost on the German rail system, (I have a habit of doing that with most countries rail systems), and be part of a spectacular eye opening event…See you next year Essen.

b movie themed game poster

Essen Spiel 2016 – Day Two

Well day two was my business day…I made loads of meetings and got to know a lot of friendly people from the games world, but fear not I will not bore you with anymore details from that, but I just wanted to say that I felt a great sense of community and camaraderie amongst gamers and game publishers alike, (even to a complete noob like myself).

Essen Spiel main lobby
The Essen Messe main entrance.

Actually another thing that took me by surprise was the really wide international representation on display at Essen. I was happy to see a lot of Mediterranean block publishers, (Spanish Greek and Italians) and the was a strong presence from Poland and Czech, especially when it came to manufacturing. As was expected a stong UK / Germany representation was evident, as both countries have a very strong gaming tradition, something which brings us to the Asians…..

manga poster
Yes..We like manga.

Their games are completely utterly and definitely based in a universe far out of this world. Be it for use of technology, (some company had this hologram thing going down), or be it for game concept they are definitely truly far out. I mean I was really really left with scratching the back of my head in bewilderment when I was faced with a game called SAN (from UBO). In it you are supposed to build mountains, yes mountains but not just any mountains….they have to be ”…mountains that look like you”. The game had nothing fancy just a very zen like board and some well wooden mountain bits…I bet an arm and a leg that no person in the western hemisphere, (even those of us with ample access to mind altering substances), would have thought of anything like that.

Moving on to more down to earth things and remembering that as a teenager I grew up an a steady diet of Bathory and Celtic Frost I can’t help but admit to being a sucker for all things LARP. Swords? Yes Please….Armour? Most certainly….Priests Robe?….Oh yes…But wait I am chaotic Evil, can I steal it from you and run away in the forest?…

As you can imagine I ran into the wonderful MYTHOLONS stand and I did spend quite a lot of time there vowing to return tomorrow, (my designated buy stuff day).

 

boardgames played at essen spiel

Essen Spiel 2016 – Day One

An Essen virgins tale.

I arrived in Dusseldorf airport having had a generous 2 hour shuteye and with one thing evident…the horribly erroneous selection of shoes and clothes I had made whilst packing. On a display of mental brilliance I had chosen to land on a quite freezing Deutschland sporting a mere t-shirt and a really cool but in serious need of breaking in, shiny new pair of shoes.  Congratulating myself on my snazzy dress sense and being introduced to my new friend the angry painful mr blister on right foot, I begun to fondly ponder the 3 days of loads of walking that lay ahead of me, whilst having an astounding resemblance to an icecube, due to the high level of cold protection my t-shirt was providing.

U11 subway to Essen Messe.
The pink tinted U11 subway to Essen Messe.

Those minor setbacks aside, I opted not to go anywhere near the hotel for fear of falling into a deathlike slumber and brave it, out by trying to navigate the German Rail system straight to Messe.

An hour later and after making a quick mental note to congratulate myself on being able to read the railway timetable and also board the correct train, I made a victorious arrival at Messe looking like a homeless person with a limp and in serious need of some sleep.I quickly ventured indoors driven by part curiosity, (remember it is my first time here), part self preservation, (outside cold – inside warm) and than it hit me….wow it is huge and full of a gazillion different games….

Essen Spiel game hall
Yes people do play games during the Essen Spiel.
People dressed as manga playing a balancing board game.
Some balancing game, obviously popular with room service.

I spent some time in the front entrance where they hold the smaller age group games, (I really must buy something for my daughter) and had a general walkaround to get a better feel for the place..I stumbled into some really cool metal dice that might go well with our game and some really impressive, but really out of budget gemstone dice.

 

 

 

I had a chat up with a polish manufacturer but lack of sleep made communication a bit difficult so I decided to do my Silent Bob routine for the rest of the day.

Silent Bob
This is Silent Bob..If you haven’t seen clerks please do! Trust me it’s good for you. Read about clerks here and the image is from here.

I was very very impressed with a war combat game that mixed classic board game with an app, (a combined game they called it), and made a mental note to invest on it later on.

At about 03:00 I had a stop to grab some currywurst which along with the blister and the freezing cold brought back fond memories of my last trip to Berlin. {Yes acute reader I always travel with wrong shoes light clothes and eat junk.}

Heading back to the hotel took me about an hour, but when I got there I was utterly gobsmacked…those last minute booking things really do pay off….I have never been to a more luxurious hotel in my life….I proceeded to passing out on the stuffed from something expensive and really fluffy bed whilst reminding myself not to get thirsty because I can’t really afford to buy water in this place…..