Thursday, April 25, 2013

Successful Selling!

The week of selling Masquerade card decks to Champlain College students has already proven to be wildly successful, more so than I thought. As of right now, the last remaining decks are on hold to be purchased. That's over 30 decks sold (or given away to the backers in school.)

If you're a Kickstarter backer, you'll be happy to know that your cards are going to get cut back in New Jersey and that I've sorted out the list of backer's addresses.

If you live in the New Jersey area, I'll probably go drive to you and hand deliver your prizes personally. If you're not local (and even out of country) expect it to be shipped to you. I'll message you or email you when the shipment goes out.

I have everything sorted out and am trying to reach out to several tabletop game producers. Someone suggested I get a one page document going, so here it is. Probably will hand these out at conventions and the like.

Speaking of conventions, anyone have any good suggestions for some over the summer? Cheers!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Scheduling for Shipping

To avoid some confusion in the coming month, here's going to be the absolute dates for all the shipping in terms of the books in cards in case you supporters would like to know anything.

15th- Final decks will be completed (missing card received)
19th- Senior Show, presenting Masquerade afterwards
20th-Remainder of month- Masquerade decks available for purchase to Champlain College students (in the game labs or upon requests)

4th- Graduation
6th-10th- Shipping dates for all Kickstarter backers

The reason we're looking at a shipping day a month from now is simply because this might be the only chance I'll get to give out the decks to many of the friends and supporters here at college before I might never see them again. That and there might be some polish we need to apply to the boxes to ensure their durability and I can't do that until I return home in May.

If you are a Kickstarter backer on Champlain College campus, I will find you and I will give you your prizes. Expect that soon.

If I know you personally, say you're family perhaps, I'll find a way to get you your backings soon too. For now the focus is successfully graduating. The future of Masquerade is looking bright though.

Thank you all!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Cards Are Here!

So I got them, yep. We're still missing a few due to printing issues, so don't expect to see any decks just yet. But the important thing is I can actually physically touch them.

If you live on the Champlain campus, please find me if you'd like to take a look at them. The cards came out really nice.

The Unpacking

The actual box. These still need a little work on the next print

All the cards save for one, we're missing the 61st card, the Plague Doctor

A close up on the cards. The art Deanna did is outstanding and really sticks out

The card backs
It's been a long, strange trip and there's still a long ways to go. After the missing card problem gets sorted out (I'll have to wait for another shipment from home for that), I can start to hand out these babies to some of the backers nearby.

I probably won't get everyone on Kickstarter their prizes until sometime in May though. Just a heads up. My capstone is the next biggest thing on my plate, that and preparing for graduation.

But please don't worry, the end is in sight. Thank you all for your support!

Friday, April 5, 2013

We're Printing!

I know this blog hasn't been updated in awhile, but things have been moving along on Facebook. We've already printed the books and we're working on printing the cards.

In fact, the cards have all been printed as of today (though there's a slight issue) and all they need to do is get cut out.

Here's what I mean, this is the card box
I'm expecting to see the cards in my hand next Tuesday. That means HOPEFULLY, the game will be ready to ship next weekend. But with the complications at the printers, we'll have to see.

If you're on the Champlain College campus though, expect to see the decks around. I'll be sure to show them.

Other than that, all that's left is the book signing and printing out the certificates some of the backers on Kickstarter have earned. There's also the matter of mentioning a few backers on this blog, which I'll be sure to do once the games have been shipped.

It's going to be an exciting week! Once more, check out the Facebook page if you haven't to see some of the pictures of the printing process.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Final Art Update

This is it guys! On tomorrow (Monday the 25th) we will be sending the final version of the cards to be printed from the printers. It is my hope to have them printed in a week and a half.

First off, I'd like to give a big, big thanks to Deanna Vaida who did all of the card art and Elliott Lutton who designed the Masquerade book and card layout. You can find Deanna's websites here and here. Elliott's main website is here.

And without further ado, here they are:

Blacksmith Roger- Roger is a tough man who spends his whole day smelting and hammering weapons for the guards. His is a booster card and offers a bonus to other card's attack.
Alchemist Leon- Roger's counterpart, Leon is a tricky wizard-like man who secretly experiments on his patients, testing potions and ointments on them. He grants a bonus to defense for all other cards.
Dancer Isabella- This exotic dancer comes from the South and captures the attention of all those around her. She plays the role of a mesmerizer in the game, distracting the opponent and weakening their cards. 
Henry the Bard- Henry is a singer who used to play the flute, but after an incident with a noble no longer carries any wind instruments. He's a cheery fellow who goes around bringing joy to anyone around him.
Nan the Disgruntled- Nan is the embodiment of anger in the commoners towards the nobility. She voices the rage they all feel towards the rich and even appears in the first chapter of Masquerade.
Squire Terry- Despite being so young, Terry is tougher than he looks. He's one of the orphans Newgate trains and is on his way to being a strong guard. In the book, he serves as a messenger for Wymund.
Doctor Pestilence- The special 61st card as requested by supporter Kenneth Deshotel.  According to Kenneth "An eerie man hidden behind a plague doctor mask.  He dons a long dark robe fastened with large buttons and a wide brimmed hat.  Little is known of this mysterious man but many believe him to be a doctor gone crazed.  He has a very ominous aurora about him and is often seen to be followed by ravens.  He always carries a twisted wooden cane and special herbs for his “medical practices”.  He addopted the name "Dr. Pestilence" due to his infatuation with disease and the number of deaths that seem to follow in his wake."
Thank you everyone for your support. More news will follow when the process of printing begins.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Art Update #10

Here we go guys. After this update, there will be only seven cards left to illustrate. That means, hopefully, within a week the cards will be ready to go.

The book has been approved and I will be sending for the final prints tomorrow.

So let's get this show on the road:

Chef Michaelson- This guy's model is the Swedish Chef, no doubt about that. The Chef came from the idea that assassins would undoubtedly use the food to poison their victims. As such, the Chef is pretty powerful but has low defense. 
Jester Foolset- I once heard a theory that comedian's souls are dark but they deflect with humor. Foolset was supposed to be a visualization of that. He's a self-destruction clown that plays with fire. Oh, and he juggles.
Butler Job- With the commoners, I wanted to explore mechanics that affect all the players in different ways. Job is the opposite of Foolset, in that he BENEFITS the other players. He's the sort of person who enjoys helping everyone because that gives him some fulfillment.
Mistress Eva- I don't want to say too much about her, because she plays a role in one of the major twists in the novel.   Eva is a beauty who fools nobles into spending the night with her and then robs them blind. Eventually, she abandons this lifestyle and opens up her own orphanage.
Serving Girl Emma- This character is a bit depressing. She hates her job because of how the male patrons treat her, but being a commoner with no choice, she can't quit. In a sense, she's the embodiment of the terrible lifestyle many peasants in Masquerade have to go through.
Hopefully, more updates soon!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Covers and Card Design

Here's just the quick announcement that the book will soon be printed. While we're waiting for the process to go through on, let's take a look at the final cover design.

The final book cover for Masquerade
I really like how Elliott stuck to the main colors of Masquerade, red, black, and white. It's a very simple and minimalistic style that I feel compliments the story very well. I look the blood dripping for the 'q' on the cover most of all.

Card front

Card back
After careful consideration, I decided to use the Masquerade novel cover for the card back. Adding a border made it look more like a card back, which I felt was everyone's initial criticism about it. This would give it a connection to the novel.

The card front is a cleaner version of the original design, keeping the wax seal and parchment look. This time there is more focus on the art, so we can showcase Deanna's hard work to the fullest.

We're just re-sizing the cover now to fit with the book. I'll post pictures of the printed copies as soon as I receive them.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Art Update #9

We're almost in the double digits for art updates! As for card art, there are 13 left to do. We're expecting everything to be ready before April begins, meaning we can ship the first or second week. A little later than I had originally expected, but I didn't count on finding an artist for the cards when I set the date on Kickstarter.

We'll get this done and it's going to look amazing.

Gravekeeper Anathema- Anathema is actually another character in the Masquerade book, in the novel he plays as one of Wymund's servants. But originally, he was a gravekeeper as we see him in this role now. Perhaps in future sequels, he'll assume his first role. We'll have to see. He's also blind, which explains the scars on his eyes.
Arthur Stout- Another soldier, only this one of noble blood, barely. The Stout family is a  rugged group from the north who struck it rich with gold in their mountains. This earned them a place in the Noble's Court, much to the annoyance of the other nobles. Arthur has decided he doesn't like the royal life and took up a job as a soldier.
Sir "Name Too Long To Say"- This character is a bit of a running joke  I made with how some medieval names can sound so extravagant and necessarily long. His real name is (god help me) Bartholomew Theodorothaniel the Third.
Guardsman Illbert- This short weaselly little guy is the guard at the main gate of the masquerade party. He's always on the look out and stops everyone he meets to inspect them. Really though, he's just angry that he doesn't get to patrol INSIDE the party like the other guards, so he feels he's missing out.
Wench Helga- The best way to get men to drink is to give them a little eye candy. The barkeeper at the masquerade party knows this apparently and puts forth Helga to serve the nobles their drinks. But so help you, if you touch Helga, you'll meet with the barkeeper's wrath.
I might post the new card design for the next update, we'll have to see when the next art update is though. Hopefully soon!

In the other news, I've been doing the last edits of the Masquerade book with plans on getting that printed next week.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Art Update #8

As promised, here we are later in the week with a new set of card pictures and 5 more already on the way. Things are really winding down here, the card art and card backs are nearly done. I'll be posting those soon as well. Lots of updates this week, or at least I'm hoping.

Also, I should probably mention here Elliott (our graphic designer) has a new portfolio website. Check it out.

And now, on with the unveiling:

Bodyguard Ogg- Another barbarian from the outland countries, Ogg has come here as  Jaroc's bodyguard. Unfortunately, he's lazy and sleeps a lot.
Richard Leowulf- Richard is a bit of an odd shaped man with lanky arms and legs, making him good with a spear. He's not too bright, especially for a guard and might have accidentally let in a few assassins.
Arthur Mourne- A young guard, but still very determined. He respects the  Guard Captain, Newgate, and the King. Though he can be a bit of a bully as a guard.
War Hero Jap Lancelot- Jap is a jouster and a knight. He is hailed as a war hero from the great battle between Berma, but really all he did was hide behind his troops.
Sergeant Oldman- The old trainer of the guard who still commands the respect of all the soldiers in Castle Dacre. He's pressing 70 years old.
So as you can see, there's a lot of soldiers here. But we're almost done and the last step will be finishing the commoners. I hope you're all as excited to see them as I am!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Art Update #7

With the book nearing total completion (just need to do a quick edit thanks to Wendy who looked it over for me), we can expect to see them printed soon. Hopefully within a week or two. All that's left is to wait on the card art, as I've stated in the previous post.

So here's the next update for art, lucky number 7.

Dame Sela- Her name is going to change. The Dame is every example of a tough guy who's actually a girl. She's the one who could kick every guy in the Barrack's butt. Except maybe Gunter Newgate.
"The Limper"- The definition of disgusting, the Limper is a tough soldier who has seen his fair share of things. His focus is defense, yet somehow he has managed to lose his leg and eye. The Limper makes a brief appearance in the book.
Princess Isolda- Another member of the royal family from the Pinelands. The Princess was secretly taken in my the Assassins Guild and raised to murder nobles in the Court with ease. On the outside, she's just a quiet girl with a pretty face.
Sir Oddo- The residential crazy person in the guards. Oddo is said to have a sad past, based on his insane ramblings, but even other guards are afraid to approach him and set him off. 
Sir Olaf- Another extreme in the guard, this time of gluttony. Often, Olaf is seen going into battle with a leg of ham instead of a mace. His hunger is only matched by his greed.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Marching into March

Hey guys, it's been a long time I feel since I've updated but I have been posting things to the Facebook page if you want constant news. I've done a lot of work on my own since the start of Spring break, but there hasn't been any recent art. Expect some later this week though!

I, myself, have been running around all week trying to find literacy agents for the Masquerade book and talking to printers for the cards. There's good news on both fronts too.

The good news for the printers is that we found someone willing and able to do it below the price range I was expecting, meaning we may have some extra budget to work with. No promises though! There's still much to do and combined with the costs of the box, we'll just have to see.

The promise I can make is that everything is all set and we're waiting on the art to be finished up. It's going to look perfect.

As for the literacy agents, I've heard back from a few of them...They declined. But that doesn't discourage me one bit. There's plenty of agents out there and it's only a matter of finding the right one for Masquerade. Expect to hear news on if one is found as soon as I receive word.

The next update will be an art one. Look forward to it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Art Update #6

With the map done and the book layout underway, the request for addresses has been sent out through Kickstarter. Check your emails or message me if you haven't gotten the survey, I will need your address if you backed me up on Kickstarter and wish to receive your copy of Masquerade.

Other than that, it's time for a art update with our wonderful artist Deanna Vaida.

Enfroy: Enfroy is a man from the far south, where little is known about the culture there. As such, his choice of weapons are completely exotic, earning him the nickname "of the Exotic Blade."

The Black Widow: Not all assassins are armored men, some prefer a subtle approach. The Black Widow has earned her name by seducing men in Court and then killing them in their sleep.

Guildmaster Le'Blanc: The guildmaster of the league of assassins in Avalot, Le'Blanc is a veteran killer. He's quite skilled but longs for retirement where he can relax and smoke his pipe all day. 

Court Assassin Timm: Many assassins are hired thugs but Timm is a pampered assassin. He is under the direct control of the Noble's Court and obeys their commands but is treated royally for it.

Looys the Copycat: Some assassins use swords, other use daggers. Looys uses taunts and mimicry to lure his targets into attacking him. Distracted by anger, he can easily do away with them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Map of Avalot

Just a few minor updates for today. I've decided to start collecting shipping addresses this weekend, if you backed up our project on Kickstarter expect an email requesting details. Besides that, I'll be pushing to get the book in ebook and printing format over the weekend. Perhaps we will see the first printed copy in a few weeks!

Here's the sneak peek of the Avalot map promised to those who have donated at least $100 to the Kickstarter. It's my hope that this will be poster sized when we mail it out.

In other news, completed earlier this week was the Masquerade card game tutorial video, or the test run at least. Check it out and give some feedback so we can improve it!

More art updates soon for the card game art! Again, expect those emails regarding shipping info so you can claim your own Masquerade prizes!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Art Update #5

We're almost at the halfway point now, I'll be expecting the last 5 until 30 card pictures in the next few days. This means that we're making pretty good schedule and hopefully we'll see the cards printed in a matter of weeks.

I plan on getting shipping information from all the Kickstarter backers next week, so keep your heads up on your emails folks.

Aside that, I want to finish up all details for the novel this week so that it's ready to print. Card details are still being worked out, including the printer. But that should all get sorted out by spring break in March.

Now, you all came to see card art. And here we go:

Ghost the Silent Killer: Ghost almost never talks, she prefers to simply kill her targets and be done with it. As a result, she's one of the most deadly assassins in the game.
Mary the Shiv: Mary gets her name from the small knife she uses to slit between her target's ribs. Because she's so small and unsettling, they never see her coming before it's too late.
Thomas Two Strikes: Thomas is obsessed with the number two, and carries around two of everything. He was driven mad by the loss of his eye as a result of his face being uneven.

Walter the Brave: Walter is a lord who has been in many wars and earned several medals. However, what no one knows is that he spent most of those wars hiding in the corner.
Stay tuned for more updates really soon this week.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Update for the Month

This isn't an art update this time, but an update for where the project is in terms of printing as of today (February 12th). We've done a lot so far including almost half of the card art and finalizing the card design and book cover, but there's still a lot to go.

The list is as follows and will be done by March:

  1. Finalize rulebook art and wording
  2. Finalize the card box art
  3. Decide on the card back design (See the Facebook group for comparison)
  4. Start filming How-To-Play video and put it together
  5. Get Kickstarter shipping addresses
  6. Decide on a printer
  7. Have someone read the Masquerade book to approve it thus far
It's not a whole lot to do, but there's some work that needs doing this month. Expect the How-To-Play video up next week, that's my goal for that. I'll do the Kickstarter shipping addresses for all my backers late in the month when we decide on the printer.

More art will appear next time as well as the final card design, hopefully.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Art Update #4

It's been awhile but then again, this has been a busy week in terms of organizing things. The work with the printers has been hectic, but thanks to my family things have been going pretty well. We may even be able to stay under our budget and get more decks printed than I originally hoped!

Anyway, onto the art, as I know that's what many of you come here for. As always, thanks Deanna for your hard-work:

Count Ida: Once a beauty, the Countess has taken to eating to distract herself from her long dead lover. She is also known as the "whale woman" to more of the crueler nobles.

Bishop Shepard: The Church in Avo has fallen on hard times as of late. But for some reason, the Bishop can still afford many accessories well beyond a clergyman's salary.
Prince Drago: The Prince of the Pinelands has something of an ego. His glimmering armor and smiling face hides the twisted envy and careless pride underneath the surface.
Gossip Lady Avelyn: Lady Avelyn is the worst gossip in the kingdom. She talks badly about others because she is far too ugly and has terrible personality.

Still waiting on the new card design images. Hopefully we'll have something to show you guys soon!