Wednesday, July 23

I'm Back!

Both at home and at work :-)

While I was away I received the signed contract from Dirk Liekens so I can now confirm that Sumeria (formerly known as Codename: Ancient) will be released in time for Essen next year under the Reiver Games banner. I've a brief comment on my website, but with no artwork yet it will be a while before the game is properly listed. I now need something to slot in early next year (potentially a UK Games Expo release), something cheap to make (like a card game) is the order of the day.

I've spent most of today overhauling the Carpe Astra rules based on feedback from Ted's blind playtesting held in the States last week. It seems to have been well received and the rules feedback is invaluable - writing rules has got to be one of the hardest parts of games design.

In other news, I sent the last of the proofs back to Cartamundi yesterday, they should have it finished in three weeks time. I'm going to close the pre-order list when I receive the sample back from them, from then on I'll only be shipping to shops and distributors. It looks like the US distributors want to see a finished copy before they order any, so it's going to be a couple of months at least before it reaches widespread US distribution. Boards and Bits seem interested though, so if they order directly from me, it might be available over there sooner. Yesterday I also uploaded the artwork to another publisher who is interested in making It's Alive! available in another language, hopefully I'll hear back from them fairly soon.

I've got to decide on a pricing structure for Essen too. I'm getting a couple of press enquiries, which include a request for my prices at the fair. It's a difficult line to walk, I want to offer a discount, to draw people in, but at the same time I need to be careful not to step on the toes of my other stockists. It's Alive! will retail at 19.95 EUR and be available in shops before the show, so I think I'd better be especially careful with this one. Carpe Astra is likely to be £20 / 25 EUR and won't be available before the show. I'm thinking full price for It's Alive! and 5 EUR discount for Carpe Astra (down to 20 EUR), with maybe a further 5 EUR discount if you buy both. If you've been to Essen, how does this sound? Too tight? Too generous? Likely to get me in trouble?


Anonymous said...

For a new release game at Essen I would have though you will have to price aggressively. The ultra-hardcore are there and especially for boardgamegeek they make up the early buzz for a game so for a relative unknown you want to be going home in as many suitcases as possible.

Although - saying that, most of the ultra-hardcore players are quite rich so will buy a game anyway! I know you have the charisma to sell them!

Last year, the new Surprised Scare game Scandaroon was released at €20 and fared unfortunately badly because people thought it was expensive for a "card game". They eventually reduced the price to €15 which I think sold a few more but wasn't good on the margins. Tough call but I think Essen is more about the exposure than the bottom line.

Jack said...

Hiya Ben,

Thanks for the advice, so you think 25 EUR -> 20 EUR is not enough?



SteveK said...

Excellent news about Sumeria. It's a shame I have to wait until late 2009 to get hold of a copy, can you imagine my state of excitement having this to look forward to for 15 whole months!?!

If you need another playtesting group, I'm pretty sure I could talk a bunch of people into playing it a few times.

Did you say you were at ManorCon this weekend?

Jack said...

Hiya Steve,

Though you'd be excited :-)

It's being tested in Germany as we speak, and I'll probably send a copy to the US too. I'm sure you'll get a chance to play at a con before next October...



Anonymous said...

I'm not an expert but it probably depends on how the show is going.

For comparison, of the card games I remember last year at the show:

Scandaroon: €20
Race for the Galaxy €25

Scandaroon has more bits (and a board) but looks a lot more like a traditional card game than RftG. RftG has the theme advantage too.

The new (small run) big box games were €40 or even €50 for Kingsburg.

The new games from the big publishers were around €20 for SdJ Zooloretto and €25 for games like Thebes, with big savings/free gifts when buying several.

It is probably best to play it by ear - maybe start off at €25 and see how it goes, dropping to €20 (or not) depending on comments and sales.

Jack said...

In terms of components, Carpe Astra is not a card game really, it's got 97 cards, but it also has tiles, counters, coin chits and wooden pieces, it definitely plays more like a board game.