Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bringing all the Pieces to the Table with Realm Clash

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation! Today I’m joined by Jesse Jordan the creator of RealmClash.  Thank you for joining us today Jesse!

Thank you for reaching out and offering to interview us!

The project describes RealmClash as a hybrid tabletop game featuring CCG aspects, miniatures, and turn-based RPG style combat.  Can you expound on that?  

Growing up, when ever my friends got together, it was pretty much inevitable that we’d end up playing one of three games; Final Fantasy: Tactics, Magic: The Gathering, or Heroclix. I don’t even know how many hours we sunk into each of those games…

With RealmClash, I wanted to design a game that had all of my favorite aspects of those games, because I wanted it to be something that I knew me and my friends would love to play. We knew right from the start that grid maps and resource management were a must, and we knew that if we wanted to really keep it open in the sense that there would always be a ton of room for customization and individuality, the CCG aspect had to stay. Really, miniatures were the cherry on top - We needed something to keep track of where the units were going, why not awesome looking miniatures?
What makes RealmClash better than a standard table top wargame or a traditional CCG?  
It’s hard to answer this without self-promoting, but I’d say what makes it better than either of those two genres is the fact that we took the best of both worlds to heart when we designed RealmClash - The deck building and resource management aspects of CCGs meets the strategic positioning and troop management of wargaming - and put them both together under the umbrella of our massive and extensive lore, and it just made a thing of beauty unlike anything you’ve ever played before, haha.

Some of the cards summon creatures and such to help in the fight, are these the miniatures the Kickstarter is funding?  
Actually, ALL of the miniatures have a corresponding card, but the minis can’t be played out onto the board until their card is played. Imagine a game of chess where only the king starts out on the board, and then gradually summons help onto the battlefield, and then the help starts shooting fireballs at stuff. That’s RealmClash in a nutshell, haha.
The project mentions that players can customize their decks, are there extra cards in the starter sets that allow customization or will there just be expansion packs to buy?  If there are expansions will they be cards combined with miniatures?  

As it stands, the starter armies will come as they are - But even from the first stretch goal we have planned, we’ll be giving out tons of free cards, spells and even miniatures. As far as the expansion packs, yes, our minis will always come with their matching cards - We want to encourage collecting and trading, but we don’t want it to be a stressful ordeal, haha.

If we’re lucky enough to be able to succeed to the point that we reach this first wave of stretch goals, which top out at 50K, even the backers who have at least one starter kit in their pledge will end up with a pretty sizeable collection. the ones who pick up the multiplayer kits will have a downright monstrous collection!
Would you describe a typical round of RealmClash?  
A typical game of RealmClash is… Awesome. It’s the only word for it, haha! You’re looking down over your battlefield, your Warleader is in play waiting to summon the rest of your miniature army as soon as you draw them, and you’ve got this arsenal of spells at your disposal… It gets intense sometimes. Then, there’s the different strategies and win conditions you might run into, not to mention the variety of  playstyles - Some involve flooding the field with relatively inexpensive units to try to swarm your opponents, others focus on using a few powerful wizards and tons of spells to lock down the board with magic - You never know what you might be up against, haha.

The various maps look like they wouldn’t mesh up very well, can you explain how the various terrains effect gameplay?  
Terrain affects gameplay in three ways - First, it provides natural obstacles that need to be maneuvered around, but can also be used tactically to force bottlenecks on your opponents armies, or just to hide behind to avoid those pesky archers.
Second, each tile has an elemental alignment, which is defined by what color the outline of the tile is on the grid. A purple boxed tile is unholy ground, while a blue boxed tile is water. Since lots of spells and units have additional or sometimes bonus effects based on the tile type they might be on or that you might be targeting, choosing the right map for your army is just as important as choosing the right Warleader.  
Finally, each map actually has a special ability that only the player who controls it can access. For example, a player using the Volcanic Wasteland map can choose to spend some of their resources burning enemy units standing on certain tiles, while a player using the Plagued Cemetery gets a chance to revive any zombie unit that dies on unholy ground.

And as far as how they look and mesh up, we’ve got a really awesome visual reveal scheduled for early this week - We’ve been working on something we’re pretty excited about showing off, haha.
One of my biggest bugaboos for Kickstarters of all sizes is the budget breakdown.  Knowing that there is a plan for the money gives potential backers more reassurance in the campaign.  Is there any particular reason why you didn’t release a budget breakdown?   Where is the $12,500 going?  
To be honest, if we had known that people wanted to see one, we would have put it up from the beginning! Now that we know that people like to see it, we’ll be adding it to our campaign page right away.

As far as the breakdown, the 12,500 we’re asking for will get broken down like this:

-$2,000 is going to go to the construction of an open-source high resolution 3D printer, which we plan to use to make our own masters and molds with to keep production local, and save a TON of money that would otherwise have been spent on outsourcing. We’re very familiar with 3D printing, but the printer we have just doesn’t give us the quality we want, or that we think the players would want either.
-$500 is going to be spent on the materials needed for that 3D printer to print the masters.
-$2,500 will be going to cover all print-related costs, and by that, I mean printing the cards, the packaging, the rulebooks, you name it.
-The remaining $7,500 is going to be spent on the miniatures - Getting the molds, casts, models, sculpts and prints we need in order to complete the RealmClash core set.

If the gods of Kickstarter are kind to us and we manage to go beyond our goal, our focus with any extra funds will be the creation of new content, and getting as much of that content into the player’s hands as possible. We don’t want to be another one-shot game on Kickstarter - We want to try to make it big enough that RealmClash starts popping up in hobby shops all over the world, and people get together with their friends to play it and (hopefully) enjoy it as much as we do.

I notice your campaign says you’re in Canada, yet you’re not running a Canadian Kickstarter.  What made you decide to run the campaign in American dollars?  
That’s actually kind of a funny story. We started working on the RealmClash kickstarter campaign months ago, back before Canadians had the option to do their own kickstarter campaign. By the time we heard the news, we had already been promoting the launch of the current campaign, and didn’t want to risk delaying it by scraping it and starting it over as a Canadian one. In the end, we still couldn’t launch on the date we’d planned, because we got caught unawares by the Kickstarter review period, so it was just a pretty frustrating but admittedly funny chain of events.

We won’t be charging shipping to any Canadian backers, but right now the only way to do that is to have Canadian backers choose ‘US’ as their region.
How did you discover Kickstarter?

I discovered kickstarter through google, actually - I was searching for games that let you create your own character, and this link came up to a campaign where one of the pledge tiers let you create your own character that would appear in this video game. I thought it was the coolest thing, and I knew right then that if I ever did a game with the help of crowdfunding, I wanted to have that same option on my campaign… So I did, haha!
A key part of successful Kickstarters is backer participation and how to convert a potential backer into a full backer.   How are you engaging your backers?  What kinds of things do you have planned for updates to give notice to those who just hit the “remind me” button and surf on?  Interviews?  Videos?  Stories from the project?

That’s actually a really good question, and it’s one we’ve been asking ourselves lately as well. We definitely want to engage as many people as possible, and with that in mind, we’re going to be posting a ton of updates in the next week and a half. We’re also hoping to get our hands on some better video equipment to shoot a detailed ‘how to play’ video, and show some actual gameplay footage while we’re at it.
What kind of media attention have you received with your project?  How are you spreading the word?  Facebook?  Twitter?  Google+? Youtube?  Advertising?  Are you using Kicktraq to track your progress?  

We’re doing our best to spread the word through facebook, twitter and google plus, but as you can probably tell from our video, we don’t have much of a budget for A/V stuff, so youtube is out of the question. We also really don’t have a budget for advertising, so we’re just doing what we can through our social media and trying to get as many people to help spread the word as possible.

And I definitely check Kicktraq a little too often… I think I look at it more than I look at my watch on any given day since the launch, haha.
Do you have any tips/advice would you give to anyone looking to start a Kickstarter?

Read everything twice, then get someone else to read it twice, then get a third person to read it twice. You stare at something for so long that after a while, your mind just glosses over the details, and you don’t notice things like typos or inconsistencies with the tiers. Get as many fresh sets of eyes on it as possible!

Beyond that, do your best to promote it, and keep your fingers crossed the whole time.
Thank you for spending your time with us!  Do you have any final thoughts for our readers?

Two things!

One of the things I’m actually most proud of with RealmClash is its story - It’s got a backstory and planned narrative that have been in the works for quite a while. In fact, if we’re able to get funded, we want to give out free ebooks (and maybe even paperbacks if we can reach some stretchgoals!) that we have written to all the backers - Even if you backed 1$!

Second, Please, please PLEASE Check out our campaign! Our whole team is vested in making this game happen,  but the only way that we’ll be able to do it right now is if we get can get this last bit of funding. Tell your friends about it, tweet about it, head down to your  local hobby shops and rant about the awesome minion you created when you backed it!  

Our end goal with this game is to make RealmClash a permanent staple in the tabletop gaming world. It’s an ambitious goal, but we truly believe that with your help, we can make it happen.
Thanks again and I hope to hear good things from your Kickstarter!

Thanks! We really do too!

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