Monday, January 21, 2013

Rivet Wars

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am pleased to be joined by Kevin from Cool Mini or Not to talk about their latest Kickstarter project Rivet Wars!  Thank you for joining us today Kevin.

Thank you for having me. I am glad to be here talking about what has quickly become one of my favorite projects.

This is your fifth Kickstarter with all four of your previous ones being successful I think you’ve got this whole “Kickstarter thing” figured out.  What brings you back for a fifth time?  

We really like the opportunity that we have with Kickstarter. It gives us a chance to get a game almost finished, toss it out into the world and see if people agree with us that its amazing. On top of that it give us immediate feedback, at a point where we can still do something about it. All good things.

The other thing it does is allow us to take risks with designers with original ideas. We can know before we commit if something is going to work and take on a project that would otherwise never have seen the light of day due to the start up costs and risks involved.

I think it also helps with getting a new property established. In the tabletop industry, if you are not known it can be hard to get into stores or distribution. With kickstarter, we can show that a game has an established base that really want it and that the game has legs. It basically rushes the first 6 months of scary time hoping your game will pick up and run into a short campaign. 

What’s the secret to your success on Kickstarter?  What do you think that you’re doing right that others aren’t?  

The only secret I think we have is that we have great games in the works. We have a good reputation for making good products.
We know how to make these things so we know what we can do. I think we are very careful to not overcommit in the heat of the moment and not be able to fulfill our promises.

As always your minis look awesome!  How do you maintain such a high mini quality?  Both in the modeling and in the promo paint schemes?  

We are very lucky to work with some of the best in the world. Having such a huge background in miniatures give us a lot of existing relationships to tap when it comes to things like painting.

Where did the inspiration for this game come from?  The project page mentions being influenced by RTS mechanics.  Who picked the visual theme especially with the chunky soldiers?  

The gameplay is influenced by the way an RTS has you and your opponents constantly creating new units and throwing them into the fight.  With RW we didn't want the player to start with a pre built army but instead to be able to react to what their enemy was doing at any point during the game.
Rivet Wars started with a sketch Ted Terranova did of a Robotic Tank called the Ver Tank.  To add depth to that sketch, a turn of the century themed world was built around it.  That led to the creation of a world map, the Blight enemy faction and all the various soldiers and vehicles that inhabit the world.  The chunky soldiers are based on the shape of a cross section of a rivet.

Who came up with the mechanical designs?  I they’re very thematic and I can think of several different ways they can be painted up to create a different feel.  

All the units are designed by Ted Terranova in sketch form or sometimes as low resolution models using 3D software. This combination of 3D and sketching allows Ted to add very complex systems of gears, motors and hydraulics while also ensuring that these elements look functional. Many pieces are referenced from real world tanks, engines, etc. All this detail creates a great opportunity for people to customize their Rivet Army with different types of paint, weathering and insignia.

So how does the mechanics of this game vary from other mini games out there like Warhammer 40K or Warmachine?  

Well first and foremost Rivet Wars is a board game. Its played on a grid so there is no freeform movement or measuring or line of sight to deal with. There is also no army building, you have access to everything, and each turn you are going to decide what you want to spawn to the table.

The game has very simple rules but is very tactically deep. I think the thing I like most about it is that games are really decided by the decisions made by the players with a little bit of random to keep things interesting.

What’s a Hero Plug?  
Plugs are an add on for some of the other models out there. They add special rules or a new attack, or maybe boost a stat depending. Hero Plugs are plugs that represent a hero and as a result are only allowed to be used once and when they die they cannot come back.

How hard are your miniatures to assemble?  How experienced a mini player/painter do you need to be to enjoy your games?

One of the things we learned early on in our publishing journey is that boardgame players do not like to assemble things the way miniatures players do. With that knowledge we know that we want this game to come fully assembled.
You will be able to open the box and play no fuss no muss.

Are there future expansions planned post-kickstarter?  Would you bring an expansion to Kickstarter?  

We actually have a shocking amount of products planned for this game easily the next 2 years of support.

For expansions, we do not like to launch expansions on kickstarter we like to use it as a launch platform for a product line, not for a specific product. At least thats where we are today. I know a lot of companies are launching everything on Kickstarter these days, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

How playable is the game “out of the box” without any of the Kickstarter extras?  

The kickstarter allowed us to make some great upgrades to the retail box early on. Those upgrades will be seen in every copy of the game (plastic tokens, increasing the number of some of the models to stuff the box full, adding in some more stuff as well)

The game plays great right out of that box. The kickstarter extras are just that, extra. They allow for some larger game play or perhaps some extended options (choosing to spawn more cav that you could without the extras just because you have the models for example). These options are all gonna be a blast but they are extra.

Some of the content we are into now is actually from our planned first expansion for the core box, so those will be available as a retail item in the future.

Do you take a sadistic pride in teasing folks like me who can’t buy your games due to little kids/families?  

Of course I do. :P

HA, not really, I like it when people can play our games and we work hard to make them both accessible and affordable, while still being up to our standards. I think this game for example is very kid friendly.

Do you have any tips/advice would you give to anyone looking to start a Kickstarter?

Think hard about what you are doing and how you are going to fulfill it. There are so many horror stories out there of people having a great campaign and then basically losing all of it to shipping/manufacturing costs of the extras they promise.

Thank you for spending your time with us!  Do you have any final thoughts for our readers?

Come check us out, and get in the fight!

Thanks again and I hope to hear good things from your Kickstarter!

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