November 3, 2015

New True Messiah Card Art!

Hey folks! Just a quick update on True Messiah here. Progress is continuing nicely; True Messiah now has a proper home page, as well as a page on BoardGameGeek.

True Messiah’s card art is now nearly complete, with 34 of the game’s 40 unique card types fully illustrated, the card back finalized, and card fronts in close-to-final form! Have a look and see for yourself:

Pretty sweet, eh?

In other news, I’ve been learning that marketing a board game when you don’t have all of the art finalized and a printed prototype available to use is really hard. This isn’t like a video game, where I can build a new version and take screenshots / record a Youtube video with something new and exciting every couple of weeks; with a board game, the art has to make the leap from digital to physical before it can be shown off in the game environment. Printing a one-off prototype with said art will cost me something like $40-50, and without all the art finished, I’ll just have to replace it with a new one down the road anyway.

Nor am I willing to use my janky-looking hand-made prototype for marketing materials. There is one playable copy of True Messiah currently in existence: it consists of checkers pieces, a small handful of chess bishops, an 18″ x 18″ hand-cut square of museum board, a ziploc bag full of pennies, and a bunch of playing cards in plastic sleeves with printed paper rectangles slid into them. I learned my lesson about showing off games too early with Telepath Tactics; I don’t want janky images or video of True Messiah sticking around the internet forever, only to emerge as top results when people search for the game next year or beyond!

Thus far, the best solution I’ve been able to come up with is bipartite: (a) post isolated bits of card and concept art, and (b) gradually reveal more about the game’s rules and how it’s played. (Speaking of which: the True Messiah home page now has a fairly detailed breakdown of how the game is played! Check it out!)

The next step will be for me to put this game out in the wild for people to actually play so I can drum up some enthusiasm. But how? Simple! I’ve created a Print-and-Play version of the game and a beta version of the rulebook; once it gets to be a liiiiiittle bit closer to the date of the Kickstarter, I’ll be releasing those publicly.

You can follow me on Twitter and “Become a Fan” of True Messiah on BoardGameGeek to keep up on updates as the game’s development continues. And if you haven’t yet, don’t forget to sign up to receive an email notification when the Kickstarter goes live!

Thanks for reading, guys. Not to get all sappy on you or anything, but I would just like to express how much your support has meant to me over the years, and how much it continues to mean to me to have you all by my side as I stride boldly forward into this strange and frightening frontier of Boardgameland. This whole “actually manufacturing things IRL” thing is pretty crazy.

Until next time!

  • Mr.Jalapeno

    Hey crig, if feasible why not use a digital board to show case some of your ideas. You could easily import the art as it changes, as well as keep all the logic offline. While this might not be the best for kick starter promotional material it might garner interest among your long time fans.

  • CraigStern

    The thought had occurred to me! It seems to me like it’s not the sort of thing that will play well in the board game scene, though, and given that I like the thought of doing a video game adaptation of True Messiah, I’d rather hold off on releasing anything like that until I can do something polished and interactive. (First impressions and all that.)