Knapsack Updates

Here’s what’s going on with our projects: 

Knee Jerk

Back in Sept/Oct we ran our Knee Jerk Kickstarter. Since then we’ve been busy finishing up game variants, content and files for the printer. We ordered a pre-production copy of the game from PrintNinja and made a couple of changes before going for the production run, namely making the colors bolder and a minor grammar correction. We’ve since received updated digital proofs of the game and approved the game for production. Can’t wait to get our 3000 copies of Knee Jerk and ship them to backers! If you’d like more detailed info, you can read our project updates here. We're still at least a few months out from shipping.

In case you missed it, here is the quick-and-dirty unboxing of the pre-production copy, before modifying the colors to be even bolder:

Potioncraft (working title)

Potioncraft is coming along swimmingly. While testing the game at BGG.CON in November, a designer friend of mine analyzed the game from an action-cost point of view, and was able to find a new dominant strategy to the game. Since then, we’ve been testing many different iterations that combat this in clever ways. The key is to incentivize one of the game actions to make it more balanced. Our newest iteration not only incentives this, but also takes into account the color of the potions, which was previously not a part of the game. It was inspired by a new potion market theme for the game that my great writer friend developed. I’m excited to see where this leads to, because I think it’s another great step forward for the game. It crams in more strategy without heavily impacting cognitive load. 

On the art front, I'm very happy with our illustrator. Here are some early sketches for the player power characters. 

Super Powers

Boy, this project is tough. Early on we found a microgame version that was just 7 cards per player. It worked pretty well, but over time I realized it had three problems:

  1. It was good, but not great.
  2. It didn’t feel “super” enough to me – it just felt like a fight.
  3. It didn’t have enough legs as a product – not much replayability, not enough room for expandability, and little customizability.

Since then I’ve tried many different versions of the game. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but they are all different from each other, so the progress I’ve been making has been more on the “research” side than the “development” side. I’m hoping to settle on something soon. The closest one I have uses mechanics that splice rock-paper-scissors gameplay with deckbuilding, but without currencies.

I worry that the tabletop market can’t bear another super hero deckbuilder, especially one without major licenses. I could place the emphasis more on powers than heroes, but there’s plenty “customize yourself” games in the super hero genre as well. I’ll keep thinking on this one. I just want to go “pew pew!” at people but without the video game console in front of me!