14-02-2016: Personal Musings - Mark Brendan

At the time of writing this we're down to the last few days of the Kickstarter, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to put some thoughts down about how it's all gone. The first thing to say is a huge thank you to our backers for supporting us through what has been, it is fair to say, a bit of a rollercoaster. You are stars, and to echo John's comments on the Kickstarter, you are more than mere backers, you are partners in this.

The Kickstarter was highly anticipated, thanks in no small part to the guys at Beasts of War, who we've worked closely with on the promotion of the game, and we made our funding target in very short order. After that initial surge, however, things became problematic.

We were mostly neophytes at Kickstarter, and we made some fundamental errors in the set up that would continue to dog us throughout the project. The pledging system was confusing, and potential backers lacked a lot of basic information on what they would actually be getting for their money. This was compounded by the fact that, although we made beta rules available on the Age of Tyrants website, there was virtually no easy to access information on gameplay or the abilities of the different units for making up the armies.

Other issues included no starter sets or fixed deals to take the mystery out of buying, and we hadn't included the option to select individual bases with the pledge. Quite a list of charges, so we had to move rapidly to make it all right. It took three weeks to get there, with major changes and updates nearly every day during that period, but in the end we managed to knock the campaign into good shape. We had a lot of support getting there, thanks especially to Hairy Gamers and Anything But for the gameplay videos, and Sean Spud Tate for setting up the Facebook group.

With four days to go, we're in a good place with it now. We've added a few more backers and we're well into the stretch goals. With a bit of luck, by the end we will have attracted enough backers to release everything we want to and have a thriving community for this game.

Before I sign off, there was of course one thing that happened that eclipsed all others. Wayne England passed away. He was fundamental to AoT and we all miss him dearly. For my part, I worked with Wayne way back at GW's design studio and remember him as the most genuine and decent bloke. On AoT his work has been prolific and exemplary. He was personally a source of great encouragement and positivity in our messenger chats, and we were even talking about doing a graphic novel after the project. RIP Sir.

-Mark Brendan

Mark Brendan
Author: Mark BrendanWebsite: https://gamesmeat.wordpress.com/
Writer & Game Designer