July 23rd, 2017:
Today, I sat down with Kevin & April Cox from KnA Games. We played Hunt Master and the couple seemed to really enjoy it. Kevin started strong, but April managed to make a comeback to steal the monster hunting crown from Kevin. That’s another strong appeal of the game. You’re never really out of the game, even if you have a slow start.
KnA Games released a board game called Space Movers, not long ago. Kevin and April were generous enough to share stories about their success and the obstacles they ran into. One of the main decisions that came from the meeting was about a Kickstarter campaign for Hunt Master. I have definitely decided to spend a couple of months promoting, then running a Kickstarter campaign during the month of October. It sounds like I should allow a couple of months for production and shipping. That means an official release would be in January or February of 2018. It seems so far away and I wish everything could happen faster, but taking the time to do things right will lead to a better chance of success.
July 22nd, 2017
I’m documenting this little journey about the challenges of publishing a game in case it can help others, and to hopefully generate some buzz for Hunt Master. I’m figuring out a lot of things as I go. I feel fortunate that I have a friend like Elf, that happens to be a fantastic artist and has been willing to take this journey with me. Since we both have a history in the rock music scene, we both realize that you have to put in a lot of hard work in advance. You cross your fingers, give it your best shot, and hope it pays off when the dust settles.
July 17th, 2017:
“THE PROTOTYPE ARRIVED! Last Friday, I restlessly watched the online tracking information until I saw that my package had finally arrived at my home. My wonderful wife swiftly transported the precious cargo to me at The Comic Monstore, where we marveled at the two copies of the game (one for me and one for Elf). ‘IT’S ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE!’ Yeah, I guess I felt a little like Dr. Frankenstein watching his creation come to life. Overall, I am very pleased with Game Crafter‘s work, but I realized that some of the cards printed a bit darker than I’d like. I can fix that, though.
What’s the next step? Well, I’m kinda figuring things out as I go because I’ve never published a game before. I have found the articles by James Mathe, an entrepreneur, game designer, and publisher, to be very helpful. After making some minor adjustments, I plan to print a few more copies of the game with Game Crafter. I will send those out to reviewers and visit my gaming distributors. I’m hoping that being a customer for 14 years will help me get a foot in the door with distribution. A Kickstarter campaign is also on the agenda.
I would like to give a huge “THANK YOU” to my friends that have been supportive of this project. Some of you have even mentioned wanting one of the prototypes. Sorry, there are only two of those. However, it is possible for me to order a few extra copies from Game Crafter when I place the order for the reviewers. Unfortunately, printing with Game Crafter (an American, print on demand company) is a little more pricey than printing a large print run in China. Soon, I will make an announcement about how YOU can get a very limited First Printing, American made, personalized copy of the game months before it’s official release.
July 4th, 2017:
“While at a multi-fandom convention in 2016, I sat in the tabletop gaming room with my 10-year-old son. As we waited for the convention to wind down from a fun-filled weekend, we started brainstorming about making our own game. My son enjoys a variety of board games and card games, plus he tends to catch on quickly. He tossed out the idea of making a superhero card game and we came up with several interesting concepts. That conversation got the gears in my head moving. While we are still working on the superhero card game, another idea rose to the top. I have always been intrigued by the unknown and the monsters that may be lurking there. In elementary school, I checked out every book about Bigfoot that I could find. I wanted to learn the secrets of Roswell and I wanted to catch a Chupacabra. Hunt Master is a family-friendly, card game that captures that feeling of mystery. I enlisted the help of an old friend, Elf. Yep, that’s his name. I’ve known him for over two decades and I still don’t know his last name, but he is a fantastic artist. When he started sharing some of his concepts with me, I felt more and more confident that I could turn this little idea into reality. On July 4th, 2017, I finally finished the graphic design work and uploaded all the images to Game Crafter, a print on demand company for aspiring game designers. I should have my prototype in hand within a couple of weeks. Then, I plan to get together with other NC game designers like Kevin Cox, David Gregg and Andrew John Haigh for some advice on how to proceed. Stay tuned.”
-Ray Franks (aka Abby Normal)
“You can accomplish great things but you have to create your future.”