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Posted on /by Nathan McNair/in Dinosaur Island, King's Life, News, Pandasaurus Games, Red Scare, State of the Saurus, Wasteland Express Delivery Service/ 1

State of the Saurus – July 18, 2017

About a year ago this was a semi-irregular blog post that we would post on our website to let you know what we are doing, what we have going on and what you have to look forward to.  Then, like lots of good ideas it sort of fell by the wayside because the business of making board games got in the way.

This is the official relaunch of State of the Saurus.  It will likely morph into a multi-media thing over the next few weeks in the way of a video blog and may include things like interviews with our friends in the industry, designers we work with, etc.

So, what’s going on in Pandaland?  A lot actually, and we’ll start with a warning, there are going to be lots of instances of “Project I can’t talk about” in this week’s post.

A friend appears

Last Friday JR Honeycutt made the 3.5 hour drive down from Ft. Worth Texas to come hang with us.  Well, hand with us and give us the first look at one of our 2018 game releases.  We’ve heard a lot of good buzz about playtests from other publishers and game designers but had not actually seen this secret project ourselves.

Also, he brought Kolaches from Czech Stop in West, Texas (the city, not the direction).  If you have not had these, I am sorry.  It’s a rite of passage of the drive from Austin/San Antonio to the DFW metroplex.  Halfway between both cities and just North of Waco.  You can wait in-line for the confections for upwards of 30 minutes and it’s super worth it.

On Friday night Molly and I played the game ourselves while JR took notes.   Everything about this was far more amazing than I can imagine.  You are all in for a hell of a treat come next Summer.  It’s one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had playtesting one of our games.  JR and his [REDACTED] co-designer have done a hell of a job [REDACTED ENTIRE SENTENCE].

Saturday we invited some friends and family over to play through the game a few times while we took notes.  A couple of good notes that we took away and will make a few slight tweaks to the reward system for [REDACTED].  Overall, that playtest went really well.  Gamers and non-gamers alike were at the table and everyone could follow along and have fun.  We’ll show the game to [redacted] at GenCon and probably have to travel to [redacted] for final approval of everything.

Saturday night we headed up to the Emerald Tavern (a game café in North Austin) and took a look at Restoration Games’ Downforce along with Hunter from Steve Jackson Games and Brent from Studio Woe (Gruff).  The game is really something special.  Though, I think I commented that they took the best game about the best Southern sport and turned it into some kind of fancy New England/European open wheel racing.  Something lots of people don’t know about me is that I was a young red-neck child which included traveling to Talladega, Darlington and Bristol for Nascar races.  Which means, I owned and played a ton of Downforce in a previous iteration when it was called Daytona 500.  The game is very true to the feeling of that game, but has streamlined the bidding process in a way that works *really* well.  This is a game you should all be playing.

Wasteland Express Delivery Service

Wasteland Express Delivery Service finally hit our warehouse and is now starting it’s journey to customers who pre-ordered the game with us on our website.  It will be released to FLGS and OLGS day and date with GenCon, and boy do we have some fun marketing and events coming up for that.

We will communicate more later, but we will have IN STORE demos of the game the week of GenCon.  So, for all you GenCant’ers out there we’ll have something fun for you to do the week of Wasteland release.

Wasteland express is completely 100% sold-out at the publisher level, and it looks like more than a few stores are also sold out.  So, if you want a copy of the game at release you have a few options 1) Call your FLGS and make sure they have a copy with your name on it.  2) Find us at GenCon.  We have copies for sale there, but suspect we will sell out during the show.  So, come to our booth early and often.

We are going to have a re-print of WEDS hitting in October of 2017 with another smaller shipment in November of 2017.  So, if you missed out on the first printing you will be able to get it this holiday season.  We stepped out on a bit of a ledge here with this reprint (it’s larger than the first printing), so it would mean the absolute world to us if you let your FLGS and OLGS know how much you want WEDS.  We’re doing a lot of marketing on our end, but we can only do so much without the help of our fans.

Also, get ready because in early August we will have a content creation contest for Wasteland Express.  We will be putting up on dropbox *all* of our PSD file templates for the Event deck, Raider Deck, Ally Deck, 3 factiond decks and priority-first-class-contract decks.  We may even put up files for the creation of new Truckers.  This will allow the Wasteland Express community to create original content for the game that looks as good as the existing in-game assets.  We will be selecting winners to get a free copy of Wasteland Express for their work, so get to brain storming what you would like to see in the world of Wasteland Express.

Also, if you haven’t been keeping up, some of the early WEDS reviews are in.  Geek and Sundry, Ars Technica, Bleeding Cool and Man Vs Meeple have all fallen in love with Wasteland Express.  Charlie and Raf of G&S and Ars have both named it to their top 5 games of the year to this point.  It’s always great seeing the early reaction to a product be as good as you thought it would be.  After years of blood, sweat and tears going into this game, it’s really validating.

Other things

Lots of other stuff this week.

  • We got final-final confirmation that Red Scare and King’s Life will make GenCon and hit retail in September after that.
  • We are about to get proofs of Dino Island plastic bits, which is really really exciting and once we confirm everything looks good we’ll have a better idea on pinning down when the game will ship.
  • We got our final 2017 game off to the printers. I can’t talk about it till GenCon, but oh man this is something really cool and very very unique.  Should have a mass-produced copy at GenCon as well to show off on camera.

I think that is it for this week’s State of the Saurus!  Thanks for checking it out, and be sure to come back next week where I’ll spend some time talking about games that we’ve been playing (I could have spent a lot more space here about a great Scythe playthrough, Great Western Trail or Flipships).

Till next week,

  • Nathan

 

Posted on /by Molly Wardlaw/in Wasteland Express Delivery Service, Wasteland Wednesdays, Wasteland Wednesdays/ 2

Wasteland Wednesday – Gone Gold

PRE-ORDER WASTELAND EXPRESS TODAY!

It’s been a while since a Wasteland Wednesday, primarily because there has been a lot going on in Pandasaurus Land that you’ll all be hearing about very soon.  And secondarily because Wasteland hit a point of nitty gritty detail work that was not as sexy to show as some of the earlier artwork that had been finished.

So, today we have the final! Rulebook (sans the story mode so you don’t all going spoiling yourselves before the game is out), and we have final production dice and miniatures.  Those will be at the bottom of this post, if you don’t want to keep reading, but I suggest you do!

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Today I want to talk about production design on a game.  Most of the time when you get a game back from a designer or design team there are lots of paths you can choose.  Some of these seem rather obvious like:  Do I include wood in the game?  Does it need miniatures?  Should that player board be punchboard or cardstock?  Should we put flavor text on the cards or not?  Should all the cards have unique artwork?  Does the art on the board need to look like a map or like a birds eye view of the world?  Does the player board need art on it or just boxes to make your action selection on?

We wound up answering in the most complex (and expensive) way we could on all of these questions.  We also added a few more like:  should we include custom gametrayz that will fit all of the pieces, not just as a storage method but as an integrated part of the gameplay experience?  Should we model all of the goods cubes?  Should we have them nest in the back of player trucks?  Should we hire a super talented famous comic book artist to illustrate the game?  Should we chuck the cardboard action selection and turn them into amazing 3d modeled cogs?

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This has led Wasteland Express to be the most overproduced game I have ever been involved with.  Overproduced does not mean we made the wrong decision.  We just made the expensive decision that added a lot of complexity (and time) to the production process.   The production budget (art, 3d modeling, etc) is probably equal to every other game that we have put out combined.   I know for a fact that it is higher than lots of very big games from publishers that all of you love because this industry has super friendly people who have told me our budget is way North of theirs.   This might mean that I am a big dummy and should not have spent as much or put as much into this game as we did.

But I also know one very important thing:  This game is really special.  I’ve had an inkling ever since I first saw the prototype and got the elevator pitch.  I knew it for a fact the first time I ever played it.  I doubly knew it was true when my brother in law asked if he could play it again after his first playtest of the game.  I believe this is one of the best board games I have ever played, and I knew that if we nurtured it just right we could have a game that is something extra special for players.  Jon, Matt and Ben trusted us to handle a world and a game that could be one of the best of the year, and we wanted to do it justice.

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Now that we have gone gold and I look at what we have put together, I am confident that we accomplished what we set out to.  From the insane amount of effort put into the story.  To the number of eyeballs we put on the rulebook (and the number of tiny revisions before everyone was happy with it).  To the work that Noah is still doing on getting the Tray inserts just right.  I am really, really proud to put our logo on the front of the box of this game, and I think you will all be extremely happy with the results.

So, that leads us to where are we now?  The miniatures and dice are fully and completely ready to ship.  The printed components are being finalized now.  Once the white-core PPC copy (a white game that punches out with no artwork) is to Noah at Gametrayz (www.gametrayz.com) he will finalize the tray design and those will be injection molded and added to the game.

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So, when you get your Wasteland box early next year you are going to notice something strange.  The lid of an already very large box (Descent size for reference) is not going to close.  The cardboard punch will rest above the box bottom and be shrink wrapped shut.  Once you have punched all of the components and slotted them into the Trayz where they go the lid will shut exactly as designed and you’ll have a snugly packed box of plastic tray inserts.   You’ll also never have to separate any components to play the game or messy up the table with piles of cardboard since the trayz will be used during gameplay to keep everything tidy on the table.

Your next Wasteland Wednesday will be a way off.  Probably when we have a production copy or a cool update on the trayz.  But for now, the game has gone gold and I couldn’t be happier.  We’re gonna keep pre-orders open for a little longer because there is no real reason not to at this point, to feel free and pre-order WEDS here:  PRE-ORDER WASTELAND EXPRESS TODAY!

Wasteland Express Delivery Service Rulebook

 

Posted on /by Nathan McNair/in Wasteland Express Delivery Service, Wasteland Wednesdays, Wasteland Wednesdays/ 1

Wasteland Wednesday – All the Rest

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Short update today.  Mostly odds and ends we haven’t shown you yet.  Character standees and the Not Welcome standees (these represent where you last sold goods, and where you are not welcome for a while because you were a jerk).    We also have the market price/Artifact price board.  Market price adjusts based on the demand from cities for various goods, so you’ll have food, water and weapon sculpts moving around the price wheel.  The artifacts are a constantly increasing price.  So as players buy artifacts, the price will only ever go up.  Also showing off the trailer, which Jason did a fantastic job of looking like a post-it note that someone took a sharpie to in order to make it “match” the dashboard.  Lots of fun little details in the game that really make the world feel very lived in.

Other than that, lots of cards in their final layout.

Next up is the rulebook.  Well, most of the rulebook 🙂  We’re gonna keep the campaign mode secret.  We’ve had 5 different rulebook editors plus the design team and Pandasaurus pour over the text of the rulebook and are finishing up the layout now.  Then it’s box back and we’re off to the races 🙂  We’re gonna keep pre-orders open for a little longer because there is no real reason not to at this point, to feel free and pre-order WEDS here:  PRE-ORDER WASTELAND EXPRESS TODAY!

 

Posted on /by Nathan McNair/in Wasteland Express Delivery Service, Wasteland Wednesdays, Wasteland Wednesdays

Wasteland Wednesday – All of the Raiders and Allys

PRE-ORDER WASTELAND EXPRESS TODAY!

 

Hey everyone!  This week we are showing off a gallery of a ton of Riccardo’s artwork.  This is most of the Raiders and Ally deck of cards, though not 100%.  I also wanted to give you a rough look at the card layout for the Raiders so you get an idea of how these guys are going to work in the context of the final product.

weds-raider-mockup

Oh, and a potato phone image of some custom dice!

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Next up is the rest of the board and and the rulebook.  We’re gonna keep pre-orders open for a little longer because there is no real reason not to at this point, to feel free and pre-order WEDS here:  PRE-ORDER WASTELAND EXPRESS TODAY!

 

Posted on /by Nathan McNair/in Wasteland Express Delivery Service, Wasteland Wednesdays, Wasteland Wednesdays/ 3

Wasteland Wednesday – The One with Mini Tooling Masters

PRE-ORDER WASTELAND EXPRESS TODAY!

 

Hey guys, it’s been a few weeks of much needed vacation for team Pandasaurus, and a long overdue Wasteland Wednesday that is coming at you one day late because we were hoping to get these boss miniature proofs in.  Obviously the colors are not the actual color and these dudes are made out of resin.  I also tried to take some good photos, but my lense is probably not exactly the right one for these dudes.

Next week, we’ll share the rest of Riccardo’s artwork, and after that the rulebook.  We’re gonna keep pre-orders open for a little longer because there is no real reason not to at this point, to feel free and pre-order WEDS here:  PRE-ORDER WASTELAND EXPRESS TODAY!

 

Posted on /by Nathan McNair/in Demo posts

Slider Post: A Simple Slider Post for Starters

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