Sunday, January 4, 2015

Broken Contract: 2014 in Review

Early concept art by Oliver Zavala. This art pre-dated the escaping miners storyline that the game is currently based around.

2014 was a very exciting year for me. This, the Broken Contract Design Blog, was launched in late January 2014. With each month that past, the project evolved. What began as a rough set of rules and a couple pages of story developed into a thematic rule set and a much deeper setting with many paths for future adventures. The first two pieces of art conceived by Oliver Zavala helped frame the context for future artists, Samuel Alcarez and John "Geng" Gendall.

One of the earliest play testing nights at my old place in Chicago.

Over the months I hosted play testing sessions in my home, Next Dimension Games (RIP) and Dimo's Pizza (all in Chicago), and got a lot of great feedback that inspired better scenarios, and a more dynamic set of rules. I used Miniature Addicts Anonymous regularly to solicit feedback on art and sculpts, and found most of it insightful. As time went on, we also honed the look and feel of the play cards and other game aids.

Orphan by John "Geng" Gendall

In September, we did attempt a Kickstarter that failed and that was a disappointing experience. However, I think it was a necessary learning experience that allowed us to glean a lot more information on what we needed to be successful, and how to repackage and re-attack crowd funding going into 2015.

This piece of Sam Alcarez concept art is one of many that are kicking around waiting to be fleshed out and used.

By the end of 2014 Broken Contact had accumulated a bunch of art from artists like John "Geng" Gendall, Samuel Alcarez, Oliver Zavala, and Colin Swanson-White, a half dozen 3D renders from sculptor Tim Barry, and two printed prototypes from VisionProto. Not to mention additional writing from Robert Ferrick, and editing help from Robert Ferrick, Michael Hughes, Lisa Quintero, and Jesse Lex. Play testing was done by Brian Parisi, Charles Hickey, Will Blood, Efran "Monkey" Ramirez, Daniel Kessler, Josh Kolakowski, Josh Raymond, and Aaron Schmidt. Its been a real team effort getting to where we are.

New concept art by John "Geng" Gendall.

I feel great hope and excitement for what awaits us in 2015. I just moved from Chicago to Milwaukee and am amped to get involved in the Milwaukee gaming community. In the meantime, Tim is working on 3 new sculpts. VisionProto just contacted me to let me know 3 more 3D prints have been completed and are ready to ship. And of course, more great pieces of art and writing are in the works. We're gearing up for another crowd funding attempt, and of course AdeptiCon is closing in on us rapidly. It should be a fun and hectic new year ahead so stay tuned!

-Nick and the Broken Contract Team!

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