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The latest Kickstarter update for the board game adaptation of Divinity: Original Sin starts by assuring us that the project is still on track despite the current events. The update then answers some pledge manager-related questions, shows off the optional masterwork game board and briefly mentions the project’s future. Here are the text bits:
Welcome to Kickstarter update number 18!
We wanted to begin this update by addressing how development and production will be affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. The good news is that China is getting back on track, which means we don't foresee any problems with our supply and production chain. The first element that goes into production are the miniatures, which are nearly all approved, so STL files will be sent to our Chinese partners soon. The bad news is that the blind playtesting groups we had planned will need to be delayed due to the fact that the schools, universities, and overseas travel participants cannot make it because each of these things are effectively shut down.
Not to worry, development of the game continues on track, as our teams have been mostly working remotely since the beginning, so this is generally nothing new. Art, internal story work and mechanics testing will proceed normally. Our initial hopes for playtesting involved at least three rounds of blind playtesting - each with new groups of players - with rounds of iteration in between. Playtesting in this manner takes time but will be very important due to the huge number of permutations within the game. Much like the Divinity videogames, the way we’ve mixed mechanics and narrative will be a monumental challenge to QA, and we need to playtest as much as we can. As a result, we don’t know how this will impact the timings for the final release of the game until we have a better understanding of when playtesting can begin in earnest.
With that addressed, it’s been nearly two weeks since the pledge manager went live, so we wanted to let you know what we've been up to, what's coming next, and to answer some questions you've had for us.
We have responses and action for many of the questions or concerns regarding the launch of the pledge manager.
- Some of you have been asking about a vegan bag option as an alternative to the leather bags you can receive as part of the Premium and Extended editions of the game. We’ve secured a new, non-leather option. That will go live in the pledge manager soon.
- We know that some of you are awaiting further information on certain items before you complete your pledge. Some of these items are in the final stages of development, and we’ll have more details about them as soon as they’re available. Once you have this information, we’ll certainly give you time to make informed decisions. After this, we’ll announce a date of closing for the pledge manager. To give you some idea, this may be somewhere in June, but we’ll keep you updated.
- Regarding mispriced items (Chinese shipping, as well as the Boss Upgrade Pack), these errors are now corrected. If either of these affected you before we fixed them, you will be (or will have been) credited with the difference in your CrowdOx account. This is the method by which CrowdOx have processed the difference, but if you would like a refund you are welcome to request one via support using support[at]crowdox.com.
- We have a long term goal to translate the game for a few language groups, but this will need to be a project for after Kickstarter fulfillment. This won’t happen for the first run. With nearly 1600 cards and 14 story books the game is heavily language dependent, so the task is quite the undertaking. As always, we want to get this right.
- Shipping! We've got questions about some of the shipping prices on the pledge manager. During the campaign, we estimated a weight of 5kg for the final Extended Edition pledge. Thanks to all the support and completed Stretch Goals, the weight of the final box [Including 14 story books, 1596 cards (all 63x88mm), 47 miniatures, 342 tokens, 32 dice, 20 metal coins & 2 items bags] is now much closer to 10kg! We're working with experienced partners with multiple hubs around the world in an effort to make the shipping as affordable as possible with a game of this size and weight.
Our last update showed a picture of the prototype Wyrmwood Masterwork board. Since then the artisans at Wyrmwood have updated the Masterwork board to make it brighter and they’ve added brass inlays to all the numbering. Lots of small changes that make a big difference and an overall improvement to the quality of the board!
An Exciting Future
When we first came to Kickstarter with the game, we knew it had the potential to give players a great adventure and an experience to remember with their play groups. We wanted to see what you, the community, thought about it and where a Kickstarter campaign could bring it. Much like Divinity: Original Sin 2 the videogame, the stretch goals unlocked by your support (items like expanded NPC's, The Dungeon, Environmental Interactions, Nightmare mode and the Origin Story Books) have increased the depth of quality in the game and add a much broader set of options for us as developers and you as players. For example, with Environmental Interactions we’ve been surprised that so many locations can feel and play differently now that elemental gameplay isn’t necessarily linked to specific cards. That's directly thanks to you hitting the environmental interactions stretch goal; it's unlocked even more potential for interesting encounters using the location cards.
Internal playtesting and iteration continues. Content is near complete and we've been having plenty of fun in our own playthroughs. We're excited for what this game is going to be, and a huge part of that has been thanks to your enthusiasm and support.
Once playtesting gets under way and fine-tuning becomes our primary focus, our updates will become more frequent so we can show you how development is progressing. We'll share the interesting challenges we come across, show examples of the new stretch goal features, share our playtesting results, and deep dives into mechanics during the iteration process.
Thank you all for your support and stay safe, everyone