Final playtest board and Gen Con 50!

We're stoked to be at Gen Con 50 this year. It'll be our first, and we think we're jumping in on a good one!

Since signing on with Grey Fox for publishing, we've been working hard and focusing on making After the Empire the best possible game we can now that they're taking care of all the marketing and other heavy lifting. This has enabled us to make some really good changes, improve the experience for the first time player, and clean up a few things that had always felt just a little bit off.

The base game design is ready to go and we're excited to show it to Grey Fox for final approval, as well as all the last minute play-testing with you in case we totally missed something! We don't have a booth, so be on the lookout for us or just shoot us an email if you'd like to meet up and get a sneak peak or play-test. Here is our last play-test board by Print and Play in Vancouver, WA before Grey Fox helps us clean it up and make it all shiny, professional, and otherwise amazing!

It's official - Grey Fox Games will publish After the Empire!

Okay, enough with the suspense. Over the weekend at Origins, we officially finalized what is a very momentous and life-changing agreement for our little design company. We're more than ecstatic to be working with the wonderful folks at Grey Fox Games to publish After the Empire!

This is not only an incredibly great turn of fate for our first offering from Portland Gamecraft, but it comes at the perfect time. In the last several months, we've been spending a lot of our time getting ready for all the logistics of manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, shipping, advertising, sales, promotion, graphic design, final touches, Kickstarter preparations, fulfillment, etc. Basically, all the stuff that we don't really want to do and that takes energy away from actually working on the game itself. Now, we can focus more on exactly what we love doing: working diligently to finish up development and make After the Empire the best darn game we can! So, when it comes out next year, you will be able to enjoy it even more than ever before! And I can't think of a better partner to take care of all that other very important stuff than the Grey Fox team, whose know-how and experience will help us make After the Empire really shine!

We can't wait to be sitting on local game store shelves along side the likes of Champions of Midgard! So, get your finest noble robes, stone-working gloves, sturdy swords, and well-laid battle-plans ready...After the Empire is heading your way!

Exciting news (teaser)!

You may have noticed we haven't written a post in a few weeks. Part of this is because we've been so busy going to conventions like Geekway to the West and KublaCon and meeting all you wonderful folks. Another reason is there have been some very exciting developments for After the Empire, about which we're brimming with excitement, but which we can't just yet divulge.

What we can say is we've been furiously playtesting and streamlining the game to make it the best it can be. We're striving to allow an easier and more enjoyable learning experience for first timers, without losing any of the great strategy, complexity, and variation that's always been why we enjoy playing After the Empire time and time again.

So, stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for us to reveal what we're so excited about!

Geekway to the West!

Don't forget to come find us this weekend in Missouri!

"Four days of peace, love, and board games in St. Charles, Missouri, May 18th-21st at the 13th annual Geekway to the West!"

Come join us for a wonderful weekend of gaming! We will be at the Geekway prototype event on the tables in the lobby area near the library Friday night from 6pm - 9pm. Aside from that, we'll just be setting up wherever we can find a spot. See you there!

A quick and un-official play-through video!

We are still waiting to put much information out about the actual game mechanics until we're 100% certain we are finished tweaking rules. This is so when After the Empire is released there will be no confusion when anyone tries to lookup resources and finds any older materials that may be outdated at that time.

But, we also understand that we need to put a little something out there, so people can get an idea of how to play this game, so they can tell if they might be interested. So, We made this brief little video last month with the sub heading "In-development rules as of 4/4/17" showing one round of the game.

Also, you get to see Ryan and Evan supporting their local game store (of which Ryan is co-owner), the Portland Game Store.

Here's the link: https://youtu.be/3mG6XHRtPyM

PDXAGE and our big announcement!

We really enjoyed our time this weekend at PDXAGE (sadly, the last). We had the pleasure of playing After the Empire with so many wonderful folks! It was great to catch up with our old friends and meet so many new ones to help us work out a few more kinks!

The folks at Blue Heron were kind enough to loan us one of their wonderful plastic dice and bits trays (see below) to help keep our play space organized!

A couple of the great folks helping us to put the finishing touches on our game before we launch our Kickstarter! Check out those stone walls! Impenetrable...well, at least until the Trebuchet shows up.

And the wonderfully supportive folks from Daily Magic Games came and gave me a run for my money in a 4 player game! If you don't already know, they are very active and generous in building and growing our entire gaming industry as well as the local gaming community in Seattle and Portland. Oh, plus they make awesome games! You should check out their live Kickstarter for their newest project, Sailing Toward Osiris, here!

Okay, so what's the big announcement? We've finally chosen our official Kickstarter launch date: August 16th, 2017!

A few of you in the know may be thinking "wait a minute, you said JUNE!" It's true, we had been shooting for mid to late June up till this point. And, it served us very well as a goal-post to help drive progress forward at a strong pace. We sat down for our Monday meeting determined to finalize our launch date. We considered many factors. There were of course a few non-game-related ones, including my upcoming honeymoon trip to Scotland. Scotland!? Awesome, right!? Except Evan would've been gone for 10 days smack dab in the middle of our previously estimated campaign time. And, of course, there was finals week for Ryan (good luck!), as well as various other of life's many important non-game-related things. But, with proper planning, those were all surmountable challenges to a successful Kickstarter in and of themselves.

The real reason is: we were rushing to get everything done. Don't get us wrong, we're not slowing down one bit as we finish up all our remaining graphic design and information presentation challenges. But, we are going to make sure everything is in place and ready to not only make a successful Kickstarter (with your help!), but most importantly, to make the best darn game we can for ourselves and for you all. We'll get in those last few playtests of that one little rule tweak, double check the placement of that one little icon, make sure the stone wall pieces fit together all nice and cuddly, and triple check that our rulebook can be read and understood by people who didn't make the game.

We believe After the Empire is already a great game as it currently sits on the table. And, it's only going to get better with the proper time to smooth the last rough edges. We strive to make the best game we can, a game we're proud of and stand behind in the years to come. Thank you all so much for your time, your enthusiasm, and your support! Let's make After the Empire known across tables everywhere!

PDXAGE Update!

Hello, all! We have table assignments in place for this weekend, so those of you who are coming out will know where to find us:

Friday, May 5th: Table B (4pm - 8pm)
Saturday, May 6th: Table E (10am - 8pm)
Sunday, May 7th: Table E (10am - 4pm)

Columbia Conference Center
Holiday Inn Portland Airport
8439 NE Columbia Blvd, Portland, OR 97220
http://www.pdxage.com

More information:
Aquire at ticket:
https://www.lanreg.org/pdxage/pdxage4
Scheduled Games at PDXAGE:
http://bit.ly/2ooyJs4
Sign up to play scheduled games:
https://goo.gl/forms/rL4TqfCP9bPBHWF93
PDXAGE Game Library:
http://www.pdxage.com/age/index.php/game-library

Come out and join us at PDXage this weekend!

We'll be at PDXage this weekend from Friday, May 5 around 2:00pm through Sunday, May 7 about 4:00pm. We're not pre-scheduling game times for this one. We'll be running After the Empire back to back, so just swing by to say hi and either jump in or claim your spot for the next game. Come join us and all the other great developers in the DEV section below:

Some of the developers may also be in the nearby FP (free play) tables, as DEV space is limited even for those of us who've registered.

More information:
Aquire at ticket:
https://www.lanreg.org/pdxage/pdxage4
Scheduled Games at PDXAGE:
http://bit.ly/2ooyJs4
Sign up to play scheduled games:
https://goo.gl/forms/rL4TqfCP9bPBHWF93
PDXAGE Game Library:
http://www.pdxage.com/age/index.php/game-library

New Prototypes (and Ryan working hard)!

We just got our new prototypes in! It feels pretty awesome to have a stack of After the Empire sitting on my desk.

Here's Ryan working hard on making some 3D printed walls perfect before we ship a copy to one of our reviewers!

And here's what it's looking like if I spread some game components out right before we play! I put a few cards out face up from the decks for you to see, but I didn't want to cover up our game board too much. With the kickstarter coming up in June, we still have a lot of preparation, but I'm very excited for how it's looking right now!

Iconography!

We already have a great group of graphic designers (Cole Munro-Chitty and Jason Harris) currently working hard on After the Empire, but I just had a great meeting with the newest member of our team today, our friend Zoe Morgan-Montoya! She'll be helping us get many of our home-made icons ready for final test-prints over the next couple months. I'll be sad to see some of my placeholders go (I have an overdeveloped fondness for a couple of them - see below), but having game icons that look like a professional adult made them will be a great improvement!

PS - In case you've seen my admittedly horrible iconography, my personal favorites are Farm (wheat bale with 3 little geese) and Refugee (profile shot of a guy who looks kinda like Beavis' father, or an estranged uncle).

T-shirts, reviews, and local beta-testing!

We finally got ourselves some sweet branded Ts for our convention appearances! Here's a dorky photo:

Also, we're very excited for our upcoming prototype printing (the box above is our current prototype). We'll be sending the newest copies out to some reviewers here in the next week or two!

Also, we'll be needing some blind playtesting help from any who are willing or interested to take After the Empire from us for a day or two to play with your play group and give us feedback. You'll get the game with our current rulebook, and as little further information as possible. We want to know not only what you did and did not enjoy about playing our game and your suggestions, but also especially looking for feedback regarding the rulebook and difficulty of learning After the Empire as compared with cold plays of other medium-heavy Euro games. The rules are pretty easy when we are there to explain the game, but we need to know what happens when it's just the rulebook there to help and no play through videos available. (Of course we'll make a play through video soon for the kickstarter in June). We've made some good changes and simplifications to the rulebook with the last few times we've done this, but we still need more help! Due to having only very few prototypes and lots of events coming up where we'll need them, we're looking for people who are in or near Portland for this, so we can avoid long wait-times (and shipping costs).

Thank you all who've helped us get this far! Let's keep going and make the best game (and rulebook) that we can!

After the Empire is on the internet!

Check it out! We were very stoked to find ourselves on several lists on BGG. Even made the #1 position on one of them! Check out the lists below to find After the Empire and other great games coming out this year! If you authored one of these lists, thanks so much for including us! We really appreciate all the support from those of you who have played and enjoyed our game, and of course also those of you who've only seen a few pictures and are looking forward to your first play! The kickstarter is coming up soon; June is nearly around the corner!

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/220591/item/5278119#item5278119

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/216251/item/5296493#item5296493

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/216663/item/5308896#item5308896

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/216984/item/5297442#item5297442

Playing The Grimm Forest with Tim Eisner!

We got the opportunity to play Tim Eisner's new game through Druid City Games, The Grimm Forest. We've been honored to play with Tim before, but this was our first chance to sit down with his new game. We had a great time playing together! For a lighter weight game that you could play with your kids, I was surprised how much strategy they squeezed into it for us gamers to enjoy. The theme and flavor were great and really added to the play experience. Plus, of course, placing my little pig and building up the straw, wood, and brick houses was a blast!

You still have a chance to get in on the goodies in their kickstarter! If we are half as successful with our kickstarter this June as they have been for The Grimm Forest, we'll be very stoked!

Check out the art for the game board!

Another amazing collaboration between the incredible artists Baconstrap and Ted Ottosson! They've done a wonderful job and we couldn't be more proud to have this as the centerpiece for After the Empire. I love all the details! It's a true work of art! The graphic design overlay is also coming along nicely! Only 2 months away from our kickstarter and things are really taking shape!

Here's the final cover art for the game!

A staple among our great artists, Baconstrap has not only created many other great pieces of art you'll find throughout After the Empire, but he's completed a wonderful piece that we are lucky enough to put on the front of our box! It's beautiful and a perfect first glance for a game about defending your city from sieging invaders!

Report from Gamestorm (aka Did you see us mentioned on Dice Tower!?)

We just got back from our weekend at Gamestorm, which I'll get back to, but first I'd like to share something that one of the great folks I met there shared with us. (Thanks, James!) We were in Vegas recently for GAMA and had a great time. What we didn't know was Chaz Marler from Pair of Dice Paradise was out and about with a camera looking for cool up and coming games throughout the week and would later be posting them to Dice Tower. He stopped by our table and After the Empire made it in to his top 20 list! Thanks, Chaz! You can watch his video and our 38 seconds of fame here!

Gamestorm 2017!

Gamestorm 2017!

Gamestorm this weekend was great! I haven't actually counted, but I think we hosted around 14 sessions between Ryan and myself. We met so many wonderful people and got some incredible feedback that will help us continue to hone After the Empire as the June kickstarter quickly approaches! It is humbling to meet so many people willing not only to share their time with us playing and giving feedback, but who also go above and beyond to help bring After the Empire to life!

Our good friend Tim Eisner, whose The Grimm Forest kickstarter you should go check out RIGHT NOW, introduced us to the folks from Late Night Tabletop. They were awesome enough to sit down with Ryan and play a full video run-through, which you can see here! They also played The Grimm Forest by Tim, as well as Eridu by our friend Mohammed Ali which we were excited to see!

Thanks to all our wonderful friends, old and new, who we saw or played games with this weekend!

Gamestorm!

Well, in trying to pin down our missing 2:30-5:00 pm Saturday time slot, it appears there's some confusion coming from the Gamestorm schedulers, so please bear with us. Depending on which version of which schedule resource you look at, our times have some variation. Please, check in with us well in advance of any game time for which you've signed up to make sure it's still happening at that time and location. Hopefully, this all gets sorted out when we get there today, but here's what we know at this point:

Friday, March 31st
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM: Table #47 - still scheduled!
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM: Table #47 - still scheduled!

Saturday, April 1st
11:00 AM - 1:30 PM: only on 1 schedule, not both (unsure of status)
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Gamelab Table #74 (newly added)
2:30 PM - 5:00 PM: missing from both schedules now (likely removed)
5:00 PM - 7:30 PM: Table #47 - still scheduled!

Sunday, April 2nd
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Gamelab Table #74 (was listed until 2:30pm previously)
2:30 PM - 5:00 PM: Table #47 - still scheduled!

Saturday is the most jumbled, so we'll have a 2nd game up and running as table space allows to ensure as many of you who want to play are able. Sorry for any confusion! So, please come by and verify your scheduled time with us before it starts. Not already signed up? That's okay! Come on by and we'll try to get you in there somewhere! See some of you all this weekend!

Here's another player board!

Here's player board #4/4 by the wonderful Baconstrap and Ted Ottosson! We're very excited to have these pieces finished for our new prototype printing (from our very own local Print and Play...thanks Chase!) just in time for Gamestorm this weekend! We'll be bringing these new player boards PLUS a first look at our game board with some new graphic design elements. Join us and be among the first to play on these beautiful boards! Or just come on by and take a look or chat with us! Online scheduling has been closed, but you can see the schedule here: http://schedule.gamestorm.org/index.html. We still have some room for our Friday and Saturday games, and there will be sign-up sheets available at the event. Here are our demo times and the current sign-up head count:

Friday, March 31st
[3466] 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM: 0/4
[4152] 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM: 1/4

Saturday, April 1st
[4482] 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM: 2/4
[????] 2:30 PM - 5:00 PM: Currently missing from schedule, so unsure of head count
[4155] 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM: 0/4

Sunday, April 2nd
[4504] 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM: 4/4 - Sorry, this one's full!
[4157] 2:30 PM - 5:00 PM: 4/4 - Sorry, this one is, too!