Today we go all reflective as we look back over the last 18 months and see just how far the project has come, but most importantly what we have learnt and applied along the way. But before we do that, let's review the comings and goings of the last 2 weeks in Purgatory.
- We hope that you've seen her, but if not, I am pleased to announce that Jess is complete. And in a first for Purgatory this lady comes with optional heads for her mallet.
- The inbox has been burning bright, with the Apocalypse storming into our laps looking incredible. The concept for these guys really carried forward and if we get far enough, you guys are in for a real treat.
- Literally just in, a version of one of our Devils has emerged!
- The Kickstarter page is on the verge of completion, previews will be up soon.
Traditional vs. Digital - In one of the most difficult decisions, something we have been asked frequently has been about why we went the traditional route. Having just started speaking with a digital sculptor I can safely say that it was down to personal preference. There are supremely talented individuals proficient in both disciplines, but in truth, digital 'masters' are hard to come across in an era of tabletop and board games being exceptionally popular. I am very grateful to the sculptors we have worked with and feel slightly vindicated by the initial choice, if only because I have learnt so much from these people and actually become fast friends.
Something we picked up from Salute was that whilst people liked digital renders as a demonstration of what was to come, people had been 'caught out' in cases where the render was then produced to a low quality en masse. This echoed when people suggested it was refreshing that we as a company were showing people not only what we were doing, but that we were capable of producing high quality models. This was an important moment for us.
That said, we will work with a digital sculptor as our portfolio of characters has some that will truly benefit from this exacting method.
Expectation - It has been remarked of late that in some cases crowd funding can be used as a pre ordering system for well established companies and brands. I don't think this will lead to the market 'downing tools' so to speak but it is being noticed. When we spoke to a number of people in the early days the comment was very much "what do we get for free, like X or Y company offers?"
The answer to that was a hard one. As a small company, funded entirely by a trio of individuals, it was difficult to foresee how this would be possible, it was no small hurdle. However, what we have learnt at Purgatory is that 'free stuff' comes in various guises and at various levels. If you had asked me a year ago what we could give away for free, I am not sure I could have answered. However now, I can confirm that we can and will give things away, including models if we stretch to the appropriate levels. The kickstarter is quite strong and this has been tested against other projects as well as being discussed with a number of experienced backers. We believe there is real value in what we are offering.
Playtesting - I have said it many times. As a creative group, it can be soul destroying to take a broad sword to something you have spent months developing. However you become hardened to it and actually you benefit from it, though you often can only see that upon reflection. Play testing was a considerable amount of fun, watching characters you have created, come to life and do the things you wanted them to do is incredibly satisfying.
The main aim of the game was to apply a new spin on something familiar. No a single familiar thing but a collection of them. The difference, or USP so to speak was to apply something wholly and completely fun, something tongue in cheek and skirting on the boundaries of the mildly risqué. To hear comments like "I am not playing a game without those cards (Gods)" or "The core rules are tight" and "I can picture exactly how this character is supposed to play" are but some of the comments we have had. However in flip of that, complete sections have been removed, reviewed and changed on comments received during play testing. The end result being that the rules are even better and more complete than before.
Listening - Having great ideas, doesn't mean that everyone will or should like it. Listening to peoples feedback is fundamentally important and it is one of the single most things I would recommend to everyone. However you must ensure that you hear what is being said. That rules tweak, change to a pose, adjustment to a character or ability or even the size of the board, they all count and none should be dismissed.
Challenges - We have faced many challenges along the way, but none sterner than the issue of equality and perception. We have a diverse team within Purgatory and actually we had considered this from the very beginning. However 'Pin Ups' have been an area of attention for our project as people have posed questions on certain characters. I would say luckily, but actually, thankfully for us, we considered that whilst the market for pin up characters was prominent, we would not set our stall up around it entirely. By being able to demonstrate this, it has allowed us to mitigate attention with awareness of our range. However, the rise in open criticism on this topic is something the industry has experienced before but perhaps not on this scale.
Why are we telling you all of this?
We are on the cusp of something exciting, in less than 10 weeks we will know if Purgatory will be taking the next step, where you can enjoy games at your local gaming club and at home with friends and with family. A whole fresh wave of new models will be available to paint and play with to hone your skills with the blade.
Equally important however is to openly communicate with our followers. So that you have a true understanding of how we have progressed and the key areas that defined the approach of Purgatory, where learning is shared and improvements embraced at every turn.
Because of this, we are able to offer more models, more content, more opportunities for free items, improved sculpting, options on models, tighter rules and deeper backgrounds for you to fully immerse yourself in what we believe is a truly unique world, unlike anything else created by anyone else and we hope you agree.
Look out for the newsletter coming next week, which if you haven't already you can sign up to on our website. This last edition before Kickstarter launch will be a bumper issue and will include a list of the pledge levels and the some clues as to the stretch goals so that you can plan out exactly what you will be wanting to ensure you get hold of it.
Until then, we look forward to bringing fresh art and background information to you in the weeks leading up to launch!
All the very best.