I am deeply, incredibly pleased to report that Weather Wars has been funded on Kickstarter. We’ve raised the $6,000 that was our base goal, allowing us to make the game available for sale. We’ll ship to our wonderful Kickstarter backers first, and later sell the game via our website and other venues.
While this is fantastic news, we’ve got four days left before our Kickstarter ends at about midnight (California time) on Saturday, April 14th, and we’re still getting pledges - 9 and counting in the last 2 days. This really gives me hope that we could hit what Kickstarter calls “stretch goals” - improvements to the game that we will ship if we reach higher levels of funding.
We’ve got two promo cards we’d like to unlock for all our Kickstarter backers, the Blue-Nosed Reindeer and the Buffalo Chicken, which add a bit of variety (and quite a few chuckles) to the game.
What I’d really like to hit, though, is the $7,500 funding level. If that happens, we get to roll out the Safari expansion that we’ve been working on. I don’t mind the grunt work of game production - getting quotes, calculating shipping and customs, and registering with government safety agencies. I know it’s part of the process, and I accept it. The thing is, though, I got into game design because I like designing games. That’s where my talent and my passion is. It seems a waste to have hundreds (or thousands?) of people playing Weather Wars, but only Daniele and I getting to enjoy the expansion that makes it so much better.
I think one of our new one-power creatures, the Chicken-Chasing Jackal, makes playing with the Safari expansion seem like you’re playing a whole new game. His ability is simple - it “chases” each Rocket Chicken in play away from her owner, moving one player to the right. Early in the game, this is minor - it’s just a couple of power worth of Rocket Chickens moving around. But once someone has three or more Chickens, each time they move they trigger - blowing up five-power animals as they go. When it’s so important to control how many summer animals versus winter animals you have, what you choose to blow up majorly impacts the game. And of course, we as designers didn’t stop there - the Safari expansion has a 5-power animal that can’t be destroyed by Chickens, and another 5-power animal that actually WANTS to be destroyed. It adds a whole additional layer of strategy for the deep-thinking players, and quite a bit of random chaos for those just enjoying the ride.
As yummy as the mechanics are, I may like the flavor even better. A jackal chasing all the chickens in a circle, their rocket backpacks exploding everywhere? That’s just so “Weather Wars.”
I really hope we get to roll this out. We’ve got a few more days, and we need to hope that our backers convince enough of their friends to sign up so that we reach this stretch goal. It’s very possible - Kickstarters almost always get a boost in the last 48 hours.
Daniele and I will be playing the Safari expansion either way. I hope everybody else gets that chance too, because when it’s done, it’s going to ROCK.