Last week, an eagerly anticipated arrival was waiting for me in the mailbox: new prototype copies of Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule!, fresh from the printer. Because the prototype copies were traveling from Hong Kong, I was told to expect a shipping time of between 7 and 25 days. That’s a pretty wide gap of time, but it’s due to unexpected delays that can occur when packages go through customs inspections. Fortunately, the time I had to wait to receive the new copies was on the shallower end of that estimate – 2 days for processing/printing the order, and 9 days for shipping. Of course, I was excited to see the package and eager to get my hands on what was inside.
The package, however, was quite curious and I couldn’t help studying it for a bit. The first thing that struck me, was that it was tied together by a thin piece of rope. No packing tape, sticker seal, or glue – simply an open cardboard box, held closed by the crisscross of rope tied in a neat bow at the front. The attractive collection of Hong Kong stamps on the top right corner of the box reminded me of the stamps people used to keep on their luggage to mark the destinations of their world travels (or at least, they did so in old cartoons…) That, combined with the rope and slightly beat-up looking box, made me wonder what kind of story might be behind our game’s journey from the Orient. I picture ox-driven carts meandering through the fog, down treacherous mountain paths to reach the bustling shipping docks of Hong Kong… We may never know.
One way or another, it got here. Four prototype copies of Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! lay within, waiting to be held, looked at, and played with. Within moments, the rope knot easily came undone, the box top flipped up, and the shrink-wrapped cards were in my hands. I ordered this new round of prototypes through the Printer’s Studio, and they did a good job with them. The quality of the cards, 3.5″ x 5.75″ on a heavy paper stock, is quite good. They are sturdy and smooth, with a subtle gloss that does not detract from the artwork. They even have that new card smell… The colors on some of the character illustrations are a little more acidic than they are intended to be. Fortunately, that can be fixed with some color correction on the image files, which is expected and easy to do at this point in the production cycle.
I have been working on this game for over a year, and I can’t begin to tell you how good it feels to finally have something this close to the final product in my hands. Up to this point, GDFR! has been played again and again with rough hand-made prototypes. First with sketches and names hastily written on index cards, and later with paper cards made on a home inkjet printer, tucked into plastic sleeves with poker cards for sturdiness. After double-checking each card of all four copies to make sure there were no errors, I broke them in with a few solo-games. It’s so much fun to be playing with the real cards, and Mike‘s artwork brings a level of color and life that I haven’t seen in a game like this before. I couldn’t wait to let other people play with the new cards at the local gaming groups I game with here in Las Vegas. One of these was the upcoming Vegas Game Day held on April 14th. I will put up a recap of that event, along with more photos, for you here on GAME-O-GAMI.com very soon. Until then, peace,
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