A very quick update: Wallets, money, digger and a new Naylor Games logo!
about 1 month ago
– Sat, Dec 12, 2020 at 01:19:18 AM
The last of the component samples for the core game have finally arrived!
I thought you'd be keen to see them, so this is just very quick update with a few photos. I'll probably be updating you again in the new year (How is it December already?).
Wallets and more
First there's the 10m Kickstarter exclusive banknotes, which I personally think look absolutely brilliant; even before their final spot UV effect is applied!
Next come the wallets. I am very glad to say that putting the extra energy and money into the company identities has proved very worthwhile. These wallets (which are also designed to hold the above 10m note as well as the core game's banknotes) demonstrate that very clearly for me.
I'm really pleased with how the leather effect interior has come out and their good strong construction should be robust enough for many, many uses.
Then there's the sample digger and, I'm glad to say, this is also exactly the one I wanted. So if all goes to plan you will indeed be able to drive this first player marker to the next player using its built-in wheels. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's a world first!
A new logo
You may also have noticed that the Kickstarter page is sporting a new Naylor Games logo. The time was finally right to put some real effort into this. I hope you like it! If you're a bit of a nerd for design/marketing stuff, I also wrote an entire blogpost about how we came up with it and why we choose this design.
That's it for now!
Gradually inching forward...
about 2 months ago
– Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 12:02:56 AM
It's update time again!
This month's update won't be too long as I don't have a lot of visual progress to share. I had hoped to have the remaining samples by now so I could show you photos of the final wallets as well as components from the tycoon edition, but disruption on the manufacturing end continues to drag on.
However, the insert design - while frustratingly slow - has been otherwise going well. If all goes to plan, we will deliver the insert I wanted: Something that really accelerates set-up and pack-down. The latest design will allow most trays to be removed and placed by the board with many of the most important components already organised for gameplay; speeding through a task that can often be a bit tiresome in all the but the lightest games.
Indeed, it should even have some space for expansion content (the tycoon edition parts) and promo content if it all comes off. There is a small drawback to all of this: The box will likely need to get slightly taller. Thankfully it won't be enlarging in other dimensions so it's not going to bust a Kallax!
I can't show you a detailed schematic of inserts, but here's some teasers of some of the building insert prototypes:
Other than that, there's not a lot to share about Magnate specifically just yet. But things are moving very nicely on other fronts at Naylor Games:
- Just last week, I launched my initiative to offer myself as a free Mental Health First Aider for game companies (which are mostly small outfits without people with those skills on dedicated staff). This is a tough time for a lot of people, especially people who were already feeling isolated. So I thought getting trained to provide people with non-judgemental, listening support and direction to the right professional help could be useful - I guess we'll find out. If that subject matter interests you at all or you'd like me to be your organisations MHFA, I've got a blog about it here.
- We'll be launching a new Naylor Games logo soon. We desperately needed a proper one for the first game. So it seemed like the right time to invest. I'm quite excited by it because I think it captures what we're about (or trying to be) very well and should be very recognisable.
- We continue to work away when we can at the early stage design/development stage on other game titles. Some really exciting stuff in the pipeline there. Once Magnate is a bit further along, and we can start putting focus on what's next, I hope to start sharing details. But I am naturally not a big sharer of these things until they are truly ready for prime time. Let's get game no1 done to a high standard first!
That's all for now!
A quick update: SAMPLE BOX ARRIVES!
3 months ago
– Tue, Oct 27, 2020 at 03:32:58 PM
I generally like to avoid sending too many updates, but this one is a bit special. After the delays I mentioned last time, we've finally got to a proper sample box - including many of the other components! I'm not going to bore you with too many details. Let's focus on the exciting bit: pictures of components, especially those which are a real step-up from the prototype.
I'm really pleased with this box. I think it will really catch the eye and communicates the sense of scale the game itself is intended to impart: through its incentive to build ever bigger and its substantial table presence (And, to be fair, it actually has to be this big to hold everything! Not a lot of wasted air in there).
The tenant tokens in custom shapes look so much better than the square chits with pictures of the art. The variety of shapes in general elevates the production things while improving accessibility. Seeing these in proper punchboard makes them somehow really real: Punching-out pieces I've laid out/designed myself in InDesign is really quite something!
The boards are lovely and thick now: The thickest you can practically get before going into punchboard. They aren't too thick that you can't easily shuffle the neighbourhood tiles and they don't increase box weight a lot. But they are thick enough that they don't move around and easily lock into each other on the table. Seeing the land price marker on the punchboard also confirmed for me that this new approach is a big improvement on the rather impractical combined marker/crash track we had before.
The now thicker, rigid neighbourhood tiles also have some pretty cool reverses. These should help you quickly differentiate the centre from the other tiles and raise the overall aesthetics of the experience. Most of the other components (like the banknotes) very much reflect the original Kickstarter prototype. Except now we have reverse designs on the notes too and the footprints are, like the other components, chunkier and more satisfying.
That's pretty much it for now. Manufacturing continues to progress. Next month I'll provide you with a more detailed update!
All the best,
Frustrating delays & other news
3 months ago
– Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 04:35:46 AM
Unfortunately I have some frustrating news - shipping of the game has been delayed. Given everything that was going on in the world, and the complexity of the product, I was - relatively speaking - pleased we were looking at an overall delay of only around 6 weeks from our original estimates made in November 2019. Unfortunately, now it looks inevitable that we'll be further delayed.
Both my hope and professional pride to bring you something that was only slightly delayed in the face of 2020 and the current crisis are now dashed. I thought we really could be different. My sincere apologies.
Why are we delayed?
We were making great progress on the plastics side, but we've hit some really frustrating hurdles in the final sampling of the paper/card products. I'd allowed a lot more time than we were projected to need and the factory are working to optimise the production but it seems things are still suffering knock-on effects from disruption earlier on in the year. As always, components move at the rate of the slowest part and Magnate has a lot of parts!
We also have wrangling to do to get the right design on the insert, which is unpleasantly interdependent with the other components. That's critical: we all know many games are made smooth set-up/packdown experiences based on how well designed their inserts are. There are components - like the tenant tokens - that I am keen to make fast to get at using this insert, if I can. It's all about reducing friction to play and getting to the actual fun bit faster. As I've said before, a late product is late to backers once (which isn't great at all) but a rushed product is bad forever (which is much worse). So much as it pains me, I know taking extra time to nail that is the correct call; even after one delay already.
How much of a delay do we expect ?
I had hoped the vast majority of backers would get their games by Christmas. That was my internal target as part of the December fulfilment. Some backers may start getting their games by then but it looks like most will now be waiting for after. The factory and I are actually looking at speeding-up on the shipping for backers to catch-up to the original timeline, but until we're well into actual mass production part its hard to say.
It now looks like we'll be shipping the game for the majority of backers early next year. As I get more information, I will provide a clearer estimate. I am very reluctant to nail it down too precisely at this point until we're over the next hump. I want you to have confidence in our estimates, rather than just provide something overly optimistic that keeps getting pushed. I know I absolutely hate that. It's enormously frustrating that we've already missed one.
What progress do we have to show?
On the plus side, we have been making more progress in areas that are those which are typically more painful or subject to delay.
1) Plastics samples are now approved
We got the sample of the plastics to be sent ahead to make sure tooling could get underway even if other elements were delayed. I am glad to say these are all approved with only minor modifications:
The new purpose built crash marker and Apartment tower also look great - the first time we've got to see them in the flesh:
All of these masters are beautifully detailed, correctly hollowed-out by the factory designers and reflect the kind of quality you should see in your models when the game arrives.
2) Rulebook proofing
We've been using the extra time to do as much final checking as possible on our end on the rulebook, tycoon rules flyer and tutorial. This makes the time gap between getting the final sample and hitting the big red button as small as possible. Hopefully another small catch-up.
Pledge manager update
It looks like the vast majority of pledges have now been updated. Thank you so much everyone. I am going to start individually contacting people who are still having problems. If you need any help, just let me know!
Apologies again for this frustrating news. I shall hopefully be in touch again soon with more details on more exact fulfilment estimates. Until then, please be well.
All the very best,
Cards charging in less than 48 hours / Rulebook ready
5 months ago
– Thu, Sep 03, 2020 at 01:31:51 AM
Hi everyone - just a really quick reminder that orders will be locked and cards charged very shortly - you should have got the final notice.
Last chance to get the KS exclusive
This is also the last chance to for anyone to get a KS edition with the gold 10m notes. We'll only ever produce one run of these particular notes - and that's it. It will be a lasting souvenir - to say thank you for taking the chance on us and making Magnate a reality.
If you're keen to get a glimpse of the production rulebook, you can get it right here. It's been very extensively blind tested and edited so barring any minor proofing / small style or asset changes (like our new core game wallets... that don't feature in this rulebook version yet) this is what will be in the box. But please note: its a bit low res to make it load in a reasonable time. Feel free to comment if you spot any typos!
All the tutorial testing is now complete, as is the rulebook (as above). For the last few weeks, I've been head-down in preparing final files for the factory - and not a lot else! It's been tough but exhilarating. Very soon we should get a sample box with all the final components as close to real manufacturing quality as possible. It will also be the first time we see the final buildings: master copies that will be mass produced in plastic.
As soon as it arrives I will be sharing pics!
That's all for now. I hope you are all safe and well!
All the best,