Magnate: The First City - Buy now!

Created by Naylor Games LLC

Magnate is an exciting property/city building strategy game for 1-5 players. Make as much money as you can before the market crashes! Add-ons and the Tycoon expansion only available direct from Naylor Games!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Last update of 2021: Fulfilment, Magnate rising fast & best wishes for 2022!
29 days ago – Thu, Dec 23, 2021 at 05:08:42 AM

Hi everyone,

This is it: The last update of 2021! Magnate has got an absolute ton of brilliant coverage since the last update and we've got more fulfilment news before we say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022. 

Progress update

We entered December with most orders fulfilled. But there were some regions that hadn't seen any games at this stage. Unfortunately, we're not done quite yet. 

I've been told EU/Norway/Switzerland fulfilment has now - finally - started. Owing to sitting in customs for ages it took more than SIX WEEKS to get the games from Norwich to Paris: absolutely ludicrous. The games made it from China to the UK quicker than this. I've been told that other items Magnate was shipped with had to be investigated: that's why our games got delayed despite all our paperwork being correct. Once again I mourn for the UK's membership of the Customs Union! Sadly this means very few of you in this region will get your games before Christmas, which I had thought 2 months ago was close to certain. I'm so sorry about this. At the risk of repeating myself from last time - I think that's a lesson for us to just directly ship from China to all hubs for future projects. This sort of forwarding was once fairly standard practice. The reality is that while the supply crunch is less than it was, it seems expensive, slow freight could be with us for years. Indeed: A big part of all the recent MSRP and RRP price increases that games have seen is literally just paying for this. 

Across Asia and Australasia the game has been landing in even more places: I don't get notifications from VFI when packages are shipped as I do from most other providers, but I've seen emails from backers in Australia, tweets from Japan and How to Play videos from Thailand! Judging from the estimates I was given the game should now be with the majority of backers in these regions. Much the same is true for the rest of the World. But there are still a few of you who may not see your games till January, unfortunately. 

Magnate in more media... and rising rapidly on BGG!

I've lost track of the number of different outlets that have now covered Magnate - and have done so overwhelmingly positively! So if If you're reading this and I missed off your content, my apologies. Some selected highlights:

  •  Dan the GameBoyGeek gave Magnate a phenomenal review and dubbed it "the sleeper hit of 2021" (we are certainly starting to sell very well in the US and Canada!), giving it one of his Sax Serenades no less! I hear we may even shortly see it on his games of the year list!
  • One of my personal favourite game writers, Charlie Theel, called Magnate "a debut cut built to last" and a "remarkable game" in this absolutely beautifully written review from his site, Player Elimination.
  • Dale Yu of Opinionated Gamers praised the quality of the components, overall production, game flow and the sense of a city really emerging that it gives you, recommending it for city building enthusiasts as well as fans of financial games!
  • The team at Boardgame Gumbo also penned a glowing written review of Magnate, being yet another review to praise our tutorial deck - its great to see that part going down so very well!
  • We've seen several more great playthrough videos, including this excellent one from How It Plays and our first ever Non-English playthrough from Zemaki Gaming in Thailand! 
  • We made another top 10 of 2021 list, this time from Games Night Guru who'd also previously posted a glowing review on BGG.
  • We were mentioned on yet more unboxing vids, a ton of different podcasts - to different degrees of detail, including this first impressions look from No Pun Included - who I hope get to play it again soon!

All of this seems to be being reflected in broader player reaction too. Right now we're among the top 50 fastest rising games on BGG's ranking system. If you look at the company we're keeping in that list: well ...the vast majority are bona fide hits from big names. It would be amazing if we could keep that momentum up! But you never know what's going to happen. So if you've got the game and you haven't rated it yet, please do - it really helps as you can see!

Overall, it's just so great to see so many people enthusiastic about the game. Here's hoping we continue to see this kind of positive response once those games have been out there for a little while across Europe and Asia! 

And finally...

Thank you so much again for supporting me and the team on this journey. It's been so wonderful to start seeing backers really enjoying this game and to already be seeing very strong retail sales across the markets we're released in (as well as retail pre-orders elsewhere!). 

After an utterly mad year, the whole team will be on a very well-earned break from tomorrow to the 4th of January. But rest assured, we will answer any questions you have on your return! 

To all of you who celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a very merry Christmas indeed. To everyone, I hope you get to have a little time off too and wish you all a very happy New Year!

Yours,

James

Fulfilment now complete for majority of backers, more press and RETAIL RELEASE on the 25th of November!
about 2 months ago – Mon, Nov 22, 2021 at 11:46:31 PM

Hello everyone!

Earlier than usual, it's update time. Lots and of news: Fulfilment updates, more press for Magnate, a new team member and a regional RETAIL RELEASE DATE is announced for Thursday the 25th of November!

Progress update

The majority of backers now have their games and fulfilment has now completed entirely for backers in the US, UK and Canada. If anyone is still waiting on their game from these regions, please let me know! Something is amiss somewhere if this is the case. 

EU Fulfilment is still taking longer: apologies to all our European backers. Just getting the goods from the UK to France where our EU distribution hub is proving a frustrating and lengthy process. However, I have been advised that fulfilment should actually start from the hub around the end of this month, going into early December. That’s far longer than was originally planned but it’s just the reality of the global shipping situation right now, especially with the shortage of UK HGV drivers. All of this was planned before the current supply chain issues, but for the next one we’ll explore getting the goods directly from China into the EU so we in the hopes of making it simultaneous and spreading the risk out. 

For Asia and Australasia, things are also quite delayed as I warned in the last update. Due to a technical problem, we had to pause some deliveries: this also meant entire consignments bound for some countries also had to be paused, which means we missed some shipping windows. Slow shipping times on-top of this has resulted in further delays to regional hubs. Everyone will get their game (quite a few will have already) but it may take us a little longer. It’s very much the same story for the rest of the world - some games are already well on their way. If the gods are with us, nearly everyone should get their games by Christmas/end of December. But with what’s been going on, that’s not something I am in a position to 100% guarantee for everyone, unfortunately. Rest assured we are trying our hardest and I continue to appreciate your patience in this regard. 

Retail release: 25th of November in UK, US, CA

Now that fulfilment has completed for the majority of backers - and all backers in some regions for a little while - we’ve decided it’s fair to formally release the game for everyone to enjoy in those regions. As a result, the game will be officially hitting the streets of the US, UK and Canada this coming Thursday, the 25th of November. 

Release dates outside these areas are yet to be established. We want backers to get their games first. Realistically that means giving-up on some Christmas revenue, but it's a price I have decided to pay in the interests of being fair to you. 

The good news though is this: We’ve sold a lot of copies direct to retailers and already have one distribution agreement in place. We’re in negotiations with many other companies too. I have always believed that this game has a great future beyond you lovely backers and its wonderful to see this being gradually borne out; even further supported by the ever more extensive press coverage we're getting. 

If you're a retailer and you'd like to buy stock, just drop a line to sales@naylorgames.com

More great press for Magnate

As people get a chance to actually play the game, we’ve continued to see a great response. 

In just the last three weeks, it’s been lovely to see lots of reviews, blogs and comments on BGG (please leave your rating if you haven’t already - it really helps people find the game!), Reddit and at major outlets.  In addition to magazine coverage in Tabletop Gaming and Senet last month, this has included (but is not limited to):

I do not like to “count my chickens before they’ve hatched” but I do think this is a good sign for what’s to come. 

New team member - Alex Lolies

As we move to the next stage of Naylor Games and begin shifting focus increasingly to our pipeline of new games, it's been critical to make sure we have the time and expertise to do them it justice. That's why I was very excited to announce this week that Alex Lolies, formerly of Dicebreaker and Big Potato Games has joined us as Head of Marketing. She's already taken over the social media accounts, launched a new Naylor Games twitter and is helping me with getting the word out about our new game: Boardgames: The Boardgame (the Gard Game). Myself, Jaya and the wider team are really looking forward to not only getting our games out there but having even more time to focus on product development!

And that’s it. Thank you so much again for helping make this dream of mine come to life. Onwards and upwards!

All the best,

James

Games shipping in Canada, UK and latest update for EU + translated rulebooks and more!
3 months ago – Sat, Oct 30, 2021 at 01:11:34 PM

It's update time again! I keep thinking I'll be sending these more regularly than each month... but the world usually has other ideas. However there's lots of good stuff going on: Games are shipping to more and more backers, rulebook translations are here and we're starting to get some great press!

Progress update

Goods have now arrived at every major hub and fulfilment is taking place across most territories, but it all remains a little slower than I would have liked. 

In the UK, it took 10 days for Magnate to get from the port of Felixstowe to Norwich where our UK Fulfilment hub is (a distance of 60 miles!) thanks to the truck driver shortage the UK is experiencing right now. Finally, games are now being sent out so backers should be getting their shipping notifications in the next few days.

Unfortunately that means EU fulfilment is still going to take a little while. The arrangement we've used means goods need to go from our UK warehouse to the EU.  Again its not far: In normal times, this would be done and dusted quickly, but the truck driver shortage in UK is continuing to cause problems, along with the still pretty new border and all the issues that has. I'm hoping we can still be done on EU deliveries within the next few weeks. Thank you to all EU backers for your continuing patience!

I am glad to say that US fulfillment is now basically complete and shipping to Canada soon will be.  I'm mostly just tidying-up loose ends at the moment. I've had a couple of missing parts requests from North America too. Please be re-assured I am getting to these - we're just still juggling lots of shipping issues right now. As soon as I have a better idea of where we are across regions with this, we will get on it! I know how annoying it can be when you don't have everything you should, so thank you again for bearing with us. 

In Asia and Australasia shipping to backers is well underway. Indeed, backers in Mainland China and Hong Kong have already received their games. There has, however, been a small technical issue that's resulted in some add-on items being incorrect in some orders. We're already on this and everyone who could be potentially affected has already been emailed about it. But it may mean a slight additional delay for some backers in getting all their items. Either way though, they will get to you! Overall, we expect most games to be with backers in these regions over the next few weeks. 

Backers based in any other locales have their goods serviced by our main hubs in UK, US and China.  They all have stock so rest assured your goods are all on the way - it may just take a little while yet to get them to you. 

Rulebook translations

I do have some good news for EU backers (and those in other parts): rulebooks in Spanish, French, and German are now all available from the Naylor Games site from these links! I'll also be putting them up on BGG along with a PDF of the final English language rulebook to make them even more accessible. Hopefully this will make learning the game that little bit easier. 

Magnate starting to get lots of positive press

As well as lovely reviews on BGG, Magnate's launch is starting to get some great coverage in the press! Dicebreaker covered the news of our forthcoming retail launch (date TBC) with this long piece exploring some designer notes I've been sharing with media folk and we got a frankly fantastic write-up in Tabletop Gaming Magazine:

I honestly couldn't have hoped for better. Given the incredibly flattering attention we received from many excellent reviewers before the Kickstarter, I've generally felt optimistic about our prospects here. But its something else to actually read someone writing in great detail - in black and white in a physical magazine - why they have been really enjoying your game!

We also appear in this Winter's edition of the always gorgeous Senet magazine, with a wonderful little write-up by industry veteran Matt Thrower, praising the game for its clever twists; "innovations [that]place it at the top of its genre bubble". There are lots of other review copies floating around out there right now too, so who knows what's next?!

Lastly...

On that note, if you're enjoying the game already and you're a BGG user, please do rate and comment there on our BGG page. It really helps other people work out if it's for them and raises the profile of the project.

That's all for now!

All the best,

James

The first games have shipped to backers! Extra AI rules, Magnate at Origins and a favour to ask...
4 months ago – Thu, Sep 30, 2021 at 11:58:18 PM

Hi everyone,

It's finally happening! Games and tracking notification emails have started going out to backers in the US. Other countries will follow soon: for anyone in EU/UK - this is your last chance to update your address!

Meanwhile there's lots of other news including: extra AI mode rules, Magnate at Origins and a big favour to ask...

Progress update

Our North American shipment of Magnate finally managed to wind its way across the United States from Oakland to Atlanta, arriving in the fulfilment warehouse itself late last Friday. And more excitingly, just yesterday, individual games began the very final leg of their long journey: from my brain, to this Kickstarter and via virtue of your kindness and belief in myself and the whole Naylor Games team, to your front door. I don't think I've ever been this moved by logistics!

Backers in Canada will have to wait a little longer. To deliver on our friendly shipping promise we need to move a smaller shipment into Canada first, which was affected by the knock-on from the slow movement of goods across the continental US. Once the games are in Canada we should be able to ensure that there are no annoying customs charges for you to manage.

The UK/EU shipment - after its impound in Ningbo - remains the laggard, and won't arrive in the UK for another week or so. With any luck that hopefully means shipment can begin by mid-October with the EU shipment starting a little later because it too must break-off from the main shipment and cross an extra customs border: the newly minted one between the UK and mainland Europe. Addresses will lock very shortly for this region so get them updated!

Gamers in Asia, Australasia and the rest of the World however will hopefully not have too long as fulfilment with VFI should now be well underway. However, I have been advised that fresh lockdown measures in China and other places could impede transit a little bit and it will take a little while for packages to get around their freight network.

My hope is that the vast majority of backers should get their games in October, laying the groundwork for a November retail release. More updates will follow as I hear more news. Some of you may start getting individual shipping notifications before then. 


Extra AI deck expansion rules published

Given the Magnate AI mode system can support multiple robot players we thought it would be cool to enable this with extra AI decks. This turned out to be a surprise hit with more than 15% of backers ordering these! I am glad to say, in time for the game's arrival, we have published the expansion's free rules PDF, including a print & play board for the second AI. As you will see, very few extra rules are required but there are some critical small differences. 

I am excited to see how you get on with this... and how many people try playing (spectating?) the 0-player game it enables! What cities will the robots build? Consider this a preview of the Singularity. 

Magnate at Origins game fair! Booth no. 711

Our US fulfilment partner, Bridge Distribution, has told me they'll be having Magnate on their stand. Nothing will be for sale (they don't sell to individuals). Instead, they'll be promoting the game to retailers. After the campaign, we ended-up generating a retail interest and many retail orders. So you may well see the game at a hobby store near you once fulfilment is complete! 

If you happen to be there you can find them at booth 711.

A favour to ask...

I've been absolutely thrilled with the support I've gotten from backers. People have been so nice, so generous and so supportive. All my interactions with people in the comments have been very positive. But I have one last thing to ask of you: once you've got the game  -and you feel like it's something you're ready to do - could you share something about Magnate on social media?

We hit the campaign trail at cons hard and I am flattered that we earned the attention of some big names in game media. But at the end of the day, its what you think that really matters - what really carries weight. Rating the game on BGG, tweeting about it, posting on Facebook or Instagram, telling your friends etc makes a huge difference. Ultimately its your passion that keeps our passion going. 

That's all for now! With any luck, there'll be more news before the end of next month this time. *Fingers crossed*

All the best,

James

So much happening: Many backers to get games in September... but further delays elsewhere + Our new game!
5 months ago – Wed, Sep 01, 2021 at 06:54:46 AM

Hi everyone, 

It's been a real rollercoaster! Faster than I expected a mere month ago, Magnate will begin shipping to about 50% of backers in September! At the same time...the latest Covid measures in China have caused yet further delays elsewhere. 

ALSO I announced our new game - Boardgames: The Boardgame (The Card Game): A very different project I am equally proud of for different reasons. I hope you will find it just as intriguing! It too will be coming to KS at some point.

Good news for North America and Asia! ...Not so good for Europe

Very recently, I received some very surprising news. In all the shipping chaos going on right now, the North American shipment had been loaded earlier than we were told and would shortly make landfall in Oakland, California. For the first time, it felt like we'd had a bit of luck in our favour.

But what fate gives with one hand... it takes with the other: Our UK bound shipment containing all the games destined for the European continent got stuck in the terminal of the Ningbo port that the Chinese government decided to close for two weeks due to discovery of a Covid case. As a result, they have now missed not only the first ship they were due to be loaded to but the second and third. At time of writing, the terminal has now re-opened but is currently processing an even bigger backlog than before. The games are now not scheduled to arrive at the UK fulfilment hub until Mid-October. 

Two delivery waves coming your way - time to update addresses!

I really wanted everyone to get their games at once and have been organising things in such a way to make that happen. I also really wanted us to be onto retail release by October (which would have been possible had the terminal not been shut) so that we could sell physical copies of Magnate at Essen - so much for that plan!

So it now looks like we have to settle for two major delivery waves instead:

1) Delivery across Asia via VFI and North America via Bridge starting in September and then: 

2) Delivery across the UK and EU starting in October (unless we get even more shipping delays here) - RoW orders will vary based on which hub it makes sense to fulfil from. Retail release will then (hopefully) follow in November.

That leaves me with just two requests:

A) If you're not in the UK/EU, it's time to update your shipping addresses! Please use this link to update your survey and make sure the game goes to the right place.

B) When the game arrives, and when/if you feel comfortable doing so, can you share something about it on social media/BGG? I really wanted to land this in one big go for maximum impact, but more than anything I just want you to be able to play it. Multiple delivery waves are going to lessen that word of mouth impact, so absolutely anything to help get the word out there is hugely appreciated! 

Our new game - Boardgames: The Boardgame (The Card Game) 

As early as July 2019 we were looking at a potential follow-up to Magnate.  But we knew it was really more of a pipe dream at that point. Magnate had been going down really well at conventions but the Kickstarter hadn't happened yet.  I had wondered - given how much I enjoyed the development process - if this could actually become my job; not just be proudly ticking an awesome dream off a bucket list. But I had to be realistic that we didn't even have the minimum realistic bar for product validation: selling something. 

Well - very much thanks to you - in December 2019, we got that validation: when Magnate landed in the top few % of fundraises for first-time projects.  I wanted us to waste no time - so we immediately began work on what we would codename "NG2" (Naylor Games 2) and BG:TBG(TCG) (not the most useful acronym! was born. 

In Boardgames: The Boardgame (The Card Game) you're a game designer competing to be the best in two completely different ways: become the wealthiest designer by making commercial hits in three categories: a bloated masterpiece, a reliable gateway game and a mass market cash cow.  Then by securing eternal critical acclaim from your peers by crafting the greatest game concept. The games are assembled from different idea cards each representing themes, mechanics, tropes and other elements of the games people know and love.  Every theme card includes a beautiful piece of art done to the level of execution of a box cover that captures the archetypal way those games are presented (I hope you enjoy spotting the references!). The game fuses a thinky, tactical card manipulation game with a stupid party game for hobbyists to make the filler that I always wanted: Something fast to learn, scratches that puzzley itch, warms-up the room, works for everyone and can be played in 25 minutes flat! 

As a light card game, with an initial concept and design already created by my good friend Edward Wilson, I thought this was going to look impossibly easy to make compared to Magnate: Oh, how charmingly naïve I was! Sure, I know much more than before and could make many individual decisions much faster and more easily. But myself and Jaya were taught the lesson that light projects aren't any easier to develop than heavier games if you want to do them really well. Sure you can iterate them faster but every tiny change impacts the game much more substantially: a single misstep can ruin it and a single inspiration suddenly make it sing. But it was absolutely worth the 18 months of gameplay development we put into this project in stealth mode while we worked on getting Magnate to you. 

I am excited to share more, If you haven't done it yet, please check out the website to see if its up your street and sign-up for a notification of KS launch. 

Other news

Fans of Producing Fun may have noticed that no new episodes have appeared for a bit. I'm taking a little break from it to focus on some other things and build-up a backlog to absorb future disruptions. We've already got two episodes recorded and are about to do a third: with Tim Fowers, a designer whose approach to publishing is one I've admired for a while.

We've also got some news coming - hopefully on the next update - about Magnate rulebook translations! Translations are now completed in Spanish, German and French and we're in the final stages of checking them. More to follow on that. 

That's all for now! Sorry for a long one.

All the best,

James