Sunday, August 2, 2015

New Bedford: No Whale Before We Sail

In a vast ocean of bland fantasy dungeon delvers and dark zombie-battling miniature games, the historically unique theme of New Bedford was like a breath of fresh salt-tinged air. It was a Kickstarter I hated to see fail. My original observations can be found here, but to sum up: New Bedford looked like a smaller, tighter version of Minotaur-favorite Le Havre, with a better less-clunky system for building ships.

With the project canceled, Dice Hate Me Games posted this final update

As most of you have no doubt noticed by now, the campaign for New Bedford has been cancelled. We did not make this decision lightly, and ultimately felt that it was what was best for the project and for Dice Hate Me Games. Although New Bedford was tracking to fund by Sunday, we felt that a relaunch at a better time of year will allow us to bring more attention to the game and, ultimately, bring all of you more added value for your pledges.

And I started to wonder just what people had not liked so much about New Bedford. Constantly evolving and growing worker placement opportunities? Random whale tile draws out of a glorious bag of mystery?

Then suddenly, quite recently, the campaign was relaunched with this updated message on the original campaign:

We greatly appreciate the support that you all lent us in this first campaign, and we hope that many of you will consider supporting us in this new endeavor. We took a good look at feedback and lessons from the first campaign, and we have a lot of new goodies for everyone this time around, including a special promotional and lots of cool stretch goals to unlock!
There seem to be a few changes. The art looks like they’ve been doing some fine tuning. And a few of the buildings have different names. The designer attributed the poor previous start mostly to timing, and the new campaign displayed confidence things would be quite different this time around.

And they were right.

With 12 days left to go in the campaign, Dice Hate Me Games has managed to raise an incredible $55,000 and collected more than twice the backers of the original campaign.

It probably has something to do with timing sure. But also it might have something to do with that glorious white whale.

White Whale, Holy Grail

The previous Kickstarter was all about historical accuracy. But this relaunch of New Bedford finally surrenders to a classic blood n’ thunderous piece of New Bedford-related fiction.

When the original whalers of New Bedford went out to sea for their next hunt, very rarely did the pursued whales rise up and devour their ship. In New Bedford, it might happen just a little bit more often than true history would indicate.

But adding Moby Dick makes for a more fun game. And gives the whales just a little more of a fighting chance. One step removed from reality, you’ll feel less like a dirty whale killer. and more like a ship sailing into a sea of myth and adventure.

No comments:

Post a Comment