Designer Blog – Retreat and Regroup!

Designer Blog – #IntoTheBlack

Retreat and Regroup!

Never surrender, never give up!


A 28 day journey for #IntoTheBlack has come to an end, 3 days early. As of today we decided to retreat from the star ship we so coveted and return to the depths of space to lick our wounds and regroup.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Into the Black began on June 7th and over the course of the next 3 and a half weeks we attained a grand total of 15% of our funding goal of $20,000 Canadian with 69 Backers behind us. Not fantastic, but not the worst that could happen! Perhaps this is the best thing that could have happened. I knew from the start that the launch was probably too soon, but that it was to be a great learning experience; and that it was! Having never run a crowdfunding campaign before it was good to dip my toes into the waters and figure it out, even if that ended up in cancelling the project; and so it did.

Never fear! This, my friends, is a great step in development of the game! Read on;

Onwards and Upwards – Regroup and Relaunch!

The best part about having run this crowdfunding campaign, beyond learning the ins and outs of Kickstarter is the feedback and comments from backers. With that feedback, and the lessons learned running the campaign we will relaunch in the new year stronger than ever!

One of the biggest hurdles faced was just launching the project in the first place. Something went wrong on the back-end with Kickstarter and nobody could trace it! This caused a delay of over a week from our announced launch date to the day we actually went live. While this may not have been a big deal it certainly caused some ripple as news was released about the launch date which then came and went with no project live.

Add to that the expected number of day one backers did not materialize. The project was launched safe in the knowledge that there were 60+ people ready to back on day one! That fizzled out to just about 16 (plus a few strangers). What happened to those others? I’m not sure. Some forgot. Some just disappeared. Lesson learned? Ensure your fanbase actually is ready to go on Day one!

What can you expect in the Relaunch?

Taking into account all of the great feedback from playtesters over the months, people who checked out the rules from our campaign page and the print and play files and those we got the chance to talk to, some things will definitely change in the relaunch of #IntoTheBlack. Some of those are;

  • Upgraded artwork – all of the tiles and character boards will be revamped and upgraded!
  • Decreased funding goal – we are working hard to reduce our upfront costs so that the funding goal is lowered and easier to attain!
  • Better stretch goals – the stretch goals will be improved upon and grouped, moved to more appropriate, more exciting levels of funding
  • More community outreach – we’re going to do our best to push visibility of Into the Black further with more social media, more news articles, more demos and more Reviews/Previews

In addition to all that, we’re making improvements to the game play as well. Adding more scenarios, more options and balancing them out to make for a deeper gaming experience.

There is even an add-on/expansion in the works that I’ve mentioned before that will bring Epic Encounters to the game; heroes, allies, villains and creatures to battle, outwit or assist, complete with Epic Loot to go with it.

Prepare yourselves, rest up, get excited for the relaunch because; This.Will.Be.Epic! (Have I said Epic enough times for it to be epic?)

James J Campbell is the Lead Game Designer at I Will Never Grow Up Gaming and the creator of
several projects such as TechMage Sci-Fantasy RPG, Into the Black: A Game of Space Piracy and Conflict & Chaos: Vietnam 1965.