Kickstarter: Espionage Update #1 / by Karishma Kusurkar

To all those that have already backed me, thank you! - your support is very much appreciated and I hope to bring you a lovely illustrated game in a few months time! As backers, I know you're putting your trust in me to complete this project and in return I'll be keeping you updated with how the project is getting on and make sure I am hitting my projected deadlines!

I thought I'd start this update with a little pic of me as a kid playing cards. I thought I'd include it because my pet dog is in the picture and everyone loves a cute dog. 

  A sprog and a dog

A sprog and a dog

I also thought I would answer a few questions that I have been asked over the past few days since I launched the campaign!

Who's me and who's we?

I'm Karishma (the me), a multidisciplinary designer and my studio is Karishma's World (the we) through which I collaborate with other designers and bring on board other folks to do what they do best eg. the video on the Kickstarter page was by local videographer Jo McClure and the photography by Kyle Malcolm co-ordinated by startup "by Alchemist" by Jessica Fok.  

I have come up with the concept, design and developed the game, but I've also been lucky to have regular play-test advisers that are super into buying and playing new games, some of whom are regular backers on Kickstarter. Their advice has been invaluable and I'm going to make sure to credit them all on the game once it is out.  

What is Kickstarter?

There have been a few people asking what Kickstarter is, to which I would say check out this article which summarises it well!

Why Kickstarter?

I had wanted to use Kickstarter to promote and share one of my projects for a long time. I felt Espionage was the right one to share on it because of it being a particularly good platform for tabletop and card games.  To print a game of any kind at a relatively affordable rate, there are minimum orders. Separately, each game becomes reasonable to buy, but together, it can be a large amount of money to spend initially. This is why I thought that crowdfunding the game would be a great way of raising capital to manufacture Espionage, whilst also giving the backers a new and unique game in return.

Is it scary?

Yes. Very. But also very exciting. I'm hoping that this is the first of more games and boxes and have some ideas in mind for 2018.

Have you play-tested it?

Yes. I have play-tested Espionage since March this year with different groups and numbers of people and with friends and strangers, some blunt and others kind, mostly helpful.  There have been lots of amendments from the very early prototypes to now. I'm in the final couple of months of editing the game before it goes to print. The reason for this is to refine and tweak any smaller elements. The major rules are all in place and the glaringly obvious issues have hopefully been eliminated! If you would like to participate in these final edits, sign up here.

  The Newcastle Games Test at Synergy Studios! Heading there again on August 10th

The Newcastle Games Test at Synergy Studios! Heading there again on August 10th

What stage is the game at currently?

Espionage has been mostly designed and play-tested.  We will be extensively playing the game for the next couple of months in the run up to the print deadline. The Espionage prototype will be printed properly in the next week or so after which we will include a play through on here and then - all being well - when the campaign is backed we will be putting through any final edits and tweaks and sending the game off to print mid-end of September.  The rules will be sent to all backers before print to ensure that they're as clear as possible!

What makes it different to all those other card games?

The "look" of Espionage is quite different to many of the tabletop and card games currently out there. I love using plenty of white space against more detailed illustrations and this also makes the game easier to read. The initial sketches were hand-drawn and I have since created most of the artwork using my graphics tablet, but all from scratch.  I've used a mix of various elements that people enjoy and combined these into one game - spying, collecting points and using actions against other players.

Where is Northern Ireland?

If you're a GOT fan, it's in Westeros. For everyone else, it's in the North-West of the UK on the island of Ireland! 

That's all for this post, see you at the next update (if I don't die of post-video cringing before that)!