In the Works

Hey there,

All sorts of things are “in the works” right now.

CAPERS

Should receive maps and paper minis print proofs today. If they’re good to go, this last part of the CAPERS Kickstarter will get fulfilled this week. If they need tweaking, it’ll be another couple weeks.

CAPERS Noir

Artwork, graphic design, and editing are underway. Expect a firm Kickstarter date to be announced this month.

Die Laughing

Should upload the print files today. Will order a print proof as soon as they clear.

Twitch

I’m having overlays made for my use. I’ll be running a weekly CAPERS campaign starting sometime in the next month or two.

I have leads on several opportunities for getting CAPERS onto other folks’ Twitch channels. More news once things are firmed up.

Game on,

Craig

2018 in Review

Hello everyone,

As 2018 wraps up, it’s time for a look back…and a look forward. This year has been one of growth for NerdBurger Games. Somewhat surprising growth, really. And it’s also been a year where NerdBurger Games has come into its own and is no longer just “some guy and the one game he made.” We have two bigger games on the market and Die Laughing is just weeks away from publishing.

I went to a ton of conventions (twelve in twelve months) and met a slew of great people. Other designers. Fans and backers. Freelancers. All in all, a great, if occasionally tiring, series of experiences.

Thanks

Thank you to each and every one of you who backed one of our Kickstarters, bought a game, played games with me, ran our games at conventions and game days, or in any other way supported NerdBurger Games. It’s taken some time for this to happen, but I finally feel like NBG has a community. It’s a great feeling and I look forward to seeing what else we can accomplish in the coming years.

And thank you to all the great people who helped me make games this year. Writers, editors, layout folks, graphic designers, artists, playtesters. Dozens of people helped bring CAPERS and Die Laughing to life. Thank you all so much for your hard work.

Kickstarters and Fulfillment

CAPERS

From my point of view, CAPERS outperformed in every way. I make niche games. I figured I’d be happy if I pulled 300 backers. CAPERS got 532. It got featured on Geek & Sundry (twice). Word spread all over. It won fans among Twitch streamers, podcasters, bloggers, and so on. This interest, along with the backers’ call for it, is what’s pushing me toward making a supplement.

Die Laughing

I couldn’t help but have high expectations for Die Laughing, after CAPERS’ success. It’s a smaller game, and very niche as well, but it did quite well. 392 backers in a shortened, three-week campaign.

The success of these two Kickstarters, along with a couple other things that went well or were unexpected has led to…

A Profitable Year

2018 is NerdBurger Games’ first truly profitable year. I’ve stayed in the black for the couple years before, but the little extra money made went right back into purchasing artwork for something coming up or to help offset expenses for conventions. This year, profits actually put me in a position where I can pursue supplements for CAPERS, continue pushing forward on Project Thunderhawk, and take chances on a couple other opportunities, without endangering my personal finances.

Are these profits life-changing? No. Am I going to quit my day job? No. But this year has made the last few years of squeaking by feel worth it.

Murders & Acquisitions

M&A even saw an upswing this year, being featured in the Indie Cornucopia 6 Bundle of Holding back in November. Plus, I put the PDF in the hands of a BUNCH of Die Laughing backers (along with CAPERS PDFs).

What’s in Store for 2019?

NerdBurger Games hopes to build on this past year by pursuing a few different things.

Games

CAPERS will receive at least one supplement, CAPERS Noir, which is tentatively planned for Kickstarter in March. If CAPERS Noir does well, CAPERS Covert is next on the docket, hopefully with a Kickstarter before the end of 2019. CAPERS Offworld, if it gets made, will happen in 2020.

I’ll be working on Project Thunderhawk here and there as the CAPERS supplements progress. Given that it uses the CAPERS Core system, it’s development will center on some sub-systems and the game world itself, not so much on the core mechanics. As of right now, I have no projection for when Project Thunderhawk might see public playtesting or a Kickstarter. It’s going to depend, in part, on how the CAPERS supplements do.

Twitch

CAPERS was featured on Little Red Dot’s Twitch channel late in 2018 and was a rousing success. I’m looking to get the game on some additional Twitch channels in 2019. Things are in the works.

Additionally, I’ll be establishing a Twitch channel for NBG. The channel won’t have a ton of content. It’ll mostly be a place for me to run/promote my own CAPERS campaign and to run occasional other games (both mine and others). I expect to also occasionally run some playtests there and maybe even some “Inside the NerdBurger” glimpses of me working on stuff and talking game design.

Discord

The NerdBurger Games Discord has taken off over the past few months. I’ll be working to grow it more. Most notably, I’ll be hosting some voice chats beginning in the second half of January about RPG design, running a Kickstarter, and publishing your own game. I got my start in RPG freelancing because other people gave me a chance and guided me. I love paying that kind of support forward.

Conventions

The 2019 conventions schedule will be significantly less busy that it was in 2018. My only concrete plans right now are to attend GenCon and do a couple of local Atlanta conventions. Will I travel to conventions in other parts of the country? I’m not sure yet.

Awards

Cuz I’m a glutton for punishment, I’m going to go ahead and enter CAPERS and Die Laughing into the running for both the ENnies and the Indie Groundbreaker Awards. Do I think I’ll win anything? Probably not. But I think I have a shot at getting nominated for something…and that’d be pretty cool.

That about does it for 2018. Onward into 2019. Keep an eye out here for more information on much of what was described above. And as always…

Game on,

Craig

Die Laughing Kickstarter - The Stats

Good morning,

I’m not a lover of statistics. That is, I’m not adept at manipulating statistics and looking at dozens of different permutations of such info. But I do like taking a look at the numbers. So here we go.

Some Basic Numbers

392 backers. $5575 pledged. 796% funded. $14.22 average pledge.

285 backed for Die Laughing. 31 wanted M&A also. 10 wanted CAPERS also. 60 wanted all three games. 25% wanted more than just the little horror game. Wow. Note to self: offer PDFs of previous games in future Kickstarters.

381 people “followed” the project. Of that, 75 converted and backed in those last two days. That’s 19%. From what I’ve seen that’s pretty decent.

613 people clicked on the video. 54% watched the whole thing. I imagine that comes out of the fact that it’s only about a minute long….and funny.

Die Laughing Kickstarter Referrals

The following chart is an approximation based on two metrics. First, Kickstarter reports where backers come from. The problem is, some of that info can be very non-specific, so it’s not all useful. Second, I asked people where they heard about the game in the backer survey. That’s self-reporting, so there will be some error/mis-remembering in there.

But I think this is a fairly accurate snapshot.

42% came from people finding the game on Kickstarter. That’s not surprising. But Facebook and Twitter were surprisingly effective for media that I often feel people just skim through. I’m particularly happy with the 20% from personal recommendations. Podcasts and streams were helpful. And then there was a lot of little bits and pieces.

All in all, it’s as I’ve said before. When you don’t have a huge, built-in fan base and you’re not widely known, EVERYTHING helps. If I hadn’t shouted from the Facebook and Twitter rooftops for three weeks, I’d have 20% less backers. If I hadn’t peppered every RPG news site, blog site, etc. I could find, I’d have 10% less backers.

Future Game Survey

I took this backer survey as an opportunity to see what types of games/supplements people might want from me in the future. People were allowed to choose more than one category. Here’s what I got:

I’m not surprised that more people wanted new smaller games. After all, if you’re pledging for a small game, you like small games, and probably want more. I AM surprised at seeing 108 people wanting supplements for my games. AND at 91 people wanting D&D stuff. I get it, D&D is crazy popular. But I’m surprised they want D&D stuff from me when there’s SO MUCH stuff out there now.

What will I create in the future? CAPERS supplements, as already planned. I’ve got another big game in the chute. And another smaller game. Will I do supplements for other games? Only time can tell.

So there you go. Numbers. Aren’t they fun?

Game on,

Craig


CAPERS Noir Specs

Hey all,

CAPERS Noir playtest feedback is in. I have some development/revision to do. There might be some additional playtesting, but we’ll see. I think it’s fair to say that there could be a Kickstarter for the game in February of March of next year. We’ll see, but it seems do-able.

What’s in CAPERS Noir, you ask? Here you go!

CAPERS Noir Specs:

  • 52 pages, softcover, color cover, color interior

  • Carries the CAPERS game into the 1940s, shifting focus from Prohibition era gangster action to 1940s crime noir stories. Character options are usable for the regular CAPERS game and also in CAPERS Noir.

  • 5 pages of 1940s setting overview.

  • 3 pages of new character options, including new Vices, point-build character options, and drawbacks.

  • 5 pages of expanded rules, including investigation rules, the Shade track (which tracks characters’ personal corruption that is influenced by the destruction wrought by WW2 and the veil between the real world and the spirit world thinning, and rules for contacts and connections.

  • 4 pages of new Powers, including Light Control, Shadow Control, and Possession.

  • 2 pages of 1940s equipment costs.

  • 4 pages of GM guidelines and advice focusing on investigations and the Shade track.

  • 8 pages of Los Angeles backdrop, including a map and 2 pages of new stat blocks.

  • 2 pages of 1940s law enforcement info, including The Rosewood Hunter Society, a private organization dedicated to understanding and hunting monsters.

  • 6 pages of monsters, including bogies, fiends, ghosts, and revenants.

  • 2 pages of general NPC stat blocks, including the femme fatale, private investigator, and street preacher.

  • 3 pages of GM Toolbox covering the Gloam, the realm of dead things and monsters.

Feel free to pop over to the NerdBurger Games Discord to talk about all this. I’d be happy to answer questions as much as I can.

Game on,

Craig

Final Girl? Final Day!

Almost done…

The Die Laughing Kickstarter ends today at 9pm Eastern.

If you haven’t backed yet, now is the time. HERE is your linkee.

72-page rough cut PDF to be released to all backers moments after the Kickstarter ends.

Game on,

Craig

Die Laughing Rough Cut

Real quick, just for those who aren’t sure they want to back Die Laughing on Kickstarter yet…

Do you want to play Die Laughing on Thanksgiving Day? I'll be releasing the 72-page "rough cut" PDF of the game to backers immediately upon the Kickstarter ending. For the record, the "rough cut" is fully illustrated, laid out, and so bloody pretty.

So there you go. Game in your hands minutes after the KS ends.

And then bigger, complete version a few months later.

Game on,

Craig

CAPERS Noir Glimpse

Hello!

CAPERS Noir recently went to playtesters. I sent the entire draft of the (eventually 50-or-so page) supplement to multiple playtest groups along with an adventure and feedback form.

Wanna see a glimpse of what playtesters are seeing? Here you go.

Backdrop

CAPERS Noir features an all-new backdrop — Los Angeles in the 1940s. Here’s the first page.

Monsters

CAPERS Noir is filled with monsters! The death and destruction caused by World War 2 has resulted in the thinning of the veil between the world and the realm of the dead, called The Gloam, in the game. Here are a couple monsters from the game.


So there you go. Enjoy. More to come in the future, as the playtesters tell me what is good, what needs work, and what is bad, bad, bad.

Game on,

Craig

Convention Reflections

Hello,

With Die Laughing doing fairly well (for the small scale game it is), I’ve found myself examining my Kickstarters, conventions, and general sales from May 2016 to the present.

Kickstarters

I make money here. M&A didn’t make a ton of profit, but I made a few bucks. CAPERS was actually fairly profitable, giving me a cushion with which to explore smaller offerings like Die Laughing and CAPERS Noir. Die Laughing looks to be profitable as well.

I feel like there are more ways I could leverage Kickstarter, even if I stick with my niche little games (which I fully realize will never be SUPER profitable, and I’m cool with that).

Online Sales

I made some money on sales with M&A. How will CAPERS perform, post Kickstarter? We’ll find out. Not much to say here until CAPERS has been around for a year or so.

Convention Sales

This is the area that was most surprising. I get books in conventions through two methods. I send them to bigger cons through the IGDN and I go to smaller cons myself and get a (generally much cheaper) booth or share with a friend or two.

Tallying five conventions of each type, I’ve made about $400 more doing smaller cons myself than I’ve made with IGDN big cons. Will I see a big swing up in sales with Origins and GenCon in 2019 since I’ll have at least three products to put on the shelves? Who knows. We’ll have to wait and see.

(Note: I make a good amount of money from those bigger cons, but I PAY a lot more to cover my share of the booth. That’s just how it works with bigger cons.)

But I can say this. If Origins and GenCon sales are disappointing, that might be the end of me putting my games into those few big cons. I feel like my little, niche games are getting lost in the shuffle. And truth be told, the numbers are bearing that out.

Holding off until after GenCon next year. But if things don’t improve, NerdBurger Games’ market/con strategy is likely going to change.

Game on,

Craig

T-Minus One Day and One Hour

Hoo-boy…

One day and one hour to go until the Die Laughing Kickstarter goes live.

If you subscribe to this blog, you are among the most dedicated NerdBurger Games fans and we love you. And you’re also part of the marketing team. :-)

All aboard the hype train!

Woo-woooooooooooo!

Craig

The In-Between

Hey there folks,

I’m in a sort of “in-between” right now.

CAPERS is fulfilled (mostly, with maps/minis coming soon). The Die Laughing Kickstarter is coming Oct. 30. CAPERS Noir is written; I just need to stat some stuff up and create an adventure and then playtesting can begin.

I went to High Level Games Con and had fun. AcadeCon is coming up and will certainly be a great time. CAPERS is gonna see some Actual Play love in the coming months and some Roll20 love a bit further down the road.

So…nothing really BIG to announce right now. Just chugging along. More news as I nail things down.

Game on,

Craig

CAPERS is Available to Purchase

Yo,

The CAPERS Kickstarter fulfillment emails have gone out. Backers are downloading PDFs and ordering books and cards. I’m ecstatic! It’s finally REAL!

Wanna learn more? Go HERE.

Or go HERE to buy the game, if you missed the Kickstarter.

Whew…

On to Die Laughing. :-)

Game on,

Craig

CAPERS - The Countdown Begins

Hello,

I recently uploaded the final CAPERS book files to the printer. The countdown to Kickstarter fulfillment is officially underway.

While I wait for the files to be approved and then a final proof gets printed and then shipped, I have a TON of planning to do to make sure fulfillment goes as smoothly (and as quickly) as possible. That planning will happen over the course of the next week.

So when will all the backers get their CAPERS Kickstarter rewards. It depends on file acceptance, printing, and shipping times, but if I had to guess…

CAPERS should go out to everyone on the week of October 1-5.

Plan for that. If it’s gonna take longer, I’ll let every one know.

It’s almost time, and I’m super-excited to unveil all the work the team and I did.

Game on,

Craig

CAPERS Noir Excerpt - Expanded Character Creation

Hello everyone,

Here I am again, sharing a bit of what’s under development for CAPERS Noir. This supplement is looking to be a 52-page PDF/softcover offering. I’ve outlined everything, written a bunch of stuff myself, and have two freelance designers helping with some other bits.

The book will contain the following:

  • Overview - Describing what CAPERS Noir is all about and setting the stage for the 1940s setting.

  • Expanded Character Creation - Containing some 1940s-specific stuff, as well as some optional rules. A link to the first draft of this chapter can be found further on in this blog post.

  • Expanded Rules - This section will contain rules for investigation, the Shade Track, and a few other things. (The first draft of the Shade Track is in an earlier blog post.)

  • Powers - Containing eight new Powers usable in the base CAPERS game or in CAPERS Noir.

  • Goods & Services - Adjusted costs of equipment for the 1940s.

  • GM Guidelines - Advice for GMs running mysteries/investigations, adjudicating the Shade Track, and some other stuff.

  • Backdrop - A complete write-up of 1940s Los Angeles, filled with info on the city, notable organizations, locales, and persons, as well as story hooks.

  • Law Enforcement - A discussion of law enforcement in the 1940s, including what’s happening with the Registry of Abnormal Persons and a government-run monster hunting department.

  • Monsters - Full info and stat blocks for a variety of “creatures of darkness” in the dark 1940s.

  • Friends & Enemies - Stat blocks for additional, crime noir appropriate NPCs like the private investigator and femme fatale.

  • GM Toolbox - Another alternate realm characters can travel to, in this case, the Gloam, the spirit world.

Here’s a LINK to a PDF download of the first draft of the Expanded Character Creation chapter. Give it a look.

Game on,

Craig