We here at CMG feel like the topic of Stretch Goals is a very important one, and that maybe the best way to explore it is by using the 2nd Edition Kickstarter (currently underway) as a launching point.
We want to devote attention to this, and to do it in a way that attempts to give people the info they need without overload.
Where is the best place to do that?
THE KICKSTARTER PAGE: We considered this, but felt like it would overload most people’s need for info. This is especially true because we have a lot to say on this topic (just take a look below and see for yourself).
THE FAQ: We also considered putting it into the FAQ portion of the Kickstarter, which isn’t a bad idea, but the ability to organize information via this medium is very limited.
BGG: We even considered putting it on BGG, but that didn’t seem quite right either. This is true mostly because there is already a thread there which is designed to gather YOUR thoughts on the subject of Stretch Goals, and if we started another thread, we worry that this would confuse people (“why two threads?”, etc.).
VIA UPDATES: We thought about maybe trying to convey all this info via an update, but this seemed, once again, to be more info that most backers might want to digest.
OUR WEBSITE: In the end, though no solution seemed perfect, we felt like our own website gave us the best shot at dispensing this level of information in a way that was the least confusing combined with the most organized.
As we mentioned on the Kickstarter page, there are very significant challenges to reprinting Police Precinct (due to the hard-drive Meltdown of 2012, and the fact that we are a small company with limited resources).
The goal of this Kickstarter is to take a great game and make it even better, and for this to happen…
Without changing the rules, the card-backs, the MSRP, the component list, etc.
We feel that affecting these areas would ultimately really hurt the game.
Now let’s take a look at some of the points-of-view who matter in every decision we make about the brand Police Precinct…
1ST EDITION OWNERS
We feel like it is vital to consider the feelings and needs of the 1st Edition owners in everything we do, and at every step of the way. It is for this reason that we do NOT want to do certain things, such as adding a bunch of new items to the base-game. Another thing they don’t want to see is any sort of Kickstarter Exclusive that they don’t have access to. 1st Edition owners have made it very clear that this is not something they would appreciate, we have listened, and we agree, so this is not the direction we feel makes the most sense.
We are also extremely loyal to retailers, and the 3-step distribution chain. For this reason we do not want to offer exclusives. Doing this is like a slap in their face. They are not the only ones hurt by this. Gamers that miss out on the Kickstarter campaign, can feel very disappointed when they hear about it later. There are other reasons too, but suffice it to say that this is not a direction we want to go.
It should go without saying that folks who are backing the 2nd Edition Kickstarter campaign matter. In fact they matter greatly. No other concerned party matters more. The point is that these parties listed here (all of them) matter, and matter greatly. We here at CMG feel it is vital to weigh the needs and feelings of all of these parties as we navigate our path. Thanks backers!
There has been some talk of having Stretch Goals that involve big expensive changes to the game. Let’s explore that topic by using Miniatures as a case study. Below, we have listed the positives in Green headlines and the negatives (or concerns) in orange headlines, and finished up with a conclusion section which has a purple headline…
They are very popular these days, and if you want to have a Kickstarter that raises a lot of money, miniatures are very helpful.
Come on, who wouldn’t want to have miniatures in a game! They’re COOL! And they’re FUN! There’s no getting around that.
Adding miniature cars and or characters to the game costs A LOT of money. The factory would charge a lot to do this, artists, and other specialists would need to be hired.
There is another cost involved, and it can’t easily be put into dollars and cents. It’s “time”! The time that CMG spends focused on developing miniatures is time that will not be spent on developing other cool things that add to the world of Police Precinct (expansions, etc.).
Since Police Precinct is not a game that currently has miniatures, the scale of this process would be quite large. ALL the vehicles, Gang Members, Patrol Officers, Donuts, SWAT, FEDS, and the Murderer, would need to be replaced with miniatures. This would cost so much that the Stretch Goal would have to be incredibly high, and if we didn’t reach it, this would be frustrating for many backers.
Adding miniatures to the game would take plenty of time and attention to do right, and this would mean that backers would receive game MUCH later. Some backers would not mind the wait, but many would.
Keep in mind that if miniatures were added to the game, it opens up a whole new door for mistakes, issues, and problems. One of the big goals of this campaign is to close the quality gap. We want to correct mistakes made in the 1st edition and to release a great game.
On this note, we worry that along with the delays, mentioned above, we will run into fatigue quality issues. Meaning that, as this process of developing the miniatures dragged-out, the backers would likely grow tiered of the wait. Likewise, as this begins to take hold, might we (CMG) mistakenly shortcut the process (try to speed things up by cutting corners). This can work really well and result in lower delay periods, but it can also lead to mistakes.
The other thing to consider is that many fans of the game have been having a blast personalizing their games with miniatures of all kinds. We are concerned that if we supplied miniatures with the game, that this would stifle this fun and creative process. We love watching this movement, it’s a way for owners of the game to express their individuality. You have to read some of these BGG threads that talk about this to get an idea. There have been many posts and sharing of ideas, it’s a great niche of the Police Precinct community. You can Google “Police Precinct boardgamegeek hot wheels” to bring up some of this.
There is one other issue with Miniatures, which is that we (CMG) do not (currently) specialize in developing games with molded pieces. We feel like it is important to know what you are good at and to do it well.
For games that already have miniatures, adding MORE of them, makes great sense as Stretch Goals. For Police Precinct this would be an all-or-nothing prospect.
If we try to add something to the game, and it puts a strain on our financial footing this does not ultimately benefit the fans of the game. As a small publisher, we need to tread carefully. Big companies can afford to make mistakes and recover.
As one backer put it…
“I would be careful here, it would be easy to over complicate this game and add all sorts of fiddly stuff. Pimped out components like cars, donuts, etc might be expensive and anybody who wants that can do it on their own. Id rather see focus on an interesting mini expansion or two that nicely complements the existing game.” (Justin)
All this said, we still might end up adding miniatures to the game at some point, it’s just that now is not the right time. We see this as something that might happen much further down the road as (possibly) part of some sort of expanded deluxe version of the game, and/or possibly to mark a special moment in time. Maybe the 5 year or 10 year anniversary.
We have a mission, and because of this mission, we want to put our focus into certain areas, and not others. We want to (with your help) finish the process of recreating Police Precinct in a way that we think you will really like and enjoy playing for many years to come. We also want to devote energy into developing well tested really fun expansions for the game. Bringing the game to a wider audience is also critical to the long-term success of the game. Finally we want to do this in a way that keeps the game affordable. Add all this up and you have Our Mission!
POSSIBLE STRETCH GOALS
If that’s our mission (Listed above), let’s try to pick Stretch Goals that support this direction. Listed below you can find some of the ideas we are kicking around for Stretch Goals that we feel will ultimately benefit you the most…
DOUBLE-SIDED TOKENS: $30,000
This is the first official Stretch Goal of the campaign. We brought it forward shortly after reaching our base-goal of $25,000. It was posted on the page and mentioned in an Update on Jan 3rd 2013. Some gamers do not feel that double-sided tokens are a must-have item, but many have expressed that, to them, this is critical aspect. By taking care of this item, we are widening our player base and enhancing the playing experience for all.
DOUBLE SIDED BOARD
This is a very interesting idea that we might do anyway, BUT…
If we do end up listing this as a Stretch Goal, and the goal is reached, then it is no longer something we “may” do, it is something we “must” do. So if we decide to list this as a Stretch Goal, and it’s something you want to see, then you can help “Force-our-hand”.
If this is a topic that interests you, check out the BGG thread HERE!
Police Precinct comes with 8 characters, but we think it would be great to be able to afford to develop a few more. Making this a Stretch Goal would be one way to do this.
If we do end up utilizing this as a Stretch Goal, then it would be done in such a way that 1st Edition folks could get these as well somehow.
By the way, this particular one is an expensive thing to deal with because the characters are done on big heavy boards and all of them have matching vehicles, and if we added even one of these it would require us to add a whole new punch-sheet for the vehicles. One way to do this is to have the 1st one be a 5K increment, the 2nd 4K, the 3rd 3K, the 4th 2K, 5th 1K, then several more at 1K. As we get closer to needing to post the next SG, we will crunch these numbers a bit more, so for now consider this “Food for Thought!”
The 1st edition game had characters that were printed on both sides, but it was just the same thing printed on both sides. We think this could change in a way that would provide more for less cost, meaning…
To save printing costs, we might print one character on one side, and another on the other. That said, certain characters might be double-sided (Joe and others have presented really creative ideas for how this could work).
A lot to think about on this one.
Who would be our next character? We feel it MUST be a K-9! Cindy gave me some fun history on this today…
“The first police dog unit formed in 1899, in Ghent, Belgium was made up of various Belgian shepherds. Apparently a crime wave hit the city, but there was no money for additional officers. Then in 1908, Lt. Wakefield from NYPD went to Ghent to find out about these dogs and brought several Malinois back to New York and founded the New York Police Dog Unit, called K-9s They appeared in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The Ghent unit became world famous.”
NEW POLICE CARDS
Similar to the idea listed above, we feel like MORE and NEW Police Cards would be a nice addition to the game. If this is used as a Stretch Goal, yes we will figure out a way to make it available to the 1st Edition folks by some means.
The game comes with 4 evidence decks, and we thought it would be nice to add-to those decks. These additional cards would provide more of both evidence AND “Nothing Yet” type cards. This would allow for more variety of play as well as higher degrees of difficulty. If we end up using this as a Stretch Goal, then we will, once again, make sure that the 1st Edition folks can have access to these items by some means.
NEW UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES
At one time we were in talks with both Jason at 8th Summit and Tavis at Indie about doing these really fun cross-over tokens. We ended up getting busy with other things, and this project sort of fell between the cracks, but the idea could come back! Maybe a Stretch Goal is a good way to do it. All three games (Police Precinct, SMERSH, and Flashpoint) share the same artist (George Patsouras), and we wanted to honor him and have some fun at the same time.
Anyway, if we end up doing this as a Stretch Goal, and we DO reach it, then we would be committed to…
Picking back up the conversations with 8th and or Indie, and if that goes well then working on finalizing the art/graphics (etc.) needed to finalize these tokens. If we get to that point, we hope that Jeff Brzozowski would be available to work on this, because he does great graphics AND because the whole thing is his brain-child!
If, by the way, we could NOT find common ground with the cross-over idea, then we would simply develop something on our own.
Either way we would be adding some extra Tokens to the game. Likely they would replace the currently black tokens (but not necessarily). Yes, we would look to make these available to 1st Edition owners.
The game comes with 4 Gangs, but MORE would be great! Yep, available to 1st Edition owners (we’ll figure something out).
MORE EVENT CARDS
The original game comes with 39 cards in this deck, and in addition to that we have come out with 15 additional Events through assorted booster-packs (14 of which are included in The Kit). So, the need for more Events has been addressed, BUT who wouldn’t agree that MORE is always better!
With this in mind, Ole has been working on a few ideas, and we may make this into a Stretch Goal at some point. If so…
These will be available to 1st Edition owners!
Why NOT have this as a Stretch Goal?
Because after further talks with Schwerkraft-Verlag (our designated German Publisher), we both agreed that it would be better to focus 100% on a pure-German version of the game.
Why might this end up being a Stretch Goal?
For the same reason we were considering a Bilingual Box, because…
A full German Edition widens the fan base which allows for all the great expansions to come to life!
If we end up doing this, here is how this Stretch Goal would work…
If we reach this level, we would attempt to launch a German Edition Campaign in GERMANY. Meaning that we would use the German version of Kickstarter to do this. We are talking about Spieleschmiede, they come recommended as a good crowd funding option for German language board games (a perfect way to raise funds and awareness in Germany and throughout the EU).
If we are able to get this campaign up and running AND it does fund then we (through our German partner) would develop and release a German version of the game. In this case, it would be manufactured at the same time as the English 2nd Edition, so there would be some time pressure on this process.
If we do this Stretch Goal, CMG’s commitment would be to earnestly attempt to make this work-out. Furthermore, if it does NOT work out, we may still end up figuring a way to get this done. As we wade in deeper into this process/idea, we think that more solutions than challenges will reveal themselves.
NAKED GUY IN TRAFFIC
Give me a second, and I will get to that. First let me say a couple things…
1. HUMOR: On one hand Police Precinct is a serious game used for serious purposes (like training real cadets!), but it is also a game that can have fun and share a laugh or two (“Donuts” and “Punks”, need I say more).
2. UPGRADING: If we do this Stretch Goal (and how could we not) we will likely combine it with something else, like maybe a bit of component upgrading.
The components that we are envisioning upgrading would be the Murder Board, and the Crime Track. Going to a beefier stock on both of those would be nice.
OK, now to this Naked Guy…
He will be the focus of a Special Event Card (or a green Emergency possibly). We would likely NOT include this IN the game, but rather tape the card (which would be in it’s own bag) to the outside of the box.
The reviewer known as “The Chief” (who is a real cop), once told a funny real-life story of a naked guy running in traffic, which inspired this card.
As implied above, the extra copies of this card would NOT be part of the base-game, BUT instead would be used to help promote sales in assorted ways (via Stores, at shows, etc., etc.).
We here at CMG know that the storage solution offered in the 1st Edition was not the greatest, and how nice it would be to have a plastic insert. These are expensive, and therefor make a very nice and logical Stretch Goal. Due to the costs involved, we would need this to be one of (if not the) highest Stretch Goals.
Another consideration is that doing this might result in the need for a bigger box, which would further add to costs.
It has been suggested that when calculating a storage solution to consider sleeved cards taking up more space. Good point!
UN-NAMED STRETCH GOALS
As more backers come in after we reach our funding goal, what does that really do for us?
The margins from those backers could be applied directly to supporting Stretch Goals that are specifically named, but they can (and will) do much more than this, by…
Providing critical extra dollars to help make MANY great things happen for the brand Police Precinct. As a small publisher, these extra dollars are SO important and can do SO much in many different areas!
We are talking about things that will benefit YOU, now and on into the future. Let’s take a look at some of those…
Though we have not named this as a Stretch Goal, we (Katie and I) are already working on a re-do of the Loyalty Deck. This item has been criticized be fans and reviewers alike for lacking any sort of flair. As one reviewer said, it just looked like someone typed up a Word.doc file and pasted it into a card. No disagreement there. So, this seemed like a great choice for an up-grade. Our plan is to grab the low hanging fruit first, and work our way up from there. How far we get with that process partly depends on the extra funding we get beyond the $25,000 base-goal. CMG’s ability to bring on great talent to work on this project (Katie) depends on real dollars coming in. Every bit helps.
Developing well tested good looking expansions is not easy nor cheap. Your support helps keep these projects moving forward.
Expansions are the life blood of Police Precinct.
Here is what one backer hopes to see…
“Items I would like to see in expansions: 1. More event cards 2. More police officers” (Joe)
Don’t worry Joe, we have all sorts of things in the works.
How does delivering rewards in 10 days sound!?!
OK, let me back-up here for a second and explain…
As some of you may know, the management team at CMG has changed in the past year. It was a partnership, and in early 2013 I (Karl) bought the ownership shares of the other partner, leaving me in the position to make all final decisions on my own. One shift I have taken is to move toward a policy of “Under-Committing / Over-Delivering”. This means that I would rather NOT tell folks that something will happen in a certain way, and then have to later tell them that it will arrive late, or that it won’t happen at all, or anything along those lines.
This stance is appreciated by many, but some have been turned off by things such as our listing the anticipated delivery of the rewards for this Kickstarter as occuring in December 2014.
Rather than giving you a fast schedule based on everything going exactly as planned (which they never do), and then having to apologize when things fall short, which is chronically typical of Kickstarters, instead we…
Hope to surprise YOU time-and-time-again with Faster and Better than expected outcomes.
We are fully ready to admit that things can, and do, happen that are out of a publishers control, thus delivering Faster and Better than expected is not always going to happen, but that won’t stop us from trying.
Let me give you an example of us being able to pull this off…
The other Kickstarter we ran this fall (for The Heat) delivered rewards faster than any Kickstarter for a game ever (to my knowledge). We shipped them in 10 days of the campaign’s end, and got them to backers in time for Christmas!
That was not easy and it was expensive in a variety of ways, but…
It was very exciting and fun to do.
That’s the kind of thing we want to do for YOU!
There is a cost to achieving these sorts of feats, and though we may not offer it as a stated Stretch Goal, this is the sort of thing your extra dollars make possible.
We want to send out a big…
Thank You to all backers!
For making EVERYTHING possible.
It all starts with you, and without you NOTHING would happen!