Thoughts on the New Year 2019

January 01, 2019

And so, the new year begins. Of course, the calendar is kind of arbitrary. I could reflect on what is to come in the next 365 days at any point, but when all that counting rolls over into a new number, it seems like a convenient time. So what is to come in 2019? Hopefully a lot of things. But maybe not too many. Just the right amount of things to keep me busy and give me time to enjoy myself in the process. I may have created an informal list of things in my previous post, and I think it is good enough to reference, so let's just move forward with that.

Forgotten Circles

This is of course the first big thing coming in 2019. Even though it was supposed to be some "small" thing, I feel like we spent the majority of 2018 working on it. In the end, though, it will be worth it. I'm excited for people to get their hands on it and try it out. The scenarios are challenging and clever, and the new Diviner class is unique. It's gonna be great! Of course, it would be prudent to talk about the timing. The original plan was to get it out to people in February, but even after I was finished laying everything out and making sure it was all there, the finishing touches on the graphic design took much longer than expected. It's possible we may not get it out until March, and if the production takes too long, it's possible the Chinese New Year could delay it further. Now that the holidays are over, I will be working as hard as I can with the factory to make sure the pre-orders at least go out in a timely fashion, and I'll be updating all those who have pre-ordered with an email once we get a schedule settled.

The Big Expansion

So I guess we should talk about this too, right? I will still be frustratingly cryptic for now, but things are getting slowly closer. There is still a lot to do, but I can definitely see the edges of the thing. More bits are coming into focus. A lot of bits aren't yet in focus, but over the course of the next year, I expect it will get fairly solidified. I don't want to say anything for sure, because I don't want to tie myself down to an unrealistic schedule, but I will say that there could, could be a Kickstarter for it much later this year. I thought for a long while about whether to go back to Kickstarter, and I'm not 100% decided on the matter, but given the demand I anticipate for it, I think Kickstarter will be necessary to raise enough to print sufficient copies. And also just bringing this beast back to the Kickstarter community and having another month-long adventure with them - I think it will be fun. As I said, though, it is all tenuous at this point. Don't ask me for any details about it yet, as I don't have them.
Just a little taste!

Return to Dark Tower

Another thing coming to Kickstarter later this year is Restoration's latest project, which I am helping design. It has been an interesting experience designing for another publisher and co-designing with another person. I've never done either of those things, but I'm having a good time, and the fruits of our labor should finally be seeing the light of a Kickstarter page somewhere in the back half of 2019. The game wouldn't come out until 2020, but I look forward to watching it grow from a tenuous design on a paper map to the imposing final product, complete with a super-cool tower and technology that will inspire awe. Restoration has some crazy-cool ideas, and if anyone can pull them off and make something truly spectacular, they can. I've learned a lot designing with Rob Daviau, and I am just hoping to learn more and produce a great game play experience to go along with all the fireworks. (Though there probably won't be any actual fireworks. Probably.)

Digital Gloomhaven

I'm not sure what to say here other than I am excited for this to see the light of day as well! Flaming Fowl has been working on this diligently for the last year, and come February, people are finally going to be able to play it. Of course, it will initially be the rogue-like mode, with randomized battles powering you up for a boss fight, similar to Slay the Spire or Into the Breach. The more I talk with the developers about it, the more I am looking forward to just that, but we will eventually see the implementation of the campaign as well, which will be great. It really is mind-boggling to me that I will have my name on a video game. Even before board games, video games were always a big part of my life, and maybe if I were better at programming, I would have never started making board games at all. But now things seem to have come full circle. I hope it does well!

Improving Cephalofair Games

One regret I didn't mention in my last post is how we've handled customer service and replacement parts over the last year. Basically, they've been very slow, especially for Founders of Gloomhaven. I will share some details in a later post, but for now, let's just say that this is something we will be working on in the new year. We're gonna vastly improve customer service, as well as do numerous other exciting things like make official Gloomhaven merchandise, get more on top of getting Gloomhaven localized to other countries, have a larger presence at more conventions, and possibly bring in some new help so I can focus more on making cool games. I'm excited to see where these steps take us!


So speaking of a larger convention presence, I guess it is time to come up with a convention schedule for the year. As I said last week, there were too many last year, so I'd like to cut back, but that is easier said than done. I had a great time and met awesome people at every convention I went to, so what do I abandon? Plus, I've already committed to a couple new conventions already, Piranha Pig Con in February and Indy PopCon in June. I think I have a hard time saying "no" to things... I don't think I'll be going back UK Games Expo, the BGG Cruise is also not an "every year" activity, I think, and I don't know if we'll be doing SXSW again, either (though if we do, it'll be more of a movie vacation than a real convention, anyway). I'm also waffling on going back to Dice Tower Con, but that may have been my wife's favorite convention, so we'll have to see. Still, that is at least a net negative, which is a step in the right direction. Now I just have to not agree to anything else. We will also be working on getting a booth at more conventions. Right now we just have an official presence at Gen Con and Spiel, but we may expand into Origins and PAX Unplugged, as well, which should be interesting. I will probably still treat Origins like a non-working con, though, and just let other people handle the booth, because the thought of working at Origins makes me sad. --- So I think that's it. All the plans for the new year. I've got some truly crazy game ideas rattling around in my head, and some other secret projects I am working on, so I'm excited to move forward with all of that as well and see where they go. All in all, I am expecting it to be a good year. Onward and upward!

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