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Frozen Peach
Aug 25, 2004

Heroes Never Die



I made a game! I've been working on it for almost 4 years now (it's anniversary is June 29th) and just yesterday we launched it on Kickstarter. It funded in 8 hours, and we're working towards our first stretch goal. I'm so excited



Heckin Hounds is a 2-7 player trick-taking game exploring the perils of professional dog walking in the Underworld.

Players are given the task of walking Hades' collection of hounds. Do your job too well, and she'll promote you to management - a responsibility feared throughout the realm. Do your job too poorly, and you'll be demoted to professional dog food instead.

The game is played with your hand facing outward, giving you no knowledge of the hounds you have. Every round has a different player serving as the shift leader, who can see both their hand and everyone else’s. The shift leader gives each player three clues as to the hounds they are holding - how helpful, useless, or beguiling the clue is up to you, but they must be true. The shift leader also assigns Cerberus to a player, a trump card pup that wins any trick he shows up to.

Players have a few opportunities to try and manage their luck, and must promise how many shifts they will work (tricks they will take) based on the limited information they have of their own hand, and the hands of the other players they can see. Cards are played, tricks are won, and a new round begins. After everyone has taken a turn as the shift leader, the game is over. The player who scored the least without going negative did the least amount of work without being fired, and wins the game!

Thus, Heckin Hounds is a game of being barely adequate.



You can find it on Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/527566924/heckin-hounds?ref=q52d0a

You can also find it on BGG though the BGG page isn't quite finished yet. Mods need to approve images and videos and such. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/340813/heckin-hounds

If nothing else, watch the trailer. It's to die for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBTIainkJ4E

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Len
Jan 21, 2008

Pouches, bandages, shoulderpad, cyber-eye...

Bitchin'!




it's insane you guys backed day one

Frozen Peach
Aug 25, 2004

Heroes Never Die



Len posted:

it's insane you guys backed day one

I couldn't be happier. We broke 300 backers overnight, and are looking to break $8,000 any minute now.

armorer
Aug 6, 2012

I like metal.

Woohoo! I'm along for this hellhound ride

Len
Jan 21, 2008

Pouches, bandages, shoulderpad, cyber-eye...

Bitchin'!




Does James have a playable copy? You could probably have him live stream some games with people from the shop

Frozen Peach
Aug 25, 2004

Heroes Never Die



Len posted:

Does James have a playable copy? You could probably have him live stream some games with people from the shop

He does! I think 4 prototype copies exist in the world.

Frozen Peach
Aug 25, 2004

Heroes Never Die



armorer posted:

Woohoo! I'm along for this hellhound ride

Hellhounds worried me when James first pitched the retheme idea, because when I think of hellhounds it's usually a bit more dark/edgy. Other interesting theme ideas were an intergalactic petshop, which now I'm very glad we didn't go with because Alien Petshop launched on KS the week before we did.

I absolutely love the Hades/Hellhounds theme now, especially once he linked the artists he had in mind.

Len
Jan 21, 2008

Pouches, bandages, shoulderpad, cyber-eye...

Bitchin'!




Frozen Peach posted:

He does! I think 4 prototype copies exist in the world.

I'll talk to him tonight and see if that's a thing he wants to have us do. He moved the table with the webcams on it but it can probably still happen. It sounds like tonight might be a bit busy so maybe next Thursday?

Also I just want to play it again with more people

Len
Jan 21, 2008

Pouches, bandages, shoulderpad, cyber-eye...

Bitchin'!




Forgive the bad photographs




Bunch of people here somehow surprised that the parlor has a prototype copy

Pinwiz11
Jan 26, 2009

I'm becom-, I'm becom-,
I'm becoming
Tana in, Tana in my mind.




Thanks for mentioning this in the KS thread, I'd have never seen it otherwise. Backed!

Frozen Peach
Aug 25, 2004

Heroes Never Die



Len posted:

Bunch of people here somehow surprised that the parlor has a prototype copy

I hope everyone had a great time with it! I wish I could have been there to play too. Stupid long distances.

Pinwiz11 posted:

Thanks for mentioning this in the KS thread, I'd have never seen it otherwise. Backed!

Thank you for being a backer! It makes me so happy

Len
Jan 21, 2008

Pouches, bandages, shoulderpad, cyber-eye...

Bitchin'!




Have you guys settled on final meeple shapes? The ones with the prototype feel too large for the score sheet. We had some problems with them getting bumped around a bunch

Frozen Peach
Aug 25, 2004

Heroes Never Die



Len posted:

Have you guys settled on final meeple shapes? The ones with the prototype feel too large for the score sheet. We had some problems with them getting bumped around a bunch

As far as I know, nothing is set in stone until we sign off on the final print. The prototypes that exist now just use stock components from The Game Crafter.

Frozen Peach
Aug 25, 2004

Heroes Never Die



I found out Heckin Hounds was on The Dice Tower's Crowdsurfing for this week, which I'm really torn on. Timestamped on the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvh428dFDq8#t=346s

I don't usually watch Dice Tower, or much at all beyond the occasional SUSD, so I didn't really know what to expect. I assumed being the most popular outlet for board game news that it'd be a pretty informative look at the KS page. I loved that they saw the theme and enjoyed it. I loved that they could tell how much my publisher and I cared about the theme and story and humor involved in the game. Unfortunately, it seems that at least Tom had hardly even looked at the page before the episode. The thing he nailed me on was the player count, which is set for 2-7 players, and while he's not wrong to be skeptical, it feels like he could have done some more research to see how exactly it scales. One of the other people does mention that the hidden hands probably means it scales differently than you'd expect. I guess I just think that if you can obviously tell that the designer and publisher put a lot of love and attention to the game based on theme, that the same amount of love and attention would be spent on mechanics and give an indie designer/publisher the benefit of the doubt. The last point that bothered me, was that Tom at one point said "but is it good?" and I expected him or another person on the show to answer the question and give a more nuanced opinion on what they saw. Instead the question was left dangling. All I could think was "isn't it your job to tell us that?"

Ultimately I can't really tell if the highlight helped or hindered me. I suspect it made no real difference, but it's hard to tell from the tracking. Backers/pledges have been pretty steady for most of the campaign.

The interesting thing to me, is that even my best friends and most reliable play testers are skeptical of the 2 and 6-7 player counts. They've only personally played the 3-5 player games, due to the group size. My publisher was also skeptical, though in his case he personally played the 2 player variant with his wife before deciding to sign the game. I attribute the 2 player variant to being good enough to get signed. I also agree that the 3-5 player game is, probably, the best. I think 5 is my favorite player count, but I haven't had a player count I didn't think it worked for. It really surprised me at how well the mechanics scaled.

It's going to be interesting to see how BGG user polling ends up for players.

Pvt. Public
Sep 9, 2004

I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

Frozen Peach posted:

Hellhounds worried me when James first pitched the retheme idea, because when I think of hellhounds it's usually a bit more dark/edgy. Other interesting theme ideas were an intergalactic petshop, which now I'm very glad we didn't go with because Alien Petshop launched on KS the week before we did.

I absolutely love the Hades/Hellhounds theme now, especially once he linked the artists he had in mind.

This exact discussion happens when it comes to talking about games for the shop to carry. There's always a question of "is this too much/will it discourage families from being customers/will the theme be palatable to most of our customers". This is doubly important post-COVID since a lot of new people have become customers and ensuring the customer base doesn't retreat due to the "atmosphere" of the store.

In your specific instance, I can say that the art style does the heavy lifting when it comes to selling people on the theme and setting. The concept of the game, too, also helps but the art really erases any concerns most people would have about the game's theme and setting, otherwise.


I'm not a fan of Tom at all, and I think your criticism of leaving the question dangling is quite valid. However, I will say that the industry does have a track record of letting games get put out that are poo poo games that just have great art/minis and not much else to them (or are just clones of other games) so I don't entirely fault him for not assuming the game was given love of mechanics and playtesting that the art was given, but he of all people should know that those kinds of clone-y "only sells on the art/minis" do tend to come from a small handful of established publishers and not many KS-funded games. The KS-funded games that are true duds never deliver, I've found. The ones that tend to just be bad games are the ones that never have review videos to put into their campaign (which can show a lack of planning and execution) or are really just art projects that a game was glued onto to sell more units. Those tend to stand out pretty glaringly as they generally also fail to provide much information about the gameplay itself, as well. In the end, I doubt it'll do any damage to the campaign, since the thing he could have done that would have done damage is to actually call it bad.

I will say, of all the times we've played it, the vast majority have been 3-5 players. I believe we played 6 once, but I don't recall it being a diminished experience in any way. I'm super happy to see the game make it!

Pvt. Public fucked around with this message at 21:56 on Jul 8, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*




Any news on the shipping situation, specifically if all copie will be shipped from the US or from within the EU etc? I would love to back the game, but not quite "price of game doubles or triples after shipping from the United States + taxes & import fees" love.

Frozen Peach
Aug 25, 2004

Heroes Never Die



Shaman Tank Spec posted:

Any news on the shipping situation, specifically if all copie will be shipped from the US or from within the EU etc? I would love to back the game, but not quite "price of game doubles or triples after shipping from the United States + taxes & import fees" love.

I totally understand the hesitation, but we're probably not going to have a full shipping update until it comes time to ship. The entire shipping industry is pretty in flux at the moment.

From James:

James posted:

Which distribution partners we use in a given geographical area is somewhat dependent on the final backer totals, since as a new publisher we had to account for the possibility of failure. Currently we're on trend to potentially have an EU fulfillment partner since interest has (thankfully!) been strong in the project. If ultimately shipping values post-campaign end up being a large amount of sticker shock because of only one or two copies going to a given area, we will certainly honor refund requests.

Frozen Peach
Aug 25, 2004

Heroes Never Die



The campaign ended with an outstanding $17,568 which was 349% of our goal. We had 695 total backers. I'm completely blown away by the support we got.

I had a demo night at Miniature Market on Tuesday. I setup two tables and got to talk the game up to shoppers. It was really fun.



The turnout wasn't great, since it was a pretty slow night at the shop, but one of my best friends showed up and we played the two player game a bit. It's a really interesting game with two players. We played without the variant rules, which means that when you're not the shift leader you have almost no information. It's all about playing mind games between the two players and as the non-shift leader trying to disrupt the shift leader's carefully laid plans.

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silvergoose
Mar 18, 2006

IT IS SAID THE TEARS OF THE BWEENIX CAN HEAL ALL WOUNDS



Really excited for you. I'm looking forward to introducing the game to my friends and seeing if I can convince my 6yo that underworld dogs are less scary than real ones!

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