Essen 2015 - An experimental Essen fair for Flatlined Games
The warehouse is empty, so I am faced with the question: what to do at Essen 2015?
Well, this is a great opportunity to be creative! This year during Essen, Flatlined Games will borrow a page from the indie publishers and sell very limited print runs of two new titles. These games may see a larger, industrially-produced print run in the future if there is enough interest, or this may very well be the only opportunity ever to get them!
All copies sold will help us cover the cost of the booth and travel to Essen, so you can directly support us by preordering right now!
1° KWANCHAI MORIYA SIGNINGS
Kwanchai Moryia will be present in Essen, and will be on our booth 3P106 to chat with fans and sign boxes or Rumble and Twin tin Bots (and any other title he drew the art for - we won't turn you down if you come with other boxes!)
Signings schedule will be posted on the booth at the beginning of the fair.
2° ARGO DEMOS
The kickstarter will normally be finished by the time the Essen fair starts, but of course we will be demoing Argo during the fair, so make sure to stop by and give it a try!
3° STEAMROLLERS: LIMITED PRINT RUN
SteamRollers is a new game by Mark Gerrits for 2-5 players, with a duration of 30 minutes.
SteamRollers is a dice drafting game take on the classic 'train game' scenario: build a network of railroads, improve your engines, and deliver goods in the cities for points.
In Steam Rollers, players take turns drafting dice from a common pool to build a network of railroads on their individual map. They can also use dice to improve their engines or buy special powers, and finally they can use them to deliver goods from city to city in exchange for victory points.
Each player has a personal map on which they draw their railroads using a pen or pencil. The game features variable starting configurations for high replayability, and is simple enough that you don't need an engineering degree to enjoy it. Being fast and dice-based, it's also quite addictive.
Components : 1 game box, 1 game board, 1 setup player aid, 200 individual player maps (2 pads x 50 sheets), 50 wooden cubes, 6 dice, 1 rulesbook (FrNlEnDe). Pens not included.
This limited print run of SteamRollers is only available by preordering on our website : http://www.flatlinedgames.com/essen2015-preorders
4° OTTER NONSENSE LIMITED PREVIEW
Otter Nonsense is a new card game by Eric Hanuise for 2-6 players, with a duration of 15 minutes.
A card game with otters , that's otter nonsense! Play the mischievous buggers to block the next player so he will have to give yuou points! First player to 7 points wins the game.
In Otter Nonsense, players must during their turn place a card from their hand on one of the three stacks in the center of the table. They must follow the stacks direction, values up or down. If the player cannot play, he must give points to the previous player, who blocked him. Players get bonus points for emptying their whole hand, and the first to reach 7 points wins the game.
Otter Nonsense is very simple and quick to play, and has been very well received in our playtests sessions with all kind of players. Oh, and the cartoon otters art from Elisabeth Hanchir is otter-ly gorgeous!
Components : 55 poker-sized cards, 1 rulesbook (FrNlEnDe), 1 tuckbox.
I will produce a very limited print run preview of otter Nonsense for this Essen fair. It will only be available by preordering on our website : http://www.flatlinedgames.com/essen2015-preorders
I plan to release an otter, larger, industrially produced print run of Otter Nonsense later, but cannot set a date yet, and this might be a long time as it isb mostly money-dependent. This might also be the only version ever produced so don't miss it!
5° DRAGON RAGE, RUMBLE AND ROBIN
I still have a few copies of these games left, so we will have them for sale on the booth too! Twin Tin Bots is sold out at the moment.
IN FLIGHT REPORT
Along with this Essen announcement, here are some news about the behind-the-scenes at Flatlined games:
There is a chinese curse that says 'may you live interesting times'. Well, this is a very interesting time at Flatlined games, 2015 has been a difficult year for me.
For US releases I have been relying on our distributor to place orders for large quantities upfront, and essentially fund my print runs. The problem is they have other products to support so there is no way they can tie up enough money to keep all our titles in supply in the US. It also means I have no real control on which products get printed or not.
10.000 Rumble in the House/Dungeon were printed specifically for the US in 2015 and that stock level is steadily diminishing. They have decided to delay the US orders of Robin and Twin Tin Bots and I do lack the funds to reprint Dragon Rage for a large US release, so I am considering crowdfunding campaigns to fund US-specific reprints runs of these titles. I would then be able to switch to a consignment-based distribution model, and insure a steady supply for the US. This is a priority as the volumes in the US market are key to ensure a sustainable business for Flatlined Games.
In Europe, we are about sold out of all products, and I was expecting revenue from the US sales to be able to fund reprints so this is a difficult situation: I have great products, there is demand for them, but I lack the cash to reprint them. Boardgames publishing is a very capital-intensive business, and risky enough that the banks are not keen on opening me a huge credit line, even with collateral. They flat out refused my requests for credit, meaning I must go back to consulting work ASAP with Flatlined games reverting to my 'second job', and make extensive use of crowdfunding in the near future. This is a huge step back, but there is no other way to keep Flatlined Games alive after my distributor and my bank both let me down. As a side note, ING just lost a client and I'm in the process of moving all my business to another bank that better understands what doing business as a freelancer is.
ARGO KICKSTARTER COMING SOON
Argo is my next new official release, a game by Bruno Faidutti and Serge Laget for 2-4 players with a duration of 30-45 minutes.
In Argo, you and your team are waking up from hibernation in an Alien-infested unknown mining station. Your goal is to lead a maximum of your men to the safety of the Escape Pods before the Aliens kill everyone.
During the game, players alternatively control the Aliens and their Astronauts. Points are awarded for reaching the Escape Pods, but also for killing other Astronauts with the Aliens. However at the end of the game, if too many Astronauts have died, everybody loses and the Aliens win.
After two years of development, Argo is ready to be sent to the printer. Argo was planned for Essen 2015 and is now delayed for lack of money to print it. I will use crowdfunding with a campaign that should start in the end of August, and an expected release in Q1 2016 (Cannes, hopefully). This is both a curse and a blessing, since I'll of course use the extra time and the crowdfunding campaign to add some extra stuff in the box, as is usually expected by crowdfunders.
Argo has been very well received during development, and many players are already eagerly awaiting its release. I will make sure the production values are matching the gorgeous art of Miguel Coimbra and Alexandre de la Serna and the excellent gameplay of Argo.
RUMBLE IN THE HOUSE / DUNGEON
I have established several partnerships to release Rumble in the House / Dungeon in several new European languages. In Q4 2015 you will see Rumble in German from heidelberger, in Spanish from Asmodee Spain, and in a multilingual Czech/Slovak/Romanian version from Blackfire. These new versions will join the current French, Dutch, American, Canadian, Chinese and Russian versions for more rumble around the globe. 2016 will be the fifth year of Rumble in the House, with over 50.000 copies sold so far! This is our most successful title so far, but unfortunately it is not (yet) big enough to single-handedly support the whole business of Flatlined Games.
Zvezda will release a Russian version of Robin in Q4 2015, and the first European print run is almost completely sold out.
I will consider a Kickstarter for a US/Eu reprint and am looking for european partners for localized versions.
TWIN TIN BOTS
Currently sold out at the publisher level. I have interest from a couple international partners, and will reprint as soon as I find enough partners and/or money to start a new print run.
I will consider a Kickstarter for a US reprint and to keep this great game on the shelves.
Only a few copies remaining, I will consider a Kickstarter for a US reprint.
Lewis Pulsipher is still work on a new game, Demon Rage. It is still in the very early stages. It could take years to fully develop. It could never get released. But We both are working on it, and both would love to see it happen. Just give it time.
Remember the thing about Elves ? Patient, they are.