Hail to you, dear TGG supporter! If you're like us, you're sweltering in the summer heat. And yet, despite sticky computer mice and grubby keyboards, your Raging Heroes Team is not slacking off!
Right now, all of our production efforts are focused on finishing the First Wave, due out in the Fall.
As you may be aware, we work with contributors from around the world to create our sculpts. To optimize production, we got two of our key team members, Francesca and Andrea to travel to Montpellier (France) for a bout of intensive teamwork, and we are also welcoming Yan, a new sculptor, to the on-site team. Together with Benoit and Jean-Romain, they are hard at work finishing most of the Troops and Command Group boxes. This means a batch of up to 50 sculpts! And, as planned, there will also be up to 10 Heroines thrown into the mix. This already represents more than the total number of sculpts we released in the past 24 months, and is a testament to the continuing improvements we've made to our production workflow.
For those who may have missed it, if you recall, in our opening video, we talked about creating about 20 Heroines for the TGG Kickstarter. But that was before the Kickstarter launch actually happened! And guess what? At the end of the Kickstarter, we created over 50 Heroines and, in total, the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy project pretty much doubled in size! Not to worry, though, from the very first days of the Kickstarter, we made sure that we could handle the additional creation and production. In fact, this was one of the reasons why we were a bit slow on the uptake in the first 3-4 days of the KS, as we carefully re-planned everything to make sure that we did not over-promise and could deliver as we increased our commitments.
We also have quite a bit of administrative work to do. Managing the Kickstarter funds in the proper manner requires good thinking and planning, as well as a bit of help from professional accountants. It's fairly transparent to you, but of course, it's crucial to the continuing health of the company and the proper completion of the TGG project. A large part of our time is also devoted to recruiting new sculptors. As simple as it may seem, this takes A LOT of time: not many people have the specific set of skills we require, as sculpting good female characters is actually more of a challenge than sculpting male characters or monsters...
And finally, we know that, as Tommy Blaze put it in the Comments thread, you would have loved to see some eye candy in this Update but alas, as much as we've been working on many sculptures al at once, none is ready for its close-up yet. But we'll make up for it in the next Update.
There's a lot of excitement around all things related to the casting of the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy.
In the past months as you may know, we did a lot of R&D regarding casting and production. As the casting of the first wave is drawing nearer, a lot of that is now coming to fruition. And in the past few weeks, new ideas and concepts are being developed so that the casts are of the best possible quality while, at the same time, we continually seek ways to ramp up productivity.
Among other things, we now have a new system to lock the moulds, as we continue on our quest to make mould lines disappear.
We are also testing and refining a new method to cast twice as many miniatures per spin.
And we're devising new solutions to facilitate the picking and sorting of all the minis and their parts: this is a crucial part of the job, because we must continually seek to streamline this process while minimizing mispacks.
Our foundry is also importing from Italy what they called the “Rolls Royce of casting rubber” for the TGG moulds, and BASF, the chemical giant company, is custom mixing a special kind of resin just for us!
So, all in all, all these improvements are building up to have a big impact on the final product! We're totally psyched about all this, not only because it means very good news for the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy, but also because it will have very positive repercussions on all our future projects...
You may have noticed that as soon as the TGG Kickstarter ended, many of you began to ask when our next project would be, and when it would happen. So we asked for your feedback in our previous Update.
And reading it has been most interesting. But one thing must be said: usually, when we ask for your feedback, a clear consensus always emerges, but this time, and this is a first, there is much interest for everything, but with no particular order of preference.
So tell us more! Please keep on sharing your thoughts with us: we're listening!
Meanwhile, here's where we're at now, but do keep in mind that as this is an ongoing conversation, everything is still very fluid as this point in time.
First of all, and we really want to reassure you on this, the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy are our ABSOLUTE priority. All of our resources are currently devoted to this.
But, as creative people, to make sure that our current projects work well, we do need to refresh and replenish our minds with other thoughts and ideas from time to time. It's, in a small way, a bit akin to how you work on your computer or your miniature painting, and your eye doctor tells you that you need to look away towards infinity for 5 minutes every hour or so to rest your eyes: we need to look away from the daily grind and take the long view every now and then, to say fresh and excited about what we do!
Dark Elves vs Sisters of Eternal Mercy
it is very interesting to see that before the TGG KS, the big demand was clearly on our launching the Dark Elves Invasion. But after the TGG Kickstarter, the focus appears to have somewhat shifted to the Sisters of Eternal Mercy. Not to mention that there are those of you who want to see the Dark Elves in a Sci-Fi setting, and the Sisters in a Fantasy version... :)
These are all interesting and valid options, and we're not ready to call them yet. However, just so you know, any new Sci-Fi faction that we make will of course be part of the TGG universe.
In any case, you will recall that we already have all the concept art for the Dark Elf Troops as well as other DE special projects, and therefore, since Alex, our concept artist, is done with the TGG, he's in an Exploration Phase to develop new ideas and concepts for the Sisters, based on Benoit's vision.
The main question about the game(s) has been about the format it should have. Many of you have said that they would prefer a board game that would be easily playable with their friends in a short period of time. Others are looking for a skirmish game. And of course, there are those who are looking for an alternative mass combat game. And of course, there is a question of whether it should be Fantasy or Sci-Fi...
We are not ready to give you have a definite answer to all of this. However, our plans include having a generic game engine that would be the base for our games, at least the skirmish and mass combat ones. So at this point in time, while we cannot say exactly how it will be like, the plan is to make the game very scalable, so that you can have as much fun with a few minis or with large armies on the tabletop. We do believe we have some pretty unusual/innovative approaches to this, so this should be fun...
As for the board game, we can tell you that it will be something really special, different and loads of fun! It will take place either in the TGG world or or in the Fantasy world we're working on. It will not be about war, and yet fights will be part of it...
As you are well aware, you have not yet received the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy Pledge Manager. This is completely normal.
First of course, as mentioned in our previous update, the Pledge Manager is going to be a bit complex, and we want to make sure we have an effective tool. But just as importantly, we want you to be able to see the sculpts of the first wave before finalizing your selection.
And in case you're wondering, when the Pledge Manager comes out, you will indeed be able to top up your pledge via Paypal, if you want to.
Meanwhile, if you wish, you can check out not one but two unofficial yet quite useful Pledge Calculators, each offering different functionalities, for which we've very thankful:
If you've pledged for the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy during our Kickstarter, you are already receiving all of our Updates directly in your mailbox as soon as we post them.
However, until now, those of you who have pledged only on our Paypal page have been somewhat left out of the loop: they do not receive the Kickstarter updates, and cannot comment on Kickstarter either.
So we've created a newsletter for those who want to receive our Updates directly into their email box, if they are not already getting them: if you or your friends want to keep track of what's happening with the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy, you can subscribe here. We are also reposting the Kickstarter Updates directly onto our blog, so that you can share your thoughts with us if you wish.
Well, that's it for now. Don't hesitate to share your thoughts with us. And I'd like to leave you with the latest from the sculpting team, who's putting the finishing touches on the Jailbirds' mascot: "I think we've managed to create the most accessorized hippo ever..."