First of all we must apologize to you for the lack of update last month. On a personal level, it has been a very challenging time as my mother was diagnosed with an aggressive illness and hospitalized for most of the month. Benoit and I flew to Canada to help and take care of my parents. Thankfully, things are finally starting to look better but it has been a very difficult and stressful period, and one that one can never quite prepare for. We are now back in France with the crew who held up the fort while we were away, and so after several days of catching up with everything here, we are getting back on track.
The year has entered its final stage and so has the TGG2 fulfillment. We've been through quite an adventure together and it feels good to finally see the shores. We have already delivered the rewards of a very large number of backers but we understand that if you are among those who are still waiting, this is a really frustrating experience. Yet we are now very close to the end. At this point we continue shipping your rewards non-stop, tens and tens of parcels leave our place everyday.
Since there is not so much new stuff to show you now that our work on the miniatures is done, we thought that we would mainly illustrate this update with behind-the-scenes images that show how we have worked on some concepts or sculpts to bring them to the level that makes a Raging Heroes miniature. We think it can give you an interesting insight on how we work with the artists to guide them toward the final look of what we try to accomplish, and is a tribute to the insane amount of work the team has produced.
Sometimes, funny things happen in the scenes we receive from the sculptors, like in this Blade Maiden WIP scene...
Some of you have asked about why your Rewards Selection has not been shipped yet even though the miniatures you chose had been announced in the casting phase a long time ago.
As we've explained in other updates, the foundry is working on all the minis at the same time to produce quantities that allow us to ship as many orders as possible. It means that once we have sent a massive batch to the backers, several models run out of stock and more must be cast.
We optimize the selection and quantities of minis being produced to get as many shipments out as possible but even that way, restocks are constantly required as the foundry is juggling with many many balls at once.
And that's the reason why you may still be awaiting your shipment, even if the complete list of your minis show up in the production schedule as cast.
Also, many shipments have been delayed by the production of the last few references (mostly monsters & machines) and every time one of these finally become available it means that hundreds of other troops and heroines are getting shipped in a big shipment wave.
So sometimes, after a wave of shipping, one or two references may need to be re-stoked to fulfill the next shipments. That's why we have to constantly balance the casting of the “new” references with the re-stoking of the “old” one.
That is also why, from time to time, we have the mould-making process of un-cast references placed on hold to allow the foundry to focus on casting missing references, with the mould-makers giving a hand to the casting team to improve the production figures.
All the resin minis have now been moulded and cast in various quantities.
The only exception is the Altar of the Succubi for which the moulds are nearly done, but this process has been put on hold again to make sure more needed casts are being made first.
In the last few weeks, our logistics department focussed mostly on sorting and picking the miniatures. Once a big batch of picking has been made, they move exclusively to shipping kill mode. This helps efficiency since we depend so much on what the foundry sends us. It goes by waves. And we are about to start shipping a large batch of rewards by the middle of the next week.
CHARIOTS AND YSCARLOTH
All Chariots (Horses and Draahks) and both versions of Yscarloth are already in stock and eager to meet their new masters!!
The production of both Yscarloth is completely finished, meaning that we even have some overstock on these minis.
Spider Mother's first copies are currently under quality control. Complex miniatures like this requires extra care to make sure all the moulds were done properly, everything assemble properly, etc. We discovered, after receiving several batches, that one leg section was missing from the final cast, so that had to be corrected.
Of course we don’t forget about the metal miniatures. They were planned to be the last to be produced and with resin production nearing its end, it is time to start manufacturing these shiny little girls. Once the necessary stock of miniatures from the latest moulds is completed, the metal will start to spin to shape your favorite TGG2 characters.
Since the foundry works through batches, we end up with a few minis in overstock every time it completely finishes the casting of a model. This is important because it guarantees that if you have a problem with one of your minis, we can easily replace it. Usually these overstocks are between 10 to 50 casts that are produced on top of what is needed to fulfil the Kickstarter. We've now got many many models that are in this situation.
WHEN WILL FULFILMENT BE OVER?
At the current rate of progress, the final parcels will ship in February. Until then, we will send a massive amount of parcels everyday in the mail. Just so you know, in the last few months, we have been manufacturing, picking and packaging the equivalent of about 30,000 standard size miniatures every month!
We know that you have been waiting and waiting for your minis for a long time.
All in all it's been a great hardship for both you and us having to wait for the foundry to finish the casts. We are not looking for excuses in anyway as we take full responsibility for everything happening around the TGG2 campaign. We just want you to know that we work like crazy to make things happen as quickly and as effectively as possible.
The additional quantity of work generated by these delays is astronomical, just two examples:
To make sure that the rewards are sent as fast as possible, we are splitting and recombining each of your reward selections all the time (most of you will see that thanks to the multiple notes on your packing slips) which is a real administrative nightmare.
Then the fact that the foundry has to constantly change the running order of the molds to optimize their output is a massive headache both for them and for us.
Things like that have cascading repercussions that trickle down everywhere.
There is no denying that both us and the foundry improperly assessed the magnitude of TGG2 and we have already taken steps to transform our production methods for our next projects so that we never have to make our backers wait like that again! For example, we had someone from the team at the Essen game convention last month (one of the biggest professional game-related event in the world) to create relationships with new suppliers so that we can have a broader range of options when it comes to the manufacturing of Raging Heroes products, and we've already have made some great connexions.
On the other hand, it is also this magnitude that has made TGG2 such an out-of-the-ordinary project. The level of commitment of all the people involved in this project has been truly amazing. And we get emails everyday of backers receiving their minis and how happy they are with the quality of the sculpts. Seeing them as physical objects makes all the difference in the world.
With TGG2, the scope of the TGG range has become truly unique and laid the foundations for so many different things! We've already got several games in the works within the TGG universe. And we catch ourselves drawing plans for bigger things. For example, with all of the assets already created in 3D (including the WarStages sets), well, animations, video games, films, they all become possible... Also, the soon-to-be-released TGG game is pushing things even more in this direction.
Once again, there are few words to fully express our praise for your continuing patience, and for what your support has allowed us to create. Thank you so much!!!
Now that we have shipped hundred thousands of TGG2 minis, we are very curious about what has happened with them.
Has Ardanna already won you a lot of games? Is Liligrith terrifying many of your enemies ? Are your friends falling in love with Xarsiss or being jealous about the badass attitude of your Daughters of the Crucible? Are you using you TGG2 girls only for wargames or are you using some of them as characters or NPCs in your favorite role-playing games? Have you used some in a great diorama? We'd love to hear about all this in the comments!!
Here is a photo showing a test print of the original Mahleezariah at the size she should have been made next to the final version we've decided to produce
On our end, we also have plans for you to get the most out of your TGG2 miniatures. I think we have some pretty exciting stuff coming up, especially with the TGG game. Here's what we've been working on...
Things are heating up about the TGG game! We've been very ambitious from the very beginning. We wanted to offer you a new type of experience in terms of Miniature Gaming. We wanted to make you feel closer to the action, closer to the characters and to the background. We also wanted to immerse you in a movie-like adventure during the game, and even go for a “meta-game” experience that would mean that the adventure would continue even after your game is over.
As most adventures, it's been a long and challenging road, with many tests and re-tests and updates and changes and rewrites, but we are very excited about what we came up with!
Relying on simple but rich game mechanics, the TGG game delivers a unique level of fun while providing at the same time a high level of strategic challenges that will be perfect for tournaments.
We have put a lot of work into creating a totally unique game experience that truly immerses/absorbs/engages you in your miniatures' actions and in the events of the scenario.
We want the TGG game to feel as badass as the minis themselves.
Here are a few highlights of what you'll find in the game: At every turn of the creative process, we decided to challenge what is common knowledge... In fact, one of the way we developed our game was for us to put a question mark at the end of common assumptions.
Assumption: The deployment phase is a boring if necessary evil?
Oh? Well, what if the deployment phases became one of the best parts of the game?
Impossible! Crazy! Well, we feel that the deployment phase should be as exciting as the first big action scene at the beginning of a movie. So we came up with an ultra dynamic, high action system of deployment through which you are sure to live the epic moments that create awesome game memories!
Assumption: There is no way around the fact that some aspect of combat resolution take you out of the action and you cannot get a physical sensation of combat by playing on a table?
Well, what if the combat sequences were fast and furious and would give you chills?
It's always fun to roll the dices for a combat: you get the anticipation of seeing the dice tumble on the game mat, hoping that you will score a success. But then, in most games, the excitement of combat ends here because then you have to resolve the action, compute the bonuses, etc. It might be cool, but it's not an experience that is as immersive as it could be. And in some cases, it totally cuts the flow of the game.
In the TGG game we've come up with a combat system that really amps you up. Based on a card system, it is a real joust with your opponent. You've got to be on edge, take lightning-fast decision and react to your opponent choices, all in real time. You even get to throw one of your heroine's punchline in the mix (see below). All this makes for a super thrilling and lively yet very strategic and balanced combat system.
Assumption: The only way you can express the characters' personality in a miniature game is through a few skills and maybe some specific mission objectives?
Wouldn't it be cool if your minis felt like real characters, full of persona and badass attitude?
In the TGG game, each heroine has her own skills that reflect her persona, of course. But it doesn't stop here, far from it! Like in good old 80's movies, each heroine has her own “punchlines”, one-liners like “I'll be back!” or “Yippee-ki-yay, Motherfucker!”. And it's not just something written on your card as the description of a “you get +1 to damage”. No, it is something that when the other player hears you say it, it means something and he might have to answer back in the right badass way. And the system is built up so that you'll often feel like your miniature is reading your mind and allows you to tell to your opponent how you REALLY feel at that time. But the cool thing is that it is truly part of the game and has a direct impact on it.
And it goes even deeper than that ! The heroines' persona will infuse some aspects of the game in very subtle ways trough the game engine. You might not notice it at first, but as you become more experienced, you'll realize that... Well, let's keep it a surprise for now ;)
Assumption: in all games, some phases are necessarily about upkeep, calculations or organization?
Wouldn't it be great if the game had no downtime and just be pure fun all the way?
As you've seen, we've already taken care of the dreaded deployment phase by turning it into something epic and cool. And so we have taken the same approach on all the aspects of the game: movement, action resolution, special skills, everything has been designed so that is will not slow down the game or take you away from the mood. The game is fast, lean, with little to no downtime.
Assumption: the way that you need to put technical information on game cards and other game accessories mean that it is never possible to make that info feel “transparent”and fully integrated into the card illustrations and layout?
Don't you like goodies that feel like they come right out of your favorite movie or gaming universe?
In the TGG game, there are no “cards” or “tokens” but military identity papers, dogtags, propaganda flyers and more that are used as gaming components. Everything feels like it's right out of the TGG world. You are going to like them so much, we are pretty sure you will ask us to make them as postcards, posters and real collectibles ;)
Assumption: the only way to live a real story through a miniature game is by playing in campaign mode?
Wouldn't it be nice if each game would tell a rich and exciting story full of twists, turns and epic moments, without having to play a full-length campaign?
We have created a truly unique Story Engine thanks to which the simplest “capture the flag” game become as rich as a real TV episode. In just minutes, each player takes part in the creation of a scenario that will be telling a story full of twists and turns and revelations. The specific input of the players added to other components of the scenario engine also means that the replay-ability of the scenario will be massive.
Assumption: Once a game is over, there's not many ways to prolong the experience apart from reading the background book while waiting for the next game?
Haven't you ever wanted for your game to extend beyond the battlefield of your dinning room table?
The mechanics of the Story Engine will also let you slowly discover the darkest secrets of the TGG universe and expand your TGG experience way beyond the gaming table if you feel like it. Every time you play a game, the Story Engine will allow you to unearth clues about your enemy's main character and her links to various secret societies, political conspiracies, personal ethics and hidden ambitions, etc. You'll then be able to compare your findings with other TGG gamers on the internet to understand more about what is truly going on beyond the battlefield, who is plotting against whom, who is an undercover agent, what secret organization is really pulling the strings, etc.
So of course, the TGG game will come with a Background book that will contain tons of info on the TGG characters and their world, but it will only be the beginning of something bigger. If you really want to dig deeper, we thought that the best way to discover well kept secrets would be like when playing a video game or watching a movie and thus, discovering hidden information and truths as you go along and even after your game ends.
Making the Knights of the Chalice bulky yet feminine and elegant took us many tries. Here are some test prints of various stages of that process
Assumption: Creating cool themed gaming tables takes a lot of effort, time, money, usually all three combined?
Do you want your gaming table to look great but never have the time or the resources to build something truly unique?
If you've followed our WarStages Kickstarter this summer, you know that we've started exploring some crazy options regarding scenery. The work on WarStages made us learn A LOT about what we could do with scenery. The TGG game will come with a complete set of super-dense cardboard tri-dimensional scenery to build many types of KST (the Kurganovas) environment. As we release new extensions, we will add to this scenery range so that all our armies have proper settings to fight in.
Our first WarStages was about a truly insanely big cathedral. It might have been too big or too expensive for your taste. We learned from that and what we will publish for the game will be split in smaller kits, while retaining a unique design quality that will be very different for each army but yet with the same unique lushness intricacy than our Gothic Cathedral.
The KST environments were an obvious choice because we already have some Sisters scenery in our range and a KST settlement can be home for both KSTs and their Jailbirds prisoners. So get ready for some very cool looking dieselpunk, soviet propaganda style scenery!
You might find it hard to believe that we have managed to cram so much in a game and yet kept it fast to learn and easy to play, but yes, we truly made it! And we are far from having covered everything here, there is definitely more to come, so stay tuned!
Get ready to see new video teasers on Facebook like this one we did on the Daughters of the Crucible:
These videos will remind you about some of your favorite action or sci-fi movies. Through these videos, we want to start conveying the general “movie-like” feel you'll get while playing the TGG game. We hope they will inspire you and will make you want to ready your TGG minis for their first TGG game.
While I realise that this game outline does not substitute for a description of the game mechanics, do give us your feedback so far in the comments below!
More TGGs coming to life
Remember the awesome Davidians cosplays of Sallozare? Well, just so you know, she is currently working on a Daughter of the Crucible cosplay!!! We might see it around Christmas, that would make just a perfect gift for us all!
By the way, if you like her work and want to support Sallozare, she has some very cool postcards and posters of her Davidian cosplay. Just contact her on her Facebook page to choose what you'd like to get.
We will most likely work with Sallozare in the future to produce exclusive Raging Heroes content, but at this time, know that if you buy stuff from her, all the proceeds will go to her, helping the creation of more cool stuff!
By the way, if you are a talented Cosplayer yourself and want to work with us, please don't be shy and contact us!
PS: As always, if you want to be sure that your questions or issues are addressed, please contact us directly at RagingHeroesTeam@gmail.com. If you've already done so and have not seen a reply, please look in your SPAM folder. If there's nothing there, simply send your message again. We will do everything we can to find the best solution for you.