Guest Post: Brandon Rollins on Creating Art with James Masino

Brandon Rollins and I share a common thread: We’ve both hired James Masino to do artwork for our games. I met Brandon by supporting his War Co. game on Kickstarter, and met James Masino by talking with Brandon afterward. Since then, James has completed a massive amount of artwork for Polyversal and has done an incredible job with each piece. This is a guest post from Brandon with a bit more about commissioning art as well as how that ties into his latest project, Highways & Byways. Thanks, Brandon!

And now, over to Brandon:

Tabletop games are undergoing a renaissance. Every single day, an exciting new project is being launched on Kickstarter. With the exhilaration of rapid growth come the difficulties of a crowded market. One way to stand out is to commission wonderful artwork for your game. In that sense, Byron and I share a unique experience: we’ve both commissioned artwork from the up-and-coming and immensely talented James Masino. My name is Brandon Rollins. I created War Co. and I’m creating Highways & Byways, a board game coming to Kickstarter in late March. It is a casual family board game for 2-4 players and takes 45-60 minutes to play. In it, you take an epic road trip across the United States. The art was done by none other than James Masino.

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If this appeals to you, sign up here to get an email when Highways & Byways is on Kickstarter.

James’s debut into the tabletop game market was through my first game, War Co., an expandable card game set after the apocalyptic War of 2620. Early in the development of that game, I had no idea how I was going to get artwork. It was a massive project involving 300 unique pieces of art – one for every single card. I eventually found James through our mutual friend Alex. I knew Alex from when I used to play Minecraft, and Alex knew James from when they used to play Club Penguin. (You have to love networking in the gaming world…)

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I told him about this absurd project I was taking on and he was so excited by the theme that he had to get involved. He took ownership of it and he left his indelible style in every piece of artwork in the game, to the extent where the game became known for its artwork. I was only able to offer an embarrassingly low wage at the time, but he moved up quickly because War Co. caught the eye of Byron. James later got a sweet gig working on Polyversal.

Many people imagine the creative process as the coalescence of mysterious forces guiding our hands – inspiration. That may be true for some, but when it comes to cranking out games like Byron and I do, there’s a much more pedestrian force at work – collaboration. Both of us come up with detailed technical and functional specs and clearly relay our expectations to our artist. For me, that means James alone and for Byron that means a team of two. Either way, our artwork comes from setting clear boundaries and rough timelines. Once these grounds rules are established, we let the artist(s) do their thing.

There are a lot of ways you can hint at what’s in your mind before turning over your project to an artist. You can write long stories like I did with War Co. for each card. You can send pictures of real life places, postcards, and travel brochures like I did with Highways & Byways. No matter what medium you use to share your ideas with an artist, you – even as a game developer – play a huge role in the artistic process simply by putting ideas into your artist’s head.

War Co. could have very easily been a death march of a project with its massive volume of work, unclear requirements, and low wages. While we both had a lot of fun with War Co., James and I both walked away with experiences that would benefit us going forward. For one, we started with much better technical specs because we knew what it took to get a game printed. I gave him clearer subject matter requirements with Highways & Byways. The project required a lot less art, but the pay was much better.

One thing I’ve come to notice in both War Co. and Highways & Byways is that James likes to accompany his artwork with brief stories. He can tell you about the history of a piece of art, even giving you extra for the lore. Here is an example…

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“I imagined that the weakest reverse force field would barely do what it’s intended to do, and as a result, causes a small split in the space time continuum. The event of the attack hitting and the attack being deflected happen almost at the same time. The latter happens late- causing the timeline where the attack hit to be erased a second after the new timeline is written. We see this occurrence in the card. A time continuum tear is a 4D occurrence, so necessarily anything perceived within its lens isn’t specifically in the present – so, is the city in the background a pre-war flashback, or a bright new future?” -James Masino

This is what the creative process looks like. Take a few people who are passionate about ideas, set some ground rules, do the work, and see what happens. This is how Polyversal came to be, and it’s how War Co. and Highways & Byways came to be as well. More than anything else, this is what really drives home the excitement of the tabletop game renaissance for me – creative people sharing ideas (and artists). Thank you for reading!

If this article has gotten you interested in Highways & Byways, sign up here to get an email when it’s live on Kickstarter.

 

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The Art of Commissioning Art

Commissioning art for games is no easy task. The visual appeal is an important aspect of the overall product. How do people react when they see the art? How does it tell the story of the game? Is the artwork consistent? Generic? Evocative? Does it properly convey the game’s theme? Here are 5 tips on Commissioning artwork.

For Polyversal, I’ve been extremely busy on the artwork side of things. I’ve commissioned over 35 pieces of science fiction artwork (and more to come) from 2 different artists- Bruno Werneck (Tron: Legacy concept artist) and James Masino (War. Co. Card Game, Student, and up-and-coming major talent). Commissioning is no easy task. When you’re creating a game that is set in the future like Polyversal, or any game for that matter, the visual appeal is an important aspect of the overall product. How do people react when they see the images you present? How does it tell the story of the game? Is the artwork consistent? Generic? Evocative? Does it properly convey the game’s theme?

In general, as a publisher or art director, you write narratives for each piece of commissioned work noting the specific size and details of the piece’s vision.

Here are a few tips and an example narrative for designers / publishers working with artists to create imagery for games. This post skips the contractual side of things, which is also important for you and the artist and assumes you have already come to terms for the particular work the artist will do. At the end of this post, you’ll read a Commissioning Narrative for 1 pieces of Polyversal artwork and see the actual final artwork from James Masino- along with his comments.

  • Tip 1: Be specific. When you write a narrative for a commissioned piece of art, the artist needs to know everything that you have in mind for the piece. If you don’t have a vision for the art, you cannot expect the artist to create their own for you- and if they do- what if it’s not what you had in mind? Be specific and write down every key aspect of the piece that’s important to you as the publisher / designer / art director. It’s helpful to brainstorm a list of points you want to convey in your narrative before you write it.
  • Tip 2: Be flexible. You’re hiring an artist for their skill in creating the image you want. Each artist will have a certain style and set of strengths that you’ve likely been drawn to when searching for an artist. Work to their strengths and let them shine through. Have some flexibility in the final image and confidence in the artist’s ability to fill in details for you if you don’t describe them. This can include things such as lighting, color, expressions of people, mood, or environmental details. In some narratives, I like to add “___ is up to you” (lighting, time of day, etc.) to specifically note a point of flexibility.
  • Tip 3: Be sure. Nothing will turn off the artists you pay- like changing something mid-course. Before you submit your narrative, read it over- three times- and submit it once. Make sure it makes sense and describes whatever vision you have in your head for the piece completely and that parts not described specifically will fall within the realm of your flexibility. If you aren’t sure you want the piece or aren’t sure on the details, or it isn’t complete, don’t send it. Most importantly, try not to add details or changes based on things not previously described once the piece is submitted for final review. For one, this can cost you money depending on the change policy of the artist, and two, it will cost you time.
  • Tip 4: Be prompt. This applies to answering the artist’s questions during the creation process, amending contracts as required if something is added or changes, reviewing anything submitted for feedback, and most importantly, paying the artist when it’s complete (within the terms and timeframe of the agreed upon contract).
  • Tip 5: Be appreciative. Support your artists. Pay them first. Share their work and your appreciation of it. If the art is for a game that is crowdfunded, share the completed pieces (or a selection of them) with backers. And always credit the artist. This helps show appreciation for the good work they’ve done to visually complete your game. It also helps keep them in business as an artist which helps you in the future and helps them now and in the future.

Each piece starts with a vision. Each vision is transcribed into a narrative. Each narrative becomes art.

Here is an example commissioning narrative sent to artist James Masino for one piece that will appear in the rules of Polyversal. This piece helps tell part of the story of the game and is not for an actual game piece. It is important to set a mood of mystery in the game, which I think James nailed here. I hope you’ll agree. Feel free to add your comments.

Narrative: ScanFab Facility, 8.5″x5″ landscape

This piece depicts a structure- the inner workings of a ScanFab facility- secretive and sterile. Mostly white with hints of UN Blue. Or even Orange highlighted stripes and features in the walls and floors similar to Tron: Legacy. It’s a fairly large facility inside with massive power requirements. It’s also fairly bright but there are no windows since it is likely underground. Think of a rather large Subway station with a utopian feel… but for a different kind of transportation…

Regular ‘selected’ citizens (i.e. strong, healthy, fairly young) are lined up and about to go through a ScanFab ‘sending unit’ which I picture as fairly large. Maybe just the entrance to the room is shown…. Again, think sterile. Perhaps all are all dressed the same in some sort of hospital gown like clothing. There are men and women in line, maybe a few are talking. But nothing is forced. They’re selected and eager to be here because of it. However, there are also armed guards similar to a checkpoint at the airport… but only a few. There is a mystery of what occurs on the other side. No one has any belongings with them. Citizens are lined up to be ‘scanned’ for evacuation. But what happens to their bodies here? We won’t reveal that in this piece. We may never reveal it…

The idea of scanfabbing in the storyline is that the UN controls all of the sending and receiving units built for the purpose of evacuation. The receivers are in distant colonies (set up by those pioneers). The scan portion is in the sending process. The person is scanned in full and ‘sent’ to the receiver- scan information transmitted at the speed of radio to the receivers (i.e. just under the speed of light). The receiver portion is the ‘fab’ portion where the scanned subject is ‘built’ or fabricated from the same raw materials found in all humans- 99% oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. About 0.85% is composed of another five elements: potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. We may depict a receiving unit on a colony in another piece. An exact copy of the person is created on the receiving end- including the brain and all memories of the scanned subject from the sending unit. It’s like teleportation… but almost plausible?

This is Operation Polyversal- the mass evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people ‘selected’ to continue the human race off-world. They are evacuated only from UN-controlled countries and selected using some criteria that’s top secret. Not everyone can go- there isn’t time to set up enough space and life support off-world, we haven’t found a substitute for Earth yet- and there are just too many people on Earth. Plus… would the UN want them all?

And of course- there is mild protest to this whole process 😉

Here’s the final piece, which was accepted without any changes:

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(UN ScanFab facility for Polyversal. Art by James Masino)

James had these comments about the piece:

This one was the most challenging. It’s the first time I’ve tried to depict a crowd of people before! Nonetheless, creating this one was an interesting debate. There were a lot of elements to work with in the description, and for the story’s sake, I emphasized some elements more than others. On one hand, we have people who have been selected to transport- and they’re excited in a more hospital atmosphere built to deceive the ScanFab’s true purpose. On the other hand, this is the mass evacuation of the planet in a militarized society, and there is reasonable mystery behind what the ScanFab facility really is. I wanted the atmosphere to echo that sort of mystery that exists in works like Tron or Star Trek, where the viewer, and both the characters within the painting are questioning the world they’re in. The mystery of what is on the other side is truly the pinnacle of the end result. 

Whenever working with mystery in artwork, it always reminds me of the Ted Talk JJ Abrams did about this box of magic tricks his grandfather gave him when he was a kid- and still hasn’t opened since the mystery is more exciting than what’s actually within. Always something to strive for!

Hopefully you’ll find these tips useful- or at least see a bit of the process I go through when working with external artists for my games. Feel free to comment / share.

 

Polyversal is Funded!

Our latest game, Polyversal, hit its funding goal this week on Kickstarter. This post is just a short reflection on that to summarize why I think the second time around- we were successful.

I’m really excited that my latest game, Polyversal, is now funded on Kickstarter with a week to go!

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Polyversal has been a huge undertaking that designer Ken Whitehurst and I began working on together years ago. The premise is that it’s a universal miniatures system with an integrated design tool that lets you bring in any miniatures you want to use in the game. So any old miniatures from games of the past like Mechwarrior and others- get reborn in Polyversal. Kit-bashing, design, creativity… all encouraged.

And something else we’re doing that’s been really unique is creating boxed games of Polyversal for those new the miniatures scene- and to do so- we brought together 6 manufacturers. SIX. I have contracts with each of them to supply various aspects of the game- primarily miniatures. These companies are all small like mine and have been excellent to work with. The purpose of working with external companies instead of designing and casting miniatures on our own is fully described in my previous post The Concept of Polyversal.

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Mercenary Battlegroup. One of five Battlegroups offered in the campaign made up of Miniatures from multiple partners.

Polyversal was a relaunched campaign. I cancelled the first campaign earlier this year and took a hard look at our strategy and presentation. I think some keys to being successful the second time around are:

If you’d like to check out Polyversal in its final week, head over to the project and let me know what you think!

Making a Kickstarter Project Video isn’t Easy…

In this post, I discuss some of the process I use and make a case with some current stats- to make those project videos very short. I also share some outtakes from making our latest Kickstarter video for Polyversal.

Kickstarter project videos are no easy task to create or edit.

I personally edit my own vids in Adobe’s Premiere Pro CS 5.5, which I find takes about 3-4 hours, sometimes more, to edit a single minute of good footage for a video. I make videos for everything- especially gameplay tutorials- some of which use Adobe’s After Effects to animate cards, dice, and so forth. This saves me time in the long run vs. explaining rules in forums and by e-mail. The rules already point to the videos which serve as examples.

For any video, it’s not easy on the front-end to capture good footage. For that, I personally use a Canon Vixia HF M30, which is a decent HD camcorder, and mount it on a tripod (please do that). There is definitely an art to video editing. As mentioned, I use Adobe’s products and I’m no pro at it by any means, but I have a general sense of what stuff to cut out. This post shares our latest Kickstarter Project Video, which is a follow-on blog to this previous post about improving length and content: Kickstarter Video Length and Content

The project video for Polyversal’s relaunch overall is 1:51 long. If features an intro by Ken and I and a flyover of the game in play while we continue to pitch the game. Even with that short of a video, current stats on our active kickstarter report that only 37% of over 1000 plays were actually completed! That’s not a terrible stat- but remember- 63% started to watch it and clicked away before the 1:51 was up. So remember, make it short. People generally do not have 2 minutes. Think about it- how many Kickstarter video plays have you completed?

Here is another reason to keep it short… Let’s say you spend 3-4 hours per final edited minute of film that ends up running 10 minutes overall… If 63% of people who click play stop watching less than 2 minutes into it– you’d have wasted about 48 hours of work editing film that no one is watching- because again, MOST people who click play will not finish watching the video. 2 minutes max.

“While fun to film, making a project video is never easy.”

So let’s have some fun. Here’s some of what was CUT out of my latest video. Join Ken and I (and yes, Benny in a cameo) in this collection of outtakes from our Project Video. We pre-planned the video, shot 30 minutes of film, and then I edited for about 12 hours to get less than 2 usable minutes! Watch our main video on the Kickstarter Page to see the final (good) edited version.

Here are the outtakes:

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Polyversal Relaunch – A critical look at the changes

Polyversal is back on Kickstarter for a relaunched campaign. Read this blog post for a critical look at what we did wrong in the initial campaign and how we addressed it for the relaunch.

photo-originalAfter a lot of hard work, I relaunched the Kickstarter project for Polyversal, a science fiction miniatures game I’m publishing from designer Ken Whitehurst. I’ve tried to implement my own advice and the advice of others for the relaunch, incorporating a ton of feedback from fans and other publishers. Jamey’s blog helped reshape the relaunch in particular, and I believe the second time around, Polyversal will be successful. After less than a week, we’re already in less than $9k away from funding a $30k goal, and we’re about to reveal the first stretch goal.

“I know we’ve got a great game, that’s not the issue- the issue boils down to how well we presented it.”

So why did Polyversal require cancellation when originally launched in January? I know we’ve got a great game, that’s not the issue- the issue boils down to how well we presented it. Here are some thoughts in hindsight that could have contributed to an unsuccessful initial campaign:

  • Issue 1: We needed a lower goal. $80k was the initial goal and was very kitchen-sink based. In other words, we put everything into the campaign we wanted to see for the game- that included a web-based design tool which is expensive to do, a set of terrain for which we were paying for the molds, and a production estimate of 1000 units minimum, which was too much to start.

  • Answer 1: We scaled back production estimates, broke the terrain out into its own Kickstarter, and for now, eliminated the web-based tool opting for templates instead which will accomplish the same thing. In addition, shipping is not included in the Kickstarter pledges, removing unpredictability, a buffer for that unpredictability, and allowing a lesser goal that would be the shipping portion of the campaign- which is ultimately a guess. This allowed the goal to be further reduced since it is all going to the product, not shipping and fulfilment. Notice the 4 shipping icons in the project image above.
  • Issue 2: The project video was too long. Even at 5 minutes, we included a story portion which was good and still useful, but, we never really pitched what the game is or does for players. It needed to be 2 minutes and include a pitch.

  • Answer 2: The project video was re-done completely, shortened to less than 2 minutes, and focused entirely on the pitch. The story video was embedded elsewhere in the page, but, the project video was not the place for it. Here’s a detailed blog post on the video changes.

  • Issue 3: The miniatures we presented in our boxed games are from 5 different manufacturers. We used their images to present those miniatures, which led to less cohesion in the overall presentation. Each company had their own photographic background and their own paint scheme for these miniatures, so, it looked like a hodgepodge.

  • Answer 3: Ken Whitehurst, the designer, painted all of the miniatures we needed in several distinct patterns for a much better presentation. I then photographed them very carefully to present them as “battlegroups” which better communicated their cohesion and purpose in the game. Here is an example of 1 of 4 battlegroup images:

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  • Issue 4: The pledge levels were all over the place. Too many pledge levels were presented, they were unnecessarily confusing, adjusted after the project start, and provided too many options.

  • Answer 4: Less is more. Pledges in the new campaign were simplified to just a handful of the most important options for the game. Since shipping is handled externally from the pledges (post-KS invoicing for actual shipping costs), this allowed simple pledge options applicable to everyone regardless of location. Breaking out the terrain eliminated all of the terrain-based bundles.

  • Issue 5: We made a lot of adjustments and additions after the original campaign started. This is a problem because we should have had some of our embedded videos, explanations, and strategies for the game presented initially, not through updates mid-campaign. How many people were turned off at first glance due to too little information to never return for a second look after the information was added?

  • Answer 5: Gameplay videos, print-and-play demos, story elements, reviews, well-thought-out shipping strategies, all pledge options, and fully-explained game contents were all presented up front from day 1 in the new campaign. This ensures all of the information is there at the beginning, not added piecemeal throughout the campaign. It’s important. It’s all there. And it eliminates a lot of stressful work once the campaign is active- responding to questions, confusion, and adding content that should have been there to begin with.

I hope you’ll agree that our relaunch is much better than the cancelled original campaign. If you agree or disagree with any of these insights, please let me know!

 

Kickstarter Video Length and Content

When I first started using Kickstarter in 2012 to raise production funding for my games, I made a misstep on the all-important project video. Read some insights from experience on Project Video Length that applies to any #Crowdfunding project.

When I first started using Kickstarter in 2012 to raise production funding for my games, I made a misstep on the all-important project video. The initial video for Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943 Map Expansion was way too long. It was so long I can’t even remember how long exactly. Kickstarter’s insights showed that only a handful of people played it through (roughly 8-10% IIRC). I updated the video after launch and cut it down quite a bit, but, it really was still too long. What if the pitch or some really important point was ONLY provided at the end of that video? What if the main project page did not contain or reiterate that information? The result- missed backers or as a minimum, poor communication and lack of interest.

As my projects progressed, the videos became shorter and shorter, which is hard to do because you’re excited to finally present your project to the masses. My videos always had a story element or series of stock videos put to music to give a sense of setting. I’m now convinced that even that is too much. You just don’t have time. The first launch of Polyversal included a roughly 5-minute project video. Half of it was story information and the other half background from the designer with a fly-through of the game in our cityscape setting (Polyversal is a miniatures game). I received some good feedback after the project from Grant (@hyperboleGrant):

“the video is too long and you never pitched the game.” -Grant

He was right. Tip: Always ask for and trust blunt and honest feedback. That is what helps you the most as a designer / publisher / creator. Grant is good at providing that.

This is also discussed in the Stonemaier Games blog with a recommendation to “limit videos to about 2 minutes total.” Save detailed information like gameplay or product use, campaign details, etc., for supplemental videos embedded in the project page. That’s great advice and something I’ll be doing with the Polyversal re-launch. We had some embedded videos already, and those were well received, but, the project video was just too long for those still in ‘browsing mode’. Shorter videos appeal to our shorter attention spans as modern-day humans. And, it needs to pitch and pitch quickly by presenting the purpose of the project, why anyone should support you, what makes it unique, and when to pledge (now). It should also point them where to learn more, which should be written out in the project page.

You can watch the original Polyversal project video here on the cancelled project for reference (Don’t worry, I’m not pitching anything- the video lacks a pitch, really!, and the project is done).

Here are some changes I’m making to the Polyversal project video for re-launch:

  1. The story portion will be removed and remain in its own video.
  2. The pitch (what Polyversal is and why people should back it) will be given UP FRONT by Ken and I. This will present what the game is, why it’s unique, and why people should support it now.
  3. The designer’s commentary by Ken is still good and brief enough to be used. This also shows the game in action as Ken speaks and has interesting visuals.
  4. Everything else will be cut out. The buildings are now going to be their own project, so the end part with The Phalanx Consortium will not be necessary for this video.
  5. I will refer to other embedded videos for more detail on story, gameplay, and unit design.

I think with these changes, the new video will:

  1. Have a greater chance of full plays.
  2. Be brief and clear enough to grab people’s attention if they are the target audience.
  3. Force us to focus on the pitch and most important points to make about the project up front.
  4. Help us come across as more organized and focused on our message.
  5. Require less editing time. Editing 1 minute of video takes me approximately 2 hours in Premier Pro. If I only have to edit 2 minutes of final video, I should be able to wrap up that work in much less time.

In Summary:

  1. Cut project videos down to 2 minutes maximum. In those 2 minutes, be sure the project is actually pitched. If it’s longer than 2 minutes, you may think you need that extra time, but, you don’t. It’s not effective, so why include it? Make your main points and be done.
  2. Ask people to back the project NOW for one or two specific reasons.
  3. Don’t drag out the project video with information on rewards, stretch goals, shipping, gameplay, product use, or other details not related to a pitch or general overview. In other words, don’t present everything about the product in this single video.
  4. Point potential backers to supplemental videos embedded in the project page for additional information (Gameplay, Function, Reviews, and Storyline as appropriate).
  5. Remember, a very low percentage of people who actually click on the video will finish it if it’s more than a couple minutes. The longer it is, the lower the percentage of full plays. Pique backer’s interest in the first 15 seconds or you risk losing them.

Once the Polyversal re-launch is previewed, I’ll link to it here so you can see the updated video and how it differs from the original. Let me know if you agree with these points and as always, please comment with any feedback, and like, share, and follow the blog.

Polyversal Plans from Fans

Recently, we asked fans of our upcoming miniatures game, #Polyversal, what they plan to do with the game. The possibilities are endless with the game’s ability to use miniatures from any line and tell any story. Read some responses from fans here.

To help support the Polyversal Kickstarter re-launch and get a few feedback quotes, I asked backers of our first Kickstarter attempt as well as fans on Facebook – “What are your plans for Polyversal?” Polyversal is a very open miniatures gaming system not only regarding what miniatures you can use in the game and how you can design “Combatant Tiles” for them, but, the story itself. We certainly have a setting and story framework, but, you as a player are not limited to using what we provide. The opposite of limitation is true. We’ll be encouraging your creativity with the system and story and we want to hear your plans and see how things play out as you explore what is possible. I want to share some of the responses. If you have something to add, please comment and I’ll update this post.

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Below are some quotes from some vocal supporters of our concept. We hope it inspires you to think out of the game box and generate your own big plans for Polyversal.

“The cooperation of multiple manufacturers around one ruleset with a physical boxed product has me excited the most. This brings to 6mm sci fi something that it desperately needs in the form of a product that stores can stock thus giving new players ease of access. If anything can revolutionize the 6mm sci fi hobby, Polyversal and its partners will be it.” -Abnatha Pryde

“A Miniatures game that allows me to use my imagination and available toys. Gives me the opportunity to keep everything to scale as well as purchase miniatures designed for the game. Add that to the care that Collins Epic Wargames uses to make a fully tested and gamer friendly rules set and you have a winner.” -Kevin D. Schuler

“Simply put there is a lack of open build 6mm rules sets out there. I’ve got lots of figures, I’ve got lots of terrain, but I need solid and easy to play rules with a good build mechanic. I was a long time battletech player and the reason I stuck with that game so long was because it offered an electronic build program so I wasn’t restricted to ‘book designs’. I have since moved over to Gruntz and CAV:Strike Operations for the same reasons. Both have solid rules backed by a solid build program.” -Todd ‘Mastergunz’ Farnholtz

“The Polyversal project has excited me since I first heard about it on the Meeples and Miniatures Podcast years ago. I have been a big Sci-Fi fan for many years (40+ years). I played a ton of Dirtside for a very long time. Polyversal seems to get where I want to go with my Sci-Fi gaming. I have a lot of minis that I want to incorporate into the game… I’m also looking for a game that my friends and I can explore Sci-Fi combat in a different way than we have before. I’m hoping that I can use Polyversal for club games, and to host games at our local conventions here in Southwestern Ontario.” -Brian Hall

“What I hope to do with PolyV is to set up a proxy war campaign. Where the players are Agents of the true Star Nations that do not want all out war but do want resources and land in a new area of space that has opened up. So the players will not be producing things but getting stuff from their patrons based on objectives completed, missions won, keeping things in check. Will have each player Choose a Tech they excel at and one they are lagging behind with, then build a base army profile. Upgrades and New units will come from the Nation backing them, some will be Mercs, others like the Foreign Legion, others will be Units from the Nation on extended duty.” -Lee Sweeney

“What you have in me as a supporter is someone with two armies worth of miniatures who’s (1) interested in expanding their use and (2) is interested in the newer miniatures available, but is too timid to actually purchase them without a solid justification. Polyversal afforded me the opportunity to sample and use the newer miniatures while being able to use what I already have. A win-win from my standpoint.” -Scott Chisholm

“I backed for the rules. I like having a good mix of infantry, vehicles, aircraft, and big stompy robots. Any rule set with a solid emphasis on combined arms is going to catch my attention. Most of the models I’ll use are from Combat Assault Vehicle (10mm) as the tanks/apcs/aircraft suit my style.” -jstenzel

“I’m looking for a really good ruleset I can use 10 & 15mm figures in. I love the dropzone & planetfall miniatures, but I’m not really happy with either set of rules. Being able to combine them into one game would be exactly what I’m looking for.” -Duskland

“My goals include using modern military vehicles (real tanks and stuff) and do invasion scenarios with battle tech or other futuristic mini’s. The questions I would like to answer include what would an Atlas (B-Tech) do to a battalion of M-1 Abrams tanks? How would modern tanks and mech infantry react to Hammer’s Slammers. In short re-create many short stories from Science Fiction.” -Doug Houseman

“Rules for many brands of minis, sadly I only have a few from each producer, include some from the now closed Steel Crown. I liked that you had the network to pickup that spot fast, even though some don’t think the awesome Hawk minis fit.” -Kenneth Mashburn

“I was planning on using Polyversal to play larger scale games using my Battletech collection. I have always enjoyed the BT universe and minis, but the rules are too random. I tried using Future War Commander, but it was more generic than I wanted. I heard about your system on the Meeples and Miniatures podcast, and I liked the potential to develop the combined arms scifi game I was seeking with my existing collection.” -Jake

“I became a backer of Polyversal as it looked like it had an easy and flexible stat mechanism and would be fast and fun to play. I have a great deal of mostly 6 & 10mm kits from multiple manufacturer lines – CAV, GZG, BattleTech, Brigade, Scotia-Grendel, GW Epic, to name a few, and I’m actually looking forward to spending a few hours (though probably weeks as I have so many different types) statting up for combined play in a new universe, secure in the knowledge that I can arrive in my games room, look at the numerous models I have lined up there and think; ” I’ll have one of them, one of them, two of those, Oooohhh, and THREE of those… ” and not care who the manufacturer or origin game line is…
Yes… finally… 3 GW Whirlwinds vs a CBT Atlas – Game On! :-)” -Kevin Boyce

What are your plans for Polyversal?