So this was 2019. The year went by so quickly, but starting to think about the beginning of this year, I'm actually having a hard time remembering what was going on at the time.
By the end of 2018 it was already clear to us, that a second print of Valhal would be a big project for 2019 and the main work on Dodoresque: Cherry Blossom was almost done when the year began. One of our main goals for 2019 was to travel more and show our games at various fairs and conventions all over Germany.
2019 pretty much began with the release of Dodoresque: Jungle Fever, our second game which is very different to the first game Valhal by design mainly to show that we can do different things while sticking to our general idea of what a Tetrahedron Game should be like.
For us the first big thing every year is Nuremberg Toy Fair. While it isn't as big or important for our branch as SPIEL Essen, it is still a chance to meet a bunch of people, actually taking the time to look at a couple of games ourselves (something that usually doesn't happen at any other event where we attend as exhibitors) and generally getting back to business after the holidays.
February was all about Dodoresque: Cherry Blossom, scheduling, rescheduling, getting a bunch of preview videos in, as well as the final work on our Kickstarter page. Cherry Blossom was a comparably easy project, as a lot of the Kickstarter Page was just a retextured clone of Jungle Fever 9 months earlier, but each project has its own challenges and so we were happy when we finally went live by the end of the month....
… and reached our goal on the first of march, the second day of the campaign. The campaign went alright, finishing at the exact backer count as Jungle Fever back in 2018, which was in a way pretty funny, but also a little bit disappointing, as we are always looking to grow with each of our projects. March was also the month where we attended Spiel Doch! in Duisburg for the first time.
A gaming event hosted by the publisher of Germanys biggest boardgaming magazine, also named "Spiel Doch!". The convention took place for the first time in 2018, so it was only its second iteration, which was rather fitting, as it was only our second time attending a convention as exhibitor as well. So march was a mixture of getting Dodoresque production ready on one hand while preparing as well as attending Spiel Doch!, which was still quite some work, as we hadn't figured out all the things neccessary when travelling and attending fairs and conventions, which by now are second nature to us. After having Cherry Blossom in production and coming back home from Duisburg, we converted all of our collected ideas for Valhal V2 into the actual game which went live on Kickstarter later this year.
The neccessity of a second print run for Valhal became obvious after SPIEL 2018. It came along with the plan to change manufacturer and therefore having to go over many parts of the game anyway. We also had received quite some feedback on the first edition, so we made the decision to go a little further with upgrades than only what was neccessary for production with a new manufacturer. And then at some point – we kind of went crazy with it, changing almost every single piece of the game at least a little bit, bringing in the plastic coins, rewriting the whole rulebook and even adding new game elements like Yggdrasil. The following months were when most of this happened, rewriting the rulebook, sending it in for proofreading to several proofreaders of both languages, adjusting the cards to our new „less text, more symbols“ approach and a whole lot of back and forth on designing and especially painting our new dice and coins (Blog post coming up).
By the end of July we travelled to Berlin, for the first time as an exhibitor at Berlin Boardgame Con. It was also just a couple of days before that, that we finally received the delivery of Dodoresque: Cherry Blossom, so Berlin Con was actually the first change to get a copy of the game and many Con visitors took that opportunity. As usual the weather was great and by accident I had booked an additional day of stay before the convention, so we had a day going around the city and I finally had the opportunity to visit the Pergamon Museum (Find the full Berlin Blog Post here). The convention weekend was pretty busy and we had a great time meeting a lot of people before heading back home on Monday.
Just a little later in August we received our first Pre Production Copy of Valhal and immediately kicked off our pre-campaign, sending out a couple of copies of the „old“ Valhal, including some pictures and the big list of upgrades to some people. We also got in touch with our marketing partners of Nuuk Digital for the first time and worked out our campaign schedule and marketing strategy. For us it was the first time we set up a campaign this early and once again we had the chance to learn a whole lot along the way.
And in September we actually launched our first Kickstarter for a second print in the short history of our small company. It became the most successful campaign to this day and also kicked off the busy season. In the next few days we will also share some more insights into the things we were doing in the last quarter of the year, but until now we just didn't find the time to do so.
In October we attended two conventions, the first one was Spielemesse (Game Fair) Hamburg, which took place for the first time in 2019 and we were happy to join in on the action right from the start.
We sold out all our copies of Valhal on the second day of the three-day-event and after the fair we spent another day in the area, visiting the Viking village of Haithabu about 150km north of Hamburg, something we wanted to do for quite some time.
The second October event, quite obviously, was SPIEL in Essen. After the great success we had back in 2018, we returned with a booth of more than twice the size in 2019, as we also had way more to offer than in the past year.
And we didn't stop here, just a couple of days later we travelled to Munich for another convention weekend, namely Spielwiesn. In comparison to SPIEL we tried out a tiny version of our booth and had a really good and successful time as well.
Now the current winter months are where most of our basic work on new games and ideas takes place. Most of the year we are either preparing a Kickstarter campaign or get games ready for production in between visiting various fairs and conventions to get the word out about our games and company. So at the moment we spend less time on the PC with files and E-Mails and more time on the table with tons of prototyping material, tinkering on mechanics coming up with new concepts, taking first steps on illustration and annoying our project manager Stephen at Panda Manufacturing with continuous requests for quotes of all the things we have in mind but aren't sure we can afford. Oh yeah, and we do write end of the year Updates for our Backers and Followers, despite the fact that we know only a very small portion of people will actually read them.
Looking back at 2019, it was a pretty busy but also successful year, running 2 Kickstarter campaigns, launching 2 games, attending 5 different gaming events all over Germany and getting in touch with so many great people.
While we didn't reach all the goals we had set ourselves for 2019, the year still was a huge leap forward for our small company if we are looking back at 2018. So looking forward to 2020 we have a lot of work ahead of us, but we can't wait to tell you all about the things we have in store for next year, as there's some really great stuff coming your way, whether you are waiting for some additional content for our current games or want to see something really fresh and new from Tetrahedron Games, all of it will have its place in the coming year and we will start sharing our upcoming projects soon, so make sure to follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter if you want to be a part of it.
Happy Holidays and thank you for all of your support those past 2 years. It means a lot to us and we are looking forward to many more.
Martin & Mario