My name is Alex Richmond and I’m the lead designer at ZAMA Game Design. While I love creating and designing (and of course, playing) board games, I’m also a high school history teacher in upstate New York.
For the last several years, I’ve been working to create games and historical simulations that are fun, engaging, and have a strong educational value. I’ve designed countless games for my students and my classes, but now I’ve begun to create games that I hope to share with a much greater audience.
And that’s what Swords and Heroes is all about.
Swords and Heroes is my first attempt at designing a game with a broader audience in mind. It’s a two-player tactical board game, based on some of history’s greatest classical civilizations.
In Swords and Heroes, players will be able to choose their civilization, build their army, and then lead that army into battle. Gameplay can be severely altered by the actions of your general, and each culture carries with it a variety of different advantages based on the history of those people.
The rules are simple and easy-to-learn, but the experience is complicated and diverse enough to keep even the most seasoned gamers interested.
The problem with many of the games that are similar to Swords and Heroes is the overall cost. Similar tactical table-top games are made incredibly expensive by intricate miniatures or are burdened by overly-complicated rules. We’re hoping to produce a game that’s simple and easy-to-learn, but is – more importantly – cheap and accessible.
We want to create something with the convenience of a card game but with the complexity of a full-scale tabletop game.
Thus far, we’ve been working with a great print-on-demand company, but in order to drive costs down to retail values, we need to print our product on a larger scale. This is certainly a major and expensive undertaking, and we’re going to need help – your help.
We’re looking for eager participants to help generate the money that we need to make this happen. While we plan on first releasing our “STARTER SET,” we’d like to consider adding expansion packs that offer new, additional armies to compete with. We’ve got big goals for Swords and Heroes, but as it’s said, every journey begins with a single step.
We’re looking to raise $20,000 to print and distribute our product outright. We’ve already begun small-scale distribution, but we’d like to further expand our market and drive our cost down considerably. To do this, we’ll need a good chunk of change, and we hope that you’ll join us in raising it.
The vast majority of the money goes directly to the printing costs associated with creating the game. Whenever you’re producing an item like this, cost for the consumer will always drop based on the publisher’s quantity. This method isn’t cheap for the publisher, but it’s the most effective way. Additional funds will go toward our marketing and distribution. We’ve already been promoting the game through local game stores and online venues, and we’d like to see this continue to grow.
In our initial prototyping of the game, we partnered with the incredibly talented Benlin Alexander, who designed the beautiful artwork you see on our box-top and many of our promotional items. The final piece of the funds we hope to raise will go to Benlin so that he can make Swords and Heroes look even more amazing – not only the box but what’s within it as well.
$20,000 is a lofty goal, and we realize that. In the event that we don't reach this mark, that money will still be collected and will still go towards developing Swords and Heroes -- albeit on a smaller scale. We'll continue to use the services of our print-on-demand company and use the money from this campaign to drive down retail prices as far as we can.
In addition to our undying appreciation, there’s plenty that we’d like to offer you as a ‘thank-you’ for your support. Most donations over $50 will earn you one of the pre-release copies of the game itself but we’re also looking to give away some of our eye-catching posters and awesome t-shirts (sporting the insignia of either the Romans or the Germanic Tribes… your choice!).
Best of all, this fundraising campaign is one of the few places where you’ll be able to get a hold of our limited edition expansion pack: THE WARRIORS OF SPARTA! This is a rare opportunity to take control of the battlefield with some of the most legendary warriors in all of history. This expansion will never hit stores and will never be available online, but we’re going to offer it up to you as a thank-you for our generous support of our campaign.
In the event that we’re able to exceed our goal amount, we’ll begin pushing for our stretch goals.
For each $5000 we achieve beyond our initial goal, we’ll publish and release a new and exciting expansion pack. Each expansion pack will add an additional army to add to your arsenal, giving you a new style of play and new tactics to field. While our original starter set will include the ROMAN EMPIRE and the TRIBES OF GERMANIA, future expansions will add in additional cultures that existed during the classical era.
Which civilizations will we see? Well that’s up to you…
Pledges of any amount will earn you VOTES toward making this decision.
Below, you’ll see a list of possible civilizations that we’d love to someday add to the Swords and Heroes experience. In the event that we achieve our first stretch goal, we’ll ask you – our contributors – to cast your votes and decide on who will be the next great Swords and Heroes civilization. Contributors will be able to vote through the comments section of our Indiegogo page. We’ll start this vote long before our stretch goal.
Even if we don’t hit any of our goals, this vote will help us to determine what you as the community would like to see.
After you pledge any amount, simply send a quick e-mail to ZAMAVotes@gmail.com with both your name and what civilization you'd like to offer your votes to (you're more than welcome to split multiple votes!). At each stretch goal milestone, we'll take the top-ranking civilization and get to work!
Current Totals (as of 5/3/13):
- Han Dynasty of China [10 VOTES]
- Carthaginian Empire [7 VOTES]
- Macedonian Empire [5 VOTES]
- The Kingdom of Kush [5 VOTES]
- Parthian Empire of Persia [0 VOTES]
- Gupta Empire of India [0 VOTES]
- Hunnic Empire [0 VOTES]
- The Mayan People [0 VOTES]