Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Bio Syndrome - A Kickstarter to watch?

Good Wednesday everyone!

So last night while lounging around after my studying session in prep for my next exam I stumbled across an interesting Kickstarter.

The game in question is called: Bio Syndrome

Now, there are a couple of things I find very interesting about this KickStarter.

For starters the rules are already available as free downloads, and the plan is to keep them freely available.

This KS Campaign does not involve a line of miniatures being created other than a couple (literally two) being made exclusively for this KS, instead you are to use your own models for this game.

Finally this KS Campaign is offering (other than the limited sculpts) no physical products, only digital rewards.


So let's look at this and break it down.

1). Making the rules freely available in their finished state. This is a bold move and one that I can not help but support, after all I am looking to do something similar with my own game.

I have yet to download these rules, but intend to shortly and have a look through.

It is this sort of confidence that I really like. It shows the creator believes in what they have created and is willing to make it freely available to all.

2). No miniatures.
Now for a tabletop miniatures game this is super bold, but again a sentiment I can truly appreciate myself.

Like many people out there I've been gaming for a couple of decades and in that time I've collected a fair few models and games.

Part of the reason for that is I love playing different games, always searching for the X Factor to make me settle on one as 'the' game for me.

The problems settle in when so many games require an investment of £50+ to start up with that game. After a while those £50 add up and you're left with a tonne of models that you're hardly using.

By allowing you to use your own models the game is removing that block, it says "don't worry if you just spent £300 on a WFB army, you can use that with our rule set!"

Of course they are offering limited models, the first of which's concept art really speaks to me:

Now obviously we have no idea how this will turn out, but just as the game asks you to proxy other systems into it, I can see this model being a great proxy for other games.

3). No Physical Rewards ( other than the limited sculpts).
So this game uses cards, I'm not entirely sure how they work as like I said I have yet to read the rules, but they appear to be upgrade cards.

What does this mean? It means they are not looking to produce hard copies of the book(s) or cards but instead via digital distribution allow people to download them and print them off themselves.

This way costs can be sent away from physical manufacture and into creating original unique artwork and better exclusive sculpts etc.

What is more, it also means their startup costs are a lot lower than your average campaign, only $1k in this instance, and I am pleased to say that they have already, in less than a week, surpassed that.


So what are the concerns with all of this?

You see, as my work on CRYPTS has taken a back seat to my exam (next due 5th April) I've began looking at the meta of the game and what external factors can effect it.

For starters I know that in a lot of cases gamers are 'selectively lazy'.

I know how that sounds, and I choose my words carefully.

In many cases in a small number of ways we are the opposite of lazy, spending hours and days on models and terrain, but in other cases we 'can' try and cut corners, and it is my opinion that things like equipment cards is one such corner.

This is why when it comes to my game equipment cards is one thing that I am really factoring in from a manufacturing point.
- But then CRYPTS is a card heavy game, with the loot deck consisting of 60 cards by itself we are looking at a good number of cards to be printed, cut and sleeved.

Is the same true for games with less cards such as Malifaux Upgrades and 40k Wargear? If you were given the choice of buying professional upgrade cards or print & play ones, which would you pick?


All in all I think this is a game that we should all watch. It's the underdog here swinging in from the outside, but on the off chance it swings above it's weight it has the potential to change our expectations on what a tabletop game needs to offer.

On that note, stay safe and I will see you Cryptside.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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