I first announced Rising Blades in mid-2017 and couldn’t wait to share the details, this was an exciting and unusual game which I had been working on for years.
Back then I didn’t use my 3-week announcement process and aimed to spend much longer talking about a game prior to its release. There was an active Facebook group, I released small teasers, and started posting in the forum. I was building an audience and reached 200 subscribers on BGG and received hundreds of votes for the most anticipated game of 2019.
A finished game
In 2018 Rising Blades became a finished game, and I don’t just mean the design.
The artwork was complete, I had full professionally printed prototypes ready to send reviewers and a final box. The game also came with miniatures which were all sculpted and there was a special piece unlike anything else. It was a large sculpted miniature that was very functional and measured around 30cm x 15cm.
In total I had spent over £25,000 on Rising Blades and this doesn’t include the considerable amount of my time that was involved, it was ready to go.
With the game ready, I reached a point where I was starting to plan out the Kickstarter. I was mapping out my marketing plans, who would make videos, and a timeline for when to launch the project.
- Playtesting for Rising Blades had gone well, people were enjoying the game and it offered a unique experience.
- The public were excited, even though they had little information they wanted to learn more.
- The game looked great and had some beautiful components.
- My distributors were excited and wanted the game.
Yet despite all this, there was one problem:
As a designer I have a rule that I follow for each and everyone of my games. I need to be able to go to a board game convention, stand in front of a stranger, and tell them that the game is perfect.
Perfect doesn’t mean everyone will think it’s the best game out there, but it does mean that I am 100% happy with the game as it is presented.
Finding the fun
The game was great, it was unique, and offered something other games didn’t. I truly believe if I had released it that a good number of people would have enjoyed the game and it would have been a success.
I spent years trying to work out what the missing piece was, trying to find that perfection, but at its core I believed there was a missing element that stopped me from finding the fun that I needed the game to have.
Five years later and Rising Blades has officially been scrapped and will never see a release.
I’m now looking at what artwork can be re-purposed for other games and hope to use the name for a different project in the future.
A Frank promise
It can be painful to kill a game, but I also believe it can be necessary. You can get so wrapped up in your creations, you can hear so much positivity from your community, but you still need to take a second and check yourself. It hurts to lose time and money, but I believe in the long run releasing a game that doesn’t meet your personal goals will do more damage than anything else.
Rising Blades would have been a good game, but it was never going to be a great game, and I’ve made a promise to myself to only release games that I consider to be perfect and believe will be great.