It's quite a provocative title, but it serves what we are trying to achieve quite well. The first offering from Purgatory really gave you a flavour of why Angels were on Earth. It brought characters to the fore, giving them traits, personalities and identities. Some key individuals were brought to life outside of the existing range of models, such as St Peter or Death, whilst these beings existed, they weren't really part of the main story arc, that was Siren and Erishkigal from the existing range.
Phase 2 starts to change that and this blog post explains our thought process, where it takes us and what we intend it to bring, so let's buckle up, grab some popcorn and go on a brief journey.
The cancelled Kickstarter
This probably the best place to start. Firstly, we cancelled the kickstarter for many reasons as listed below:
- The emergence of Harry Potter and Batman to Kickstarter (albeit that Knight sought controversy instead by electing against crowd funding)
- The growing backlash online for expensive over $100 projects
- A desire for a physical product - models
- A better way to get involved with Purgatory
We always said from the start that we would stand by our word. Therefore if we said "we will go in April" then that is what we would do, come hell or high water. This didn't really do us any favours either time, simply because there is a tendency from big companies to launch a massive marketing campaign between 2 and 4 weeks before it goes live. This creates mass interest and diverts attention and desire which does what it requires. We don't have the budget to compete with Mantic and CMON, though we do have a products that rival them. If we had however, a dollar for each time someone said; "you'd have done amazingly well, had it not been for 'x' or 'y' project launching at the same time", perhaps we would have the required budget.
Next time around, we won't be telling you well in advance. We will be following a similar route and letting you know when the time is right, though we do like to drop clues.
We also listened to a lot of what people were telling us, which I have to point out is often incredibly hard. We simply can't action everything that people say or ask for, if only because quite frequently these clash with one another. So instead we look across the broad range of comments and pick out what we know we can adjust, what we can influence and more importantly what constitutes the greatest value.
At the time of our last Kickstarter, there was an apparent backlash. I won't name any specific project, quite simply because it would be unfair but also because many suffered from this. The general comment all of a sudden seemed to be "I spent 'x hundred' dollars on 'y' project and haven't even played it yet!", another being along the lines of "It's a lot of money for something I don't even know if its any good..." It's a change from the, must have it all approach sometimes taken and with the emergence of some real superpowers, realising 4+ of these value projects per year it resonates.
We looked at this and decided we could perhaps buck the trend. The cancellation was in part because we figured that actually we could easily offer a low cost entry point for new players, whilst offering new factions or models to existing fans. In doing so, we could greatly reduce our funding target and increase the likelihood of funding, which let's face it, is what we all want.
Secondly there were the beginnings of rumblings around the models themselves. More frequently people appeared to challenge the 3D renders shown in marketing campaigns, wanting to know the casting quality or even to see a master model as people had some bad experiences of quality or detail being lost during the casting or production process. We failed in some regard last time around, because we approached it in the same was a previously, we had an idea and wanted your help to realise it. But as models are a personal thing, we could understand why people were hesitant.
We again looked at this and we decided that we could do something about it, but not correct it entirely, simply because along the way, enough profit hasn't been made to fund the creation of 5 models off the bat. However, enough is certainly available for the creation of one and I can tell you that Moloch (Angel Form) is being created as we speak by Lux Thantor and we are very excited to receive him. This model was chosen quite deliberately which we will go onto later.
Finally people who were growing tired of expensive games want to play Purgatory, people seem drawn to the world and the idea, if only because it is very different. This is very much our draw but seemingly it is also a means for people to hesitate, simply because it represents the unknown. So we looked at all of the items combined above and designed a big fat plaster to hopefully counter them all in one go.
Identifying the issues and the deployment of counter measures
The reason why we are having Moloch done first is because we are launching smaller boxes that include the following:
- 3 Models, the Host + 2 others
- The Rulebook
- 20 Gift of the Gods Cards
- 1 Faction specific GOTG Card
- Stat Cards for the models included
- 1 Random direction dice
- 3 inserts for your models and 3 bases
We have designed box sets that now give you absolutely everything you need to play. The factions can work at a lower points cost, simply because there is adaptability in Purgatory where you can player on smaller boards. The points allow you to have an even contest at whatever size you want, provided of course, there is only one Angel per side in play.
We simply, from a cost point of view, include the Moloch Minotaur model into the starter set, it would set this apart price wise and wouldn't work with the approach, so we have created a new model as mentioned above (Moloch Angel form), so that each faction can be purchased with their corresponding Host and some guys to accompany them.
That will mean that we can have 3 of the four factions ready to go at the Kickstarter when it comes, yes OK we won't have the full Refugees faction up and running, but we will certainly have 3 of the 4. The aim being that the funding target is there to introduce the next faction as a playable unit.
The stretch goals will be quite straight forward and will feature Gabriel within it as we start the process of expanding into the story line itself.
A question we are frequently asked is about the factions for the Parlour Tricks and for Hjanford. "When can we get models for these characters?" These are very much in our plans and quite honestly, if we do well enough in the next Kickstarter, these will very much be coming along. Our strategy hasn't changed and we want to widen the product range sufficiently enough to give players a broaden selection pool for their games of Purgatory.
As it stands, with the exception of putting it together the Soul Train Tome is complete. What are Tomes? Well they are a book specific to any given faction, the first being the Soul Train. It broadens out and develops the characters whilst pinning their significance to a point in the Age of Purgatory itself. Erishkigal for example is very closely linked to Satan, the arch betrayer and as such it leads to questions being unanswered. "What is her relationship to him?", "Why is she here and He is not?", "How is she connected to the Soul Train, or Souls in general?"
All of these questions are answered as we take you back to the point where Erishkigal became the guardian of the Souls of the lost and damned but what led her to this point and how it involves Hell itself. The relationship between Satan and Erishkigal has been tested and strained and the resentment is clearly there, though the loyalty is unbreakable it leads to a complex dynamic.
When you consider that we have pre-conceptions of Heaven and Hell, which have been around for centuries and portrayed in works such as Dante's inferno, we had to make sure there was a connection that gave you scope to re-imagine what you know, whilst still being anchored to something familiar.
The Tome talks about the lives of the characters in the Soul Train as well and give you something to think over when you select your crew. There are some co-dependencies, relationships, enmities and general feeling within these groups which you now have the chance to explore. Alongside some new characters such as Ghetto Beats, Parisi and Jim Sachs, where you can proxy some characters to try new things.
Each Tome comes with 3 new scenarios, that are specific to the faction, a situation or event that has occurred in the time line that allows you to re-tell the story yourself with varying levels of difficulty.
Finally the Tome comes with the Stat Cards for all of the characters in the book, which means that you get the chance to play with some new characters as well as the existing ones.
The current thought process is that these Tomes will be offered as an extra for the Kickstarter, either included in the box itself as an option or within the pledge manager afterwards as an add-on item. They will be in keeping with the A5 size we have previously deployed in the artwork book so that your collection is consistent, easy to carry and store.
We have already started the Murder Inc. Tome and we plan to launch the Gangbangers, Refugees of Religion and maybe even the Hjanford books within the Kickstarter itself.
The Age of Purgatory
The story does move along within the Tomes, albeit only slightly. You get to see some of the characters that perished and you see different angles of the people that heavily influence the world. We have, much like the Marvel cinematic universe, set out a long term plan for Purgatory, where phase 3 will very much focus on taking Age forward a step by introducing Michael, Satan and the Horsemen.
This could be considered as apocalyptic for the game but it won't be. Whilst Satan is grossly powerful, he is the natural next step up and whilst he and Michael will be a pip above the other Angels, there will be limits on when and where you can use the characters in game. Furthermore, it becomes clear in the Soul Train book that other Gods and Galaxies have glimpsed our own. Did Satan and his Host stop all of the incursion, or did some escape his wrath and sow it's seeds across our own realm?
We all know through religion that there any many different faces to a God or to their prophets and what's to say for example, that Vikings as we know them, who worshipped Odin as the allfather, didn't know that Odin was just an Angel, in different form, from another realm...…..
What's next for Purgatory, what can we expect?
Well quite simply there are many things going on at the moment, we will list them for you as a recap but also with some detail.
First up are the boxes. Many of you will have seen the following pieces of artwork:
We are now upping the game. For those of you that has the Purgatory game box, you will recognise the artwork style as we now look to introduce dedicated starter boxes to our range. These starter boxes will be part of the Kickstarter itself and will then feature permanently for us, giving us a visual product as well as an identity. We are really pleased with the art and with just one more to go you can see we are not far away from going live again.
The idea behind the boxes is that, having listened to what you said, you will be able to see the products together when the next Kickstarter goes live, which means you can actually see what you get, which is really good news for us and for you.
Which one is your favourite? Comments in the BLOG afterwards, may get you a free GOTG Random Pack, so let's hear your thoughts!
We are working currently on 2 sets of bases inserts, these will be available on the store and will give you the opportunity to make all of your models have the same look and feel on the tabletop, one will be quite modern, with a bit of technology and the other will have something quirky, come on, you know us, right!?!
We are considering some terrain as well. We would very much like to bring some of the unique, dynamic terrain that features in our artwork to your tabletop and this is something that is being considered but is not something you will see soon.
Finally a campaign has been drawn up, which has been play tested in very crude form at a few shows this year, we are looking to have a campaign book in the works that will allow you to play cooperatively with friends and family with some unique scenarios that builds your gang as you along!
The commitment to Purgatory is still strong, we are beavering away behind the scenes as you can see from the above to work on the next project and have something much more tangible by the time we launch.
We hope that the next step will continue our journey with you and with new players so that we can expand the range, the story and the world increasingly over the coming years.
Thanks for reading our BLOG, please, we do value your comments, so if you read this, please let us know what you think about where we are going and what we are doing. :)
All the very best