Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Entanglement Board Game Crowd Sale!

It's here! Today the Entanglement Board Game is available for purchase over on The Game Crafter. For the next two weeks, it's available as a crowd sale, which basically means that the more folks that buy a copy, the cheaper the game is to purchase for everyone!

Entanglement's list price is $39.99, but is currently available for $34.99 as the initial sale price. If there are sufficient sales, it may drop as low as $24.99!

What is Entanglement?

The board game is based on the web game of the same name. You're creating an elaborate garden labyrinth by placing one tile at a time, connecting a meandering path of twists and turns.

You have a limited number of tiles to play, but you can create a longer path and a larger garden by winding through Sakura trees: each pass acquires additional tiles for your expanding garden.

Should you risk your limited tiles to set up a valuable move, divert your opponents' paths away from the Sakura trees, or focus on an easy path through another Sakura tree? Weighing what to pursue when provides a mental challenge for those who hope to master it.

How is it different than the web game?

I've deliberately changed a few game rules to fit better for table play, but all the components are there if you really just want to experience a real-life version of the digital game. Here are the major changes:
  1. The board game focuses on the limited-tile play of the Sakura-flavored Entanglement maps, not the boundary-based maps of classic Entanglement. This change makes initial setup much easier and prevents pre-placed tiles from shifting off-grid when they're not adjacent to other tiles (as described here).
  2. Sakura tiles are dealt into players' hands instead of being pre-placed on the board. (This is for the same reason given in #1, and also adds a little more strategy and variety.)
  3. Scoring is based on the total length of completed lines instead of on the length of individual moves. This change helps the game move a bit faster, since tallying scores like the web game isn't terribly fun to do manually.
  4. The lines are thicker, and they don't glow. The thin lines were confusing to follow visually, and I didn't want the game to be radioactive.
If you want to check out the board game's rules, you can download a free copy here.

What's included?

A bunch of hexagons! Yay!

There are 6 colored tokens that are used to trace players' paths and a set of 72 hexagon tiles: 1 start tile, 6 sakura tiles, and 65 randomly-generated path tiles. (It is the same set of path tiles in each box, so buying another box won't introduce a new randomly-generated set.)

What does it look like?

The look and ambiance of the web game is quite peaceful. That said, I wasn't able to bottle up the ambiance and include it in the box. You will need to provide your own Zen garden and maybe grab the Entanglement sound track. Here's a bit of the art that is included.

 


I've been impressed with the overall quality of the physical tiles produced by The Game Crafter, but I cannot show that here very well.

Why a crowd sale?

I decided to go this route for several reasons.

My first thought was Kickstarter, since it's super-popular for indie board games, but after a bit of investigation I found that, as such, there are also a lot of implicit expectations. Most of the best performers seem to include several tiers of awards and other extras as goals are met. This, along with the initial production of the Kickstarter campaign, keeping up with everything during the campaign, game production, and order fulfillment, proved to be a bit more management overhead than I was prepared to invest.

My second thought was print-on-demand. It's low risk, no campaign to manage, no unsold inventory to store, and no in-house order fulfillment. I've ultimately chosen this route, but unfortunately it's a bit more expensive and order fulfillment takes a bit longer. (They have to make it before they ship it!)

Due to the print-on-demand cost for a single purchase, I had considered pinning together a web-based ordering system to group multiple purchases together so multiple copies could be printed at once (and therefore reduce cost), but then I realized my print-on-demand provider had already thought of that. Woot! Thus the crowd sale. It essentially takes a bunch of print-on-demand orders and turns it into a single bulk order, reducing the price for everyone.


In any case, check it out and see if an Entanglement Board Game is a good fit for you... ...or someone special this coming holiday season!