Hello kids! Here's a quick rundown of how things are going since the Kickstarter campaign funded, and what the next steps are to getting Mall Kids: More Malls, More Kids into your hands.
I am currently working on editing, proofreading, and laying out the current version of the zine. I am also working with a couple of the writers to finalize their contributions, as well as with the artist Kaitlin Bruder about the new headers and spot art. We're on track to get all these moving pieces to come together in the next week or so, and then the content of the zine will be complete. From there, it will just be a matter of doing final layout, placing spot art, and doing one last editing pass to make sure everything looks good. After that, it will be bound for the printer and then your mailboxes.
Throughout the course of the project, I brought on several writers to contribute to the expansion, including one more during the project as a stretch goal. To help all these diverse writers, I created a quick set of guidelines and best practices on how to create an expansion module. This covers new stats, new character or mall options, new Beats, and how to weave thematic elements together with game rules to drive home the experience in a natural way. It struck me towards the end of the project, after hearing from people who would like to create their own content at home, that this guide might be a worthwhile addition to the expansion. So, now it is. I've added 3 pages to the expansion that detail this process of augmenting Mall Kids to suit your own tastes, themes, and ideas, all while keeping true to the core mechanics of the game.
I am extremely excited to see what people create with this guide. If this is something you are interested in trying out, please let me know. I would love to take in any feedback about the guide and, of course, gush over how awesome your creations are.
Surveys & Fulfillment
If you backed the Kickstarter project, you should have received a survey for your rewards. I have received over half the surveys at this point, and am looking good to start fulfillment soon. Sending rewards to backers is going to be a multi-stage effort, starting with sending out digital copies of the base game. I am updating the base game PDF a little, including the new Safety section and tweaking a couple other minor aspects. Once I have that sorted, backers will get their choice of an emailed PDF or an Itch download key (or both). This will likely happen in early March. The next step is finalizing the expansion PDF and getting that to backers through the same channels in mid- to late-March.
Once the digital files are done I will be sending them off to the printer to make the zines. I will likely do this in two orders, since the base game file will be ready for print sooner, and I don't see any reason to wait on it. This is more of a behind-the-scenes thing, though, as I will still be waiting for both zines to send physical rewards. Mailing will begin in late-March or early-April and be handled by USPS. Shipping time on the original zine took 1-2 weeks to arrive, so everyone should be holding their zines by the end of April.
If there are any delays in this process, I will be posting about it on the Kickstarter page, so keep an eye there if you'd like the most current information about fulfillment.
Post-Kickstarter Sales & Cons
I am going to order extras of both the base game and expansion zines, and will be offering these as "extras" for sale through Itch. If you missed out on the Kickstarter, or wanted to upgrade to a physical zine copy, you can keep an eye out for that in late-April, after the rewards have all shipped. I will also have physical zines for sale at cons I attend this year, including Gen Con and PAX West. I will also be attending ECCC this year, just in case you'd like to meet up and say "hi". I won't have zines for sale, but I may have some other goodies to give away, including Mall Kids swag and physical copies of some of my other games. You can keep an eye on my Twitter feed to know where I'll be if you're interested.
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