Top Tale: The O.G. Volume 1 is my first successfully crowdfunded project! It was exhausting just to get to that point. Next comes the process of manufacturing and fulfillment, and of course, growing the business. When at this point in the journey, you keep telling yourself that when you reach the next milestone, things will settle down.... Ha!
With funding the campaign, I'm ecstatic! The feeling when you've created something that others are willing to put money in to support, and not get physical goods for months, is a great feeling! It's justification for the years of work put in to preparing for that moment.
Looking ahead, there's a bit of uneasiness and unrest, as now I've got to get the game manufactured and shipped to backers. Then I need to take the excess stock and sell them to grow the business. It all sounds simple, but there is a lot to worry over and there's a nagging feeling that it all could fail.
The bottom line is, I won't know until I try, and I'm going to try my ass off to make it all succeed! Anyone that knows me well, knows that I'm ambitious and I commit myself to efforts, even if the likelihood of failure is a real threat. Over time, I've learned how to persevere, and for the most part I've enjoyed quite a bit of success.
If you look carefully, the picture below shows the sum of how I feel right now: serious, confident, accomplished, committed, and with a dash of scared, overwhelmed, and flustered. Not to mention something smells! Oh, that's just one of the dogs tooting... Overall though, I'm happy. Thing are progressing slowly but surely.
Next up! Manufacturing.
I'm feeling really good about where the game design has ended up. With the unlocked social stretch goals from the Kickstarter campaign, the game card count has added up to 140 topic cards, and four fill-in-the-blank cards. Additionally, the box will have a fancy magnetic lid, with UV treatment on the logos to make the game stand out. I've gone through and selected all of the final 140 card topics, informed by play testing and peer reviews, the card topics have really matured. The stories that will be told will be from a broad set of emotions, the players will get to know each other, and they will develop a deeper respect and understanding for each other while playing Top Tale. Mission accomplished!
The fruit of all this labor will be physically felt when the proof copy is mailed to me for approval later this month. That will be an amazing feeling! Assuming all is in order, the actually manufacturing process for the 1,500 production copies will begin. Then the copies all get shipped to me as freight, and I'll ship out the backers' copies individually. Somewhere in the mix, I'll get set up to sell the excess through retailers and through Amazon.
In the mix of all that, there's another product I need to work on, and that's the Top Tale mobile app. I've got a demo published on Google Play, but still need to get the demo on iOS for Apple users. Then I need to have the app enhanced to allow unlocking of content using unlock codes, which will be included with every copy of Top Tale. I also need to get the app set up to sell the card topics in the app. There's a lot of work that needs to go into the app side of things, but my primary focus is the physical games.
Anyhow, there's lots to do. There's also promoting and selling games through the BackerKit pre-order site, which will help me further fund all the efforts described above. Lots of feelings, lots of everything, but still lots of goodness!
With all that, how do you feel about how things appear to be going with Top Tale?