Ragnarol has been in development for a long time now. It’s possible you heard of it a couple of years ago, when it was bouncing around in my head, or you’ve played it with me sometime over the past 18 months. It’s getting towards completion, but this last, long march through the snow is proving longer and harder than I had planned for. I just wanted to give you a quick update of what’s been happening with Ragnarol lately and where we’re heading in the very near future!
September – October, 2014
Finishing off Hedron trailed all the way to the very end of September, and that meant I had an almost full month of development with Ragnarol before PAXAUS. After giving the game a bit of break and levelling up my game design skills with Hedron, I looked at Ragnarol with fresh eyes and got to work. I took out some things that weren’t working and added in heroes, to give the game some much requested variability.
November – December, 2014
November started off with a bang with PAXAUS. After 3 long hard days of demoing Ragnarol and Hedron, I got a really good idea of what was working, what needed to be working and what actually didn’t need to be in the game. Players really responded to the heroes, but they were a bit clunky and needed more refinement. Once I got back from PAX, I took a big chunk of time to break them down and build them back up again, as well as kill some heroes, create more and then kill even more again. The heroes emerged from the proverbial fire, stronger and more streamlined. In earlier versions, heroes’ powers and ways of gaining glory were understandable for player’s controlling the hero but it was difficult for players to really grasp how to play against opposing heroes. Streamlining the heroes allowed players to better understand their opponents, and enjoy the challenge of fighting against them.
January – February, 2014
We sent off some playtest packets just at the end of December, and they started to flow back in at the beginning of January (well, some of them). The feedback was mixed, with some players finding glory wins especially random. A consistent complaint was the rulebook, so I’ve spent a lot of February really digging into rulebook design, to make sure the rulebook is really solid to best serve our generous playtesters and to close the gap between the playtest instructions and the published instructions.
I also returned to CanCon for the Australia Day long weekend. It was great to see some familiar faces, as well as play Ragnarol for 3 days. I was super glad to get very positive feedback from returning players after a year of development. Once again, 3 days of demoing and feedback from new and returning players gave me some great insights on where the fun was in Ragnarol. Since CanCon, I’ve been focussing on refining the event cards and hero powers to make sure that every victory felt deserved (and there were no surprise wins because a certain card came out).
I also dug back into production and art direction. I’m not quite ready to show off art publicly yet, but playtesters will be getting a sneak peak of select heroes. I’m still waiting to hear back from manufacturers, as they get back from holidays, before I can get stuck into the financials of the game and really start to finalise decisions about the best way to make Ragnarol an awesome physical reality.
Ragnarol Present and Future
March onwards: Playtesters wanted!
The next public playtest version is just about ready, and playtesters will get a sneak peak of what the finished game will look like. We’ve got a little more internal work to do, but I’m hoping to finish that off very soon. If you’d like to get in on the action, we’ve still got some playtest packets open for the taking. Just leave a comment (or contact me via your method of choice) and let me know you’re interested.
If everything goes super great and nobody breaks my game in the public playtest, an end of April launch date for the Ragnarol Kickstarter is still possible, but it is looking less likely. It looks like we’re slowly drifting towards the middle of the year
With proper preparation and fair winds, you should see Ragnarol hit the retail market 6 months after the Kickstarter launch, but there’s a couple of dates towards the end of the year that can really slow us down. The fimbulwinter – the long winter preceding Ragnarok when Ragnarol is set – is said to last three winters with no summers inbetween, and coincidentally, it looks like that’s how long it’s going to take to make Ragnarol a reality.
P.S. you can expect a few more posts in the coming months as we head towards the final launch!