School’s back, and so are we!

In which we recap the exciting things which have happened over the summer, talk about our new tile direction, and apologise for the slipped timescale.

Hello everyone! My ears are full of wood dust, my computer is propped up on multiple boxes, and I don’t know where half my stuff is — welcome to moving and renovating! As always, I’m Jess, part of the team and your narrator.

So, what happened over the summer?

Turbulent times here for Team Library Labyrinth. Sam has moved house and got a new job. Ella has moved house and got a new job. I have moved house and picked up a freelance contract. Mill has not moved house, but has got a new job. So, yes, this summer has been eventful for us all!

All these personal upheavals mean we’re behind on where we hoped to be. I’ve been spending more time than anticipated on sanding floors and stripping wallpaper, and unfortunately those are hours not spent drawing very small pictures of books on to tiles.

However, we are in a good place with Library Labyrinth. Over the summer we went to both UK Games Expo and Brighton Comic Con with a prototype of Library Labyrinth, and it was very well received. (More about that in a minute…) We’ve also been playtesting a lot (a lot!) online, and the game is feeling really solid now.

So, now that summer is over and school is back (oh, thank goodness school is back) we are ploughing ahead with the game. Bring it on!

Out and about

We went to Games Expo in Birmingham, and to the Briton Comic Con. Both were brilliant, and we had a lot of success showing Library Labyrinth to people. Here are a few photos of people enjoying the game!

The last picture is actually someone playing Disarm the Base to sell (my game from 2019, look it up on www.disarmthebase.com) but it is such a perfect fit with the costume that I had to sneak it in. Obviously.

The reaction was really positive. About 60% of the games were won — well, 60% after we added a couple more turns. When playtesting online we had generally had larger groups, such as 4 or 5. Playtesting in real life often meant two players. We discovered pretty quickly that we hadn’t scaled the turns well enough, so it was too difficult for smaller groups. Still, that was easily solved by adding a couple more turns, and hey presto, it works beautifully!

New artwork

There is something else we’d like to share with you, and that is some of the artwork on the tiles. Now, this is completely absolutely not finished yet, but we have been trying to make the floor tiles less brown. A lot of games are brown and we would rather this was slightly more colourful — but how to do that when so much of it is showing is wooden shelves? Well, we have tried putting a tint to the bookcases as well as making the books all shades of the same colour. And this is how it looks at the moment. What do you think?


Time scales

This is the point at which a good half of you are going to be reaching through your screen to shout ”oi, you promised you’d launch over the summer”. Summer is gone, and we haven’t launched. We are sorry.

We misjudged the timescales, and we misjudged how much time we all had. The various house and job moves have been pretty time consuming for all of us, and we have not been able to give this project the attention it deserves.

This project is definitely happening. We are really pleased with the game as it is, and we are really pleased with the developing artwork. We think the final product will be AMAZING. But we misjudged the time we could commit and how long it would take to do things.

You’ll notice that we haven’t committed to a new date for Kickstarter. Thats because we all need to work out how much we can do in the next couple of months. Life is getting in the way, especially the day jobs. I hope when I write our next blog post I can give a better indication of what back on track actually means, but until then I don’t want to make promises I may not be able to keep. Rest assured that after paid work (which for me is 25 days between now and November) and making sure that there aren’t holes in my roof come winter (there are three missing slates at the moment) this is the top priority. I’m trying to walk a fine line between uncertainty and an educated guess, and I hope that’s ok.

Next steps

Could you help us playtest? Please do! We have a Facebook group here. Also, please do remember to sign up on our pre-launch page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dissentgames/library-labyrinth. Please share as far and wide as you can!

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