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The Judgement team are gearing up for a huge 3 days at PAX Melbourne! Lock in the 26th-28th October in your diary and make sure to pop in and say hello to the Judgement crew. We had a blast last year so in 2018 we have upped the ante to a double stall dedicated to Judgement that includes 2 tables dedicated for 3v3 demos.
PAX will feature the launch of our brand new two player starter box, as well as a number of our wave 2 heroes. It will also signal the start of the shipping phase of our wave 2 Kickstarter.
Backers of our wave 2 Kickstarter, who are at the convention, will be able to pick up their models on the Friday morning, and then battle it out with the Judgement crew and other players across the weekend.
We will be running a 3 round tournament on the Saturday night with free entry for anyone that has Judgement models and the desire to dominate the shadow plane! It will be great to see some of the Judgement veterans lock horns with brand new players that purchased their first models at PAX itself. Saturday night will be a Judgement celebration and we hope to have fun with as many of you as possible.
The crew will be broadcasting on Facebook across the weekend, including our epic, 9 hour, road trip in a 3 tonne truck full of Judgement goodness! Keep up to date with the team's movements on our Facebook page and join in with the Judgement community on our Judgemental Facebook group.
You can find us at stall TT446!
Since we started shipping our Kickstarter, Judgement has grown a life of its own. Each day we see new pics of painted models, players talking about their games, and new people jumping on board on a daily basis. The initial success has been surreal, albeit welcome, after such a long journey writing the game, play testing, launching and then shipping the Kickstarter. The crew have been flat out completing the numerous tasks required to make the transition from Kickstarter to retail. We did not think we could do anymore, and then there was PAX. :)
We did not know what to expect from PAX to be honest, none of the Judgement crew had been there before, and the convention was not really known for its miniature gaming. We were in the table-top hall, which mainly played host to companies selling board or trading card games, and we were part of the Good Games booth, who were gracious enough to host us. To Good Games, we will be forever grateful for affording us the opportunity.
Our booth was in a prime location, positioned at the large opening between the computer game hall and ours, which provided us a huge amount of foot traffic. We set up our booth, positioning the cabinet of studio models front and centre, and held our breath in anticipation. The cabinet was like a magnet. There is definitely something to be said for 54mm models, they certainly stand out, and more importantly, have the ability to attract people who would otherwise not be overly interested in miniature gaming. From soon after the convention doors swung open, to the call for the last people to leave on day 3, our cabinet invariably had people peering into it.
Sometime in the future, if Judgement becomes the game we hope it to be, we will look back on the PAX weekend as the catalyst for any success we may enjoy. More importantly than the sales to the public, or the interest from retailers, it was the reaction from people who tried Judgement for the first time that made us realise we have a great game on our hands. It is a wonderful feeling, as a game designer, to have new players sit down to play your game for the very first time, and walk away excited about it. This happened over and over during PAX, with our demo tables constantly full, and others waiting to have a game.
The Judgement crew returned from PAX super motivated to continue our journey, and make the game into something special. Since the convention, Judgement has gone into hyper-drive, and we are doing everything we can to keep a steady hand on the wheel and steer the course based on our original principles. Judgement has become a serious amount of work, it is tremendously exciting, however importantly, it is still a fun journey for us all, and we never want to lose sight of that.
We learned a hell of a lot from our PAX experience, some things we did well, but more so what we need to do to put us in a position to reach our goals, and become the best gaming company we can be. To everyone we met at PAX, we would like to extend a heartfelt thanks. You guys were amazing and we really appreciate the support, kind words and encouragement. It has had a positive influence on the entire team, and it has motivated us to get out there and get amongst as many of Judgement’s players as we can in the future.
The journey continues unabated, as the team sets its sights on CanCon in the new year. It is going to be a great weekend, not least because the convention was where we launched our Kickstarter early this year. CanCon will always be remembered as the spiritual home of Judgement. The crew are once again running a stall across the 3 days, as well as holding tournaments on the Saturday and Sunday, and we simply cannot wait.
The first official Judgement rules patch will be released on the 1st of January. This will include balance updates for some heroes, as well as clarifications for rules where required. As we have stated from day 1, Judgement will be a regularly patched game, with the schedule set on a quarterly basis. So stay tuned!
Work on the new heroes continues and we are really pleased with the direction they are taking. We plan on revealing their identities soon, once we have finalised the illustrations and the sculpting is underway.
We have a burgeoning Judgement community growing via our Official Facebook Page and the Judgemental Facebook Group, so if you have not jumped on board the hype train, join in and have some fun with the rest of us!
Things are certainly hurtling along at a rapid rate of knots since we began shipping our Kickstarter. Images of fantastically painted models are popping up everywhere, new players are jumping on board, and we are building a solid online community through various social media channels. Overall, we are over the moon with what we have achieved, despite being in the absolute infancy of our Judgement journey.
Having a great game in the early stages of an exponential growth period, poses a myriad of challenges for us as a games company. We have suddenly transitioned from the creative freedom you enjoy when developing a game, to the responsibility of ensuring the trust, faith, and money, players have placed in us, is not abused or taken for granted. This is something we take very seriously, and is at the forefront of our minds at all times.
At Judgement, we challenge status quo by creating a range of diverse, high quality miniatures, that stand out in a crowded market, and that anyone would be proud to own. We just happened to also create an awesome game to accompany them, which brings me to a part of our company's mission statement that regularly comes to mind:
We commit to placing the integrity of our game rules above profits.
Naive? Perhaps. But that is our commitment, as long as it adorns our mission statement, we will honour it. Which brings me to the core of today's blog post!
On last night's "The Judgement Show", we announced the impending release of 2 new heroes at CanCon in January next year. This is a significant milestone for us, particularly so early in the life of the game, however we feel it is important for two reasons.
The size of the hero pool is super important for any MOBA style game. Whilst we were very happy with the 14 that were released via our Wave 1 Kickstarter, there is plenty of room within the ruleset to cater for a much wider variety of heroes. The fact Judgement does not have a faction/race based selection system means that adding heroes to the pool makes available a huge number of combinations to the entire player base.
Work has already begun on the production of the 2 heroes, and whilst we are yet to release their identities, the heroes will be selected from the 7 "Wave 2" heroes that remained locked in our Kickstarter. The beauty of selecting heroes from the wave 2 group, is that their rules are already out there, and players will have the opportunity to practice them in the lead up to CanCon, where the models will be available for use in the tournament.
Harping back to our mission statement about the integrity of our game. We don't want to flood the game with too many heroes, as it would completely disrupt the meta and risk breaking the balance of the game. Releasing 2 heroes is a nice boost to the game, will invigorate the early meta, and provide more options for players that join us on our journey next year. The phrase "Controlled Growth" pretty much sums it up, and it reflects the fact we are in this for the long haul.
Another thing we discussed on the stream yesterday was regarding the Judgement patch schedule. Kickstarter backers may remember I mentioned, during the campaign, that Judgement would enjoy consistent and regular patches. Whilst we do not see a need for a patch at this early stage, we have announced the 1st official patch date as January 1st, 2018. This will be an opportunity to adjust the balance of any heroes, monsters or maps that we feel requires it, and will set us up nicely for our first full year as a published game.
The patch schedule from that point is every 3 months, so 1st April, 1st July etc. We will not always do a patch, but if we do, it will be done on that schedule. FAQs will be published as required, however where possible, we will follow the same schedule as well.
So much going on, it is a little mental, however PAX looms large on the horizon which includes the retail launch of the Judgement 2 player starter box. Another big milestone for us and one we are very much looking forward to.
As a team, we are sticking to our mantra of enjoying the journey. The live streams, getting involved in organised play, and interacting as much as possible with our early adopters is all part of the fun. It has been brilliant so far.
I guess that is everything for now, we look forward to hearing your feedback, and hopefully, excitement about our new heroes announcement. I am sure I will speak with you all soon either on the Judgemental Facebook group, via messenger, or live on stream!
Until next time, take care and best of luck on the Shadow Plane. :)
Andrew "Guns" Galea