And We’re Back! Greetings to everyone - first of all let's start off with saying a belated happy holidays and new year! We took a bit of a reprieve from the news over the holiday season, but we’re back to it again for the coming year. However, we thought it might be nice to do something a little different at the same time, and so for this first post back we have two objectives in mind. First we want to take a moment to look back and reflect upon 2017 as it was a pretty big year for Hunters Entertainment and our community. After we take a look back we’ll take a look forward and discuss a bit of the exciting things that have just recently been announced and things to get excited for coming down the road.
So, without any further ado we can go ahead and get right to it all.
2017 - A Retrospective It really has been an exciting and crazy year, and taking a look back on it there are a number of things that it seems appropriate to reflect upon. For instance, we started off 2017 with the launch of the very news you’re reading now - the Hunters Gathering first debuted last January and was a well received addition to the Hunters Entertainment community. Since then it has become yet another meaningful way that we can keep in contact with all of you and keep you in the loop on the various ongoings as they progress and come to fruition. It has also provided us the ability to keep you informed about projects we have in development, and sometimes even release a few little teasers of things to come.
There were some pretty humbling moments as well, where this wonderful community showed just how much they support us and the products we make. The first of these came when, at Gen Con 50, The ABCs of RPGs won a Silver ENnie Award for “Best RPG Related Product” making it officially our second award winning line of products! We can’t begin to express just how honored we are that you love the products that we make, because we pour ourselves into them being things we personally love and want, so it feels great to know we aren’t alone in that.
But it didn’t stop there, as we also managed to launch and successfully fund (that is such an understatement) two Kickstarter Campaigns - one for the Outbreak: Undead.. 2nd Edition Core Rules and another for our brand new game line Kids on Bikes. Starting with the Outbreak: Undead.. Campaign you all immediately floored us by crushing our initial goal and starting to unlock Stretch Goals within the first few hours of launch, and you kept on unlocking stuff right up to the end when we raised 592% of our target goal! Shortly after launching that first Campaign we launched a second for Kids on Bikes and once again you all came out in droves and proceeded to smash through Stretch Goals faster than we could come up with them, in the end we closed out with an impressive 1,869% of our target goal!
Then there was all of the fun things that we got to do over the course of the year with all of you and our friends in the industry. We got to play some fun games via social media with the Rag and Bone Man, your comments and ideas are what continue to make interacting on the internet fun. If you don’t already, you can follow us on Facebook via Hunters Entertainment, Outbreak: Undead, or Kids on Bikes and on Twitter via Hunters Entertainment. We also got to play around with some modern-age goodness this year by dabbling in livestreams and video content. We even got to make some featured videos with our friends at Geek & Sundry and Smosh Games. We’re also proud to say our team participated pretty heavily in the International Tabletop Day festivities by joining the crew on the official G&S stream as well as hosting our own game of Outbreak: Undead.. We hope those of you that joined us had a blast!
That brings us to all of the great conventions we got to attend over the year and get a little time to hang out with all of you in the flesh. We had both official and unofficial appearances over the year at various industry conventions across the country (we haven’t gotten to the point where we can jump on the international circuit just yet) including GTS (GAMA Trade Show), WonderCon, PAX East, and Gen Con.
Finally, what kind of year would it be for a developer and publisher of gaming content without some releases? Well, we weren’t lacking in that department either with a mix of major and supplemental releases happening throughout the year. Here is a quick look back on what all we dropped over the past year:
GAME – Most Popular Game in all Mother Russia: Not Really was a micro-game that we released as a retail exclusive just for International Tabletop Day. We know this one didn’t get to make it into the hands of everyone, so if you managed to grab yourself a copy we hope that you have enjoyed it as much as we did making it. Just a little bit of silly fun, which we can all use a bit more of!
Starter Kit Errata was released to accommodate some changes that had happened with the Outbreak: Undead.. game system during the course of development since that initial first look was released. Of course this content was released as a free download on our website since it stands as an update to a print product. This also helped to facilitate the launch of our next release...
Pandemic Play 2017 launched over the year officially, and a number of GMs around the globe registered to become Action Rangers. Outside of these local games, we’ve also hosted some official Pandemic Play events at conventions that we attended over the year. Much like the test Preseason that came before it, we managed to learn a bit more from the process and will be further making adaptations to continue to improve upon the experience as we move into future Seasons.
The Gamemaster’s Companion, the partner piece to the Starter Kit that had previously seen a digital release, was given a Print on Demand release on DTRPG and we also began selling copies of the book at our booth during conventions. This was our first foray into developing a PoD product based on a previously release item, and it is something we may do again in the future with other products currently only available in digital form.
House on the Hill 2nd Edition was also released as a free digital download, but for the 2nd Edition version we added in victory conditions to the old classic so that GMs could use the Scenario in their own ongoing Campaigns without it being an automatic total party kill. Just a little more content from 1st Edition being rolled out with the 2nd Edition touch up before we get to the full Core Rules now in production.
The Quick Start Guide for Outbreak: Undead.. 2nd Edition was also released as a free download, giving a quick overview of some of the mechanics for those trying to decide if this is the game for them. More interestingly though is the fact that this product is also a first look at the new format and layout the Core Books will be using if you wanted to get an idea of how it will differ stylistically from the 1st Edition book.
Kids on Bikes Ashcan Edition was also released as a free download and early look at our newest RPG. Since the new game is rules light enough we were able to confidently drop this sneak peek at no charge. Talk about a handy way to see if you want to pick up a game, by actually getting to play it.
And that brings us to the final release we had over the year, and this was a major one to say the least.
The Chronicles of Exandria: Tales of Vox Machina - Volume 1 is the official art book for the wildly popular show Critical Role on Geek & Sundry, and we were honored to be able to publish this book and bring it to the community and fans of the show. Featuring a trove of absolutely stunning works of art, it is available in a Standard Edition and a limited Deluxe Edition release (no longer available) as well. It really does bring the world we’ve all loved for so long to life, see for yourself.
Wow - that was quite a bit that went on over the year, it is honestly almost hard to believe all of this just happened. If we are being completely honest here, it has been a whirlwind of a year for us (in the best way possible, of course). Of course we aren’t done yet, so that brings us to the next part of this huge Hunters Gathering, the first month of 2018 and beyond!
The Future Looks Bright Indeed! Things aren’t slowing down any time soon here at Hunters Entertainment, in fact it would be safe to say that they are ramping up more. We’re just a month into the year and we’ve already dropped some major bombshells and started to make the rounds, so to speak. For those of you who have been following along with us on our social media accounts, you’ll already know some of what we mean.
First thing first, we’re super excited about joining the family at Renegade Game Studios! Much like Hunters Entertainment, Renegade Game Studios has a reputation for making high quality content. They are best known for their tabletop games such as Clank! A Deck-building Game, Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, FUSE, and Kitty Paw. The partnership was announced this month and we look forward to combining our talents to bring you even more amazing content!
We’ve also already dived into the convention circuit for the year, because why wait? Thanks to everyone who stopped by to hang out and play some games with us at Midwinter Gaming Convention out in Milwaukee to get their year rolling! As usual it was a wonderful experience hanging out at Midwinter, and we look forward to being right there as they continue to grow and expand. We’ll be attending a number of additional conventions over the course of the upcoming year, and we’ll have news about those for you very soon (probably sooner than you think too).
We’ve even released a bit of content already this year with some supplemental releases for Kids on Bikes. You can grab The Playbook and Character Relationship Questions over on the official Kids on Bikes Downloads page here on our site. Just like with our convention appearances, this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg for the year. This year will be seeing a number of major and supplemental release for more than one of our lines.
Kids on Bikes and Outbreak: Undead.. 2nd Edition coming up over the year, and along with those we’ve got a number of supplemental items and accessories that will be coming up too. We’ve also officially announced that we’ll be releasing the of Outbreak: Undead.. 2nd Edition, the most rules light and less simulation style version of the game, completely free - that is the whole game at no charge (similar to the Ashcan version of Kids on Bikes), and players using Arcade Mode can play right along with those using the full rules! Once again, a great way to sample the game and see if you want to make the investment (or even just a fun way to play without delving into all the simulation aspects if that isn’t your bag).
That is just a little bit of a taste for what is to come as we get going into 2018! We’ve got a number of other things going on as well, and we’ll be sharing details about this as we go. 2017 was a very big year for Hunters Entertainment, and 2018 is already proving that the moment is still building. We’re looking forward to the journey ahead with all of you along with us.
So welcome back to the Hunters Gathering everyone, and we’ll chat again in February!