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Party of 4: Fortunes Found in Dungeons Deep

Created by Colossal Ken

Party of 4: Fortunes Found in Dungeons Deep is a physical SOLO Hero-crafting, Dungeon-delving and Treasure-looting board game. Assemble a Party of wannabe Heroes, Train them to “not die too fast” and then Point them towards Fame and Fortune (or humiliating Defeat and Destitution)!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

GIGANTIC Thank You coming your way...
5 days ago – Wed, Sep 21, 2022 at 07:10:11 PM

... BUT, you gotta work a bit for it!

(Ha! How cruel of me to make you WORK for some gratitude from me!)

Summary of this Update:

  • Hidden Message THANK YOU Surprise!
  • IMPORTANT Message for Anyone that Purchased Add-ons
  • Production and Shipping Timeline Update
  •  Surprise Guest Interview: Mistress Mandara, the Proprietor of The Magnificent Emporium of Eldritch Arms, Enchanted Armour and Sundry Arcane Curios 

 Hidden Message THANK YOU Surprise!

When you receive your copy of Party of 4: Fortunes Found in Dungeons Deep, you will ALSO be receiving a card that looks a bit like this:

EACH Hidden Message Thank You Card in UNIQUE and Hand-numbered.

YOUR JOB will be to take a picture of YOUR card (the FRONT, please!) and send it to me. I will then add your picture to a SEA of other pictures to create a "tapestry" that REVEALS A HIDDEN MESSAGE.

The final message will be about about 12 feet tall and 15 feet wide (I don't know what that is in metric... maybe a couple kilometers?).

Something... like... THIS:

OBVIOUSLY, the final message will NOT be blurred like this (duh!). It will be crisp and clear and legible (just like the Dungeons and Bunnies shirt that I chose to wear for this picture that is ENTIRELY not visible).

IMPORTANT Message for Anyone that Purchased Add-ons

If you purchased Add-ons, you will see a description on your credit card / debit card statement that says "DoctorKen". It's not fraud. It's just me. I may BE a fraud, but I draw the line at COMMITTING fraud! ;-) Keeping these split personalities straight is HARDER than I thought! ;-)

Production and Shipping Timeline Update

We are STILL waiting on ONE, last piece of the game before I can ship it out to y'all, the laser-cut chits. 

The ORIGINAL estimated production completion date WAS September 15th (a few days ago). It has been SLOWLY inching up over the last month. It NOW stands at October 17th. 

Ugh.

It IS possible that it will be done and arrive sooner (I would REALLY like to have it before the end of September so I can hit my original Kickstarter estimated completion date). We have moved up over 1,000 spots on the production queue in less than a month. We now stand at about number 300. BY MY MATH (do NOT bet your life on it!), that means that we should be top of the queue in just a couple weeks. 

We'll see...

 Surprise Guest: Mistress Mandara, the Proprietor of The Magnificent Emporium of Eldritch Arms, Enchanted Armour and Sundry Arcane Curios 

Ken: Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Mistress Mandara. She is the famous...

ColossalKen: Infamous is more like it!

Mistress Mandara: Stuff it, ColossalKen! I get a headache every time you open your fetid mouth.

Ken: ... proprietor of The Magnificent Emporium of Eldritch Arms, Enchanted Armour and Sundry Arcane Curios. NO ONE has been crafting exquisite arms and armour as long as she has.

ColassalKen: Yeah. 'Cause she's older than dirt!

Mistress Mandara: Keep it up "Colossal Clown" and I'll put YOU in the dirt.

ColossalKen:Oooooo. I'm soooo scare... OUCH! Stop that! That hurts!!!

Mistress Mandara: That's the intention, you dolt!

Ken: Hey, can't we all just get along for a...

Mistress Mandara: Ugh. The ONLY thing I HATE more than listening to Ken bloviate is playing one of his stupid games. 

ColossalKen: Here, here! He can't even keep from screwing up a game made on TOILET PAPER! Now, me - every game I create is pure genius. 

Mistress Mandara: ENOUGH with the unpleasant pleasantries. YOU! Backer person! That's right. I'm talking to you. I was about THIS close to retiring from making stupid weapons for stupid people they just end up doing stupid stuff with when I lost EVERYTHING. 

What kinda IDIOT forgets to deactivate their Staff of Destructification when they drop it off to have it cleaned?!? Morons. 

I'm surrounded by morons.

Ken: Why are you looking at ME?!? What did I do?

Mistress Mandara: Anyway... YOU, Kickstarter Backer game person, are gonna save my retirement from total disaster. I worked WAY too hard for WAY too long to end up NOT spending the rest of my days on the Coconut Coast with a bevy of Cabana Boys. 

Enough already. 

I spelled it all out for you in this video and on the Kickstarter campaign page. It is SO clear that even YOU should be able to figure it out.

The Kickstarter Campaign launches October 1st. There is NO way I can do worse than these two KNUCKLEHEADS!!!

Get to it! Those Cabana Boys ain't gettin' any younger!

Ken: You can also preview the DRAFT Kickstarter Campaign by clicking this link:

Mistress Mandara's Magnificent Emporium Kickstarter (DRAFT Preview - Launching October 1st) 

Ken: Don't forget to click the Remind Me button!

ColossalKen and Mistress Mandara (in unison): Shut it!

ColossalKen and Mistress Mandara (in unison): Jinx!

ColossalKen and Mistress Mandara (in unison): Jinx again!!!

ColossalKen and Mistress Mandara (in unison): Jinx again, again!!!

Ken: Welcome to my world...

Orders on LOCKDOWN in 48 hours / Survey Results In!
about 2 months ago – Thu, Aug 11, 2022 at 12:48:54 AM

Hey, Party (of 4) People!

Orders on LOCKDOWN in 48 Hours

In order to finalize manufacturing numbers, I will need to lockdown all orders about 48 hours from the sending of this Update. Basically, you will NOT be able to change your order in the Pledge Manager after this time. YOU WILL, HOWEVER, be able to update your mailing address all the way up until shipping time.

Thank you, everyone, for completing your surveys in such a timely fashion. It REALLY helps me to NOT screw this thing up worse than I already have! ;-)


Survey Results are IN!

On the Survey, there was ONE survey question:

Which statement below do you feel BEST describes your Party of 4 Kickstarter campaign experience?

Drum roll please...

43% selected (AKA the SMARTEST Backers): 

"Colossal Ken is - quite possibly - the greatest game designer of this generation (though I have yet to play one of his games)."

(The truly insightful nature of Humanity never ceases to amaze me!)


28% selected:

"Colossal Ken is a wholly underappreciated genius of the highest caliber."

(Genius? Yes. Underappreciated? Iffy.)


18% selected:

"I can't wait to get my copy of Party of 4... so that I NEVER have to read another horrible Colossal Ken Update or answer another stupid Colossal Ken survey question."

(Humanity's complete lack of an insightful nature never ceases to amaze me.)

NOTE: Any correlation between Backers that chose this Survey response AND their game arriving in their mailbox in less than perfect condition is purely coincintentional. ;-)


 The Tokens Were a BIG Hit!

I don't know if I will EVER truly understand the way my Backers' brains work (not that I've tried all that hard!).

Fitting with my well-demonstrated LACK of insight or awareness of any kind, I ASSUMED that MAYBE 10% of Backers would pick up the tokens (which ADD only pretty-ness to the game and NOTHING else!). 

Wrong again! 

About 30% of y'all ordered the Add-on Tokens (AKA "Knuckeheads"). ;-)

THANK YOU SO MUCH for the support! Now that I am in a bit of a holding pattern with regards to fulfillment (it will take over a month to get the chits printed), I have started work on the NEXT Kickstarter. The GOAL is to have a COMPLETE game ready for launch for Kickstarter's FIRST EVER Witchstarter Event that focuses on Witchcraft, Occult and Magic projects. I will be going with a SOLO magic-focused tabletop game. The funds from the Tokens will REALLY help to make this next game possible! THANKS!

The working title of the game is:

Mistress Manadia's Emporium of Eldritch Arms, Enchanted Armour and Sundry Arcane Curios.

Try to fit THAT on a business card!

It is shaping up to be a merchant trading / magic item crafting game. Most likely will be more card focused (rather than dice focused with Party of 4). I would like to add an Adventuring component to the game (sending Adventurers off to hunt for particularly rare or valuable pieces), BUT I also want to keep the cost of the game as low as possible. 

I would love to hear your opinions on this: 

Should I leave out the Adventuring component in favor of a lower cost (the Adventuring component would probably need more printed components AND some dice)? OR Should I add an Adventuring component even though it might drive the cost up a fair amount?


 Most Printed Components Have ARRIVED!

I am in possession of 21 out of 22 boxes of Printed Components! HOPEFULLY, the last box will arrive today (for some silly reason the UPS tracking number is not actually TRACKING anything). :(

This is (almost) all the game cards and fill-in sheets and the game boards.

I have also received al the envelopes that I need. 

I will be able to order the custom chits and the Add-on tokens the MOMENT the orders lockdown in about 48 hours. They will take over a month to get printed.

Yours in Colossal Mayhem,

Ken

The Surveys are Coming! The Surveys are Coming! RUN AWAY!!!
2 months ago – Wed, Jul 27, 2022 at 12:49:57 AM

Surveys INCOMING!

(and please don't run away or ignore - I NEED this info so I can get your game out of my garage and into your hot little hands)

I am using BackerKit to collect the Surveys. Should be pretty easy-peasy. IF I set everything up correctly (that's a BIG if!), then all your Pledged items should already be "Added to your Cart" leaving you with a ZERO balance. Feel free to confirm your Pledge and shipping info and move on (you will have another opportunity to update shipping info should you plan on moving between now and actual shipping - likely end of September or so).

If you have any problems, you can message me on Kickstarter, email me at Ken@CollosalEndeavors.com or call / text me at 1 (714) 721-2464.

OR...

***WARNING*** /// Blatant Money Grab Ahead!!! /// 

World Domination ain't cheap, kids!

To help make the World a much, much better place (for me!), I have decided to institute the Kickstarter Creator's oldest and most shady-est money grabbing scheme: THE TOTALLY UNNECESSARY ADD-ON!

(cue evil laughter)

These Party of 4 Add-ons "Add" absolutely NOTHING to the game. These game tokens DO NOT ADD any new content to the game. They DO NOT ADD any new rules or ways to play the game. They kinda, sorta ADD a teensy, tiny bit of enjoyment to the game IF you like totally frivolous shiny objects (funny enough, I'm a big fan).

One thing they DO ADD is CASHOLA to my World Domination Piggy Bank (believe it or not, it's an ACTUAL Piggy Bank - it'll be the FIRST thing I smash to tiny bits before I move on to smashing the WORLD into tiny bits). 

Here they are for your viewing... and, hopefully, unnecessarily extravagant purchasing... pleasure:

Sure... you don't NEED these beauties, but imagine how GOOD it feels knowing you DO have them when your friends DON'T.

(you're welcome)

Yours in Colossal Mayhem,

Ken

Sorry. I have to BREAK one of my Campaign Promises. :(
3 months ago – Fri, Jul 08, 2022 at 08:46:36 AM

I have to break one of my campaign promises. :(

(said every politician that has ever lived!)

Okay,  way back in the early days of the Party of 4 Campaign - when I was trying  to trick… er, I mean, CONVINCE you to Back this project - I made a  promise that I would print this game on the cheapest materials known to humankind - the consensus choice being toilet paper (or worse if I could find it).

Well,  it turns out that no SELF-respecting printer will ACTUALLY print on toilet paper. Something to do with “instantly disintegrating on contact with ink leading to the complete destruction of a crazy expensive piece of machinery" or some such. 

Sounds like a weak excuse to me.

I even tried finding a NON-self-respecting printer, but they are all MASSIVELY BACKLOGGED as they are swamped right now printing counterfeit currency.

True  story: the counterfeiters refuse to print fake U.S. currency because  they say it is ALREADY not worth the paper it’s printed on. Go figure.

Soooo, that means I have to use actual paper that will actually hold ink (so they say) and actually survive a trip through the mail (maybe) and will  actually NOT fall apart halfway through your first play-through (fingers  crossed).

If it makes you feel any better, I specifically requested that the paper be  made from trees that are severely malnourished, bent at ridiculous angles and, overall, worthless for ANY purpose OTHER than making this crappy game. You can’t say I didn’t try.

Here are some images of the (rather disappointing since they aren’t actually on toilet paper) test prints:

Game Cards on High-Gloss, Premium Plus Cardstock: Even in BRIGHT light, you STILL can't see through it! Dissapointing. :(
Have you EVER seen SO much DISGUSTING high gloss in one place in your life?!?
Laser-Cut Chits: Sadly, these don't reduce your paper-cut risk as much as I thought. You still have to "pop 'em outta yo' self". Broken Campaign Promise #2. NOTE: IGNORE the actual images on the chip board. I screwed up ROYALLY in setting this up with the printer. THIS is why we do PRINT TESTS, kids!
Play Sheets on Matte Paper: If you look REAL close, there is ALMOST a toilet paper-like embossing thing going on. I tried.
If it makes you fell any better, I doubt these sheets would handle more than a dozen pencil-and-eraser re-uses before disintegrating.
Laser-Cut Chits: Worse comes to worst, you can always use these to 'shim' a wobbly table.

If you are as devastated as I am, please know that I will always be here for you should you ever need a shoulder to cry on.

And  when I say “always,” I actually mean “never”. And when I say “here,” I  actually mean “here to tell you to find someone else to annoy”. And when  I say “shoulder to cry on,” I actually mean “keep your hands, face and  tears away from me at all times!”

Yours in Colossal Mayhem,

Ken

P.S. IGNORE the actual chit images on the chip boards (chit boards?). The layout is hecka wrong. This print test probably saved me from EITHER a $1,500 printing mistake OR about $300 AND 25 HOURS of unnecessary labor to correct (actually popping out the chits manually and placing them in poly bags and - maybe - even having to pay more in postage since they wouldn't ship as flat as the cheapest postage rate requires). Yikes! Imagine how much MORE I would detest all y'all AFTER THAT! ;-)

P.S.S. When I say that *I* made a mistake, I actually mean that I PURPOSELY made a mistake to see if the printer was paying attention. Apparently, they were NOT. Shameful. 

(Four) Cheers for The Playtest Dummies!!!
3 months ago – Sun, Jul 03, 2022 at 02:41:26 PM

Hey, Party (of 4!) People!

Update Summary for those with short attention spans (i.e., like every last one of you chumps!):

  1. Shout out to The Playtest Dummies (their fragile egos need a boosting)

  2. Game production nerd stuff for ye aspiring game designers (that will never be as good as me)

  3. Next steps (spoiler alert: it ends with a completed game and ME never having to interact with you again)

;-)

Shout Out to The Playtest Dummies

I hath returned from my trip to the amazing Medieval city of Prague. If anybody asks, I was performing deep, meaningful “research” for Party of 4 and future games.

During the nearly 24 hours of air travel, I was able to review ALL the Playtest feedback. It is FANTASTIC!

HUGE SHOUT OUT to The Playtest Dummies!!!

And special accolades for Tim Archer and Spitfire665 (yeah, I wouldn’t trust me with a real name, either!).

The Playtest Dummies were AMAZINGLY helpful and both Tim and ‘Spit’ went above and beyond. They probably think they are smarter and more talented than me and… well, they are probably right! Thanks, Dummies!

Now, as you all know, I am INCAPABLE of making mistakes. Therefore, there were NO mistakes for The Playtest Dummies to find. HOWEVER, they did a GREAT job of finding all the Easter Eggs that I planted for them to find like spelling errors, wonky game mechanics, ugly art and botched graphic design. I am VERY proud of them! They are getting somewhat close to beings that I would consider associating with someday well in the future! So heartwarming.

;-)

Game Production Nerd Stuff

The following is some gritty game design nerd stuff. Reader discretion advised…

By far, the trickiest “game balancing” of Party of 4 has been the Exploration Challenges. As your hapless Party wanders among the deep and dark, there are “challenges” that pop up. I wanted there to be a wide variety of Challenges. To accomplish that I created 3 different types of Challenges: Individual Attribute Challenges (the doorway is collapsing and one BRAWNY Adventurer must hold it open to let everyone through, etc.), Party Attribute Challenges (the Party must use their combined AGILITY to cross a narrow ledge), and Party Ability Challenges (the Party is lost and must tap into their combined EXPLORE Ability to find the way through).

This created a HUGE headache because each Category of Challenge uses different stats. Average of like 5 or 6 for Individual Attribute, 25 or so for Party Attribute and upwards of 60 or so for Party Ability. There is NO WAY to have a single dice mechanic that covers all 3 scenarios. My original idea was to do a d20 vs a Difficulty (DC in DnD) for ALL 3. THAT was a total disaster.

The Playtest Dummies really helped me FIX a horribly broken system. It looks like I can keep the variety. I can keep it to ONE table. And I can make it only mildly confusing. Sorry, you can’t have everything you spoiled brat!

NOW, the Individual Attribute Challenges are a simple 1d20 plus the Individual Attribute. If it meets or beats a Challenge Number then it is bested. Very DnD basic. Boom. Done.

NOW, the Party Challenges are BOTH “roll under”. Roll less than the Party’s stat and they win the day! I decided to go with 4d10 for Party Attribute and 4d20 for Party Ability. The numbers worked pretty well (about a 75% chance of success with an average stat) AND I like the 4 dice thing - kinda like one die per member of the Party (of 4!).

I toldya this would get nerdy!

One great piece of advice (that I already knew because I know EVERYTHING!) was to include some pre-generated Adventurers. This does 2 things: 1) let’s Players skip the Hero Crafting part if they aren’t big fans (and have really bad taste in games), and 2) gives a good example of what the final Adventurers should look like after some rollin’ and schoolin’. Sadly, I didn’t have the printing space for backstories - maybe I can add them to the PDF instructions. I would really like to flesh out Dwayne “The Brock” Johnson’s formative years. ;-)

The Playtesting Dummies also got me to add a Marketplace for buying and selling items. It’s small (it LITERALLY takes up 1/8 of a HALF sheet of paper!) and simple, but it does add a fun and needed component to the game. This also fixed some balance issues in Retirement (like having tons of leftover potions, but not enough Gold to upgrade to the Beyoncé manor).

NOTE: there is NO Beyoncé manor in the game. That was a joke. STOP being so serious all the time!

I would LOVE to say the game is PERFECT, but it looks like you’ll just have to be happy with “DONE”. ;-) I feel that every tweak I make now is just a trade-off - making one thing better while harming something else. So, by that metric, I am DONE designing.

Next Steps

Next steps:

  1. I will print some test sheets and cards to make sure that color and paper quality will work (remember, I am producing this with the cheapest materials known to humankind - gotta make sure they can hold ink… or, at least not disintegrate when exposed to air)! I plan to send out the first part of next week. Should get them back within a week or so.

  2. I need to do a print test for the Delve Tiles (cut chits). This one scares me. From a printing perspective, this has the best chance of screwing stuff up. Fingers crossed. I will send that off next week, but turnaround might be a few weeks since they will be one-offs and bigger print jobs will likely take precedence.

  3. Assuming both print tests are successful (that’s a BIG ASS… er, “big assumption”), full scale printing can start in earnest. Looks like fairly fast turnaround on all parts (well less than 6 weeks).

  4. I’m working on a secret shipping project. I have ZERO idea if it’s feasible yet. That’s why it’s secret. I don’t want to listen to you whine and complain when I promise something and don’t deliver! I said NO. It’s SECRET! STOP ASKING! Geesh, the entitlement these days.

  5. The absolute WORST part is yet to come! Assembling and stuffing games into envelopes. I had NO idea that there were 1,000 weirdos in the wild interested in my game. THAT means that I have to pull about 10 game “pieces” from 10 different piles and stuff them into 1,000 shipping thingamajigs, label them, seal them (my tongue hurts just thinking about it!) and send it. Of course, this was all my fault. In an effort to keep the printing materials as cheap as possible, I needed them to be printed as INDIVIDUAL PIECES. In a REAL game (you thought you were Backing a real game?!? Hahahaha! That’s rich!), the PRINTER would both print AND assemble into a pretty little envelope or box. HOWEVER, you were too cheap to Back a designer that knows what he is doing. Therefore, I have to inflict permanent harm on my spine for YOUR gaming enjoyment. I hope you appreciate my suffering! ;-) I do, however, have an Ace up my sleeve - cheap child labor. We have a couple kids that are always sucking the money out of my wallet. MAYBE I can get them to actually DO something valuable with their time WHILE ALSO SUCKING MONEY OUTTA MY WALLET. Just don’t blame me if your game is accidentally addressed for Timbuktu or arrives with a dirty napkin in it.

  6. If I’m STILL not in jail for violating child labor laws (NOTE TO SELF: do NOT say anything snarky about child labor laws in that country that shall not be named!), THEN I can drop your precious game-like thing into the local shipping receptacle so that you can either play it OR drop it into your own local RECYCLING receptacle (whatever, it’s your money!).

  7. THEN, the best part. This is the part where you shower me with praise and beg me to make many more games for your future entertainment-ing! Feel free to skip 1-6 and start with this one.

Any questions? I recommend that you direct them to someone who cares (i.e., NOT me).

;-)

Yours in Colossal Mayhem,

Ken