The Road To 48 - Part 1: 3 Years In The Making

From a video game IP themed fanboy idea to a tangible product available on Kickstarter during a 48 campaign. This is our story.

The Start

The road is long, grinding, and grueling. Let this be your warning to not go in to board game design seriously, unless you do it because you love it. Passion is the fuel you will need, and you will need a lot of it. I remember 6 months into the project thinking "I think it is done, I should start thinking about Kickstarter". Am I ever glad that I didn't embarrass myself, instead opting to let the game continue to grow, and in some cases shrink.

We are getting close to 3 years since the inception what is now referred to as Mythic Alpha, the very first iteration of our game Soulbound. We have needed every hour of that time to ensure game balance, game design, artwork and theme all fit together in the way we want. Through all of our efforts, Soulbound is now what it is today.

If you are reading this, perhaps it is because you too want to create a tabletop game. Maybe you want to learn from our experiences and try to emulate something similar. Either way, this blog series will share our journey from past to present to future.

Who Is Paragon Studios?

Jordan and I founded Paragon Studios in 2019 after nearly a year of trying to figure out a public professional identity that made us both happy. We both live in a small town in Manitoba, Canada, population just north of 3000. We both work 9-5 jobs, have loving partners and home lives to maintain. Neither of us has an excess of money available to us to help through this process. Luckily I am a graphic designer, which has proven to be invaluable for us.

Over the last almost 3 years, we have accomplished on our own dime and time:

- Creation of various physical prototypes

- Entered contests

- Paid for 54 pieces of high quality artwork

- Created an Instagram following

- Went to conventions (Local, and GenCon)

- Hosted events at local game stores

- Created video content, including a promotional video

- Have meetings with interested publishers

- Take part in a Publisher Speed Dating event

- Host weekly digital playtest session (thank god for Tabletop Simulator. Honestly a game changer for us.)

- Tweak, balance, redesign, add characters, remove characters, add ideas, remove ideas, scrap everything, completely redesign and re-theme, balance, test, become content, then start back at the beginning again.

- Completed over 600 games from start to finish

- Receive invaluable feedback from publishers to help us really take that step from a good game to a great game.

I am sure that I am missing many things, but that is not what this blog is about. I just wanted to share all the hoops and hurdles that 2 guys from small town Canada had to jump through just to get to a point of competence.

With the general background of us covered, the rest of the blog posts will focus a lot more on the idea of "You have done your homework, your game is done, what now?". We do not have the answers, but we will be sharing our adventures here. Next week, look out for The Road to 48 - Part 2: The Real Starting Line.

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