Project Update: Crowdfunding Phase: Complete
-Excerpt from a rejected Production draft of this Campaign Update. The intern responsible has subsequently been reassigned.
Hey friends, thank you so much for backing Deathmatch Island. Tim has worked tirelessly to make this game striking, subversive, and fun. We're grateful to see his hard work recognized by your outpouring of support and we know you're going to have a great time playing.
What Happens Next
Most of the next steps happen behind the scenes. Over the next week or two, BackerKit will process pledges and transfer the initial funds to us. (If you missed out on an add-on or want to upgrade your pledge, don't worry - that will be possible when we shift into Pledge Manager mode.)
On our side, the book is text complete and Tim has put together the final art. So while there's still a bit of work to be done, in very short order we'll be gearing up to start the back-and-forth process of submitting print files, reviewing galleys, etc.
If you've never backed an Evil Hat crowdfunding campaign, we do our best to deliver on time or ahead of time.
Our most recent crowdfunding effort, Girl By Moonlight funded in June of 2023, was scheduled for delivery in January of 2024, and actually completed fulfillment at the end of October 2023. (In fact, it's in stores now.)
So while delivery of Deathmatch Island is set for June of 2024, we're hopeful that - barring supply chain disruptions, printer meltdowns, or [REDACTED] - we will get your books and other rewards out before then.
We'll keep you updated here along the way. In the meantime, you still have the text-complete rules PDF and access to the Roll20 Quickstart (and Roll20 character sheets). You're ready to begin exploring Deathmatch Island right now.
(And don't forget the Deathmatch Island-themed Zoom backgrounds and digital wallpapers we unlocked as part of the Instant Reward at the $150k mark. Those are ready to go and available for download today.)
In terms of the stretch goals, the work on those is just beginning. Shortly we'll be sending out final contracts to get creation of those rewards underway.
A quick reminder: the stretch goals will be delivered separately from the physical book. We don't have definitive dates for the new Islands or the Official Soundtrack, but we'll likely release them in batches as they are complete. They will be electronic rewards only and we'll automatically add them to your BackerKit Digital Download page as they become available.
We count on the enthusiasm and trust of fans like you to help shepherd new games into our portfolio and get them out into the public. We thought Deathmatch Island was a fascinating, contemporary spin on the AGON ruleset and we were awestruck by Tim's incredible design. You clearly agreed and now Deathmatch Island is going to be a reality.
We're grateful for your help in making that happen. Winners Play to Win. Thank you for not Breaking the Game.
The latest update says the game is ‘text complete’. But I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and give the rules a close read, and I’m finding some places in Chapter 3 where the rules are unclear. Should I assume those have already been fixed and will not be in the final product?
Project Update: Digital Vault: CRACKED, big stretch goal up next!
Head to Backer Update #1 to access this tranche of Deathmatch Island themed wallpapers and Zoom backgrounds for your desktop, tablet, smartphone, and Nokia 3310.
Our final stretch is a big one: at $165k we'll upgrade every Survival Kit and Production Bundle.
This includes a deck of NPC cards featuring every main, named NPC in the book, a 3.5" Deathmatch Island logo sticker to slap on your laptop, Leader and Pause cards, and a 28-page, full-color Acquisitions Catalog showcasing the extraordinary rewards savvy Competitors may wrest from the hands of their opponents.
These items will only be produced if we reach $165k.
With only hours left in the campaign, now is the time to finalize your pledge.
Project Update: 60 hours and counting! The End Game
If you haven't taken a look at the play aids in the Survival Kit or Production Bundle tiers, now is the best time to check out the limited run set of booklets, handouts, cards, and more which we're printing just for this campaign and make (or upgrade) your pledge.
As we near the final leg of the crowdfunding effort, we turn this Update back over to designer Tim Denee for his thoughts on endings: Should a TTRPG have an ending? What does the End Game phase of Deathmatch Island try to do? When is an ending NOT an ending? What does the end of this campaign mean?
We think you'll find this design diary from Tim both insightful and poignant.
I’m a completionist, so I appreciate it when a tabletop roleplaying game thinks about how a campaign might end. Whether it’s the hard-framed campaign structure of Band of Blades to the more gestural approach of retirement and stash in Blades in the Dark, I want some guidance as to what happens when we decide to stop. I like endings.
The End Game is the answer to all these questions.
New Game+ exists to encourage you to play multiple seasons, and to have fun with the format. Once you’ve played at least once and got a handle on the basics, you can go again and really get wild.
When he died suddenly like that, I resolved that I would finally finish a game. Not as some bucket list thing, but just because, well, life really is short. So having this game out in the world, and having people play it, means a lot to me.
So i runned a "Half Shot" (players were having fun interacting with each other) so we didnt really moved to the Second Phase. My questions are: In my scenario players decided to land on the Industrial Area rather than the Village, (the map says its fine todo) is that correct?. How do i roll an assault against the group of players? do i add all the rolls of the players vs the npc (group) OR count it individually? (note i couldnt find each weapons advantage dice )
Project Update: One week left, Competitor - Approach the Digital Vault
So far you've unlocked upgrades for all the books, a full-fledged soundtrack for the game, and eight new Islands for your team to explore. If you haven't had a chance, check out the terrific group of stretch goal contributors that are on board.
We've got one more New Horizon goal in store at $140k and then things start to get... a little different.
At $150k we'll release the contents of the Deathmatch Island Digital Vault. This bundle of files provides Deathmatch Island-themed assets for your desktop, tablet, Zoom meetings, and Nokia 3310.
Yes, Competitor, you read that correctly.
Tim has created custom, branded home screens for use with The Official Telecommunications Device of Deathmatch Island: the stylish and reliable Nokia 3310.
Featuring 16MB of RAM, a 2.4 inch TFT screen, and a 2MP camera capable of shooting video at a full 240p, Winners Play to Win™ with the Nokia 3310.
We'll also have digital assets for iPad, iPhone, and other devices for those of you who insist on using [REDACTED] Acquisitions.
These files will be available as soon as we cross the $150k mark, so please spread the word with your friends and on socials in this final week of the campaign!
In addition, when we reach this funding goal, we'll commit to creating an independent set of map and token files that is not tied to any particular VTT.
While the Roll20 version of Deathmatch Island will remain the best out-of-the-box option for online play, we know some of you prefer other platforms. This set of VTT assets will help you customize your game to your virtual tabletop of choice.
Documents recovered from a stolen Production vehicle indicate a previously undisclosed Request For Proposal to upgrade the materials available in the Survival Kit - including, but not limited to:
- A set of 20+ Cast cards
- A 3.5 inch DMI skull/globe logo sticker
- A 6" x 9" 28-page Acqui[<<<CONNECTION LOST. INVALID REQUEST. PLEASE RECONNECT AND TRY AGAIN.>>>
What’s the difference between printed end papers (stretch goal) and the registration form (from this level pledge)? What are the island books, competitor and production books? Are they just info printed in smaller books but directly pulled from the main book? If so what benefit does this provide? Thanks for explaining.
Project Update: Deathmatch Island Interviews and Actual Play!
If you're an audio learner, Tim talks a little bit of everything (Deathmatch Island, Odyssey Aquatica, Blades '68, and more) on this episode of Tabletop Talk on the Third Floor Wars podcast.
"Role playing games often set up fantastic situations for their players to overcome. It might be a dragon guarding treasure, an evil space empire or a global corporate conspiracy. But how will the hardiest adventurers handle an elimination vote?"
Reality Television and Surreal Memories Clash on Deathmatch Island
-Rob Wieland, Forbes, Nov 1 2023
"Your character is likely to die, but that just gives your next character the opportunity to puzzle out what’s going on behind the scenes and fight against the game itself."
"I wanted players to say 'screw you' and break the game"
Interview with Tim Denee, designer of Deathmatch Island
- Matt Jarvis, Dicebreaker, Sept 28 2023
If you've yet to see the game in action, check out this one-shot Actual Play. Vana, Hamnah, Drakoniques, and V join Tim for a chaotic and suspenseful exploration of Island One. An excellent opportunity to see the rules in play, plus get a preliminary look at DMI on Roll20.
Reminder that if you're a backer, you've got access to the full text of the rules, plus the preview version of the Roll20 module. It's everything you need to start a game, right now. Head over to Update #1 and scroll down to the bottom of the page for links and access codes.
We're entering the home stretch of the campaign. Keep sharing the project on your socials and if you're thinking about getting the play aids in the Survival Kit, now is a great time to upgrade your rewards!
Project Update: The Voice of Production is a Font
The “voice” of Production is a cornerstone of Deathmatch Island. It is, in fact, one of the first things I jotted down when I first started brainstorming the game; when there was nothing more than a few bullets in an untitled google doc. I wrote the first draft of the Welcome Letter, the final version of that letter is very similar, and the game structure proposed in that improvised draft has survived dozens of iterations.
The game is called Deathmatch Island, so as soon as you pick it up you know what you’re in for. That clarity of focus meant I could be a bit playful with the dressing of the game and its tone of voice; I didn’t have to hammer home DEATHMATCH with every sentence, because it’s right there in the title. Instead the tone of voice could be clinically neutral, and all the more unsettling for it.
I knew from the start that I wanted there to be more to DMI than the pure battle royale, the straight lethal competition of it all. My favourite part of Squid Game was finding out about the conspiracy behind it, and the same goes for Battle Royale, and every other touchstone in this genre. Who’s doing all this, and why? Production was a big part of Deathmatch Island from the start, and so was its tone of voice and personality (or lack thereof).
is there any appetite from the creators or the backers for a PDF player version of the DMI CRB that describes the in-depth rules of the game without the Cast, Island and Production detail sections that the game master would use? my main group of friends that I play VTTs with are scattered around the world and it would be greatly useful to be able to provide them with something like that. thoughts?