Dan goes inside Super Hack Override

This week, Dan asks the creator of the Super HACK Override Kickstarter campaign about the game, using Send From China, and the super-fast delivery option with The Game Crafter. Find out whether Dan’s bank account also got hacked while you’re at it.

Super Hack Override

Super Hack Override: Pocket Sized Strategic Card Game project video thumbnail

Why don’t you start us off by giving us a brief overview of Super Hack Override.

Super Hack Override is a fast-paced card swapping game for 2-6 players where you outsmart your opponents, 90’s hacker-movie style. There’s 10 different hacks and a total of 25 cards in the deck.  The goal of the game is to execute the raddest hacks to build your hacker cred.  Each card is a different hack you can execute and its cred is disproportionate to its usefulness in the game.  The hacks worth the most cred our Government hacks, get too many of these and you are thrown out of the game into hacker jail.  The game plays very quickly, between 5-25 minutes, and is designed to be played anywhere, no table necessary.

I like the concept of no table necessary! It is also pretty neat that it supports between 2-6 considering the number of components. Does it scale well among all player counts? Are there any adjustments you have to do depending on player count?

I think it does! The games are very different between 2 players and 6, though. We’ve game-statsdone a lot of initial playtesting with the 2 player game, since it’s the easiest to organize and that game tends to get very strategic, since there’s only one other player. 5 and 6 player games are also fun as you have to think about what the next few players are going to do to your hand.

Ok enough about the game for now, let’s talk about your campaign and preparation. I have seen you posting about this for a while now in the Facebook KS groups, you must be happy to finally getting to launch. Are you excited? Nervous? Relieved? Do you have any big plans for launch day?

It’s the day before and I’m super nervous! I don’t have any big plans, other than taking off work and going through a big list of tasks that need to be done.

Yeah I can relate. I posted my morning to-do list in my blog recently, day of launch is so crazy! Let’s talk a little bit more about the Kickstarter advice groups, what is the best piece of advice you received when sharing your preview page?

I was told that I should redo the video and I think redoing it made it a lot better. The first video was awkward and I think the one we have now is a lot more personable.

Yes, I really enjoyed seeing your entire team in the video! I did not see the original but I can agree that the latest version was well done! So right next to your video there is your goal and I have to ask…your goal seems rather small, how are you able to swing this without using Print-on-demand services (which would allow you to target say 100 backers to fund)?

We worked hard to bring the most value to the backers by trying to keep costs down. I looked into a ton of different manufacturers and it turned out that the one with the best quote also had good reviews, Whatz Games.  The game is designed to use very few components to minimize costs.   In addition to that, we are going to use Send From China for the shipping to ship directly from China as shipping this small game from there is cheaper than shipping ourselves. We also believe in the project so much that we put in our own money to cover the art, prototypes, company expenses, and other misc. costs. We were advised to make the goal as small as you need to fund and to get the lowest amount of games manufactured which for our first batch was 1000 units. The bottom line is we need about  ~150 backers at $10 a game to completely cover our manufacturing cost minus kickstarter fees  plus some margin for our first batch.  We figured that was the most conservative case.

I will be using Send From China for the first time at the end of this year as well! I am a little nervous about starting a new partnership but have heard good things, so I am confident they will do a good job. Speaking of your low goal though, I also noticed that the game is only $10, which is extremely reasonable and light on the pockets. Does this cost include shipping?

It does!  We worked hard to drive as much cost out of the shipping and manufacturing process.  We referred to Jamey Stegmaier’s blog and other great sources to see every which way we could make and ship the game to our backers.  We believe we found the most efficient process so we can pass that savings on to our backers!

componentsWell that price is going to be hard to refuse for many people! Say some backers were cautious though and wanted to try the game first.  I did not see anything about a print and play on the campaign, are you planning to either offer one for free or for a nominal pledge level?

Good catch, we wanted to have a print and play to showcase the most up to date art.  There’s one on the page now.

I am glad you added one! In this current Kickstarter climate, there are so many games launching and some are great and others are flubs, I am a strong believer in offering the print and play up front for a try before you buy experience. Aside from the $10 version, I noticed the rad fast delivery uses print-on-demand and is 3x as much as the base game.  Does this also include the large print version shipped when it is ready as well or is it just for the Print-on-demand version?

JT Smith from “The Game Crafter” suggested this reward tier at a panel at GenCon.  We thought it a good idea as we had great success using them for prototypes.  This tier includes both versions. This way, you can still benefit from any stretch goals that are reached and are not available for the rad-fast timeline.

That is a really cool option. I was somewhat skeptical thinking it was print on demand only but I really can appreciate offering a faster, less complete version immediately, and then a more complete version with the mass print run months down the road. Fantastic idea, I hope it works out well for you! Another reward tier you have is the sponsorship tier, and although I understand the motivation behind it, I am curious if you worry about having lots of different sponsors names on every card. Also, are you gatekeeping what they can enter as a name (What if I wanted to say sponsored by: Princess Consuela Banana Hammock ?)

Each of the 25 cards will only have one sponsor to keep our cards from looking like NASCAR racers. We reserve the right to have final judgement on the name (we wrote this in fine print on the page). First, it has to fit on the card and it also has to be child appropriate. I’m hoping that most backers use their regular names but it’s up to them!

Switching gears from rewards to marking, I really would be interested in knowing what sort of promotional marketing do you plan to do for this campaign? Have you thought about targeting any specific IT groups or fans of the movie Hackers?

We have! We focused more on the Board Game crowd rather than the IT crowd for the initial launch. We have some friends who are in the industry but no definitive plans right now.  We’re planning on approaching various tech blogs to see if they’re interested in sharing a press release on the game and hoping to reach this crowd during the production launch of Super Hack Override.

Did you do any sort of advertising or marketing pre-campaign?

We spent no money so far on advertising. We decided to go the organic route to build our crowd by interacting with the gamer community on Facebook Twitter and in person at GenCon. We also reached out to the local community here in Huntsville by attending the local cons and board game nights.

If you could pick one thing you could say you definitely did right in preparation for this campaign, what would it be?

I had originally planned on having the campaign in April, but we just were not prepared at that time. The art wasn’t where I wanted it to be, so I choose September instead, as I had heard that the summer months weren’t great for kickstarters. Choosing to go so far out, though, was really a fantastic decision because not only is the art for the game (minus any stretch goals) complete, but it gave me time to find build a relationship with more people and to find great reviewers and give them the time they needed. Having the kickstarter after GenCon was a definite plus, as I learned a ton from the different panels there and met a lot of amazing people.

If you’re not entirely ready to do a kickstarter, pushing it a month or 5 could be the difference between funding and not funding.

That is so true! People can be so steadfast on a launch date, but sometimes pushing it back is necessary! Better to launch when you are ready than to do a mediocre launch! Lastly, say that I am not very computer savvy and have very little interest in a hacking theme, would I still be interested in your game?

I think so! The game is great balance of luck and strategy. It’s fun for players who are just interested in a little “take that” action as well as the hardcore chess-like strategy buffs.  The hacker theme is lightly implemented similar to those 80’s and 90’s cult classic movies that are obviously outrageous e.g. “Wargames”, “Hackers”, “Swordfish” etc.  In fact, after a few rounds of play you will feel like the best hacker around even without a computer background. It’s a game that you can take on the go and play in line at cons which is surprising that there aren’t many of. It’s also relatively fast and easy to learn, so it can be a filler game to play while waiting for others to arrive for game night.

Thank you to Carla and Nick Kopp of Weird Giraffe games for telling more about their preparation for the Super Hack Override campaign. If you think the game is something you’d be into, head over to the page and check it out now!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/weirdgiraffegames/super-hack-override-pocket-sized-strategic-card-ga?ref=nav_search

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