As production finishes up for Gloomhaven, I find myself returning to the game to complete some unfinished business. It has always been my plan to release some extra content for the game online once it is finally released, but that day has been so far off for so long, those plans seemed perpetually stuck in the back of my mind.
As the release of Gloomhaven grows ever nearer, however, it looks like I should actually put in the time to get the extra content finished and make it special.
One of the main reasons I want to provide additional content for a game that already has a stupid amount of content is that I still feel beholden to my backers and supporters. We raised almost $400,000 during the Kickstarter for Gloomhaven, constantly unlocking crazy stretch goals, but in the year since then (I know, it’s been a year…), I’ve received over $100,000 in additional pre-orders. It seems to me that that is deserving of at least one more massive stretch goal.
Equally important, though, is my hope that releasing more content for Gloomhaven digitally will encourage other people to do the same. It’s the same reason I ran the contests for fan-made scenarios during the Kickstarter. I wanted people to see how easy it was to pick up the game system and run with it in new directions, either within the campaign world or in an entirely different world of their own creation.
I really hope Gloomhaven will attract a vibrant, creative community that will come up with stuff I never imagined. I think I was the right person to build the system, but I will be the first to tell you that there are better story-tellers out there than me. I think people will be pleased with the campaign and the world I created, but the systems full potential has yet to be explored creatively.
Of course, there are some inherent issues in releasing digital content. Gloomhaven is not a video game after all. It is a physical product, and its physicality is a large part of its charm. When I offer you a PDF of new item cards you can download and print out, there’s no way they’re going to look the same as the item cards that came in the box. Since you don’t have to randomize your items at any point, the difference isn’t game-breaking, but it can still be disappointing.
In the grand scheme of things, what I’d like to do is, after a year or so, possibly round up all my favorite digital content for the game, and actually get it professionally printed as a mini expansion. As for bigger expansions to Gloomhaven, well, that’s a discussion for another time.