Paladin: a Knightly Tale of Card Protection

The Paladin Card Protection project has just finished on Kickstarter, with a whopping sum of over 140 thousand dollars. Still a little worn out after the wild ride of the final 72 hours, I want to share with you what the experience has been overall.

NSKN Games is a board game publisher. The team consists of people who make games, but also play them – and we’ve played hundreds more than we’ve made. Starting a new brand, a brand of accessories, was a bit of a venture into the unknown. Still, it often happens that from a fan (or a user), you become the maker. All of us have gone through this exact process when we transitioned from playing games to publishing them.

Our expectations were not too high. In fact, we believed a realistic best case scenario to be not even half of what we received. Still, being us we planned for more – we planned for what seemed like a ridiculous, almost unachievable heights. Yet, this got handily beaten by reality.

If you’ve been following the project – or if you’re a backer – you can probably guess what this perceived ceiling was. After all, we ran out of stretch goals, and as we usually do, we refused to cobble some on the fly. That’s how we roll – we are not fond of promising stuff we won’t be able to deliver on, and that’s what we told our backers.

As with previous projects, our backers understood our message. However, the similarities with other projects kind of end here, as almost everything else was different. We were not making a game, but “merely” accessories, something you cannot get people excited about, right? Wrong. We made a series of videos that made people (made you) say: “You guys are cool. I’m sold on this”. We’ve posted most of the videos here, on the blog, but here’s one that wasn’t here. The most gruesome one, actually:

Everything seemed backwards. We started the project, and it was going well since its first days – but it was not going astonishingly well. A few days past, and we knew that we are moving towards a solid finish, one that will allow us to immediately expand the line of sleeves, and proudly enter the marked. Yet, the idea that Paladin would become the highest funded NSKN Games project seemed rather preposterous.

If you look at our daily funding process from Kicktraq, and you’ll see what I mean. It looks as if someone had flipped the chart horizontally, with the first days being last, and the last first.

The most amazing thing was still the level of engagement of our backers. We got requests for different things – new card abuse videos included – and we did what we could to respond. Clearly that makes a difference. It’s not a new lesson though. We’ve learned to be responsive and open a long time ago.

So now all we have to do is work hard to unleash the knightly company of Arthur, Percival, Gawain, Gaheris, Lamorac, Tristan, Galahad, Bors, and even Maleagant, Mordred and… Ragnar into the world.

A new chapter of NSKN Games history is just starting. In fact, we’re merely done with a spectacular prologue, but the real knightly tale of card protection still awaits.

And we could not be more excited!


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