Weekly Update – 2 weeks to our second Kickstarter Campaign

Hi everyone,

This is Sam, I hope all of you had a great week 🙂

Only two weeks until our second campaign will launch! Incredible how fast time flies by! This update will cover one of our two new products, which we will offer during our campaign – the animal encyclopedia called “Darwin’s Encyclopedia”.

The story and idea behind the Encyclopedia dates back to our first Kickstarter campaign. Already at that time we were dreaming of offering you our very own animal encyclopedia, to raise awareness of all those incredible animals we have included in our game. Back then we unfortunately missed the Encyclopedia stretch goal and its realization had to wait. As we realized how many of you were also very much looking forward to it, we tried our best to find a wildlife conservation organization that would help us to complete our vision. However, this turned out to be a lot harder than we could have ever expected. Again, we had to put the idea aside. All the more excited we are now, as the Encyclopedia finally gets another chance to get realized!

Darwin’s Encyclopedias’ beautiful cover

We took the opportunity to invest a lot of time into our perfect version of the Encyclopedia, always with the intention in our mind, to bring you a lot of joy. Since the encyclopedia will be available as an individual reward, we have a lot more options to offer. There were basically no limitations we had to take care of. No limiting number of pages, only the best material (e.g. hardcover), many additional artworks! Needless to say, that the encyclopedia, as all our other products, will be made out of sustainable FSC certified wood. I honestly think, the waiting has been worthwhile 🙂

But I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer, I’m sure you are all curious to know what the encyclopedia will contain and what it will look like from the inside. The following picture should give you a first impression.

The inner life of Darwin’s Encyclopedia

I can promise you that we tried our best. We used hundreds of hours to find the perfect balance between design elements and large amounts of information. I really hope you like it :)! Gathering all the information was a very intense process. We used multiple sources to confirm the information. As a former biology researcher, it’s a personal concern of mine to provide you an encyclopedia as accurate as possible.

During the campaign you will have the chance to look in detail at the prototype in digital form. However, as just mentioned, it is important to keep in mind that it’s still a prototype. Small changes are still possible. There are also important parts such as the list of content and the description of all icons, which are currently missing. Nevertheless, it should give you an impression of what the design and layout will look like and what vision we have in mind for the Encyclopedia. But let’s have a closer look at an entry of an animal using the example of the harpy eagle.

An example of an animal entry from Darwin’s Encyclopedia

The icon under its name indicates if the animal mainly lives in groups, as pairs or alone. Its length, height, weight, lifespan and speed can be found on the right side of the circle. Each animal kingdom will also have its own color code (fishes are presented in blue, reptiles in green, birds in yellow, etc.). To visually underline their distribution, we used a small subtle world map. In addition to Rozenns artwork there will be a full body sketch, but more about that later. Each animal will contain an interesting general text and a special fact, which details the drawn artwork in the game. Furthermore, individual icons will show what the animals main food sources are. In case of the harpy eagle the symbols would mean that he is a carnivore and mostly hunts monkeys, sloths, reptiles and birds.

What of course should not be missing, and is also clearly visible in our book, is the threat level of each animal. At this point I would like to say that it was a weird and sad experience to read about certain animals’ close extinction or in some cases even their disappearance in the wild. It made me feel helpless in those situations. Although I already know a lot about animals and their existential problems, creating the encyclopedia opened my eyes in certain ways. It made me once again realize what fascinating animals exists in this world, how well they are adapted to their environment and reminded me what is worth to protect and preserve. I hope that all future readers will get a similar feeling when reading the encyclopedia.

Every animal that appears in our base game “Darwin’s Choice“ but also in our expansion “Before and After“, no matter if it’s only a single leg or a tail, gets an entry in the encyclopedia. Dinosaurs and animal species that have been extinct for a long time are not included in the encyclopedia. Even if it’s a pity, after more detailed research we have noticed that the information about prehistoric animals are very contradictory. To be more precise, they often consist of weak assumptions, which get constantly challenged by new reveals and new hypothesis. Our encyclopedia is supposed to convey consistent knowledge, which should last for a very long time.

What is special about the volume of the encyclopedia is that the development of the Kickstarter campaign will have a direct influence on the size of the book. With more reached animal stretch goals more animals will be included in the encyclopedia. The encyclopedia grows with the success of the campaign so to say 🙂

The minimum number of pages are 114, with 217 animal entries. The approximative maximum number of pages lies at 200 with 308 animal entries. So, there are a couple of ideas we would like to include in the book, many more interesting elements that will make the book an even greater experience to read. However, this depends a bit on how much we achieve with the campaign, i.e. some stretch goals will directly make the encyclopedia more extensive.

Now something visual for the last part. Since in some cases we only have small parts of the animals in our card game, we soon realized that it would have been too abstract for the encyclopedia to only show these. The direct consequence was that we needed full body drawings for each animal. Since we didn’t want to overload Rozenn with our project, we needed another artist.

With Yuji Yamamoto we found the perfect match to Rozenns Artwork and our vision of the Encyclopedia. We personally think he is a remarkable artist. I hope you will like his art style as much as we do 🙂 If you are interested in his work, you can visit him on his Instagram account where he already posted a lot of the encyclopedias sketches. It would be great if you could leave him some likes. I’m sure he will appreciate it a lot 🙂

An example of Yujis sketches. He’s incredibly talented!

In the end, the only thing that remains for me to say is that we would be extremely happy if Darwin’s Encyclopedia could become reality. And this with the comprehensiveness and perfection we want to achieve with all of our products. I hope this update has awakened your interest once again and the whole team is very much looking forward to the exciting time in two weeks! We hope you are too :)!

Until then I wish you all the best and a big thank you for reading our update,

Samuel, Marc and Elio