Greetings, Earthlings! Mark here.
Some time has passed since we last spoke and we've undergone a few rearrangements as well. We're ready to share with you some details around funding and what is next for Baeond.
Let's start with where we stand. We're hyper-confident in our game-first position. Gameplay is not an afterthought to support an economy, so we aren't surprised that the current batch of crypto 'games' hasn't quite taken off. The promise a game makes to a player is an exchange of time for fun. Any kind of value-add in-game must be incidental, incremental, accessible, and supplemental to the primary offer of fun. Distributed games will not achieve escape velocity because a new blockchain improves throughput. It’s this deep understanding of the human nature of games that sets us apart. Alongside the brilliant indie studio Choice Provisions and with the help of one Angel investor, we designed the first iteration of the core ruleset for Baeond. In fact, you can play Baeond v0.7 right now if you have a copy of Tabletop Simulator or have the drive to print out or proxy the cards we've published for free.
Our plan all along has been to ship an off-chain game client showcasing gameplay while selling decks for the network in early access to build our founder community. When we launched our website last March, we ran into what I like to call a champagne problem. We saw tons of clicks on ‘Buy A Deck’, but soon as visitors were faced with a Bitcoin transaction, they were gone. It turned out, people were interested in supporting the project, but with traditional fiat cash. Throughout 2019, we continued to pursue a Seed funding round that would support development of Baeond for 8 months to complete an off-chain alpha client built in Unity so we could get the game into players’ hands, but this round never crystallized. What we gleaned from this process is that we're too much of a game to be a viable option for crypto venture capital (or VC in general), and too crypto for the traditional studio/publisher model. Indeed, the intersection of venture capital and games rarely results in experiences that resonate with the hearts and minds of humans at play.
There’s a reason Kickstarter has been a hotbed for incredible tabletop games, digital games, and other offbeat projects alike. We think this is a perfect fit for us. We’re neither a purely tabletop game, nor a purely digital game; we’re a new kind of game altogether. Other funding mechanisms lack the network effect & community-driven nature of a Kickstarter campaign, and Kickstarter operates with the same 16-digit plastic card you’re used to using for your purchases. There is no learning curve to participate. So, we're excited to announce our next step: we’ll be launching a 40-day Kickstarter campaign on November 4, 2019*. We'll be setting our goal at $250,000 USD which will allow us to catch up in development, get as much creative in front of you as possible, and make enough progress on our alpha Unity client so that the rules engine is complete, even if the game isn’t fully beautified. A stretch goal of $400,000 gives us 6 months of runway and enough resources to ship the complete polished client and stand up the Baeond test network, to boot.
Baeond decks will be full of cards that are non-fungible tokens on a native blockchain. For the Kickstarter, we’ll be distributing a set of ERC-721 keys and tokens you’ll use to gain access to the Baeond test network and redeem on the Baeond Network at a later date, respectively. We’ll need to collect an Ethereum address from you at the end of the campaign, but as soon as they’re dropped to you, they’ll be liquid; you’ll be able to trade or sell them on any ETH-enabled marketplace right away. Many tiers even come with multiple keys & decks! We also have a suite of fabulous Kickstarter-exclusive rewards to thank you for your support, a bevy of brilliant partners we're honored to have standing by us, and an avalanche of details around the timing of the next 8-10 months that we'll be sharing over the course of the campaign. We hope that you'll join us on this journey by kickstarting the development of the Baeond alpha client and test network.
Before we leave you today, we have one more thing to share. Since we’ve had some breathing room to zoom out after being so close to the metal of Baeond’s rules and technical planning, we decided to use this attention to rework the Baeond brand identity. Sania has come up with a new direction that will support a design system that can be applied in a myriad of contexts, whether on paper or screen. We’re trimming down the fiddly bits to focus on a look we hope will honor the past while celebrating the possibilities left to manifest in the future. The old Baeond wordmark, while dripping with our #futurepunk aesthetic, was a little alien and inaccessible. (not to mention, many folks who saw the physical prototype tried to read it upside down) The new Baeond wordmark is clearer, more legible, and more accessible to folks who are already stretching their grey matter to meet us here in cryptoland.
Here’s a sneak peek at Baeond's new brand identity so you can see what I mean. Better yet, I'll pass the mic to Sania on this one:
Our new identity aims to bring clarity in its message while reveling in the dream-like possibility of the Aether that pervades throughout the world of Baeond. At the heart of the new aesthetic are new fluid gradients intended to capture the feel of the game as an ever-evolving dimension to explore. The chunky type and razor-sharp details dancing with Aether, to us, implies the brand itself has been imbued with the stellar substance. The layered designs throughout the new wordmark and UI elements echo the immutable nature of Baeond cards that themselves record everything they've done and everywhere they've been. These new elements give us more freedom and flexibility to capture the spirit of the in-game factions and the intricacies of the new frontier of digital governance while conveying wonder and awe of the sprawling proto-utopia Baeond is set in.
You’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more over the coming months, so please do sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of this blog post so you don’t miss any of the juicy bits. That’s all for now. Thanks for sticking with us, and we’ll be talking with you again very soon.
* EDIT: The Kickstarter is being pushed by one week to November 11, 2019 after an unfortunate data loss incident caused the Kickstarter video to need to be reshot. Thank you for your patience!