What an incredible year!
In 2019, with the launch of the new core books and lots of new content, City of Mist made a name for itself, grew its audience, and positioned itself as a popular indie game (see the Roll20 Q3 report on the most popular games where we’ve been included in the same tier with great games like Dungeon Crawl Classics, Delta Green, Tales from the Loop, Legend of the Five Rings, Mutant Year Zero, and more).
2019 is now behind us and it’s time to look back and see what we achieved, what were the challenges, and where we’re going in 2020.
I’ll also try to answer the most burning questions about the fulfillment of pre-orders. If you’ve been following our updates, you already know most of what I’m going to share; I will summarize the information from past updates for those of you who haven’t, together with the most updated info.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as Son of Oak is transforming from an indie crew into a full-blown tabletop RPG company. This year CoM is going to get a huge boost in the form of a story arc book and an expansion, so you can continue to explore the dark alleys of our dirty, magical City and the Mythos-illuminated recesses of your Rift’s soul…
Here we go!
Development in 2019
In 2019, we developed and shared with you:
The new learn-as-you-play Starter Set with new playable characters and the Shark Tank case
Four new districts - La Colonia de Sombras, Tourist Trap, The Undertrash, and Independence
Two Small-Time Villains - Stone Cold Beauty (Medusa) and Puppet Show (Geppetto)
The Personal Vein of Nights of Payne Town with three cases - Killing Her Softly, Carnival of Machines, and Broken Glass
Don’t Believe The Truth, chapter three of Shadows & Showdowns, describing the six Avatars who rule the City and their shadow council
Mairead Conroy (the Boogeyman) character playbook
Behind the scenes we also:
Developed and playtested all of Nights of Payne Town and most of Shadows & Showdowns
Created 85% of the art required for these books
Developed the print version of the Starter Box with tokens, maps, etc.
Developed and finalized the dice
Plans for 2020
In the first months of 2020, we will:
Publish Nights of Payne Town’s two remaining veins + overarching case (total of 7 cases)
Publish Shadows & Showdowns’ three remaining chapters (If Dreams Could Kill, Overlooked Attractions, and Suits Unveiled)
Publish the two remaining districts: Fortune Row and The Sunken City
Print Wave 2 including Nights of Payne Town, Shadows & Showdowns, the Starter Box, the extra character pack, the dice, the crime board map, and the “Into the Mist” slipcase set
Cover for Percival, the final Nights of Payne Town case
Following the completion of CoM Wave 2, we will:
Continue to expand the CoM universe with districts, villains, and cases. Some of the planned content includes a Districts and Villains book (working title Local Legends) and cases that continue the Anatoli (Hades) arc started by published cases Shark Tank and Gambling With Death.
Shift our main focus to the development of our next game (name to be disclosed), a new system which is a radical evolution of the current CoM engine. The system will be universal with adaptations for each genre. The first game will focus on the fantasy genre and will include its own setting.
Start developing a City of Mist comic book.
Would you want to see a Districts and Villains book in print?
Questions & Answers
Why are the expansion and story arc books repeatedly delayed?
Nights of Payne Town and Shadows & Showdowns have been developed and playtested, and most of the artwork is done. Editing, proofreading, and layout are all lined up in a well-oiled machine of experienced professionals that takes us from raw text to high-end PDFs within days.
The Gatekeepers are coming in 2020
The missing component has always been the writing of the final drafts, done by me (Amit), the main development bottleneck in 2019. This was mostly due to the fact I have been doubling (tripling?) as creator, game producer, and business manager for Son of Oak Game Studio since its inception. In the last year especially, I had to juggle content creation with business management on a daily basis. As business needs grew, content development suffered and deadlines were missed.
The good news is that, while progress is slowed at times, we are constantly working on the books, so it’s only a question of time before we complete them. However, until I am able to transfer my managerial duties to someone else, these delays may still occur. For this reason, I refrain from setting new release dates, at least until we have all the content written. Our goal is to complete the line by the end of March 2020, but this depends on many other factors. We will keep releasing content as we complete it and keep you posted on all developments regularly.
Why were the dice delayed?
The first half of 2019 was spent finding the right manufacturer and achieve the desired Mythos/Logos effect with the dice. While the design for the dice was finalized in June, their manufacturing was further delayed by the decision to create the Starter Box (which includes dice) and other business negotiations and decisions related to the Starter Box. In other words, we couldn't order the dice before we knew how many starter Boxes we’re making. Now that the Starter Box was funded in our latest Kickstarter, the dice will begin manufacturing immediately. If you ordered the dice, they’re coming your way
Why did you do another Kickstarter for the Starter Box?
We always hoped to include the new printed Starter Box in the second wave of CoM products (it was a stretch goal we did not unlock in the Nights of Payne Town Kickstarter). As we’re nearing the Wave 2 print run, we decided to run a KS campaign to allow us to print the Starter Box. We did not commit to any new content in this recent KS because we are currently focused on completing NoPT and S&S.
Thanks to the backers of the Starter Box kickstarter, we’ll be able to make the Starter Box a reality (if you want a copy, late pledges are now open until January 31st: https://city-of-mist-rpg-the-starter-box.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders).
What about the Deck of Legends?
We did not forget the Deck of Legends from the original KS! We made several attempts to design it as a viable product in 2019, but we really can’t see it as a part of the product line anymore. We are deliberating between refunding or crediting pledges and pre-orders of the Deck of Legends and transforming it into a different product. Any ideas?
Any other questions?
On Sunday, January 19th 7pm CET (1pm EST), we’ll hold an Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session on our Discord server where you’ll be able to ask me anything and everything. You’re all welcome to tune in.
If you have any other questions or comments regarding pre-orders, kickstarters, products, process, and plans - you can also contact us directly at email@example.com and we’ll do our best to answer.
A Gift for the New Year
Oh, one more thing - if you’ve bought anything on our online store by December 31st 2019, please check your download center accounts for a new year’s gift from us to our customers: a new playbook, Ben “Baby New” Newman, a getaway driver based on the Mythos of Baby New Year!
I am very excited about 2020. Not only will we be taking a dive off the deep end of the City of Mist universe, but we are also going to reveal and launch a new game that has been brewing on the backburner for a while now. I think you'll be very excited about what Son of Oak has to share this year… Time to get back to work!
Have a fantastic 2020, detectives!
(And brace yourselves. The Gatekeepers are coming…)