Canopy

Created by Tim Eisner

Grow the most bountiful rainforest, in this beautiful two player game of card drafting, tableau building and set collection.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Canopy Pledge Manager Closing Soon and Timeline Update
9 days ago – Sat, Oct 10, 2020 at 10:37:08 PM

Hello Backer,

As we continue to prepare the Canopy files for print and finalize the graphic design, we are also preparing to close the pledge manager so we can lock in our order totals for production. 


Pledge Manager Closing Soon

The Backerkit pledge manager will close in two weeks on October 21st and all credit cards will be charged for shipping and add-ons. If you have not completed your order by then, you will still be able to complete it, but no add-ons or additional purchases will be possible. You will still be able to change your address for the next several months. We will lock addresses right before we ship the games out, and you will get a notification before we do. 

If you have not completed your pledge yet, or would like to double check or revise it follow this link and enter the email address you used on Kickstarter: Canopy Backerkit 



Updated Timeline

I wanted to revisit our timeline and let you know the current status of where we are in the process of getting this game made. 

Testing: We have the two player game locked in and finalized. The solo mode and multiplayer mode have been testing well but need additional tests before we are ready to sign off on them. We plan to have our internal testing finalized in the next 10 days and then open up external rulebook testing in late October. I'll send out an email to all the backers who expressed interest in playtesting as soon as it is up on Tabletop Simulator.

Art: Vincent has completed the art for all cards, with the exception of the added details for the trees. He is working on those details and will have them finished in the next few weeks. 

Graphic Design: Vincent has been hard at work finalizing the icons and graphic design for the cards. He is doing some minor adjustments to text layouts and should ahve the cards ready by early next week. We still have to do the layout and graphic design for the back of the boxes, player aids, and the rulebook. These should be completed by the end of the month at the latest. 

Rules, Text, Scientific Facts: As soon as I have the finalized cards I will share with backers who have offered to help proofread them and check the scientific veracity. I still need to update the rulebook with the new content we added during the Kickstarter campaign. The rulebook should be complete in two weeks and I will then share it with the backers who offered to help proofread. 

Production: As components are completed I will be sending the files to our manufacturer to have their pre-press specialists make sure they are ready for print. This process usually takes a couple of weeks. My plan is to have all files and components to our manufacturer by November 1st and to have all files approved and ready to move to production by early December. 

If we can keep to the early December deadline we should have production completed by the end of March 2021. Games will then be loaded onto boats and begin their journey worldwide. Ocean shipping plus customs, plus shipping to fulfillment centers should take a little less than two months. So before the end of May we will be able to begin fulfillment and be shipping games directly to backers. 

That is our current estimated timeline, but if I have learned anything through my previous projects (and during this wild year), it is that delays almost always happen. I feel confident that we have enough wiggle room in the timeline that we will be able to get the games to you all in a timely manner. And regardless of if we are on track, behind or ahead of schedule I will communicate with you all throughout the whole process. 


Thank you for being part of this campaign and I'll see you all back here in two weeks,

Tim

Canopy News and Wildfire Smoke
23 days ago – Sat, Sep 26, 2020 at 07:35:22 PM

Hello Canopy Backer,

In the update today, I'll cover the progress we are making towards production and testing, and later in the update discuss some real world issues related to Canopy that have affected myself and Weird City Games personally.  

Card Layout Update

Vincent has been working on the final card layout. This included adding additional iconography and tweaking the font layout for the wildlife ability text. In the images below you can see the Moon symbol for cards that are discarded at the end of each Season. To differentiate the cards that are scored at the end of Season and end of game we chose green leaves (Season) and silver leaves (end of game). For the standard vs. advanced cards we opted to change the color of the card count box, with tan for standard and purple for advanced. This should make it very easy to sort the wildlife between games. 

I am working on finalizing all of the ability text and icons for the cards and then will pass them to Vincent for finishing touches. Below is a preview of the adjusted ability text on the Howler Monkey (please note the rest of the details on this card have not yet been updated. 

Wooden Animals to Panda

Today we are submitting the Deluxe Wooden Wildlife tokens to our manufacturer. These are the components that require the most time and testing in production so we are getting them submitted now and will hopefully have samples sent to us in the next 2-3 weeks. This way we can test the size and strength of each wildlife and also test the natural wood vs some light stains to see what looks best for final production. 

Here you can see the submission for the Toucan wildlife token, with front and side views and the measurements of each. (side view is pretty boring and difficult to make out any details).

Canopy Volunteers

Thank you so much to everyone who signed up to help playtest, proofread, and lend your scientific knowledge. We will be calling on you over the next few weeks! I am beyond excited to have so many of you lending your time and energy to help make this game as great as can be. Thank you!

Next Steps

We are going to be finalizing the components and text, setting up the Tabletop Simulator for online testing, and doing our final tests of the solo and multiplayer variants over the next few weeks. Despite a bit of a delay caused by wildfires (read the whole story below) I think we are in good shape to have final files submitted to our manufacture by the end of October. 

The remainder of this update deals with real world issues of climate change. If you are interested in my personal experience and some brief thoughts on climate change, read on.  If not, no worries, all of the relevant Canopy game news was listed above. 

Fires in the West

As I am sure you all heard about on the news, here on the west coast of the United States we had devastating forest fires about two weeks ago. An enormous amount of trees have burned, many homes were lost, and our cities were blanketed in smoke for over a week. I was more fortunate than many, and although the evacuation areas got close to my house, we did not have to leave. However, we were literally holed up in our house, taping the windows shut and using box fans with taped-on furnace filters to try to clean the air. 

Wanting to do what I can to contribute to the fight against climate change is the reason I created Canopy. I believe that boardgames are a very useful tool for education and building a connection with the game's subject matter. As a small company, I know our impact will be limited, but it is important to me that when I'm spending my time and energy creating something I try to make it have a positive impact on the world and the environment. 

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and we never had fires like this when I was young (check out this article from the New York Times for a scary picture of the current climate issues facing Oregon). I have been aware of climate change since I was a child, but this is the first time I have been directly affected in such a large scale manner. Climate change is happening now and its impact can be felt all over the world. 

Wherever you are in the world I urge you to speak up and take action to find solutions to climate change. 350.org is a fantastic organization that is working worldwide to confront climate change. On their website they have a ton of resources and ways to get involved. There are many other organizations doing incredible work and I encourage you to seek them out and find one that you resonate with. A final and important note to my fellow citizens of the United States, please vote in the coming election. 

Our world and way of life is at stake. The animals, trees, and plants are at stake. There are solutions and ways we can change our communities and societies for the better.  If we all choose to engage, take action, and work for change, we can make a difference. 

If you would like to discuss ideas for actions we can take, please feel free to email me at info@weirdcitygames.com

Thank you,

Tim 

Canopy Final Development and Your Help Needed
about 1 month ago – Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 12:30:07 AM

Hello Canopy Backer!

Final playtesting and development has been progressing well and we are making good headway.  Vincent has been working to tweak the wooden wildlife tokens, and we are finalizing the iconography and layout of the cards. We are also looking for help with playtesting, scientific accuracy, and proofreading to make the final game as awesome as possible. Read on for all the details!

Deluxe Wildlife

During the campaign, one of the most consistent pieces of feedback we received was that the wooden animal tokens in the deluxe game were difficult to recognize. We had a lot of suggestions for ways to add more detail and color to them, but ultimately we decided to stick with our original vision and keep them natural wood. I asked Vincent to work to make them more distinct and he has done an excellent job of capturing the essence of each of them in 2 dimensions. 

The butterfly replaced the howler monkey, as it has a much more distinct shape.
Silhouette of each animal.

I am really excited with how each of these turned out and can't wait to see the manufacturing proofs. Deluxe copies of Canopy will also include the punchboard tokens so if you prefer to use those that will be an option. 

Game Changes

Through testing we have made a few additional tweaks to the game. The first one that players will encounter is the Starting Trunks. In the new rules, each player starts with one Trunk in play, which makes the contest for Tallest Tree more dynamic and increases your choices at the start of the game. It also helps to smooth out the random nature of the deck and ensure that players are able to use the canopy cards they draw early in the game. 

Lianas and Tiny Marmosets 

The jungle vines known in general as lianas used to score at the end of game, and award 1 point for each tree of a different height in your forest. With the change to making all plants score and be discarded at the end of each Season we changed their ability to award 1 point per Canopy in your Forest at the end of the Season. In our test games they have proved quite interesting as they have a lower value early in the game and often have a different value for each player. 

We ended up missing the incentive to build Trees of different heights and ended up moving that ability to the Pygmy Marmoset. Their previous ability proved very complicated to track and was the definition of fiddly. This ability has worked great for them and captures their natural inclinations. 

Prototype graphic design. Final text and formatting will change.

Next Steps

We still have a bit of testing to do on the solo and multiplayer variants, but the standard two player game is nearly finished. The Shifting Seasons mini expansion is one area that we are continuing to develop and tweak and I'll include a more detailed report on those in the next Update. We will continue testing and tweaking the game over the coming weeks to make sure it is playing exactly as we want and delivering a great play experience at all player counts. 

Help Needed: Testers, Biologists and Proofreaders

As we close in on the final production version of the game I would love to crowdsource your help in making sure the game is as polished as can be. I am looking for help in a variety of areas. If you would like to help in any or all of these please follow the link below to the Google Form to sign up. One of my favorite aspects of Kickstarter is creating and interacting with a community. Thank you in advance for all of your help!

Areas we are looking for help in:

Digital Play Testing: I am getting a version of Canopy built on Tabletop Simulator over the next few weeks. If you have experience playing games on Tabletop Simulator and would like to help test Canopy please let me know. These tests will be beta tests using just the rulebook to learn the game and will likely start at the end of September. 

Science Proofing: If you are a biologist, rainforest expert, or otherwise knowledgeable about the scientific basis of Canopy I would love your input. I will be looking for specific and general fact checking such as which layers of the rainforest species are most prevalent in. 

Proofreaders: Once I have the near final versions of the cards and rulebook written, I would love to get as many eyes on them as possible to check comprehension, clarity, and catch any grammatical issues. If you have a good grasp of English language and grammar and enjoy reading rulebooks we'd love your help. 

To sign up to help in any of the 3 areas click on this link: CANOPY HELP SIGN-UP FORM

For anyone who has signed up to help with translation of the rulebook I still have your contact info and will be in touch once I have a final English rulebook. Thanks!

Until next time, stay safe, take care of each other and the natural world.

Tim 

Canopy Final Testing
about 2 months ago – Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 02:47:09 AM

Greetings Backer Extraordinaire,

We have spent the last few weeks testing and refining Canopy and are closing in on final rules for the game. We have also been working to finalize the manufacturing specs. And we have received our final card art from Vincent. Read on for all the details!

Canopy Final Development

Our testing of Canopy has been going well with a few minor tweaks and changes and one large scale adjustment. Overall the game has been playing great and all the new cards that you helped us add through Stretch Goals give the game extra variety and texture. 

Big Change

The Canopy campaign was an amazing success and with your support we were able to add a lot of new content in the form of Wildlife, Plant, and Threat cards. Our original plan was for these cards to all be added into the game and to play with all of them all the time. However, our jungle grew more than anticipated, and, after printing out all the new cards and testing, we realized that adding all the cards throws the balance of Trees, Plants, Wildlife and Threats out of wack. 

The card type that we added the most of was Wildlife, and in our first few plays we realized they were overwhelming the forest. After testing a few options we settled on one that works quite well and provides a lot of variability and replayability to the game. We have separated the Wildlife into two groups (Basic and Advanced) and each game you will choose one group to play with. 

All of the Wildlife will be clearly marked so they are easy to sort out from the rest of the cards. For players who want even more variability, you can randomly mix and match the Wildlife, or choose your favorite 6-7 species to play with. While you will not see all the Wildlife each game, you will have more varied forests and gameplay experiences, and we are quite happy with how this is working. 

Small Changes

A number of the new Plant cards we added during the Kickstarter were designed to stay in play until the end of the game. In testing this proved confusing as they overlapped with how Wildlife work. We have now adjusted them all to be discarded at the end of each Season and this has made the gameplay a lot smoother. 

The Orchid's point value was decreased to 4 and is now discarded at end of round.

Fungi Card Art

Vincent continues to work his illustration magic and has created a beautiful blue fungi to add to the game. Fungi work as one of natures foremost composters, and the ability we came up with allows you to discard the Fungi and a card you just gained to draw a card from the Current Season deck. This can be used to evade Threats, search out specific cards, or balance your plant growth. If you don't use the Fungus's ability it will score you one point.

 Next Steps

Vincent is currently working to add detail to the Deluxe Wooden Animals and to add unique elements to the Trunk and Canopy cards. I will be continuing to playtest and refine Canopy. As the development wraps up I will be finalizing the rules and updating the rules document. 

Ants Marching in Europe

There was a lot of interest in March of the Ants from backers in Europe and I have found a relatively affordable European-friendly shipping option. The cost is slightly higher than to the US and varies a bit by country, but VAT will be covered by us so no extra charges will be incurred. 

I have adjusted the Backerkit to have March of the Ants and Expansions available to backers in the EU. There are a limited quantity of the games available, so if you are interested please adjust your pledge soon by visiting Backerkit https://canopy.backerkit.com/. March of the Ants games will ship to backers by December 2020.

I'll be back in two weeks with more news on Canopy!

Enjoy nature, share joy and be well!

Tim

New Cards, Final Testing and Survey Reminder
2 months ago – Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 12:05:32 AM

Hello Canopy Backer, 

Summer is speeding along here in the northwest and we are juggling our work of finalizing Canopy for production with getting out in nature. In the last two weeks we've received new card art from Vincent, printed all the new cards to start testing the game in its final form, and have been managing survey questions and getting all of your orders in line. 

Pitcher Plant

Vincent continues to work his magic and bring the rainforest to life in vibrant detail. Here you can see the final art for the Pitcher Plant. Later in the update we will show off the Goliath Birdeater, but fair warning that it is a scary spider. 

Surveys, Pledge Management and Local Pick-up

Surveys were sent at the end of July and over 80% of you have already responded. Thanks for getting those filled out, as that helps us lock in our final production numbers and prepare for manufacturing. A special thank you to all of you who chose to help us plant 10 additional trees. With those added trees this campaign is now planting over 12,000 trees!

An important note about Backerkit is that their standard operating procedure is to not charge cards until the pledge manager closes (late September). They do this to avoid chargebacks and refunds if you all decide to adjust your pledges. However, if you prefer to have your card run earlier you can contact them and they will process it immediately. 

Local pick-up is available for backers who live in or near Portland, but we realized that the option is not easy to find on the pledge manager. If you would like to save on shipping and pick up your game from us in person we will be hosting a few pick-up events in Portland when the game is released (May or June 2021). To choose this option, open up your pledge in Backerkit and in the shipping section under country choose the "Local Pick-up" option. 

Final Prototype and Testing

This weekend we received the print and play version of all the Stretch Goal cards. We now have two complete sets of the game and are beginning our final testing and development. Things we are looking at in testing is how the extra cards affect the overall card distribution, checking the balance and power of new card effects, testing the new Season cards, and continued testing of the solo and 3-4 player variants. We don't anticipate any major issues but we will be dedicating a good amount of time to make sure everything is playing smoothly. 

Spider Incoming (if you don't like them I'd stop reading now)

When it became clear that the Goliath Bird Eater was going to win the New Species vote I double checked with Vincent to make sure he was okay spending the amount of time up close and personal with spider images to complete the illustration.He said it would be no problem. Even so, when he sent me the completed illustration he said painting a - so huge and impressive - spider is quite creepy, ahah, brrrrrr.... ^^". 

So if spiders are not your cup of tea I'd suggest skipping the rest of this update. For the rest of you feast your eyes on this beast of an arachnid. 

That is all for now. I'll be back in two weeks with an update on playtesting and hopefully a rainforest fungus illustration. Stay safe, enjoy nature and talk to you soon. 

Tim