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 Final Development and Your Help Needed
3 months 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
3 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
4 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

Surveys Sent and Backerkit Open
4 months ago – Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 02:17:58 AM

Hello Backer,

It is strange going from writing an Update every day during the campaign to only doing it twice a month. But we've been enjoying some time in nature and we our excited to keep this project moving forward. 

Surveys and Pledge Management

Today we are excited to be sending out the surveys so you can finalize your pledge in Backerkit. Surveys will be coming from a Backerkit email so those are safe to open. If you haven't received a Survey yet be sure to check your spam folder and promotions. Once you receive the survey you can follow the link there to the Canopy pledge manager on Backerkit. 

In the pledge manager you will be able to finalize your pledge. Any money pledged during the Kickstarter is automatically imported into Backerkit and you can then apply that money to add-ons, shipping, and the like. The pledge manager will be open until September and even once your pledge manager is complete you will still have the chance to change your shipping if needed. 

If you have any issues with the pledge manager, Backerkit has excellent support staff and you can always message me through Kickstarter or email me at info@weirdcitygames.com

March of the Ants Add-on

During the campaign many of you expressed interest in our previous title March of the Ants. We still have a limited number in stock from our last print run and we are making those available through the pledge manager. Unfortunately, all of our stock is in the US and shipping is extremely expensive so we are only able to offer the game for sale to backers in the USA. If you reside outside of the USA and would like to order March of the Ants please email me at info@weirdcitygames.com and I will see if we can figure something out. 

Pitcher Plant Power

Thank you to all the backers who voted on their preferred power for the Pitcher Plant. The winning ability was Pitfall Trap which reads "When you take a pile you may store 1 card under Pitcher Plant. If you store a card, put any previously stored card into your forest." We are excited to test out this ability and see how it affects the game.

:( There was supposed to be a Pitcher Plant card here but after 2 hours of trying Kickstarter will not let me upload an image. So look forward to card images of Pitcher Plant and Goliath Birdeater in the next Update. 

Next Steps

In the next few weeks we will be working on final testing and development of the game. We are getting an updated version of the game with all of the added content printed so we can start testing. Vincent will be working to finish all of the art and putting some final touches on the graphic design and layout. 

That is all for today. We'll be back in mid-August with another Update. Until then, stay safe and enjoy nature!

Tim 

Canopy Timeline and Pitcher Plant Vote
5 months ago – Wed, Jul 15, 2020 at 02:12:52 AM

Hello Backer,

After a much needed weekend away from screens, I am back in the home office and excited to keep this Canopy project rolling. First I want to go over the next steps for Canopy and estimated timeline and then we have the vote for the Pitcher Plant abilities. 

Canopy Projected Timeline

Now that the campaign has completed, we are shifting our energy to final development of the game, finalizing all artwork and layout, updating the rulebook and preparing to manufacture. Here is our projected timeline for the project. 

Now - End of September: Final Development, Final artwork and graphic design, File Prep for Manufacturing

October: File transfer to Manufacturer. File proofing.

November: Pre-production copies made. Preparation for manufacturing.

December - March: Manufacturing 

April - May: Ocean Shipping and Customs

Late May - June: Fulfillment - games to your table!

This is a projected timeline, and if I have learned anything in my previous 3 projects, it is that unexpected hiccups and delays will happen. We have prepared for that and built in extra buffer time throughout the campaign. We will be doing our best to keep on or ahead of schedule and I am optimistic we can get these games made and delivered on schedule. 

Communication

My plan is to send regularly scheduled Updates every two weeks until manufacturing begins. Sometimes these will be loaded with new info, pictures of the pre-production copies, or other goodies. Other times they will just be quick updates to let you know that everything is still progressing and give you an update on our timeline. Throughout the process it is my goal to be as transparent as possible and keep you informed along the way. Once we get to manufacturing I will do Updates once a month, and when we start shipping, Updates will become more frequent. 

Next Step Surveys and Backerkit

I will be sending out the next Update in about two weeks and at the same time I'll be sending you Surveys from Backerkit (the company we are partnering with for pledge management). For those of you new to Kickstarter, the pledge manager helps keep track of how much each backer pledged, allows you to adjust and add-on to your pledge, charges shipping fees, and helps sort all of your information for easy shipping and fulfillment. 

Backerkit has a pretty streamlined and easy to use system and I'll provide more detailed information in the next update. For anyone who pledged for 2 copies or added in extra funds for a puzzle you will be able to allocate those funds in the pledge manager. 

Pitcher Plant Powers

We still have our second Backer Created Species to finish up. In the last update we determined the winner to be the Pitcher Plant (Heliamphora). These are fascinating carnivorous plants found in South America. From Wikipedia: 

"Species in the genus Heliamphora are carnivorous plants that consist of a modified leaf form that is fused into a tubular shape. They have evolved mechanisms to attract, trap, and kill insects; and control the amount of water in the pitcher. At least one species (H. tatei) produces its own proteolytic enzymes that allows it to digest its prey without the help of symbiotic bacteria."

Here are three potential abilities for the Pitcher Plant:

Pitfall Trap: When you take a pile you may store 1 card under Pitcher Plant. If you store a card, put any previously stored card into your forest. 

Friendly Neighbors: At the end of the Season, gain 1 point for each other Plant species in your forest. 

Carnivorous Diet: Gain 4 points at end of Season. You may discard a Wildlife card to keep this card in your forest for the next Season. 

To vote on the Pitcher Plant ability you can visit the poll on Boardgamegeek here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2466053/article/35344920#35344920

You can also vote by commenting your preferred ability in the comments of this Update. Voting will be open until Friday, July 17th at 10 PM PST. 

Thank you again for helping make this Kickstarter a phenomenal success and helping us grow this game to such great heights!

Tim