Unbroken: a solo game of survival and revenge

Created by Golden Bell Studios & Altema Games

Survive against all odds facing monsters and other perils in a dark fantasy tale. A quick (20-30 min), tense and unforgiving solo game. Test your survival skills in the dark fantasy world of Unbroken. You are the only one left alive after your group was ambushed by monsters - now you must avenge your friends and reclaim your freedom. Quick to learn, easy to set up and playable in a brief 20-30 minutes, the game will challenge you to make the right decisions or fall victim to the many dangers of the monster-infested caverns. Plan wisely and take calculated risks - you do not have much and must use every resource at your disposal to prevail. Each journey in the dark is unique as you play as one of four different characters and face a variety of monsters and encounters. Your character gets better with experience and so will you - Unbroken is a game that encourages and rewards repeated plays to refine your strategies.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Mini-update: US shipping under way, Local + Origins Pickup, Australia update, Launch party
15 days ago – Wed, May 08, 2019 at 02:08:51 AM

Hey you awesome Unbroken Backers!

This is a mini-update going outside of our regular monthly schedule to cover a few specific points. If it does not cover a particular point - it is safe to assume there is no new information available since the last update.

The US shipping is under way this week- labels will be printed in big batches (of 2-3 thousand every couple of weeks) and attached to packages as these are mailed in batches of a few hundred a day. Please note that BackerKit now shows all US packages as “fulfilled” as those orders have been exported to Excel. Seeing "fulfilled" in BackerKit does not mean that your package was already sent out. Once your label is generated you will receive an e-mail notification. Because labels are printed in big batches (to streamline the process and minimize errors) - it may take up to two weeks between you getting the notification and your shipment going out. We understand this part may be somewhat annoying but rest assured your games will get on their way shortly. If you will want to check up on the status of your game about ~10 days after getting your e-mail notification - drop me a direct message and I'll be happy to help you out.

All backers who provided the payment for tracking are guaranteed to have it active on their package. It may or may not be available for rest of the packages depending on shipping method assigned by the automatic USPS algorithm used by Golden Bell.

Huge thanks to Marc Goldner from Golden Bell for spending tons of hours over this past weekend making sure everything was in great shape to get the shipping going.

There are thousands of packages to ship, which altogether will take 3-4 weeks. For those who don’t want to wait for their package’s turn to come up, we are happy to offer the following local pickup options:

- Columbus, OH – any time in May.

- Washington, DC – May 9-12

- Long Island, NY – May 12-26 (North Shore, Nassau County)

- Origins Game Fair (Columbus, OH) – Jun 12-16 (this is a really good opportunity for Canadian backers)

- And if you’d just like to meet the team and pick up at Gen Con that is also an option!

In order to confirm details of your local pickup – please e-mail Marc Goldner (marc@goldenbellstudios.com) noting Unbroken Local Pickup in the title of the message. Given the situation with the undercharged shipping (as described in the last update) – local pickup helps us with shipping costs and gives you an opportunity to meet the team behind Unbroken.

Shipping Cost Adjustment

Speaking of the messages asking for help in covering the extra shipping costs (after your games have been shipped to you, as described in the last update). We were overwhelmed and humbled by positive comments and understanding reaction we received. We thought about how we can show our appreciation for backers considering helping with this and came up with a couple of ways to do it:

- Your game box can be signed by members of the Golden Bell team who worked on Unbroken (artists and writers) to show our appreciation. Please e-mail Marc Goldner (marc@goldenbellstudios.com) noting your Kickstarter e-mail if you'd like a signed copy.

Here's an example of one backer's signed copy
Here's an example of one backer's signed copy

- US backers who contribute the $10 optional shipping payment will unlock the Advanced Access to Expansion Content reward. To make sure that this unlock has an immediate benefit – we will be releasing two new Characters within a couple of weeks that you will be able to print out and play right away, enriching your Unbroken experience. (If your KS reward already included the Advanced Access perk – you will be able to access the new characters as well). We look forward to revealing the new characters soon!

The Brigand (early sketch) looks forward to bringing the pain to the monsters of the Dark.
The Brigand (early sketch) looks forward to bringing the pain to the monsters of the Dark.

Thank you once again for helping with the shipping situation. Our goal is to ensure financial feasibility of Unbroken as we hope to publish more content for the game. If you’d like to help with the extra shipping cost ahead of your game arriving – please send me a direct message and I’ll provide instructions for how to do so, along with assurances of your awesomeness.

Extra Unbroken Custom Dice Available 

We got quite a few questions about possibility to purchase an extra Unbroken Custom die. We are happy to offer a very limited quantity to the US backers at $4 a die. If you’d like one to receive one along with your reward – please email sales@goldenbellstudios.com by the end of the week so this can be added to your package.

Australian/NZ Shipment

We hit an unexpected obstacle in our processing of the Australian shipment. Last week, right before the shipment was supposed to be leaving, our former distribution partner informed us that the terms of the agreement we have been working towards had to be changed substantially with a much higher price point than previous agreed on along with other unacceptable revisions that only came up once the necessity of a contract was mentioned. Given the shipping cost constraints we’re experiencing – this was clearly not an option for us.

Introducing more delays to the project is not something we’re keen on, so Marc from Golden Bell worked out an alternative agreement with the company that handles our Asian fulfillment. We were able to get a favorable rate to send Australian packages directly from China, so that’s the arrangement we are currently pursuing. We are arranging for transport to the distribution facility – the games should arrive there within 10 business days, and from there the games should get to our Australian/NZ backers within another 20 days or so.

We think this is a good way to address this situation that gets games into backers’ hands around the same time (possibly even a bit earlier) than if we would have sent it by freight first, so we hope this is a win-win scenario for everyone!

Following the departure of the Australian shipment our next priority will be the shipment heading to the UK – we will provide more detail on that in the next full update towards end of May. The information regarding the rest of EU packages will follow as well – we are keenly aware of the frustration of our backers in the EU and are working to get the games to them as soon as possible.

A few photos

Huge thanks to local backers from Columbus, OH who came to help unload the North American Shipment!

(Facebook users curious about the unloading project can check out the feed from the unloading here  video is long, may take some time to load up)

The launch party on May 1 was a lot of fun from the videos that I watched. Thanks to Golden Bell for organizing it and to the The Forge Tavern for hosting. My favourite thing was seeing how engaged people were in playing through the game and how many folks there are already who were familiar with the game and able to give some solid strategic advice!

 Huge shoutout to Zane and Mr Kelly a former professor of Rachel and Marc who surprised the team at the launch party!

Back to fulfillment for now. The end of the month update will provide a more comprehensive overview of the shipping plans across regions as we wrap up the US fulfillment (leading to the Canadian portion) and get the Australian and Asian copies on their way.

Thank you all for your ongoing support for the project and patience as we work through all the logistics.

Artem & Golden Bell Studios

Here we go! Start of fulfillment, shipping cost adjustment, Golden Bell FAQ, How to Play video, first review, and Launch Party!
29 days ago – Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 02:59:05 AM

Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!

We have arrived at a very exciting point where the games are about to get on their way directly to the US backers. We are thrilled to get these into your hands and get all the other portions of the shipment moving. There will even be a launch party in Columbus, Ohio to celebrate this milestone (make sure you read on until the very end of the update to RSVP).

But before we jump into the exciting news that lead to games getting to you – there is an important point to cover, and we wanted to do this first in this update. Both Golden Bell and I wanted to convey this information to you as soon as possible, so this update comes a little earlier in the month than usual. We hope it helps address the many questions asked in the comments.

Shipping Cost adjustment

This is a difficult admission to make and one that I do with a lot of anxiety, but something I consider to be very important for the transparency of running this project, which is crucial to me. When planning Unbroken I have considerably underestimated and under-charged the shipping costs.

This happened for a couple of reasons. One is me using more optimistic estimates in my calculations where I should have been more pragmatic. Another was the unfortunate fact that additions of some of the stretch goals and packaging upgrades we unlocked led to the weight of the final package jumping to the next cost bracket, despite our efforts to avoid it. These are errors on my part that I admit and take full responsibility for. 

In a smaller campaign, we could just roll with the error and take on the extra cost. In a campaign of Unbroken’s size, with tens of thousands of packages to be shipped, the extra cost unfortunately brings the campaign into running at a considerable loss that we are trying to make up for in order for us to continue pursuing the Unbroken brand and future expansions.

Before you get too worried – I would like to reassure you that both myself and the Golden Bell team are fully committed to getting the games to all the backers regardless of these circumstances. This will not change the fact that everyone will get their game.

However, operating this project at a loss would likely either really complicate or considerably delay our plans for further development of Unbroken content – something that we are very excited about and were hoping to roll out shortly after delivering the current campaign to everyone.

We are going to turn to backers asking for help in remedying this situation – something that we do not take lightly, trust me, and hoping for understanding and goodwill. After your games have been shipped (as part of the post-campaign communication ensuring you got the reward and providing links to the available Unbroken resources) – we will let backers know what the actual cost of shipping for their region was and will ask, if possible to help us cover the difference from the original amount paid. (For reference the optional payment for US would be something like $9-10).

It is not a situation that we revel in (quite the opposite), so it is extremely important for us to do this in an appropriate and respectful way. We hope that doing it this way makes it a less frustrating request on your end:

- We will only ask for this optional payment after your game is shipped, when your reward should be in hand.

- We will make it clear that this is an optional payment because the error that led to it was on my end.

- If your order currently does not include advanced access to expansion content, we will offer to apply your optional payment to that reward.

Ultimately our goal is to return the project back into the break-even territory to make Unbroken financially feasible and ensure we can continue further development of the game’s content. I understand that there are people who will be uncomfortable with this request – I want to stress that this will be entirely optional, and no action is expected on your end if that is your preference. 

I thank you for your understanding and hope you will consider helping us in this way. Sincerely appreciated. If anyone is keen on doing this early, prior to receiving your game, you are welcome to do so - send me a direct message and I will help you set it up, along with expressing lots of gratitude.

Clarifications on our collaboration with Golden Bell Studios

There were lots of questions regarding the role and the specifics of our collaboration with Golden Bell. Since we write these updates together, they helped provide the following information to help clarify things for those interested.

This is very much a collaborative project and it is as much Golden Bell’s as mine. We have a positive working relationship and joint responsibilities are clearly outlined by a contract that was reviewed by attorneys on both sides. The accusations that I’ve seen somewhere that Golden Bell are “stealing” or abusing the project in any way are unfounded as far as I am concerned. Their team has contributed countless hours to the development of Unbroken, including producing additional art, writing tomes of flavor text, composing the musical score and overseeing production. 

Their whole team is doing this work at no profit at all (at a loss in fact, as described in the shipping portion above) and they have my sincere thanks for that. For full disclosure – I had retained an advance following the campaign, a third of which I returned to the project fund to help with to help with the shipping and a further third had to be paid in taxes. I hope this helps dispel any misconceptions that I am somehow treated unfairly in this. Our hope is that the future iterations of Unbroken will become profitable, but to do that we need to ensure we need to bring the project back to financial feasibility.

It doesn’t seem right that there has been an outpouring of credit that has been entirely one sided from some backers. I want to stress that Golden Bell was not involved in setting up the pricing of the campaign and should not be blamed for that error. That is a mistake that I detail above and one that I take ownership of. Both Golden Bell and I are focused on delivering the project to backers as soon as possible – that is our key priority now.

Note that there are several people manning Golden Bell’s social media accounts, including the Kickstarter comments, as it would be impossible for one person to do that, with the multiple projects they work on.  While Marc is often comfortable saying he is writing his specific comments, others at Golden Bell feel less comfortable due to the threats they’ve received as detailed below. 

We really appreciate our backers’ comments and questions and are happy to address these. With that in mind, we ask that people refrain from cursing and confrontational comments that only start arguments rather than providing constructive criticism of the project we’re all working on night and day. For example, we’ve heard conspiracy theories that we are photoshopping the images with produced copies of the games or the thousands of boxes being loaded on pallets, which is absolutely not true. Further, Golden Bell staff have received some alarming threats, including threats of physical violence. These will not be tolerated whether via email or on the phone, if this happens again, it will be investigated by the authorities.

To clarify the email asking for optional additional shipment payments that went to pre-order backers, that email was legitimate. It covered the errors we found within BackerKit (some add-ons that were supposed to be available only for a limited time or for KS only backers were still available to non-backers) as well as the shipping error described above. Our sincere thanks to all late backers who have generously provided additional funds and encouraging comments.

Please keep in mind Golden Bell has delivered nearly two dozen campaigns in the past few years and have shipped well over 100,000 units around the world. They are a business that works with very well established companies and licenses such as Disney, Nickelodeon, VIZ, Funimation, Sony, and many others that you can find on their website. There is no concern of Golden Bell’s ability to succeed, they are working within the constraints of the project’s size and complexity, made more challenging by the shipping cost situation. 

To answer why Golden Bell isn’t often on the comments or on sites like BGG or Facebook, their team works 100-120 hours a week, and there is a limited time to focus on social media. As part of our agreement I lead the work on answering questions on social media and flag questions that require GB attention for them to address. This is not a reflection of one of the partners being better or worse, less or more visible - just fair division of responsibilities. 

There were questions about the discrepancies on the price of Unbroken on different locations. Please note that the Golden Bell sales portal has the Unbroken pre-order at $39.95 (correct price that was supposed to be on BackerKit).

Regarding questions about taxes, yes Golden Bell must pay taxes. Contrary to popular belief, Kickstarter projects are not exempt from paying taxes, and not doing so is considered fraud and tax evasion. Questions of why Golden Bell charges taxes is because they are legally obligated to do so.

As promised, we will not be selling to retailers apart from fulfilling the late pledges made on BackerKit. 

Shipping / Fulfillment Update

Working out all the logistics of Unbroken has been quite a task and I’ve been in daily contact with Marc Goldner of Golden Bell Studios as he works to set everything up. My big thanks to Marc for all the work he put into this area of the project.

Here are some photos of the proud owners of expedited copies (that's me in the middle and our French champion, Raz, on the left!). I expect to be able to show a ton more of these in the very near future.

North America

The shipment will be arriving at Golden Bell this week (estimated tomorrow evening), and work will then be in full swing to get the games out to backers! There are thousands of games to ship, so the process will take some time – likely about 3 weeks (thankfully all the games were already pre-packed into shipping boxes at the factory). The first US backers should start receiving their games in a week or two. Thrilled for this stage of the campaign to get going! Thanks to the Golden Bell team for preparing and sending these out! The copies to be sent out to Mexico will go out as part of this shipment as well.

For anyone interested in following along the Livestream of the unloading of the Unbroken container please tune into the Unbroken Facebook Group and Marc will be doing a LIVE Q&A for the time he’s able to answer any and all questions that everyone may have for us!

Local Pickup is available at the Launch Party 

If you live in or around Columbus, OH and don’t want to wait for your game’s turn to be shipped – you can pick up your copy at the Launch Party on May 1 (see end of update for details on how to RSVP)!

The US addresses are being locked once the fulfillment begins. If you need to update your address after this update – please contact me via KS message. It’s not guaranteed (in case your rewards were already shipped out) but we might be able to help you. Marc sent out a BackerKit email with a 48 hour notice last night, so please follow that link to change your address and if there are any problems then please contact me via KS message. Thanks!


Once the US copies have all gone out, the Canadian orders will be prepared, brought across the border and shipped out from a central Canadian location. We will provide the expected timing on this as the US shipment gets close to wrap-up.

Asia / South America

The Asian and South American rewards should start going out to backers towards the end of next week from China, so backers in Asia should have their games in hand within a month.

The Asian/South American addresses are being locked towards the end of this week. If you need to update your address after this update – please contact me via KS message. It’s not guaranteed (in case your rewards were already shipped out) but we might be able to help you. We will be sending out a BackerKit notice 48 hours before locking the address as well.

Australia/New Zealand

The shipment has been ready to go at the factory for some time now, but we have faced a couple of annoying setbacks with getting it out. We are working with the Australian distributor, Let’s Play Games for this portion and the previously arranged freight shipment had to be cancelled and re-arranged because of a logistics shift on their end. The key staff in charge of arranging the new freight shipment is currently away, returning Apr 29 – as soon as they are back, we will prioritize getting it going from the factory. Once it leaves we will be able to give a good estimate for when our Australian/NZ backers can expect it to be delivered. Our apologies for this delay and thank you for your patience.


The European shipment will need to be packaged up for shipping after the Australian one goes out. That will take some time as there are quite a lot of copies to put in cartons/on pallets. This gives us some extra time to explore additional options for fulfillment partnerships, given the cost constraints I mentioned earlier in the update (also – potentially speed things up and not be dependent on Brexit uncertainties). I understand that our European backers are probably experiencing the most frustration at this point - truly, my apologies, but I just want to emphasize that just because the shipment is delayed – it does not mean there is any risk of you not getting your games. It may take a bit longer, but they will get to you.

First Unbroken Physical Copy Review!

My sincere thanks to Robert Yates, one of our expedited backers, who wrote up his detailed impressions of the physical version of Unbroken in this excellent review on BoardGameGeek. Check it out – “Unbroken : A Nail-Biting Roguelike Puzzle

I’m very encouraged by the positive reception of the game so far and hope that it will hold as we get the games out to more and more people! 

How to Play Video: 

76% of respondents to our poll from the last update asked for a How-to-Play video first, so I put this one together to help you learn the game. The previous version of this was much shorter and contained mostly dry rule recitation, but I didn’t feel that actually taught you how to play, so instead I re-recorded a longer video with a focus on talking through things rather than just reading off the script. Hope this will be helpful! Would love to get any feedback on this :

Stretch Goals Report

- The Strategy Guide for Unbroken has been nicely laid out using the standard Unbroken style by Golden Bell’s Nikki, one of the artists of Unbroken, and can be downloaded here. (or if you want to be nice to your printer there’s a text-only version here)

- Print and Play files are available through the “Digital Downloads” section of BackerKit. If you are unsure how to access your BackerKit – shoot me a message and I’ll help you.

o Updated English Print and Play is available since Jan 5.

o Spanish Print and Play / Rules are available since Feb 1.

o Italian Print and Play / Rules are available since Mar 15

o German Print and Play / Rules (NEW!) are available since Apr 15. Huge thanks to Marco Mewes for his work on the translation and to Golden Bell’s Nikki Storme for putting the files together.

o French Print and Play / Rules – translation is complete, layout is about 80% finished. These will be posted in mid-May (we seem to have a good streak of releasing these on 15th going).

- Error Report Form. A reminder that any errors you see on any version of Unbroken should tracked using the Error Report Form. It will help us make sure these errors are addressed in the future. 

- The soundtrack’s preview (scored by Jonathan Meller and Directed by Marc, Rachel, and Rob of Golden Bell) will be featured at the Launch Party and the final version should be released to all backers towards the end of May (look for it in the next update). The current status is that Jon is working on Mixing and Mastering the final musical elements which includes perfecting the sound design and separating the tracks which has hundreds of instruments! In Jon’s last visit to GB HQ, they all wound up composing a special introductory theme to Unbroken which we hope you all will love! You can check out a preview of the soundtrack here.

Unbroken Launch Party!

To celebrate the arrival of Unbroken in the US the Golden Bell team have partnered with their friends at The Forge Tavern for a launch party on May 1! Here is the Facebook event. The evening will start at 5 pm and will go until midnight with prizes, the Unbroken soundtrack premiere, a special signing with the writers & artists, and lots of high-fives all around :).

If you’d like to pick up your game at the party – please e-mail Marc Goldner (marc@goldenbellstudios.com) letting him know so that your game isn’t accidentally shipped prior.

I am bummed out that I’m not making the party myself, but I hope there will be some way to tune in for a livestream. Hope those of you who are local (or willing to make a little trip) have a chance to attend and have an amazing time! I will be there with you all in spirit!

Next Steps

This is it, folks! Games are getting on their way very soon! While the US copies get delivered, we will continue to work on getting the other regions moving so that our backers across the world get to enjoy the game as soon as possible. (literally standing on our heads to make it happen. Karim and Angela, this one is for you, you wouldn’t think I’d forget?)

We know this process has taken some time (and continues to do so) but just a huge word of thanks to all our backer community for their support, excitement and patience throughout. We really appreciate it. I expect the next update will see a considerable amount of progress in shipping the games to all regions. We hope you’ll love Unbroken once it arrives. 

- Artem and the Golden Bell Studios team

Getting close! Shipping update, North American address lock and a look ahead.
about 2 months ago – Sat, Mar 30, 2019 at 02:21:30 AM

Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!

Another update to keep you informed about our efforts to get Unbroken to you. I am extremely excited to tell you that we have been making some good progress and the freight shipping process is under way. Thank you for your patience throughout this time and the supportive comments we have received from so many of you!

Shipping Progress

The factory in China has been busy packaging up the games for shipping and putting these together to get them on freight ships. Because of the high number of units involved this process has been taking  much longer than we or the factory could have anticipated, but things are moving. With nearly 25,000 units produced, it’s a lot of games, so it's reasonable that its taking longer than it would have for the usual 500-1000 copies!  

Once any given regional shipment is ready to go – we must wait to get it out to free up space at the factory before the packing of the next one can begin. This waiting for a spot on the ship adds an additional time requirement. I wanted to be upfront about this process for you to understand why it’s taking longer. At this point it's quite clear that our original delivery date would not be feasible, so our focus is squarely on where things stand now and what the next steps are. It's taking a while but we'll follow through on each and every step to get the games out to you and these updates will provide regular information on the progress.

Here is where we are by region:

Expedited Copies have been mailed on Monday, Mar 25. While some backers have already received theirs, some of the copies won't arrive until next week and that's nothing to be worried about - they are all on their way. The tracking might not activate until these arrive at your local post office, but they are definitely en route. I am thrilled for this first small batch to end up in backer hands – I’m certain all the backers will be eager for some early thoughts, reflections and photos! (My thanks to folks who have sent in their photos already - you are awesome!)

The small but mighty first batch of games to head out to backers. More to come!
The small but mighty first batch of games to head out to backers. More to come!
First recipients of Unbroken. Lots of folks will joint them soon!
First recipients of Unbroken. Lots of folks will joint them soon!
To quote one of the expedited backers : "So much goodness in such a small box"
To quote one of the expedited backers : "So much goodness in such a small box"

 North American shipment has been loaded on a freight ship and left China on Mar 21. It is due to arrive in the US on Apr 15 and should be delivered to the distribution center on Apr 21. Once it arrives, shortly after the delivery to the distribution center, the Golden Bell team will start shipping these out – these copies should be delivered to backers within 3-4 weeks of arrival or so (because there is so many copies to mail the labeling/mailing itself is likely to take some time). The Canadian copies will need to be transported into Canada first (to make sure we’re shipping from within Canada and avoiding any customs charges) – that might take another week or so – so an estimate of mid-May is looking realistic.

IMPORTANT FOR NORTH AMERICAN BACKERS: We will be locking all addresses on Apr 22, 2019. Please make sure you have your correct address on file in BackerKit – we will not be able to change it once the shipping labels have been generated. Re-sending of games necessitated by an incorrect address on file will require a repeat payment. If you’re not sure how to update your address or require any assistance with it – please direct message me and I’ll help you out.

Australian/NZ shipment has been prepared at the factory and is waiting to be loaded on the ship before heading to the distribution center. We’ll update backers with estimates once it’s on its way.

Once the AUS/NZ shipment clears the packaging space – the packages going to backers in Asia can be put together and shipped out directly from the factory. This portion contains a relatively low number of units and should be out of the factory fairly quickly.

IMPORTANT FOR BACKERS FROM ASIA: We will be locking the addresses once the shipment begins (early-mid April, specific date pending), so now is a great time to make sure your address is up to date.

The large European shipment will be put together for shipping next. While it’s being prepared we will have some final clarity with Brexit and arrange the shipping/distribution accordingly. The packing / arranging the ship space is difficult to estimate time-wise right now (factory was not great with meeting previous estimates) so instead of giving a weak estimate that I would need to revise later – we’ll provide a robust one when the copies are put together and ready to go on a ship.

Once the European shipment is out, we will finish the shipment for any remaining packages for countries not covered above.

This process has certainly been an exercise in patience for me because of small delays here and there adding up, so I want to sincerely thank you for bearing with us as we follow all the steps necessary. The shipping is in full swing and the games are on the move, just need time to make sure we work through all the logistics.

A special thank you to Marc Goldner from Golden Bell Studios who has been leading the work on all the logistics and had to provide countless updates to me over the past few weeks to keep my anxiety at bay and make sure I can respond to any backer queries in the comments.

To finish the business-like shipping part of the update – here are a couple of fun items. Say hello to the OOCL Brussels, the ship currently carrying the North American shipment across the North Pacific Ocean.

Can you spot the container with Unbroken in it?
Can you spot the container with Unbroken in it?

You can view its current location by following this link and clicking on “Live Position" / "Check on live map". Fingers crossed its nautical journey will be uneventful and swift :). 

Stretch Goal Updates

  • The Strategy Guide for Unbroken has been nicely laid out using the standard Unbroken style and can be downloaded here

Print and Play files are available through the “Digital Downloads” section of BackerKit. If you are unsure how to access your BackerKit – shoot me a message and I’ll help you.

  •  Updated English Print and Play is available since Jan 5.
  •  Spanish Print and Play / Rules are available since Feb 1.
  •  Italian Print and Play / Rules (New release!) are available since Mar 15 (Huge thanks to Daniele Imperiali for his work on this translation – it’s been very well received!)
  •  German Print and Play / Rules – translation is fully complete, layout is 95% done. We hit a bit of a snag here where the final proofreading took some extra time due to personal circumstances and now the designer who puts it all together is away. They will be back next week and we should be able to release these files by mid-April (or sooner) – I will make sure to announce the availability in the comments once these are out.
  •  French Print and Play / Rules – translation is complete, layout is about 50% finished. There is still about a month of work left here – we’ll provide updates here as we make progress.

Error Report Form. A reminder that any errors you see on any version of Unbroken should tracked using the Error Report Form. It will help us make sure these errors are addressed in the future. 

  • The work on the soundtrack is wrapping up and we still aim to have it released around the same time as majority of backers are getting their games.

Looking into the future of Unbroken

One thing I am extremely excited for is getting a copy of Unbroken myself as part of the expedited shipping (tracking tells me it’s in Chicago right now and should be in Toronto within a couple of days).

Once I get the game I wanted to record a couple of videos to give people a good look at the game and make sure they can jump right in when their own copies arrive. So I meant to record two videos with the game:

- A full playthrough with the final components, demonstrating the game in action

- A how-to-play explanation to help you quickly learn the game (we’ll have a more official one coming out later, but in the meantime I want to make sure backers have something to reference)

So, since we haven’t had a poll in a while (and I like polls!) – which one of these videos would be more helpful to you? Whichever one gets more votes will be the video I will work on first (I’ll still create the other one later, just wanted to make sure I prioritize the one that you want more).


I have also been hard at work creating some additional content for Unbroken – content that will soon be ready to be playtested (to make sure it doesn’t disrupt the balance of the game). I will be offering the playtesting opportunity first to the backers who had Advanced Access to expansion as part of their rewards (watch out for an e-mail with an invitation in a month or so) and will be expanding it to everyone in another couple of months. It's very exciting to think about ways in which Unbroken is going to grow (I am personally thrilled to bring back the Grave Robber character who was in the earlier versions of the game but was dropped towards the final version). A thank you in advance to all interested in taking part.

TableTop Simulator

Recently I was reading these great reflections of a player who shared their experience with Unbroken on TableTop Simulator, so I wanted to remind folks that the game is still available to all who have the base TTS program. It's a great way to get to try the game while the physical copies are being distributed. 

Next Steps

We are hard at work getting the games on their way to you. By the next update in late April – all expedited copies will be delivered and some of the non-expedited US backers should start getting theirs. The project is moving towards completion - slowly but surely. We can’t wait to hear your thoughts and impressions once you get the games. Still some steps to work through and your patience is very much appreciated, but rest assured that myself and the Golden Bell team are taking great care to make sure everything is in good shape and that games are shipped in a timely fashion.

As always – thank you so much for supporting Unbroken and being a part of this journey!

Production complete, shipping update with photos and more awards news
3 months ago – Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 01:35:41 AM

Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!

Another update to keep you informed of the work on delivering the rewards for the Unbroken Kickstarter campaign. Lots of progress to show you but because of the huge unit volumes involved – everything is happening slightly slower than we anticipated. Having said that – the wheels are in motion and it’s only a matter of time before you receive the game boxes chock full of dark fantasy survival goodness! Let’s dive in.

Packing Update

The production of all Unbroken units is complete, and the factory is busy packaging these up and preparing the shipments that will then be directed to our distribution centers around the world. The factory has overestimated the speed with which they can do this work and it’s not moving as fast as we were told initially, but there is lots of progress to show. Check out an Unbroken box with its contents as it’s packaged up in a shipping box and loaded up to a pallet that will head to North America. 

We are aiming for perfection with the packing and want to ensure not only a timely delivery to the best of our ability but to make sure that no one is missing anything from their packages. One of the Golden Bell representatives flew off to China to oversee the final stages of packing for Unbroken and ensure a timely completion of this work.

This mountain of boxes full of games is a reassuring and satisfying sight! It’s a great indication that everything is moving along as it should. I acknowledge that the somewhat slower pace is frustrating, but our top priority is avoiding errors. I sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience as this process runs its course.

You probably also noticed that all the packages are being shipped in boxes after all. Thanks to the excellent negotiations from Marc Goldner of Golden Bell Studios, we were able to expand the box upgrade to all the units shipped. We’ve heard this was a priority for backers and we made it happen. I hope this gives you the extra peace of mind that your game will arrive in great shape. Here is an unboxing video of a final production sample game:

Shipping/Delivery Estimates 

Because of the time pressures going into the Chinese New Year the factory had to ship the Expedited Shipping copies to the US to be sent out from there by ocean freight. The shipment has arrived in US port on Feb 20 and the container was promptly held for customs inspection (just our luck). That’s where it’s sitting right now – it should be released by end of next week. As soon as it gets to the distribution center, the expedited shipping copies will go out and should reach backers no later than Mar 18. Unfortunate that the customs hold-up took place – something that’s impossible to predict, but expedited shipping folks only have a few weeks left until getting the game.

North America: Again, because of the factory’s over-estimation of their packing speed – we were not able to get the preliminary 5,000 units shipped as described in the February update. The full North American shipment preparation is being finalized and it will leave the factory next week at the latest. We will be following its ocean journey with great excitement as it should get to the US port in late March. The backers should start receiving their copies in April.

Europe: The European shipment will be prepared next and should leave China in mid-March, arriving in early April, with delivery of games to backers towards late April.

Games in Asia, South America and AUS/NZ should also be delivered towards mid-late April – we’ll provide more specific estimates in our March update as shipments are prepared and arrangements solidify.

The Chinese New Year and the associated closures certainly slowed down the progress over the past month (which we accounted for, but the impact was even more than we were told). Now that it’s done – we fully expect the pace to quicken as games get on their way to you. Thank you again for your patience as we go through the necessary steps to deliver the games. Only a short bit left. 

The timelines have been a topic of conversation in the comments recently and I want to offer my sincere thanks for the show of understanding and support we have received from backers. You continue to be an amazing community.

Address Lock Deferred

Based on the timelines described above we will keep the addresses open for updates until the North American shipment arrives in port (should be late March). At that point we’ll lock things down and focus on fulfillment. If you need help updating your delivery address – please get in touch via KS message and I’ll be happy to help.

A final reminder will be issued in the March update before the addresses are locked. 

More awards for Unbroken

Unbroken continues to make the “most anticipated” lists for 2019 – recently it was listed as one of the Top 19 upcoming games on the Geek & Sundry website. It’s quite an honor to be listed next to amazing games like Wingspan and Batman: Gotham City Chronicles.

Probably the most notable nomination Unbroken has received so far is being in contention for SXSW (South by Southwest) Gamer’s Voice Award in the Tabletop category. We are thrilled to be nominated and look forward to learning of the outcome in mid-March. 

Rob and Jon from Golden Bell will be showcasing Unbroken at SXSW (taking place in Austin, TX, Mar 15-17) and we invite all of you to come out and meet one of the writers and the composer for Unbroken!

Stretch Goal Updates

- The Strategy Guide for Unbroken is available here. Text-only format for now – it will eventually be laid out in a more graphic style.

- Print and Play files are available through the “Digital Downloads” section of BackerKit. If you are unsure how to access your BackerKit – shoot me a message and I’ll help you.

  •  Updated English Print and Play is available since Jan 5.
  •  Spanish Print and Play / Rules are available since Feb 1.
  •  German Print and Play / Rules will be available Mar 15.
  •  Italian Print and Play / Rules will be available Mar 15.
  •  French Print and Play / Rules - the translation is complete, these are being laid out. Most likely late March or early April, the March update will have a specific date.

- Error Report Form. As we release the Print and Plays and we look forward to the future – we would appreciate it if you could share any errors / inconsistencies that sneak in. Whether it’s the physical game or the Print and Play – if you see something that needs to be corrected – please use the Error Report Form to report it. As we sit down to work on further developing Unbroken – we will be certain to go over all the feedback and address any concerns raised. This type of feedback is always appreciated and helps to improve Unbroken for future iterations that will enhance everyone's enjoyment of the game! 

- The work on the soundtrack is coming together well. Clocking in at almost 45 minutes it will be sure to add immersion to your experience with Unbroken. The latest draft came in over the weekend and the team at Golden Bell all sat down to determine what is left. They are currently working on a recurring theme that will be what you think of when you hear the words “Unbroken”, as well as an intro/outro to each of the battle steps, as well as adding roughly 5 minutes of additional music that will tie with the written story. This last part will also include a considerable amount of additional sound design and sound effects to create a true survival experience when you listen and play the game! We expect it to be available around the same time as games are delivered to most backers. The soundtrack will be available for download through BackerKit exclusively to KS backers/those who pre-ordered a copy at first and will eventually be released on a public platform like YouTube.

 - In addition the Golden Bell team will create a ~45 min video to go along with the score. This will include a narrated story (that you will also find on the cards of Unbroken) voiced by a professional voice actor, as well as implementation of awesome art to go along with the story and the score! We expect the release of this video in late Summer - we hope this will be a cool way to immerse the players in the world of Unbroken. We look forward to releasing a sample of this story video to backers as it comes together.

Calling all history buffs! Napoleon 1807 

Golden Bell Studios have been a trusted partner throughout Unbroken’s journey so far, so I am excited to tell you about another game that they are working on, live on Kickstarter now. Napoleon 1807 is a sequel to the much-loved Napoleon 1806 historical wargame (rocking a solid 8.5 BGG rating).It combines an authentic approach to history with streamlined rules, resulting in a fast-paced, satisfying gameplay. If you’re into historic French battles – check out their campaign – it’s been doing very well!

Julien from Shakos (author of the Napoleon game/campaign) is a Golden Bell partner in France. He will provide help with translation and editorial for the French version of Unbroken and has also been in discussion to arrange a release of the physical version of Unbroken in several European countries. We look forward to telling you more about these plans as they come together. Julien is currently at Cannes Game Fair showcasing both Napoleon 1807 and Unbroken!

And now for something completely different 

This is not an Unbroken-specific thing per se, but just something I want to share with as many people as possible. Jon Purkis (aka Actualol) creates amazingly fun and witty videos about our hobby – his latest “Not Just for Geeks Anymore” is just bursting with excitement for board games. Sincerely recommended for a quick watch to give you a smile. 

Next Steps

Almost there! By the next update the expedited shipping folks should already have their games in hand and the rest should be well on their way to backers. We will continue to provide regular updates on the progress and answer any questions you might have here or in the main project comments section.

Thank you all for your patience and support for Unbroken. On behalf of myself and the Golden Bell Studios team – we cannot wait to get the games to you and hear what you think of surviving in the Dark! 

Production nearing completion, shipping update, awards season news and strategy guide
4 months ago – Wed, Jan 23, 2019 at 01:28:24 AM

Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!

I hope 2019 is off to a great start for you! A brief update to keep you in the loop on our progress to getting Unbroken to you. All in all – we are largely on track for the estimates provided in the last update with no major issues to report and expect most games to be delivered in February and March.

Production Update

The factory has completed producing all the components for our huge Unbroken print run. Check out some videos of the production process and the results:

Here are the mountains of printed-out cards as they looked before being cut and sorted.

The components are now being packaged into game boxes that will then make their way to you. The packaging takes time, but the first wave of games will be ready by the end of next week and will start its journey towards North America. The remaining copies will be ready to go around the end of February.

Shipping Update

Rather than waiting for the entire order to be ready we are going to start fulfillment in the US with the first 5,000 units we have available. We are very excited to get the games to backers ASAP and so want to use this opportunity to speed things up a little bit.

For those who have paid for for expedited shipping (as described in the last update) – your game will be sent right from the factory and should arrive towards the middle of February.

The initial wave of 5,000 units should arrive in the US no later than Feb 27 and from that point it will be sent to individual backers, which should take 1-2 weeks, so those copies will make their way to backers by end of Feb-early March. Recipients of the copies from the advanced shipment will be determined randomly and notified via e-mail.

Once all the copies have been packaged up at the factory (end of February) the shipment / fulfillment will start for all backers. The freight shipments for remaining North American copies and Europe will arrive towards mid-late March. Backers in all regions (Europe, North America, South America, Asia, AUS-NZ) will get their games around the same time - in late March-early April. We will provide more specific estimates by region in the coming updates based on the shipping progress.

For our European backers – the situation with Brexit remains uncertain and we are monitoring it before committing to an exact arrangement of shipping. Our priority is to avoid any extra charges to backers based on the shifting trade laws. Worst case (if the no-agreement separation takes place in March) – we’ll split the shipments into UK and rest of Europe, covering the extra cost.

Another thing to mention here is that we’ve heard from lots of backers about their preference for a box rather than a padded envelope as packaging for the game in transit. Marc from Golden Bell has been doing all he can to figure out an arrangement that would allow affordable solution that results in all games being sent out in boxes. We’ll provide an outcome of these efforts next update. A reminder that regardless of the type of packaging we’ll end up with – any games suffering significant damage during shipping will be replaced at no expense to backers.

Address Lock Incoming!

The shipment / fulfillment portion of the project is about to get started – we will be locking all U.S. addresses on Feb 17, 2019. We will be doing batch/segment locking for other regions (with advance notification) as we get closer to the fulfillment date for these.

If you are for any reason uncertain if you have the right address on file or have moved recently – please make sure that your BackerKit survey has the correct address for you. If you need help accessing your BackerKit survey – do not hesitate to message me and I will assist.

If we do not have the right address on file for you – we will not be able to get the game to you and re-sending a game to a different address will require a repeat payment. 

Unbroken in Awards Season!

With 2018 just wrapped up, Unbroken is getting some good attention during the currently active awards season!

Unbroken was named as the Best Kickstarter Game of 2018 on Kickstarter by the Kick.agency website – a truly impressive feat, given how many awesome games were on the platform last year.

Eduardo Baraf of Gaming with Edo named Unbroken the #1 Kickstarter Game he reviewed in 2018 - check out his ful video run-through here.

Unbroken is doing well in the Most Anticipated Games of 2019 poll on BGG . It is currently ranking #19 on the overall list, #9 on the Original/Innovative category, #6 among Fantasy games and #2 in the Dungeon Crawl list. If you are excited about Unbroken – please head over to the poll and vote to support it (along with any other games you’re excited about of course)! We really appreciate your participation! With only 60 votes separating us from the #1 on the Dungeon Crawl category – I think we can definitely get to that top spot! The voting deadline is Jan 27 – thank you for your support! 

Unbroken is also under consideration for several other awards that I hope to be able to tell you about in the upcoming updates. Thank you for your support and excitement for the game – above all else, that’s what’s driving the immense success of Unbroken.

Strategy Guide Full Preview available (and other Stretch Goals):

- I am excited to let you know that I have completed the full version of the Unbroken Strategy Guide and you can view the entire thing through this link (in text-only format for now). I would love to hear some feedback on the guide before the Golden Bell team does the graphic layout for it. So, if you have any input – please share! I would find it especially helpful if you are familiar with the game through either Print and Play or the TableTopSimulator. The laid-out version of the Guide should be available in March.

- The Print and Play files updated with the final game assets (last balancing tweaks, new art and flavor text) has been uploaded to BackerKit – you can access it in the Digital Downloads section (you want the files labeled “Updated”). As mentioned in the last update, these have been available since Jan 5.

- The Spanish translation is in the final stages of being laid out. Kudos to Golden Bell’s Editor in Chief of their comic division Golden Liberty Comics, Michael Sacal, for his work completing it, as well as all the proofreaders who helped with it. These files will be available on BackerKit through the Digital Downloads section by Feb 1.

- The bulk of French translation will be complete by Feb 4 (a round of applause for our very own Raz for his tireless work on it). It will then enter editorial / layout – next update will provide an estimate for its availability.

- Both Italian and German translation are largely complete, with only about half of the rulebook outstanding. Once we receive the final files we’ll estimate the release timing as these will also need to be laid out before sharing with backers. Thank you for your patience as we ensure the high quality of these.

- The soundtrack looks to be coming together as something truly epic. Almost a full hour in length, it’s sure to enhance your experience with the game! (10-min preview here) Jon Meller, Golden Bell's Composer has been doing amazing work on it. Marc, Rachel, and Rob from Golden Bell have a deep personal connection to Unbroken from not only the writing and the art but now directing the music. They have been working with Jon on sound design for the final score all the way to mapping out the score as an actual adventure. Remember to read check out the Encounter cards in their original order as these are organized in a way to coincide with the musical score that is being put together! 

- The How to Play video is coming up as the next deliverable to produce – first step is for me to write the script for it – we’ll aim to have this one up by the time the games make it to backers.

A glimpse into Unbroken illustration process

It was amazing to see this series of images showing the process from a draft to a finished stunning piece that Golden Bell’s Rachel Korsen went through for the “Fire Amulet” piece. Check out the full-size version on her Instagram account. Follow along as she'll be posting all the process shots of Unbroken over the coming weeks! 

Next Steps:

Almost there! By the next update (coming towards the end of February), many of you should already have your games in hand and the rest of the games will be leaving the factory. Cannot wait until all the copies have been delivered and look forward to hearing about your experience with the game!

We will continue to work on all the stretch goals as outlined above and will provide an update on our progress as we check things off there.

To wrap things up I want to offer my sincere thanks to you for being such a positive and constructive community. Lots of discussion in the comments and in vast majority of cases it is to the point, respectful and considerate with folks helping each other with information and advice. Unbroken certainly benefits from having all of you as people who made it possible. 

Stay warm (if you are in a chilly place like me – had temperature dip below -30C this week) and play some awesome games!