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:

Production update, time to lock addresses, revised Print and Play and Strategy Guide preview.
5 months ago – Thu, Dec 27, 2018 at 01:52:52 AM

Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!

We hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah! Another update to keep you informed about our progress as we wrap up 2018.

Production Update

The production hit a snag early on as a misaligned printer error resulted in a large batch of game boxes being printed in a slightly faulty way. This issue required correction (re-printing of all the boxes) as both me and the Golden Bell team want to deliver only the best product possible. This correction led to significant delay of the process as new materials had to be sourced, ordered and delivered for the re-printing and any packaging had to be put on hold – it is difficult to pack a game without a box as you can imagine.  

This means that we lost a whole bunch of time on the production front and the timeline for the project delivery shifts back for approximately 1.5 months

As frustrated as I am about this delay – there is little that could be done to affect it. We were not going to compromise the quality of the game and required a full fault-free re-print of all affected components. We will continue to share the most up to date information we have on this with backers in a transparent way and push for delivery as early as possible. 

I understand that this delay is likely frustrating for you – I apologize for it and assure you that I share your feelings. As of now the new materials have been delivered (check out the mountains of cardboard pictured below) and the process has commenced in an error-free way.

Right now, the printing is nearing completion. The packaging is what takes the most time, the factory estimates that 5,000 of the units will be completed by the end of January and will be shipped immediately in the first batch. Following that, the rest of the units will be delivered to the various distribution centers around the world starting at the end of February to the beginning on March.

Here are the adjusted delivery estimates:  

North America – production completed late January, freight shipment arrives by mid-February, delivered to backers late-Feb to early March

Asia, South America, AUS-NZ – production completed end of February, delivered to backers mid-late March.  

Europe – the production will be completed by mid-February freight delivered by mid-March, delivered to backers by late March.  

Once again – I regret and apologize for the shift in the timelines. Rest assured I do not take this change lightly. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we get the games to you.

Time to lock addresses!

As we are getting closer to the shipment / fulfillment portion of the project – we are going to be locking all addresses in BackerKit on February 1, 2019. Please make sure you have the right address on file. I can’t stress this enough – if we don’t have the right address for you – we will not be able to deliver your rewards (for reasons that I hope are obvious). This only affects you if you have moved since providing your address or still haven’t filled out your survey. You can check your current address we have on file by logging in to your backer survey on BackerKit – if you need any help with that please message me and I’ll assist.

Following February 1, we will be printing and applying the finalized address labels to packages, so changes will be difficult / impossible to apply afterwards.

Any incorrect addresses will have to pay a re-processing fee for the shipping, handling, and unit cost so please be sure we have the up to date information on file. If your address will change following Feb 1 – please get in touch with me as figure out what to do with your package.

Production Copy Unboxing and Additional Shipping Options

At PAX Unplugged in Philadelphia we had a chance to film the unboxing of the production copy of Unbroken we have received from the factory – check it out:

As you can see on the video – we absolutely tried to do it horizontally, but Facebook live (where we live-stream these) only allows for vertical videos :).

The video shows the padded envelope in which the games will be shipped. Golden Bell had found a secondary supplier for the bubble mailers that have increased padding on the inner linings. This was always the intended packaging for Unbroken (as we worked to provide affordable shipping for the project), however some backers have raised concerns about the potential damage to the games. I wanted to address these comments.  

This packaging was used by Golden Bell in their previous project for delivering thousands of games. It resulted in a minuscule percentage of reported damage. The same packaging is frequently used by other high-profile Kickstarter campaigns (for example the Tiny Epic series). In the unlikely event that damage does occur – we won’t leave you hanging with a damaged game, so I want you to be comfortable in knowing there will be support for these cases following the fulfillment.  

We are also pleased to provide the option to upgrade your packaging for those that want to be extra safe. This is purely optional for those who want that extra peace of mind.

If you’d like your package to be shipped in a box instead of an envelope – please PayPal $3 US to marc@goldenbellstudios.com by January 25, 2019. Please include “Unbroken shipping upgrade” in the note on the payment and include your full name and Kickstarter/Backerkit e-mail for us to connect the payment to your order. You will receive a confirmation once your record has been updated.  

We have also received some requests to provide options for expedited shipping. We worked to make these possible as well to meet the needs of the backers and give you more options.

For $15 (shipping to US) or $25 (anywhere else) your order can be shipped via express airmail and will arrive about a month before the estimated delivery for your region. All taxes/import fees for these packages will be pre-paid. The prices include the box upgrade to packaging. Please follow the same instructions above re: PayPal to select this shipping. These expedited shipping costs are only for orders containing 1 copy of Unbroken. If your order has other items in it (like extra copies) and you'd like to consider expedited shipping – please e-mail Marc at marc@goldenbellstudios.com (use title “Unbroken shipping upgrade”) and he will provide you a custom quote.

I want to stress that these are only present as options that we were asked to provide and that the regular process in place is reliable, safe and effective.

Updated Digital Rewards and Stretch Goal Progress

  • The Print and Play updated with the new illustrations and the flavor text is all but complete - it will be available through Digital Downloads on BackerKit starting Jan 5.
  • The set of Unbroken Wallpapers that we are providing as an extra perk to backers who originally pledged for the posters are now available through Digital Downloads on BackerKit
  • The Spanish rules and Print and Play are currently in the editorial stage as the main translation has been completed. We expect these to be ready to share in the January update.
  • French version (worked on by the project collaborator Razoupaf) will be translated up by late Jan-early February and will have editorial done by one of Golden Bell’s partners in France, Shakos who designed Napoleon 1806 (a real hit on BGG). We will keep you up to date on the progress there once we’re close to publishing the files
  • German version translation is over half complete, the only thing left here is the Encounter cards and the Rulebooks.
  • Italian version sits at a space similar to German version in terms of completion. Both German and Italian we expect to have completed translations by middle of January

After the translations are finalized (including an editorial pass) – these need to be laid out graphically for a Print and Play to be created and digitally distributed through BackerKit. That process takes a couple of weeks for each translation, so please be patient as we roll these out.  

We are always listening to fan suggestions, including the translated versions. If you have something you’d like changed, clarified or addressed in a translation – we will be collecting feedback and revisiting the translations regularly to keep these as high quality as possible. The process for feedback submission will be clarified once the translations are released.

  • Strategy Guide – is progressing well and is about 60% written – I am happy to offer a preview of the draft of the document to give you an idea for how it’s going to be structured. Naturally the final version will be nicely laid out using the game visuals. I expect it to be available around the same time as the physical games deliver.

PAX Unplugged Report

I had the pleasure to talk with many Unbroken backers in Philadelphia during PAX Unplugged and ran through a bunch of demo games, showing how it worked. I am so grateful for everyone who stopped by to chat and check out Unbroken. The support, enthusiasm and encouragement I felt from folks is hard to put into words. Thank you!

Rob, myself, Marc and Rachel - hanging with the Golden Bell team at their booth
Rob, myself, Marc and Rachel - hanging with the Golden Bell team at their booth

 Unbroken on Dized

We have partnered with Dized to make learning Unbroken as easy and accessible as possible. Dized is an innovative app for iOS and Android that not only has searchable, interactive rules and FAQs for all your favorite board games, but now features Tutorials - interactive guides that teach you a game so that you can start sooner and learn the game while you play.  The app already has a few examples of these as well and since it’s free to download, we recommend you give it a go. 

Unbroken will be added to Dized in the coming months after we complete our editorial on it to make sure it is a perfect reflection of the game. 

Dized has launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring the Tutorial tools out sooner, and better. You can learn more about the Dized project here: https://dized.com/ks  

Other Golden Bell Products

One of Golden Bell’s designers has put up a new game on Kickstarter called FOUR. It’s a party style card game for the family with a unique leveling mechanic that everyone will be sure to enjoy.  

You can get your very own copy of Four in it’s last hours HERE.  

Congratulations are in order as Golden Bell's award-winning Marshfellows plush toy has reached a lofty #2 spot on Amazon's Best Selling Plush Toys list of 2018. Still time to push through to #1, so if it looks like your up of tea (or cocoa as the case may be :) ) - you can check it out on Amazon (now with free shipping). People definitely seem to love this one!

 Next Steps:

We will continue monitoring the production process closely to make sure it wraps up as soon as possible (ensuring highest quality of the resulting product) and avoiding any further delays. At the same time the arrangements to get the games to you are in full swing. Upcoming updates will provide more details on these – stay tuned!  

In the meantime – from myself and the Golden Bell Studios team – happy holidays to you and your families! Bring in the New Year with lots of good wishes! Thank you for your patience and ongoing support. Wishing you all the very best in 2019!

PAX Unplugged, Production update, holiday card, Contest Season and Posters for everyone!
6 months ago – Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 01:46:16 AM

Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!  

Hope you are all doing well! Another update to keep you informed on the progress we are making on Unbroken!  

Super short version – production is under way, majority of games should be delivered by end of January/early February.  

Happy to report that your copies of the game are being manufactured as you read this update and the process is going well. We are going to receive a fresh-off-the-press copy this week – we can’t wait to start showcasing these to backers at conventions! 

As the production process is wrapping starting in December - we will be shipping the games out in waves. The timing associated with each wave will be clarified as manufacturing is completed. Our aim is to give you the most accurate estimates we can – each successive update will give us more precise information to share.  

Here are the best estimates that we can provide at this time:  

Asia – production completed mid-December, delivered to backers late December / early January. These will be the first one to get to backers because no ocean freight shipping is necessary.  

North America – production completed mid-December, freight shipment arrives by mid-late January, delivered to backers late January-early Feb. The currently ongoing postal worker strike in Canada may have an impact on these timelines for my Canadian compatriots – we’ll keep you posted.

Europe, AUS/NZ and South America – the production will be completed by early January, freight delivered by late January, delivered to backers by early-mid February.

We will be providing more precise timelines as information becomes available.  

These last few months are going to be the ones filled with the most excitement and anticipation – so I thank you in advance for your understanding and patience as we work out all the logistical details in getting the games out to everyone.  

Speaking of shipping – now is a good time to make sure your backer survey is submitted. If we don’t have your survey – we will not be able to get the game to you – still have 366 backers who did not complete theirs. Also – please make sure your survey has the most up to date address. We will be locking the addresses in January once the freight shipments start to come in and we’ll be starting the fulfillment process. This will be further emphasized in the December update. If you are unsure about any of these details - feel free to shoot me a KS message.

Unbroken Holiday Card

The original timeline for the project delivery was December. We are proud of the upgrades that we have applied to the game, but these did mean that the production schedule got pushed back a little bit. As a result, you might have been planning to give Unbroken as a holiday gift and won’t be able to do so. Sorry if that’s the case.  

To help build up the patience of your gift recipients we are happy to provide an Unbroken-themed holiday card informing them of the circumstances that led to your gift’s delay and absolving you of any responsibility :).

 You can download a high-quality image of the card here.

PAX Unplugged this weekend!

I am thrilled to be able to attend PAX Unplugged in Philadelphia Nov 30 – Dec 2. Please stop by the Golden Bell Booth (#1726) to say hi and check out the production copy of Unbroken we’ll have on hand. Myself and the Golden Bell team look forward to running those interested through a quick game as there will be a demo table available. We will also have some small Unbroken tokens of appreciation on hand for backers and can chat about the awesome additions coming up in the expansion!

Above all – we would absolutely love to meet as many of you as possible and to express our gratitude for the support and excitement that you continue to offer for Unbroken. I’ll be at the booth after 1 pm on Friday and until 1 pm on Sunday. See you in Philly!

 Awards Season!

Upcoming end of the year means lots of contests, “best of” lists and awards to sum up the year that was. I am thrilled to tell you that Unbroken is generating lots of buzz in these!  

The recently run 2018 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games placed Unbroken at #99, which might not seem like that impressive of a result, but then again – the game hasn’t even been released yet! This is a highly competitive list and for Unbroken to make it on the strength of Print and Plays / Tabletop Simulator alone is a huge success in my books.

Sincere thanks to all those who voted for it. I also encourage you to read through all the ranking – the results are tabulated in a very informative and engaging way and maybe you’ll find a game or two that you’d like to add to your solo collection! (It’s making me take a long look at Spirit Island – I keep hearing so many great things about it, but I keep hesitating because of lack of time for meatier games).

I hope that next year, once folks receive Unbroken and have a chance to play it – we’ll be able to crack the Top 50! That’s a lofty aspiration as that means competing with established entries like Ghost Stories, Flash Point and Gloom of Killforth, but I believe in Unbroken and like to aim high :).  

Another contest that I hope you can support Unbroken in is the 20 Most Anticipated Games of 2019. The contest is currently in the nominating stage where out of all the listed games to come out next year, the 50 most popular will be entered into a vote to determine the titular 20 across multiple categories. Unbroken is doing well, ranking about #35-36 on the long list of eligible games, but it can always use more support. So if you are excited for the game – please head over to the list and give the Unbroken entry a thumb up! I also encourage you to thumb up all the other awesome upcoming games on the list that you are excited about.

Posters for everyone!

We loved hearing the backers’ excitement for the Unbroken posters. Golden Bell did an awesome job negotiating with the factory and as a result we will be able to offer a poster in every single box of Unbroken. Marc from Golden Bell really went above and beyond making this happen and I hope everyone will get to enjoy these! A reminder that these are double sided with one side featuring the image below and the other art being the map of the Dark, showcased in the last update.

To show our additional appreciation the folks who were originally getting the posters as part of their pledge will receive access to exclusive Unbroken digital wallpapers that will be created by one of Golden Bell’s Founders Rachel Korsen based on the game art. These will be available by the next update. I hope you will enjoy these!  

You’ll be able to follow along @RachelKorsen.Art on Instagram as she’ll be posting all the Encounter Art, progress she made with Unbroken, new work on the expansion, sketches and more throughout the month of December. Follow her to get exclusive first look content she’ll be posting several times a week!


To wrap up I wanted to give bullet-points update on our progress towards the following stretch goals:  

French and Spanish versions – translation is almost finished. We are in the proofreading stage – if some of our French- or Spanish- speaking backers want to help out with the proofreading please message me indicating your interest and provide your e-mail – I will connect you with the translator. Once proofreading is finished it will take another few weeks to lay out the rules and Print and Play files. Should be available towards the end of the year.  

German and Italian versions – the Italian translation is under way but is not close to completion yet. We had some challenges on the German translation front and are currently looking for a new translator to work on this – please message me if you are a translator who works with German or if you know of a good one. We hope to have both versions available towards late January / February.  

Updated English Print and Play – Golden Bell team is working to update the Print and Play files with the latest assets (featuring additional art and flavor text) – the files are almost ready but need some additional proofreading – it should be available for the next update in December.  

Strategy Guide – I am working on this document and it’s about 30% done – my goal is to have it available to backers by the time you get your copies in late January. Hopefully next update it’s in a good enough shape to show a preview! It’s been a very interesting exercise because it’s so hard to give any single piece of advice for any particular situation. Every decision in Unbroken demands that you consider a whole host of factors – while it’s a pain to write a guide for – this should provide for some satisfying strategic gameplay!

Soundtrack – work is moving along – you can listen to a 10-min sample here. At this point the full soundtrack is developed into a self-contained 30-minute piece - still some sound design refinements to apply, but it should also be ready to go around the time you get the games in a couple of months.  

Monster Stories – The stories posted in the last updated closed out the series (which was a whole lot of fun to write). I have heard multiple requests for a document combining all the stories in one place and as always – we are happy to oblige. The Unbroken Story Compendium can be located here with all the 32 stories for your reading pleasure. We will further build up the lore of Unbroken (possibly looking at other mediums down the road!) as the adventures in the Dark continue.

We have re-opened the BackerKit pre-orders until the holidays so if you’d like to add items to your pledge – you can do so here. All the items will be sent out as part of the KS fulfillment and are subject to the timelines described in this update.

Next Steps

We will continue to ensure that the production run is as quick and as error-free as possible and will provide additional information about the shipment / delivery timelines in the December update. In the meantime – play some awesome games and I hope to see many of you at PAX Unplugged this weekend!

Production is under way! Revised sample photos, PAX Unplugged, the map of the Dark and the final character stories.
7 months ago – Wed, Oct 24, 2018 at 01:26:23 AM

Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!

Thrilled to start this update with an announcement that we hit an important milestone in Unbroken’s journey from Kickstarter to your collection. Today we have submitted the final print files to the factory and that means that the production has now started! Here are some photos of the revised pre-production sample that we have received from the factory that has most of the upgrades described in the last update incorporated:

This was an important sample to receive because it demonstrated the need to revise several files going into the game (pushing back the production a little bit). We had heard loud and clear from the backers asking us not to rush anything in the last update, and we left no stone unturned. Golden Bell and I spent a collective thousand hours on these editorials with a whole team of editors, artists, proof readers, and more! 

Specifically relating to the production – we asked for the linen finish to be more prominent (it was barely noticeable in the original sample as many backers noted). This resulted in several images, including the box cover becoming too dark, so quite a bit of work was done rebalancing the colors and brightness. Taking the cue from backer support in the last update we decided to take the time to get the game looking perfect (and as a result applied more upgrades visually, like increased use of iconography to refer to things like Conditions and Weapons in the game). We’ve also added a Quick Start Guide which we hope will be something that will guide you the Dark safely and easily.

The Golden Bell team poured over all the details to make sure everything that makes its way into the box is of highest quality. We did this with the help of committed backer proofreaders - thanks so much to all those who contributed their time and eagle eyes to making the game perfect! Their contribution will be acknowledged in the rulebook. I also had a lot of oversight and communication with Marc through this process of this final editorial leg of the trip and felt that we caught some little things that could make a big difference.

The print run should be finished towards late November – we will keep you posted on this progress in the next update where we will turn our attention to the early production samples, freight shipping and local fulfillment. At that time, we will also be able to provide more precise time estimates for reward delivery – currently expected in late January of 2019. My thanks again for all the positive comments and support we got from backers on this slight time shift - I am certain that the upgrades the game received will be absolutely worth it.  

Here is a 25-minute video of Marc and Rob going through all the contents of the Unbroken box – embedded for your viewing pleasure. I think my favorite new part there is the embroidered bag – looking great!

Top 100 Solo Games on BGG

Every year the excellent 1 Player Guild on Board Game Geek runs a People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games contest. I found the 2017 results to be a very comprehensive and meaningful ranking giving a good idea for the current preferences. The voting for the 2018 contest is now live! I encourage you to participate by compiling your own list of Top 20 solo games and sending it in via GeekMail to the organizers (see detailed instructions via the link). If you had a chance to play Unbroken and enjoy it - featuring it on your list would be a huge help in drawing more attention to the game, so any mentions are very much appreciated! Voting closes on Nov 4.

I'm curious how well the game is going to do - think we have what it takes to crack the top 100 this year? I certainly expect Unbroken to feature much more prominently in 2019 when people have the chance to receive, play (and hopefully enjoy) the game!

The map of the Dark

One thing that I am very grateful to Marc from Golden Bell for is his insistence that the caves of Unbroken must be mapped out. While initially I was hesitant to make these into a more or less concrete setting – I am happy that we worked on it, because the end result is something that I’m rather proud of and a big help in establishing the Dark as a tangible, breathing place. Here are a couple of “in progress” images to show you how I started drafting this map (I haven’t done this before but I do love looking over RPG maps drawn by awesome artists out there like Mike Schley).

 The end result of the map was further enhanced by the graphical treatment of the multi-talented Jon Meller (who is also composing the soundtrack as you’ll recall from the last update, he’s made a lot of progress and is already 26 minutes into the score. Him and the rest of the Golden Bell team are perfecting all the little nuances of the score and sound design now). The look we ended up is something I’m rather happy with:

Click on the image to access a larger version
Click on the image to access a larger version

 The map represents the locations of many of the encounters that the game contains as well as the environments where the player is likely to face most of the monsters contained in the game. The map is featured in the rulebook (one of the many things we could fit in now that we made it bigger) and also appears on the back of the poster. Hope it helps your immersion in the world of Unbroken!

The Fox Token

While we originally planned to have custom-shaped tokens – the detail on the outlines of the resource icons quickly made it clear that it wasn’t feasible (you’ll recall we included a nice velvet bag,embroidered with the Unbroken Logo, in every game as a replacement upgrade). However, we wanted to have some way to include even a part of that original promise in the game, and the Golden Bell team has found a great way to make it happen!

The fox representing the Cunning resource (which in itself is a cheeky reference to the logo of my company, Altema Games) is one of the simpler shapes among the icons so this particular one was possible to manufacture. This die-cut wooden token will be included in every game – it will be used to track which Phase/Step of the game the player is on – moving the Fox token along the Reference Sheets will make sure you always know where you are and don’t get lost.  

This purpose of the fox as a way to not get lost in a dizzying underground labyrinth might or might not be a hint to its important role in the world of Unbroken, but I probably already said too much :).

The revised Monster Cards  

Much like the Encounter, Skill and Condition cards featured in the last update, the Monster cards are also going to be enhanced with flavor text, intended to bring the foes you will face to life, give these cards more personality and context that was requested by so many backers.

You spoke, we listened and did our best to implement something special. Here is an example of how it will look like: 

Since the game received several upgrades since the release of the initial Print and Play - we will be providing a revised Print and Play that contains all the upgrades. The timing of this release will be clarified in the next update.

This flavor text is a result of great work by Marc and Rob from Golden Bell with input from myself. Of course, the monster stories provide an even further in-depth look at the inhabitants of the Dark for those who want more!

Character Stories  

Speaking of stories - here are the final four character backgrounds. We hope that these helped flesh out the protagonists of Unbroken and give weight and meaning to their struggles!

A reminder that the entire set of Monster and Character Stories can be found here. I would love to hear your impressions of these now that the entire set is done. Which one was your favorite and why?

Now that the work on all Monster and Character Stories is complete – I am turning my attention to a piece I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Specifically – the Strategy Guide for Unbroken, one of the Stretch Goals that we have unlocked back in April. I am thrilled to offer players some tips to maximize their survival chances and to put on paper the strategies that work best in specific circumstances against particular enemies. I think the players will find it useful and I can’t wait to hear about all the strategies the people will come up with that I didn’t even think of :).

New York Comic Con and PAX Unplugged

Huge thanks for all the backers who stopped by the Golden Bell booth at New York Comic Con earlier this month to check out Unbroken and say hi. The support and excitement we received means the world to our team and meeting the people who made it all possible is great! Here are a few photos of happy backers checking out the pre-production prototype.

Golden Bell is going to have a booth at the upcoming PAX Unplugged in Philadelphia (Nov 30-Dec 2) and I am thrilled to let you know that I am going to be there. Please stop by to say hi - I would love to personally thank you for your role in the incredible success of Unbroken and your ongoing support, patience and excitement. More specifics will be provided in the November update.

IndieGoGo Campaign

We keep getting lots of inquiries about late pledges for Unbroken now that both the Kickstarter and the BackerKit have closed down. In order to provide a final opportunity for people to get their copies of Unbroken from the first print run that we have launched - the Golden Bell team has put together an IndieGoGo campaign that will allow pre-orders that will be shipped same time as all your Kickstarter rewards.  
The campaign launched today - I invite you to share it with your friends who might have missed the Kickstarter but would still want to grab a copy of Unbroken.


Our friends at Lunarbaboon  

A quick note to address concerns about a recent promotional message that was sent by Golden Bell about the Parenting is Easy campaign. I apologize if receiving the message resulted in any frustration for you.If you would like to not receive any further messages with information about Golden Bell’s projects – please use the “unsubscribe” button on the message you received – it is instantaneous and automatic. It will not interfere with you receiving the Unbroken project updates. Golden Bell does send out “Mini-Unbroken” updates like the message showcasing things like the new art of Unbroken by Rachel Korsen a couple weeks ago, which won’t always be detailed in full project updates. 

Golden Bell was grateful to receive constructive comments from backers regarding their marketing policy. They will be revising it to make sure it is more transparent and clear in the future, with an obvious opt-in, and does not result in frustration. Thanks to all who contributed their voices to the conversation.

In the meantime – being a huge fan of the work that Lunarbaboon does – I am super excited to see the campaign for his board game, Parenting is Easy, doing so well! I invite you to check it out and consider supporting it – he even drew this special comic to help the people who really want to get under his skin :)

Click on the comic to open the full-size version
Click on the comic to open the full-size version

Next Steps  

We are going to focus on ensuring a quick and high-quality production run – the next update will be posted in mid-November, right around PAX Unplugged (reminder - I hope to see you there!).

The next one will detail PAX booth information, production updates (hopefully with photos), delivery timelines (current estimate - late January) and translation status (now that we can get that going). 

During production a member of the Golden Bell team will be going to China to oversee the Unbroken production and make sure that  the result is a high quality product for our backers. In the meantime – please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions you might have, share your excitement in the comments and play some awesome games!

Production update, new art, expansion teasers, character stories and soundtrack progress.
8 months ago – Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 01:47:47 AM

Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!  

We are excited to provide another update to keep everyone in the loop on our work to produce and deliver Unbroken. The comments section continues to be a great place to share your excitement and ask any questions you might have – don’t hesitate to drop in, especially between our monthly updates.  The Unbroken Facebook group is also a great place to share your excitement and impressions of the game, including the currently available Print and Play.

Production update

Since receiving the digital copy (showcased in the last update) the Golden Bell team and I have discussed and applied several upgrades to the game’s components. This work pushed the production back a little bit, but I am confident it results in a game that is going to look better, play better and provide more immersion to players. 

The factory has also identified an issue with the double-sided tracker boards where the slots don't always align with the images on the lower level. We are working with them to fix the issue - want to make sure we get it right before launching the massive print run. It has taken some time but it was necessary to ensure that the games are printed correctly. At this point a solution is in place and just needs a few days worth of testing.

At this point we have the files that are pretty much final ready to go. We aim to receive the final pre-production sample from the factory within a day or two, approve it and start production no later than October 3. We were given an estimate that the production will take 30-50 days.

Once we are approaching the end of the production we will provide further detail on the logistics of getting the games to you. At that time, we will be able to provide more specific estimates for reward delivery. Depending on how the manufacturing goes, we may still be able to start delivering in December, but we are mindful of the holiday chaos that can overtake the postal systems, so if we are cutting it too close to the holiday rush – we will push the delivery out to January to minimize the chance of packages getting lost on their way to you. 

Let’s check out some of the improvements the game got! 

First and foremost, Golden Bell artists have created an additional ~25 illustrations for the Encounter cards. This means that there will be minimal re-use of art assets, resulting in more variety and unique, memorable illustrations as you make your way through the caverns of Unbroken. Many of the new paintings were inspired by specific scenes with stories in mind the whole team collaborated on.

The majority of the art was done by one of Golden Bell’s founders, Rachel Korsen. She is a huge dark fantasy fan and was very excited to help build the world of Unbroken into something very immersive. Here are a few examples of her awesome paintings:

Two other longtime collaborators of Golden Bell, Barbara Lucas and Nikki Storme, also provided additional artwork!

The Boneyard by Nikki Storme
The Boneyard by Nikki Storme
The Ghostly Adventurer by Barbara Lucas
The Ghostly Adventurer by Barbara Lucas

Also added to every card is flavor text providing some context for the card’s mechanics. The Golden Bell team put in a lot of work to make sure these descriptions add to the grim atmosphere of Unbroken and I think these help further immerse the players in the darkness of the catacombs. The cards were written by Marc Goldner and Robert Gross, and I had been involved as an editor and creative consultant on the cards' direction. 

Marc and Rob, working alongside Rachel and the rest of the GB team, have created a vast lore for the world of Unbroken that is just beginning within these cards. We are crafting Unbroken to be a part of a dark fantasy world that everyone will want to come back to, and not just for games, but for all those other additions like the Monster Stories.

Here are a couple of examples of how it would look:

Here is a link to a preview of one of the full card sets with all the Flavor text - weapons!

The Print and Play version of the game will be updated with the latest additional art and flavor text to match the final physical game.

Finally, the rulebook was revised to take full advantage of the game box size and feature more diagrams, play examples and extras. The Golden Bell team (particularly Alexander Flanagin) worked with us to ensure that the rulebook to Unbroken was as streamlined as possible and that you could jump right into playing the game. You can check out the new rulebook here.  

Oh, and the awesome-looking custom die with the slashes is going up in size - want to make it nice and chunky! GB wanted to make sure that whenever you roll the die, it’s clearly hitting the table with a thud!

Now that the files have been finalized we are able to start the translation of the game. This means that our translated rulebooks and Print and Play files will be available towards December this year. My apologies to our international backers for this shift from original timelines but we wanted to make sure that Unbroken features the highest quality, most up to date content in all languages. 

When we were showing the pre-production sample during the last update, some people could not access the unboxing video as it was uploaded to Facebook. The video has been made available for public viewing here – please check it out if you were not able to do so before. Note that the final game will look slightly different as per the improvements described above. 

Expansion Teaser 

While our focus at the moment is entirely on getting the base game produced and delivered – the Unbroken expansion is certainly on the horizon. We had a few requests to share some teasers about the upcoming content and we are happy to oblige. 

How about that for starters – we have our expansion title! While the core structure of the game will remain the same, we aim to significantly grow the variety of content available: 

  • Two new resources - Shade Crystal fuels powerful and dangerous magic spells, while Rope is used to craft ranged weapons as well as to subdue monsters through trickery.
  • Some effects, including using Spells increase your Corruption score. The higher it is, the more likely you are to be harmed by twisted magical energies it at the end of every level. Decide how much you want to risk in your pursuit of vengeance!
  • The ranged weapons will offer a third “Weapon upgrade tree”. These are unique in that they allow you to attack monsters “from afar” during Travel phase, before Combat even starts, but beware – the monster might spot you and charge, forcing combat on you sooner than you expected. 
  • Four new monsters for every level (16 total), with a focus on Undead foes. For example, the 2nd level Ghoul will force you to deal with its paralyzing slashes, while the 3rd level Mummy will make all your Food reserves rot, making starvation a pressing danger. 
  • New characters that build on the expanding world of Unbroken, like the Templar who is better able to resist the corruption and rid themselves of the foul afflictions of the underworld or the Seer who is able to use a limited fortune-telling ability to find desirable encounters and anticipate monster attacks to avoid these. 
  • A two-player co-op mode to share your survival stories with a friend. 

We look forward to sharing more information about the expansion as its development continues! 

Character Stories 

Now that we have finished with the monster stories – we can move on to learning more about the protagonists of Unbroken. Here are the first four of the eight character stories – enjoy!


A reminder that a full story archive (including the newly released ones) can be found here

Soundtrack Progress

The soundtrack for the game is really coming together. Jon, the Golden Bell composer has been doing an amazing job on it. The original plan was to have a 20 minute score, but after Jon had spent some time with the Golden Bell team, they decided to increase the length of the musical piece to 30 minutes to ensure it matches the game duration. 

The Directors of the Score (Marc, Rachel, and Rob) had worked with Jon on choosing the types of Encounters that would make an appearance through sound design, then settled on a consistent battle theme that would progress in intensity through the levels. It had to be a memorable melody that wouldn’t get old with multiple plays and it is still being filled out with additional instruments. 

They still have a lot of work they want to put into the final piece to make sure it’s as good as it can be! There is still some work to be done (including mixing, mastering and additional sound design), but you can listen to the updated sample here (it`s a chunky 87MB .wav file).

Next Steps 

We continue to focus our efforts on starting production as soon as possible! We will aim to provide our next update when the manufacturing starts to keep you posted on the progress. This will happen in the second week of October. It will feature news on the production front, more information on the upgrades the game received, options to pre-order additional copies of the game and more character stories.  

In the meantime – myself and the Golden Bell team welcome any thoughts and comments you might have – we are here to answer any questions as we work to get Unbroken to you. Thank you for your support, engagement and being a part of this project.

Please also look out for Golden Bell at New York Comic Con next week Oct 4-7! They will have an awesome booth at #937 and will be showcasing the newest sample of Unbroken in all its glory! Here is a picture of their booth at their last convention so you know what to look out for!

I am also very excited to tell you about another campaign that focuses on an artist whose work I deeply admire. Lunarbaboon creates comics that address the toughest, most complex life issues with disarming simplicity and sincerity. The folks at Golden Bell have collaborated with Chris “Lunarbaboon” Grady on Parenting is Easy - a Kickstarter campaign that features a board game, books, toys and more. It launched today and I welcome you to check it out and consider supporting it. It’s more of a casual family game that follows many of the themes from Chris’ work on his excellent comic. Thanks again everyone!

Digital Sample, Production Timelines, Poster Preview and the final Monster Stories
9 months ago – Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 10:42:30 PM

Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!

Another update to keep you informed on our work to bring Unbroken to you in top shape.

Following the release of the Print and Play in July we had a blast reading about the backers’ experience with the game – including positive reviews, appearances in geeklists and discussions in the Unbroken Facebook Group. So grateful to everyone who shared their excitement and took the time to craft a PnP copy – please keep it coming! Don’t forget to share your game results through this form! (A reminder that if for any reason you are unable to access your Print and Play - please message me and I'll help resolve the issue).

Speaking of updates – the Tabletop Simulator module (available for free on Steam) has also been updated with the latest cards and is available to all those who want to take the game for a spin.

Pre-production sample

But the big news we have to share with you today is a first look at the pre-production copy (also known as the “digital sample”) of Unbroken that folks at Golden Bell received from the factory earlier this week!

The box contains lots of solo goodness!
The box contains lots of solo goodness!
The custom die turned out amazing
The custom die turned out amazing
Dual-layered tracker boards to keep cubes in place
Dual-layered tracker boards to keep cubes in place
Unbroken in all its glory
Unbroken in all its glory

We think it looks amazing and the Golden Bell team is now going over every little detail to make sure it’s perfect before we start the mass production. I will be receiving the sample towards the end of August and will aim to record a playthrough to share with backers using these awesome-looking components.  

Marc and Rob from Golden Bell recorded an unboxing video of the sample that you are welcome to check out here.  

You will note a couple of things about the sample – first – we chose to not use individual “slots” for the double-layered boards and used longer indented rows instead. This was done because during testing picking up the cubes and putting these into a new slot was an annoyingly fiddly process and sliding them within a longer indent felt much more natural. The boards are still very much dual-layered and should prevent the cubes from sliding on the trackers by accident.  

By popular backer demand we have also decided to have the tracking cubes in two colors so that the red ones would be used for wound / armor tracking and the cleaner blues would be used to keep track of all other resources. The blue tokens provided a much clearer contrast against the dark background and so it makes sense to use these for majority of the resources.

Production Update  

The Golden Bell team is applying some final enhancements to the game materials (including adding new unique art to the Encounter cards to minimize duplicate use of the same assets - a preview will feature it in an upcoming update). Once that is done we will be ready to begin the mass production of the game – this will happen in early September, no later than Sep 15.  

The production is estimated to take 7-8 weeks and the first batch of the games should be ready by mid October. We will keep the backers informed on the progress of the production and the next update will include information about the planned process and timelines for shipping of the rewards. We are very excited to move one step closer to getting the games in backer’s hands!

Monster Stories Wrap-up 

Here are the final three monster stories providing the perspectives for some of the most dangerous ladies that you’re likely to meet in the caverns. With each story that we have released we tried to expand and build out the world in which Unbroken takes place – hope you have enjoyed these!

A reminder that the full monster story archive can be found here. With the monster stories completed, our attention turns to the protagonists of Unbroken! Starting with the next update we will release the stories detailing the backgrounds and motivations of the adventurers who comprised the doomed expedition.

Unbroken Poster Preview

We also wanted to share a first look at the poster that will come with some of the rewards. Measuring 11x17 “, it highlights the awesome look of the monsters and characters of the game and should serve as a fitting decoration for the walls of our backers (click on the image for full size).

Next Steps  

Now that we have closed the BackerKit, our focus shifts entirely to the production. The next update, coming your way in mid-September will contain information about the progress on the production run, a preview of the extra card art and the soundtrack as well as the translation to other languages and the plans for getting the games to you! 

In the meantime – please do not hesitate to contact myself (through KS messages or altema.games@gmail.com) or Golden Bell team (at support@playunbroken.com) for any support or questions you may have about the game. Play some awesome games and thank you again for being a part of this amazing project!