Road to Kickstarter #03 - Casting The Shadow
Welcome to the 3rd installment of our Road to Kickstarter Newsletter series, where we give you a weekly sneak peek into everything Project Gertrude! In this edition, Ryan unveils some exciting new lore about Yew and the Shadow Buddy, while the team spends time exploring some of the different product options we can potentially offer with this release. The whole team is hard at work at finalizing production decisions and gathering feedback from the community. Join us on this exciting journey as we prepare to launch our Kickstarter campaign, and be sure to let us know your feedback on the poll at the end!
The main character of all our journals is Yew. Yes, Yew! The planner has a Yew too. This Yew is a plucky lab assistant to Professor Mentor, equipped with the experimental wrist-mounted H.O.P.P.E.R. device that allows them to travel between alternate worlds. While our other Yews fit neatly into their respective story genres, we wanted a modern, everyday Yew for the planner to create contrast between them and the wild worlds they visit. No matter how strange the dimensions get, Yew is constant, steadfast, and determined to put order to the chaos around them.
Another character that shows up in all our journals in some form is the Shadow. In the past, the Shadow has represented self-doubt, negative thinking, and ever-present threats along your journey. For the planner, this is no different – the big enemy Shadow represents the forces of entropy that throw your life into whack. But I thought it’d be fun to have a good Shadow as well, and thus the Shadow Buddy was born! This is a kind-hearted, tiny Shadow that travels with Yew as a companion on their adventures. It often changes shape to fit the strange settings or helps Yew as a transforming utility pal. You could say it represents the value of spontaneity and that little bit of chaos that makes life more interesting. Or maybe I just wanted to draw a little black cartoon poofball following Yew around. I’ll let you decide.
Kyle & Nick, Operations / Product
This week, Nick and I spent a lot of our time talking about ancillary products to offer alongside the planner. This, a lot of times, can feel like a silly discussion because we can offer a breadth of products, and have offered items ranging from pens to plushies in the past. Therefore, we often get tied up not on the obvious products, but the craziest and most far fetched products we could possibly ever create in order to instill the belief inside of a hero that they can and will conquer all of the obstacles on their quest.
When we are designing products for heroes, there are a ton of considerations that we make. Perhaps, the most important factor we take into account is how the 5-10 minutes using these products will make someone feel. Life can be chaotic and our goal, amidst the madness, is to offer a quiet, soothing, and heroic moment everyday for a hero to gather their thoughts and prepare to conquer all that the day holds.
With that in mind, as we talk through the different items we will offer with this Kickstarter, we are consulting with that moment and making sure whatever the product is, it makes that 5-10 minutes a restful practice that invigorates heroes to live out their story.
We had such a blast recently sitting down with our loyal Guidemates in TheHerosGuild.co on a focus group call to get their feedback on all things Gertrude. Everything from page layout and orientation, to some of the intricacies of our epic multiverse inspired meta-story & setting. Up to this point, we’ve been building this planner with our Guildmates and for our Guildmates, but as the Kickstarter launch looms closer - it’s time to start gathering some feedback from the larger Hero’s Journal community.
To ensure an even more timely fulfillment than previous Kickstarter campaigns we’ve conquered, we want to start production on these babies as soon as possible. That means finalizing some of our toughest final production and design decisions like ideal book bindings, page sizes, and much more.
Not yet part of TheHerosGuild.co, but still want to make sure your voice gets heard ahead of planner production? Let us know your feedback on the poll below!