John Company: Second Edition

Created by Cole Wehrle

John Company late pledges have closed. John Company will have limited availability in Q3 2022. Sign up for our mailing list if you want to be notified when John Company is back in stock. Pax Pamir and metal coins available on wehrlegig.com.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Cards Charging, Design Lock, Solo Testing, and Samples Soon!
12 months ago – Wed, Aug 11, 2021 at 06:55:53 PM

Hello everyone,

We've got quite a bit to say today, so let's get right into the heart of things.

Cards Charging

First off, we are processing payments for Backerkit balances starting on August 12th for anyone with Pax Pamir items that plan to be delivered in 2021. Backers who opted for split shipments of items from both games will have their full Backerkit balance charged as their Pax Pamir items are planned to be shipped later this year.  Backers receiving only John Company or Pax Pamir and John Company items in one shipment in 2022 will not have their cards processed until early Nov (Date TBA).

If you want to review your pledge to make sure you know how much exactly is going to be charged, you're welcome to revisit your Backerkit survey email for John Company. If you cannot find your survey link, you can get a survey link emailed to you here

After we process payments for all 2021 deliveries, we will be sending address confirmation emails depending on your region over the next 2 months. For 2022 deliveries of John Company, we will be sending out address confirmation emails in Jan 2022.

Production and Freight

The 3rd printing of Pax Pamir is nearly finished with production and soon will be put on pallets and shipped off to fulfillment centers all over the world. There are many bench marks in the production and freight process to cross, and we were thrilled to have crossed the mass production copy approval and confirmed shipping plan this week. Things are moving forward and these games will be making their journey in the coming weeks.

As many of you may know, it is difficult, expensive, and slow to move things around the world right now. There continue to be various shortages and delays at nearly every step of the international freight process which makes getting games from our manufacturer to your door a long, arduous process. We are still optimistic that many copies of Pax Pamir and coins will be shipped in October, as we initially estimated, but there will very realistically be pledges that will not ship until November.  There are many factors that are out of our control, but I ask for your patience and understanding as we move forward with our shipping strategy. 


Design Lock, Solo Testing, and Samples Soon 

I'm happy to report that the design for the game is nearly finished and we are tying up just a few small balances. A lot of these balances have to do with the long scenario and a few small points relating to the deregulated game. I'm also doing by best to put the rules through their paces. With a little luck, by the end of this month everything will be ready to send to our editors and proofreaders for a final pass. Around the same time, we'll be posting an update to the Kickstarter with all of the final assets and a fresh TTS kit so that anyone who wants to explore the game can. We'll also be putting together a new teaching video. 

Now that the game is more-or-less finished, Drew and I have shifted our efforts to getting the solo game ready for testing. If you're interested in joining the solo test, you can find the necessary links over on our Discord. Despite not being solo players, we are both quite taken with Ricky's work on the bot. 

In the coming weeks we'll be posting a full length update about how the bot works. We'll also be getting some factory samples for many of the components within the next couple of weeks. So expect a big update with a lot of pictures soon! 

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Alright, that's it for us. I hope you are all doing well. Thanks again for all of your support. I cannot wait for you to all see what we've been working on.

New Steam Mod Posted and a List of Development Changes
about 1 year ago – Sun, Jul 04, 2021 at 12:50:41 AM

Hello everyone,

When we launched the Kickstarter a few months ago, I branched the game internally so that we could continue working on the game. I'm happy to report that I have now merged our development branch with the public mod that can be found on the Steam Workshop here.

As I mentioned in the last update, the game is now very close to being done. There's still some small adjustments that need to be made to some of the various card powers and the full campaign game may get a little more attention. But from here on out my attentions turn primarily to getting the production and graphics ready for the factory while polishing up Ricky's wonderful solo mode. I expect this process will take around two months to complete. Once that's done, we'll start moving the game through the prepress process and get things into production.

In today's update, I want to offer a somewhat detailed accounting of the various changes that have been made to the design over the past three months.  If you don't care to get into the weeds but still want to hear about the design, don't worry! I'll also probably be doing a livestream sometime in the next couple of weeks to take any questions you might have. Rest assured that the game has largely held its shape from the version we launched with the Kickstarter. On balance, these changes have widened the game's strategic space and really allowed us to flesh out the various scenarios. 

Alright, let's take a look at some highlights:

From Prestige to Power

Prestige is now called "power" and is more carefully themed to represent real political/social influence. The amount of victory points given for having the most power is now keyed to the game turn. The penalty for having the least power has been removed. 

Prestige Cards (Enterprises and Spouses)

Enterprises now function like deeds and are affected by policies. Spouses are now worth straight victory points but each comes with a gameplay restriction that will bind your for the rest of the game. Caveat Emptor! 

Commander Rules (Loot and Power)

The rules for dividing loot have gone through so many iterations over the past year. Thankfully, I finally found a solution that I liked. It's a return to a very old style of loot division but without the penny negotiations. Commanders also no longer have a stable power and instead gain power based on what they accomplish in defense and offense during their tenure.  

Revised Special Officers (Governors, etc)

The governors and various special offices have been reworked to have more impact on the severity of rebellions and provide the Company with new strategies for staying afloat. This allowed me to put in a lot of historical detail, including the role of Indian shipbuilding in sustaining the Company's commercial power. 

Other special offices were adjusted as well, including a big revision to both how China is opened and a new measure of how lucrative the opium trade is.

Private Firms

Tons of work has been invested into the deregulated game. Private firms now compete more directly with the company and with each other. Their scoring and valuation have been overhauled and their fundraising has been better integrated into the game.

Policy Track, Laws, and Window Taxes

The Policy track has been adjusted a little and many laws have been sharpened. In addition, some laws now provide players with bonus family actions for the remainder of the game which fixes some of the game's action economy problems. In addition, there's now a new policy icon, the "Window Tax" which triggers a special tax that has to be paid by those with lots of prizes and luxuries. 

Adjusted Family Action

The number of children no longer scales depending on player count. Instead, players get a single family action, but if you take the same family action as you took the previous turn, you can take it twice. This creates a little more strategic inertia and some lovely opportunity costs.  The child as ward promise has been replaced by the vote promise.

Revamped Setup Cards

The setup system has been reworked to better capture the differences between the scenarios. 


There have been lots of other little changes too, including lots of little balances to the various numbers and a lot of obvious clean up. If you're interested in learning more, I suggest checking out the rules which can be found on the game's Steam Workshop page. From here on out, I'll be piping all development changes directly through the Workshop mod so players should always have access to the most recent iteration of the game. I'll do my best to detail any changes to the design or components in the Steam Wokrshop changelog as well as on the Wehrlegig Discord. 


Alright, that's all I have for you today. Take care everyone! 

Work Continues and Pledge Lock!
about 1 year ago – Tue, Jun 22, 2021 at 01:05:40 AM

Hello everyone,

We've got a lot to talk about today, so let's get right to it! 


Design and Development Progress

At least once during each project, Drew comes to Saint Paul for a long stay with me and my family. During the day, he hung out with the staff at Leder games and helped me with the project I'm working on. But, during the evenings and weekends, we worked on John Company. 

Our primary goal was the synthesize the past few months of design and development work and do something like a final design review. We basically laid out the whole game and looked at the various changes we've made since the KS. In each case, we asked ourselves which changes were holding water and which needed attention. Then, once the review was done, we took the game through some serious testing.

I'm happy to report that generally the game is in great shape. All three of the main scenarios are working really well, and I'm so happy that we've been able to devote so much attention to the deregulated game. Going forward, there are basically two areas where we will be doing development: the long campaign game and further sharpening of the prestige cards/laws. In addition, we'll be trying to clean up and streamline a few of the fiddlier parts of the design. 

With most of  design and development close to finished, Drew and I will also be turning our attention to the solo game. Over the past several months, Ricky made a lot of progress, but we had him pause while we conducted our final design review. Now he is free to resume work and hopefully we'll have some solo work to share with you all.

I'm guessing it will take at least a week or two for me to clean up the files and prepare an update to the Steam Workshop version of the Tabletop Simulator mod. As soon as that's ready, I'll post an update and probably do a live stream where I talk about the changes to the design. Sometime after that I'll be sure to do an updated teaching video as well. 

John Company Production Progress

Drew and I made it a point to playtest every game of John Company over the past week with a physical prototype. This was critical because the vast majority of testing we've done has been digital, and we want to make sure the game works as a physical object. 

As you can see, we've even gotten some of the resin and metal samples from the factory. We'll be posting a longer update in the future once the design process is a little closer to complete detailing all of the behind the scenes work it's taken to get them working right. We're running into a few small problems getting the piece shape totally right, but they are moving along. 

We're also starting to get art assets in from our artists. This is letting us finally decide on some critical things like the player colors and move us closer to beginning production of the game's physical pieces. 

The process here is pretty simple but it takes time. Our artist suggested a palette and gave us some pantone formulas for those colors. We then when through those colors and made a bunch of small alterations to improve readability. Once we had our adjusted colors, I put them through a bunch of color blindness filters to make sure nothing will cause any trouble. With that work done, I'm in the process of putting together a spec sheet and sending it off to the factory. They will make physical samples in their workshop and then send them back to me. This physical sample is really important, because sometimes the painting process can cause shifts in color depending on the material. The physical samples will also let me more easily test the game in different light conditions.

John Company Coins

Many of you have asked about our progress on the game's metal coins, which we're offerings as an add-on like Pamir's. We've only recently finalized the general design and the 3d sculpting is in progress. Early on, we decided we wanted to draw from historical coins for inspiration. This has proved quite challenging, as the coins we wanted to use have difficult designs. The Pamir coin was quite simple by comparison because the 3d work could be accomplished by simply extruding the design and applying bevels where they were needed. The John Company coins are more complicated and require the work of an artist and a sculptor to get right.

But, they are going to be worth it. We've just started getting preliminary sculpts back and I think these coins are going to be stunning. As soon as we get a few more sculpts I'll be posting a longer update about the coins, but for the meantime, check out our  £10 piece:

Note that these coins will be in a few colors/washes depending on denomination (this one will probably be gold). The black/white design is just to help visualize the design in 2d.

 Pax Pamir Production 

The third printing of Pamir well underway. Once it finishes we'll join the other game companies trying hard to find passage across the Pacific. If you follow board games closely, you'll already know that this process has never been more complicated than it is right now. Drew and I have set aside funds to make sure that we have ample room to make sure these games can get to their fulfillment centers, but we also want to be clear that there will likely be some delays here. The size and scope of those delays is an open question, and we will certainly keep you all posted. We are hoping to start fulfilling Pax Pamir items in Asia in early Sept and continue rolling out shipping to Backers through November. 


Backerkit and Important Dates 

Now some exciting news with our Pledge Manager Backerkit! You should have received your Backerkit Pledge Manager Survey via Email and completed it with your item selection and delivery address. If you have not completed it, please search your Kickstarter-associated email for the Backerkit survey or send a message to support@wehrlegig.com and we can help you out.  Thank you to everyone that has completed their Backerkit surveys already, but we don't quite have them all filled out yet!

In order for us to prepare for John Company and get Pax Pamir ready to ship, we will be moving to the next stage of our timeline.  All Pledges will be locked on July 8th. Having your pledge locked means your items you've pledged for cannot be changed. It does not mean that your card will be processed or your delivery address is locked. This is an important date so we can start preparing for the freight shipment to regional shipping hubs! This also means that July 8th will be the last day to late-pledge for Pax Pamir as well!

The next important date is when we start processing payments. Because Pax Pamir will be ready to ship sooner than John Company, any Backerkit Pledge with Pax Pamir items and will have payment processed on August 12th. If you have a balance in Backerkit, and you have Pax Pamir pledged, your card will be charged by Backerkit! We will start shipping to fulfillment centers in August, so we will also start sending out address confirmations starting Aug 12th too.

If you are only pledging for John Company, your pledge will not be processed until later this year. We plan on processing John Company payments in early Nov, once we are complete with production and ready to ship. If you would prefer your Backerkit balance to be processed immediately for John Company, send us a support email.

Again, if you have any issues with your pledge, payment processing, or whatever it may be, send a message to support@wehrlegig.com and we can help you sort it out.


Thanks again for all your support,

Cole + Drew

Pledge manager surveys are rolling out!
about 1 year ago – Thu, May 13, 2021 at 01:19:34 AM

Hi all.


Exciting news! After delaying a few days, we have started sending out Backerkit pledge manager surveys. These Backerkit emails will be rolling out over the next day or so, so please be patient for your email to arrive.  Please reach out to support@wehrlegig.com if you have not received your email by Thursday. Backerkit surveys are sent to the email associated with your Kickstarter account.


These Backerkit emails are really important! We use the Backerkit pledge manager platform to keep track of backer addresses and organize rewards, so you will know exactly what to expect from your pledge. You will be asked a few questions, prompted to make a selection of rewards (some rewards will already be in "your cart", add your shipping information, and confirm your pledge.


If you have received your Backerkit email, please fill it out at your earliest convince. Even if your address is going to change, or if you are undecided if you want to pick up a metal coins add-on, it helps us to have as many completed surveys as possible early on to know roughly how to split the print runs among different international fulfillment hubs! The rest of the emails will be sent over the next 24-48 hours, so keep an eye out.


As I mentioned in Update #9, we're going to lock pledges containing Pax Pamir on July 1st. We might push that back a couple weeks to accommodate more backers.  We plan on locking John Company Pledges at a later date.


Because we are running two separate print runs, our games will be manufactured and freighted to our shipping centers at different times. Pax Pamir will be ready to ship to Backers as early as September/October, and John Company will be ready by early 2022. As our default shipping option, all rewards are sent in one package. If you are planning to get both games, or any combination of rewards from both print runs, you might be curious about our split shipment add-on.


Split Shipments

If you are planning to pick up both John Company and Pax Pamir items, you have another shipping option listed as an Add-on in Backerkit. The default option for backers getting rewards from both print runs to receive them in one package when John Company ships in 2022. If you want your Pax Pamir rewards before your copy of John Company arrives, you'll need to select a Split Shipment add-on in Backerkit. 


There are two split shipment options. Though both are listed as $0.00, they will affect your Shipping cost based on your order size and shipping region when selected. For example: if you pledged for x1 John Company and x1 Pax Pamir, you can complete your Backekit survey without any additional add-ons and receive both games in 2022 OR you can select "Split Shipment Standard" to receive Pax Pamir as soon as it is ready as a separate shipment. 


The "Split Shipment - Small Rewards" add-on is only for backers that want Pax Pamir coins or sleeves to ship early, otherwise they will be packed and shipped with their John Company pledge.  If backers are picking up Pax Pamir, John Company, and small add-ons, "Split Shipment - Standard" covers the added cost of the small rewards.


If you want to split your pledge, select only one of these split shipment add-ons (either Standard or Small Rewards). Again, these split shipment options are only applicable for backers that have pledged/added both Pax Pamir rewards and John Company.


Questions?

If something is off about your pledge or you are confused about the add-ons, please feel free to reach out! If you think your question will help other, please comment below or on the project page. If you have a specific question about your pledge that requires special attention, send an email to support@wehrlegig.com and we'll be happy to help you there.


I'm thrilled we're moving on to this stage of the campaign. Thanks as always for all the support and patience you continue to give to our projects. Cole will be back for another update later this month about development updates and more prototype samples!


Drew

Development Update
over 1 year ago – Mon, May 03, 2021 at 02:07:00 AM

Dear backers,

A few updates ago, I mentioned that the success of this campaign allowed me to spend the better part of the past month advancing the game's development. In more normal circumstances, most of my extra time would have been spent trying to direct as much attention to the campaign as possible. Thankfully, that extra effort wasn't needed, and I was able to continue working on the game more-or-less without interruption.

Today, I'm happy to show you the fruits of those labors. I have a fresh TTS mod, now hosted on the Steam Workshop. You can find the rules link in the mod's description on that page.

The game has now progressed to a place where it feels stable enough that I can fold the broader player base into the development branch of the game. I'll be doing the remainder of the game's development with this version, and will use the mod's workshop page to alert folks of alterations to the game. 

The version you had been playing was very similar to the cut that I send previewers a couple months ago. Over the course of those months, the game has had quite a bit of clean up. I'll add that development is rarely a straight line a few elements of play like the revised Court system have reverted back to something close to the version you already know. 

In general, the changes fall into a few categories. First, there were lots of small content and system adjustments. For instance, the Chairman now counts as a share and no longer requires the court to approve debt. The debt failure condition was also dropped and the standing system was overhauled to make it more sensitive to a wider range of circumstances. Lots of numbers got played around with. Second, the rules around some of the created offices like Governors and the Superintendent of Trade in China were overhauled which also altered how Rebellions are handled. Mostly these adjustments cut rules and streamlined a few processes. I also gave a lot of attention to the Private Firm games which is as robust as it's ever been. 

There's a good chance I'll do a development stream sometime soon (maybe even tonight?) to talk through all of the changes and take any questions folks might have. I'll also do a revised teaching video in a few weeks. 

Next Steps

From here, I'm going to be shifting gears slightly. I'm spending the majority of my attention from here on out on balancing the numbers, adjusting powers, and making sure the private firm game is harmonizing with the rest of the game. While that's going on, I'll be coordinating the final art requests and starting to give every game element a careful review. It's been nearly a year since I've updated the office cards, and it's about time they got a makeover. Also, we'll be getting production samples from the factory soon, and I'll be putting together files for the remaining samples (including the coins which will be getting their own proper update). 

My guess is that we'll have the design very close to locked by early June and should have all of the art done around that time as well. From there, I'll start doing usability studies and finalizing the game's physical production. 

Alright, that's it for now. Have fun everyone!