This time last year I began a personal project to re-illustrate GMT's Battle Line, designed by Reiner Knizia. I had no real plan for the art except as an experiment in modernising and beautifying a great but neglected classic, for my on interest and satisfaction.As my work progressed I and I showed it to people I started to wonder if there was a way I could use the art. It was looking great and it would be such a shame to waste it. I approached GMT but they are not a publisher that values aesthetics and were not keen on spending the money to update their version.
I had also been posting progress reports on Board Game Geek, the hub for analogue gaming news and information. One day I received and message via this site from the game designers assistant. In short Reiner Knizia offered me the opportunity to acquire a limited license to Battle Line. This was a rare and exciting opportunity. I was not sure what to do though. I was an illustrator and graphic designer not a producer or publisher. I know all about print but production and distribution was a whole other world.
After a period of procrastination I decided I would make a leap of faith. It is not every day such opportunities arrive and it would be a learning adventure.
After a somewhat steep learning curve in production and marketing I released a 100 copy limited edition in January of 2017. The edition sold out in 3 days, made a bit of money and taught me a whole lot of new skills. Six months later following a lot of requests from the people who missed out I am now about to publish a second and final edition. This time of 400 copies through my company Roland's Revenge Games. The quality of the production is going to be improved and equally the risk is higher. I am very proud of the product though and certain it will do well. It has already sold 200 copies in 4 days.
This process has been wonderful and I'm sure that I am a better illustrator for it. Understanding games development from another angle makes me an even better asset to new clients. With my own game Ruthless also coming to the market this year I am now a games illustrator, games designer and game publisher. I am looking forwards to further adventures in the games world.
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