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Cretaceous Rails

Created by Spielcraft Games

A medium-weight euro game for 1-4 players. Build a rail and resort empire in the Cretaceous era.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

BackerKit surveys are coming!
3 months ago – Fri, Nov 17, 2023 at 05:04:54 AM

Hi everyone,

I hope you've had a great few weeks since we last spoke!

Backerkit Surveys

Soon, you’ll receive an email from us with a special link to your BackerKit survey. In it, you'll provide your shipping address and pay for shipping, as well as optionally select add-ons to your pledge. It’s important to respond to your survey since we need this information to fulfill your rewards.

You don’t need to create a BackerKit account to fill out your survey. When you receive the email with the survey, click the survey link to respond. Answer the questions about your reward preferences, provide shipping information, and purchase add-on items if you like. You don’t have access to this survey link yet, but it will be available soon via email!

Some of you will receive your survey today, and some will receive it early next week. Stay on the lookout for the email!

After you respond to your survey, you can go back later and change your responses at any time before we close the surveys and get our final counts. The plan is to have surveys complete by February so we can place the manufacturing order at that time. We will provide an update to notify you when the surveys are about to close.

If you need to review your information or pledge status, you can return to your survey by clicking the link in your survey email or requesting your survey link under "Lost your survey?" on our BackerKit project page at https://cretaceousrails.backerkit.com.

If you used your Facebook credentials to log in to your account, the BackerKit survey is sent to the email address you use for your Facebook account. If you have another email address that you prefer to use, please contact support at https://cretaceousrails.backerkit.com/faq#contact-us.

Updates to Artwork

Since we have a few months before we place the final manufacturing order, we're using that time to make some improvements to the game's artwork. Nothing major, but just improvements here and there to the details. Here's a preview of the updated background for the action selection tiles:

Let us know what you think in the comments!

Thank you,

Alex Wolf

Thank you for making Cretaceous Rails a reality.
4 months ago – Tue, Oct 24, 2023 at 10:46:57 PM

We cannot express how grateful we are that you have put your trust in us to create excellent gaming experiences for you, and we cannot wait to deliver! It's amazing to see over 1100 people so close to playing Cretaceous Rails. We've spent countless hours designing, playtesting, developing, creating artwork, setting up manufacturing and shipping plans, and just overall making Cretaceous Rails the best game it can possibly be, and funding on Kickstarter is a huge milestone on the way to getting this game to your table. This game could not exist without you.

Ann, Graham, and I simply cannot wait for you to play this game.

I'll post updates periodically as things come together. Stay on the lookout for an update soon when the pledge manager opens. In the pledge manager, you'll be able to add your shipping information, pay for shipping, add items to your pledge, and upgrade your pledge tier.

Make sure to join the Cretaceous Rails community on Facebook if you haven't already. That'll be a great place to connect with other players and be part of the conversation.

I am personally dedicated to making sure you are 100% satisfied with your experience, so never hesitate to reach out if you ever need anything. The best way to reach me is via email at [email protected].

Thank you once again.

Alex, on behalf of Ann, Graham, and myself

6 Days To Go and Dice Tower Playthrough
4 months ago – Wed, Oct 18, 2023 at 06:56:41 AM

Hi everyone,

We hope you've been well. We only have 6 days to go, and we are moving into these final days with a ton of support thanks to you! We really can't thank you enough for your backing, since without you, Cretaceous Rails would be nothing more than a dream. We're thanking you now, and we think a lot of gamers are going to owe you a debt of gratitude later when they get to enjoy Cretaceous Rails thanks to you!

We traveled to Florida last week to visit the Dice Tower and have Tom Vasel, Zee Garcia, and Chris Yi play the game. Some of you have already watched it, but for those of you who haven't, here's the video:

As soon as the cameras stopped rolling, Tom turned to me, looked me in the eyes and said, "I love it." Zee and Chris immediately followed that up with their own praise. All 3 of them absolutely loved the experience, and had amazing things to say about the action selection grid, the 3-level tableau building, and the interesting choices throughout the game. Not to mention the components. 

"Cretaceous Rails is a fantastic game of tough choices, entertaining engine-building choices, and dinosaurs!  I can't wait to play it again." --Tom Vasel

We were of course thrilled that they liked the game so much, but most of all, we're looking forward to all of you enjoying the game on your own tables. We're really proud of the work that we've put into this game, and it will all pay off once it hits your tables.

Once again, thank you for being a part of the creation of Cretaceous Rails. We couldn't do it without you.

Sincerely,

Alex (game development and publishing), Ann (game design), and Graham (art, sculpting, graphic design)

Developer Diary: Resort Cards, and Live Playthrough with Tom Vasel next Friday!
5 months ago – Fri, Oct 06, 2023 at 09:01:11 AM

Hi everyone,

Get excited, because next week Alex will be playing Cretaceous Rails with Tom Vasel in a live playthrough on Youtube, for all of you who want to see a full playthrough. It will start at 10am EDT on Friday, October 13th, and I will share a link when I have one to share.

Over the next few updates, I want to share a bit more about the process of creating Cretaceous Rails. I feel that it's appropriate since your involvement as a backer of this Kickstarter really makes you a part of the process too. 

Ann Journey and I agreed to have Spielcraft Games publish Cretaceous Rails in May of 2021. As part of that agreement, I would be responsible for playtesting and developing the game from that point on, so that is how I spent much of my time for the past couple of years. Ann posted a designer diary on Boardgamegeek.com about two weeks ago, and my developer diary is meant as a companion piece to that. I aim to elucidate to some degree the process that goes into creating a game like Cretaceous Rails, for those of you who might be interested.

Part 1: Resort Cards

One thing I really loved about Cretaceous Rails in one of its early forms was the tension created by the combination of the card draw action, the build action (which lets you play cards), and the 3-level tableau. As a player, I would want to draw cards a few times before taking a build action so I could build a lot of cards at once, but that would lead to spending more turns without the benefits of the cards. It also meant that the cards would score fewer victory points at the end of the game (because at that stage, the 3 levels only impacted end game scoring by scoring a flat victory point value per card on each level, but they didn’t impact abilities). As a player, it was difficult to decide how to balance action efficiency with maximizing usage of card abilities and end game scoring.

Although I loved the tension that was there, I wanted more of it, so after a lot of playtesting, including one test in particular with game designer Floyd Pretz, the idea to apply the 3 level bonuses to the abilities instead of scoring was born. This would make the decision of when to play cards even more interesting since you’d have to balance getting the most out of the build action (very important since you only have 32 actions throughout the entire game) with getting access to abilities early, and with the potential to get really excitingly powerful abilities by foregoing some action efficiency and by waiting a bit longer to get access to those abilities on level 3. The tension is exacerbated even more by the fact that you can’t play every card on level 3. You have to choose the cards that will go below those cards too, but you definitely want to maximize the power of every card.

The other major change I made to the resort cards was to combine scoring cards with ability cards by adding a scoring condition to the bottom of every ability card. This adds even more tension to every decision since the cards’ abilities are designed to help with actions that are not closely related to their scoring conditions. A card that helps you capture dinosaurs may help you score your jungle tokens, but it won’t increase your score for capturing dinosaurs.

It took a lot of playtesting and iterating over the past couple of years to get the resort cards to the point where they are right now, and I am very happy with where they ended up. I think you will really enjoy the interesting decisions that they pose throughout the game, and the way that they create evolving incentives from the beginning of the game to the end. I think the resort cards are just one of many aspects that you will love about Cretaceous Rails.

I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but I can't thank you enough for backing this project and helping to make Cretaceous Rails happen. 

Alex Wolf

Solo Playthrough and German Rule Book
5 months ago – Tue, Oct 03, 2023 at 11:39:17 AM

Hi everyone!

I hope you're having a wonderful week!

For those of you waiting patiently for a solo playthrough, today is your lucky day! I sat down and played against Cybersaur Excursions yesterday with a prototype copy, and you can watch the action here:

https://youtu.be/vD93r6rAI4w

The German rule book is coming along nicely, however it still needs some work. The translation takes up more space than the English text, so we need to go through and reformat in order to fit all of the German text nicely. It also needs a few edits. You can check out the work in progress here:

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/0gooq4y9bqlxisimwwnya/h?rlkey=0el2hqyuv5o4ro9khzqh0rlec&dl=0

Looking forward to sharing another very exciting video with you next week too! 

Thanks again for all of your support.

Alex