Tabletop games for a video game generation
Gameplay exists between discovery and mastery.
To bring you that vision, we build games with endless replayability and worlds with extensive lore.
DESIGN — DEVELOPMENT — DISCOVERY
Games built for creative players.
When you sit down to play a game, your play becomes an expression of your own style and preferences. We endeavor to create games with huge variety, so that each player can find their own perfect strategy.
Furthermore, most of our games are easily extensible, so that fans in our community can continue to create their own new content and reinvent the game.
Games that grow us and grow with us.
At Level 99 Games, we are always working to learn and to improve. Our games embody this ideal as well—each one is designed with high replay and variety in mind, so that you'll learn something new each time you sit down to play.
We believe that good sportsmanship is a fundamental virtue and that healthy competition can break down barriers and help each of us achieve our full potential.
Games that reveal new depths, again and again.
We strive to create games that will not only survive ten, fifty, or a hundred plays, but games that will only reveal their true depth after repeated plays.
Each game is a new world to explore, and the rabbit hole will take you as far as you dare to follow it. We build these worlds to span multiple games, so that there's always a new frontier to explore and a new secret to unravel.
Level 99 Games develops most of our games in-house. We design and playtest games relentlessly, until all of our team members are agreed that we want to produce and sell a specific title that we've played. At that point, we move our prototype into the Design phase. We call this Greenlighting.
Design encompasses both game design (the gameplay and rules) but also product design (that is, what will go into the box and how it will be presented, launched, and marketed). We also do financial planning during this stage.
Before art begins, we build a style guide that informs our team and our artist partners of the look we want for a game.
Sometimes this will be drawn from other media, and sometimes it will be based upon our own past productions. Usually, this is a combination of the two.
3b. Visual Design
Visual Design is also a big part of our style guide. Usually this happens in conjunction with the artwork creation, so that the visual design director can act as an art director as well.
In this stage, we determine the box design, card layouts, component presentation, and more!
Development is where we finalize the game's database, rulebook, language templating, and balance. This portion of the project is usually carried out by our development teams with the assistance of the Level 99 Games online community, though foundations of testing have already been done in the Concept and Design stages.
4. Pre-Press & Proofing (2-6 weeks*)
This step is where we prepare for press. The project lead and any other editors review the project for errors of all types. Samples are ordered, and the product is reviewed in as near-final a state as possible before production begins.
* For licensed products, this also includes a final review by the licensor, which can add several more weeks to the process.
5. Production (6-10 weeks)
In this stage, the factory produces the game. Most of our projects are produced overseas, so we use videos and photographs to ensure that things are coming together correctly. At the end of production, we receive a Factory First, which is the first assembled mass-production copy of a game. Once that's approved, assembly is carried out and the project is completed.
6. Ocean Freight (2-5 weeks*)
Even when a game is finished, it still needs to be shipped. For Kickstarter projects, we often book freight to multiple destinations around the world. Each of these destinations has their own manifest of goods to receive, and we often create special cartoning with extra padding to ensure that games can be shipped easily through local mail services.
* Depending on port congestion, distance to the destination port, and the availability of shipping containers, this can sometimes take longer—especially around major holidays.
7. Fulfillment (2-4 weeks)
Once the games are unloaded from boats and clear customs, they are trucked or shipped via rail to fulfillment centers. These centers are in charge of warehousing the games, then processing and shipping out individual orders or kickstarter pledges.
Fulfillment is usually quick, once everything is in order. However, many fulfillment centers have queues of projects that they have to process in order. Thus, this step can take a while.