Hike! A card-drafting racing game with huskies

Created by SnowBoardGames

A fast 2-6 player game in which you assemble your husky sled and race through the snowy wilderness.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Hike! ❄️ July update with manufacturing info
18 days ago – Mon, Jul 25, 2022 at 03:22:09 AM

Hello everybody,

how are you all doing? It's time for July monthly update! We think it's a pretty exciting one! 😄

🚚 We're expecting the delivery of Hike! base games next week

It's very exciting and a bit scary to know that a truck with several thousand Hike! board games will be on its way to us soon, but we are sooo looking forward to this! The space is ready and we have just received our very own hand pallet truck. These are the first of the components to be arriving, so they will have to sit in the warehouse for a while before we can start with the fulfilment, but it's great to have them coming anyway.

🧭 We have received and confirmed the mass production sample for the Compass first player token

We mentioned in June update that we are really happy with how the prototype of the token looks. And we are delighted to tell you that the mass production sample looks even better! It has a nice glossy finish, a much better resolution than the prototype, and the colours look absolutely stunning. We are including some photos though I am not sure you can really see the difference from the prototype with the resolution we can include in the newsletter.

Prototype (left) and mass production sample (right).
Mass production sample.
Glossy finish.

We have confirmed it with the manufacturer and the mass production is expected to be completed in August.

🎨 We are happy with the design for the expansion cards, so we're moving to production

Now this one has caused us quite a few sleepless nights, but we're finally happy with the design of the Trait cards for the Hike! Events and Traits Expansion. We have decided to use a gentle background with different coloured scarf patterns and wooden icons for each individual trait.

The underlying story is as follows: the Hike! base game has a young musher, dressed in neutral gray, that is always depicted from behind, and that represents all of the players. You can see them on the Care cards and Mentor cards. This musher has a blue hat with a distinct pattern. So we thought we would give this musher a scarf with a matching pattern. Each scarf has its own unique colour, and hidden in its waves, a unique ability that the musher gets when they put it on. These abilities are represented by symbols with wooden texture, so you can either imagine they are real objects, like pendants, or they can simply be traits, without substance, depicted by wooden symbols that go nice with the warmth of the scarf. Below are some examples of the cards, and we would love to hear what you think about them!

Trait cards design.

 We are making some final spellchecks over the weekend, and we plan to send the files to the manufacturer next week to order a prototype. We feel pretty awesome to have compleated the last of the design tasks for Hike! so our focus can now shift towards fulfilment.

So that's it from our end. We hope that you are well and that you are as excited about this update as we are. Let's keep our fingers crossed everything goes smoothly with the delivery, and we hope to have some photos ready for the next update! 😊

We wish you a great weekend!

Your SnowBoardGames team

June update with compass prototype
about 1 month ago – Thu, Jun 30, 2022 at 03:38:01 PM

Hello everybody,

how are you all doing? I just checked what we put in the May update, so we don't repeat ourselves, and I can hardly believe only a month has passed, so much has happened in the meantime!

🧭 Prototype of the compass first player token

Let me start with the most exciting news - we have received the prototype of the Compass Firts Player Token and we absolutely love it. We think the graphics turned out great. We had to make a slight change to the design to respect the safety margins - the 'SnowBoardGames Hike! Kickstarter adventure' was too close to the edge. We tried some options and decided that it was too long to be included somewhere else on the compass, so we shortened it to SnowBoardGames, and placed it discretely closer to the center. At one hand, we felt sad we had to make this change, but on the other hand we know that respecting the safety margins is of topmost priority, so we think it is a good compromise.

The size and the thickness of the token feel right and it fits nicely in the hand. The diameter of the token is 7 cm/ 2.7 inch and the thickness is 0.8 cm/0.3 inch. We are also happy with the choice for the base colour. Below are some photos of how it looks, and we warmly invite you to let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Now this was the first prototype, intended to make sure the design and the sizes are okay. And they are. So next, we will be getting the mass production sample, with the print quality equal to the print quality of the series. We are expecting it before the end of July, and if everything is looks good, we go to mass production. Exciting, right?

📦 Hike! base games production

The production of the Hike! base games is well on the way, and the manufacturer is expecting to have the games ready to ship in the middle of July. We are already starting to prepare the space on our end - the amount of games we will be receiving is much larger than what we anticipated pre-Kickstarter, and we want to make sure we are 100 % ready when the games arrive!

🎨 Expansion design dilemmas

We are still working on the files for the expansion. The expansion includes two types of cards, event cards which give you more options during the race, and trait cards, which give mushers assymetric abilities. The event cards are finalised and we are happy with how they look. With the Kickstarter going better than expected, we have upgraded their design a bit and our graphic designer has created special icons to tell you when in the race (start of the race, morning, day, evening or night) each card can be used, and an icon for the 'take that' cards. We think the event cards look streamlined, and match the style of the base game nicely. 

Below you can see some examples, including the back design with paw prints. We think this back design complements the cards well - it is simple and low-key enough that it is obvious that it is a back side, while the prints going in all directions tell the story of a chaos, of dogs running around all over the place, and things happening. Which is exactly what the event cards are about.

(Yes, there are some typos, and some of the spacings are off. When we were preparing the image, we accidentally used the old version of the cards. It's fixed in the current version... I apologise for the mistake.)

Now the trait cards seem to be a bit more challenging. They include a name, an icon that is connected to the name, and some text explaining the card. We have all of the icons designed, but we are still struggling with the overall designs of the cards. Blaž and I had some ideas going into the Kickstarter, and we've upgraded them a bit when a graphic designer joined the team after the campaign, but we are still not 100 % happy. We have tried different layouts, frames and colour schemes, and we feel we are getting closer, but we just aren't there yet, as we all feel something is still off.

Now given the fact that the other components are so far along, we kind of feel a bit of panick on the inside, and we want to just finalise the files already. But we are fighting this impulse as we don't want to make something we aren't happy with just so we check the box that it's done. After all, it is still June, and given the expansion will be printed in Europe, we still have time. And we also have some ideas what else to try. One of them is being illustrated as we speak, and we hope it proves to be the right one.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Conventions and connecting

Since the May update, we have attended the Na Meji Nevidnega convention in Ljubljana. It was a very pleasant event and we are so happy we have had the privilege to meet everybody, from backers to fellow designers and board game enthusiasts (Hi to all of you reading this email! 👋) We hope to be part of many similar events in the future and have the chance to meet more of you in person!

We wish you a great rest of the week!

Your SnowBoardGames team

Hike! ❄️ May update with prototype photos
3 months ago – Tue, May 24, 2022 at 03:25:09 AM

Hello everybody,

we have some exciting news and photos for this update. 😊

❄️ We have received the prototype of the base game

And we are very happy to tell you that overall, we are really pleased with how it turned out. We love the new design of the landscape card fields and the unified design of the special cards. The dog names on the husky cards and on the box turned out pretty cool too! You can see the names on the box on our Instagram and Facebook profiles, and here are some photos of the components:

All of the components.
The new design of the landscape cards.
All of the husky cards have names on them and youngsters have a new edge design.
Each player gets a sled card. There are player aids on the back.
Single and double care cards with new icons and descriptions of what they do.

Having the chance to hold the prototype in our hands allowed us to catch some things that were less than optimal and correct them before mass production. The most important was that our design of the cardboard insert caused the box to be unbalanced (much heavier on one side, where the cards were stored), so we thought it made it very likely for people to drop the box as a consequence. Obviously, we don't want that, so we needed to do a redesign. The manufacturing company was really helpful with it, and we decided to go with a divider design that has asymmetric pockets and that will allow the weight to be distributed more evenly.

We have also added one additional backside variation. When we were preparing the files for the prototype, we decided to add one more unique card back design for the mentor cards and care cards that are not shuffled in the husky deck so it is easier to find them. We chose a pattern similar to the one on the musher's cap for the background, but when we saw it on the table, we felt it doesn't work that well with the rest of the design, so we decided to change it, and we replaced it with a circle of hands and paws for mass production, highlighting a team aspect that the mentor and care cards bring to the game.

The new 10 mm cubes and pawns are nice to use and we hope you like the colour scheme we chose. We wanted it to consist of colours that are already present in the game on other components. Each player also gets a sled card so the sled looks more complete on the table, and the sled cards include some player aids to make it easier to remember the available actions and what the special cards do.

The player colours were chosen from colours already present in the game.

The new box is slightly bigger than the Kickstarter preview prototypes, so there is enough room for the base game and expansion, and the first player token. And yes, the sleeved cards will fit too. 😊

We have already submitted all of the corrections, and the base game is approved for mass production which will start any day now. This is a major step, and it is starting to feel very real!

🧭 First player token and expansion

The print files for the first player token were successfully finished and approved and we are waiting for the prototype sample from the manufacturing company. We are very excited about this one and we can't wait to hold it in our hands!

We are still working on the files for the Events and Traits Expansion. This is taking us a bit longer than we anticipated pre-Kickstarter, mostly because the campaign's success has allowed us to make quite a few improvements to the art and design of the components.  The expansion will be made in Europe, so we are still on track for fulfilment in October, and we really believe that it is worth investing some extra resources into the expansion. We hope you agree with us!

🧙 We are going to be in Ljubljana this Saturday

We will be part of Slovenia's largest fantasy and board game convention Na meji nevidnega. If you want to play Hike!, see the new prototype, or just say hello, you can find us in the section Namizne bitke. We are looking forward to meeting you! 😊

We wish you a great weekend!

Your SnowBoardGames team

Hike! ❄️ April update with compass token design
4 months ago – Sat, Apr 16, 2022 at 02:27:01 AM

Hello everybody,

it's time for the April update! 👋 How are you doing? At our end, it is really busy, but we are very pleased to say that so far, everything is right on track. At the moment, all of our efforts are still focused on getting the game to production and we have 4 kind of exciting announcements:

🧭 Status of the manufacturing

  •  Hike! base game: This one is the furthest along. All of the files and components were approved and we ordered a prototype. We have changed some components during the Kickstarter campaign (including the box size, cardboard insert and the size of the wooden components), along with some new art and some additional cards, so we want to make sure that everything fits nicely and looks as intended before we go to mass production. And we just learned yesterday that the prototype is finished and on the way to us, so we are expecting to receive it next week. Which is pretty exciting! 😄
  •  Compass first player token: We are making some final tweaks to the pdf print files so that they meet the technical requirements of the manufacturing company and that the details are done in a way that will look best on the wooden token. Once the files are finished and approved, the manufacturing company will produce a prototype and send it to us, so we can check how everything looks before we approve it for mass production. Below, you can see the design we chose for the compass - we wanted it to have a timeless feel to it, and to include some elements that would make it unmistakable that it is part of the Hike! game.
  •  Hike! Events and Traits expansion: Our illustrator Paulina is finishing the last illustrations, and Marko, our graphic designer, is working on the print files of the components. And we are almost done transforming the rulebook from a collection of notes to a coherent document. Everything is coming together nicely.

🔖 Hike! will get a bar code

This one is maybe not so important for the Kickstarter itself, but it is pretty important for the future of Hike! We have registered to get an EAN code, so our games will receive their very own bar codes. And this is one of the key elements needed if we hope to get Hike! to retail. At the moment, there were some retailers who backed Hike! on Kickstarter, and a few more contacted us after the campaign, so we hope to see Hike! in some local game stores after the Kickstarter orders are fulfilled. And this kind of makes us feel like a real game publisher, and it feels pretty amazing.

📝 Hike! preorders and post-campaign pledge manager

We have set up the pre-order page on Backerkit, so if you know anyone who wants to get Hike! but missed the Kickstarter campaign, the preorders are available here.

As we mentioned during the Kickstarter, the prices are a bit higher than they were on Kickstarter, and the Compass first player token was Kickstarter exclusive, so it is not available anymore.

We have also received some questions about the post-campaign pledge manager. This will also be set up through Backerkit, and we will open it once we are close to the fulfilment. The shipping costs will be charged there, so we want to make sure that we get the correct shipping addresses right before we ship.

🌠 SnowBoardGames in the future

There is one more thing that makes us feel like a real game publisher - as of March, SnowBoardGames now has one part-time employee, so it has grown from a hobby project to something a bit more official. Me, Nika, a physicist, quit my job in the aerospace industry so that we could run the Kickstarter campaign. I always intended to return to physics after the Kickstarter, as it is a field that I truly love, but with the success of the campaign, the possibility opened for me to split my time between physics and board games. So now, my work week is divided into being a physicist and running numerical simulations 4 days a week, and being a game designer/project manager/marketing specialist/anything else that is needed at SnowBoardGames one day a week. Now, SnowBoardGames is still a team project, and my work tends to extend beyond just that one day, but it is a step. The first step to hopefully become a real board game publishing company and publish more games after Hike!

So I think this pretty much covers everything. Keep an eye out for our social media, for the prototype photos next week, and let us know what you think about the compass design in the comments! 😊

Greetings from Slovenia

Nika and the SnowBoardGames team

Hike! ❄️ First monthly update with numbers and graphic design
5 months ago – Fri, Mar 11, 2022 at 03:10:56 AM

Hello everybody,

we can hardly believe that a month has passed already since the end of the Kickstarter campaign! 😀 It has been a very busy time for us and we're in the last sprint before we go to production. We also have to note that we live in a very crazy time right now, especially here in Europe, and we hope everybody is safe and well. 💗 We are okay, and Hike! is progressing as scheduled for now.

So you're probably wondering what's been going on in the last month.

💬 As we mentioned, the team first took the weekend off to rest, and I must admit it felt pretty strange without all of the interaction with you, and the scrolling and refreshing. And when we came back, we needed a few days to catch up with everything that was put on hold during the campaign. That includes all of the emails and messages on social media - I believe we answered all of them, so if you wrote to us and didn't get a reply, please ping us again.

🃏 Kickstarter needed 14 days to process the funds and during this time, most of the issues with credit cards were resolved. Thank you everybody for being so diligent and working things out with the bank! In the end, around 60 pledges were dropped, and the final number of pledged items is

  • 3420 Hike! base games
  • 3007 Events and Traits expansions
  • 2996 Compass first player tokens

🌍 We are thrilled to announce that Hike! base game and expansion will be manufactured here in Europe, and the Compass first player token will be produced in China.

Graphic design upgrade

✂️ But before we place the final order, there was one more thing we wanted to do. Hike! was a hobby project, and while we worked with a wonderful artist for the illustrations, we did most of the graphic design ourselves, so we felt this was an area that had a lot of room for improvement.

So we decided on the elements that we wanted to upgrade, made some iterations ourselves, and then reached out to the graphic design community in search for someone to join the team. And I can tell you that bringing a new member on the project still feels scary, but we found someone who we really connected with. Marko hears our wishes and combines them with his ideas and experience and we think the final version of Hike! will have a much more stylish and rounded look.

The most notable changes are:

  • Youngster husky cards will get colorful edge frames instead of plain white. This will make it clear that they can be placed next to any other edge. You can check it out on our Facebook and Instagram profile.
  • Special cards will get a more unified look with a blue background, unique icons, and a graphic presentation of what the card does. You can see the new look in the image above - the design is not 100% finished, but you can see the idea.
  • Landscape cards will get a makeover with improved design of the fields and better visibility of the snowflakes. We'll release some images on our social media in the next days.
  • We are adding one additional back design for the mentor and care cards that do not get shuffled into the husky deck. This way, it will be easier to keep track of what goes where.

We are excited about this improvement and we hope you like the direction in which we are going. Let us know what you think in the comments!

🎨 Apart from this upgrade of the base game, we are also in the last stretch of preparing the art for the expansion. Once the base game files are finalised for print, which will most likely be at the beginning of next week, we will continue with the files for the expansion. And then, the production starts. But more about that in the next update!

I think this pretty much sums up everything on our end. How about you, how are you doing? Have you played any good games? How are your furry friends? We're looking forward to hearing from you! 😄

Your SnowBoardGames team