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! ❄️ May update with prototype photos
10 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
12 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
about 1 year 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

Hike! ❄️ is funded and next steps
about 1 year ago – Sun, Feb 13, 2022 at 03:15:07 PM

Hello everybody,

we are thrilled to announce that Hike! is officially funded! 🎉 Thank you for being on this journey with us! I know we are probably repeating ourselves, but this really means so much to us, and we would like to thank each and everyone for your support and trust! 💗

👉 Next steps

Today, we've been wrapping up some technical stuff connected to the end of the campaign.

Kickstarter has set in motion their post-campaign activities too, and they have started charging the credit cards. Most of them went through no problem, but we did get some reports about errors. That is completely normal and expected - if your credit card happens to be one of them, and you receive an error notification, please see if you can fix the payment details. We will be contacting backers whose pledges don't go through too, so keep an eye out for messages on Kickstarter, so that we can make sure that the pledges don't get dropped.

We've been living and breathing with the different timezones of this campaign for a month, and it has been quite an overwhelming experience. We will take the weekend off, get some rest and maybe go climbing, and Monday, we are back rested and sharp, and we start finalising the technical specifications and order quantities with the manufacturers.

✉️ Future updates

Going forward, we are thinking to send out regular monthly updates, and some additional updates in between, when something interesting or important happens. We think that this is a frequency at which we can keep the updates interesting, with relevant information in them, so we don't spam your inboxes. 

And for everybody who would like to be in touch more often, we plan to post smaller things on our Facebook and Instagram, so we kindly invite you to connect with us there. We can also post smaller updates in the comments here on Kickstarter if you would be interested, but we can't include images here.

How does that sound? Let us know in the comments!

💙 This campaign has been absolutely amazing and we would like to thank you for being part of it. We are now entering a new phase in which Hike! gets transformed from an idea into a reality, and in which several thousand copies are manufactured. So there's a lot of work on the horizon, but we're excited to tackle it!

Greetings from Slovenia

Your SnowBoardGames team

Hike! ❄️ Last 48 hours and how it all began
about 1 year ago – Tue, Feb 08, 2022 at 10:52:06 PM

Hello everybody,

We have just passed the €100k mark. If you had asked us before the campaign what was the number we were hoping to reach, we can honestly say that this number was way beyond even the secret hopes that we only shared with the core team. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 🙏

🧭 We are extremely happy that the success has enabled us to improve Hike! from the original version both with upgraded components quality and additional art and gameplay. During the campaign, we were able to add

  • A cardboard divider that will make sure the components in the box are nicely organised
  • Linen finish to both the cards (base game and expansion) and the base game box
  • 6 wooden pawns to replace the cubes that move over the landscape fields
  • 8 mm cubes used in the sled will be upgraded to 10 mm cubes which are nicer to handle
  • 6 new cards with sleds that will complete the look of the sled, so it will not only be a group of huskies, but it will also have a spot for the musher and a clear direction with lead dogs and wheel dogs. The cards will have player aids on the backside, so they will hopefully allow the players to have a smoother gaming experience without the need to check the rulebook during the game.
  • 2 new landscape cards with a beautiful sunset pink landscape illustration
  • A new husky illustration so the Hike! pack now has 8 adorable members
  • All of the husky cards got names, so the huskies now have a bit more personality. We got a ton of amazing name suggestions, and while the topmost voted are included on the husky cards, all of them will be included on the sides of the box, as part of the Hike! Kickstarter pack.
  • 6 customizable husky cards that will allow you to add your furry friend to the game
  • A new event in the expansion, that is thematically tied to taking photos and is a nod to Instagram social goal

We have one more unreached social goal – we need 110 more followers on Kickstarter to unlock a new ‘Crowdfunder’ trait in the expansion. If you want to contribute to it, you can do so here by clicking on the ‘Follow’ button.

🏳️ A new language

We are also very happy to welcome Spanish as one of the languages for the downloadable pdf rulebooks. Since the start of the campaign, the Hike! family has grown from 2 to 8 languages, and we hope the additional translations will allow more people to enjoy the game.

🐺 Husky enthusiast and shipping

We were looking through the pledges and we noticed that there are a few people that backed the Husky Enthusiast pledge and also added Events and Traits and Compass first player token as add-ons. The Husky Enthusiast pledge includes both of those items by default, so adding the add-ons means you are adding a second copy of the expansion and the token to your pledge. If this was something you wanted to do, awesome, but we just wanted to make sure that this was intentional.

We also wanted to make sure that everyone knows that shipping will be charged after the campaign, in the post-campaign pledge manager. You can read more about it in the Shipping section.

The story behind Hike!

We are entering the last 48 of the campaign, and we have taken the time to reflect, and to see just how far we’ve come, and we thought we would share it with you, as you are becoming a very important part of this story. We hope you don’t mind it’s a bit longer, it’s one of those stories you can’t tell in a paragraph or two.

The idea for Hike! was born about a year ago. Me (Nika) and Blaž watched the Disney movie Togo some months prior. It is a very moving story about a relationship between a man and a dog, and the unique skillset they have as a team, and it is set in the harsh winter environment with vast open spaces and raging storms. And as alpine climbers who had experienced a bit of rough weather conditions ourselves, the story truly kept us at the edges of our seats. After the movie, we googled the 1925 serum run to Nome, the distances involved, the equipment, and dog sledding itself – it’s an activity that we have no practical experience with ourselves – and we were pretty impressed by the achievement.

And I guess the story somehow stuck with our subconsciousness, as a few months later, I got an idea for the dog sledding theme combined with the matching-edges-pattern building mechanics. We are both enthusiastic board gamers, and this was not our first idea for a board game. We have one quite a bit more complex that’s sitting in our drawer, half-designed, on a pause at the moment, so we can focus on Hike! first. But that one will take a lot of time to become a reality and the Hike! idea seemed like something that could be developed pretty quickly. In fact, Blaž said: 'let’s make a prototype and test it', and we created the first hand-made prototype with bullets and arrows in just 4 hours.

Various Hike! prototypes. The first, hand-made one, the one for playtesting, the digital one and the one with actual art.

And then we playtested it, and it seemed like fun. But we were probably totally biased, so we had to broaden the playtest group. The problem was we were in a full lockdown at that time due to the pandemic, so we could only test it with my sister Maša and Martin. And they liked it too. We worked on it for a week or two so it came from the rough idea to something playable, and we called our friends and colleagues and organised some online tests sessions with a 2-camera setup and a physical game on our kitchen table. And the feedback we were getting was positive and encouraged us to decide we would try to publish it.

And our first thought was Kickstarter, as it had just become available to Slovene creators. We’d been following the platform for quite some time, and we had been fascinated by it as backers, seeing projects we believed in come to life, and we had always known we would like to use it for our own project once too. Given our technical background, we had thought it would be a tech project, but it turned out that games are also well represented on Kickstarter, so we decided to try and launch Hike! here.

We knew being a creator is probably quite different than being a backer, so we started researching Kickstarter from the creator’s perspective. There are a lot of great sources available online, but we were also very fortunate to be accepted into a Crowdfunding Boot Camp held by one of Slovenia’s most experienced people when it comes to Kickstarter, where we really learned a lot about how to do it in practice.

So for the majority of 2021, we were developing a game, working with the illustrator, searching for manufacturers and contacting reviewers, while at the same time preparing for Kickstarter – building a landing page and a Kickstarter page, building an audience, creating social media channels for SnowBoardGames and so on. And we finally launched the campaign in January, one year after the original idea.

Our goal was €6k, and if we reached it, we would invest some of our own money with it to be able to order a series from a professional manufacturer, meeting their minimum order quantities. Approximately double the funding goal, we would cover the series from Kickstarter funds, and we would also cover some of the past expenses we had with the development of the game. We said that if the campaign would go towards €20k, we would be really happy, and if it goes towards 1000 % funded, that would be really amazing, and beyond what we thought was realistic.

We are now at €100k. So the development costs that we were paying out of our pockets are covered, and we will be able to order a series that is above the minimum order quantities. We have also been able to improve Hike! quite a lot from the original version. And we had to ask ourselves, where do we want to go from here. Will it be a one-time Kickstarter, or will it be something more?

And we really want it to become something more. Our wish is for SnowBoardGames to become a board game publishing studio that develops quality games that bring people together and whisk them into adventure. And the first step towards this goal is that we make sure that Hike! is also available after the Kickstarter. Some retailers have already approached us, so we have opened a pledge for them. At the moment, we are still new, and we are still developing relationships, so I think it’s hard to say where this will take us, but we definitely want to stay in the board game field for the long run.

And as for Hike!, we want to let you know that you backers are special to us and that you are getting premium content through Kickstarter. So we want to make sure that we offer you a better price and exclusive items. Therefore, Hike! base game and expansion will have a higher price after the Kickstarter, and Compass first player token will not be available at all. It will be a true Kickstarter exclusive, available only to those who back the Kickstarter.

⏱ So we don’t have any fancy announcements for the last 48 hours. There is one more stretch goal at €110k, which still seems a bit far away, but we are really hoping we can reach it, as it is a fun little addition to the base game which allows the huskies to change sleds in the preparation phase. And we also want to ask for your help once again, if we may. We have a pretty limited budget for marketing, as we are trying to direct as much funds as possible to improving Hike! so we are probably not reaching as many people as we could. Therefore, if you have a friend who you think would enjoy the game, please let them know about it, and tell them that they have 48 more hours to join the Kickstarter.

💗 Our sincere thank you for your continuous support and for allowing Hike! to become a reality!

Nika and Blaž with the SnowBoardGames team

PS – it wouldn’t be a true SnowBoardGames update if we didn’t ask for your opinion. 🙂 You probably know we are still working on the art for the expansion cards. The fronts are designed, we just need to finish the illustrations and put everything together. But we are still figuring out the backsides. For the base game, the landscape card backsides feature a distant mountain range, and the husky card backsides have the 2 husky character patterns flowing one into the other.

For the expansion, we want to do something special too, but we could use some more brainstorming. One idea we have is to have a patchwork of all of the different event illustrations on the events backsides, and a cap and gloves of that musher person in gray that is always illustrated facing away from us, so they can be anyone. But we’re afraid that this wouldn’t say ‘back of the cards’ on the first glance and that someone would think it’s the front. The other idea is a more abstract frosty wintery pattern in blue for the events.

What do you think? Do you have any ideas of what we could do? Let us know in the comments! 🙂

(And if you don’t mind, please use the comments section of the campaign page, not below this update. Apparently, that helps the algorithm and makes Hike! more visible)