Guild Ball

Guild Ball Update 1

Welcome back, sports fans! 

Today’s update is a follow-up to our Q&A video and the launch of the Guild Ball miniature range on our online store, where you can scout and order any of the official Guild Ball teams. 

In this update, we’ll give an overview of where things are, and what will happen next.

Guild Ball is Available Again

On February 1, 2024, as part of the Steamforged 10th anniversary celebrations, we brought Guild Ball miniatures back to our online store. Our intention was to give existing fans a way to complete their collections, and aspiring coaches a way to pick up and try the game. 

To help with that, we also released free STL’s for the starter set, so anyone can print and play Guild Ball at home. Guild Ball has been and will always be close to our hearts, and this meant the game had a perpetual way to live on, alongside the great work being done by the Guild Ball Community Project (GBCP).

Since then, the response has been beyond our expectations. Seeing fans new and old picking up the game and flooding fan groups with excitement and photos of matches. Members of the community we’ve not spoken to for years reaching out. Reconnecting with friends we made along the way.

If you’d like to chat with us or hang out with other fans, you can find us in the Steamforged Discord. To make sure you don’t miss out on updates, sign up to the newsletter

There’s also a great community Discord run by the GBCP, which you can join here.

Moving Forward

Because Guild Ball was the first game we ever made, it suffered from being the first time we did many things. Trying different miniature materials, running SteamCons, community management, global distribution, and so on. More than once, we promised things we truly believed we could do, but ultimately weren’t able to deliver on.

Because of that, and the lessons we’ve learned since then, our guiding principle for Guild Ball going forward is that if we’ve said it’ll happen, it’ll happen. We’re not going to make announcements until we have high confidence. Trust takes time to earn, and this is how we’re going to do it.

What’s Next?

There are a few things to cover here, so we’ll break it down.

1. Steamforged Lead for Guild Ball

We mentioned early on that we’d be taking a more reactive approach to Guild Ball to start with, to see how things go. That’s still the case. 

Our mission right now is to keep taking small but consistent steps. We’re determined for Guild Ball to find its rightful place among our roster of games. To help make that happen, we’ve appointed an SFG Product Owner, Jamie Perkins.

What’s a Product Owner?

As Steamforged Games has grown, our creative team has evolved. Even though Mat Hart (co-founder and Creative Director) still has central oversight of all our games, he can’t be everywhere at once.

So, a few years ago, we introduced the ‘Product Owner’ role. Product Owners report to Mat, and direct our projects day-to-day. For Guild Ball, it made sense for that role to go to Jamie Perkins, having worked at Steamforged since the earliest days of the game and formerly serving as Guild Ball’s Lead Developer for several years.

What Does That Mean For Me?

  • Both Jamie and Mat are meeting regularly with the GBCP to work on the 4.4 errata (more on this below), and continuing to keep an eye on how things are going
  • Both Mat and Jamie are active in our Discord server if you want to drop in and say hi!
  • Jamie and the team are working on next steps (more on these below)

4.4 Errata Update

After some positive and productive meetings with the GBCP, we’ve together agreed on a number of characters being further developed, and on what changes we want to test between us. We’ve agreed a release window of the week commencing March 11, and we’ll share updates here, on Discord, and over email when it’s ready. 

2. Shipping & Minor Guild Crossover Minis

Since the minis became available, the engagement has been fantastic, with over 1,500 downloads of the Kick Off! STL’s! We’ve loved seeing your photos of miniatures you’ve printed at home, especially the oversized ones.

Literally the biggest Scum we’ve ever seen

What Happens Next?

  • Firstly, we’ve enabled free, worldwide shipping for orders over $200. Those who’d already made an order exceeding this value have already been refunded their shipping cost.
  • Secondly, because our manufacturing partner for the Guild Ball miniatures ships to a wider selection of countries than our online store, we’ve been able to enable shipping for a small number of additional countries. Namely Australia, Japan, and Mexico.
  • Finally, we’ve had a high number of requests for the ‘Minor Guild crossover’ alternate sculpts. So, that’d be Shank & Tenderiser wearing Cooks Guild outfits, for example. We’ve started work preparing these to be available on our online store within the next few months. The crossover miniatures will all be available in their pairs. To be notified when they’re available, you can either join the Discord or sign up to the newsletter.

3. Timeline for Next Steps

As we’ve said before, we’re in the monitoring phase right now, and aren’t rushing things to make sure we can deliver on what we commit to. With that in mind, we want to share the next few beats to give you an idea of when updates are coming:

  • Week commencing February 19, 2024: A Guild Ball Business Case by Mat Hart (as requested during the Q&A)
  • Week commencing March 11, 2024: Steamforged / GBCP combined 4.4 errata release
  • Week commencing April 1, 2024 (not a joke, we promise): Estimated release date of Minor Guild crossover minis on our online store

Whistle!

And that’s all (for now). We’ll see you out there on the pitch!