The Component Upgrades We're Making to Trekking the World

The Component Upgrades We're Making to Trekking the World

Nick Bentley Nick Bentley

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Welcome to this week's behind-the-scenes post. This one is about how we thought about trying to improve the components in Trekking the World, for the upcoming 2nd Edition. 
Note we're offering a pre-Kickstarter campaign deal for our upcoming game Trekking the World 2nd Edition, through which you can get a $20 expansion for $1. See the offer here.
Here we go: our thinking started with research. Before we started the project, we analyzed all the online comments on Amazon and Board Game Geek about the game (there were thousands0. We learned the most common positive comments were about the game's look and feel. 
For example, the graph below shows the number of times different features of the game were praised in a sample of about 250 random comments from Board Game Geek. The bigger a blue bar is for a feature, the more frequently it's praised:

The two biggest bars in this graph are for "good art" and "good production". 

It took major work to get the look and feel as good as it is, so we decided to preserve a lot of it.

However, because improvement is our #1 value, we're trying to improve it more.

To figure out how, we analyzed all the negative online comments too. The most frequent negative component comments were about the suitcases, which hold cubes representing souvenirs you collect:

Because they're made of cardstock:
  • they feel flimsy
  • it's too easy to knock the cubes off them
We realized this was an easy fix: replace the cardstock with double-layered cardboard with cutout slots to hold the cubes. 
So we designed them. They'll look like this: 
Readers who know 1st Edition will notice there are other changes to the suitcases as well. I won't cover those here but note every rule in the game has changed, and likewise the new suitcases work differently.


As you can see from the graph above, the game's art is its most praised feature. Because of that, we kept most of it. Even so, we think we found a way to improve it.
Specifically the art now covers more of each oversized card, and is less obstructed by graphic design elements. Here's a side-by-side example to illustrate (1st edition on left, 2nd on right):
Notice in the upper right of the 2nd Edition card, there's now a little star to indicate a place's location on its continent. 
There have been other, smaller changes as well, but the two above are the biggest.
I hope these articles make it evident: we're pouring our hearts into this thing.
I also hope you'll consider taking us up on our offer to get the expansion for $1 if you commit to the Kickstarter campaign early. It's a good discount for you, and it raises the chance the campaign will succeed.
Don't hesitate to share your opinions in a reply, positive or negative. I read all your replies (and reply when time permits) and it helps me understand what we're doing right and wrong.
Nick Bentley,
President, Underdog Games Studio

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