The Big Announcement

Now that we've reached 100 backers, it's time to lift the curtain on something we've had in the works. When this project first kicked off, Evil Hat Productions (www.evilhat.com) offered to sponsor whatever amount we fell short of our fundraising goal by. Thanks to your enthusiastic generosity, that just wasn't necessary. But Evil Hat has stayed interested since that point, looking at ways we can work together to make sure Happy Birthday Robot reaches as many fans -- and kids -- as it possibly can.

Today, I can confirm that with Evil Hat's help, Happy Birthday Robot's first printing will run over 500 copies, making it possible for the game to have a broader reach -- getting into game stores, schools, and libraries as well as direct to fans on the web. Once the book is released, copies will be available for purchase through Evil Hat and through Evil Hat's distribution partners (Indie Press Revolution, Alliance, Esdevium, and others).

As far as branding goes, Happy Birthday Robot will still be under a "Smart Play Games" label. From one perspective, Evil Hat is stepping in as an "angel" partner, covering any remaining financial risk and making sure that the book stays in print. From another perspective, Smart Play Games is hiring Evil Hat to do the publication job, handling all that messy business stuff so I can focus on supporting the game and the fans.

So that's the big surprise! Happy Birthday Robot will be on game store shelves, thanks to the help of Evil Hat Productions.

Preview Pages

Pre-orderers just got the revised preview PDF, but I couldn't help but share some preview pages:

Only 7 days left to pre-order! :D

Cover Concept 3


Click to embiggen.


Getting closer to the final cover design. I just haven't settled on that back cover text. Am I selling the right things? Should I be highlighting other aspects of the game more prominently?

Revised Cover - Half the Panda, Twice the Party

The two pandas were really dominating the composition. One comment was "It's not 'Happy Birthday, Panda!'" So I cannibalized as much as I could from Rin's other illustrations to make this cover mockup.

Thoughts? Comments?

Art Roundup


Quick mockup of the cover, using one of Rin Aiello's illustrations. What do you think? Too much panda?

Here's some more art from Rin Aiello!

Pre-orderers, you should expect your PDFs early this week!

Femme Gamer reviews Happy Birthday, Robot!

Femme Gamer posted an overview of gaming-related generosity over the past few months. From the indie game bundle benefiting Doctors Without Borders to the video game bundle benefiting Child's Play. Auspicious company to say the least! And our little game managed to find a mention!

Back to the tabletop scene, Daniel Solis has been working with donors for his [Happy Birthday, Robot!] game on KickStarter It’s a brilliant idea! Again, donors can contribute to see the game published and receive special perks depending on the level of their donation. However, Daniel took it one step further. He decided to donate copies of [Happy Birthday, Robot!], to different gaming organizations, schools, and libraries across the world, because his original goal was exceeded very quickly. Once the book is published, he will be donating 3 books to the organization Kids Need to Game . He will also be spending copies of the book to ten different libraries and schools to help foster role-playing and storytelling in the classroom. This entire project has been backed by generous gamers across the world, and thanks to them as well as Daniel, students will be given the chance to play this game in their classroom.

Thanks for the post, Cassie!
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.