August 23, 2021 – It’s now official (as I piece this all together).
- About a month ago I asked Awaken Realms if they could send me a prototype.
- They replied that none were available, but that I should see if one of the reviewers [4 in the USA] would be willing to send me their copy when they were finished with it.
- I followed Awaken Realms advice and one of those reviews kindly DID send me their copy (but only after they played through ALL the scenarios because they liked it so much).
- I received the prototype 2 on July 30 from one of the reviewers.
- The very next day (July 31) I posted a very noticeable Subject To Change notice!
Hopefully you have already read this very short warning about the game’s status: merely a prototype! (if you have not read it please do so now … it is a word for word warning direct from Awaken Realms).
I may have prototype 2, but since I was not an original reviewer I have never been able to talk with the game developers by phone, txt or email. So I am searching and trying to connect the dots myself, just as you are. But I can share what I have seen (and you can determine if my conclusions are correct or not:)
And one of those “dots” that I am connecting is the answer to this question:
Who is the author of the ISS Vanguard game? Update #23 gave us the answer with this statement (just above the point by point notes of what changed in prototype 2:
This is a bit more extended and detailed description from the one that Krzysztof Piskorski – the author of the game, described in his dev diary video in the previous update.
Who is doing the official rulebook for the ISS Vanguard game? Paul Grogan was rumored to be The Guy… then 3 days ago he officially announced it himself right in the ISS Vanguard Facebook Group!
Now, today, he posted a photo of the box from Awaken Realms that arrived at his doorstep (or on his table as is the case with this photo):
But what is very interesting is that Awaken Realms made a protoype 3 for him. So, yes, my prototype 2 is no longer the most current. Even MORE interesting is the Facebook reply from the ISS Vanguard author at Awaken Realms (Krzysztof Piskorski) to this post by Jordan Luminaris (aka AR_Jordan):
This reply from Jordan of course echoes the warning from Awaken Realms (that I prominently posted on July 31). But a lot of the dots get connected by Krzysztof’s reply in that same Facebook thread:
So, connecting THESE dots I get a fuzzy picture that sounds like this:
There were at least 12 copies of Prototype 2 of ISS Vanguard made and distributed to a small group of reviewers and a few gaming groups (blind-testers) around the world. One of the four copies in the USA is here at my house (and I am making good use of it, so thank you Awaken Realms for taking the time to put together this wonderful almost final looking prototype). Now Paul Grogan has what seems to be Prototype 3 based on what Krzysztof said in his comment. And his comment went even further saying that Paul’s prototype has already been tweaked here and there!
My conclusion is this: it is GREAT that Paul Grogan is discussing the game with Awaken Realms as he puts together the rulebook. Awaken Realms is still tweaking the game and is already internally at prototype 4. However, the physical components of prototypes 2 and 3 and 4 may be very very similar if most of the development tweaks are to the rules and gameplay mechanics! And if that is the case, maybe Awaken Realms will be able to pass along some of those updates and tweaks to me and I can play test them with the prototype that I have. Here’s hoping! And, of course, if possible I will let you know what I find out!
So … Prototype 3 *DOES* exist. But perhaps this quote from an article about rare gaming cards says it best:
“There’s rare and then there’s this ultra-rare“
ISS Vanguard Prototype 3 apparently is “ultra-rare” (and Prototype 4 has not made it out of it’s internal cage yet). So I will echo the warning from Awaken Realms. What you see in the videos of Prototype 2 has already changed. Everything that I am writing about using my copy of Prototype 2 is as accurate as I can be, but I am two prototypes behind in the development cycle, so some (much?) of what I write may already be changed. Remember what Krzysztof said about the fine details of the game in his reply:
They are REALLY changing a lot.
So… should we stop writing and reading about what seems to be a fantastic epic game? By all means, NO. But let’s enjoy what we have now while keeping it at arm’s length! Or as the author of the game (Krzysztof) says:
It’s best not to get attached to specific procedures or cards too much.
Happy Gaming! Keep your Eyes to the Skies! And if you see a prototype 4 wandering around, grab it while you can … it is extremely “ultra-rare”!
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