By Peter Chiykowski
When I launched the Kickstarter for The Story Engine Deck back in 2019, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I couldn't predict or even imagine the incredible community that would form around it and the number of people it would reach.
Over the past three years, I've been lucky enough to hear from writers, roleplayers, teachers and parents who have used the deck to rekindle their creativity or connect with each other through creative collaboration. The chance to hear these stories and work every day on projects that share in a small part of your personal and creative journeys has been (and my whole heart is in these words as I type them) life-changing.
In so many ways, I mentally divide my life into the era before and after I developed and released The Story Engine Deck. I get to approach my work and thinking with a deeper sense of purpose and gratitude than I have in any other point in my career. I get to live my best life, creatively and professionally, when I pour my time and energy into The Story Engine Deck and the community that has grown around it.
This month, we're on track to sell out of the first print run of The Story Engine Deck—a milestone that never occurred to me when I clicked the project launch button a lifetime ago in 2019.
Some thank yous!
A reprint is underway, I wanted to say thank you to everyone whose support and word of mouth helped me get here. People sharing their honest enthusiasm for the deck has been the single biggest contribution to the growth of this project, and has kept me excited and invested in it every day.
I also want to thank Miroki Tong, Zach Schuster, and Janessa Schuster, who have come on board to help grow grow The Story Engine Deck from a one-person hobby project into something wider-reaching and more sustaining.
Availability of The Story Engine Deck
And lastly, because I've been getting a lot of questions about it, I wanted to update everyone on the timeline of availability of The Story Engine Deck:
- The Story Engine Deck will be fully sold out online on midnight of July 24 (or possibly sooner)! Our bundles are all sold out, but some limited expansions and boosters are still available.
- Limited copies of The Story Engine Deck and certain expansions will be available at Gen Con from August 4-8. Find us in the BFE Webcomics collective booth 1439. Zach will be running the booth Thursday-Friday, and I'll be running it Saturday-Sunday.
- Chapters-Indigo online and in-store will be the only place to buy The Story Engine until we are restocked (see below for preorder details).
Availability of Deck of Worlds
- The BackerKit preorder will close on July 28. When fulfillment begins, we'll be asking our shipping partners to prioritize Kickstarter pledges first (latest timelines in the Kickstarter updates), then BackerKit preorders (scheduled to start in November), and then preorders through our main store (scheduled to start in November or December). July 28 will be the last date to preorder through BackerKit and be prioritized in that second wave of shipping.
After July 28, The Story Engine Deck reprint and Deck of Worlds will both be available for preorder-only through our main store. We expect to be fulfilling preorders sometime between November and December. Prices for both products and shipping will be increasing to reflect our growing costs of production and logistics. PDF prices will generally stay the same, with some increases, although physical products will no longer automatically include PDFs.
Free demos of The Story Engine Deck and Deck of Worlds will remain available for everyone. I believe everyone should have the chance to try these tools and see if they will be helpful for their writing practice before they commit to buying them.
The complete main deck of The Story Engine will remain free for self-identifying educators on the honor system (and Deck of Worlds will also eventually be free in this format). I'd love to to live in a world where every kid feels encouraged in their curiosity and creativity when it comes to telling stories and imagining alternate worlds, and I think engaged teachers and parents are the people who can make that happen, so I want these tools to be available for that.
Thanks again to everyone who has helped grow The Story Engine Deck and the pool of creators and creative resources who find it helpful. This has been an incredible journey and I'm excited to see where the path leads next.