C'mon, you stinking fowl! Move out!!

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By balder Comments (29)

Since the Erfworld playing cards Kickstarter has hit our first stretch goal, we're going to be able to roll out many more virtual collectible 3D units created by Lauri (with help from Xin) in 2017.


These will pop randomly on the site, and you'll have the option to collect them (and be responsible for a tiny amount of upkeep in Shmuckers).



The Decrypted units are special, because they don't have upkeep. Backers at any pledge tier will get a never-before-seen-even-in-the-comic Decrypted Orly. These are Kickstarter exclusive units, and will never pop on the site.


So as the project winds down, please consider helping us meet our other stretch goal for gametable development. (If you ever want to play an Erfworld game, the gametable is the first step. More to come on that tomorrow.) Consider a $10 pledge for the e-rewards only, because even those are pretty sweet. Ya rly.


  • Knavigator

    It's interesting about the units, and I do like the idea since it provides;

    • A sink  for Schmuckers (a necessity in almost all virtual economies)
    • An incentive to join the Toolshed
    • An incentive to create tip-worthy posts and contribute to the Erfworld community. 

    Hope it goes well :)

  • sdub

    Orly? I can't wait to get a full stack.

  • rstoffel

    These will pop randomly on the site, and you'll have the option to collect them (and be responsible for a tiny amount of upkeep in Shmuckers).

    Are they currently being (randomly) distributed, or is this feature being implemented soon?


    This news post spurred me to join the kickstarter and become a tool! 

  • balder

    @rstoffel Thanks! No, the units are not popping now. We did the one unit to commemorate the 10th anniversary, but we'll be rolling out the actual unit popping system a little later this year. Lauri is working on creating more units, and the web team will be building the (hopefully cheat-proof) system for obtaining and trading them.

  • Ender231

    I saw the 3D file for the 10-year Decrypted stabber on Sketchfab, is there a way to release those files so people with 3D printers can print them?

  • balder

    @Ender As I understand it, they're really not modeled with printing in mind, and they would need extensive work to be something a 3D printer actually could output, so I don't think so. And aside from the tech issues, we might or might not want to apply different rules to Erfworld figurines than to comics images. It's one of those things where we haven't really worked through all the ramifications yet, so I can't give a definite answer.

  • falcore51

    @balder so I will finally have something to do with all my smuckers, well besides buying dragons and watching my dog destroy them.  

  • greyknight (Tipped by 1 person!)

    Are they going to "pop" in the same way as the one from the 10th anniversary?  Because my user experience from that was quite poor:

    I tried to just click away/press Escape from the pop-over to "cancel" it so I could get on with reading the comic, but that wasn't allowed.  Then when I clicked the "yes I really don't care about this" button I got redirected to a different page asking if I was "really sure".  (After I confirmed it gave me a retrieval link "in case I changed my mind", so the confirm served no real purpose.)  IIRC it didn't even send me back to the comic afterwards.

    I'd really like to not have to go through all that just because I want to read the current comic.

  • dylanarena (Tipped by 2 people!)

    I can understand greyknight's frustration, but I can also understand how the developers might choose to err on the side of an overly persistent "are you sure?" rather than something less persistent that then leads to lots of support requests from folks who accidentally dismissed their gift and then wanted to get it back.

    Maybe the devs could consider letting folks set a flag in their account profiles that indicates that they aren't interested in the units?  Then folks like greyknight could be left in peace to read the latest fantastic page.  (Of course, profile-level flags might also include something like "Yes, please!  Always grab the latest unit after showing it to me.")

  • Slayorious

    @dylanarena You could just have anyone that logs into the site (or is already logged in) during the period the unit is available gets one automagically. No real need for the popup except to let the user know they received one and they'll find out sooner or later either way.

    @greyknight I would imagine that if you need to do a lot more by cancelling than by accepting in order to get to the comic, then there's likely room for improvement in design. However, a confirmation dialogue does make sense in order to prevent accidental cancellation. It might be annoying for who who wants to cancel, but it can prevent a lot of frustration for those who had no intention of cancelling.

  • greyknight

    An opt-out profile setting is no use for people who don't have accounts.  These people are, of course, also the ones least likely to be interested.

    The confirmation dialog is redundant with the "undo" link: if somebody cancels then they can use that to change their mind.  For obvious reasons, in no case should this flow be redirecting the user away from the comic page they were trying to view.

    A notification icon similar to whatever we use for "new messages" around here sounds good (I assume those appear by your username in the top-of-page bar).  Modal dialogs kind of suck in general for user interface design, I've been trying to get rid of all the ones in our software in work.

  • Pax (Tipped by 1 person!)

    Well, you convinced me to plunk down $16 for one deck.  :)

  • balder

    The 10th anniversary unit was a special case, and we did want to make sure everyone got one if they wanted it. So we engineered it to give as many chances as possible to claim the unit. We also made it block the comic because it was a once in ten years event, and therefore worth ruining some lives over. Sorry that yours was one of them, greyknight, but...omelettes and eggs, you know?


    The way the units will pop in the future will be 1. a pretty rare event, 2. will be something you can turn off if you are logged in (and will place a cookie not to offer units to logged-out people who checked it off. We understand that's imperfect and we will look at other ways as well), and 3. will not contain quite so many chances to verify that you do not want the unit and that you hate fun.

  • balder

    @Pax Thanks! The bump in pledges today has been encouraging. You have helped put the stretch goal just within reach of the end of this project.

  • Seannibal

    "but...omelettes and eggs, you know?" is my new go-to response to complaints. Thanks, Rob!

  • Pax

    @balder: well normally I don't go in for more decks of playing cards - I had to declare a moratorium after hitting half a dozen or so different ones (including a Steampunk themed deck, and an all-black-on-all-black deck, and a transparent poly-whatsit deck, and, and, and ...).

    But (a) Erfworld is worth supporting (yayy, Tooldom!), (b) I "need" that decrypted O'RLY, and (c) .... one more deck of cards can't hurt, right?  Right?  :D 

  • shneekeythelost

    If the units will require upkeep, then count me out. I don't have the money to spend on Toolbox (or I would be a Toolbox member already), and I'm not going to be able to afford anyone's upkeep for very long. It would just take me longer to save up the shmuckers necessary to score some cool swag from the store.

    Seems to me the upkeep thing makes the collectables, effectively, a Toolshed exclusive, for all intents and purposes. Worse, it does so in a very subtle manner, draining people of their shmucker reserves when they have no reliable way of generating them in quantity necessary to maintain upkeep, then likely disbanding them when you can no longer afford them. And almost even worse still... the cards, which cost maintenance, are not only free, you have to jump through hoops to not obtain them, and the recurring costs that come with them.

    I'm going to see if I can't disband my poor li'll stabber. Poor Pokey, never did I find for you a paired Warlord with Dance Fighting named Hokey, but alas, my side is too poor to afford upkeep of even such a humble unit. You popped to a side which did not deserve your faithful duty, and has repaid you only with disbandment, not even a chance to perish in combat and so earn a place in the City of Heroes. I'm sorry, but unfortunately, for the good of the Side, you must Return to the Box from whence you came. Perhaps... perhaps, if recycling is, in fact, the Will of the Titans and not blasphemy, then some other side -one more worthy of your dauntless service and duty- may draw you back forth from the Box, and you given another chance... a chance to be better, to be stronger, perhaps even to become a Warlord, as another stabber once did.

  • balder

    @Shneeky, you're aware you can buy Shmuckers in the store, right? We probably haven't done a good enough job of getting the word out about that, but Pokey will never cost you upkeep, and the upkeep on collected units will be tiny. They may even pop with some Shmuckers to offset their upkeep for a while. I'd say hang on to him and give us the months it's going to take to get this system built and rolled out before you give him up.

  • shneekeythelost (Tipped by 1 person!)

    @Balder, thank you for your response.

    Honestly, if I had enough discretionary cash, I'd be a Toolbox member and support you guys more consistently, as well as earn a few Shmuckers on the side. As long as you have the spare cash, there's really no reason not to. It is easily one of the best support-the-artist programs on the internet.

    Sadly, I'm among the ranks of '(hopefully) temporarily unemployed', so I have pulled all discretionary spending from my budget until I can have a positive cash flow again.

    I guess I'll keep Pokey around for now, I forgot that he was a Decrypted unit, and so would never have upkeep. And I'll reserve judgment on the system for now until it rolls out and see how it actually functions. It is just that the first impression was... unfavorable.

  • Morsious

    Now, I really like the concept of The units. But I have to agree with @Shneeky, I will likely never be able to afford the upkeep of any units long term. 


    Are they going to be just collectible, or is there something planned for them after that? Like a web-game?

  • NastySasquatch

    Honestly Balder, no one wants to pay real money for your little collectible 3D units unless you can DO something with them. I knew I could buy Schmuckers, but again, until you are willing to do all of your printing in the US, I'm unwilling to spend money on your store.


    If I wanted to pledge and extra $5 to get the plastic case, how would that work? If I select a reward and add 5 bucks will you contact me, because I don't see a spot to add any notes or anything to my pledge, but I might just be blind.

  • Salvage

    I want your 3d collectible units!

    And I have schmuckers so as to support Erfworld and the awesome folks that make it happen.

    Swag is nice but NOT the reason to be a Tool.

    I may not be Digdoug but I do what I can to support something that brings me great joy.

    If you can be involved, great! If you cannot but want to, I hope your situation improves so you can. If you don't want to, no one expects your support. If you do want to but have not, well, what is stopping you?

  • balder

    Ah, Squatch...I can think of several things you can do with your collectible. Seriously, for those who want to know what it may become possible to do with the collectibles, see the current news post. RPG Erfworld is a volunteer effort toward building an Erfworld game. We're going to spend 2017 working out a balanced system for stack battle mechanics. If it works, then the phase after collecting these lil guys will be having a system to battle them. It's a long ways off, yet, but that's where it's all headed. Get the battles working and then we can think about having stacks fight for territory on a shared map, yadda yadda yadda. We'll see.

  • ErebusVonMori

    Will non-special event units (e.g not 10th anniversary stabber) be tradable?