project-image

Molly House

Created by Wehrlegig Games

From designers Jo Kelly and Cole Wehrle comes a game of queer joy and betrayal in 18th century London. Experience this immersive historical board game from the creators behind Pax Pamir and John Company.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

🛠️ Development News 🎲 Playtesting Print and Play ✈️ Upcoming Conventions
about 2 months ago – Fri, Feb 23, 2024 at 08:45:28 AM

Get ready, we have a big update for you today. We've been working non-stop over the past few months on development. I'm happy to say things have really been coming together and Molly House is playing better than ever! In the next section Cole will go into the details about all of the changes we've implemented. There's a lot to check out. Later in the update you'll find the Print and Play files for playtesting, links to playtest the game online, and exciting news about our upcoming shows. 

🛠️ Development Progress 🛠️

Hi everyone! I'm happy to report that Molly House has now moved into final development and balancing. What this means is that we've made it through all of the major system revisions and that the shape of the game is now set. From here on out, we'll be making sure to dial in the balance while Ricky resumes his work on the solo game. 

So what were the major changes? Well, we focused our efforts on three parts of the game.
 
First, we wanted the game's festivities to be as expressive as possible and as central as possible. To do this, we dropped the concept of mollies as "orders" which had to be filled collectively (e.g. Flying Horse Moll wants a straight flush) and moved to a much more open system where the best hand would be selected and scored at each party. This allowed us to create a new hand ranking system. 

This new system is built on two pillars. First, each "rung" in the ranking will usually differ dramatically from the rung just above it. This creates a ton of interesting incentives for players to explore and manipulate as they determine which cards they should contribute. The rankings also allow us to use the mollies as "signal cards." Queens are only used for Christenings so, if you play one, you are telling the table what you want folks to build. This is espeically important because we need ways for players to quickly communicate their intentions. 

Second, we spent a mountain of time getting the patrol/constable system right. In the version we last shared with you, getting caught was a matter of pulling specific cards out of the deck. But we found that this created lots of odd timing issues and didn't allow players to ever feel really and truly chased. To fix this problem, we revisited the game's map and general turn structure, and decided to have the constables become physical pawns on the map who would chase the players with the highest sum of that suit in their area. It's taken quite a bit of work to get this system working properly, but the effort has been well worth it as it's allowed us to even more strongly situate the game in the context of 18th century board games with a simple roll-and-move system and a classic circular board. But, don't let the dice fool you, there's a lot of strategic and tactical depth to the system. 



Third, we've revised the informant system. Previous informant systems used the deck. This system had a lot of merits but it also suffered from a classic hidden traitor problem of making it a little too easy to catch informants. If one play draws an a card, stares at it for 5 minutes, checks the rulebook, and then adds it to their hand--they are pretty clearly signaling something! To get around this, informer cards have been pulled out of the deck and we have a little loyalty card system where players must commit to either one of the game's molly houses or to informing against one of those houses each turn. These loyalty cards will then be worth different amounts of points at the end of the game depending on what happened. This system has also allowed us to have a more robust "Known Informer" system for players who been outed by their fellows. It's neat and does some really good work for the design. 

All that said, there's still a lot of work to do on the game, but it's coming together at a very good clip now. In terms of the broader project, this milestone means that we can finally lift our "art pause" and can start working with our partners at the factory, Rachel, and our sculptor to nail down the final look of the game. 

We'll have a lot more to report on this front for our next update.  

🎲 Print and Play + Play Online 🎲

If all of this sounds exciting to you and you want to start playtesting, go ahead and check out Molly House Dev Kit right now! We have our Discord server where folks are playtesting and sharing their experience and we'd love to have you join! Below are the different links and places where you can play.

An important note is that these dev kits are still not in final layout. We're starting to move things into concept layout and Rachel is working on the next wave of compositions. In the picture below you can see a really rough mockup of how the cards will be formatted, though Rachel is still working the art. This new format of the tarot/poker hybrid style has been playing really well, and we're looking forward to spending more time on layout and graphic design and more illustrations start coming in.

These Dev kits are very playable, but if you want a late-stage PnP with more finalized art and the new layout, I would hold off another couple of months. I'm quite excited to share a big art update in a few weeks, but for now you'll have access to everything below to get playing!

Dev Print and Play Files

Screentop.gg Dev Mod (Free and browser based!)

Tabletop Simulator Dev Mod

Dev Rules (Google Doc)

 


✈️ GAMA EXPO + Circle DC ✈️


Convention season is gearing up and we're kicking the year off with GAMA Expo! We've never done GAMA Expo before, so it will certainly be an interesting industry-focused show. We'll be bringing our copies of Molly House with us and are excited to play it with some of the folks going to Louisville March 4-7. If you're at the show, swing by our booth during exhibit hours and at First Look, where we'll hopefully be playing this new build of Molly House.

We'll also be off to DC for Fort Circle's gaming convention Circle DC. We both love spending our time in San Diego with SDHistCon and I suspect this has the makings of the east coast version of that gaming weekend. I think there are still a few tickets available, so check it out if you are interested in joining for what will be one of the the best historical gaming weekends all year : ) 

-----------

Thank you again for coming out to support this project and giving us the opportunity to make this game together. It's taken a long time and there is still plenty of work to do ahead. Know that backers like you allow us to spend this much time on making the best board game we can, so thank you and see you in another month or so for our next update that hopefully will have more art from Rachel Ford!

-Drew and Cole

Wehrlegig Year Ahead Livestream 📺 Molly House Schedule 📆
3 months ago – Fri, Jan 26, 2024 at 08:43:44 AM

Hello Molly House folks!

Drew here. We've been making really great progress on post-campaign development and I want to share that Molly House is coming together quite nicely. We have some exciting design updates to share with everyone, and while I would love to tease you with some of the changes to the game now, we figured it might be best to do this over a livestream! 

Upcoming Livestream 📺

Cole and I will do our annual company livestream about the projects we're working on, including a big update on Molly House and a new project announcement!  Monday, Jan 29 @ 4pm EST over on Twitch. Please come by during the stream to check things out and say hi. It'll be recorded and posted on the campaign page if you can't catch it live too.

Timeline Update 📆

I wanted to quickly thank you for both supporting this campaign and being incredibly diligent backers! We are still months away from address locking and 92% of our backers have already filled out their surveys and are ready for shipping costs to be charged and addresses locked. You are all amazing! This helps us so much as we plan how many games to produce and how best to split them across different global shipping centers in the coming weeks.

We are still hard at work on finishing the design, art, and presentation of Molly House, and during the livestream we will go into more details about the project schedule and development. Generally we're feeling great about the status of the project and really excited to start working on more of the fine tuning and graphic design work that lies ahead across Feb. We are working on an updated rulebook, print and play files, and a new digital playtest links to share soon too. If you want to get a jump on things, you can head over to the Wehrlegig Discord Server or wait to get a tour through the newest build on the livestream. Hopefully things are wrapped in March with pre-production for a April production start. We will not rush through development if things need more time, but we're on a good schedule for completion.

So on the horizon we will lock item selections on May 1st as we head into production. Feel free to make any changes before hand, but remember that we won't be processing shipping charges and locking in shipping addresses until July 2024. You can always touch base with us over at [email protected] for any help with your pledge too!

Have a great weekend and hope to see folks in chat during the live stream!
-Drew





 

📨 Pledge manager surveys coming soon 🌆 PAX Unplugged Recap ⚒️ Updated Molly House Build
4 months ago – Fri, Dec 08, 2023 at 11:29:24 AM

Hi backers,

Here we are at the end of the year and what a year it has been! We're hard at work getting Molly House ready and we have some exciting developments to share with you.

Pledge manager surveys 📝

We have just started sending out emails to backers with pledge survey links! These BackerKit pledge manager surveys are critical to making sure your pledge is ready for fulfillment next year. These will be rolling out this weekend, and very likely across next week so do not be alarmed if you don't get your survey for a few days. If you have not received your BackerKit pledge survey by next Friday Dec 15, please reach out! Your pledge manager survey will allow you to review your items and submit your address for delivery. This is also a really important step for us because it allows us to best estimate how many copies we will print and send to different regional shipping hubs.

Importantly, we will not charge cards for any outstanding balances listed on your BackerKit pledge until July 2024 at the earliest! Right now the plan is to lock surveys around April/May and then charge shipping fees and lock delivery addresses when we are much closer to fulfillment Molly House (closer to late July for some backers and potentially as late as September for others). Survey lock, address lock, and card charging dates will come as a timeline update in March or so.

Wehrlegig @ PAX Unplugged 🎉

We just did our first convention as Wehrlegig and it was incredible. Check out these photos of the booth!!  We had Jo, Cole, and Aja running demos of our Molly House prototype all weekend and it was such a delightful time. 


We've done plenty of conventions but this was our first time putting Wehrlegig out there and showing off our games in full force. It was truly one of the best shows we've attended and to all the people that came by the booth to see our 18th century festivities and experienced the work-in-progress, thank you!

Development Update🛠️

After the campaign ended, we promised you that we'd take a moment to recoup and then get back into the game design weeds. Well, that is exactly what we've done. We took the most recent build and simplified many aspects while also increasing the strategic complexity of the game. We are really happy with this latest cut of the game (it wouldn't be a true Cole Wehrle collaboration if there weren't gameplay changes after the campaign).

We're going to be releasing this build as an update on Screentop.gg and tabletop simulator for everyone to explore in the coming days and we'll be doing more public playtesting soon on our Discord server. If you are interested in playtesting and joining the conversation around post-campaign development, join the Wehrlegig Games and Friends Server and see the Molly House dev threads. 

A final note 

Tom and the team over at SUSD put out a video (below) covering John Company and its many facets last week. I would feel some remiss if I did not share this video with our followers here and thank SUSD for the time and consideration of our work. It's a big, complicated game and we're honored to have a video that reflects the project. We appreciate our work getting highlighted by a great channel, and thrilled to have the encouragement for Molly House as we move things forward.


----

Alright, that's it for now. Please let us know in the comments if you have any questions about anything. Molly House pledge surveys. Timeline questions. Access to the new MH build. Whatever it is, drop us a line. It helps to send specific questions about your pledge over email to [email protected]. Thanks for being here.

-Drew

✨ That's a wrap! Molly House Funded!
5 months ago – Fri, Nov 10, 2023 at 05:20:07 PM

You are all amazing!

With the help of 3,500+ backers we have raised over $280,000 for Molly House. This has been a thrilling project for us to explore publishing a true first edition and we thank you for coming out to support this game while it is still in development.

Without you, we would not be able to work on games like this. You've afforded us time and resources to bring the same the level of attention and care to this game that we brought to the second editions of both Pax Pamir and John Company. To all of the folks who backed and liked and commented and posted and shared this project, we see you and are so grateful to have you along.

The team will be taking a few days of rest before getting back to the work of making the game. Though we've come aways, this is really just the end of the beginning. During the campaign, we largely put the game's final design and development on hold. However, with the crowdfunding period completed, we're now able to return our attention to the work of making Molly House the best game it can be. Over the next few weeks, the core development team (Jo, Cole, and Drew) will be pushing hard on the design. Our goal is to make sure every element harmonizes well with the game's overall arguments and that the design continues to produce novel and compelling situations for players for game after game. We want this to be a game you could spent years playing. 

Then, in a month or two, we'll be sitting down with Rachel to hammer out the details of the game's artistic direction. Here the success of this campaign will allow us dramatically expand our initial plans for the game's art. Once we get our plan together, we'll likely start putting a new print-and-play kit together sometime this winter.  

What's next?

As we mentioned in our last update, this time of year is tremendously busy, and it won't be slowing down any time soon. Next week, we are both off to BGG con where we will be spending quite a bit of time working on Molly House. We won't be running public demos or anything, but if you're there, feel free to let us know in the comments and maybe we'll be able to pull you into a playtest! After that, it's off to Pax Unplugged where we will be running our first convention booth. We're happy to say that Jo will also be joining us in Philadelphia. If you're at the show, we'd love to meet you in person. 

The important thing for you to look out for in this next phase of the project is your pledge manager survey! Because we've only just received your pledge, we want to make sure that all our backers are equipped with information on how and when they'll receive their rewards. The BackerKit pledge manager allows us to send out surveys to organize your delivery address and make sure everything is confirmed well in advance of shipping. This allows us to calculate shipping accurately and customize your pledge exactly as you'd like. We're hoping to launch surveys in just a few weeks, so look out for the next update around PAXU with more details on the pledge manager and pictures from the show.

Okay, time to eat some pizza and celebrate how lucky we work on these amazing projects.

Drew & Cole

📖Molly House Book Club Live Stream and Upcoming Conventions
5 months ago – Tue, Nov 07, 2023 at 12:27:52 PM

Hello everyone!

I wanted to drop everyone a quick update. Firstly, we are streaming today! Cole is actually right now streaming a design update with Leder Games. Go here to chat with Nick and Cole for the next bit, and then tune in to Wehrlegig's Twitch channel in about 30 mins (3pm CST). We are going to be streaming our Book Club event with Dr. Kat today. Please come by and talk about these readings on Molly House with us. It's going to be a real nice time digging into some source material, and if you can't make it live, we will share the recording on our page tomorrow. 

Upcoming Things

Cole and I just returned from San Diego HistCon and we had such a lovely time with everyone we met. A weekend full of exciting conversations and great games. We ran a few demos of Molly House and it was wonderful to properly show it off at a show!



We are going to be going to BGG CON and PAX Unplugged this year too! Two great conventions sandwiching Thanksgiving and we've never done both in one year. We'll see how wildly exhausted we'll be by the end of it all, but we are excited to be bring Molly House in active development and running playtests basically the entire time at BGG Con.  We'll have a booth at PAXU, so if you are on the fence for PAXU, please come! Jo is flying out for their first time to the States and I hope this show is a warm welcome because we get to meet our backers that allow us to do this.

Also, we were hoping to have more information on our metal sculpts before the end of this campaign, but I am not sure if those samples are going to come through before the end of this campaign. Because of this I am going to extend an offer a very flexible policy on metal add-on refunds. We will provide full refunds and allow backers to add metal figures at the same backing rate through the entire pledge manager period. 

With only a few days left, the gratitude and appreciation for supporting this campaign is about to get overwhelming! We'll have an end-of-campaign update coming with timeline updates, info on the pledge manger phase, and what we'll be getting up to moving forward.

Thanks again and hope you'll check out the book club!
-Drew