Rollecate: a fast track-laying game

Created by Michiel de Wit

Easy to learn and fast to play card game, combining push-your-luck with tactics, set building and a beautiful white metal locomotive.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Funded, Wow!
6 months ago – Sat, May 18, 2019 at 03:03:04 AM

Hi all! Some mixed feelings here. The Kickstarter campaign just ended and it was funded. And not just a little. More than 200%! And we unlocked 4 amazing stretch goals. To us the last two weeks were quite exhilarating. So even though we are really happy with the result, in a way it is sad it is all over now as well.

But! We can now finally start all preparations to get these games shipped to you! Approximately 200 copies of the game have been pledged for. So we'll need more copies of the miniature. We plan on doing all the assembly, packaging and fulfillment ourselves. So that should keep us busy for a while. Luckily, we love doing that kind of stuff.

We won't stop updating you, but it feels like some sort of good bye anyway. That's why we would like to extend a heartfelt 'thank you' for your support. See you later!

Fourth stretch goal unlocked; final 4 hours
6 months ago – Sat, May 18, 2019 at 02:50:31 AM

Wow, who would have thought we'd unlock the fourth stretch goal, so close to the goal? Really nice. That means the Kickstarter edition of Rollecate will now also include 4 player summary sheets! We'll let you know what they look like early next week.

The final stretch goal seems to be a bit of a stretch, but it would be awesome if we could still unlock it. Right now the game consists of regular rail cards only. Adding switches would add an interesting new layer to the game. So try your very best! 4 more hours. It can be done!

Just for those of you that like photos: here are some more!

Sample of final card stock
Sample of final card stock

Thus far, all images we have been able to share of the game were of prototypes. The photo above shows a sample of the final card stock, with the card back motif. The quality really pleases us and the colors come out nice. Look at that red! It goes so well with the red of the velvet miniature bag...

Article in Dutch newspaper
Article in Dutch newspaper

For those of you able to read Dutch: yesterday an - honestly quite huge - news article appeared in the local newspaper. They took their time explaining how the game came to be. If you're interested, or just like to practice your language skills, check out the article here.

200% funded, last day and German rulebook
6 months ago – Fri, May 17, 2019 at 02:04:45 AM

So, this is the last full day of the campaign. It will end tomorrow at noon. That leaves slightly more than 24 hours to unlock the next stretch goal at 5,500: player summary sheets. And we might just get it done!

In the mean time, there has been another great development. With the help of one of the backers, we were able to compile a German translation of the rulebook. So we'll try and get that printed as well, and include it in all shipments to German speaking countries.

Oh, and look at these beauties! The first 100 miniatures were just delivered, ready for the early birds!

Third stretch goal unlocked; final 48 hours
6 months ago – Thu, May 16, 2019 at 02:17:31 PM

Goodevening everyone. Yesterday, we crossed the threshold for the third stretch goal... and then dropped below it again. But today, we definitely left the 4,500 mark behind us, so it's sure: the white metal trains will get an antique look finish. And to make sure the early bird backers will receive their rewards in time, production of the first batch of miniatures started today.

The mother miniatures in the production mould
The mother miniatures in the production mould

The picture above isn't just very satisfying to look at, it is very important as well. Yesterday the mould maker made the production mould. The picture shows what that looked like right after the sillicone was cured. In the mould, you see the 10 mother miniatures, cast with an extra hard (but brittle) Tin-Bismuth alloy. 

You probably noticed those little bits of green at the end of the train. And now you're wondering what those are? In caster's speak, these are called 'cores'. They are an extra piece added to the mould to create a cavity in the mould. It is a fairly complicated and expensive technique, but we felt it was necessary. Only in this way the interior of the cabin could be formed and the windows opened. From a technical point of view, this truely is an exceptional feat. And it makes the finished trains look really special, with all the little details inside the cabin. 

A batch of freshly cast miniatures, still on the crown
A batch of freshly cast miniatures, still on the crown

So here's the next step in the process. This shows one of the first batches of miniatures, freshly cast. In this particular process, called spin casting, the molten tin is forced into the mould using centrifugal force. This is achieved by spinning the mould at high speed and then pouring the hot tin into a central hub. The result: 10 locomotives arranged as a sort of crown. As shown by the prototype in the front, without any further finishing, the miniatures are indeed fairly white, hence 'white metal'.

Production is picking up
Production is picking up

At the time of writing, the first batch of miniatures has been cast and finished. A tiny army of 100 little locomotives is waiting to get shipped to the early birds as soon as possible. But before that happens, the other components will have to be ready as well. We expect that to be really soon.

Press has picked up on Rollecate
Press has picked up on Rollecate

Rather unconventionally, we didn't spend a lot of time to leave this project to 'soak', giving people a chance to take a look at it before starting the Kickstarter campaign. That means you'll get to own a copy as soon as possible, but it also meant we hardly had any press coverage yet. But that seems to be changing. Today a photographer for a major Dutch newspaper showed up and made some beautiful pictures of the first batch of fully finished miniatures. We look forward to seeing them in tomorrow's newspaper!

Final 48 hours

We're almost at the end of this 2 week Kickstarter campaign. It's been an absolutely amazing adventure. And it is great to be able to send this beautiful little game to so many people around the globe. Thank you for that! We'll make sure to ship out the copies as soon as we can and we aim to deliver way before the set deadlines.

But... the campaign isn't over yet. There are still some 36 hours left. So let's try and crack that last stretch goal. It can still be done. So, please, convince your friends they need this great game. And if not for the game, convince them that this MSRP 15 euro miniature train alone is worth the pledge!

Antique look almost unlocked; more about the master mould
6 months ago – Wed, May 15, 2019 at 10:50:45 AM

Good evening everyone. Rollecate is very close to the 4,500 euro line, which means the Antique look stretch goal has almost been unlocked! Thank you very much for your contributions. Just a little more to go! 

Last time, we promised to show you a little more of the process of making the mould for the first white metal train. As you may remember, the first generation of miniatures is used to base the actual production moulds on. To make sure as much detail is copied from the plastic model #0, a different alloy is used, consisting of 50% Tin and 50% Bismuth. This metal is more fluid than the regular white metal alloy. But it is also more brittle, causing it to break easily.

Master mould maker creates casting channels
Master mould maker creates casting channels

On the picture above, you see the master mould. It is made by immersing the plastic #0 miniature in silicone. The resulting mould still needs some work: channels are carved by hand, both for the fluid metal to enter and air to leave. Once the mould contains all the necessary channels, the very first metal train could be cast. This memorable moment was caught on camera...


So there it was, the very first copy of mini-Rollecate in white metal. From here on, a further 10 copies were made and hand-detailed. These mother trains were then used to create a production mould.

The Tin-Bismuth mother miniatures used to create the production mould
The Tin-Bismuth mother miniatures used to create the production mould

With the production mould ready, we are now all set to start casting the white metal miniatures for Rollecate: the game. A different alloy will be used, mainly consisting of Tin and some Copper and Antimony. This alloy is far less brittle. Although it is still not advisable to drop the miniature, it would actually survive the impact. It might dent, but won't break. Which is quite a difference from the Tin-Bismuth miniature we dropped: it shattered into a thousand peaces. What a shame...

Finally, the photo below shows Michiel casting a first batch of white metal trains. Well, sort of. He didn't quite succeed and the tin was ultimately 'recycled'.

Rollecate designer Michiel de Wit pouring some tin into the mould
Rollecate designer Michiel de Wit pouring some tin into the mould