Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Butt Kicking For Goodness! Assorted Kickstarter Updates Through 11/13/12 - Pyramids Anyone?

More of the latest:

Backers Only - Project and Identifiers Redacted (but in it's entirety otherwise, because relying on a second Kickstarter to apparently fund part of your first Kickstarter seems so much like a pyramid scheme it makes me nervous as all shit)

Hey folks!

This is another quick update to address a few recent concerns.

While it's obvious our XXXXXX XXXX Kickstarter didn't "kick," that has had no effect on this project. It still progresses. We've smashed into walls, hit road blocks, and worked around speed bumps, but we're still moving down the road. There are several aspects of this game's creation that are outside of my control at the moment, but everything still moves apace. Some of you were worried that since the XX KS flopped, that it might mean the entire game flopped—not true at all. It means we had to take a very hard look at our schedule and business plan, pull the trigger on alternate plans we hoped we wouldn't hit but planned for anyway, and just keep working (emphasis mine - why was a 2nd kickstarter released when the first was no where near completion? why should the 2nd kickstarter ever have been a part of the business plan? see my "pyramid scheme" comment above). There will be additional products after the core rulebook—the XX KS did not change our plans, it just adjusted the order and timing.

Things have slowed in the last month, this is true. Updates have been sparse. This does not mean that work has stopped. Every day the game is closer to completion and I'm hopeful that the aspects of the game that are currently outside my control will be completed soon.

Many of you are asking for a date. I've learned my lesson there. The day I send the files to the printer will be the day I declare a date and not a moment sooner. I realize this disappoints some of you, but as one of you put it, I need to quit proceeding with XXXXXXX in the "ready, fire, aim" order.

There are many of you who are disappointed that we didn't hit our estimated release date of last April. This I completely understand. Unfortunately not everything always goes to plan. Repeatedly letting me know I missed the date doesn't help me. I know that you know and now you know that I know.

There will be a game. It will be well-written, well-edited, contain fantastic art and maps, and will have a cover that will blow you away. The XXXX XXXXXXXX has been beyond spectacular and has changed the game for the better in almost every way. None of this would be possible without all of you. I appreciate it a great deal.

For the handful of you that I hear from on a very frequent basis: give it some time (because 7 months past estimated shipping date and still counting is not enough). The game is coming. (just as soon as we find another Kickstarter project to push)

Dungeon World

It's a backers only update, but I don't really know why. The books are at the printers, and other stuff backers are due are being worked on. The PDF has been updated to final files.  This is another example of a Kickstarter being so successful that they were unable to hit their projected ship date of August 2012. Which in this case is understandable)

Monster Stock Art & Minis II

This one failed to fund, which is a shame, as the art was really good.

Here's the latest update:

With only a few hours to go, it is time to face the fact that this project won't get funded.  Even yesterday morning I had hoped making the last minute additions and some last minute momentum would push us over the goal.

Why do I think this project didn't make the goal?  I think it is mostly because the physical minis aren't as in demand for the following reasons:

The creatures in this project are less commonly used than the prior project's creatures.
People may have thought the prior set were too thin.  (In my initial survey after that project the sentiment seemed to be that backers were happy with the quality, but recently I've had a few people tell me the prior set was too thin.)
Groups are playing on-line more often now, so physical minis get less use.
The Pathfinder Bestiary Box is now available from Paizo, so there is less need.
Even though there was a higher goal, less than 1/3 of the backers for the prior cardstock minis backed this project.  I don't think the switch from $4500 to $7500 would have scared many people off, especially considering the our first couple of days of funding got us over 1/3 of the way.

The project's goal was set as low as possible.  If you take the goal of $7500 and subtract the 5% Kickstarter takes and subtract the 3-5% the credit cards take that leaves under $7000. Divide that by 100 monsters and subtract the cost to make and mail the physical products and the budget is at most $60/monster.  (All of the art is well over that amount.)  I was able to set a goal of $7500 because having the art for future use was worth some money and some of my time (even though the artists do the art, I do all of the coordination) to me.

(The prior Monster Stock Art & Minis Kickstarter had a lower goal because some art was cheaper (no line art/backgrounds) and some was already paid for.)

Next Up

I know a lot of people who wanted the stock art are especially disappointed.  But there certainly will be another project which will also offer the art as additional rewards.  I've had an idea for a product for quite some time and the art was just as important for that project... so very soon after Thanksgiving I plan to launch the new project.  I've been following up with the artists that were part of this project and I believe we'll have the same group for that one.

Thank you, and I look forward to your support on that project!  (Of course I'll post an update here when it launches.)

Race to Adventure! A Spirit of the Century™ Board Game

An interesting update, if only for an insight into the bigger picture of publishing.

Digital Proofing Begins
Update #19 · Nov. 12, 2012
Happy November, Racers!

We recently shipped out pins & patches to everyone who's owed them, so if you haven't gotten yours yet, you should be getting them soon. We aren't done with all the dice bag manufacture yet, but we shipped out a big pile of what we did have, so some of you have gotten yours already; if you're owed one and didn't get one, do not worry! We know you didn't, and we've got a mark in our "shipping, round 2!" column in our spreadsheet to make sure that you do get one sent to you when the time comes.

On the production side, things with Germany continue to be about as slow as they have been. One thing I've noticed in particular with many manufacturing companies -- whether we're talking roleplaying game books or, now, board and card games -- is that while I might typically operate on a touch-base-every-day kind of mentality, their granularity for work and deliverables tends to be no finer than weekly. That's survivable once you know to expect it -- which is why I wasn't surprised when some of my questions posed the middle of last week didn't get answers until the wee hours (by my time zone) of today, Monday morning.

Where we're at: we've paid LudoFact a little over 50% of the manufacturing cost, with another 30% coming due not too long from now (an invoice for that showed up in the morning's email). There are a lot of moving parts, and LudoFact is essentially the coordination nexus for multiple suppliers of various things, so they're working through each of those parts and getting us a chance to look at digital proofs as things become ready for that. That was also part of this morning's multi-email volley, and included things like the image you'll see at the end of the post.

To one side of the barcode on that box-back proof, you'll see a thin white rectangle with some gobbledygook inside it. This was a late addition to the back cover design; turns out the EU has some new regs regarding manufacturing showing what lot number something was produced in. It's good to comply with EU regs if you intend to be able to sell your stuff there, so we were happy to add in the little blank area that the printer can then fill in with each lot done. I mention this because it's kind of emblematic of what this process is like: tiny adjustments, tweaks here and there, double-checking to confirm I'm understanding my obligation as provider of the files correctly, and getting the new version(s) exported and sent over to LudoFact.

Given the pace of things, I'm more certain than ever that the game's probably landing early next year instead of very late this year. Not too much to be done about that; the process is on rails at this point, and our role in it is mainly to make sure we are not the source of any speed-bumps encountered. LudoFact is clearly in motion, now, at any rate -- which is what we'd hoped for once we got our actual money put down on the table. :)

We'll continue to keep you updated at least monthly from here on until the games are shipped out. Thanks so much for your support, your good faith, and your positive attitudes. It keeps us flying high!

1 comment:

  1. Can't really complain, because it's not even a month late, but the communication for Starships & Spacemen could be better. Supposedly he was going to start shipping last week, and we'd get our PDFs this weekend, but nope.

    Which is cool, but just take 10 minutes and say so.


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