We had over 1,700 people vote in the survey and 260 comments. Almost 80% of these comments were words of encouragement so thank you for both your feedback and support.
The clear winner in the survey is the solid blue board. If we include those who voted for either option, this would cover over 85% of votes.
For those who will not be happy with the solid blue boards, we have a proposition for you. Let Bill and I ship it to you and try it out for yourself. Try playing a game or two on the board and if you still are bothered by the solid blue color and would prefer to return to the cardboard hex frame, you can sell it online or to a friend. We will be selling these boards at $5-$10 more plus shipping and handling fees after the Kickstarter project. Our inbox is filled is filled each day with messages from those who missed the Kickstarter and want to buy a board, some trying to pay a premium to get one as soon as our Kickstarter supporters. Granted, a few of these people may also not want the new solid blue color, but we know there is still a demand for solid color boards as witnessed by the Seafarers board and our wooden boards. Another option of course is to paint it yourself. Bill and I will get you the necessary color matches for the DIYers out there and some backers have already offered to create a video on how to paint your board once they receive theirs.
When I referred to our margins not allowing us to run the spray painted boards last update, by margins I did not mean profit margins, I meant contribution margins. We only receive 80% of your pledge after Kickstarter fees, payment processing, and royalties. Shipping costs run us $8-15 per board in addition to taxes for California boards. International shipping for the wooden boards sometimes costed us more than the board itself. You can see how this does not leave much of a margin, if any at all, on most of the pledges. 100% of that margin goes straight to the costs of designing, creating, and manufacturing the molds. When we priced these boards, we did not price them to profit. We simply priced them to cover the costs of the molds. With the demand for more products such as the Seafarers mold and the resource cardholders, any additional money went towards creating these products. We did our best to get accurate quotes for every step of the project but there are so many unforeseen costs and challenges that are hard to accurately budget for. At this point in the project, we will have to take out a loan to finish the project regardless of the decision made with painting so any additional costs only puts further stress on the financing.
As I shared in the last update, one of the great advantages of Kickstarter, the ability to fund a product that is still an idea, a computer rendering, and a prototype, is also one of the great disadvantages. The fundamental difference between products like our wooden Catan boards and the plastic Catan boards is that we had the finished product in hand before the launch and we knew we could deliver exactly the same product we showed. For the plastic boards, we had to do our best to portray through renderings and our prototype the final product we believed we could deliver. Yes, Bill and I should have caught this earlier before we launched the project but at the end of the day, we are a two man team and have to be willing to put faith in other people or this project would never happen. Unfortunately, these challenges are part of bringing a product to market.
Pity is not what we’re asking for but for what it is worth, this project consumes our life 24/7 right now. We couldn’t be more emotionally and financially invested in this project and for any wondering, I can assure you that Bill and I will not see any money from this Kickstarter. By the time this Kickstarter is through, we will have dedicated close to a year of our lives bringing these boards to market. We are simply asking you to kindly consider the circumstances. Our goal was to fix the problem with Catan hex frames and create a well-designed playing surface. We already have a lot invested in this project, so we are doing our best to see it through and stay positive. There have been some real frustrations and stress as a result of this project, but at the end of the day Bill and I feel fortunate to be able to work on something we love.
At this point, Bill and I have opted for trying to keep the project as simple and streamlined as possible until we get the boards shipped. Therefore, we will not be looking into other “patches” to try to color the board but will leave that up the creativity of our backers. This will allow us to focus completely on fulfillment and getting the boards into your hands sooner than later. We are very happy with the actual design of the plastic pieces. We know they will live up to expectations as far as durability and functionality and are excited to finally ship them out.
We will be sending out more updates within the next few days with more specifics on the timeline deliveries.
Once again, thanks for your patience and support!
Nate and Bill