About this project
Grumpy Owl Gamery is launching the integral pieces of their Keep System - a method for organizing and mobilizing your favorite hobby games. The Keep is a custom messenger style bag that carries a set of special game organizers. It can carry numerous games, even the hard to handle expandable games, in an organized and labeled manner.
What is The Keep System?
The Keep System brings storage and travel to your hobby games collection using game organizers and mobilizers.
Note we have a series of videos on our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/grumpyowlgamery
What are Organizers?
Organizers store and label different types of gaming components. They are specially designed to be modular and therefore interchangeable with our line of planned cases. The system is expandable and we have many planned enhancements for the future. Your organizers will never become obsolete. There are two main types:
The Great Chamber (Kickstarting now!) is a waterproof, padded sleeve with a series of mesh pockets. These pockets come in a variety of sizes and allow you to easily store rulebooks, large hexes, boards of many sizes and more. Old Monopoly™ bi-folds, Ticket to Ride™ and Arkham Horror™ hex-folds, Tannhaüser™ and Ogre™ oversized boards - all will fit. Like Ticket to Ride? See our FAQ for how to fit 6 versions in 1 Great Chamber!
Tom Vasel's preview of the Great Chamber: http://bit.ly/TB1QAC
The Magic Chamber(Kickstarting now!)is a high quality plastic, long-box organizer tailored for cards and other similarly sized pieces. It holds about 900 unsleeved cards or 600 sleeved cards. It's unique because of its system for adding custom dividers and other parts.
- The ridge system in the Magic Chamber allows Dividers and Bit Pits to have custom positions giving gamers a large amount of flexibility in what they can store.
- Besides just providing compartments, Dividers take customizable labels allowing you to organize and segment your cards and pieces the way you like. While baggies fit in the Magic Chamber, we've developed a special organizer, the Bit Pit, for smaller pieces like dice, chits, coins, and other tokens. Bit Pits provide a better long term storage solution as they don't wear out, can be used as an in-game tray, and also take custom labels.
Magic: The Gathering™ in The Keep System: http://youtu.be/w5SAqDFoxjg
Small World™ in The Keep System: http://youtu.be/JUJM-wVZ61Q
The Settlers of Catan™ in The Keep System: http://youtu.be/6a0LsSmWMZI
Medley of Card Games in The Keep System: http://youtu.be/0MfTfQH7Geo
What are Mobilizers?
Different sized carry cases that hold varying numbers of organizers. We are planning a neutral color - white is just for the prototypes.
We have three types of carry cases:
The Keep (Kickstarting now!) - a high quality messenger style carry case that is the mobilizer for this Kickstarter. It carries the two main types of game organizers - Great Chambers and Magic Chambers. It will come with a shoulder strap. A Keep can have a number of configurations (see examples http://on.fb.me/Szaij7).
Any of the rewards listed on the right that come with a Keep have an MBGer configuration. If you want any of the other configurations listed below, make sure to add that amount to your pledge.
- +$0 per Keep. The MBGer. Modern Board Gamer Configuration aka "The Standard". 2 Great Chambers, 5 Magic Chambers, 5 Bit Pits, 150 Dividers.
- +$15 per Keep. The LCGer. The Living Card Gamer Configuration aka “A Few Boards”. 1 Great Chamber, 6 Magic Chambers, 6 Bit Pits, 300 Dividers.
- +$25 per Keep. The Dominator. The Configuration for Dominion™. 1 Great Chamber, 6 Magic Chambers, 2 Bit Pits, 300 Dividers. We will also do labels through Dark Ages™ (and later Guilds™).
- +$35 per Keep. The Horror. The Configuration for Arkham Horror™ aka "Many Pieces". 2 Great Chamber, 5 Magic Chambers, 10 Bit Pits, 250 Dividers.
- +$75 per Keep. The CCGer. The Collectible Card Gamer Configuration aka “No Boards”. 10 Magic Chambers, 5 Bit Pits, 250 Dividers.
The Keep Adventurer (planned) - a light, backpack style carry case. The Keep Adventurer is more specialized to collectible card gamers, and people who travel with the standard quad- and hex-folded boards.
What are the Reward Tiers?
See the column to the right! Besides those, you have options to Add-on (see below or the FAQ) to your reward and change the configuration of a Keep (see above or the FAQ).
Options? That's good, I have my own way of doing things.
Yes, you have options! After the Kickstarter, we will collect detailed information about your reward and the add-ons and/or configurations you have selected.
Add-ons to Reward Tiers
- +$5 per Bit Pit
- +$10 per 50 Dividers
- +$25 per Magic Chamber (bare - no dividers, no bit pits)
- +$30 per Great Chamber
- +$40 per Keep Messenger
- +$135 per Keep. You may choose an alternative configuration from the list below - the default is the MBGer
- +$25 for 'On the List'. Doesn't matter what you get, you get it before anyone not on the list and on a first come, first served basis for people on the list
- +$15 per Growly Keychain. We just couldn't let this one go - this is for you Patrick
What happens if this does well?
You get the organizers and mobilizers you backed for! When we get near our funding goals we'll begin sharing some stretch goals.
What Makes The Keep System Special?
Lots of things! Here's what we love about it:
- Flexible, Interchangeable Organizers - We have three different mobilizers and our main organizers will work in any of them.
- Custom Organization - Organize and label your games to your preference.
- Variety of Game Components Stored - Most organization today only focuses on small components or cards. The Keep System stores just about anything.
- Amount of Games Transported - Travel with a large part of your collection or a large expandable game.
- No Cardboard - We use high quality plastic and fabrics that provide safety for your games when you travel.
- No DIY - No more trying to figure out how to get your latest collectible or expandable game to travel with you. Let our system get you out of your workshop and back to your game table.
What Are People Saying?
Do You Have Any Pictures?
We share many pics on our Facebook Gallery: https://www.facebook.com/GrumpyOwlGamery/photos_stream
The white fabric is only for the prototypes, a neutral color will be used for the final.
Kickstarter is THE place to kick around new ideas! No one has ever approached game organization and mobilization quite like this and we believe that the kickstarter community (in particular the gamers) will recognize this as a great solution to a long time problem. By doing a Kickstarter we are able to retail this product at a lower price since we incur less debt, spend less on marketing, and deal directly with customers.
Where Does the Funding Go?
We are asking for $250,000 to bring the first part of The Keep System to gamers everywhere! Here's the breakdown:
- Molds, Tooling, Prototypes, and other startup costs: ~$100,000
- Materials, Manufacturing, Labor, and Fulfilment: ~$125,000
- Amazon & Kickstarter Fees: ~$25,000
- Stretch Goals: Money beyond this will continue to go towards Amazon & Kickstarter and then toward our stretch goals.
- Kicking It Forward: We've agreed to put 5% of our finished product profits back into other Kickstarter projects. This comes our of our profit after rewards ship and after we've paid our expenses. Go to http://kickingitforward.org/ to learn more!
Where do you Ship and what does it Cost?
We will ship pretty much anywhere! Below are cost estimates that are largely weight driven.
Do not include shipping in your pledge! We will work this out thought a questionnaire after the Kickstarter.
A Magic Chamber or Great Chamber:
- US: $5
- Canada: $10
- International: $15
- US: $15
- Canada: $30
- International: $60
- Fully loaded Keep: 10 lb
- Great Chamber: 1 lb
- Magic Chamber: 0.5 lb
- 1 Bit Pit or 50 Dividers: 0.2 lb
What are the Estimated Shipping Dates?
May 2013 is the latest we expect to start shipping but it could be as soon as March 2013. As the number of units increases, we will need to adjust delivery dates accordingly. Fulfilling rewards will be handled on a first come, first served basis according to the following categories:
- Backers "On the List"
- All other Backers
How does something like this get made?
The simple answer is manufacturing. The Keep and the Great Chamber both require textiles manufacturing. The Magic Chamber, Dividers, and Bit Pits all require injection molding.
Textiles is basically a fancy word for fabrics and sewing.
- This is a well established form of manufacturing with a lot of flexibility. Our main cost here will be materials and labor rates.
- Order minimums are typically much lower than other forms of manufacturing since no mold is needed, but still apply as you want to buy fabric and other materials in bulk.
Injection molding is a process wherein liquid plastic is injected into custom molds then allowed to cool and harden. Once hard, the pieces are removed and assembled. We won't bore you with too many nitty gritty details, but that is the basic gist.
- Solid Models: The final software designs of a product take into account materials, physics, and machine limitations. These are necessary to determine what the molds need to be and how much it will cost to make the product in question. If you hadn't guessed, this takes an expert, with at least a Masters in engineering, and a lot of real world experience. They are usually called a product engineer or design engineer. Bill is our product design engineer - thank you Bill!
- Molds: The most significant up front cost of injection molding is here. Molds can take weeks to make and if they are not high quality, will not be able to make many units of the product in question.
- Tooling: What is it? Well, when a new product is going to be made, the machines that create it have to be programmed to know what to do. For high quality products, this can be very exacting and requires an expert in the machine and the software.
- Material costs: A lot of people are familiar with the term 'economies of scale', but aren't familiar with how it works in practice. For a new product, they typically don't start until you are well over 10,000 units. That means in order to produce Magic Chambers and their parts cost effectively we have to meet order minimums!
- Labor Rates: After a product is molded it has to be removed, assembled, and the machine has to be cleaned. An extra consideration for our product are the label holders which must go in by hand.
By this point you probably know more than you ever wanted to know about manufacturing and there is a lot more we don't go into like machine rates, cycle time, tolerances and more. If for whatever reason you want to know more - send me a message.
The Grumpy Owl Gamery is an American owned small business. Given the types of manufacturing needed, The Keep will be produced in China.
Can I do more than pledge?
Of course! Share our tweets and FB posts. Call friends and family (especially the ones always asking you to bring the games - it's time they chip in). Talk about what excites you about The Keep in forums. Become a Street Owl!
What's a Street Owl?
The Street Owls are a community of like minded gamers that are helping the Gamery spread the word and get the Keep made!
What are game specific add-ons?
Depending on what you play, there are numerous ways to configure your Keep. Having said that, we have a few suggestions for games we play a lot.
What are solid models?
A solid model is an engineering design BUT with all physicals, materials, and manufacturing limitations taken into account. A solid model is the last software version of a product before it goes to production.
Growly is how we affectionately refer to our owl mascot. His name is also the acronym we use to shorten our company name, Grumpy Owl Gamery.
What's the deal? I didn't see an add-on for my game.
As much as we love games, we have not played them all. We are constantly collecting feedback on recommended load outs for all sorts of games. Let us know what you think. If you aren't sure what would be the best configuration, send me a message letting me know what you play and I'll give you a recommendation.
Are there special labels for my game?
Not yet, but we will make our template for labels available to everyone. If you make something - send it to us or post it up on boardgamegeek.com. We'll direct people to your generous work so that they may download it as well. We appreciate you being cool enough to do this for the community - we'll work out something small, but special for contributors.
How come you don’t offer shipping as part of the reward tier or as an add-on?
The biggest reason is that we are offering a large amount of customization through add-ons - so we can't really predict the size of a reward. No need to include shipping as part of your pledge!
Is there a way for me to provide feedback?
We highly suggest you take our survey to let us know what's important to you: http://grumpyowlgamery.wufoo.com/forms/the-keep-kickstarter-questionnaire/. Besides that we try very hard to respond timely to all questions we get via email, Twitter, Facebook, and of course, Kickstarter.
Risks and challenges
The main risk for this project is ensuring the quality of the final product. Besides doing an extensive testing period on every part, I will be going to China to review the prototypes as they come off the line.
Another risk is the cost of the label holders on the dividers. We are working closely with our engineers and manufacturers to ensure the cost is low without impacting the quality of the product.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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