Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Romantic comedy with a twist. A 2-player game. Can you make the relationship work or do you break up? Strategic. Intuitive. Surprising.
Romantic comedy with a twist. A 2-player game. Can you make the relationship work or do you break up? Strategic. Intuitive. Surprising.
Romantic comedy with a twist. A 2-player game. Can you make the relationship work or do you break up? Strategic. Intuitive. Surprising.
3,625 backers pledged $162,908 to help bring this project to life.

November update 1 – Problems with logistics

72 likes

Dear backers, dear friends,

This update will be about our problems with logistics and some of their consequences. This update is sadly full of bad news for us and for you.

In short: Due to seasonal congestion we’ve been waiting more than a month to ship the games out of China. Games will be fulfilled in December.

Since we know many are curious, it’s a rather long text explaining what has happened. Most of what happened we didn’t know until recently. Our partners have been very difficult to get hold of.

We’ll soon post another update with more news about the game and a report from Essen. Luckily this news will be happier.

Congestions out of China

As we expected (and hoped) our games have been finished and packed in the factory since September. What surprised us along the way was that most of the games didn’t ship out as agreed.

October and November is extremely busy when it comes for shipping out of China. Everybody struggles to get their goods out in time for the Holiday season.

An added trial is a relatively new Chinese holiday – The Golden Week – which resulted in almost everything closing in China from 1-8 October this year. This affected factories and logistics across the country. This led to dramatic congestions up to the holiday and for weeks after.

We learned that most of our shipments didn’t make it before The Golden Week. Only the games bound for SPIEL in Essen had been dispatched. These were on a train – the Trans-Siberian Railway.

The remaining shipments in containers bound for our fulfilment partners around the globe and for our large retail partner Walmart were still in process when The Golden Week commenced.

We are not fully sure why this happened. Some paperwork was missing and coordination between shipper and manufacturer wasn’t perfect. What we know is that everyone has been busy to the extreme, communication to us was sparse and facts difficult to get hold of.

We got hold of the CEO of our manufacturer during the last days of The Golden Week and he promised to prioritise our shipment as soon as he and his team returned. Our US based shipping partner promised the same. We thought this meant that shipment would happen within a week, but learned during some excruciating weeks that things only progressed slowly.

Our shipping partner couldn’t book the ships before all paperwork was done and a clear release date for the games was established by our manufacturer. We thought everything was done in the first week after The Golden Week, but could get no confirmation. Next week was the same. We just got the final confirmation for the bookings during this week (!).

Normally you can book a shipment fast when paperwork is done. This is however not the case during this time of the year. Two to three weeks waiting time is normal now. So the delays led to further delays. We’ve been heartbroken by this.

Our shipping partner told us: “I can appreciate the position you are in here and again we will do all we can for you. We are pulling for you. But you have to appreciate the magnitude of cargo that is coming out of China/Asia right now to North America and Europe. This is like sitting in an automobile traffic jam where even the breakdown lane is being used.”

Our booked shipments

Below is an overview of our fulfilment partners and the shipments bound for them.

US and Latin America

Fulfilled by Quartermaster Logistics

ETD SHA: NOV.06 

ETA JAX: DEC.05

Europe

Fulfilled by Games Quest 

ETD SHA: OCT.31

ETA SOU: NOV.30

Canada

Fulfilled by Snakes and Lattes

ETD SHA OCT.31

ETA ORD NOV.27 

Note: This shipment is combined with the containers heading to Walmart. There is a split at port which will add extra time for processing.

Australia and New Zealand

Fulfilled by Aetherworks 

ETD SHA: NOV.02

ETA SYD: NOV.16

Asia

Fulfilled by VFI

Cargo is to be picked up and delivered on Nov 04.

More uncertainties for delivery in December

What is hurting on top of this is that we still haven’t got final confirmation that our containers actually are on the boats. Believe us we’ve asked. We’ve learned that a booking isn’t 100% certain. You can get pushed out from a booked departure due to congestion. This happened to us already once and cost us a week extra for the shipment bound for Europe. This might happen again.

Please also note that the above dates only tell when the ships are estimated to arrive in port. Things can happen while they sail. On top of that we need to add approximately a week in port for unloading, processing and customs. If we are unlucky we might spend an extra week in customs being inspected.

After release in customs the goods are trucked to the fulfilment partners. These partners then need to process the goods. All Kickstarter copies are shipped on pallets in cartons with 4 games each. These pallets need to be inspected for eventual damage, then fully unpacked and then repacked for shipment to you. Finally, the individual parcels have to be shipped. This happens during absolute peak season for shipments to private households. We are told by several of our partners (and others we ask for advice) that shipping in December is insane and that we can’t be sure that all of you will get the games for the Holidays. Some advice us against shipping in December altogether.

We’ve asked our fulfilment partners to prioritise our goods, so you can get your games in December. We of course also know that others also want priority. We are in early dialogue about this and will update you when we know more.

Train for Essen

As noted above our train with games for SPIEL in Essen managed to leave before The Golden Week. It contained almost 1000 retail copies of the game and a few Kickstarter copies as well.

It’s quite an expensive shipment, but is still economically viable for us. When you sell directly at a fair you get the full margin without anything going to other middlemen.

We counted on selling minimum 600-700 games at the fair (most told us that 1000 was very realistic). This was important for us, since we’ve spent much more on developing the game than anticipated. We are in a firm minus economically now, even with Walmart and all the Kickstarter funds. The only reason for us to be able to continue is because Jacob J. continues to work fulltime in his consulting business and continues to finance the work on the game. Selling at the fair would help cover some of the economic drain.

Sadly, our logistics problems were not contained to just Shanghai. The games were to arrive between 13-15 October in Hamburg and would then be trucked to Essen. SPIEL opened in Essen on 26 October. We had plenty of buffer for customs, but it wasn’t enough for a storm.

A hurricane on 5 October – Storm Xavier – ruined most railways in Northern Germany. Our train stopped to a halt 500 km outside Hamburg and used more than 12 days extra to arrive in Hamburg due to congestion on the few remaining tracks that worked.

We didn’t have anything to sell in Essen, even though we had this expensive shipment heading there. This means that we ended with a huge deficit from Essen. 

We also didn't have any copies to give to backers who wanted to pick up the games there. We'll ship the copies together with all the ofter copies to be fulfilled.

All the games have been released by customs in Hamburg just before this weekend and now need to be shipped somewhere else. We’ve worked this week on figuring out a solution and have found one. We couldn’t truck them to the UK to our warehouse there, as this would be too expensive (this is also one of the reasons why we didn’t send your Kickstarter copies with the train – they are fulfilled from the UK and would need to be shipped there from Hamburg as well).

Luckily a large distributor is willing to take all retail copies in on very short notice. This is Asmodee (more precisely Esdevium and Enigma). This is a huge help for us, since we don’t need to pay for extra warehousing and for expensive shipping to the UK. We'll also get some payment for the games, even though it's much less than selling directly at the fair.

This however also means that the games will end up in shops in Europe within a few weeks, as the distributor of course wants to sell the games.

It should also be mentioned that the Kickstarter copies that were on the train will go to Copenhagen for our pick up backers there. We'll tell more about this later.

Flying to Walmart

As you know we have set up a large agreement with Walmart. As we’ve already explained this has financed a lot of our upgrades in material quality. Part of the deal was that they would have the games in good time for the Holidays.

We are clearly set to miss this target.

We had a meeting with our Walmart buyers in Essen about this. They were of course not satisfied with the delay and wanted to find a solution. In the end, we agreed to flight ship a large part of their games directly from China. This is insanely expensive (we are competing with companies like Apple and Samsung for limited flight cargo space during this time of the year), but Walmart offered to pay by far most of the cost. They want to be good partners in our endeavour. They are VERY happy with the quality of the game and trust that we are doing everything we can from our side.

They will thus also have the games to sell within a few weeks.

Believe us that we would like to provide the same solution for all, so you didn’t have to wait for the ships to arrive. This is however simply impossible. It would cost us most of the Kickstarter funds to achieve this. We would go bankrupt.

Result: Backers won’t get their games before retail

In the end, this mess in logistics means that backers won’t get their games before retail. The almost 1000 Essen games are bound for retail in Europe and Walmart will get some copies faster because they pay for flying them in. They are likely to sell out relatively fast, but will still be in retail before you get them.

Even though backers will get vastly more content than the retail version and do so for a lower price, we know some of you will be upset about this situation. If you are one of these and want a full refund, we’ll of course offer you one. No questions asked. Deadline is 15 November, as we need to lock in all fulfilment details by then.

We of course didn’t want this, but it is how it sadly ends – all due to three misprinted cards in August (see update explaining it here) and then congestion out of China. It has been an extremely stressful time for us to figure out a solution to accelerate the process. Sadly, we haven’t succeeded. 

We didn't have the experience to anticipate it before it happened; we didn't have enough information to understand what happened while it happened; and after it happened, we didn't know which strings we could pull to change the situation. We are so sorry for this.

We understand that you might be frustrated by this. You are welcome to write or call me, Jacob Jaskov (the designer and project creator), personally if you want to talk to me about this. My email is jacob [ D O T ] jaskov [ A T ] hushhushprojects [ D O T ] com. My phone is +45 61 79 90 01 (please consider time zone - I live in Denmark). I'll be happy to hear from you.

We will also be at BGG CON (Dallas) and perhaps also PAX Unplugged (Philadelphia) if you want to meet us there.

We'll also answer questions in the comments below from tomorrow (it's very late here, so we are heading for bed now).

Love,

Jacob J. and Jacob E.

___________________________________

- Follow Fog of Love on Facebook

- Follow Fog of Love on Twitter

P H, Rob Kalbach, and 70 more people like this update.

Comments

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Jonathan Whitfield on November 15

      Sorry to hear about all your delays. I can understand that's a particularly congested region for logistics at this time of year and you don't have the spare funds to throw at it for other solutions.

      I'm happy to wait for the complete Kickstarter version of the game however long it takes, even if it takes till January. The game is for me and my new girlfriend who has been enjoying many of my other games.

      I know you have to keep your promises to the big funding companies like Walmart and since I'm in the UK, i'm not disappointed by the priority. I feel pretty confident i'll get the game before my local small game store.

      Keep up the good work on prioritising quality over efficiency, it's best for things to take longer and make a perfect product rather than botching it to keep to shipping dates.

    2. Missing avatar

      Johan Nylin on November 9

      No worries, the game will get here when it gets here. I can't imagen the stress you must be under with the Walmart deal and everything, don't let us Kickstarter backers add to that stress. I would much rather wait for a few months more than get a game now with three misprinted cards, so even if you had known that the reprint of those cards would cause a delay I still think it would have been the right decision to redo those cards. Thank you for the detailed update, though! I really appreciate reading about what's happening with the game, both good and bad news.

    3. Tim Getchell on November 8

      In these things, I wonder if the hop to Hong Kong would have saved on time, with more shipping freedom?

    4. Kåre on November 8

      That's horribly bad luck - from what I hear, you really did everything you could, to make it work out. I support your decision and think it is the right one and I applaud your openness.

    5. Ross
      Superbacker
      on November 7

      Thanks for the details on what is going on. I am very satisfied you are doing all you can.

    6. Shijuro
      Superbacker
      on November 7

      Some problems are just unavoidable.

      Thank you for a full and lucid account of the issues.

    7. Angel
      Superbacker
      on November 7

      I appreciate the deep dive into the logistics, and I'm perfectly fine with waiting longer. I've noted elsewhere many times that my enjoyment of a game is not at all impacted by whether or not other people are able to obtain their own copies before I do.

      Things happen. I appreciate your drive to work through it all no matter what.

      I've got other games to play while I wait :)

    8. Lynn Chalfoun on November 6

      Thanks for the update. I'm disappointed by the delay, but most of all I feel sympathy for all the logistics problems you have been facing. I hope things go smoothly now.

    9. Missing avatar

      Dean Love on November 6

      Just a quick note - if Walmart and retail were getting the same game as we were (or it was just a few extra promo cards), I'd be really hacked off. But honestly I don't think the game backers are getting is comparable to the retail version. There's so much more content I find it hard to get angry about this.

    10. Anthony M. Paolilli on November 6

      Sad update but you know what?

      It is fine. Many of us wanted this game for.valentines day so it is fine as it is still going to get here before then.

      Thank you for being transparent. We love that you keep us in the loop.

    11. Missing avatar

      Tim Tigges on November 6

      Wow. That must be devastating for you guys. I am very sorry. Hope you'll get through this as smooth as possible. May FoL be a supersuccess once it's out.

    12. Dante Pendragon on November 6

      This is of course very disappointing for someone who has been looking forward to playing your game. BUT This is also one of the most honest and straightforward updates I have ever seen on a kickstarter. It seems like it is pretty much out of your hands at this point and so all we can do is hope for the best. Thanks for the great update.

    13. Vicki Martin
      Superbacker
      on November 6

      Wow. I am so so sorry that you guys have been dealing with so many crazy things. Thank you very much for the update. I am very excited to get this game and am confident that it is well worth waiting for.

    14. William Archer on November 6

      Things happen, still beyond excited for this game and very happy with how communicative you have been.

    15. Mathias Melgaard on November 6

      Ingen stress d'herrer! Det er sku i orden med åbenheden - thumbs up! Hvor er det dog bare fedt at spillet er blevet til virkelighed og hvor er det fantastisk at i har fået aftalen i hus med Walmart! Kæmpe tillykke! Vi glæder os til spillet uanset hvornår det kommer!

    16. Missing avatar

      Stephen Puderbaugh on November 6

      Thanks for the update. You continue to have my full support!

    17. Jaymark108 on November 6

      The games are coming and the project isn't cancelled. That's a win in my book! Thank you for working so hard for us.

    18. Missing avatar

      Adam Gastonguay on November 6

      Looks like everyone chose option A- "That's okay, Kickstarters are rough, we understand." +Empathy and +5 hearts.

      And do let us know if you're going to Pax. I'll be there and would LOVE to get in a game!

    19. Ryan Brock
      Superbacker
      on November 6

      Thanks for the update guys. I waited this long. I can wait a little longer. I was surprised as well at comments. Guess it shows when you post regular updated and put everything out front. Thanks guys. Glad for all the understanding backers on this one.

    20. Missing avatar

      Charles S Mote Jr
      Superbacker
      on November 6

      This.

      "David Camp: The open honesty of this update is inspiring. I don't know that I've read anything from any other kickstarter that as adequately or appropriately dealt with an issue regarding delays. Kudos for your openness and willingness to broach the topic with backers (especially 'face to face' with the phone number). If all kickstarters had this attitude toward honest communication I think there would be many happier and more understanding backers.
      All the best, I hope the fulfillment hiccups are through and you can relax a little :)"

    21. Missing avatar

      Greg Smith on November 6

      Add another "don't add any stress due to me!" I wonder if the positive response from all that've commented is due to the game generally targeting people that want to learn more about their relationship. Seems like a self selecting group of understanding people.

    22. Missing avatar

      Charlotte on November 6

      PS: One thing I want to add, though: As I said, I'm perfectly happy to wait for this game, I really don't think you should bankrupt yourself trying to get us our games, and I understand why you have to put your deal with Walmart first, but this project is another illustration of why we as the Kickstarter backers really have the short end of the stick in many aspects of project fulfilment.
      It's one of the reasons why I've become a lot more hesitant about Kickstarter in general, and, especially considering that you now have some large guys in the boat with you that will understandably always be served first, I am fairly unlikely to back another of your Kickstarters, should you make one. I would probably just wait for retail.
      Just as a point of feedback.

    23. Missing avatar

      Charlotte on November 6

      Aww man, what a string of bad luck!
      I'm glad for you guys that Walmart is proving to be so understanding, and hopefully all goes well with that deal.
      Of course a lot of the earlier delays were in design and development, but now it must be very frustrating to be the ones that don't know what's going on either and to have your partners not be able to hold their deadlines -- all while you in turn have your backers waiting.

      Anyway, I don't mind the wait. It would be lovely to still have the game this year, but if not, it'll be just as good next year.
      I always think that Kickstarter backers should be getting something that retail customers aren't (and I DON'T mean Kickstarter exclusives, I dislike those) -- earlier delivery, lower price, expansions for free, or something like that.
      And we're still getting the 2nd and 3rd, as far as I am aware, so I'm good, and I don't begrudge the retail customers their early copy.

    24. Missing avatar

      Mark Hughes on November 6

      I cannot believe the amount of positive comments here, it's very uplifting.

      I don't think anyone should back any Kickstarter expecting the deadline to be met. However I know this is very delayed, and it is disheartening to hear retail will get it before us backers, but I admire your openness about the situation.

      It sounds like a very very stressful time for you lot so keep your head held high that you are actually fulfilling the orders and trying to please everyone rather than giving up.
      C'est la vie.

      Patiently waiting,

      Mark.

    25. David Camp
      Superbacker
      on November 6

      The open honesty of this update is inspiring. I don't know that I've read anything from any other kickstarter that as adequately or appropriately dealt with an issue regarding delays. Kudos for your openness and willingness to broach the topic with backers (especially 'face to face' with the phone number). If all kickstarters had this attitude toward honest communication I think there would be many happier and more understanding backers.

      All the best, I hope the fulfillment hiccups are through and you can relax a little :)

    26. Missing avatar

      Tanino Albanese on November 6

      Such a series of unfortunate events.
      We are happy you took the needed time to take care of details and deliver a better game for us. That's unfortunate that a small printing mistake caused all of these, but - hey! - this is Kickstarter, we know that things may not work smoothly sometimes! And I am still as excited about this project as I first was when I backed it.
      I am sure other backers will agree that we are proud to have contributed for this to happen, it doesn't matter if somebody could buy this at Walmart before us.
      All the best!

    27. Daniele Giardino on November 6

      As I've written in the "comments" section, it's no problem for me. If the game is well done as it seems, I can keep on waiting.
      I just feel sorry for J&J and their Chinese adventure.
      Nonetheless, I wish to thank my fellow backers because, at least until now, at least in this page, I found only sympathy for FoL creators: this is what I liked the most.

    28. Missing avatar

      Ian Bjerggaard Nielsen on November 6

      First of all thank you for the update, the transparency of this campaign is very nice, I really appreciate that. I’m not really upset that it may see retail before I get it (as long as it’s not there for several months before I get it).
      I am, however, a little disheartened that we weren’t told about the possibility of a further delay a bit sooner. After being patient for almost a year of delays we had finally crossed the magical threshold into "the final month" - it could be here any day now! The excitement was real and for me that magnifies the disappointment.
      Still looking forward to what looks to be a great game though.

    29. Missing avatar

      Richard Austen on November 6

      John the best people in business learnt from the mistakes or from others mistakes early in their career. This is only the start for them. I still have kickstarters that never made it or bankrupted the project managers!

    30. Jacob Engelbrecht Collaborator
      Superbacker
      on November 6

      @ Christian,

      The Rules are available at BGG :)

    31. Marco on November 6

      Just want you guys to know that I am still super excited about this game, i do not regret backing it and helping make this game a reality, and i do not mind the wait.
      There are other games and things I can play and do until this arrives and I am happy to wait.

      Hopefully most of the backers will think so too!

      Marco J

    32. Simon Brake on November 6

      Sorry to hear the news but thanks for the update - if only all Kickstarter updates were so thorough and open. Shame I may not have the game by Christmas, but fingers crossed I'll have it by Valentine's Day. :-)

    33. maxx
      Superbacker
      on November 6

      I am just glad that you guys are able to continue with your dream and that through all the bad, there has been some good luck that's allow you to push forward. We don't have Walmart in NZ so this is still the best way to get it for me. Plus all that added content just adds to the game above that in retail.

      Thank you for the update and the transparency that you've had through all the ups and downs. I'm with you until the end

    34. Alexandra Peters
      Superbacker
      on November 6

      Thanks for the update, I’m in no hurry.

    35. Iain Reid on November 6

      No worries for me at all. Ill get it when I get it. Stay sane and dont lose any money.

    36. Missing avatar

      JohnVV
      Superbacker
      on November 6

      Looking forward to the game, but...

      You guys are incredibly lucky to get the Walmart business in the first place and then to have them tolerate the current situation. Without them, this whole project would have crashed. Big retailers very rarely put up with the delays that have occurred due to inexperience.

      Going forward, realize that you are good game designers and have likely produced a good game. You are terrible business managers (yes, producing in China is hard but lots of well-managed companies know how to do it) and should not be in the game publishing and distribution business. Leave that to someone else who won't miss the deadlines, regardless of the circumstances in China.. Focus on game design - that's what you are good and probably enjoy.

      You have had incredible luck this time. You won't have it a second time. Find an experienced publisher or business partner going forward. You won't have a Walmart, or any other big retailer, relationship left without getting some pros involved. Telling someone like Walmart that you are still learning is bad answer and their good graces won't last long. I've been there too...

    37. Missing avatar

      Christian on November 6

      I went to e comment section expecting blood hounds but it is amazing to see exclusively nice messages here, who would have thought.

      I guess the lesson is: As long as you post nice uodates and are up front with your bakers, they will forgive most stuff :)

      It would be nice with more frequent updates sharing for example a coule of cards or the rulebook (or were the rules already shared)?

      Best regards, I am not worried about the delays but do hope to be able to play on valentine's day :)

    38. jdadams1 on November 6

      Sad news, but thanks for keeping us posted. I would love some pictures of previously unrevealed cards (especially cards from the Kickstarter exclusive stories!) in regular updates over the next month or so. Might go a long way to mending some broken hearts.

    39. ThomasD on November 6

      If only all Kickstarter companies were this transparent. Really appreciate the thoughtful and honest response. Looking forward to this game but another delay does not sour that notion, especially with you guys being very open about the situation. Thanks!

    40. Ezekiel Sulkes on November 6

      Thanks for the update. I’m excited to play this, and also eager to hear more info as it comes. These delays are frustrating, but less so when you continue to be up front with your communication. Fingers crossed my wife and I can play this on our honeymoon in mid December!!!

    41. Greg M on November 6

      Thanks for all the communications. Hang in there - you'll get it done!

    42. Cang Ling Yee
      Superbacker
      on November 5

      Just wanted to point out some facts in case you got misled again by your manufacturer/logistics partner.

      The golden week holiday in China is NOT a relatively new holiday in china. It has been an official thing since 2000 (17 years ago)
      The Chinese gets two 7 days national holiday in a year, one during lunar new year (Feb) and the other around National Day (Oct)
      Source- I am a Chinese.

      With that said, the manufacturers and logistics definitely know about these vacations. You got screwed by them badly.

    43. Missing avatar

      Mark Nevelow
      Superbacker
      on November 5

      Please don't stress on my account. Do what's best for yourselves as individuals and for the business.

      We're part of an ecosystem here. My role is to be supportive and patient.

      Best of luck.

    44. PonSquared
      Superbacker
      on November 5

      No fog, just lots of love. Don't lose money. I can wait however long it takes and be happy if the game comes undamaged and is amazing.

      <3

    45. Missing avatar

      Mary Post
      Superbacker
      on November 5

      You still have my support 100%! Thank you for the open and honest communication, I am sorry for all the stress.

    46. Nick Zube
      Superbacker
      on November 5

      It amazes me that so many backers on this campaign are focused on support and positivity. Any other campaign would have people howling for blood by now. But these very open and honest creators have put together a community of very understanding folks. Kudos to all. Can't wait to play the game.

    47. Missing avatar

      Daniel Falconer on November 5

      I won't complain. You have put so much effort and extra content/goodies into this game which is so much less expensive than comparable KS projects. I am glad fulfillment is almost behind you and am looking forward to having the game on my shelf soon.

    48. Jacob Gowans on November 5

      You guys have worked and been totally honest and upfront. No need to feel bad. These things happen. Keep up the great work and enjoy the holidays!

    49. Wesley Kinslow
      Superbacker
      on November 5

      As long as the game reaches me intact within a reasonable time frame as the retail version in stores I'll be fine. Now, if we have one of those where I see it in Walmart for 6 months and I still haven't seen good reasons why mine is in hand then we'll talk. Sorry for the bad beats, guys - I hope you can follow through with your commitments to backers that made this possible.

    50. Chris Everett on November 5

      No worries! The games will be here eventually, and that's what matters.