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A board game of cooperative card-driven tactical combat in a persistent, ever-changing campaign world. 1-4 players, 30 min. per player.
A board game of cooperative card-driven tactical combat in a persistent, ever-changing campaign world. 1-4 players, 30 min. per player.
4,904 backers pledged $386,104 to help bring this project to life.

The White Box: Post-Kickstarter week 19

Posted by Isaac Childres (Creator)

Hey there, citizens of Gloomhaven!

Well, it looks like Kickstarter season is in full-swing, and I appreciate you taking the time to come hang out with an old, long-past Kickstarter once a week to see what's going on.

This week, while work continues on all fronts, I'm going to dedicate the update to showing you the white box sample that just came in the mail today. I was really happy that it did arrive, because otherwise I wouldn't have much to talk about.

Okay, so here it is on my table, in all its stark white, 14"x10"x4" glory. Right off the bat, I can tell you that this sucker is heavy - far more heavy than my initial estimations.

It clocks in at about 13 lbs (6 kg). By comparison, the heaviest other game I own, Terra Mystica plus its expansion, weighs about 9.2 lbs (4.2 kg).

 As soon as we open the box, you can see why. The poor box is packed to the brim with stuff. There is no insert in this box. That is paper and cardboard all the way down.

Now, this looks a lot like how I packaged Forge War - crammed with so much stuff that people couldn't figure out how to get the lid back on once all the punch-boards got punched. But, of course, Gloomhaven is a different beast all together. I'm dedicated to making an insert that will keep all the vital parts of this game organized.

So obviously this box size is not going to work, but we're working on a solution. For now, let us continue our tour of components.

First off is the 1600 or so cards. Honestly, it's a little terrifying how many cards there are, especially all laid out in front of you like this. The square ones at the bottom are the monster stat cards.

Next we've go the 3 books that come with the game. The smaller one is the Town Records book, which is going to give you a lot of lore about the game, as well as a place to record the exploits of your retired characters. The middle one is your standard rule book, full of instructional goodness for playing scenarios as well as managing the overall campaign. And the spiral-bound one is the scenario book. This will be over 100 pages, so the normal stapling approach won't cut it, though we haven't decided between this spiral-bound format or a perfect-bound, which is more like a normal book with a spine.

Here are a bunch of envelopes for hiding secrets. These will be sealed with stickers and stuffed full of cool stuff.

Next we've got some smaller envelopes for smaller secrets, monster stat envelopes (not yet cut into the proper shape) and a lot of boxes for storing the miniatures and keeping them a secret as well. Now, it may not be obvious, but these boxes turned out a little small. Some of the figures definitely will not fit inside of them, so we'll be going to a bigger size with those. And just so it's clear - these boxes will come assembled with the figures already inside of them.

What's next? A board! This 20"x20" quad-fold board will house your world map and other campaign stats. I'm not happy with the border and how the art paper doesn't fold over onto the back, so we'll be fixing that.

And finally, filling out the bottom half of the box, we have some sticker sheets and 20 punch-boards.

Yeah, not a typo. 20 punch-boards.

This is enough to give you 30 different double-sided map tiles and standees for the 47 different monsters in the game (34 normal and 13 bosses).

Just think about if all those standees were minis... No, actually, don't. This box is giving me enough nightmares as it is.

Just to give you a better idea of how much punch-board we're dealing with, I will show you that it actually does take up about half of the box:

The box that is 4" tall. Yeah.

So what does this all mean? Well, as I said before, we're going to need a bigger box. I'd like to keep the 14"x10" dimension, so first we'll investigate making it deeper, and I'll let you know how that works out. We also need to make the box itself thicker and sturdier to make sure it can hold all 13+ lbs without problem.

But now we have a place to start for working out the details of the custom insert.

And it probably also means that I'm crazy, but it's possible you already knew that after I ate an entire pie on camera.

Until next week folks! Make sure you stop working for a day and take your significant other somewhere nice on Sunday! I'm just talking to myself now, aren't I?

Paul S, Bradley Fenstermaker, and 106 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Eric Schubert on

      I would agree that you could possibly do the box so it's flush with the insert after opening, but pack it to ship with the box top raised to accommodate unpunched boards. Seems like a great idea, and a way to avoid needing extra boxes.

    2. Nick Carter on

      Super excited about this project. Forge War is one of my favorite Kickstarter rewards ever, and this game looks to bring lots of fresh ideas to my table, in addition to a *ridiculous* amount of sheer content!

      Hadn't actually read this update until you mentioned it in the one from tonight, but thanks for the visual aids!

    3. Peter Cox on

      Hi Isaac, no hurry. I was always expecting a long wait for this. Great work, just keep chugging along!

    4. Isaac Childres 4-time creator on

      Okay, so this is weird. There have been so many comments concerned that we're not close to getting this out the door. I feel like because I showed you a bunch of pictures of blank cards, some assume that we are a long way off of getting images on all those cards. Totally not the case. I'll be talking to my manufacturer this week or next week about a specific timeline and get back to you on what can be expected.

    5. Missing avatar

      Bibious on

      that box is 13lbs! I get it now the secret 370K Stretch Goal is Bigger biceps!

    6. Nakano

      @David It helps you to sort the game into the original state. For example, which unlocked content belonged to what envelope or box etc.

    7. Missing avatar

      David Latimore on

      I want to throw in my two cents that if you need more time to get the game done properly and playtested and all that, I'd rather have that then a rushed game. :)

    8. Missing avatar

      David Latimore on

      What is a Reset PDF?

    9. soulchief on

      Mayday sleeves are thick though. I use swan panasia sleeves and those sleeves are a lot thinner. I had cards in mayday sleeves and they wouldn't fit back into the box. I've replaced them all with swan sleeves and the cards for every game I own now fit in their boxes perfectly fine.

    10. aron aka jello on

      Packaging the punchboards separately was a suggestion a friend of mine made as well. They could be in their own little box shrink-wrapped to the main box. That could also be a small bonus in that you could potentially put all the advertising blurby stuff, barcodes, etc etc on the back of that sub box and put some nice clean art on the back of the main box that would be kept. Just a thought.

    11. Eamon Burke on

      Pete Thane, there is no way he could compensate for the option to store sleeved components. Just sleeving the 1600 cards in MayDay standard sleeves(not the thick ones) will add 2.5 inches to the overall stack height. If you're gonna sleeve a game this big, you've gotta accept you're going to need a bigger box.

    12. Pete Thane on

      I am a bit disappointed it is only 1600 cards! That is gonna cost and arm and a leg and take about a week to sleeve them all!
      It is a bit of a bugbear of mine regarding games inserts not being designed to hold sleeved cards bearing in mind the number of people who do sleeve them, my cupboard shelf of unusable (as far as I am concerned) inserts is full enough already.
      I hope the insert allows for sleeves as well as coping with the large void left in the box once the 20 punchboards are removed.

    13. Leonce on

      I am a little late to the party. Awesome update! Thanks, Isaac.

    14. chang on

      I admit that I would prefer a "hard" binding book. they look nicer, like the heirs of blood descent book. But reading the reasoning here it does make sense to have it binding, so it last longer and it doesn't fall apart, and keep it open and such.
      It probably look odd in my head because I had never had one in a game. nothing major, and if others think it works better... ok here :)

      OF TOPIC anyone know any legendary rpg game? I don't seem to find any... this REALLY seem to be one of the kind.

    15. Missing avatar

      Cédric Venet

      Instead of delivering the punch boards separately, you can also deliver the box with the top of the box not fully down (i.e. as if your where starting to open the box). I had a game like that and it is really nice as the insert can be flush with the box top (same height) and once you punch the board and put the piece in the insert the component stay in place even if upside down. Not sure if I am clear :S

      Otherwise, a spiral scenario book would be very nice! and take your time, this game is looking better and better :)

    16. chang on

      @neva yup, i suggested the same. make an insert on the box game thinking of the component punched out and cards and such. But deliver the actual punch board in a different box (no a fancy one, just a brown delivery box) as part of the package. no sure if @isaac/others like that

      @isaac awesome thanks!! .. and what u think about option above?

    17. Missing avatar

      Keegan Decker on

      The biggest game I own is twilight emperium, coming in at 11x24x4. And this looks more intense than that. I am so stoked!! Loving the weekly updates

    18. Missing avatar

      Johannes Bartosch on

      Wow impressive.

      I never thought about how much physical space and weight all this game-content is gonna take up, I guess now I know.

      I'm all for the spiral bound questbook, because it will get handeled a lot. All my Descent questbook are visibly used and I used them for only ~15quests each and this will have 70 I believe. Regardless I feel a book of these proportions would need a very sophisticated kind of bookbinding to not fall apart quickly regardless.

      I also feel like you should take your time with this game. Don't overstress yourself for too long periods of time and try to revisit your stuff at a later stage in time. Else the quality of your work will suffer, it will take more time to reach the same quality standard, which will stress you out more and lead into a vicious circle.
      Revisiting your work at a later point in time is especially efficient for creativly writing, so keep that in mind when thinking about editing and so on.

      Last but not least I think planning the insert will only make sense when you know how much space the maptiles are going to fill up. Contrary to tokens, punched out maptiles usually take much more space than their original punchboard or are a huge hassle to "puzzle" them back into the box. This wasn't that big of a problem with Descent as you could just organize them by shape and size, but that game practically had no insert.

      Good luck with your game!
      Stay healthy and contented!


    19. Thue Eriksen

      Please make the insert accommodate sleeved cards or it will be useless for us sleeveheads ;)

    20. Missing avatar

      Neva Kee on

      With such a high stack of punch boards there will be a lot of room in the box, once those punchboards are may be difficult to create an insert that will hold the components with those punchboards gone. So maybe delivering the punchboards outside of the box (but still inside the shrink wrap, so it is still one package) and being able to create an insert that reached to the top of the box might be a viable and preferable solution.
      It could make the box less costly, because it doesn't need to be as big anymore, but wouldn't mitigate the additional weight, of course...

    21. Mathew G Somers on

      I am not sure if people realize this, but regarding the monsters being minis or people wanting to replace them with minis from other games, I believe there are going to be at least six of every normal monster type, some may even number eight or maybe ten, so add to that those thirteen bosses, and we could be talking about 225, if not more, minis! I mean, unless I am somewhat mistaken, haha... Either way, it would be a lot, right? I don't know much about the miniature market, and I'm not talking the store, but that sounds like a ton to me.

    22. mike on

      I am already planning on replacing the monster tokens with minis from other games/collection. But, I agree with RGG. I know you're up to your eyeballs, but maybe a Wave 2 shipment of monster minis.

    23. Reality Games Studios on

      @Isaac I just throw this idea, if you plan on doing an expansion KS where we get more monsters, items and scenarios. But most importantly, replace the monsters with Minis. A lot of ppl would get that expansion to "boost" the core box (that is already on adrenalin). It would make an impossibly outstanding final product!

      Then, it would be the cherry of all pies!

    24. Isaac Childres 4-time creator on

      Chang, in the standee version, there will be a little extra space in the box since the the mini boxes won't be in there. It won't affect the insert at all, though, since a lot of people ordered the standee version with an added on box of minis. And in the standee version, the standees will be punched out during production and simply added to the secret envelope for that character.

    25. Missing avatar

      Wolvehunde on

      Wow , that's a beast of a box/game :D . I hope my mailman is wearing his back brace lol. Cant wait to get it to the table.

    26. chang on

      @isaac i bit confussed here. if the hidden miniatures are also ment to fit in the box, what is going to occupied that space in people (like myself) that order standee only. wouldnt that make the insert quite different?

      also the hidden characters, if is a game with mini, they would go inside the small box. what about standee? i mean they are punch board right? how are we hidden them?


    27. Strogar on

      wow, don't think I will be sleeving the smaller cards.
      some plastic bags would be nice to contain all the punched out items.

    28. Victor Bocaling on

      Impressive! Yes, would prefer a spiral book for the scenarios. The shipping weight is a concern since it may lead to a higher shipping cost. The suggestion to ship the punchboards packed in a separate envelope to reduce the game box sounds good. I also didn't realize that the game map would be mounted. I'm ok with it being a paper map if it would reduce the game box size &/or help keep your shipping cost within budget.

    29. Ravendas on

      I'm fine with a bit of a delay to get a better product if that comes to pass. And yeah, spiral bound would let us keep the book open on the right pages that we'll need to reference during the entire adventure. It would be really convenient.

    30. Isaac Childres 4-time creator on

      There was a mistake with the box and we only got 1 score pad instead of 18. Everything (including the hidden boxed miniatures) will be in the fit in the box.

    31. mike on

      20 punch boards is...significant.

    32. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    33. Kristian Törnkvist

      Wow!. i just had to recheck Kingdom: Death Monster. That is a massive beast and it weighs in on 12 lb. which is pretty much 6 kg. And at about 3-4 times the price of gloomhaven. I am so looking forward to this.

    34. Kristian Törnkvist

      That looks amazing! I have been pondering a long time to implement minis from dungoen crawlers i dont play anymore for monsters but now I'm not really sure how that will work without me getting a hernia for taking the game of the shelves :)

      And at 6kg i need to get a sturdier bookshelf.

    35. Missing avatar


      Oh, and are the standalone miniature sets going to be assembled and individually boxed, too, or will I have to avoid them for a while if I want to play the game without spoilers?

    36. Missing avatar


      Wow! That's insane! Thanks for all the awesome pictures!

      I know at least some of us went for the Standee version of the game and added on the miniatures so we could have both sets. I don't suppose it'll be possible to fit them both in the box?

    37. Tonny Søndergaard on

      Scenario book: I agree with usability over aesthetics.
      Deadline: Rather a finished game over an early receive!
      Question: The monster stats are hidden in envelopes, but I presume all the cardboard monster art will be reviewed when the main box is opened? So you know from the get-go which monsters you will face down the line, but not how they work? I'm just curious; its not a deal breaker ;)

    38. Bryan Kulczycki on

      Pretty impressive. I just got CarsonCity Big Box and it is so heavy!! I think this will pass that. What else will be on my the campaign map besides the map itself?

    39. chang on

      OMG OMG OMG!!!

      @aron: nah, im just going to start playing; gonna check for the monsters and those sort of things; but no all and if in midplay I noticed that I`m missing a card then I`ll PM Isaac.

      @Isaac, agree with @Mathew, are the pads coming in a different box / package?

      @Isaac as you can imagining I know squad about producing games; but wouldn't be 2 crazy to have 2 box? like if you put the punch boards in one; and then do an insert for the stuff that are actually going to be in the box.

    40. Missing avatar

      Alex Florin on

      I still can't believe how many cards there are in this game. That's a concern actually because that's a lot to proof, check for off-the-wall interactions, keyword consistency, etc. I hope the play testers and editors can catch most of the errors. I realize most games have errata for cards after their release but that's a lot of potential for mistakes. I'm just wanting this to be the best game it can possibly to be; like game-of-the-year / top 10 of all time good. That would be so awesome for Isaac.

    41. J. Gillespie on

      I've never been so excited about blank cardboard.

      Good luck fitting it all in! This has to be the heaviest game, I think Caverna was 11lbs.

    42. J. Gillespie on

      I've never been so excited about blank cardboard.

      Good luck fitting it all in! This has to be the heaviest game, I think Caverna was 11lbs.

    43. Mathew G Somers on

      Blinded by the white, I'm not seeing mention of the character and party sheet pads, were they among the boxes contents -- I mean, for the purpose of determining the size of things, right? And since I'm here, I second all that has been said with regard to quality, time, and the spiral bound book, but sometimes those spirals have a funny way of catching the page when you try to fold them back upon themselves, so hopefully that can be prevented here... Also, I note an additional "something-something"... Awesome!

    44. Mark Govea on

      Hooooooooly shit. I'm getting so hyped :P

    45. Missing avatar

      Neva Kee on

      I will second (or more like sixth) the movement of quality over timeliness - I totally admire the boldness of this project and where other projects always seem to get less and less desirable the more I see and read about them, this one is getting only better and better - it's becoming so good actually, that I start to fear it is becoming too good to be true.

      So please, as others have said, take your time with finishing the game properly and stay sane without having to sacrifice quality.

      With the unexpected resizing of the box, I also hope that the cost calculations hold up, because I really don't want you end up on the short end of the straw in the end.

      Other than that I am blown away by the whitebox sample (as I said, sooooo good!!) and would also prefer the spiral bound book.

    46. aron aka jello on

      Oh, and is anyone else having nightmares of checking 1600 cards to make sure the printer didn't miss one? Or is that just me?

    47. aron aka jello on

      Any kind of traditional insert seems like it would end up with a big problem - before vs after with almost half the box being the punchboard sheets. You might want to consider something along the lines of a Broken Token / G07 style thing that would pack flat with the punch then we at home take the whole pile out, and put together an insert and everything has a lot more room to pack back in with half the box to play with. No idea how that would work with production & cost end of the equation but that traditional "put the punch cards under the insert and now everything packs nice" seems like it wouldn't work so well.

      As for spiral vs perfect.. eh.. I'm torn. Perfect certainly looks nicer and packs a lot easier, but spiral does work on the table a lot better.

    48. Matthew Simpson

      So, thinking outside the box...see what I did there?....anyways, rather than making the box tall enough that once we're done with the punch boards there's a lot of empty height, might it make sense, at least for the KS versions, to ship the punch boards outside of the game box? They could be wrapped in plastic or in a cheap throwaway box in fulfillment. Not sure that this would work for retail copies.

      I saw Secrets of the Lost Tomb as an example box size below. Once I got done punching that monster, I have a lot dead space in there, even with my Plano box. Obviously room for expansions, but Gloomhaven isn't supposed to need any.

      Anyways, good luck! And as others have said, take your time

    49. Peter "Apple Head" Andersson

      So from reading the comments we all seem to agree on two things (this far)
      1.) Spiral bound scenario book would be preferable
      2.) We won't mind waiting for this game, the most important thing is that you get the time you need to make it as awesome that we all think it is!

    50. Eamon Burke on

      I also wanted to add another vote for preferring good over fast. I'm already waiting, I don't mind waiting as long as it is worth it in the end.