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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 Great Insert Battle: Production Update 11

Posted by Isaac Childres (Creator)

A good day to all you residents of Gloomhaven!

First of all, I would like to apologize for the delay in the update. Conventions always mess with my schedule, and BGG Con was no different. There's just no time to write when you're up until 3 in the morning playing board games.

But anyway, right up-front I will tell you that we are still in production unfortunately, but I expect it to be finishing up very soon, and to still deliver your games in January.

So with that said, sit back and let me tell you a story about our insert. All the way back in June when we first sent all the files to the printer, we gave them a mock-up of what we wanted the insert to look like. It was something like this:

It might be a little hard to read, but the big upper left space is for storing all the monster envelopes, stat cards and ability cards. You can use the larger stat cards to index the smaller decks of ability cards, and there's even enough room to sleeve the ability cards you will be shuffling. It would look something like this:

Then going across the top, the next column has a space for tokens (not all tokens, mind you, but some of the important ones), sleeved battle goals, and sleeved attack modifier cards (the players' attack modifier cards will be expected to go in the character tuck boxes, but this space holds the monster deck and the deck of additive cards - curses, blesses, etc.).

The next column has space for all the item cards, the random item designs and the random side scenarios (unsleeved, since items aren't shuffled and the others shouldn't be shuffled more than once). The next column is for personal quests, road events, and city events, and the last space in the upper right is for sleeved random dungeon cards.

There also, of course, is a space for all 17 character class tuck boxes along the bottom, and all 18 miniatures in separate boxes along the right side.

So over the many months of production, we repeatedly asked for an update on the insert and whether there were any concerns with it, but we were told it was fine and not to worry about it - that it would be addressed once printing other components was finished, so those components could be used in the design. To me, what we were capable of with the insert should influence what we can do with the rest of production, but I couldn't get any traction on the issue.

So, yeah. Cut to two and a half weeks ago when it seems the factory finally even looked at our design for the very first time, decided it couldn't be done, and sent me a picture of what they would like to do for the insert.

I'm going to show you the picture, but I just want to warn you that it made me very, very angry. Are you ready?


Perhaps you are having the same reaction I had. Is this real? Is it a joke? Unfortunately, it was very much real.

This spurred on a week-and-a-half-long discussion about getting this horrifying insert to someplace similar to what we wanted. During which time nothing else was going on. We could have easily had this conversation a month or two ago, but they refused to address it until the last minute, and the whole ordeal was infuriating.

I will spare you the gory details, but, in the end, after wasting a bunch of time, the factory realized, that, oh, I guess we can make what you wanted after all. This is the latest result of their work:

As you can see, it looks about the same as the original, with some of the smaller features taken out. I am hoping that this will be the last of the troubles with the issue, but I have yet to hear back from them about how the actual molding process is going. I expect it to be done soon, then we just have to print all the inserts, assemble everything and get them on a boat.

And just for the record, I don't mean to disparage the factory too badly about this. Yes, they fell down super-hard on this issue, but overall, they given us very good quality components at a great price that has allowed me to sell you the game at what I feel is a great deal.

So, yeah, that's what has been going on the last couple of weeks. I wish it was better news, but I am glad the insert issue did eventually get resolved. BGG Con was absolutely amazing, and I hope all of you are still doing well in your pre-Gloomhaven worlds.

Until next time!

GameTurners, yardswimmer, and 86 more people like this update.


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    1. ionas on

      > Another vote for "I appeciate the effort going into this, but please don't delay the game TOO long over this issue."
      Fixed it for you:
      Another vote for "I appeciate the effort going into this, and please make it as good as possible, waiting ain't a problem."

      But... did you clear fullfillment, warehousing, shipping?

    2. Missing avatar

      Johannes Bartosch on

      So on to the last few miles of this production-odyssee!

      I wish you the best of luck and a quiet, well deserved holidays afterwards.

      Personally I really don't care much about inlays and I would hate to see the game delayed for a quater of a year until march (if this collides with chinese new year), just because of the inlay.

      However this is your game and your vision and I applaud you for pulling through until the end and not compromising on your vision!

      Keep up the good work and may the gloom be with you ;)

    3. Missing avatar


      Thanks for the extra update! Fingers crossed that everything's going to fit properly!

    4. Missing avatar

      Antonio on

      very good news Isaac and thank you to keep us so much updated

    5. Missing avatar

      Eric Harris

      I sleeve all of my cards and tokens go in containers. I bin about 95%+ of inserts because they just don't work when you want to look after your cards and properly organise your game components. Also a lot of inserts are made with flimsy plastic that easily breaks. Personally it bugs me when a lot of time, effort, and money is put into the design of an insert which most of the time I bin - I just don't like paying for something that doesn't add any value for me. I appreciate not everyone is like me and others will just use everything as is from the box.

    6. rashktah

      @Isaac: Awesome news!!! :D :D :D

    7. Jake Waltier

      I appreciate your efforts to make a good insert, but to be honest I throw away inserts about 1/3 of the time because they don't hold the contents when the box is turned vertically or upside-down. Since you're in the insert design stage now, please make sure the insert works at all angles or this buyer will throw it away anyway.

    8. Isaac Childres 4-time creator on

      Just an update for the skeptics. I did receive a picture today of an physical insert produced by the mold that was made. It looks good. We need to make sure that everything will fit as intended, but I'm hopeful.

      For those asking about sleeved cards, read the update. We are adding space to sleeve the cards that are shuffled frequently (monster action cards, battle goals, and attack modifier cards).

    9. Missing avatar

      Christopher McDonough

      Another vote for "I appeciate the effort going into this, but please don't delay the game TOO long over this issue." Need to hope it doesn't slip behind Chinese New Year and get delayed by that if at all possible. A functional insert in a boardgame is a godsend but also rare enough I don't actually expect it, just consider it a bonus.

    10. Leonce on

      It's been awhile since I said thanks here. So, thank you, Isaac!
      Your updates are amazing. Letting us know about the ups and also downs of the design process and telling us in all honesty how the game production progresses. I appreciate this very much.

      I am happy to say that I have no problem with the delays yet and won't have with another delay, but of course fingers crossed for a smooth end of the production. But I can feel that your whole effort and passion flows into the creation of this game and it will arrive as it is ready. I am so hyped and excited for the game finally being at my doorstep but also totally relaxed about the date. This comes from the trust that I believe you do your best here.

      Yeah, a little hymne of praise here. I mean it. Looking forward to the next update.

    11. Tony Cotterill on

      Thanks Issac. Good updating as usual.
      From what I've gathered from your commitment, I understand you are, like me, someone who has an almost OCD level of design appreciation and wants everything to look fab. I applaud that. However (you knew there was a 'however' coming?) I echo the reservations from a few others herein that a sketch of an insert is a far cry from the physical thing. They can still cock up and delay some more.
      What I'm advising is that please don't get hung up on the insert. I often chuck them and redesign them anyway if they don't quite work the way I specifically want. To be honest, I would be satisfied for the loose components to arrive in baggies rather than have another month or more faff, and more headache for you, with the printer. It can be cathartic to just say to them - 'you know what? Just forget about the insert'.
      Of course, I only speak for myself here. Not everyone has enough time on their hands to design their own insert, so please don't shoot me down if you're one of those folks.

    12. eclipse on

      i guess with any other project what ever can go wrong will go wrong. Keep up the good work Issac, its definitely been a long and arduous journey but the end is almost there !!! cross fingers that everything remaining goes well ><

    13. Missing avatar

      Antonio on

      This project is amazing and also your effort to give us all information (bad and good). On the matter of insert I understand that for someone this is an important issue. Personally I do not think I will use them at all since I usually put everything in plastic envelopes and I still have the feeling this will be a never ending story about millimetres ...

      I like more the game in my hands in January than wait for the optimal insert in march (or even after) ... don't get me wrong ... it's not a complain ... it is just my hype speaking :-D

    14. Bryan on

      It looks like some space was lost for the Brute and Tinkerer. Hope it is just a visual 'trick' of the vertical spacer.

      Don't let the challenges get you down. It is a beautiful game.

    15. rashktah

      This really looks like being on the sharp edge of being delivered in January. I just hope all will go well with the new insert, but I fear further delays are nearly inevitable. Hopefully the assembly will run flawlessly after that. It would be very unfortunate if stuff will be assembled wrong and boxes will contain the wrong assortment of envelopes, minis and stuff. With so much stuff to pack into all those boxes, I just hope the workers will take extra care to ensure that everything goes into the right space at the right ammount. Crossing my fingers here that the next update will be the 'Production finished, shipping commences' update...

    16. Missing avatar

      Charlotte on

      I'm not too worried about the insert, to be honest. The current plan looks good!
      I know this is super important to others, and I can understand that, but I personally am not going to be put off or upset if the insert isn't the last word in insert-design.
      Thanks for keeping us updated, Isaac!

    17. Missing avatar

      Charlotte on

      @Bryan: It has been repeatedly stated that this game has way too many cards for them to still fit into the insert if you sleeve ALL of them -- the difference between size of the decks for non-sleeved cards and sleeved cards would (a) make the box even more impossibly large if the insert were to accommodate space for sleeving everything and thus waste space when people don't sleeve and (b) make the insert unusable for non-sleevers -- and since the game is delivered unsleeved, that would be pretty unacceptable.
      Isaac has however stated that there will be enough space to sleeve the most frequently shuffled decks and still fit everything in.

    18. Bryan on

      Dare I even ask about sleeved cards? *grimace*

    19. Kris Ardianto on

      Nice updates Isaac. First of all, who is the manufacturer again? Promising something is one thing but not the same as delivering those promise, especially if that could secure potential customer / client. And when they back at you with the revised layout for insert, it's just a drawing, even I can do it. The real deal is the mock up, 3D mock up that you can test to fit all the components into it, so I hope it will go smoothly as you expected.

    20. Ravendas on

      Even if the insert comes out awful, I tend to make my own inserts out of foamcore for games that I really like, and could really benefit from.

    21. Iconography on

      Who is the manufacturer again?

    22. Jason Tibbitts

      This is one of those games where I'd really like to see what Broken Token or another of the laser-cut insert manufacturers would come up with. But then given the size of the box, I doubt it would be remotely affordable.

    23. Eamon Burke on

      lol what a massive level of "fuck it" from the printer. Don't kill yourself over this, those of us who care deeply will probably make/buy one that suits us personally anyways.

      I just want the game, and that just sounds like "lesson learned" when it comes to picking printers.

    24. J. Gillespie on

      I appreciate your efforts in creating the insert. Watch out they don't use the thin, shiny plastic as used in T.I.M.E Stories. Very brittle. Might be a good idea to have them take a picture when it's filled.

      We are getting close!

    25. ionas on

      Keep thr good stuff coming!

    26. Damien Smith on

      I sent some friends your way at BGG.con to get a demo. They said the box was there, but there was no demo to be had. Decided to take a breather and play other games instead? No biggie. I just wanted some friends to experience it.

    27. Dustin Crenshaw on

      Hope those are wide enough for sleeved cards.

    28. Jacob Gunness

      Isaac, I continue to be amazed by your commitment to making Gloomhaven the best game it can be. I always point to your campaign when people ask for examples of good KS projects. Keep it up for a little while longer.

    29. Ravendas on

      Definitely going to need those inserts tested. Just because they draw it up to appear to fit doesn't mean the production process won't introduce faults, like being a few mm too small in spots so that things suddenly don't fit. It's happened with other games I've seen on kickstarter.

      But yes, this is standard practice in business in China: There is no problem until there is a problem. Very little preplanning is done, and no communication of problems until the last possible moment.

    30. Maarten on

      Wow, love to see this on my table in february.

    31. Nakano

      I think having heard before that making custom inserts can be quite challenging for factories, but nice that you got it worked out with them.

    32. Nate Parkes on

      Thanks for the update! I appreciate your commitment to a great product (down to the insert), and sympathize with your frustration. I had already processed my disappointment over the delay, so I'm just looking forward to getting it in January.

      Thanks again for the regular updates. There's a huge difference between delays + good communication vs. delays + radio silence.