The Next Leg of Our Journey: Shipping Update 1
A wonderful day to you residents of Gloomhaven!
Production has officially ended on the Gloomhaven project and now we are in the process of getting all those pallets of games onto boats and off into your merry hands. There's still some scheduling to be done, I think, so the games aren't quite on the boats yet, but I fully expect by next update I will have call signs for the boats so that you can follow them in real time! That's always fun.
What I'd like to do now, as we begin the shipping phase, is let you know how everything is going to go down, so that we can all have clear expectations and remain calm as we patiently wait out the final step of this venture. Like adults.
So first off that I will say that I want to get people their games as soon as possible. I know some Kickstarter creators try and make sure everyone gets their games around the same time, but, well, the trip to get games delivered in China is a lot shorter than the trip to get games delivered in Europe, and I don't see any point in delaying that.
So deliveries will be broken up into 5 areas of the world:
- 1. China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan: This is a very small section, but it will be the first, and it will be the fastest, given that it requires no freight shipping. There is also a bit of a story here. Initially, I was planning on shipping all games in Asia and the Pacific islands out through China very quickly after production, but then the game grew to 10 kg and, for some reason unknown to me, shipping out of China explodes with increased weight. I talked with a friend from One Moment Games, and he was able to get me cheap enough shipping rates to these three countries, but for everywhere else, the cheapest thing to do was to go through a fulfillment center in Germany. So, I am sincerely sorry to everyone else in Asia who has to wait for their games to circumnavigate the globe. It is supremely silly, and I am still losing a lot of money on those shipments, but it was the cheapest way to go.
- 2. Australia and New Zealand: This is a pretty short boat ride, so I expect the games will arrive comfortably in January, ideally closer to the beginning of the month. I'm going through Aetherworks, who are great to work with, and I hoping everything goes well with this!
- 3. Canada and 4. US: Both of these shipments should arrive around the same time (maybe a little earlier in Canada), and they will both be handled by Amazon Fulfillment. I expect these to be delivered by the end of January, but there is always the chance of delays.
- 5. Europe and everywhere else: So the fulfillment center in Germany, Happyshops, is the stop for everything else. They gave me the best prices on rest-of-the-world shipping, even with having to pay freight shipping and VAT taxes to get everything into the country. I've heard pretty much nothing but good things about Happyshops, except for a couple instances where they were contracted out by Ship Naked, and then there was a problem with communication, mainly because they were communicating through the middleman, Ship Naked. No need for that, so I expect everything will go fine here. It's just a shame that this will be the longest boat ride, so the games probably won't arrive for Europe and the rest of the world until February.
One very important thing to note here is that you don't need to worry about Amazon or other companies skimping on packing materials. Because of the size of the box, each one is in its own separate, thick-walled carton packed by the factory, and includes a very good amount of foam padding. This should speed up and uncomplicate fulfillment significantly, and greatly reduce the chances of your package showing up damaged.
So, onto other news! Paul Grogan has completed his wonderful, comprehensive rules videos for Gloomhaven, and I am happy to share them with you now:
If you hate rule books, you should be able to watch these videos and get everything you need to be able to sit down and start playing the game.
And speaking of videos, I posted a new unboxing video a week or so ago using the final production copy the factory sent me to double-check the exact construction of the box as you will see it when you open your own copy. Sorry the sound quality isn't very good, but hopefully the visuals are exciting!
So, yeah, the factory actually sent me three copies, one for each of the different versions being produced (the Kickstarter version with minis, the version with standees, and the retail version that is only missing the "thank you" card). And if you are wondering if you can have one of those final factory copies, well, umm, no you can't.
These copies have been sent off into the wild, where you may have noticed some people talking about them on social media. They are in the hands of Drive Thru Review, Man Vs. Meeple, and the Brawling Brothers. This wasn't done to make you crazy and jealous, of course. I just wanted to give a few reviewers that I respect and admire a head start on reviewing this beast of a game before its retail release in February.
You may also be interested to hear that I sent the one extra earlier production copy I had (without the insert) to Meeple Realty, who, as we speak, are wracking their brains to try and figure out how to make a truly epic insert for the box to match the epic number of components. I for one am interested to see what they come up with.
All right, do you think I've talked enough for one update? Well, sorry, because I have two more things to say.
First of all, edit your address if you need to. The window on this is closing quickly, so look at last update if you need to know how.
Second of all, I'll just throw out one more link, because clearly I haven't linked to enough things yet. It's kind of embarrassing to be on the BGG most anticipated list for 2016 and 2017, but your post-Gloomhaven lives have almost begun, and if you're excited about that, I would appreciate a thumb.
Third of all, have a merry Christmas and I'll see you in two weeks!