Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 22, 2013.

Update #67

Ships & Tutorials v2

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Hey guys and gals! You've made it through another week on this crazy, spinning rock we call our home planet, way to go! So glad we’re still in orbit around this yellow dwarf! ...Anyway! Here’s what I've been up to this week:

Ships

Panda is just about done with the 4th and final paint revision (for the remaining 5 ships). They have sent along some preliminary pictures of 4 of the 5 ships - the picture’s aren't very high quality, but it looks promising! Here’s the pictures I was sent:

Nightshade - I love this ship...
Nightshade - I love this ship...
Manchester - correctly "missing" a panel (in gray). Great!
Manchester - correctly "missing" a panel (in gray). Great!
Sellsword - correct blue w/black & red details.
Sellsword - correct blue w/black & red details.
Merchant - now correctly yellow details, not orange.
Merchant - now correctly yellow details, not orange.

Remember, these are with the older plastics, and are only being used as paint examples. Panda is going to send them to me for approval as soon as the 5th ship is ready. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Overview Tutorials v2

I’ve taken your feedback from the last tutorial video, and I’ve decided to make two overview tutorials - one is “Xia in a minute” which is a super quick overview of the game - and the second is a 6 minute overview of the game.

Remember: These are really rough drafts - so that I know all the shots we need to get when we make them professionally. I apologize for the shaky-cam :)

Super Short:

2nd Version - Longer:

Again - my goal for these Overviews is to help you introduce people to Xia painlessly - you could have your friends them before they come over, so they have an idea what they’re playing. Really love to hear your thoughts / comments on these!!

Conclusion

That’s all I’ve got for this week! I hope you have an excellent weekend! We just saw Capt. America last night - if you like Marvel, I thought it was one of their better efforts! Until next week, I’ll see you starside!

Cheers, -Cody

P.S. Any of you excited for Star Citizen, or Elite: Dangerous? Which is better & why?


Update #66

Short Update - More Production Pictures!

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Hey Backers! Not a lot to report this week, but I want you to know I’m here and still working away! :)

Production Photos!

Chris was kind enough to send along some more pictures of Xia’s production! I apologize for the quality, but I think it’s pretty awesome of Panda to send us pictures! First a couple pictures of the ships being painted!

A sea of blue "Occam's Razor" Kestrels - base coat only - so cool!!!
A sea of blue "Occam's Razor" Kestrels - base coat only - so cool!!!
Silver details being added to "Gaiden".
Silver details being added to "Gaiden".

Totally cool! It’s hard for me to look at these pictures and not tear up, our baby’s being made, and it’s all thanks to you! A few more pictures of the metal coins being made!

I have no idea what the name of this machine is!
I have no idea what the name of this machine is!
Metal going into the molds?
Metal going into the molds?
Close up of the molds - so cool!!
Close up of the molds - so cool!!
I don't know this fine gentleman's name, but judging by the credits I received, he does some good work!
I don't know this fine gentleman's name, but judging by the credits I received, he does some good work!

I totally nerd out about production processes, I love seeing how things are made! Let me know what you think! Or if there’s anything you’d be interested in getting pictures of!

Chipping Away

I’m sorry I don’t have more to show this week, but I can tell you what I’ve been up to:

Website: I’ve been working on the back-end of the website, I’m chipping away at itterating on the modding database, and setting up AJAX and MySQL queries to retrieve the mods and paginate everything nicely for you to browse. Next up will be a rating system, so you can vote for your favorite mods. Also looking at integrating the Shapeways API - It would be great if you could find a mod on our site, then hit print and it would automatically shoot you over to Shapeways. No promises, but we’ll see!

Tutorial Videos: I’ve taken your feedback and I’m working on the next itteration of the overview tutorial. I’ve actually broken it down to a short 1 minute overview video - which is a super basic overview, then the video I showed last week would be the longer more in-depth overview - but now clocking in at 6 minutes, instead of closer to 10. I’ll get them in the next update if they are ready by then.

Insert: I’ve taken your feedback from last week and passed it on to Chris. He’s is talking with the engineers and will get back to me as soon as they have something.

Conclusion

Sorry I don’t have more for you this week! I hope you have a super weekend! May the sun shine on your faces, and the dice roll 20s! I’ll see you starside!

Cheers, -Cody


Update #65

Production & Tutorial Video

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Hey Backers! Another week goes by, bringing us that much closer to Xia! I’ve actually just got back from visiting my brother this week - so I haven’t much to report on my own, but Chris from Panda just sent me a production update, which I’m excited to pass along!

Ships

Panda has begun the painting on the 17 approved ship miniatures! This is really good news because the ships are our slowest component to manufacture. Chris also let me know that the samples for the 5 remaining ships (from the very small 4th revision) are scheduled to be complete by April 11!

So as of this writing, almost everything for Xia is in full production, except the insert…

Insert

Chris was also kind enough to update us on the insert! This version is made up of two separate inserts. The smaller insert is removable - to keep the Ship Mats and Fame Point Track underneath for storage. 

Here are some pictures: 

*Please remember - the final insert will be solid black, not clear*

Top View - Yes, it fits sleeved and unsleeved cards!
Top View - Yes, it fits sleeved and unsleeved cards!
Arrangement for shipping: Ship Mats and punchboards on top of the insert.
Arrangement for shipping: Ship Mats and punchboards on top of the insert.
Punchboard components punched out.
Punchboard components punched out.

Apparently, most of the components are all fitting nicely. The one issue Panda has encountered is seating the smaller insert on top of the Ship Mats / Fame Point Track during storage.

Ship Mats and Fame Point Track stored underneath smaller, removable insert.
Ship Mats and Fame Point Track stored underneath smaller, removable insert.
Close up
Close up

They fit nicely, but you have to adjust the mats so the small insert sits directly on them. If the mats aren't correctly placed, the smaller insert slides off and one side will stick up slightly above the box making it hard to close the lid.

A little fiddly.
A little fiddly.

I do really want a good insert - but I don’t want to hold up production on account of this issue. I’m emailing Chris to see if we have any options within our time-frame.

Chris also listed some small revisions they are making:

“We are making a couple small revisions to the tray, listed below. Is there anything that you can see from these images that you think needs to be changed?

  • Make the hexagon compartment 3 to 5mm deeper. 
  • Make the card compartment 5mm deeper.”

I would love to hear what you think in the comments!

Xia - Overview Tutorial

My goal is to provide you with tutorial videos for Xia - so if you don’t have time to read the manual, you should be able to get in and play regardless.

The first video I’m working on is the Overview Tutorial - this is to give a general introduction to new players. My thought was, if you want to introduce someone to the game, you could have them watch this video before they come over, so they have a frame of reference for the game. I’m planning on covering detailed rules in other tutorials (For example: Combat, Movement, Ship Abilities etc.)

I've been working on the *rough* draft of the overview tutorial. I shot this using my iPhone - the quality is really low, and super shakey (sorry!)! The idea is to use it as an outline - so when we go to shoot the professional version, I have all the content lined up and we know exactly what shots we need to get. Otherwise it can take multiple shoots to get something useful.

So with that in mind, I’d love your feedback! What works? What needs more detail? Do you have better pacing or arrangement ideas?

Let me know what you think! Oh, and I was sick for part of this, so my voice is a little funny...Thanks for your help guys and gals, really appreciate it!!

Conclusion

Alright! That’s all I’ve got for this week! I hope you have a stellar weekend, it looks like a good forecast: 100% chance of gaming here on the Coast! ;)

Cheers, -Cody


Update #64

Good News - Short Update

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Hey Backers!

I apologize for the extra update - remember: If you feel spammed by updates you can unsubscribe with the link at the bottom of this email (or on Kickstarter > Account > Settings > Notifications > Projects you back).

Good News

Alright - Chris as emailed me back this morning!

Durability

The ship with the paint flecking off was due to rushing this last round of samples - "the quality issues occurred with the lack of prep and drying time." This won't be an issue with the mass production. Many of you suspected as much, and as previous samples were just fine, I completely trust Panda at their word.

Production Timeline

Here's what Chris has let me know: 

"We will have 17 of the 22 ships approved for painting. This will allow us to move forward with the bulk of painting while we create slightly revised samples for the 5 ships that still have issues. This will give us time to send you revised samples without holding up production. Once those revised samples are complete and approved, we should be around the time where painting of the other 17 ships is coming to a close."

I'd like to emphasize that these revisions won't hold up our production timeline, so I feel really good about it! What do you guys think? 

Revision the 4th

The 5 ships involved in this revision are: 

  • Puddle Jumper - Fix silver application (apply before wash, not after).
  • Merchant - Yellow details should be yellow, (not orange).
  • Sellsword - Correct shade of blue, black stripe on nose, and grey underbelly.
  • Manchester - Missing panel (on left) should be grey.
  • Nightshade - Paint durability.

Conclusion

I'm sending the samples back down to Panda so they can add the 6 approved samples from this revision to the 11 approved samples from the previous revision and begin production!

FedEx just picked up the samples as I was typing this:

Tracking #: 798326997850  

Est Delivery: 3/28

Next - if you are in agreement - we will fix the issues in the proposed 4th revision - this revision should not add to our production timeline.

As always - let me know what you think in the comments below! I truly read each comment!

Thanks for being awesome! Cheers, -Cody

PS - No update this Friday, as this will take its place! I hate to blast everyone inbox unless necessary...


Update #63

Production & New Samples

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Hey Backers! It’s been a busy week here on the Pacific coast! Lots of pictures ahead, so buckle up! (I apologize if I sound fuzzy today - I’m fighting another cold, and being congested throws off my thinking! :)

Production

Xia is in production, and we've got the pictures to prove it! I asked Chris from Panda to get some shots for us of the production process - so here they are, direct from Shenzhen! (The quality isn't super high, but still super cool!)
Punchboards in production!
Punchboards in production!
Punchboard - ready to be diecut!
Punchboard - ready to be diecut!
Tier 3 ship cards & Fame point Track
Tier 3 ship cards & Fame point Track
Back of the game box!
Back of the game box!
Box front! Love the colors!
Box front! Love the colors!
Rulebook!
Rulebook!

A big shout out to the team at Panda in Shenzhen China, really really appreciate all their hard work!

New Samples

I received a package this week from Panda with the latest set of painted miniatures, and some print samples for approval. A couple pictures, then details below:
Package contents!
Package contents!
Prints
Prints
Minis!
Minis!

Painted Samples v.3

This week I received the latest set of painted samples of the ship miniatures. These samples are of the 11 ships that we decided to change with revision 3 (all the other ships have been approved for mass production!). To speed the approval process Panda used the old plastics for these samples - so these only represent paint jobs, not plastics. I’ll give a breakdown of each ship, then a summary!

Here’s the detailed breakdown of each ship:

Constant Sorrow - There was a minor pinstripe issue that we've fixed: The pinstripes are only on right blaster, instead of both. Very minor, but I really feel it makes the ship iconic - ha! Really gorgeous now!

Constant Sorrow
Constant Sorrow

Slow Leak - Was missing blue thrust / yellow detail on left side, but it's all there now. I love this ship, and now it looks perfect!

Slow Leak
Slow Leak

Nightshade - Paint is all applied correctly and great coloration! One of the most detailed and beautiful paint jobs!

Nightshade
Nightshade

There is one major issue: The silver paint used does not stick well to the plastic. When I received the ship there were some large chips out of the paint on the bottom - and on the top.

Nightshade - paint issue
Nightshade - paint issue

The paint also scratches off really easily. This is the only ship with this issue. I've since tested all the other ships in revision 3, and they are OK.  The odd thing is, with the first revision of this ship, the paint is super hard to scratch - I can't do anything to it with my fingernails. Chris is looking into this now!

Numerator - Now the blue is only applied to right forward "nub", instead of both. This is seriously one of my favorite minis - it looks so good! 

Numerator
Numerator

It also appears that the the pinstripe detail is really good now, maybe they are using a paint "pen' now? It's very clean!

Merchant - The missing yellow highlights are back and look really good - except that they are more orange than yellow? Very minor but pure yellow would have been nice.

Merchant
Merchant

Manchester - Looks so very good! Panda did an amazing job color matching this!

Manchester
Manchester
Old rev2 on left, new rev3 on right.
Old rev2 on left, new rev3 on right.

But the issue with the panels continue: Only one very small issue - the right side - with the missing panel and exposed parts should be grey, not orange. 

Super minor - but there it is.
Super minor - but there it is.

The Krembler - Was missing white tips on nose cones, but that's been fixed. Looks really good now!

The Krembler
The Krembler

Sellsword - The version I recieved in this package appears to be the lighter "baby blue" 2nd version, not the latest 3rd version - Chris is looking into this.

Sellsword - light blue version.
Sellsword - light blue version.

But just for fun, here's the details:

Besides the color of the blue there are two application errors. The grey color should be applied to the front bottom / sides of the ship - here's a rough sketch-up:

Sketch-up
Sketch-up

Currently it's just a single stripe on one side:

Just a stripe
Just a stripe

The other issue is the black stripe on the nose - it should just be a thin black stripe. Currently it covers the whole bottom of the nose:

Black on nose - should just be a stripe.
Black on nose - should just be a stripe.

Puddle Jumper - The missing silver details are back! This ship looks so good! It's amazing how much detail fits into a 2cm miniature!

Puddle Jumper
Puddle Jumper

One small issue: it appears the silver details were applied after the darkening "wash". So they kind of stand out. I'm assuming they just took a revision 2 ship and added the silver on top of it - so it should be alright in the final version - I've asked Chris.

Swamp Rat - Was missing dark green for "camo" effect. The dark green on this really make the “camo” effect work! Looks great!

Swamp Rat
Swamp Rat

Lone Drifter - Excellent - the orange thrust is correctly applied in only the center of the rear circle. Everything else looks super!

Lone Drifter
Lone Drifter

Summary - Ships

These ships look so very good! I'm incredibly excited for you to get your own set! Here's my thoughts on where we stand (also, please remember that the other 11 of the 22 total ships have already been approved and should begin production very soon):

  • I'm 100% happy with 6 of the ships - I'd like to approve those for production.
  • 3 of the ships have very minor paint issues (Manchester, Puddle Jumper, and Merchant - I'm alright shipping with them, but they could be super simple to fix.
  • Sellsword - I’d prefer to do another revision: Correct blue, grey on the bottom, and black nose stripe.
  • Nightshade’s paint not sticking is serious - I’d feel terrible shipping it as-is.

Now - we are 7 days ahead of schedule for this revision, so I've emailed Chris, and he’s talking with the factory to see what we can do very rapidly. 

I will post an update as soon as I hear back from him.

Print Samples

Panda also sent along some print samples in the package. The samples are Tier 1 ship cards having the matte varnish applied. If you remember: the matte varnish darkens the print by roughly 10% - which we had to account for by brightening all of our graphics by 10%. Everything came out very nicely:

New Sample (left) - Old Sample (right)
New Sample (left) - Old Sample (right)
Old sample (top) new sample (bottom)
Old sample (top) new sample (bottom)

I’m very pleased with how these have come out! The varnish brings out detail that was slightly obfuscated by our 10% brightening. It was a little scary trusting that things would come out how we'd hoped, but they have and I'm very glad! I can’t wait to see them when they are die cut and linen embossed!

Conclusion

Alright! That’s all I've got for today! I hope you've got some good plans for the weekend! We have been playing Euphoria (another Kickstarter board game) and really having a blast! I won 2 out of 3 games so far, which is pretty rare for me ;) Get out there, enjoy the weather, and happy spring! I’ll post as soon as I hear back from Chris!...see you starside!

Cheers, -Cody

PS: Fun fact, I had no idea StarGate had a ship named Puddle Jumper, or that it looks similar to our own Puddle Jumper, until last month, haha! Such a weird coincidence, I think lots of people will think it's fan-service, but in truth, I've never seen an episode or movie! Weird weird weird.


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