Sam and I arrived in Hong Kong over the weekend -- we're both trying to blank the flight from our minds -- and have now spent a day in the Hong Kong office where we reviewed the very first production copy of the Ogre Designer's Edition. This was a completely sealed carton exactly the way the factory thought it should appear . . . and everything was perfect!
The first thing we noticed when we picked up the completed game in its shipping carton is that it's considerably heavier than we were expecting; it seems that the added styrofoam plates and cardboard packing inserts -- as well as the thicker carton -- increased the game's weight a little more than any of us had estimated. But it's worth it; all of the added cost of the packing inserts is just fine with us since it helps guarantee that the game inside will reach all of you in great shape. It would take a major impact to get through those layers of protection.
Once we finished staring at the shipping carton -- "No, YOU pick it up now. It's heavy!" -- then we proceeded to dig through the game layer by layer, checking every piece and comparing the counts and components to our packing instructions. There was a moment of panic when we couldn't find the Pocket Edition game in the box, and then we all realized that the game we were looking at was Kickstarter A and NOT Kickstarter B. So no problems!
Things that really jumped out at us:
- Trays. AM. A. ZING! This was the first time we had seen full production copies of the trays and they were even better than we had hoped. The heavier materials really added to the strength and quality of what were already impressive trays, and inserting the e-flute pieces beneath the base tray increased the strength of that lower tray. The best part was when our rep was talking about how they were trying to decide where to drop the rules in the box and then discovered the slot for the rules; a perfect fit! Sam did great work on the tray designs and deserves to be rewarded.
- Counters. Everything packed on the back of the game box, inside the carton, worked out great and the one bit of advice I have for all of you is this: Open the game on a flat surface with the cover down. You don't want those bricks of counter sheets running wild once you rip the shrinkwrap off.
It's now Tuesday morning here in Hong Kong and we're about to pack everything and head to the factory in China. Today we'll visit the plastics factory -- where dice are made! -- and find our way to the hotel by dark so that first thing tomorrow morning we can dig into the Ogre assembly process. But I have to admit that after reviewing the first production copy of the game I'm feeling much better about the entire process.
I'll have more to say -- assuming I have a strong net connection -- from China.
For now, though, enjoy these pics from the Hong Kong office. If you imagine me saying "Just one more second, Sam." when you look at the photo of Sam holding the finished game then you'll have some idea of how much fun it can be to take a picture of someone holding the box. Sam got a bit of a workout before I let him put the box down.
- Phil Reed