As of the end of Friday the team had fewer than 1,000 Ogre Designer's Edition games to ship. We are on track for all of the goods to be out in the wild by the end of this week, which means than many of you in the US will get to spend your Thanksgiving holiday weekend playing Ogre!
And since so many of you have been enjoying the map Brandon gave us an update. Thank you, Brandon!
I know, not much notice. I didn't have much notice myself . . . We contributed an Ogre **retail edition** – the first one in the wild, as far as I know – to a very good cause. This is for a family that has had far more than its share of tragedy. And they're in Buda, a small town just south of Austin, where I may very well be moving soon (my old home being fit only for bulldozing at this point).
So if you happen to want another Ogre, and/or to give to a good cause, and you happen to be near Buda tomorrow (I know, that last part's the catch), you might think about showing up, eating BBQ, and bidding. Read about it at caringforthecranes.com.
Meanwhile, Back at Launch Party East
A note from Sean Ferris:
"The OGRE LAUNCH PARTY EAST will start at 12 noon tomorrow, Saturday, November 16th at:
The Only Game In Town
211 West Main Street
Somerville, NJ 08876
There is NO entry fee. There will be free pizza (I also heard that there may be an Ogre cake). There will be some Ogre 101 Rules Classes. There will be a LOT of open gaming to play whatever size scenario you wish. You do not have to be a Kickstarter backer or even know anything about Ogre to attend. Each person who attends will receive free swag (until it's gone) and a raffle ticket for the "RARE" swag that Steve Jackson graciously gave us. That rare swag also includes the exact swag bag that was given at the Austin Launch Party. Backers, please bring your copy of Ogre and some friends who need to preorder their own copy!"
And now a note from me again:
I doubt that anyone will attend BOTH those events. If you do, there's a medal in it for you.
As of last night 3,685 shipments have left Austin, including an assortment of APO orders that had managed to hide. (I suspect those orders were hiding behind one of the Ogre Designer's Edition boxes. I wouldn't be surprised if my car was hiding inside the canvas bag right now.) That leaves 1,374 to go!
At the current rate Eric is predicting that all games will be shipped by the end of next week. Awesome news! Thank you to Eric, Carl, and Stacy for devoting so many hours to packing and shipping games and swag. I owe you guys pizza!!!
Want A Stronger Base Tray?
When I was in China way back in 2012 I asked the engineers a question that has continued to eat at the back of my mind. It was during an involved discussion about the vac trays and how to safely pack and ship the game when I had an idea. In my experience, vac trays are sometimes more brittle than I like so in an attempt to improve the trays I asked:
"Can the reverse side of the trays be filled with spray foam at the factory?"
"No," was the response after some translation time and continued chat. But while the "no" answer was the best I could get from the factory, I managed to get a "yes" answer when I asked Richard the exact same question yesterday.
We selected a damaged base tray for the experiment. Why? To see if spray foam can not only protect the tray but also make a damaged tray perfectly useful. Once the foam-filled tray is dropped back inside the box any damage like you see in the above photos will no longer be a problem.
NOTE: Foam is being sprayed into the reverse side of the base tray. Not the side where game components are stored. This is important.
Two cans of spray foam were used for the test. Richard and I went to his workshop (well ventilated!) and he first used minimum expanding foam to fill in all of the smaller spaces. The minimum expanding foam was selected in an attempt to keep the foam from causing problems; pinholes or hairline fractures might tear as the standard spray foam expands. We wanted to be as careful as possible so we went with the cautious approach to start.
After all of the narrow spaces were filled, Richard switched over to the standard spray foam and started spraying the rest of the reverse side of the base tray. After our experiment yesterday I'm going to recommend that anyone looking to completely fill the reverse side of the tray with foam grab two cans. Just be careful so that there's not too much trim work after your foam has finished expanding.
After a few hours we removed the plexiglass to get a close look at the tray. Even without completely filling the base tray with spray foam the result is a tray that is far stronger than it was before we started. The sides of the tray -- as well as the sides of the various cavities -- are all fairly rigid and the tray feels like it will better withstand the stress of travel.
Thank you, Richard, for running with my insane idea and testing how spray foam works with the base tray. I can now sleep happy knowing that the idea worked wonderfully, and now all of you DIY fans out there see how it's possible to strengthen your base tray using a few cans of spray foam.
If any of you try this at home please note the gloves and ventilation. Safety first! Oh, and don't forget to show us photos of your foam-filled trays!
Today's mail reports that we're right around the 70% mark when it comes to shipping games and swag to all of you. That second shipping line is really helping! Everyone who wants to follow along should take a look at the updated map. Brandon will update this once each business day until all of the games are shipped.
Remember, please, that if your game arrives damaged we need notification immediately. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and try to include photos of the shipping carton, photos of interior damage, and your phone number. Also, please note that if the damage is significant you may be asked to box everything back up for FedEx.
It is very important that you open your games as soon as possible. Once we release all of the extras for sale we may find ourselves without replacements, so if you wait a month or more before peeking inside your Ogre Designer's Edition we may be unable to replace some components. It turns out the distributor orders are even higher than first reported. That's a good thing!
A Look Inside The Box!
Thank you to Chief at The Dice Tower for this fantastic unboxing video. The years of work are paying off as all of you receive your games, and seeing videos like this -- as well as all of your great comments and pics -- is our reward for a job well done. Thanks, Chief, for showing the world just how much comes packed inside every copy of the Ogre Designer's Edition.
Car Wars Question: Grid Or No Grid?
I'm not officially working on Car Wars today, but that doesn't keep my brain from thinking about automotive death almost constantly. One question peeling out in my head this week is whether or not the new edition of Car Wars uses gridded maps -- great for nostalgia --- or functions more as a tabletop miniatures game. You know, using the bare table and terrain bits instead of maps.
I personally prefer the tabletop with terrain and no maps/grid approach, but I'd love to hear what all of you think. Drop a comment here and let me know your thoughts: grid or no grid?
As of last night we're now at the 60% mark . . . and the international shipments are happening! If you would like a visual snapshot (as of this morning) of the shipping progress please see this page. Simply click any of the pins on the map to see how many shipments have gone out and how many remain.
Share Your Ogre Fun!
If you are snapping photos of your Ogre Designer's Edition please post those pics to the Ogre page at BGG. Everyone out there loves photos of games -- or is that just me? -- and sharing your pics on BGG is a great way to let the rest of the world see just how much insane fun is hiding inside each giant box.