Progress update numero uno
Now that the Kickstarter is over, we're digging in and working hard to get Turing Tumble shipped to you as soon as we possibly can. I expect this will be a bit of an adventure. :) We'll try to bring you along with us through the experience. This is the first of many updates.
I (Paul) took a few months leave from my job to devote 100% of my time to Turing Tumble. It's been great and weird at the same time. Great because it's super fun! Weird because it's been nothing more than a hobby for a long time. I can't shake the guilty feeling that I'm skipping work to play video games all day. The commute is marvelous!
I started this week by making tweaks to just about every part. I ordered some new CNC milled prototypes on Friday to test the changes - they should arrive in a week or two. The most important change was to the stand.
I added slots for three different tilt angles so you can adjust the speed of your computer, and I made the stand sturdier as well.
I also added an arrow to the gear bit. Some of you noticed that it's hard to tell which way the gear bit is pointing.
I also shaved off a centimeter or two from the height of the board and I modified the ball release mechanism to make it sturdier and more reliable.
We've been giving a lot of thought to the box this week. What's the best way to pack everything in a limited space? I've never paid so much attention to boxes and vacuum molded parts in my entire life.
The goal was to design a vacuum molded insert that has slots for each individual part. The thing is, if you've looked at most vacuum molded inserts, they're not usually very complicated. They have a few trays (maybe for a deck of cards or dice), but that's about it. In this game, though, there are a lot of parts, and the insert needs a slot for each one. Here's what I came up with. Hopefully it doesn't stretch the plastic too far.
We considered chopping the board in half in order to make the box dimensions smaller, but it turns out that the unchopped dimensions are the perfect size. Any smaller and we'd have to layer inserts on top of each other.
On the top left, there's a spot for each of the 30 ramps and in the last row there are holders for each of the six crossovers. The right side has slots for the bits, gear bits, gears, and interceptors. Those are all recessed because the puzzle book will lay over them. And on top of the puzzle book, the two halves of the stand will lay. At the very bottom of the right-hand side of the insert, there's a funny-shaped hole for the presser (it sits upright) and a small tray for the balls.
There are also two big trays you can see there. A big one on the left and a smaller one on the right. When we ship the game, we'll probably have all the parts stored in bags held in those trays. We tested the tray sizes to see if they could fit all the parts. They can!
For those of you who ordered extra parts (or plan to later), you'll eventually be able to use the trays to store those parts.
Over the top of all this, we're thinking of having a layer of thick cardboard that rests on top of the parts so they don't come out when the box is shaken. On the top surface of the cardboard we'll have a picture of what's underneath, with all the parts in their places. We're thinking about how to give that cardboard piece a premium feel. Maybe it could be on a hinge of some sort?
And finally, the game board will rest on its back on top of the cardboard piece. I'm modifying the board to give it feet that lift it off the surface so that when it's laying on its back, the parts protruding out the back don't touch the surface it's laying on.
This week, the plan is to work on the box art. We're still trying to decide what it should look like - particularly on the front cover. Any ideas/opinions/thoughts on that?
Expect to get another update in a couple weeks about the backer survey. At that time you'll be able to get add-ons or additional copies of the game at Kickstarter pricing.
Thanks again! Much more to come.
Paul and Alyssa