Turing Tumble Progress Update #3: The Post-Kickstarter Survey is Coming!
Today we will begin sending out the post-Kickstarter surveys. The survey is where you can enter your shipping information and answer other questions we have for you related to your reward level. You'll also be able to order add-ons or additional copies of the Kickstarter version of the game.
If you thought our pricing system in the Kickstarter was tortured, when it got to setting up a system for add-ons and additional copies of the game, it got even more complicated. So today the survey will only go out to about 5% of backers. That way we can test whether things are a-ok and probably on Wednesday the surveys will go out to everyone else. Please check your inboxes for an invitation to take the survey.
As for progress, we've got a couple new things to show you. First off, it looks like we won't need to immediately fly out to China because LongPack (our manufacturer) is coming to GenCon this week in Indianapolis. I'm going to meet with them on Friday and go over the manufacturing plan in detail. They're also going to bring samples of various parts of the game/packaging so we can finalize the box design.
I've been impressed with LongPack so far. I was a bit worried that, being based in China, communication would be difficult and things might move slowly. But they've communicated clearly and quickly, and they've gone the extra mile. This morning I woke up to an email about how they created their own 3D printed version of the game to get a feel for how it works before they build injection molds:
They're also going to bring a white-copy sample of the book so I can take a look at the quality and get its dimensions for the vac tray. It turns out the book is going to be spiral bound with wire instead of plastic. I guess plastic spirals are cheaper, but they take longer to install, so it will be less expensive to go with wire. Fine with me! Here's their picture of the white copy of the book:
The front and back covers will be made of thick card stock with a linen texture on both sides.
Here's what we have designed so far for the packaging (minus the box art):
We'll have the black, plastic tray on the bottom where all the parts will go. The book also fits in that tray. The holes for the parts are shaped accordingly, but they won't snap in. Instead, a chipboard separator will go over the tray to keep the parts secure in their places. And finally the board will lay on its back on top of the separator.
Also notice the underside of the lid. We're not sure yet whether this will be a possibility, but we're hoping to add pockets that will hold the board supports. You can see them better here, with the board supports slid out:
I like this way of doing it, but it might not be possible for LongPack to make the pockets with their manufacturing processes. So we might end up having a second plastic tray that would be glued to the chipboard separator to hold the board supports.
Once this issue gets sorted out, they're going to make a white copy of the entire box/packaging and send it to us for approval. Then we'll add art. We have a meeting with Mackey Creative where they show us their preliminary design ideas on Wednesday the 23rd. We're excited to see what their team came up with!
Board supports (version 999,999,999)
And yes, you might have noticed the board supports look different than in the last update. I found another error and spent a few days redesigning them one more time.
There's good news and bad news. The bad news is that I couldn't figure out a way to get multiple tilt angles to work - at least I couldn't get them to work well without a complete redesign of the board supports. It was a choice between having two tilt angles that were both a little rickety or having one tilt angle that held the board securely and felt solid. I'm sure it could be done with a more complicated support system, but it would delay things by at least a month and I also worry that a more complicated support system would be more likely to break.
The good news is that the new supports are sturdier, they look cooler, they hold the board far more securely, and the rubber feet will now be glued in place instead of adhered in place.
Sorry, backers! I thought that stretch goal was going to be an easy one. If it's any consolation, we found that multiple tilt angles didn't really add much to the experience, anyway. But we'll try and make it up to you.
Speaking of which, we have a question for you all: Besides the extra balls, we've been brainstorming ways to make the Kickstarter-exclusive edition of Turing Tumble extra special. One thing we plan to do is to individually number these games, like "543 of 4,198". We're also thinking of ways to make the box unique (e.g., gold foil lettering on the front?) and possibly even the plastic parts.
What cool ideas do you have? Something where every time you have a friend over, you can bring out your Turing Tumble and make them insanely jealous of your first-run, Kickstarter-exclusive edition. I haven't asked LongPack about kittens, yet.
Thanks again! You made all this possible.
Paul and Alyssa