Where are the Spell Effects?
First i'd like to re-iterate that the 5E Wizard, 5E Cleric, 5E Druid, PF Wizard, PFS Wizard (round and jagged versions) have been in stock for a long time. While we promised and are creating packs for every class and every edition, and the list of packs is quite long - the bulk of orders are all finished and shipped.
Some of you have been waiting ages for product, especially if your interest was in Spell School packs Vs Class Packs. In these cases, we recommended backers switch to the Wizard pack, since the class packs have been more successful in general and you're able to use them immediately. We modified a number of orders, but I'm sure there are more. If you weren't aware this was an option, surely you should message us if you're interested in this change.
The holdup right now is production related.
The 5E Bard, 5E Paladin, 5E Sorcerer, 5E Necromancy, 5E Illusion and a few others are finished and awaiting print. They need a final round of corrections, then have print tests, and those tests tell us how to correct the art / coloring. Then the batch prints.
Production is heavily bogged down by 2 compounding problems, 1> the printer is damaged and continuously breaking down. We're in an endless repair cycle and 'something' is eluding us. To compensate we've changed the way were printing to accommodate the machine, which affects the speed and reliability of printing. Never before have we not been able to fix the machine by replacing the obvious parts that wear down, but in this case we've replaced all of them, multiple times, and "something else" is wrong - something we're not sure can ever be fixed.
Ironically, Philip believes that the current printing problem does NOT affect the Spell Effects themselves - but since 90% of our business is the production of Flat Plastic Miniatures, Object overlays, and other transparent items - you can imagine that when the printer is having issues everything is affected. Namely - instead of printing new spell effects, Philip is repairing / replacing the printer for the 50th time and lucky if he's getting me a few hundred sheets.
2> The production facility that we partner with is moving. It's been happening in stages, which has made their day to day operations wacky to say the least, and the "bulk move" will begin soon - and how long the actual moving and resetting of all machinery will take is largely up in the air. "In the next 30 days" or "In the next 60 days" is mentioned a lot, but I also know they're now paying rent at their new facility and they have a forced move-out date at their current location. This means that soon, everything is temporarily shutting down.
We're not entirely blinded by the current machine's problems. In fact, we have 2 other (newer) copies of the machine. Arcknight has purchased one itself, which is at our warehouse in Texas. And our production partner has a second much newer version awaiting to be set up after the move. On paper, this is GREAT NEWS! We're going potentially from 1 unreliable machine, to 2 reliable machines AND a backup unreliable machine, woooo. And of course the 'plan' is for me to just produce everything myself whenever I want it.
Everything has hurdles however. For them, the move is a major hurdle, which is triggered from overwhelming success that requires a bigger everything - which also means they're strapped for time in every direction. After the move we're hoping things go well and the new machine gets set up, and everything is wonderful forever. Of course, this machine is not THEIR priority, it's one of many machines and not entirely critical. I have no real say in how quickly it gets up and running, and of course any number of things can go wrong in a huge move.
For us, our Texas warehouse does not have appropriate power; its not clean AND it's not the correct 3 phase, so even if we get a power converter, a weak feed could cause damage to the new printer. So we're ALSO moving. I'm currently paying rent at a second new Texas warehouse for Arcknight, and all of our machinery is moving on the 20th of June. This new location WILL have correct 3-phase power, and many other perks - but none of it is ready. 3-phase power has been run from the street to the warehouse strip, but we have to have it drawn to our unit. Then, we can begin to set up, troubleshoot, and address a slew of problems with power, cooling and printing - not an easy process - but at the end of this road we're hoping to have an even more reliable version of our printer and completely in-house.
Refunding Dormant Orders
This is kickstarter, and in general, I'd say the audience has been overwhelmingly patient and kind. The "real question" seems to be 'will we ever get this stuff?' Yes. You will all get all the stuff. Arcknight is not going anywhere and the overall business is strong. We love these spell effects, we want to make them, and they're a big part of our future.
However, if you're tired of waiting, we completely understand. We've mentioned in the comments that we can refund / convert any orders that are outstanding. You can instead get products from our website. We can send you payment through Paypal, etc.
A LOT of the emails / comments we get are about the digital copies of the spell effect items. Frankly, the situation sucks. Conceptually, this isn't so hard to tackle - we take existing spell effects in print, we break the shapes into artboards, we export and name the files. Whats so hard about that!? I agree with you. Which is why I've attempted to outsource this work over 5 times now, and I can't say much other than "this project is cursed". No less than 5 times I've hired and trained someone to help me do this work, wasted significant hours getting them up to speed, paid them - of course - and had them walk away from the project before ever getting started. The most recent one was an illustrator veteran being paid a frankly absurd amount just to 'get it done' although being incredibly easy work for them.
This is the kind of work that can so easily be done over the internet, every perspective employee wants to do the work from home. I believe this is a trap and a mistake, since the job is so fluid and easy to accomplish, they languish in their duties and take advantage of the situation until it collapses, then disappear.
Overall, we call this type of work 'Art Debt'. The artwork / file processing / renaming / catalog building and other grunt work that endlessly marches forward. In hindsight, I always say 'well, I should have just done it myself!' but there's always more, and in the big picture I cannot possibly do this myself without other things suffering - which is why it needs to be outsourced.
I'm very frustrated by the lack of progress on this, but the choice is always the same, find someone new and start the process over, which puts me further behind. So we're still looking for 'that candidate' who knows Adobe Illustrator, can work quickly and independently on a relatively easy task. Artboard manipulation, exporting, renaming. Anyone with illustrator experience COULD do it. I need to find someone reliable I can pay well to do it quickly and with minimal training.