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Rome demands BEAUTY!  Deluxe edition of best selling strategy game, re-imagined with breathtaking elegance and top quality production.
Rome demands BEAUTY! Deluxe edition of best selling strategy game, re-imagined with breathtaking elegance and top quality production.
1,612 backers pledged $73,102 to help bring this project to life.

Picking up the pieces…

there is no category of: "does risky exploration, never fails." Seth Godin

At this point I’m pretty sure that – with a little grace - I’m not actually going to have to declare bankruptcy. My house is gone (either through short-sale or foreclosure) but I guess I wasn’t really using it anymore.

It’s interesting how entirely alien the same situation can appear from different perspectives. I have no doubt that 99.9% of the people reading this, if they have been following enough to care, are entirely convinced that this mess happened because I didn’t pay enough attention to the Kickstarter program and games company, while the 0.1% writing the update lived through the complete opposite – I saw my life’s savings go up in smoke because I let the games company trap me in a set of financial and moral commitments that meant that I couldn’t back-burner my hobby when the “Exploding Project” pressures of my real job demanded it. It doesn’t really matter anymore. You guys (and girls) – mostly – got your games. I lost my house. In any ‘rational’ handling of this situation I would have picked a different course and those facts were reversed but that’s not how I run my life, or my business.

A COMMITMENT

It may take a while, but I am getting paid again and everything that was promised will (eventually) get shipped to where it’s supposed to be if we physically have the inventory anywhere in the world.

LOOK!!! ZOMBIES!!!

As Zombie House Evacuation Specialists, you have been assigned to rescue 10 people from a local safe house. While awaiting escape cars, you are swarmed by others trying to escape the zombies. Do you stop and help them? How long can your 10 survivors wait in the safe house?

Jeremiah Lee, the designer of Zombie in my Pocket, has a new game up on Kickstarter right now. He's self-publishing the game, and would love your support. Zombie House Blitz is a speed card game for 2-4 players.

I've not played Zombie House Blitz yet but from the video and the reviews it's looking like a classic Jeremiah game - fun, fast, easy to learn and... Zombies!!!!!

It's a great project, and really close to it's funding target - you should back it!

STATUS / NEXT STEPS

After about 6 months between consulting assignments I’m working again – meaning that I have cash coming in again to pay to finish cleaning up the kickstarter mess and get the company back into an operational state.

On the other hand, I’m not going to make the mistake –I think I’m safe calling any action that directly resulted in me losing my house as a mistake – of neglecting my core consulting business in order to fix stuff on the games side. We are going to get this stuff sorted out, but the pace is going to be set by the time and cash I have available.

Also, don’t expect BoardGameGeek updates any time soon – for some reason my girlfriend has decided that BGG is “the place where I can see the most unthankful, disrespectful, ironic, childish people on earth”. She’s wrong, of course, but I’ve promised not to come back onto BGG until I can convinced her otherwise – sorry, but it’s a condition we’ve agreed for her to be OK with me starting to push the games company again and I need to respect it.

Anyway, our immediate next steps are:

1) Getting payroll back up and running so I can get Chris and Amber back on board. I had to lay them both off at the end of October (when the cash ran out), although they’ve both been helping out unpaid since then - especially Chris who spent a week in December moving the games company out of the house so it could be sold.

2) Clearing through our open issues / email backlog. The email tracking software has been working fine so we have all the requests and questions that came in over the past couple of months - although obviously it will take some time to sort through the list.

3) Simplifying and stabilizing processes for sales + inventory management, accounting, etc. – to answer the obvious question, yes we certainly intend to reprint Glory To Rome Black Box this year, but I’m not going to be bounced into printing more games before we’ve shown that we can actually make and sell the inventory we already have.  

WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU

If you’ve emailed a request to kickstarter@cambridgegames.com , info@cambridgegames.com, sales@cambridgegames.com or sent a Kickstarter message on October 1st 2012or later and haven’t heard back then your request is in our email system and we’ll be working through the list and you will be hearing from us over the next few weeks – although you’re obviously welcome to email us again if you’re worried your email was lost.

If you emailed / messaged us before October 1st 2012 (or haven’t emailed us at all) then please send an email to Kickstarter@Cambridgegames.com explaining your situation and what is still missing and we’ll take care of it – I’m sure it’s going to take several more weeks to get the remaining shipping done, but once the payroll’s back up and running I’m hoping we can quickly get to responding to new incoming emails within 48 hours.

THE TEAM

This has been a turbulent year. From the start, I expected he Kickstarter program to be challenging and even to lose one or two team members along the way but also to come out of the endeavor with a “battle-forged” team that would be able to carry the company forwards once we’d got through the process.

I guess that is – eventually - where we ended up but with a team that’s half the size of where we started.

The survivors are:

Ed Carter - Managing Director
ed.carter@cambridgegames.com

Rob Seater – Game Development Director
rob.seater@cambridgegames.com

Chris Sniezek - Operations Director
chris.sneizek@cambridgegames.com

Amber Ying – Sales Director
amber.ying@cambridgegames.com

In addition, two former team members are still helping out, but on a professional basis:

Christopher Rao – Rao and Pierce LLC
Cambridge Games Factory Legal Counsel
topher@raoandpierce.com

Heiko Gunther - Bureau Stabil
Creative Director for Blackbox Program
heiko@bureaustabil.de

Unfortunately my brother - Wakefield Carter - is no longer part of Cambridge Games Factory and won't be part of the story going forwards.

Wake has a very different management approach and philosophy to the rest of the CGF teams which had caused conflicts (mostly with me, but also with some other team members) from the start. We tried to work through those differences but in Sept 2012 we agreed they were irreconcilable and Wake split from CGF - although he continued his licensing responsibilities through until the end of 2012

AND FINALLY...

A huge amount of work went into getting the Blackbox games sent out to (almost) everyone. It was a rough ride but we learnt a lot in the process,

I want to thank every member of the team (past and present) for the effort they put in - with a huge mention to Topher for managing the main delivery process over the summer and Chris for continuing to help long after the money had run out.  It's going to be a while before we're ready to run another Kickstarter but when we do it will be from a much stronger and more stable business as a platform.

And of course, thank you all for your patience and tolerance as we got these games shipped out to everyone.  I'm so sorry it took so long!

Cheers,

Ed Carter
Managing Director
Cambridge Games Factory
www.cambridgegames.com
YES! We'd love to see your game idea

Comments

    1. Creator Kevin J. Maroney on April 2, 2013

      Ed,

      One of the greatest and most common lessons of the toy industry is that there is nothing that can better wreck a company than an underplanned success, because it forces a company to move all their attention to something outside of their core strength. Sounds like that happened to you, and I'm sorry for you for it.

    2. Creator Ed Carter / Amber Ying on March 30, 2013

      @chearns - Yes, she is wrong - and for a couple of reasons.

      Firstly what you're seeing here is a tiny segment of the community and doesn't represent the whole population. Like most internet communities (except maybe Call of Duty on the XBox - don't know that one) most folk on BGG are just there to do their thing - in this case finding out about / talking about board games. As a publisher it's a unique experience to be able to connect so closely with customers and the dialog is incredibly valuable.

      Secondly, Board Game Geeks are just a very different mind-set. It's a community of smart, intuitive people who enjoy thinking about and making strategic and tactical decisions - it's really not surprising that they're going to second guess and try to out-think the situation. Unfortunately, even with everything I'm sharing there's more left out (e.g., stuff relating to my recent divorce) and so not all the cards are on the table. Some then go on to assume that I would (or at least should) make the same decision they would off the same set of facts but I've made a career out of strategic and out of box thinking and so that is frequently not the case.

      There certainly are games companies out there that started up with the plan to do the same thing as everyone else, only better but that was never, ever the vision for Cambridge Games Factory. We started the company to try and change the industry, not to follow it and so there's a certain amount of historic bad feeling about our long standing irrational unwillingness to throw away the vision and instead turn CGF into just another Rio Grande / Z-Man wannabe. Of course the Eminent Domain train-wreck suggests that strategy is not exactly a guarantee of success - but that's another story...

      Cambridge Games Factory and I have had many incredibly good experiences on BoardGameGeek over the years and I'm sure we will again in the future, just not for the next couple of months.

    3. Creator Ed Carter / Amber Ying on March 30, 2013

      @ Tim - Running a start-up business is never certain.

      When we announced the Kickstarter in July 2011 Marj had been running CGF Operations for about 6 months, including a couple of successful imports. She had a team of 4 people working for her. There were plenty of risks - especially when we were planning to work with a printer that had the right skills and product but didn't speak a word of English - but we had the capabilities to complete the project.

      If Marj had told me in advance that she was going to quit a week after the Kickstarter program completed then I simply would not have started the project. If she'd quit a week before the project ended then... I'm quite sure I would have still have walked into this bear trap but in hindsight I should have cancelled the Kickstarter, apologized and let people know we'd run it again once we'd got our operations team back into shape.

      In terms of cognitive dissonance / positive changes - already very much in place.

      I started both the games company and my consulting practice at the end of 2004, but one of the very early lessons was that in crunch situations, one of these businesses was a hobby and the other was existential (look for a BGG post in GTR called "A Question of Priorities" for details). More recently I forgot, or at least diluted that lesson but it's very much top of mind now - next time issues at CGF threaten my 'real' business I will cut the cord without hesitiation. It's one thing to know you you're following a path that might in theory lose you your house, quite another to have actually done so.

      That said Cambridge Games Factory has a perfectly healthy business waiting to break out - we just need to stop thinking about the new games we're going to publish and focus on selling the ones we have. And... as long as I follow the gold rule above... my consulting business is in really good shape right now so finding a few thousand dollars a month for payroll to get things up and running again is not really a problem - especially with the continuing demand for Glory To Rome once we get the next Blackbox reprint onto the market.

      On integrity and good will I guess you've lost me. I'm not on BGG now but from what I'm reading here and the emails I've been receiving there's plenty of good will out there and I guess I'm missing completely how I've acted without integrity; shipping the games to Esdevium so that they ended up in stores before the European backer copies went out was just a straight screw up - the person responsible is no longer with the company. We ended up spending ~$1000 air shipping European copies back to the US because we (Topher and I) had counted the copies exactly to work out how many needed to go to each market and the Esdevium order left us with a huge imbalance.

      Otherwise there are several decisions I regret and I certainly could have been monitoring stuff closer earlier in the year but I'm not aware of any time when I (or anyone at Cambridge Games Factory) acted either dishonestly or in bad faith. If there are specific examples I'm missing, please let me know - either here or by email to ed.carter@cambridgegames.com and I'll deal with them.

      Cheers,

      Ed

    4. Creator chearns on March 29, 2013

      Well, your girlfriend's not wrong. Although I probably would have shortened it to simply calling them entitled.

    5. Creator Tim Braun on March 29, 2013

      I originally posted this on BGG but I'm reposting here because of Ed's self imposed exile @ BGG and I want the larger KS community to be aware of the risk which can be associated with Kickstarter projects. Here we go:

      Regardless of the contributions of CGF to the industry or Ed's character as an individual, something has changed or has been revealed that has altered my perceptions of the man and his company.

      I backed the GtR:BB KS project because I believed in the offering that was being made and had some confidence in the company that it would deliver. However, the old adage is true that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. If I knew then what I know now, I would never have backed the project because regardless of any personal reward, receiving a copy of the game, I would not want to be an enabler of this venture.

      Things go awry in almost every KS Project. Whether the problems are large or small, it is the onus of the project owner to mitigate them. The actions or inactions of the project owner alone affect the outcome and have a direct impact on the overall success of the project.

      I'm not one to speculate what has led to Ed's cognitive dissonance about the state of his personal life and his business. I just hope he can figure things out and make positive changes that result in better outcomes for himself and CGF.

      Tales of redemption are wonderful characterizations of the triumphs of the human spirit. However, it will take a greater amount of time to restore the reputation of Ed and CGF than it took to diminish the goodwill that was lost from the GtR: BB KS Project. Once there is a loss of integrity it can never be restored with the same level of confidence.

    6. Creator Ed Carter / Amber Ying on March 29, 2013

      @ Randall - Of course this mess is my fault, right from the start, and all the way through.

      If you remember I took a decision to bring the Kickstarter program forward to take advantage of a publicity wave we had on BGG at the time, which is why Marj the Chinese Speaking, Import Export Specialist, Crazy Efficient, Walk-on-Water Operations Director (who had missed a couple of team meetings that month) hadn't given her feedback on my insane "Free shipping worldwide" offer until it was already in the Kickstarter, which meant that I had managed to both undermine the financials of the project and annoy Marj so much (by not taking into account her feedback after it was too late to change anything) that she quit the company.

      Bear in mind that this is the first time Cambridge Games Factory has ever made a game in a real box and now we were on the hook to send thousands of copies to dozens of countries without the expertise to do it. Did you know that if you are importing boxed games you have to write "No Step" on the import documentation or ~20% of your order will arrive with crushed lids? Marj would have done, but unfortunately Marj wasn't there and Topher and I had no idea - we were pretty much making it up as we went along.

      In terms of cross posting BGG stuff here, please do! I really would like to hear what you guys are thinking (good, bad and ugly) - I've just given my unbreakable word to someone I care a lot about that I won't go to BGG to find out.

      Cheers,

      Ed

    7. Creator Ed Carter / Amber Ying on March 29, 2013

      @Neil

      Thank you for the offer on Plato 3000.

      It's really not necessary, although if you did want to help then buying a second copy (preferably at a local games store) and give it away would be a big win for everyone involved - although bear in mind that it's going to take a few weeks for us to get our games back into distribution.

      On the personal side, my house is too far into the short-sell / foreclosure process for me to change anything now (especially as it's jointly owned with my ex-wife) and otherwise now I'm working I have plenty of income to finish clearing up the mess. As long as my project at Philips doesn't get cancelled (which is looking extremely unlikely) I'm going to be able to get back on my feet pretty quickly.

      Last year was certainly rough but it's mostly over.

      Cheers,

      Ed

    8. Creator Randall Bart on March 28, 2013

      I'm more sad than mad Ed, but I do blame you for this mess. I'm about to write something at BGG. Maybe I should post it here also.

    9. Creator Neil Whyman on March 28, 2013

      I am very sorry to hear that you've had such a terrible ordeal Ed. Unfortunately your update has struck a nerve with some people; but I understand what you were trying to say however artlessly. I got my copy of GtR, along with a free copy of Plato 3000. You didn't owe me a free copy of Plato 3000, so if it will help CGF to stay in business and complete its Kickstarter commitments I'd like to pay you for it. Tell me how much, and where to send my check. It is little enough on its own, but perhaps I can encourage a few more people to do the same.

    10. Creator Nathan Milbrath on March 28, 2013

      I'm sorry, but fuck off with your guilt trip at the beginning of your update. As someone who has sat quite, my only crime is donating money to help get this project off the ground. I see no reason why you should be blaming us for your downfall. Most of this update was unnecessary and I'm done with this company.

    11. Creator Ed Carter / Amber Ying on March 28, 2013

      @Andrew @Matthew

      It was extremely late when I wrote this (I was proofing it at 5AM) so I'm sorry if my wording was unclear.

      The quote is from my girl friend, not me. I suppose she may have some specific people in mind but I don't know (or care) who. If you read the next sentence you'll find my own opinion "She's wrong, of course..." The only reason for including the quote at all is to explain why I (and therefore CGF) am not on BGG right now.

      So no, there's no 'list' of people I think have wronged me because I simply don't think anybody did. Honestly, it's been so long since I checked BGG that I've really forgotten who was saying what - especially without the handy avatars as a visual cue to who I'm talking to. There are certainly some opinions on BGG that I know, like and trust, and some of them are pretty mad at me (I'm looking at you, Randall) but the idea of blaming my customers for my own shoddy service and bad decisions is laughable. It' my company - of course this was my fault!

      I'm an entrepreneur. This is who I am and what I do. I took a couple too many risks with my real job - the one that pays my rent / mortgage - and I paid for it by losing my house. Stuff happens.

      Cheers,

      Ed

    12. Creator Andrew McGregor on March 28, 2013

      Ed, firstly let me say that I'm very sorry that you have suffered financial hardship as a result of running this Kickstarter. That said, if it's possible I think you should either delete most of this update or heavily rewrite it.
      It is clear that you are still emotionally involved in whatever has happened over the last 18 months and I'm afraid that it seems to me that (intentionally or not) your emotion has come through as this passive aggressive attack on your backers.

      Perhaps, writing this, you had in mind a specific group of people whom you feel have wronged you (and maybe some people have). However like Matthew my only understanding of the difficulties you experienced with this project are the updates you have put up here. I've been patient and I've made no complaint at any stage of the process. What am I supposed to do with this guilt trip that you've laid on me? All I've done is given you money to support the project.

      I guess it's somewhat ironic that after all the delays we've been through it's only now that you upset me enough to give me cause to complain.

      Nevertheless, best wishes for your future success. Hopefully you'll never have to go through anything so painful again.

    13. Creator M. Stone on March 28, 2013

      What you said: “I have no doubt that 99.9% of the people reading this, if they have been following enough to care, are entirely convinced that this mess happened because I didn’t pay enough attention to the Kickstarter program and games company, while the 0.1% writing the update lived through the complete opposite…”

      Reading Between the Lines (RBtL): Everyone but me thinks that I didn’t pay enough attention to your needs and wants regarding the Kickstarter program. You’re all wrong. In actuality, I paid too much attention to meeting the Kickstarter goals.

      --

      What you said: “… I saw my life’s savings go up in smoke because I let the games company trap me in a set of financial and moral commitments that meant that I couldn’t back-burner my hobby when the “Exploding Project” pressures of my real job demanded it.”

      RBtL: My life’s savings was poured out for the sake of keeping my word to all of you. There was no way to both meet my work obligations and also keep my commitments to you all, so I martyred myself and crippled my long-term financial security so that you all could get a box of paper cards. You’re welcome.

      --

      What you said: “It doesn’t really matter anymore. You guys (and girls) – mostly – got your games. I lost my house. In any ‘rational’ handling of this situation I would have picked a different course and those facts were reversed but that’s not how I run my life, or my business.”

      RBtL: Enclosed in the box with each of your games is 1/1830th of my home and (as stated previously) life savings. If I weren’t such a moral person, I wouldn’t have let the goals and promises I gave you take precedence over keeping my home and savings, but to make you happy I did it anyway. I hope you’re satisfied.

      --

      What you said: “… I’m not going to make the mistake –I think I’m safe calling any action that directly resulted in me losing my house as a mistake – of neglecting my core consulting business in order to fix stuff on the games side.”

      RBtL: The decision I made through all of this, to excessively prioritize the project’s goals and promises so that I could make good on my word, was a mistake. I wouldn’t do it again.

      --

      What you said: “Also, don’t expect BoardGameGeek updates any time soon – for some reason my girlfriend has decided that BGG is “the place where I can see the most unthankful, disrespectful, ironic, childish people on earth”. She’s wrong, of course, but I’ve promised not to come back onto BGG until I can convinced her otherwise – sorry, but it’s a condition we’ve agreed for her to be OK with me starting to push the games company again and I need to respect it.”

      RBtL: An independent person who is unfamiliar with the BGG community believes that its members (and most of you, by inclusion) are best characterized as “the most unthankful, disrespectful, ironic, and childish people on earth.” I don’t agree with her, because she doesn’t really know you like I do, but she is as close to an objective 3rd party as it comes, and that’s what she thinks about you guys. So, take a good hard look at your behavior and the way you’ve treated me through all of this.

      ----------------------------------

      I’m not sure if this is what you’re honestly trying to tell us, Ed, or if you are just a poor communicator. From your post, it truly feels as though you are trying to make us backers feel bad for supposedly forcing you into choosing between 1) making good on your promises and goals, resulting in the loss of your sole consulting client and causing you to lose your home and life’s savings and 2) going against your word to us, not delivering on the Kickstarter project’s goals, but keeping your client, savings, and home.

      All I have done throughout this apparent ordeal was give you my money. I neither posted on any BGG GtR-related forum (though I am a slightly-active member of BGG) nor posted any angry comments on Kickstarter. So, when you post this ‘Well, you guys cost my my house and life savings and my girlfriend thinks you’re all horrible…’-type update, I’m left totally baffled. The whole post feels like you’re attempting to shift blame and responsibility from yourself to us for the outcome of this campaign. First of all, that’s ridiculous. The overwhelming group of backers are in the same boat as I am – we gave you our money and were hands-off the whole rest of the way. Did you take some guff from some people on BGG and Kickstarter? Sure. Was all of it fair and deserved? I’m sure oftentimes not. But the vast majority of us have done nothing save support your cause. So I refuse to accept any blame you’d like to shift onto us for the outcomes to you personally.

      Second, the entire situation is framed as one big false choice, and I hope you realize that. You present it as either 1) make good on my promises, lose my job, lose my home or 2) screw you guys over, keep my job, keep my home. Well, I am sure that you could have chosen a hidden 3rd option - to present to the group via Kickstarter the honest struggles and obstacles you’re encountering, and propose some solutions that would 1) enable you to still keep your job and home, and 2) make good on your campaign promises, eventually. Tell us your goof-ups, your mis-calculations, your unexpected roadblocks. Take responsibility for them. And then propose some modifications to “the plan.” Maybe we’d even be able to help you work through them. But you decided to, by and large, keep us in the dark about these issues, not communicate effectively or even often, and let many backers’ frustration build. You present it like there was no other option, but there was. If you had communicated effectively with your supporters and been open and honest about your struggles, I’m sure we could have worked out a solution that would have been at least satisfactory and acceptable (although likely with significantly delayed fulfillment) to most backers, while still allowing you to stay employed and not lose your house. By choosing to not communicate effectively, you eliminated this third option, which I feel is extremely unfortunate.

      In summary, if you’re trying to make the backers feel bad and even slightly responsible for what happened, well, that’s ridiculous. I refuse to take any of that blame. If you aren’t trying to make us feel bad, then you need to rethink your style of communication and cut with the passive aggression. And finally, if you’d like to avoid this kind of campaign outcome in the future, I’d recommend placing more value on keeping open and honest lines of communication with your backers, especially about hurdles and obstacles – but this is just my personal opinion, and you’re welcome to take it or leave it. Good luck in the future.

    14. Creator Alex Baldwin & Karen Exline on March 28, 2013

      Ed: Thank you for publishing the game. It's fan-freaking-tastic. The reprint was worth it -- I know I'd passed over the original game in shops before. We also really like Plato 3000, but now that I realize you were in financial trouble, I would have preferred to pay for it. I'm sorry you lost your house; you didn't owe us your livelihood.

      Backers and Geeks: Please understand that hobby/cottage industries only survive *because* the proprietors have other means of support. It's unrealistic, and frankly uncivilized, to expect the same production turnaround and service times that you'd get from a huge company. The abuse creators took during some of these earlier campaigns was really disheartening.

    15. Creator James Chen-en Cheng on March 28, 2013

      I guess I'll just wait for my copy.
      Still, good luck to you, as always

    16. Creator Ed Carter / Amber Ying on March 28, 2013

      @Thom - Sorry this came without enough context.

      The back story - which is splattered across the various updates and BGG threads is that I do have another line of work ( www.retailtraction.com ) and the economics of having one customer ( www.staples.com ) that has spent well over $1m on my services in the past decade means that when they say "Jump" the only questions I ask are "Which direction?" and "How high?".

      Stepping in to get hands on with the Kickstarter fulfillment last year meant that I took my eye off the ball on my consulting role, missed a couple of deliverables and ended up out of work for 6 months while I found another role. I did have another short project at Staples in January, but I’m now with a new client and have my work cut out proving my value while learning their business model and organization in order to make sure I land another project when this one completes.

      I’d actually promised via Wake (my brother) to post this update on BGG about a month ago (2 weeks into my current assignment) but as I got more involved in the project I realized that I was going to need more time to establish myself in the new role and the distraction of trying to get the geek community up to speed was more than I could take on at the time.

      So no, I’m really not blaming anyone (else) for anything – this was always my screw up and I hope I’ve never claimed otherwise.

      My experience is that the gamer community is extremely smart and intuitive; I get accused of this stuff anyway (e.g., favoring my consulting clients over my games customers) and for most folks it’s better – or at least easier - to be open and honest with my motivations rather than try and say the ‘right’ thing for ‘PR purposes’ and have the whole story unravel when too many conflicting facts emerge.

    17. Creator Ed Carter / Amber Ying on March 28, 2013

      Thanks everyone for the feedback. To be clear there's no intention here to blame anyone for anything, just give an accurate update on the current situation including clarification on why I'm honor bound to stay off BGG right now.

      In particular, I don't for a moment think that my gf's opinion of BGG is correct (see "She’s wrong, of course...") but we met about a year ago so all she's known about CGF has been the rough end of the Kickstarter program - I also really, really don't want to have the "Me or the Games Company" conversation, and if that means staying off BGG for a while to keep her happy then that's what I'm going to do.

    18. Creator Sean Westberg on March 28, 2013

      I regret to hear that you lost your house. That sucks.

      We sparred a little on BGG, but I always knew you meant the best at heart, and I tried to be honest and forthright in that respect.

      Your GF is mistaken about BGG being the darkest cesspool of humanity. An hour playing Call of Duty on Xbox live will remedy that. 15 minutes if she actually fills out a profile that states she's female. I believe xbox live, specifically the CoD public channels, are the darkest cesspit of humanity.

      I left BGG around the new year and rarely visit any more. It brought out a lot of negativity in me and was exasperating at times to deal with. I'll occasionally participate now, but the last year or so *has* seen a lot of negativity creep into the community.

      I give you hope, and joy, of the coming months, and wish you success in your endeavors. I know from personal experience the difficulty of watching a business you own and run implode. I also know the wisdom it can't help but to impart.

      I look forward to hearing the news that CGF is running again, and that it's shipping product that people are eagerly waiting for.

    19. Creator Chad Krizan on March 28, 2013

      Glad to hear from you again, although I'm sorry to hear the circumstances. :(

      We at BGG are always happy to help whenever you're ready to get rolling again!

    20. Creator Thom Wong on March 28, 2013

      Well this was unexpected.

      I've not been paying attention to anything about this game since I funded it (mostly because I'm not on BGG), so this update was a little out of the blue for me. Having read it through, I have no idea what to make of it.

      I'm not one to pile on - clearly something went very wrong for you and your company, and the consequences were real and unfortunate. I'm genuinely sorry about what's happening to you, despite not having kept up with any of the news.

      That said, this update is really bizarre to me. I realize I'm probably missing a lot of BGG context, and also that I have my copy of the (still unplayed) game. But what I take away from the update is by putting my money towards this Kickstarter I cost you your house and maybe affected your relationship.

      I'm struggling to think of another context where this could possibly happen. I don't get emails from the CEO of Uniqlo telling me that because I paid him for a shirt, they need to close the London store. You might say that that wasn't your intention, but as someone who has done nothing but give you money, you have to admit it reads like that.

      "I just wasn't convinced that an update saying "No money, no team, no income, about to declare bankrupcy unless I find a new assignment very very soon" would have helped that much..."

      Again, I'm probably lacking the proper context, but really? This seems rather obvious to me. Any information is useful information.

      I had never even heard of this game before seeing it on Kickstarter. I think it was a mistake to assume that all your backers would be BGG fans, and it certainly was a mistake to run all your updates through that site. This was a Kickstarter project - how can you not answer questions and make updates on the platform itself?

      Like I said, I was fine with how this went. I gave you money. Eventually, a product arrived. But this update makes me think you need to maybe pursue another line of work, or at least never Kickstarter again. I went from having something that I was happy to pay for that I haven't even had a chance to use, to wishing I'd never given you any money in the first place. If my sending you money without any real guarantees of a product, and then not in any way asking you for anything, somehow caused you to lose your house and strain your relationship, then I am sorry.

      But you have to admit that's a crazy situation and is, rather completely, your fault. It would have been nice to see that before the excuses I never asked for and the blame I don't deserve.

      On second thought, I'm glad I never received any updates here.

    21. Creator Troels Knak-Nielsen on March 28, 2013

      Sorry to hear about your troubles - that is not a nice situation to be in. I must say I agree with Lai, that you could've been more up front about it. Here's hoping you get your life and business back on course soon.

    22. Creator Ed Carter / Amber Ying on March 28, 2013

      @Lai Cheoung Sang - My gf got most of her impressions of BGG much earlier - May, June, July - if she's been looking at the site more recently she's certainly not telling me about it. But yes, I think her impression is wrong and certainly fully understand that the lack of communication has been creating a lot of churn and speculation - I just wasn't convinced that an update saying "No money, no team, no income, about to declare bankrupcy unless I find a new assignment very very soon" would have helped that much...

    23. Creator Paul Beasi on March 28, 2013

      Went through the whole house thing myself. Sucks sucks sucks.

      I'm not one of the people who didn't get the game and I was never really that impatient (rarely) so I can't speak for the people who are frustrated. This might not mean much if you've been staying away from BGG, but hey... at least you're not Valley Games! :D

      Seriously, good luck with everything.

    24. Creator Ed Carter / Amber Ying on March 28, 2013

      @Jennie - thanks for the thoughts. Yes, last year was rough. Losing the house is bittersweet - I loved it to bits but it was really on the wrong continent (US, when my life is in Europe / China these days) and I would never have given it up willingly... but stuff happens and I definitely learnt a lot along the way!

    25. Creator Lai Cheong Sang on March 28, 2013

      Would've been better if you had come clean with such an update long ago, before people got all frustrated and had to resort to speculating. You can tell that girlfriend of yours that you are the sole person responsible for the negative comments on BGG and it is normal for people to vent their frustrations and different people vent their frustration differently. But better late then never I guess. I for one would've been happy and understanding enough to pay for the international shipping because you had made a mistake with your math. But not answering emails from your investors is simple bad manners.

    26. Creator Jennie Kay on March 28, 2013

      And I'm so sorry for the loss of your house, and disruption to your life. That is never easy, but appreciate you keeping on. Best to all of you.

    27. Creator Jennie Kay on March 28, 2013

      Thanks for your commitment to making this happen, and thank you for being so transparent in your process. Thank you for the games I received, and they made perfect holiday gifts this year.

      Your commitment and process through this have taught me a lot in my own projects, and I appreciate how you have approached this. Thanks for being you!