Castle! - the Modular Construction System (Canceled) project video thumbnail
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$18,214 pledged of $20,000 goal
By The Castle Foundry
$18,214 pledged of $20,000 goal

Recent updates


Updates (and responses to comments)

Thanks for the posts, Davinh and Sam. We're still waiting for some samples from China. They ended up taking longer than we expected, mainly because I wasn't thinking about (didn't even occur to me, actually - not a very good anthropologist after all, I guess) Chinese New Year. My last sample got there right when it was beginning, and it lasts a couple of weeks. Then, when people finally got back, there was a small technical glitch with the mock-up we were using to make floor. It was minor, but had to be cleared up before they could start producing the parts. With all the back and forth between the factory and our rep and the back and forth (time lagged by 12 hours and out of synch of course) between us and our rep, this ended up taking a week to correct. We're still awaiting samples. Once we get them in for proof of concept, we'll start warning people about an impending re-launch. I wish we could have gotten this all done sooner, of course. In the mean time, however, we have (mostly) re-worked the kits. There will now likely just be 2-3 big kits that will do way more stuff, and we are working on responding to some FAQs (like "what to I need to buy in order to build the castle in the video). This means we'll try and offer all the kits up front. However, doing so means that we are going to have to set our target goal higher, because we have to plan to have a lot more parts made up front, which is more expensive. However, this is one of the major things we wanted to correct that was the reason we decided to cancel even when it looked like we would easily get funding. We just want to make sure everyone is very happy. Jeremy and I have worked on this for 13 years now - we don't want to release crap the first time out. We will start posting updates well in advance of the relaunch, and we will need all of your help to generate buzz. In part, we are hoping that a flood of backers in the first few hours or days will bump us onto the front page of KS. I am continually surprised that many people have found us AFTER we cancelled and wanted to be on the mailing list. So cross your fingers and be ready to help us launch. Because of production cycles, it looks like, unfortunately, we won't be at cons this year, at least as vendors. However, we've talked about going as patrons, in which case we will likely be carrying literature, some of which might get people deals on castle in the future. We'll let you know if that happens. In the mean time, keep the faith. We WILL be back. Things get a WHOLE lot easier for me when school is not in session, but we're hoping to re-launch before then. If possible, we'll TRY (no promises) to time it with most of your tax refunds. ;) W.C.

See you in the new year

We've got a plan for the next kickstarter that we're already putting into motion. We want to thank everyone for your support. It's very strange to be canceling so close to being successful, but we are convinced we can give you a much better project if we wait. We will keep you informed through this project and our other methods of communication and will be back sometime early next year. Thanks for your support, happy holidays, and be ready to build a bunch of Castle! in 2013.

A Pause in the Action

A couple of days ago we announced that we were considering putting this project on hold for a little while because while the product is great, our presentation of it was not as good as it could have been. Oddly enough, we've received more pledges in the two days since that announcement than in the two-three days before we made it. So we're in an unusual position of being extremely close to our funding goal, a goal we think we would easily make given that there's over half of this kickstarter left to go, but having decided to stop the project.

Why are we doing this? We still think stopping the project at this point is the right move. Here's why: Given the feedback we've gotten from you, we don't think that you'll be totally happy with the results were the project to fund at a lower level. And we want you to be totally happy. So this is still the right move.

We're shutting down no later than 5:00 pm CST today. We'll change the things you have asked us to change in the next few months and we'll be back with a better presentation for you early next year. Given the interest that has been generated in this product, we expect that the next time we'll fund just as fast and begin reaching our stretch goals. This time we'll make sure you know exactly what you're getting when you pledge, we'll make far more things available at the beginning and we'll change our stretch goals to be much more traditional.

Anyone who is pledged to this current kickstarter at ANY amount will be considered a pioneer in our next pledge and we'll do some special things for them. By pledging even a dollar, you'll also make sure to be contactable by us so we can keep you in the loop as we proceed. There is no reason at this point to increase your pledge or pledge a lot. If you want to be a pioneer and stay in contact, just pledge the minimum to stay in the loop.

Our understanding is that we are able to post updates to a closed kickstarter so we'll continue to do so. But we'll also post on facebook and send you e-mails to let you know what's going on.

Because of your support we are ready to make a bigger commitment. You have told us what you want, and we have listened. Thank you so much for giving us the confidence we needed to move forward with more of our own funds and the advice we can use to make the next time so much better.  

We look forward to seeing you next year. Stay in touch.

W.C. and J.L.

Day 10 State of the Empire Address

My Lords, Ladies, and Gentleman:

We've been at this for 10 days, and it is time to consider where have been, how far we have come, and where we are headed.

We started off strongly, moving very quickly up to 70% funding. However, things have slowed down. This slowdown was caused by a number of things. Here's how I sum it all up:

You know how the first time you play a new video game, you sort of fumble around, figuring out your way through the story line, figuring out how your character works, and really, generally, making a mess of things at first, but getting better and better as you move forward? Well that's this kickstarter. It's actually how the development of Castle! went too, only you didn't get to see the first 12 years.

The next time you play the game, though, you change the way you do things. You have figured out more optimal ways to make your character, the best ways to distribute experience, etc. So the second time through, you are not just a bit better, you're a LOT better.

Well, that's kind of where we are. So here's where we want to go:

We're now thinking that, in order to correct this, we might want to re-start this video game. We now know more about how to play. We now know, much better, that a lot of people also share our vision. We’ll take this kickstarter down, fix the bugs, and bring it back early next year. We’ll order the additional prototypes so you can see us put actual Castle! together to game in, and then take it back apart. We’ll fix the reward system and maybe even have the time to design a piece or two in response to your feedback.

We want this in production for Con season. We think we can still get there if we re-boot next year, but we would need your help: it means that our funding goal will have to increase to fund the additional pieces. But we think that if we make it more clear, and make it so you KNOW exactly what you’ll get for your pledge, more people will be comfortable pledging.

We're going to put in more of our own money toward this project because we are now far more certain that there's a market. We think that this would work far better a second time around, but because you're the people we would be selling it to, we need your input. What do you think?

No matter what, THANK you for your outpouring of support. When we put this project up, it was like putting our children on stage for people to judge. Overwhelmingly, you have said that we raised some pretty good children. We just need to clean them up a bit and put them in a better suit next time.

W.C & J.L

Stacking and Unstacking

One of our main objectives when designing Castle! was to allow gamers to build up, to stack. But, perhaps even more importantly, we also wanted to make Castle! easily unstack for gaming access. We love pretty buildings on the tabletop but too often we found that we played around them because of their unusable interiors. We solved this problem with a half-smooth peg that allows you to pick up entire levels of buildings to play inside, just like we always wanted.

This new video illustrates how stacking and unstacking is achieved with the Castle! modular construction system: