Status Report for March: The Infernal and the Magical (Images)
It's May! Time for a new status update.
If you missed April's status report, make sure to read it, as we'll be focusing here on what's changed since April.
Backerkit (Order Placement & Shipment Billing)
We're going to continue to hold off on launching the Backerkit for now, as we need to smooth out a few wrinkles in production (see below) before we're comfortable rolling that out. We (obviously) haven't forgotten about this, the timing for it just isn't right, due in large part because dice manufacture is a lot of waiting (months of it) before the important timetable parts — when it'll ship, when it'll arrive, when we'll be ready to ship out orders — can really be defined and nailed down.
Other Campaigns (a sidebar)
As noted last month we ran a Kickstarter for the Uprising RPG, and we heard a few (not many, but a few) concerns about us running another Kickstarter before shipping on this one.
In the interests of full disclosure: We'll likely run another campaign for another RPG before this one ships. While we do prefer to ship on one KS before starting another, we've had to overlap our schedules this year in order to make sure everything is releasing on the dates we intend.
Overlapping timelines in such a case are inevitable due to the timeframes you see with overseas/plastic-bits manufacture vs. domestic/book manufacture. We can usually go from "send the files to the printer" to "here is something in our hands that we can ship" on a book in about two months or so; with a dice, accessory, board, or card game product that timeframe usually looks more like five or six months.
To make the most of this, we put this dice & tokens Kickstarter first in the year, and scheduled our book campaigns for later in the year. We expect to successfully deliver on all of them before the end of the year (hopefully well before the end of the year).
We know there are horror stories out in KS-land about campaigners who run too many campaigns without delivering on any of them, and caution about such things is certainly justified when a Kickstarter is run by someone with no proven track record for delivery.
With that in mind it's worth remembering that Evil Hat has run over ten kickstarters and we've never whiffed on a delivery date by more than a month or so — and most of the time, we beat the delivery date. That's the plan for this campaign—and all others we run, too.
Dialing in Infernal: Lather, Rinse, Repeat
We recently received tooling samples of the Infernal Dice, and honestly, they just looked bad. Worse, they didn't look anything like the initial samples we received prior to launching this Kickstarter.
(How they looked at those new ones and thought they were something they should send us for review is beyond us.)
But don't panic! Sometimes you gotta send something back to the factory and say "you missed the target, try again" and that's the case here. To my eye, this looks like they didn't use the same material as they did on the original samples. We've been very clear with the manufacturer that they need to produce dice that line up with the original samples. This extends the timeline for the Infernal Dice a fair bit, but it's all still happening well inside of our buffers (and in fact this sort of thing is why we gave the project sizable buffers).
Some of it may also have to do with sorting out communications between GPI (our manufacturing partner) and the factory they're using for the layered dice; the factory isn't their primary one, so sample errors like this one may be a symptom of that. It's up to them to sort this business out for us and provide what was promised, and we will continue to hold them to that. Hopefully we'll hear of progress on this during the month of May.
Fate Token Samples: Ooh, it's Magic!
On the other hand, around the same time we got in our initial samples of the Fate Tokens, and they look great! Due to the 4mm thickness of the chips the color isn't as strong as you get in the 16mm thickness of the dice, but they still match up very nicely.
The iridescent material works really well here — depending on the angle, a token either looks translucent or suddenly opaque and shimmery. It's like handling crystallized magic.
We're quite happy with the result, and can't wait to see these hit tables everywhere!
That's it for this month. Hope to see you in June with more news of how things are moving along. Thanks for sticking with us, and especially thank you as always for your support!