Hoomans! It’s here! The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Good Dog, Bad Zombie starts shipping out from our Blackbox facility today!
Here’s the info we have:
GDBZ base games and expansions will begin shipping from Blackbox to US and Canadian backers today: Monday, December 10th.
Blackbox has told us that almost all of the shipments will probably go out in one day, but it could take up to Friday to send them all. We’ll post another backer update after they’ve verified with us that all packages have shipped.
Non-Canadian international packages have not begun shipping yet. We’re working with Blackbox to coordinate dealing with customs and warehousing and working on getting these out as soon as we can. We’ll let you know when we have more information, and we're working to get these moving as quickly as possible!
We’re so excited to get you these games and we’re here to answer questions along the way! We’re so proud of what the GDBZ community has made together!
Custom Dog Cards
As mentioned in a previous update, custom dog cards ($75 backers and above) will be shipping after the new year. We’ll be able to narrow this estimate in a future update after all base games have shipped and everyone has a few weeks to breathe.
In addition, we’re nearly ready to launch the online tool that will allow people to design home-printed versions of their dogs! We’ve gotten to play around with an early version of it, and it’s really cool. Here's a couple screenshots of the tool in progress:
And here's what it looks like after you've filled out the info and uploaded the picture:
We'll let you know as soon as this is ready!
Thank you to everyone who stopped by and picked up a game at PAX Unplugged! It was amazing meeting so many backers in person, and it felt so special being able to hand-deliver your games.
Every step of this game has been a labor of love. From our 3-person design team to our US manufacturer working with us daily to hash out really challenging design and production questions. This was an ambitious game to produce the way we did. We've worked so hard to bring this to you, and we’ve learned so much along the way. Now, we’re ready to send Good Dog, Bad Zombie out into the world. You made this pawsible.
We’ll be in touch over the next week with more shipping updates. In the meantime, a deep and heartfelt thank you. We couldn’t have done this without you.
Good Dog, Bad Zombie is beginning its journey to you next week! We’re so excited we want to howl! Below is the ruff timeline:
GDBZ will ship out from our manufacturer next week! This could be any day from Monday through Friday. They’re just finishing the assembly of the expansions.
Our manufacturer is based in Santa Cruz, California and our shipping warehouse is based in Los Angeles, California - so it will take only one business day of travel to arrive at our shipping warehouse!
Our shipping warehouse has told us it will take them 4 - 12 days to ship out all of the games once they receive them. This largely depends on the volume of other packages they have to ship at the same time. However, you will receive a tracking number via email when your package goes out!
As you can see, the exact timing is a little hard to tell. But what we know for sure is that next week, the games will start their homeward bound journey towards you. Once we have an update from our manufacturer about when it has left them, we will let you know. We’re so, so excited to get you these games! This means, pending any issues with individual shipments, GDBZ will reach people in the US and Canada in time for the holidays! (As we mentioned in our last update, it’s harder to know exactly for people in the rest of the world, as there are so many additional variables when shipping over the ocean.)
Custom dogs are officially delayed - but announcing our doggone cool back up plan!
As we’ve been chronicling over the past few updates, we’ve hit some road bumps with the custom dogs. It was our hope to get them out in time for the holidays, but this past week we had to throw in the towel for that deadline. There were two primary reasons. The first was fatigue. We’ve been working tirelessly on the GDBZ base game and expansions as well as these custom dogs. We reached the point where we had to acknowledge our limits. Second, our printer was concerned that printing the 1,000 custom dogs now could stretch out the assembly process, jeopardizing getting the games and expansions out in time for the holidays. We didn’t want to take that risk.
So, we are going to take a step back, rest up, focus on getting everyone the base game and expansions, and ship the custom dogs (for everyone in the $75 and above levels, as well as add-ons) as soon as possible in the new year. Again, we want to emphasize this will not delay your base game or expansions, as we decided to split up those shipments!
We’re very sorry the custom dogs - which so many people are excited about - are being delayed! We’re doing this so we do it right, not rushed. In addition, in our past few updates, we’ve mentioned we’ve been working hard on a back up plan if the custom dogs weren’t going to get to you by the holidays. We’re excited to share that backup plan now!
We’ve hired programmer Jason Woofenden (yes, that’s his name!) to develop an online tool that will allow people to make and print out their own custom dogs. These won’t have the illustrated backgrounds, dog filters, and as many of the custom fields you are getting - but we thought it would be a really cool feature and would be a great way to hold you over until you got your Kickstarter custom dogs!
Here’s an example of what my dog, Lupin, will end up looking like with this tool:
We will share this with you as soon as the programmer we hired finishes it. Our hope is that will be around mid-December!
In addition, everyone who got the custom dogs will receive this letter from us. If you are giving the custom doggos as a holiday gift to someone, we hope this letter can serve as heartfelt acknowledgement that there’s more to come!
We’ll be at PAX Unplugged! You can come pick up your copy of the game from us there!
We’ll be converging on PAX Unplugged in a week and a half! And because of our above shipping timeline, that means we will be able to have a small batch of GDBZ games with us there. If you are planning to be at PAX Unplugged, you can pick up your copy of the game from us at the convention! We will be at the Indie Bazaar with a bunch of other small game publishers. Here’s a map of our booth location, number 1925:
PAX Unplugged will be our first time selling Good Dog, Bad Zombie in person! All of your enthusiasm and support has made this possible - it’s the best feeling in the world that your copies are going to start shipping next week and to have the opportunity to share the game with a new audience! It's finally real!
We also just want to take another moment to say thank you. If you’re reading this update, you’re one of the people who believed in us and made this game pawsible. We are so grateful to all of you for helping us reach this point. We hope you love the game as much as we do, and we’re so excited it will start heading to you next week, and that we can begin sharing it with the world at large. Thank you for your support and belief in us!
Some more pictures of GDBZ!
We’re so happy with the way everything turned out! Here’s the game in all its glory, which you should have very shortly. As soon as our manufacturer lets us know the game is on its way to you next week, we’ll let loose another pupdate!
Brian here. Winter is settling in, but we’re revving up with Good Dog, Bad Zombie! We are working around the clock to get you this game, and we’ve got some exciting things to share. The base game and two expansions (Weird Smells and Unlikely Allies) have all gone to print. And with that...
The advance copies have arrived!
The first two ever copies of Good Dog, Bad Zombie arrived at my place early last week. We at Make Big Things couldn’t be happier! We have a fantastic relationship with our manufacturer, Community Printers in California. I’m on Skype with them multiple times a day, as they work with us on every detail of the game. It’s hard to express how appreciative we are for everything they’ve done to make this game possible. I happened to be speaking to our account representative, Ross, when the advance copies of the game arrived. So I made an unboxing video of me seeing the game for the first time with Ross on Skype!
We unbox the first copies of Good Dog, Bad Zombie! Length - 5 minutes.
Can you tell I was excited? And I hope you are too. It’s thanks to all of you amazing backers that this game is now real!
And here is a picture of the game:
Since these arrived, Community Printers has started assembling the remaining 4,998 copies! Woof!
Shipping Timelines Update - Mostly On Track!
I want to take a second to give a shout out to the whole team at Make Big Things. I’ve been working with Hannah and Evan—as well as our collaborators Josh (editor), Fox (illustrator), and Ross (manufacturer)—non-stop to get Good Dog, Bad Zombie out the door. The dedication, care, effort, time, and hard work everyone has been pouring into this project is absolutely incredible. With every challenge or obstacle that’s presented itself, the Make Big Things team has rallied relentlessly to bring everything together. It’s been incredible to see and be a part of. It brings us such joy that this game is now almost out of our paws and into yours.
So we’re excited to tell you that’s about to happen! Here’s our shipping timeline:
The base games and expansion packs will ship from Community Printers in mid-November (that’s soon!) to our distribution warehouse.
The games and expansions will arrive to our distribution warehouse by or before December 1st. Our distributor will begin to immediately turn the games around, shipping the games out in the first week of December.
Obviously, packages can get lost, or delayed, or sent to the wrong address, or eaten by a roaming zombie. When you ship out nearly 2,500 packages at once, there’s bound to be a couple of hiccups. But as of now, we are on track to deliver the base game and expansions to people in the US and Canada before the holidays! Which is so, so exciting!
For people outside of the US and Canada, things are a little trickier. There’s just far more variables. When you factor in shipping over the ocean, dealing with customs and imports, and so on—there’s a lot of things that can happen that can unexpectedly delay shipments. While we’re on track to ship them as well, we want to be forthright and say there are so many factors outside of our control with shipping things when they go over the ocean, and unexpected things can sometimes crop up that cause delivery delays. If that happens, we will let you know!
As we discussed in our previous update, we’re also currently working on all the custom play as your own dog characters ($75 backers and above). It’s our goal to get these to you by the holidays, but there’s the possibility that this part of the project falls a little behind schedule, even though we’re working our tails off on it. We should know for sure in another week or two. We have worked really hard, however, to make sure that this will not affect the delivery of the base game and expansions to anyone, as we will plan on shipping the custom dogs to you separately. This way, if there is a delay on the custom dog end of the project, it won’t impact anything else. For those of you who plan on giving Good Dog, Bad Zombie with the custom dogs as holiday gifts, if we don’t ship the custom dogs in time for the holidays, we’re working on a back up plan to provide you with something that you can use to show your giftees that they’ll be getting custom dogs soon! We really appreciated the comments and messages of understanding from people about this after our last update.
Game session at Lagunitas!
We helped organize an event last weekend at the Lagunitas Brewing Company that brought together 8 game designers from Chicago to play their games in progress. We brought our two advance copies of Good Dog, Bad Zombie to this event and got a chance to play with some great people - including a couple of backers! Thanks so much to Lagunitas for making this space and community available. Plus, all beer sales went to support the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund!
Good dogs, good times.
So close to winning, but also so close to losing! Everything comes down to this final turn!
Here’s this update's featured pups!
That's it for now, but there will be more soon! Thanks all.
It was a busy October for our small team! In just a few months we managed to get the GDBZ base game to press, plus our two expansion packs: Weird Smells and Unlikely Allies. We’re overjoyed to have hit our target print dates. Since then, we’ve been hard at work processing over 1,000 custom dog cards.
Expansion Packs and Production Videos
Check out some of the finished expansion pieces below!
We’ve been working closely with our printer every step of the way, for both the base game and the expansions. We’ve been on Skype or the phone with them almost every day—sometimes multiple times a day! It’s clear the people who work at Community Printers are having a fun time with this project. Check out some of the behind the scenes videos they’ve shared with us below.
Watch as the rulebooks are stitched together! (46 seconds.)
Here you can see the bottom of the box and the tray insert get cut out by the metal die-line. They're doing that 5,000 times! (46 seconds.)
Meet some of the people assembling the game! (33 seconds.)
The team at Community Printers has been working nonstop getting these games ready to ship. The amount of communication they’ve been able to offer us is second to none, and we feel so lucky to have a printer who’s just as invested in the quality of this game as we are.
Custom Dog Cards
We’ve also been hard at work on your custom dog cards. The custom cards are a tricky business, and we’ve been tackling all of the quirks they’ve thrown our way. Because all the cards are the same size, one too many characters can cause a cascade that pushes all the text off the card.
Everyone did a great job filling out their cards. It’s just a quirk of design that even two sentences with the exact same word count can have very different lengths. Like this:
Cuddly, good, kissy, smart
Vivacious, exuberant, lovable, voracious
Both descriptions for Luna have four words, but the second would push past the bounding box on Luna’s card!
This means that each card requires a careful eye to make sure your words fit.
We’re still hoping we can complete layout on all custom cards before our printer’s holiday shipping cutoffs, but we also want to acknowledge that that window gets smaller by the day. As you know, we’re working round-the-clock to get GDBZ to you. We know that for folks who backed at levels that included custom cards, these cards were an exciting bonus. While we’re working our tails off to get those cards out by the holidays, each card needs a design pass. At the end of the day, we’d rather those cards arrive after December than you receive a card that says something like: Luna: She’s a very goo—
We’ll have more updates soon as we continue processing through these doggos! In the meantime, we’re so happy to have completed every single piece of the base game and the expansions and we can’t wait to send those your way!
Current Shipping Plan
If there’s a delay with the custom doggos, that does not mean there will be a delay with the shipping of base games and expansions. Because of how the custom doggos are being printed, we will plan on shipping those separately from the base game and expansions. And we are currently on target to send the base game and expansions to everyone by the start of December.
If you planned to have the custom dogs as part of a holiday gift, we'll make sure to get you something that you can use to let your gift receiver know they'll also be getting custom dogs very soon. We’re not at that point yet, but we want to be intentionally thinking ahead, making a back up plan, and making sure we are transparently communicating with everyone! The goal right now is still to ship the custom dogs in time for the holidays, but if that is delayed, we'll let you know as soon as possible.
Thank you for being on this journey with us. We can’t wait to get you this game.
With production now moving at a rapid clip (or is that yip?), we’ll be sharing frequent shorter updates to keep you looped in to the process!
So, let’s start with the big news: We’re happy to announce that the Good Dog, Bad Zombie base game has officially gone to press, with your custom dog cards and the expansions soon to follow.
Here’s a peek at what some of the final press sheets look like, all laid out and ready for printing!
Brian also had the chance to meet with our printer in-person to look over some of the printed elements of the game. Working with a US-based game’s manufacturer has been such a privilege. Because they have a hand in every element of the printing process, we can do things rarely seen in board game printing, like add thematic illustrations to every single surface of the game.
When you open up the GDBZ box you’ll see that there are almost no unprinted areas. The underside of the top of the box, the divider that keeps the pieces in place, and the box tray have all been lovingly customized to look like Central Bark! So that means when you rescue hoomans in the game, you’ll bring them back to Central Bark—and when you put the game back in the box, you’ll be putting it away in Central Bark.
Note: These pieces don’t represent the final quality or thickness of the game’s pieces. This is a low-res/paper version of the box. This look over was to focus on things like edge bleed and image placement and alignment, especially on assets like the game box, where every side needs to line up just right!
Behind the scenes video of production
Community Printers, our printer and assembler, sent us some behind the scenes videos of their work to make 5,000 copies of Good Dog, Bad Zombie. We thought we'd share that with you! Check out the short video below!
We're so thankful we have such an amazing partner manufacturing this game with care, love, and joy.
We’re wrapping up layout on the Weird Smells and Unlikely Allies expansions, which will go to the printer by the end of this week, and we’ve begun layout on the $75 and above “Play the Game as Your Own Dog” cards. These cards represent a bulk of the work for the entire project and we can’t wait to ship them your way.
As of our last conversations with our printer and manufacturers, we’re still on track to get you these games by Christmas. We’re thrilled with the progress and we’ll have more updates soon!