Viticulture Shipping Dates and Other Big News
About a month ago I (Jamey) sent an update by e-mail directly to Kickstarter backers. If you didn't get that e-mail and/or would like to stay in the loop about all things Viticulture or Stonemaier Games, you can subscribe to our e-newsletter here or Like our Facebook page here (there are some great discussions on the Facebook page about games and Kickstarter). You can also check out our newly redesigned website here, which now includes 28 lessons (and counting) for future Kickstarter creators.
Shipping Dates by Location
All games have left our manufacturing facility in China and are headed all over the world. My goal as I promised on Kickstarter was to get the games to you sometime in May, and it looks like we'll meet that goal for the majority of backers. Here's the breakdown regarding when you'll get your games:
United States: The big shipment of games headed to the US (and Canada) departed today from China and is scheduled to arrive on May 7. The ocean is a fickle beast, so I'll keep you updated on how that works out. But assuming that the tides abide, the games will get through customs no later than May 14 and will be headed towards an Amazon fulfillment center in Pennsylvania. That puts the game in your hands around May 25. For St. Louis backers, you'll have the games a few days later, as we're shipping them in bulk from Amazon and then distributing them throughout the city and at the launch party, which we'll schedule once the games are on the way.
Europe: I was hoping the games would arrive in Europe in April, but we ran into a snag with VAT and the need to register our business in Germany, where Amazon.de fulfillment will be sending games directly to backers. Fortunately, one backer in Germany made a very generous offer to partner with Stonemaier Games so we could get the shipment on the boat to Europe. The boat starts to load on April 9 but doesn't leave port until April 17, and then it's a 30-day journey to Europe. Then the games have to clear customs in Germany, make their way to Leipzig, and then be packed and sent to backers throughout Europe. So you'll still get the games in May, but I was hoping for April. The GREAT news for you, though, is that we're paying import customs when the games arrive in Germany, so any backers within the European Union won't have to pay any customs. (Sorry, Norway and Switzerland...you're in Europe but not the EU!)
Canada: The games headed for Canada are on the same boat as the US games, but there are a few extra steps to get the games to the Amazon.ca fulfillment center. After the games arrive at Amazon in Pennsylvania, a bulk order of them will be sent to our shipping partners, RIM, who will handle the export to Canada. Fortunately it's not a long trip across the border--the games should arrive to you the first week of June. Like the European Union backers, you won't need to pay any customs since we're shipping the games to you from Amazon.ca.
Asia/Australia/Brazil: Shipping to Asia/Australia/Brazil is incredibly expensive no matter where we send the games from, so we're sending them directly from China (there is no cost difference between sending them from the US or China, so we figured we might as well eliminate the long journey across the Pacific and back). Thus you should be getting your games within the next week or so, depending on customs.
Retail: The retail version of Viticulture will be in game stores (brick and mortar and online) across the world thanks to our distribution broker, Impressions ADV. Kickstarter backers come first, though--you'll get your games before they're available for the general public to purchase. I will also have special deals on extra copies of the game for Kickstarter backers.
If I missed anyone, please let me know!
Our commitment to you from Day 1 was that we deliver a high-quality project that exceeds your expectations both in terms of gameplay and components. If for any reason you decide within a month of receiving Viticulture that it's not for you, you can return it to us for a full refund, no questions asked. Our hope is that you'll play the game a few times within that month to discover the nuances and vast replayability it offers before you make your decision, but as I said, we won't ask any questions if you decide to return it.
The cards in Viticulture are mini-sized, a decision that was made based on a backer vote back during the campaign. I think it worked out well. They're small, but they fit well on the game board and player mats, which is important for this game. For those of you who like to sleeve your cards, here is a link to the type of sleeve you'll need. There are 140 cards in the full Kickstarter version of Viticulture, so you'll need three packs of sleeves.
What's in the Box
The photo you see at the bottom of this update is one I took of all of the components in the retail version of Viticulture (I'll let you discover the special Kickstarter inclusions when you open the box). I posted the photo on BGG last week and didn't promote it at all, but within hours it was on the front page of BGG, where it remained until they refreshed their queue a few days ago. We're excited that people are excited about the game!
I usually like to end these posts with a question, but given the sheer amount of logistics above, I'm guessing you might have questions for me. Feel free to ask me anything in public or in private (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I'm happy to answer with complete honesty and transparency.