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Board games with pieces that respond to your touch, react to one another, and think for themselves.
Board games with pieces that respond to your touch, react to one another, and think for themselves.
Board games with pieces that respond to your touch, react to one another, and think for themselves.
1,135 backers pledged $137,493 to help bring this project to life.

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New Designs, Dev Kits in Progress, Building Relationships, and more!

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Hi Backers,

A lot of silence on the Move38 side of things as we have been heads down and getting everything in order to make sure Blinks are on the path to a bright future. We'd like to share a bit of how the cannoli is made, and while you will surely get beautiful photos and video of the manufacturing process, first we need to make sure our recipe is correct.

For a bit of a video update, enjoy the following :)

For a bit more detail:

Design for Manufacturing

From the start, I knew that our current Blinks design, one I am very fond of due to its simplicity and non-traditional nature, would not suffice for a commercial product for a number of reasons. Here are the main considerations for redesigning the enclosure of each Blink.

1. Robust tile-to-tile communications

2. Perfect button interaction and light diffusion 

3. Simple reliable battery access 

4. Straight forward to Manufacture and Assemble

Making one of something, or even a couple of hundred is one thing, but creating a workflow for others to be able to make hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of something requires careful consideration. To help in this process, the talented Bill Cowles of Fiftyswiss joined the Move38 team to redesign the Blinks enclosure given the above constraints. He proposed clean and clever solutions that we saw the value in immediately. His design, while introducing more parts and materials, was completely modular and considered the injection mold process as well as the assembly process. There were so many aspects to balance and I think we have done a wonderful job of arriving and a design that will impress both eyes and hands.

We didn’t want to lose the soft friendly touch of the original Blinks, so the top material will be a frosted TPU or silicone-like material that allows for the top to retain a friendly touch. The sides will be a hard plastic with perfectly vertical sides, making the satisfying clack reminiscent of domino tiles. The magnetic sides are composed of identical sub-units that will carry 2 magnets and be made of an IR transparent material, but opaque or close to opaque for visible light. We are keeping fingers crossed that this provides robust communication without the need for holes in the sides.

Our next steps will include getting quotes for manufacturing and a bunch of in house testing with the new design. Testing includes various lighting conditions, play testing, perhaps we can invite some local backers to be hands on with the new prototypes.

Shout out to all the Developers

In parallel, we’ve been moving right along with the Dev-Kits, and took the opportunity to light up our potential commercial run Blinks manufacturers as well. So let’s talk Dev-Kits.

Some of your dev-kit parts are 3D printed right in our office, and we are really excited about how these tools are turning out.
Some of your dev-kit parts are 3D printed right in our office, and we are really excited about how these tools are turning out.

With over 150 new developers joining the Blinks community, we have a lot of Blinks Dev-Kits to produce. We planned and backup planned the best ways to get these out as soon as possible. Here is a quick breakdown of the thought process: 

One option was to orders all components as we have been doing and assemble the Blinks in-house, however, the cost of 3D printing the bases accounted for 60% of the cost of goods. Instead of ordering $10,000 worth of 3D printed parts, the cost of simply owning an SLS 3D printer, an option I heavily considered, this became an opportunity to learn about the injection molding process. My first Kickstarter included injection molded parts, however, the molds were for production units and cost around $5000 before even making parts. One great service, ProtoLabs, provides quick turn injection molding, for prototypes or short run products. Keeping in mind that the Dev-Kits design is not the same as the final design, spending a lot of money and time on tooling doesn’t make a lot of sense, unless we are learning something important for our final run. We have been talking with a number of manufacturers and started an exciting relationship with Genimex, a wonderful company based in China and in Brooklyn, NY. Before signing into a longer term relationship for Blinks production, I want to see what they can do, feel out how we work together, and understand the value of working with a team that has been doing this for 40 years.

To recap the options:

1. 3D prints and hand assemble at Move38 

2. Purchase nice 3D printer for the above in house 

3. Injection mold w/ ProtoLabs and hand assemble at Move38 

4. Purchase small injection mold machine for the above in house 

5. Work with Contract Manufacturer(CM) to do the Dev-Kits and determine if we work well as a team to do the production Blinks too

While working with a factory in China to make our Dev-Kits feels the most... for lack of better words, foreign, it is also the one with the opportunity to learn the most, a valuable opportunity we did not want to miss.

Custom PCB to allow for serial communication between your Blink and your computer, a fine and dandy debugging tool!
Custom PCB to allow for serial communication between your Blink and your computer, a fine and dandy debugging tool!

What does this mean for timeline… so far Genimex is pushing to get Dev Blinks to Move38 mid-June, we’ll then do our own inspections, finish assembly of your dev kits with programmers, cables, instructions and box those goodies to be shipped to you! We'll be receiving updates on the tooling, which we just approved, and will post updates here.

Wait, wait, there’s more! 

Want to get your hands on the first Dev-Kits available? If you are still reading this, you are probably the perfect person to sign up for this. We will be ready to ship early Beta Dev-Kits in the beginning of June. This is the same hardware we have been testing with for ~ 9 months, with overly expensive but nice 3D printed bases will go to 10 lucky Dev-Kit backers. Sign up fast since we’ll pick from the list of sign ups by May 25th, we’ll be in contact with you to get your dev-kits first and are looking for active feedback from you as part of this select group.

When are you sending Surveys?

A couple of you have asked, and we'd love to be in touch, so there will be some surveys coming out for basic information, however, our main surveys will happen shortly before we are ready to ship, the survey will arrive via BackerKit, (shout out to BackerKit) our tool for managing pledges and allowing pre-orders while we make Blinks a reality.

Bay Area Maker Faire

If you are in the area, come say hello! Move38 will be at the Bay Area Maker Faire selling Troxes. If you'd like to help out at the booth, send me an email (jon@move38.com) and I'll be sure to get you a free pass and some Move38 swag for helping out.

Last but not least

Our friends, CW&T, just launched their latest Kickstarter for Time Since Launch, we think you'll love it just as much as we do. Also, with only days/hours left, go support ELIA, another beautiful design project with a powerful mission to provide tactile literacy to the 99% that need it, with only days left, I've witnessed Andrew's hard work in bringing this project to life, keep their momentum going!

Our project was featured on First Backer Newsletter and we’d like to invite you to join its growing community of Kickstarter backers - You'll receive fresh Kickstarter amazing early bird offers and awesome freebies delivered right to your inbox. Click here to subscribe.

Looking forward to sending our next update, keeping you in the loop, and will try some new methods to let you peak into the process even more.

all our best,

Jonathan and the Move38 team

We Are Officially Kickstarted!

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After nearly two months, Blinks - the board game system with a mind of its own - is officially Kickstarted! We are beyond thrilled that 1,135 of you pledged $137,493 towards Blinks, bringing in more than 180% of our original funding goal!

Truly a Good Friday :)

Come Monday morning, we have our work cut out for us, but first, we decided to take the evening to celebrate. Here's a little lens into what that looked like:

I don't understand work and play boundaries, so Blinks joined us for celebrations at the local bar :)
I don't understand work and play boundaries, so Blinks joined us for celebrations at the local bar :)

Backers Really Got Our Back

It’s been an incredible ride and we’ve said it before but we could not have done this without each any every one of you. The deepest thanks to you, our backers, as well as everyone who helped spread the word about Blinks over the course of this campaign. It spread like wildfire!

Early prototype of Blinks spreading wildfire... Yup, this will surely lead to a game :)
Early prototype of Blinks spreading wildfire... Yup, this will surely lead to a game :)

This is just the beginning of our journey, so join us in saying...

Let the Games Begin!

With endless gratitude,

Jonathan + The Move38 Team

Final Countdown + Birthday Wishes

6 likes

Hey Backers,

HOLY MOLY! Our minds are blown that we've broken $100K, in fact, flown right past it and are quickly approaching $120K. What that means is that I've been a busy bee refining designs for carrying cases and getting sample materials to find the perfect one to deliver your stretch goal! You stretched and now we're delivering on our promise. A special welcome to new backers, you're the ones that made these sweet, sweet carrying cases possible.

More stretch goals you say? The more we raise, the more games we can release at launch. This weekend we topped the charts of Product Hunt and are featured on one of our favorite design blogs. Keep up the awesome work, and share along with us.

Blinks reprogram each other to play BeRrY
Blinks reprogram each other to play BeRrY

Let's celebrate together

Believe it or not, today is my birthday and it's tough to wish for anything else, since bringing Blinks to market is far bigger than any present I could have asked for. Because we reached our goal early, we're already in motion with manufacturers.

Speaking of motion, I've been sketching a new game on Blinks in which it is your goal to keep the flow moving, recycle Blinks to keep the path moving, reach the end, and...

What do you think of my initial animations?
What do you think of my initial animations?

500 Backers, 500 Backers More

At the time of writing this, there are almost 1000 of you (and any excuse to play a proclaimers song is a good one). Be sure to let your friends know they have hours to join the campaign too, since you can combine your Blinks together, the game possibilities are endless wild with multiple sets.

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Lastly, I wanted to share with you a few Kickstarters that really loved Blinks and I thought you might appreciate their projects as well, and a nice opportunity to support creators. 

The Orbiform: A mathematically perfect solid of constant width. 

An Orbiform is a little-known, unintuitive geometric shape, with fascinating mathematical properties. Orbiforms were unwittingly used by Leonardo da Vinci in 1514! It is also quite fun to roll around. As a math enthusiast, I love that this is math you can touch. Get Orbiform here.

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Flypdeck - a handheld electronic action toy

Flypdeck is the judge as you and your friends compete in attempting to land any of the game's 40 tricks. Use combinations of twisting, corking, and flipping to throw the tricks. The flypdeck uses our software paired with motion sensing technology to determine if tricks are landed successfully. Three difficulty settings and five game modes keep flypdeck fun and challenging for players of all ages and skill levels. Extra bonus points to the backer that makes a Blinks flip game :) Support Flypdeck here.

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Replay with sound
Play with
sound

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Air Deck - The ultimate travel playing cards

Last year I backed Air Deck's successful KS campaign for their ultimate travel playing cards. In their words "The Air Deck features a beautiful minimalist design, but they’re also premium, waterproof, compact, lightweight, and durable." I imagine some Blinks games will use playing cards too. You can get your Air Deck here.

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See you at the finish line!

Jonathan + The Blinks Team

More Games, More Glory

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Hey Backers!

We’re rolling into the homestretch for Blinks. A big welcome to all our new backers! Here’s your next to last week update!

Let's do this! (just in case you didn't catch it the first time)
Let's do this! (just in case you didn't catch it the first time)

At GDC?

If you’re at GDC this week, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a special appearance from none other than Blinks Devsigners Wei Yu and Shiyun Liu who won the 2018 IndieCade East Blinks Game Jam will be appearing with their game BeRrY - which will be included with every set of Blinks. If you see some clever glowing hexagons floating around, give them a friendly hello. If you're feeling lucky, give the game itself a shot! You’re gonna need it!

“The Best Platform For…”

Speaking of BeRrY, we sat down with Shiyun and Wei to discuss their backgrounds and the process of developing BeRrY. Check out this blog post to learn more about these two designers and why Wei - who used to be a developer at a little game called League of Legends - calls Blinks “the best platform for abstract strategy games.”

This game is full of upsets. Don't get too greedy, in BeRrY comebacks are almost a certainty
This game is full of upsets. Don't get too greedy, in BeRrY comebacks are almost a certainty

Home Stretch Homeslices

We’re a little over a week from the end of our Kickstarter. Thanks to you we’re a part of the 35.93% of Kickstarters that are successful. With over $90,000 raised it looks like you could earn yourselves a sleek set of Blinks carrying cases, How you ask? Head on over to our Social Media Cheat Sheet to get your hands on all kinds of cool stuff you can share to help us get Blinks in more people’s hands!

Thanks again to each and every one of you for supporting this project! Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re gonna throw our Blinks in a prototype carrying case and head to our local Brooklyn game night! :)

Best, The Move38 Team

Let the Games Begin!

15 likes

So much amazing progress!!

With 14 days still to go and already fully funded, we’ve not only surpassed $80,000 but with more than 700 of you, our community keeps growing!

So far, we've shared two games, Mortals and Fracture, competitive and cooperative, 2 player and 3 player, and we’d like to share more games! Drumroll pleasessseee…

KABOOOM!

Watch your finger, cuz this bomb is going off and the only thing between you, MacGyver, and that spastic bomb is rest of your risk-taking bomb-squad. This take on Russian roulette is just the right amount of luck, a dab of strategy, and a perfect way to make no one feel left out at game night.

Take turns potentially setting off the bomb, careful not to miss the shield(Green) or you'll blow up the brigade.
Take turns potentially setting off the bomb, careful not to miss the shield(Green) or you'll blow up the brigade.

Bomb Brigade is the first game designed by Holly Gore, Jeff Kowalski and Colin Gallo for the IndieCade East Game Jam. We loved it instantly and the week following IndieCade, bombs were going off in every bar in NYC (only Blink bombs, no fingers harmed in the making of this gif). We couldn’t stop playing, and now we are done hogging this game to ourselves. Want to hear more from the designers, we’ve got you covered, up close and personal in this interview ;)

Now that we've reached our goal, we’re is the wonderful spot of making decisions to make your wildest dreams come true… That’s how this works: Step 1, fund kickstarter (wild dream), Step 2, wildest dreams. We take our Blinks with us everywhere, and we think you should be able to as well.

Prototype of carry case. A hard case option, just one of the possibilities
Prototype of carry case. A hard case option, just one of the possibilities

$100,000 Stretch goal

Blinks are a wonderfully portable game system and since they don’t rely on other devices, think of how much fun they’d be lighting up your next camping trip! While above is only a prototype that serves the right purpose, we’ll design the perfect solution to travel with your Blinks, who knows, we might even be able to make it the packaging it ships in :). (We expect your collection of Blinks will grow over time, so we are taking that into account as well)

More and More Games

Can’t wait for our next game? Us tooo! we’ll be dropping the next game in just a few days. We’ve only got a little time left in the campaign and so much to share, so keep spreading the word.

No Wrong way to Play

This past weekend, Blinks made an appearance at the Liberty Science Center as a part of New Jersey Makers Day! A big thanks to everyone who came out to beat us at our own game! (it is oddly satisfying 😋 )

This girl was a master of her own game, and her sister, built some really neat interactive flowers.
This girl was a master of her own game, and her sister, built some really neat interactive flowers.

Everybody ❤ Blinks

And if you haven’t already joined the We ❤ Blinks Facebook Group - head on over and start meeting your fellow players and devsigners!

All our Blink love from Jonathan + the Move38 team

Now get stretching’ :)