Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Thematic deck builder with brutal resource management, card drafting, set collection, engine building, modular setup & wild components!
Thematic deck builder with brutal resource management, card drafting, set collection, engine building, modular setup & wild components!
3,038 backers pledged €137,334 to help bring this project to life.

Timeline Update, Factory Samples & Pledge Manager Opening Date

54 likes

Whew! It has been a suuuper busy 6 weeks since our last update. We want to fill you in on everything going on, but first, we want to apologize (again) for betraying our commitment to bi-weekly updates. This is the second time we’ve taken longer than we aimed and we’re aware that for some of you that is really disappointing. In truth, Seize the Bean has been much more successful than we expected and we’ve been overwhelmed with all the (mostly positive) messages and comments coming our way on every platform. As you know by now, transparent communication is very important to us, so when we’re not timely with our responses or updates, we’re really not proud of it. We’re still learning how to balance this part of the business with all the cool, creative stuff we’re doing. So, thank you all for giving us the benefit of the doubt and hanging in while we sort out our messaging!

In the last update we said we wouldn’t put a bunch of things together into one update, though due to our busy event schedule recently it’s been hard to get things out separately, so we have to admit we’ve got another chunky one for you all. With that said, let’s get into the nitty gritty of production timelines, manufacturing samples and that eagerly-awaited pledge manager...

This is no easy way to say this so we’re just going to give it to you straight: we won’t be able to deliver in October as we had hoped. In fact, if we are 100% transparent, a safe delivery date is February. Yes, February, 2019. We know that while reading this a lot of you will feel upset, let down, or just straight-up angry. That’s a five month delay from our originally estimated delivery date (of September, 2018). We want to explain this and we hope your excitement for the project and your understanding of our situation and our mistakes might help balance out any sorrow or impatience you might feel.

It all comes down to art. We had originally thought that we had enough of a headstart on the art and that we could get a lot more done in a given week than we actually can in reality. Our early estimates were way off. With only a single (amazing) artist there is a limit to what can be done. In case you’re wondering if we’ve just been over here lazing about, we’re happy to report we do have the art of almost 300 cards done (277, as of today, to be exact), and a majority of that is the hard stuff first (customer art, Kickstarter backer portraits, etc). We did originally attempt to speed up the process in a few ways, but the drop in quality was noticeable and so we promptly scrapped that approach. We felt it best if we went back to allowing Mario to work at the pace required to deliver the quality we expect for Seize the Bean (and frankly, anything from Quality Beast). We wanted to wait a bit to get an average of how much card art we could get done in a given week and now that we are confident with that average we’ve taken some serious time to granularly estimate a more realistic timeline and reconfirm it not only with our team but with our manufacturer, too. Here it is broken down:

  • September 3rd, 2018 = All Files Uploaded to Panda (our manufacturer)
  • September 14th, 2018 = Design Verification Complete (meaning, all files 100% approved)
  • September 28th, 2018 = Pre-Production Copy Arrives (for our feedback and proofing)
  • October 8th, 2018 = Mass Production Begins
  • November 19th, 2018 = First Mass Production Copy Arrives (for last minute emergency checks)
  • December 3rd, 2018 = Mass Production Finished & Assembly Begins
  • December 17th, 2018 = All Games Leave the Factory

As you can see, we’d have the game on its way this year and even beat the holiday season shipping crunch, however, it would be on an estimated 6-week-boat-ride to each fulfilment center and then be on its way to you. This is why we estimate an arrival time of February. Depending on where you are in the world (and if games get slowed down in customs at certain fulfilment centers) it could be a bit faster or slower.

The only three things we can do about this timeline is to communicate it transparently to you all (as we are doing now), apologize for it, and learn from it. We are truly sorry if this upsets anyone but this does not change a single thing about the project: we are dedicated to delivering you a extremely fun, high quality game dripping with theme. And we hope you will stand by us on this wild ride which is a learning process for us too!

With the bad news out of the way, we’re extremely excited to be able to share our first round of manufacturing samples! What we haven’t formally announced until now is that we’re working with Panda as our manufacturing partner. If you’re new to that name, they’re known in the industry for delivering super hiqh quality components. They produced the amazing Stonemaier Treasure Chests, and now our resin Snack Pack is following the same production process, which we’re really stoked about.

For those wanting something a bit more dynamic then a text-and-pictures-update, check out our video recap from the UK Games Expo in which Seize the Bean’s lead designer, Dylan, goes through each of the samples one-by-one and in detail:

Click the thumbnail if you prefer to see a video about the samples!
Click the thumbnail if you prefer to see a video about the samples!

Here’s some more detail on those components, are you ready?

Let’s start with the most important component: the beans.

A quick shot in our Quality Beast studio of the Panda bean samples...
A quick shot in our Quality Beast studio of the Panda bean samples...

These are pretty much spot on and totally put us at ease about what Panda is capable of. You can see the resin sculpt is very accurate and the paint job is quite realistic. There’s a nub on the bottom that we’re discussing with Panda about (though highly unlikely you can even see it in these pics, it’s so small) but in general the only thing to do here is increase their size to about 7mm x 12mm.

Milk samples were given to us, but we won’t go through these now. Why? Because the sizing on the spec sheet was wrong and we ended up with some very… elongated milk cartons. Don’t worry, Panda has assured us that with a simple update of the spec sheet we’ll be seeing more cubic milks as intended. We should be seeing a second round of resin samples at the end of this month (June) so we can share more then. The coloring and sculpts were looking good though.

Sugar cubes. Well, what can we say – it’s a start at least…

We aren't happy with these yet but we're confident Panda will come through...
We aren't happy with these yet but we're confident Panda will come through...

These are definitely not yet meeting our expectations. And Panda knows that and has assured us they will continue to work on the shape, size, sculpt, texture and coloring to get it to look as close to our 3D printed prototype as possible. More info about these as the second round of samples come in.

Regarding variations on milk and sugar for dealing with the issue of running out of resources, we did get samples of two color versions of milk (two different label colors) and brown sugar samples though we’ve got a lot of feedback on these for Panda so we’ll show them when the next round comes in. Same thing for the scoop, we did receive a sample, but it’s not quite the right size so we’re doing some back-and-forth there and we’ll share it in the next round.

Barista meeples are looking pretty close to perfect.

We're loving these and mostly just want to see a bump in their size!
We're loving these and mostly just want to see a bump in their size!

The main change here is size (we want to bump them up to about 16mm x 20mm, which is the size of the meeples in, say, Topiary). We’d also like to tweak the color and back print. For the color, even though there are no player colors in Seize the Bean (and we’d encourage everyone to play with a diverse set of baristas) we’d still like to have four unique colors and as of right now two of them are too close together. Also, for the five and six player expansion we’d love to introduce a fifth and sixth color, to increase that sense of diversity (and fun).

Cubee meeples are 100% done.

We are absolutely in love with these! <3
We are absolutely in love with these! <3

Size, shape, print, color – everything is rad. We’re stoked about these and if you were at the UK Games Expo in-person then you got to see them in the flesh! (Er... in the fur, rather?)

Resource Bags are started, but not yet meeting our expectations.

A decent starting point, but a ways to go to meet our expectations...!
A decent starting point, but a ways to go to meet our expectations...!

The main issue here is that the bags need to be a bit more sturdy. We’re exploring the possibility of an inner lining with Panda. Also, the sizing is wrong, and to make the contents as accessible as possible we really need to lock that down. The drawstrings are also not present (yet) but will be sewn into the bags, and the prints will likely be different on the bean, milk and sugar bags. We may also play a bit with some color tweaks on the bag materials themselves.

We did also get player resource bags, but like some of the items noted above, we’re not very happy with these as they are, and we’d rather wait for the next round of samples to show some imagery of them.

The first player and next first player tokens are steadily on their way, too.

These are quite large, at about 35mm x 40mm x 45mm!
These are quite large, at about 35mm x 40mm x 45mm!

Weight and size-wise these are grand. We’d like to see the sculpt a bit more polished, which is quite hard with a resin figure of this size, but Panda has said they’ll see what they can do. On a very exciting note they’ve agreed to try a cool experiment with us: we want to make the two cups much more distinguishable so we’ve been discussing details for both. We don’t want to give away too much yet, but let’s just say this might be another chance for us to work latte art into the game…

And finally, we come to the resin Snack Pack. Or, at least half of it, for now.

So delicious! We're loving the rough drafts here, so far!
So delicious! We're loving the rough drafts here, so far!

We’ll be quick here, as this update is already huge: the moka pot is on point as far as sculpt and size and color. We’re requesting that the factory put some finishing touches onto it with a bit more detailed shading, but generally we love the direction it’s going in. The pie is pretty much there, but we want to go the extra mile and try to stick a dollop of whipped cream on top, and also adjust the color so that the crust is distinguishable from the inner top and bottom layers. Other than that, like the moka pot, the pie’s sizing and sculpt are both really clean and we’re quite impressed with Panda’s resin work so far. Lastly, the strong coffee needs a bit bigger size and it needs an improvement in the sculpt to get the bag looking more plump and organic and less geometrical. Also, the paint job needs to be a bit less sloppy (that silver scoop shouldn’t be partial brown) and include some more realistic shading. But it’s certainly on its way too!

What about the rest of the snack pack? We’ll show the soy bean, the donut and the croissant in the next wave of samples. We received some of these, but were quite unhappy with the first round. However, don’t let this worry you; Panda has assured us this is quite normal in the process and the steps that Stonemaier took for their Treasure Chest pieces were very similar. We can expect to have at least three rounds of samples for the resin so there’s a lot of room to improve things.

And finally, the player mat. It’s mentioned in the video (and depicted!), briefly, so we should note it here. We won’t be showing pics or describing it in detail yet as we’re still conducting some tests, but what we can say is that Panda is open to try and add a thin backing to it to help it from sliding around. As far as our early experiences go, this is about the only thing we had major feedback on.

Boom! That’s a lot! But hopefully this should all be exciting news as it shows some real progress on what Panda is calling “a monster of a game”. You can all be proud to be a part of this project – without your support we would’ve never gotten this far. And having seen even these early rough draft samples we’re getting extremely excited for the final product. It’s going to be wild to unbox!

June 25th. We promise. And unless you have questions, that’s about all we think we need to say on the topic! ;)

Jokes aside, for those that missed our notes in past updates or in the comments section, we waited this long for two main reasons: 1) we wanted to try and contact as many regional retailers as possible to provide more opportunities for store pick-ups. We did this because early on in the campaign it became apparent that shipping costs were a financial barrier for a lot of avid gamers. Since discovering this we’ve done everything we can to cut those costs down, and partnering with retailers for store pick-ups is part of that. The problem is that it slows things way down (much more than we would’ve guessed). And 2) we really wanted to get a final verdict on the play mat material as well. By now, we’re done waiting on these two topics and we’re just going to open the pledge manager on the 25th of June whether or not these topics are resolved.

What’s that mean? It means that if we get agreements for store pick-ups later, after the pledge manager is open, we’ll be sure to inform everyone and give you the chance to go back in and change your shipping (where possible).

It also means that if you order a play mat and we have to change the material later we will do our very best to not alter the price. If for some reason we’re forced to, we won’t lock anyone into anything, but instead refund the cost of the original play mat and give people the chance to decide if they want the second version. That being said, we’re working closely with Panda to discuss a good compromise that will avoid this whole process and we’re excited to share more news on that as a second wave of samples arrive!

We said it in the past update and above in this one but we want to say it once more and commit to it (third time’s a charm, perhaps): we’ll do our very best to get back to a bi-weekly update schedule. At this point, we have only two more events on our immediate schedule (Ducosim on July 1st and then Berlin Brettspiel Con at the end of July) so we shouldn’t be getting slammed with too much travel preventing us from communicating more consistently. And for those of you requesting event photos, perhaps we’ll save those for the next update! ;)

See you all on June 25th (if not sooner), for the next update, celebrating the opening of the pledge manager and some more awesome news as we progress on other topics such as the Cubee plushie and the milk carton deck box!

From all of us here at Quality Beast, thank you so much for your support, your understanding, and your positive energy as we push towards the finish line of this amazing project.

Jess Turner, Max Duarte, and 52 more people like this update.

Comments

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. dilkROM Collaborator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Win Phan: Sorry for not responding to you directly here – as you know our whole team has been pretty busy! But lovely message you left, definitely a good thing for us to talk about as a team... whether we should do monthly updates or not. I curious what others might think... generally people are asking for *more* communication where possible but occasionally we do have backers asking for less, too. Anyhow, thanks for the input!

    2. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Matt Wilkins: Hahaha, too true! Rest assured we are literally working hard on it. Things look great, all items in place, we're at the testing stage now. We've run into a funny snag with BackerKit incorrectly calculating shipping totals. Luckily, the team at BackerKit is very responsive so they are helping on this now.

      Once completed, we'll send out what they call a "smoke test" to making sure everything is working. At that time we'll send out an update and it shouldn't be too long after that for people to expect to get their survey links!

      Thanks to everyone for the messages below and the overwhelmingly positive energy – you can all be sure we'll be back here soon to reply to every one of you. :)

    3. Matt Wilkins on

      Dang, we should have asked what TIME pledge manager would be available. Been waiting a long time for this! : )

    4. James Trewin
      Superbacker
      on

      When I backed the project I didn't think i wanted the 5-6 player expansion, but now i do. will an upgrade/add-on be available through the pledgemanager?

    5. Sidney Bristol on

      HA! I just popped over to say a delay was fine and see others have beat me to the punch.

    6. retainerbox on

      Echoing other comments, it's cool to be late - just PLEASE keep us in the loop communication wise.

    7. Dargou on

      Delay is not a big deal. Just deliver a great product and everything will be okay.
      Keep up the good work guys.

    8. Lu on

      Thanks for the update!
      As for the meeple colours... I love them? Please don't change them...

    9. Tim Wagener on

      Great update guys! I don't mind the wait to be honest, I'm just pretty hyped to finally play this game with my friends :) Just keep on the good work! I love how transparent you are with production/pre-production and so on. Hope you will manage to give us the bi-weekly updates ;) it's enjoyable to read them and see, where the rollercoaster is moving :D Nice to be a part of it! Hope to see you at Essen Spiel.

    10. Missing avatar

      David Cherry
      Superbacker
      on

      Having seen the items at UKGE, I was very impressed with the quality of them. If they are going to be better, then it will be worth the wait

    11. Casey Smith on

      How long is the Pledge Manager open for?

    12. Phillip M.
      Superbacker
      on

      People won't remember a five month delay a year from now. They will remember poor communication and poor products. SJGames was over a year late with Ogre but the communication was great and the final product was excellent. Do what you need to do to make the game excellent but more communication please.

    13. Missing avatar

      Mister Nobody on

      I prefer the honest way. If there are delays, spill it out. Thats better in my book than just pushing the info x times into the future at the latest date possible. Its not nice but I appreciate the info anyways.

    14. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Hendrik Wolff: Our apologies that you are still waiting on this. As you can see by the update we had what we considered extremely urgent tasks to attend to first. Now that we're on a new track and we've announced it, we are getting back on top of our messaging. For you (and anyone else that's been waiting for a response) you should have one later today or tomorrow. Thanks for your patience, we will make sure you problem gets solved one way or another. :)

    15. Angela M. on

      Great to see some work in progress pics! Also looking at the sugar cubes, there's no way to not forgive delay for better quality :)
      Much love to Mario - he's doing hell of a job with all the art to produce. I'm confident it'll be just awesome when it's finished.

    16. Missing avatar

      Hendrik Wolff on

      Heyho,
      no new information regarding the payment problem wothout credit card? Or what is with the individual problem solving of this via Kickstarter internal message system? I got no answer so far...

    17. Henk Allaert on

      Hi, no problem about the delay. The stuff you show looks great, except for the sugar cubes, they just look ugly :-)
      Glad you think the same way and are taking actions on that ! :-)

    18. Missing avatar

      Andrew Macdonald
      Superbacker
      on

      Hi it was great to meet you Dylan and the team at UKGE. Like i said don’t worry about the delay , i have backed over 160 KS projects and delays are pretty much par for the course. As long as you keep backers updated it’s not a problem, keep up the excellent work.

      Andy

    19. Vadim Deylgat
      Superbacker
      on

      I have backed close to 100 projects on Kickstarter. A timely delivery is a rare thing and my least important part of the project. There are always things that happen that you just didn’t quite calculate correctly or down right unexpected stuff that happens. Deliver a quality product when you feel it’s done and I will be a happy backer.

    20. K4REL on

      It's weird, I thought I would be a little upset for a delay like this. (this is my first KS project) But I am not. I totally agree with others that it's good that you choose quality over speed. I like the transparency with which you communicate. And the samples look very promising! Only the sugar cubes look horrible but I fully trust you are on that issue.
      Great update. Great work. I am looking forward to the next update and the pledge manager. And I will patiently wait for getting the game in the quality it deserves!

    21. Rick Mann
      Superbacker
      on

      Fingers crossed that the pre-production samples look good when you get them and things go according to plan. Quality is #1. The cup is half full !

    22. Alderman Jack on

      Thumbs up from me as well. Delays are part of almost any KS I backed. In the end the final product is what really counts.

    23. Mohammed Al-Mohanna
      Superbacker
      on

      I second all the comment regarding getting a better quality product than speed. We have plenty of games to go over till that time. The resin looks generally amazing. Now I'm convinced to get thoes extra resins pack for completing the thematic ambiance.

    24. Missing avatar

      eric Clark
      Superbacker
      on

      It’s looking fantastic!! Like many others here, I would MUCH rather have quality over speed and it sounds like you guys agree so please keep up the great work, moving towards a wonderful looking project! Excited to play, but quality is worth the wait!! Thank you again for your hard (and stressful) work!

    25. Helen Kohn
      Superbacker
      on

      No worries on the delay. I never plan on Kickstarts for year-end gifts 😊. I'd much rather have the product you (and therefore, we) want than a rush to finish. Looks wonderful.

      I wanted the add-on, but couldn't figure out how to order it. Did I miss a survey?

    26. Win Phan on

      Very lovely to know in detail your production plan! Keep it up, and perhaps a monthly update is fine than bi-weekly. Now that the expected delivery is stretched to 5 months, you should space out production updates now and put on higher frequency the closer to final shipping date is! :)
      Building a bit of hype and excitement! :)

    27. dilkROM Collaborator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Ben Anderson: It's our pleasure, and really, thank *you* for such a nice note here. I personally was quite nervous about this news because I care so deeply about this project and about it making people happy. Having backed hundreds of campaigns myself I am not new to the topic of delays but it surely feels different when you're at the front of the roller coaster, that's for sure!

      But yes, we definitely are enjoying the ride. My only hope is that all of you are as well. Thanks for being here with us and for sending over the positive vibes! <3

    28. Missing avatar

      Ben Anderson on

      Thanks for all the hard work, all!! There's literally no such thing as an on time Kickstarter, except for the ones that allow for a year. That's just how production works! Hope you're enjoying the ride; it'll be over in a blink.

    29. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Kawarazu: Ah, yes, thanks for the follow-up comment! We can do our part to stay on schedule to meet the deadline for the files. Past that, we need to trust and rely on our manufacturer, Panda. So far, communication with them has been stellar and they have been timely with all information or estimates they've made for us, so we have no reason to believe they'll slip. As with this update, the moment we learn about any news we will report it to you all!

    30. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Kawarazu: We are well aware of Chinese New Year. It is our understanding this happens at the beginning of the year. We have discussed exactly this (as well as a plethora of other timeline topics) with our manufacturer. Since the games are intended to leave the factory in mid-December, Chinese New Year should have no impact on them at all. By the time Chinese New Year is happening (and factories are shut down) the games would be well on their way into fulfilment (if not moving from fulfilment to your wonderful homes).

      Don't worry – having gotten bit *hard* by our gross miscalculation the first time there is no chance we would release a new timeline to you all without checking it 100% with our team and *of course* our manufacturer first. :)

      Lastly: there *is* a product timeline in the update. Was the bullet list not clear? If so, we can happily provide a visual timeline in the next update. Let us know – we want to be sure the right information gets to you all!

    31. Missing avatar

      Kawarazu on

      I can see you have an optimistic finish print time of December. Here's to hoping you guys stay on schedule...

    32. Missing avatar

      Kawarazu on

      Just I want to make it clear, you are aware of China's two week National Holiday that occurs for Chinese New Year, yes? This commonly pushes ALL production schedules to be dramatically past February.

      Please please please tell us you are aware of this, yes? And you've accounted for this? Show us a product timeline please.