Art Progress, New Spec Sheets & Store Pick-ups!
What an August! We hope everyone has had a great time during the Summer (it's been hot in Berlin!) – It’s always the busiest for us because of the dense event season it brings. And while we travel a lot, we don’t let that get in the way of our primary focus on making great games though, so we have some progress updates to share.
We are happy to report that currently we have:
- 85% of the Customer Card artwork completed (this hasn't changed because we’ve focused almost entirely on upgrade cards the last month)
- 100% of the Pantry Upgrade artwork completed
- 77% of the Style Upgrade artwork completed
- In total we are approximately 88% done with all cards for the game!
Keep in mind that as we finish the artwork, it’s not only visuals that we’re completing, because each card’s art is inspired and directed by its flavor text. With all that flavor text completed, our translators can begin preparing the non-English language files for print as well. This is necessary for production (since all games are being made together, using what is called a "plate change") but as a bonus this will also help us to provide the final print and play files in multiple languages.
In our next update we’ll give a more updated view of the overall timeline in general, but it appears that our estimate on card art was quite accurate, perhaps off by a week or two at the most (our previous estimates did have some minor margins built in, so we'll be crunching the numbers again to see if they can swallow the art time as planned).
Many backers have been asking (quite urgently too, which we take as a generally good sign, though we also take very seriously, as we do not want to let any backers down!) for updated photos of the resin pieces and add-ons. It’s important to understand we’ve been more focused on making sure the art and text is completed for the next stages of file prep for production than we have been with getting updated spec sheets to our manufacturer. This in turn directly slows down the rate at which we get updated samples. This is not because we don’t deem samples and component progress important, it is simply a matter of resource delegation. As an independent publisher, this is very important to do, as the creation of this game is very much a marathon, not a sprint!
With that said, we’re very happy to share that we’ve completed the updated spec sheets for the base game. There are still a few minor tweaks, but the sizing and visual descriptions of all the base game pieces are vastly improved which should help us get a better second round of factory samples, and we'll be sending these off to our manufacturer over the weekend (yup, that's right, all of you backers are seeing the spec sheet updates even before our manufacturers).
For those wondering where the expansion and add-on spec sheets are, don’t fret! They are coming just around the corner. We estimate to have the components not pictured above (such as the snack pack, resources bags and player sacks) done and off to our manufacturer next week. Once we receive an estimate from them on the turn around time for the second round of samples we’ll let all of you know promptly (instead of waiting a month to drop another large update). Meanwhile, thank you for your patience and understanding, we know the wait is difficult, and we promise: we’re dying to see the end result just as much as the rest of you!
Yes, it’s true. We do have a confirmation from BackerKit that there is a way they can implement store pick-ups into the pledge manager. In short, their solution is that we can add a new “add-on item” to the pledge manager labeled something like “Pick-Up Option” which will have different “variants”, each of which provide the name and region of the pick-up location (these will generally be retail stores). What’s nice is that we can add stores in one-by-one, and send out short, brief updates informing everyone once a store (or set of stores) has been added. Please have patience with us as we begin to add stores! Now that the hardest part is done (getting things sorted with BackerKit) the rest should go quite smoothly.
Also, please beware: after selecting this soon-to-appear option, your cart may still show a shipping price, but BackerKit assures us there is a back-end “chore” (as they called it) that they can do to make sure all of the people who have selected the pick-up option won’t be charged (or will be refunded) the cost of their shipping. We'll supply more explicit details on this in the next update when we announce the first stores.
Don’t get too excited: Seize the Bean will definitely not be available for pick up at Essen. However, some items may be! Right now we are working out the logistics of this possibility with our amazing event manager, Kerstin (who was also a huge help on Seize the Bean when she was previously wearing the hat of a developer too!). If things seem not too complicated we’re inclined to allow those of you who attend Essen to pick-up whatever items we can provide you with there, and help lower your shipping by removing those items’ added shipping amount (if any) from your total. Even if your shipping isn't adjusted by these, you'd at least get to grab them earlier!
(Please note that this option has not fully been discussed with BackerKit yet, though we can’t see why it won’t be possible, as it's simply a variation of the store pick-up option they've already provided us. The main issue is that it just may be too much work to pull off. We'll report back as soon as we know for sure!)
As promised we’ve also been getting other tasks out of the way such as completing any production we can with our additional manufacturers. This includes the milk carton deck boxes and the Cubee plushie, both of which are in production now and we’re attempting to have delivered in time for SPIEL (though this is still yet to be 100% confirmed, due to how tight the shipping estimates are currently). Regardless, have a peek below at a preview of the final deck box samples, their packaging, and the current state of the plushie samples!
Hope you've enjoyed these images and they not only help you to rekindle some of your excitement but also share with you just how much work goes into this process and further assure you that we are indeed taking the entire production of all the items related to this campaign seriously.
That’s it for today! Thanks so much to you all for your continued trust in us and patience as push towards a high quality, and truly exceptional finished product.