Pledge Manager Closing, Pick-Up Options & Sugar Survey
Happy new year everybody! Wow, 2019. By the time Seize the Bean delivers around mid-year the game will have been officially “in the works” for 3 full years, from start to finish. Some days this feels like a really long time to us (we’re learning a lot though, and we’ll be improving our processes to become more efficient in the new year) but other days we feel like the time just flew by. But whatever the day, thank you for being on this wild ride with us!
Our official close date was the 31st. Due to BackerKit staff being on holiday (and a lot of you likely too) we haven’t yet locked down the surveys. We’ll be doing that by the end of this week, so if you have not finished your survey please do so immediately. If you need any assistance at all please email us at email@example.com!
Also, regarding payment: we will be charging credit cards next week. We do not have an exact day for this, but it will likely be Monday or Tuesday.
Our support team is only available Thursday this week so be aware that if you’re waiting for a response from Kilian he’ll most likely get to you by then. (Can we just take a quick moment here to give a big thank you and shout out to Kilian, who recently joined the team in order to help us plow through our backlog of messages – thank you Kilian!)
It’s been much harder to accomplish the amount of pick-up options we’d hoped for. This is simply due to team resources (at the moment, we do not have a dedicated sales / PR person). As we’ve focused our primary energy on completing the game we’ve been unable to spend more time reaching out to stores. This does not mean we’ll stop though!
Even though the pledge manager is closing we will continue to contact shops. In the next few months, before games ship, we’ll provide a way for you to change your shipping option if a shop provides pick-up in your area. More details on this once it’s relevant, but rest assured we’ll try to save you all the cash we can.
Last update we said “final samples” but these really are the final ones for a lot of pieces. And in any cases where they may not be final, the decision will be up to y'all via a survey (see below). Let’s look through what our manufacturer has sent us over the holidays.
First up, we’ve altered one of the meeple colors, going for a caramel-like brown (photo may not show the color fully accurately). We’re quite happy with the outcome and we’ll be calling this final. With this change, all of the meeples are 100% done.
For those interested, even though Seize the Bean specifically does not have player colors, we've conducted a brief colorblind accessibility test for the meeples (depicted below). We've done this because we also want to make sure that folks who suffer from colorblindness can appreciate the diversity in the meeples too.
You'll note that the orange meeple from the 5-6 player expansion (on the far right) is definitely hard to distinguish from the new, caramel-colored one from the base game (second from the left). Though again, as there are no player colors and the meeple colors hold no mechanic value, we find this acceptable.
The new Next First Player Token came out great. We’re quite happy with the results. This one we’ll be calling final and the only change to the other First Player Token is that we’d like to remove the highlight strokes of lighter brown on the coffee surface as a lot of backers who saw it in person suggested they were not needed and made it look less realistic. We do not need to request a sample to do this as we already have one, so we shouldn't suffer any delays here. (Note that there are no images of the First Player Token below.)
The new player bag is spot on. The stitching fix we requested was performed perfectly by the factory and we are happy to say the bag is now completely usable.
Also the resource bags came back too. You won’t be able to tell by the quick photo below but the ultimate quality of the final samples is very good. They feel quite sturdy and the increased size for the milk and sugar bags allow them to hold not only the base game resources but those of the expansion too. There are a couple of things to note: 1) the sugar barely closes all the way with the expansion resources, but it’ll work, 2) the bean bag doesn’t close 100% so it’s possible that a bean or two may slip if your game enjoys a turbulent travel but this is not something we can fix without massively reworking the bag, and 3) the clasp buttons were placed the wrong way (upside down) by the factory. This final point should be an easy change. And with that, we can call all of these final!
Ah, the tantalizing Snack Pack pieces! We are incredibly pleased to announce that all Snack Pack pieces are now final. With the latest sample of the moka pot (which had its paint job order rearranged, to be sure the black bits didn’t get a metallic spray on them), the croissant and the strong coffee (which were both completely redone thanks to the illustrative talent of Andrea Lagunas) we can call them done. We hope you like them as a lot of work was put into making these perfect.
Onto milk! Thanks to two fantastic backers (Michael and Holger) whom we met at SPIEL we were given the cool suggestion to do chocolate milk as the denomination of five. The original idea with the burgundy / red labeled milk was just that the color distinction be as colorblind friendly as possible. What's so rad about Michael and Holger's suggestion is that it helps add thematic value to the secondary milk carton style as well (which as you know is very important for Seize the Bean). We especially love getting ideas from our backers and along those same lines it was cool to further have our manufacturer make a suggestion too: that we go with a fully brown carton. Here are the samples:
From our perspective, while the brown carton is surely interesting, we find it doesn't go so well with the regular milk (at least in-person, in the photos it doesn't look too bad). And based on our colorblind tests we think that the brown label milk is fine. Take a look at both variations next to the regular milk:
And for those interested, here are the colorblind friendly tests:
The only issue with the test above is maybe the monochromatic. All of that being said, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Please use the survey mentioned below to give your opinion on the milk!
Last but surely not least, we present to you those sweet, sweet sugar cubes. Yes, we said we were not going to touch the sugar but sitting in a terribly delicious pizza place during PAX Unplugged with our amazing account manager at Panda (the heroic Joe Wiggins) we just couldn't help ourselves and he even made it happen over the phone that we could get last-minute samples snuck into the package being sent to us for the holidays. Big thanks to Joe for the hustle!
The results vary a bit. We're pleased to say that – in our opinion – the white sugar is improved. It has pros and cons, the pros being that it’s more realistic in its color and no longer looking wet. The con being that it could be ever so slightly more transparent to retain that crystalline look. (When viewing the new white up close it is less realistic than the older, more transparent one.) Despite the con we think the new white sugar is better but take a look for yourself.
The brown sugar is a bit rough, though. Have a glance:
Bit like a corn flake, no? Jokes aside, it’s a shame this sample couldn’t have come out better but it seems that if we want to take another stab at the brown sugar we would need to add another delay (of a few weeks at minimum) to our production time. Our initial response was “absolutely not, our backers have been waiting forever” but after some discussion we decided: why not let you all decide?
Therefore, if you have a bit of spare time we would love it if you could fill out this survey.
We’ll be making our final decision this weekend so you only have about 48-72 hours to give a response. We realize that is quite tight but it’s important to get your input! (There are a few other questions on the survey as well, regarding the play mat and the milk.)
As with the other components above, we also did accessibility testing for the sugar, and here are our current test results:
Monochromatic is a bit close but it should be fine. And that similarity does justify having one type of sugar cube a bit more translucent than the other.
And we did similar accessibility testing with the beans too. Here are those results:
As you can see, the results are pretty good. As with the previously shared tests above, the only area which is maybe of concern is monochromatic, but even there we believe the difference is still acceptably noticeable.
We’re dragged our heels a bit on posting regular art previews but we’ve recently got a few more up. If you’re a BGG user and not already subscribed to Dylan’s art preview GeekList then jump on over to follow along as we continue to post more art!
We’ve been so busy it took us a bit longer to upload videos from our last events but they are available now. Mainly you'll want to watch the Seize the Bean update from SPIEL18:
Here’s a full list of new Quality Beast content (in chronological order for you to enjoy):
- Berlin Brettspiel Con 2018: Quantified Update
- Berlin Brettspiel Con 2018: Microbes or Yours? Update
- Berlin Brettspiel Con 2018: The Wood Games
- Berlin Brettspiel Con 2018: Clans of Caledonia
- SPIEL 2018: Quality Beast Update
- SPIEL 2018: Seize the Bean Update
- SPIEL 2018: Towers of the Sun Update
- SPIEL 2018: Microbes or Yours? Update
- SPIEL 2018: Quantified Update
- SPIEL 2018: Vast Update (German!)
- SPIEL 2018: Root Update (German!)
- SPIEL 2018: Die Dame und der Tiger (German!)
- SPIEL 2018: Quantic Dojo Update
SPIEL 2018: Necrotic Gnome Update
That's it for today. We'll be back soon with some detailed updates on where we are with the printed files (such as cards, rulebooks, player boards, tokens and the boxes). Until then, take care everyone, and welcome to 2019, the year of the bean! :)